Apple Gadgets

Apple iPad 2 Launch – iPad Shipment For December Down

Concord Equity research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has come up with a new report where he claims that Apple could be slowing down on the shipment of new iPad units from its suppliers ahead of the launch of the new iPad – rumored to happen in February next year.

According to a note sent to investors, Kuo has claimed that iPad shipments for December amounted close to 1.6 million units that was significantly lower than the 2.1 million units shipped in November this year.

What this has meant is that Amazon Kindle has been able to expand from being a niche player in the segment to becoming a more mass-market player. Kuo points out that shipments of Kindle matched with those of the iPad in December with the Amazon eReader expected to sell as many as 4.5 million units in the first quarter of next year.

Anyway, of interest is the shipment numbers for iPad. Given the February timeline for the launch of iPad 2, we wonder if Apple Stores would start reporting depleting inventory as we head to the new year. Do you see such a thing in your neighborhood store? Tell us in the comments.

Software and Apps

Skype Video Calling On iPhone Available For Download Now

Skype has made its highly anticipated video calling feature available for download for the iPhone. The roll out has definitely caught a number of people by surprise since it was widely believed that Skype could be making an announcement in this regard during the Consumer Electronics Show next month. We had earlier noted that Skype was inviting media for a conference on the sidelines of CES and this was seen as the platform when the new video calling features could be enabled.

The new feature will be available on iPhone 3GS/4, iPad and iPod Touch 4G users to share real time video with friends and family on other iDevices as well as on Windows, Mac or Linux devices. The service is free to use and can be accessed over Wi-Fi and 3G networks. You can check out a video demo of this feature in action below.

Download the new Skype app for iPhone here.

Apple Web

iTunes Vs. Netflix – Online Rentals Compared

For more than a decade, Netflix has been seen as the leader in movie rentals. More recently, the company has started focusing on online rentals so much so that it is now believed that internet streaming via Netflix alone contributes close to 20% of bandwidth in the United States. Netflix recently launched in Canada and is learned to be ramping up for an international roll-out.

So how does all of this compare with Apple’s iTunes service? According to Gleacher & Company analyst Brian Marshall, it may be a tad unfair on Netflix to even get compared with iTunes. And that’s because the volume of purchases over Netflix is extremely large compared to those over iTunes.

Marshall points out that the average number of rentals per day over iTunes could be in the range of 475,000. On the other hand, Netflix is known to handle as much as 5 million rentals on a daily basis. Netflix appears superior in value terms as well. Marshall notes that over 90% of TV episode rentals on iTunes are priced $0.99 widening the gap between the two services even further.

iOS Software and Apps

New Untethered Jailbreak To Allow Large Size Custom Bundle Installs

The Redsn0w untethered jailbreak for iOS 4.2.1 is still in its testing phase among Mac users. Once this is complete, the tool is likely to be opened up for Windows users for testing before a public release will happen. While that is likely to take some more time one interesting piece of information that has come out is that this new untethered jailbreak solution will allow users to large size install custom bundles that was hitherto not possible.

In a tweet conversation, popular Dev Team member, MuscleNerd has pointed out that this feature is likely to be one of the benefits in this new tool.

@MuscleNerd Once the new redsn0w is out, will it allow to install custom bundles > 100 MB?

@i0n1c yeah that’ll be one of the side benefits of this new “upload to running ramdisk” capability

Mobile Verizon

Verizon iPhone Release Date Before Valentine's Day?

Here is the ‘launch date rumor‘ for the day. According to a new report on Bloomberg Businessweek, the highly anticipated Verizon iPhone could be launching “by Valentine’s day“. The report does not carry a specific launch date and notes that the launch “will come sometime after the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January“.

What is interesting is that the report also hints at the possibility of Sprint and T-Mobile losing out on the iPhone at least in the short term. Businessweek notes that with just Verizon and AT&T carrying iPhone in the next year, the subscriber numbers for Sprint and T-Mobile could fall by as much as 650,000 and 950,000 respectively.

Of course, all that we are hearing now is speculation based on anonymous rumors. But with both Verizon and Apple seeming to be prepping up for a new release, the question is now no longer an ‘if’ and is merely a matter of ‘when’.

Amazon Miscellaneous

Can Amazon Bestsellers List Be Gamed? New Kindle Book Tells How

Amazon’s proprietary algorithm that ranks and offers recommendation to book readers has always been a matter of debate. While there has been several accusations in the past about the company turning a blind eye to authors gaming the system to reach the bestsellers’ list, nothing much has come out of it until now. However, a recent book – ironically available for purchase on Amazon Kindle – tells us the exact methodology that one needs to pursue to ensure that their books top the bestsellers chart on Amazon.

