AT&T

Paul Taylor

If Research in Motion had rolled out the Blackberry Torch a year ago when RIM first began serious work on the device, it would have been a showstopper.

As it was when Mike Lazaridis, RIM’s co-chief executive, unveiled the device at a New York event on Tuesday, there were few if any surprises though some eyebrows were raised by the news that AT&T which already boasts the iPhone in its smarphone portfolio, would be the exclusive network partner in the US.  (AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega was on stage at the launch event to say nice things about RIM and the new device.) 

Chris Nuttall

The US has moved ahead of Europe and Asia to become a clear leader in the mobile phone industry, according to the chief technology officer of AT&T.

“I get so tired of hearing that [ we are far behind Europe and Asia],” John Donovan told the MobileBeat conference in San Francisco. 

Joseph Menn

(Adds that one Steve Jobs email was faked and that Apple has pledged a software “fix.”)

Apple may see no serious issues with the iPhone 4′s reception, but several plaintiffs’ lawyers have stepped forward to disagree.

Notwithstanding a number of emails from Apple chief executive Steve Jobs urging disgruntled buyers to keep calm and stay tuned–implying a software amelioration is in the works–customer lawsuits seeking class-action status have begun to hit the courts. 

Joseph Menn

The contest among established Wall Street analysts to see who can make the most dramatic bull case for investing in Apple appears to be gathering steam. The newest entry came late yesterday from Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley,  who brings the advantage of having been right fairly often in the past.

Still, her forecast is an eye-popper: Apple had 30m iPhone subscribers at the end of last year, and she said it should have better than triple that number–exceeding the nice, round figure of 100m–by the end of 2011. 

David Gelles

Apple’s new phone already seems too popular for its own good. Since becoming available for pre-order this morning, the iPhone 4 appears to be in such high demand it has all but crashed the online ordering systems of Apple and AT&T.

Like many trying to pre-order the iPhone 4, I was able to get as far as the “check eligibility” stage on Apple’s online store before getting bounced. The screen read “Please wait while we access your AT&T account information”, then delivered a message saying “Your request couldn’t be processed” and instructed me to try again later.

(Update: I was able to reserve an iPhone 4 for in-store pickup using the Apple Store app on my current iPhone.) 

Joseph Menn

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said on Tuesday night that personal computers running rival Microsoft’s Windows operating system are in a permanent decline and that only a fraction of current users will still rely on them in the future.

In a rare onstage interview at the D: All Things Digital conference, Mr Jobs compared the fate of the PC to trucks in agrarian America. The dominant vehicle when farming was the way most people earned a living, they were vastly outnumbered by cars when the country became more urbanised. 

Joseph Menn

The version of Apple’s iPad tablet computer with 3G wireless access began arriving at US homes and stores Friday, greeted by shorter lines and less frenzy than those accompanying the WiFi-only model that went on sale April 3.

But those coming to Apple’s retail locations had to wait until 5 pm to claim their gadgets, perhaps because Apple wanted to go easy on the demands for bandwidth from sole connectivity provider AT&T. IPhone users in New York and San Francisco frequently complain about slow internet access and the weekend traffic is lower. 

Paul Taylor

The evolution of digital photo frames has followed a familiar pattern in the consumer technology industry.

First generation devices had a fixed amount of internal memory and had to be updated by plugging them into a PC, second generation devices supported expandable memory and were updated using plug-in flash memory cards and the latest generation can be updated wirelessly – using Bluetooth, WiFi or a cellular connection. 

Paul Taylor

When femtocells first appeared several years ago, they garnered little interest from mobile network operators which mostly saw them as expensive, difficult to manage and unnecessary.

Then the smartphone wave broke, mobile data consumption soared and some carriers including AT&T suddenly faced a capacity crunch in smartphone-heavy urban markets including New York and San Francisco. 

Paul Taylor

Those innocuous-looking  ‘wall warts’ that plug into the mains to recharge the batteries in most portable electronic devices including mobile phones, laptops and digital music players have a dark side.

If you leave them plugged in after removing the portable device they continue to consume a small amount of power or ‘vampire energy.’ While the amount of energy wasted by a single wall charger is fairly insignificant, it quickly adds up if everyone does it.