Telecoms

A round-up of reaction to the launch of the Apple iPhone 4S:

Apple has come under criticism for failing to manage expectations and speculation about a new iPhone model. Mashable comments that the company usually follows a policy of “under-promising and over-delivering” when it comes to product launches – citing the example of how Apple handled rumours of a retina display screen on the iPad2.

So what happened to the back channels this time? It seems especially odd, considering Apple is still trying to establish Tim Cook as an effective replacement for Steve Jobs, that expectations for his first event weren’t dampened accordingly. But only in the last few days did stories about the iPhone 4S begin to appear, and not from the usual trusted sources. The vast majority of the technology world was still expecting an iPhone 5, and with good reason.

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Chris Nuttall

Apple has unveiled a new version of the iPhone, with the same design as its existing handset but upgrading its hardware, software and services to stay ahead of smartphone rivals.

The iPhone 4S, available from October 14,  has the same dual-core processor as the iPad 2, an improved camera, 4G data speeds and better battery life. There will be a “World” version of the phone that can be used on different networks and Sprint has been added as a carrier. Apple emphasised improvements in a new version of the operating system – iOS 5 – and demonstrated a voice-recognition personal assistant called Siri.

Our live reporting from the event as it happened and reaction to the news is after the jump. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Security researchers have warned that HTC Android  smartphones including the Evo 3D, the Evo 4G, and the Thunderbolt contain a flaw that gives Internet-connected apps access to personal information such as text message data, location info, e-mail addresses and phone numbers, CNET reports. “It’s like leaving your keys under the mat and expecting nobody who finds them to unlock the door,” Artem Russakovskii, one of the researchers, warns. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

News Corp’s  iPad-only publication, the Daily, is averaging about 120,000 readers a week - less than a quarter than the 500,000 users the company said it needed to make money – Bloomberg reports. After the free trial, subscribers pay 99 cents per week or $39.99 a year to read the publication. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Social shopping group Groupon is poised to roll out a new product called Groupon Rewards that aims to give participating retailers a way to increase customer loyalty, according to TechCrunch. Under the scheme, a business offering a regular Groupon deal will be able to follow up with another reward that gets unlocked after the customer spends a certain amount of money. The scheme will be open to retailers this week with consumers starting to see the rewards in October.

With speculation mounting over the imminent launch of the iPhone5 on October 4, TUAW looks at the fate of two of Apple’s older products, the iPod Classic and Shuffle, warning that the models face the axe later on this year. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Online music streaming group Spotify is to open up its nascent US service, chief executive Daniel Ek told TechCrunch. Spotify in the US will no longer be invite-only and essentially be free for a user’s first six months of using the service. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Apple is expected to hold its next big media event on Tuesday October 4, where it will unveil the next iPhone model, according to AllThingsDigital. Meanwhile, Mashable reports that a remark made by Apple board member and former US Vice-President Al Gore at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit in South Africa – “Not to mention the new iPhones coming out next month. That was a plug.” – has sparked speculation of more than one iPhone5 model.

TechCrunch reports that a deleted tweet from Facebook creative director Ji Lee may point to a special feature in the social network’s long-anticipated music service. In a tweet that was deleted minutes after it was sent, Mr Lee wrote:

The “Listen with your friend” feature in ticker is blowing my mind. Listen to what your friends are listening. LIVE. 

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Chris Nuttall

“Smartphone” Valley is experiencing a second wave of companies tapping its telecoms talent, with Vodafone the latest carrier to open a research and development outpost here on Thursday.

AT&T will follow suit next week , while Verizon opened its research centre in August aimed at luring developers. Read more

Paul Taylor

One of the biggest challenges for Android-based smartphone makers is to differentiate their products from their rivals. With the Motorola Droid Bionic designed to run on Verizon’s high speed LTE wireless network, Motorola Mobility is seeking to outpace its rivals in three ways – hardware specs, battery life and accessories.

The Bionic’s basic specs are reasonably impressive beginning with its big 4.3 inch qHD screen manufactured using Corning’s scratch-proof Gorilla Glass. Other features include a dual-core 1GHz processor with 1GB of dedicated Ram, front and rear facing digital cameras and 32GB of memory including a 16GB micro-SD card. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Google is poised to enter the bidding for Hulu, the US video streaming service, according to AllThingsDigital. Yahoo, Amazon and Dish are all expected to offer $1.5bn-$2bn for Hulu in exchange for the free video site, its subscription service and the rights to exclusive content for at least two years. AllThingsDigital expects Google to weigh in and bid much more than other bidders for a lot more content, for a longer period of time. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Facebook is planning to launch its long-anticipated music service next month with Spotify, MOG and Rdio as three of the company’s partners, Mashable reports. Even though users will be able to listen to music on Facebook.com, the social network will not directly host or stream any of the music, relying instead on its partners to provide the content. Read more

Maija Palmer

gemalto imageThe disruption suffered by companies in the recent spate of technology patent wars became apparent last week when Gemalto, the French smartcard company, revealed a €13.5m shortfall in its patents revenue, following a dispute with makers of Android smartphones.

The Paris-based company launched a suit against Google, Motorola, HTC and Samsung last October, alledging that they had used Gemalto’s smartcard technology in Android devices without a licence. Read more

Maija Palmer

This internal email was sent by Tim Cook to all Apple employees early on Thursday morning, reassuring them that the company “is not going to change”.

Below is the full text of the e-mail:

Team:

I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of serving as CEO of the most innovative company in the world. Joining Apple was the best decision I’ve ever made and it’s been the privilege of a lifetime to work for Apple and Steve for over 13 years. I share Steve’s optimism for Apple’s bright future.

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Tech news from around the web:

A group of some 27,000 South Koreans is suing Apple for $26m for what they claim are privacy violations from the collection of iPhone user location information, AP reports in The Washington Post. Each person in the suit is seeking  Won1m ($932) in damages  from Apple and its South Korean unit to “protect privacy” rights. Read more

Joseph Menn

Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers chief executive Rod Beckstrom said late on Tuesday that he would leave the most central job in internet governance when his contract expires in July. Read more

Joseph Menn

The US Federal Communications Commission said on Monday it was investigating a controversial decision by a San Francisco regional transit authority to shut down wireless phone transmissions last weekRead more

Joseph Menn

California authorities said on Thursday that they won’t file criminal charges against a Gawker Media technology blogger who paid $5,000 last year for what turned out to be an Apple employee’s test version of the iPhone 4Read more

I felt a bit of a simpleton for loving the kickstand on the HTC Evo 4G more than many of its far more sophisticated features, but such love is more justified with the new Motorola Photon.

You see, rather than just propping up the device to watch video on an airline tray table, this 4G Android smartphone has an “intelligent” kickstand, which means it can do rather more.

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Tech news from around the web:

Google’s Android operating system now claims the largest share of the US consumer smartphone market with 39 per cent, according to June figures from market researchers Nielsen. Apple’s iOS is in second place with 28 per cent, while RIM Blackberry is at 20 per cent. Apple, however,  is the top smartphone manufacturer in the US. HTC, meanwhile, holds a 14 per cent share of the market. Read more

Joseph Menn

South Korean regulators said they are investigating the most massive loss of user data ever in the most wired country on earth. Read more