In the book, author Thomas Hertog claims to have successfully got his previous book – “Wealth Hazards” – to reach the #1 on the bestsellers’ list in the personal finance category although he barely sold 32 copies in 45 days of launch. Hertog points out that his gaming technique helped him overtake genuine bestselling authors like Robert Kiyosaki, Andrew Tobias and Dave Ramsey who have sold more than 50 million books. How did he do it? Hertog explains,

“I discovered how Amazon ranks book sales, customer reviews, comments on reviews, books that other buyers bought, and creates Amazon recommendations. Then I bought and downloaded to my Kindle one hundred and seventy-three times my own book Wealth Hazards, wrote numerous five-star customer reviews, and voted on how helpful or unhelpful reviews were in making a purchasing decision. I did this everyday on Amazon for nearly five months.”

Hertog has summarized his experiences on his book, “The Day the Kindle Died“, that can be purchased on Amazon by clicking here. It is a real eye-opener to the way Amazon ranks books besides letting us rethink the way Amazon could be violating the users’ privacy to mine valuable data using simple bookmarking tools like WhisperSync.

Did you read the book? Tell us your views on this debate in the comments below.


iPod Nano Jailbreak Imminent With New Hack

Those of you wanting to put your iPod nano to better use can get hopeful. Developer James Whelton has revealed that he has taken the first step towards enabling a possible jailbreak of the sixth generation iPod nano. In all fairness, Whelton’s hack at present is pretty simplistic and all that it does is to remove one of the default apps from the iPod nano. But Whelton has said that hackers can now build upon this to develop a more sophisticated jailbreaking solution for iPod nano in the future. He says,

“The hack and things I’ve been playing around with and have done use the already available ‘disk use’ of the device. The hack is simple, like Forrest Gump simple, the importance is that it got the Nano hack got attention and thankfully attracted some kickass hackers and developers who wish to work on it with me, I’m gonna be doing all I can to facilitate this. iPod Nano hacking is nothing new (”

Meanwhile, if you own a iPod nano 6th gen device, you can check out the tutorial for the current hack by clicking here.

HTC Mobile Sprint

HTC EVO Shift 4G Price On Best Buy Confirmed

Radio Shack has announced the price of the next generation HTC EVO phone. In an official promo launched by the company, the retailer has priced the HTC EVO Shift 4G phone at $149.99. It is worth noting that we had been speculating the same price since last week after a leaked Best Buy screenshot revealed the price of the EVO Shift.

HTC EVO Shift will be available at the aforementioned price after signing up a two year service contract with Sprint. Those looking for SIM-free versions will need to pay up $449.99 for the handset. If you are a fan of the large screen on the current HTC EVO variant, do note that the Shift will come with a relatively smaller 3.6″ display.


The HTC EVO Shift 4G phone is rumored to launch on January 9, 2011 although there is no official announcement as yet. We will await the same.

Software and Apps

New iPhone Jailbreak From GeoHot To Be Called Rubyra1n?

Some interesting news here if you have been following the iPhone jailbreak scene. George Hotz, the popular jailbreaker who has previously released the Blackra1n and Limera1n jailbreak tools could be naming his next release the Rubyra1n. Evidence for this comes courtesy the Who Is domain name records for that appears to have been recently registered in the name of George Hotz.

A quick check for these records shows that Hotz had registered for the domain names and on the same date – 27th March of this year; which is a long time back. So while it is likely that Hotz may not use the name for his immediate release, we do expect him to get to the name sometime down the line.

What do you think? Tell us in the comments.

Mobile Samsung

New Samsung Galaxy Phones Features To Include Dual Core Processor & NFC Chips?

Most of the tech world may be gearing up for the Consumer Electronics Show that is set to get underway in less than a week’s time. However Samsung, it is learned, is already getting ready to showcase some upcoming products at the Mobile World Congress that will be held during the month of February in Barcelona.

According to a report on Korean newspaper Chosunilbo, Samsung is prepping to unveil the next gen models of its Galaxy range smart devices. The Galaxy S successor is reported to be equipped with dual core processors, updated gyroscope and support NFC connectivity.

It is worth noting that these are some features that are offered on Google’s latest Gingerbread platform and consequently it is likely that the new Galaxy range of smartphones could run on Android 2.3. Not too unlikely considering that the launch is at least a couple of months away and because the first Gingerbread handset is already available in the market.