iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Sat, 01 Aug 2015 15:00:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Apple Gets Aggressive with Acquisitions Tue, 04 May 2010 19:27:18 +0000 Read More]]> Apple (AAPL) has traditionally been a very conservative player in the often very cowboy world of Silicon Valley acquisitions. Perhaps it was the lack of dominance in the market or a business philosophy but up until very recently Apple was cautious and calculated. The past 12 months has marked a drastic change of pace. Apple has purchased mobile marketing company Quattro Wireless after being stymied by Google (GOOG) in an attempt to buy AdMob, music streaming service LaLa, microprocessor design company Intrinsity, and mobile search company Siri. The torrid pace with which Apple has been buying companies has almost outpaced traditional start-up buyer Google.

But what does this all mean? Why, as Apple news site AppleInsider reports, has Apple engaged a Goldman Sachs investment banker to help in its mergers and acquisitions work? The types and rate of acquisitions point to three areas.

AppleInsider notes one of the main reasons Apple has gone on such a purchasing spree is to engage in a type of arms race with Google. Apple understands its main competition is not Microsoft any more, it’s Google. With Google aggressively moving into the mobile space with Android, the Nexus One, and a rumored upcoming tablet; Apple understands they are quickly coming into direct conflict with a company that has the money and will to compete with it on any field of battle. Apple also understands that passing on a company they might only be mildly interested in would leave them open to purchase by Google. Better to buy a company, acquire its human resources and intellectual property, and let it go fallow then leave it open to development by Google. It’s conventional wisdom that Apple bought LaLa to develop an “iTunes in the cloud” type of product. It’s equally as probably they just bought to deny Google the property.

The second reason for the recent acquisition spree centers around money and Apple’s ability to spend it. It’s widely regarded the two companies in Silicon Valley with the largest war chests are Google and Apple. The twin factors of Apple’s previously cautious nature and the wild success of their iTunes-iPhone ecosystem has left them with a large pile of cash to play with. It has been reported Apple has a portfolio of liquid investments worth approximately $41 billion USD. At no other point in its corporate history has Apple had the raw ability to buy companies that enhance its product lines. No longer relegated to picking and choosing who it acquires, Apple now has the cash to quickly expand and capitalize on its success. Apple finds itself in the enviable position of having cash and a popular product line that is ripe for expansion and market dominance.

And that leads to the last point. Apple has never had the need to quickly acquire companies before now. All of the internal moves Apple has made since the 2007 introduction of the iPhone have led to this moment. Now that Apple has built their move into mobile into the twin pronged success of the iPhone and iPad, they’re moving quickly to cement that move into long term success. That means taking over the means of hardware design and production (Intrinsity), developing in-house applications that replace the competitors on your platform (Placebase), and further extending your current ecosystem into new spaces without drastically changing its profit model (LaLa). It will be interesting to see what further acquisitions Apple has up its sleeve. While they may not indicate immediate changes to what Apple is doing, they certainly indicate a future direction.

What do you think of Apple’s recent acquisition spree? Are they buying companies to expand and increase their reach or simply to deny Google? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

]]> 0 News roundup on all things ‘Apple and iPhone 4G’ Sun, 25 Apr 2010 18:36:59 +0000 Read More]]> Apple’s next gen iPhone 4G was found in a bar. A popular technology blog buys the ‘lost’ phone for $5000 and then Apple sends an official letter.

The iPad was banned in Israel and some US Universities, and then unbanned in Israel, whilst a fix has been detailed for the Universities by various bloggers and websites around the web.

Adobe quit iPhone Flash development. Calling Apple a “black kettle” while wearing a “pot” as a hat.

Apple responded with the blindingly obvious, gave Adobe something completely different that they had been asking for for a long time, and then decided to controversially reject and remove some seemingly innocent and totally unrelated apps from its App Store.

Apple were also briefly rumoured to be considering buying ARM after announcing record profits! Apple announced record profits this week at its Q2 earnings report, and have apparently taken over the Japanese phone market and everywhere else in the world too where you can buy anything with an i-prefix on it.

And finally some iPod Touches with cameras went on sale. And then didn’t. On eBay!

All in all the end of April is shaping quite unusually just as the day which traditionally launches it. Especially when you realise that Farmville may be coming to the iPad, and a Nintendo evangelist is now in charge of games on the App Store!

iPhone 4G found in a bar!

It was hard to get away from one news story all week. The story itself took on a virus like nature in many ways. Initially propagating across the internet as a game of whodunit, and “what really?” And then into a battle of the pundits for who could describe who had broken what law (moral, criminal, civil, Californian or simply US).

Then the story morphed into a lot of sabre rattling by everyone except notably Apple, in what seemed like a bizarre mix of veiled jealousy and rage about the various things Gizmodo had achieved.

