Weekly news roundup on all things ‘iPad and Apple’
iPhone hacked, iPad hacked (potentially). Media jump on the iPad bandwagon, as well as the eBook train. Apple stake their claim in mobile gaming. AdMob hint that the tide is turning towards the Android platform, and Nintendo seem to start to react to the shifting sands of the entertainment sector with 3D handhelds!! First details of iPad apps and iPad app pricing start to leak… as well as details of iPad Subscription models.
On the very first day of the yearly hacking contest Pwn2Own [dvlabs.tippingpoint.com] the iPhone was hacked again. To put that into perspective Internet Explorer 8 on Windows 7, Firefox 3 on Windows 7, Safari 4 on Mac OS X 10.6, and iPhone OS 3 were all compromised during the competition. Interestingly Google’s Chrome was the only one left standing. But that was simply because no-one tried to hack it!
Although the iPhone has been very publicly hacked in various ways over the last few years. At this particular competition, and according to it’s metrics for a successful hack, the iPhone was not hacked in 2009. So this was technically the first time for this event.
The successful hack this year involved using a “zero-day” flaw in mobile Safari which allowed access to text messages. The hack managed to get around both the iPhone’s Data Execution Protection, as well as requirements that all code be signed.
We reported a few days ago that “legendary” hacker Geohot had cryptically announced on his Twitter feed, and also on his blog, that he had potentially hacked the iPad.
While it’s not clear whether this is a valid claim or not, what he appears to have done is to find an exploit in the latest Apple iPhone OS (3.1.3) (and underlying technologies) which will allow users to jailbreak, and then also reboot their iPods and iPhones without them needing to be tethered to a computer each time.
Prior to this most recent hack any user of newer “i” devices running the latest release of Apple’s iPhone OS weren’t able to easily free their devices from Apple’s walled garden for software and OS updates. In theory, according to Geohot (aka George Hotz), this process should also work for the iPad.
It’s unclear when this “exploit” will become public, as viable holes in Apple’s OS are becoming fewer and fewer. Apple patching them with each new release. So it may be that these latest efforts get held back from the public until a more significant OS update is pushed out by Apple. Perhaps even until the rumoured OS4.0, which some think will unify the iPad and iPhone OS.
Media and advertising become the focus for some on the iPad
We theorised earlier this week that as well as the massive push for games on the iPad; with perhaps 50% of the titles available for it at launch expected to be entertainment of the gaming flavour. Another category which will dominate it’s catalog is expected to be rich media versions of existing traditional book and magazine publisher’s fair. Part of the driving force behind publishers investing in this format is the expected revenue stream they can generate from advertising.
An article in AppleInsider discusses some of the opportunity and ways advertisers plan on exploiting the iPad. Two of the key buzzwords in use in the run up to the iPad launch are interactive advertisements and dynamic content.
Amazon, Barnes & Noble plan to ride the iPad e-book train. May be late to the party though..
Amazon rolled out it’s Kindle software for Mac a week ago, and hinted at iPad support. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble believe that they have something to offer to augment the iPad eBook space, despite Apple having their own eBook app and the iBookstore. Amazon claim to be tweaking an iPad specific app, which will make great use of the device’s screen real estate. Unfortunately both companies admit that their apps most likely won’t be available at launch.
More good news is that Apple has penned a deal with Perseus Books Group, a larger independent publisher that also handles distribution for some 330 small presses and publishers.
Apple posts impressive gains in the gaming market
We reported, earlier this week, on Apple’s impressive market share gains in the entertainment sector this last year. Based on US figures alone it is clear that Apple’s share of the entire revenue of the US gaming industry has grown from 1% to 5%.
On the back of this information and the positive way the iPad launch seems to be going many market analysts have revised Apple’s share predictions (AAPL) to closer to the $300 mark by the end of the year. As of this article Apple’s shares are at yet another high of $230.90.
AdMob and Nintendo release game market information of their own.. DS to go 3D!
In my opinion, in something of a knee jerk reaction to the rumours of Apple’s own forthcoming advertising integration into iPhone / iPad OS revisions, as well as their growing market share in entertainment and media, AdMob released the results of a survey which claims that 70% of iPhone developers plan to develop for the Android platform in future. As I noted in our article on this here. we need to remember that as independent as AdMob are at the moment, they are in the process of being bought by Google, who make the Android OS. Also the amount of people who they actually surveyed to get the figures quoted in that report are a massive 108! That’s not a typo!
Having said all that it seems obvious to me that any successful developer working on the iPhone and using AdMob as their advertising sub-system would look for a similar system when porting successful apps to Android. And if you have a successful iPhone app why wouldn’t you port it to the next most successful mobile operating system; Android. AdMob are now positioned perfectly to be that solution with their libraries which now allow integration into Google’s Android SDK.
Nintendo in a strange move this week announced rather sketchy details of their next portable gaming device. Its next handheld console will be launched during the financial year to March 2011. It will be fully backward compatible with existing DS software. And it will have a 3D display without the need for special glasses.
I believe Nintendo see an assault coming on two sides to their current business model. Microsoft and Sony now have motion covered, and the prices of the PS3 and 360 are set to come down in the second half of their lifespans. Apple is also aggressively eating into the mobile market place for games, albeit at Sony’s expense right now.
Nintendo are well known for their penchant for trying to sell old hardware for as long as possible. The Wii is a perfect example, as well as many moons ago them having the colour GameBoy in house long long before they actually started selling it; preferring to milk the black and white GameBoy market for as long as possible.
They did the same thing then with regards to backwards compatibility when they allowed the Colour GameBoy to “colourize” old game cartridges. Right now I don’t think Nintendo have a 100% solid plan of exactly how the “3D” DS will work, or if it’s even a viable market.
But they want to keep consumers, shareholders and developers on board going forward while Apple, Sony and Microsoft start nipping at it’s ageing heels.
First details of what we can expect in the iPad AppStore start to trickle out
It appears that the intention, at least, for the iPad and it’s apps is to raise the generally accepted base price for software. This is something which many devs will welcome. Although it has to be said they have always had the power in their own hands to stop competing in the legendary iTunes App Store “race to the bottom” on pricing. So I have to wonder how long this higher pricing model will last once more devs launch their own products and try to compete with existing launch titles.
Flight Control and Real Racing for the iPhone are currently $0.99 USD and $4.99 USD respectively. Both are well liked and respected games; garnering many accolades and almost universal praise. The iPad versions of these games, Flight Control HD and Real Racing HD, will be $4.99 USD and $9.99 USD. Further comparisons between iPhone and iPad pricing presents similar results.
Most apps seem to carry the HD moniker, and are generally ported versions of already successful apps from the iPod and iPhone.
iPad media subscription packages start to leak
We reported here that iPad Subscription pricing for newspapers and magazines have started to leak out.
The Wall Street Journal will be available for $17.99 USD/month, Esquire will charge $2.99 USD/issue, and Men’s Health will go for $4.99 USD/month. Some of these subscriptions are less than current print prices, some are more.
As noted in that article, it remains to be seen how these packages will be received by iPad users. Pricing floats either slightly above or below the current price for physical media for most of the subscription packages.
Lots of media outlets seem to be pinning their hopes on paid content as the panacea for their declining industry. As many of them seem to have set the iPad launch period as a kind of line in the sand to start charging for their own web site content by placing their top news and articles behind pay walls.
My attitude towards this strategy is still the same.. Good luck with that.
Well, one more working week to go until the world as we know changes… Are you excited? Let us know your thoughts below. Did we miss anything?