At the very end Gizmodo came out and claimed that all the extra page views they had gotten from (allegedly) buying a stolen, or “lost”, iPhone prototype, and literally spilling its guts online had actually cost them more in bandwidth fees then they would ever make back!

The bottom line is Apple are launching a new iPhone in June, or July during WWDC. It may have a higher resolution screen. Probably a front facing camera for video conferencing. Maybe even two cameras. And might have a slightly different case design. Some say an ugly case design.

Oh, and Apple programmers like German beer. Stuff we all knew already – apart from the German beer bit.
In the coming weeks and days we’ll find out if anyone is going to get arrested and go to jail. Or if Gizmodo will ever be able to live-blog an Apple event again.

iPad banned in Israel and Universities!

Israel decided that all iPads entering Israel should be impounded as US Wi-Fi is different from European Wi-Fi, and it might break their internet. The European Wi-Fi system apparently being the standard and in the “lower power range” Israel prefer to operate! A claim and comparison which baffled most of us in tech land. Especially those of us with iPads in parts of the world other than the US who have had no problems at all with a broken internet yet. After a week of “extensive research” into the seized iPads, Israel relented and said it was okay and that you could bring your iPads to Israel if you like now.

I am left wondering if Israeli customs officers and communications ministers just wanted a good excuse to play with some iPads!

Meanwhile some US Universities actually found a real (but minor) problem with the way that iPads retain DHCP leases when in standby, which confused their campus networks, and started a rush of network administrators banning iPads, and even some iPhones and iPods from said networks. As the week progressed various work arounds were found, and everything seems to be fine again in student land.

Adobe give up on Flash on the iPhone.

Adobe finally announced that it wouldn’t be bothering trying to get Flash on iDevices anymore, and said that Apple operated a closed and proprietary system which was evil. Or words to that effect. Apple fired back asking just exactly what Flash was then?

In other news Adobe say they will have Flash working faster with low level Graphics API calls on Mac Laptops in a “couple of months or so.”

Apple having exposed long awaited low level graphics functionality to all developers this week. Time will tell if that really is the magic fix that Adobe have been asking for to make Flash on Apple Computers not buggy or slow.
Bearing in mind how hopelessly late Adobe is with everything, I have to wonder if all the excitement over those new API calls has tapped out their development team for the near future. So perhaps dropping their Flash for the iPhone aspirations is a wise choice on their part..

Two months to update some drivers for Flash for a few Apple computers? Perhaps they should hire some iPhone app developers who seem to be able to code entire products, not just updates, in a few weeks.

Apple rejects two apps from iTunes controversially

Apple’s App Store Gnomes rejected an App by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Mark Fiore for its satirical depictions of political characters.

This rejection was swiftly reversed by Apple. Showing that sometimes the App Store Gnomes need a helping hand from management with their judgement calls. Or a swift kick from el-Stevo.

More interesting for geeks, we reported on how Scratch Viewer, an app that compiles and runs interpreted code that kids have put together using the Scratch Language from M.I.T. Media Labs, was removed from the App Store. Presumably because it falls foul of controversial clause 3.3.1.

This is more worrying as it means Apple are not just picking on Adobe and Flash with clause 3.3.1 in the iPhone SDK Developer Agreement. Lets hope that the slightly more senior App Store Gnome who is required to remove an App from sale also gets some guidance from on high within Apple and lets this educational app and its fairly innocuous language back into the app store so kids everywhere can still wow their teachers with their programmatic creations on iDevices.

Apple were rumoured to be considering buying ARM after announcing record profits!

In what can only be described as an early financial sector silly season rumor, Apple (who originally helped found ARM Ltd.) were rumoured by a single source to be interested in buying the fabless chip design company behind the silicon in 90% of the worlds mobile phones. This story also took on a life of its own, and spread around the internet. On the back of that, and Apple’s record earnings for a non-holiday quarter, Apple and ARMs shares reached all time highs of U$270+ and UK£2.50+ respectively.

It is unlikely that Apple will buy ARM, for a myriad of reasons too technical for the weekly roundup. Yes I know it’s kind of a fortnightly roundup at the moment.

With the cash Apple have on hand, some $40 Billion, they could actually buy ARM at an inflated price of $8 Billion (a rough takeover valuation) almost 5 times over. What Apple may do however, is take a larger holding in the company to protect it from a future takeover from a company like Intel, but that is purely speculation on my part.

The bottom line is Apple have a lot of cash in the bank. And a very bright future, having grown sales and market share in every single market they have products in. And they could afford to buy pretty much anything they want. So expect more rumors like this.

iPods with cameras on sale… on eBay!

Two Development iPod Touch units appeared on eBay today. Each resembling leaked pictures of an iPod Touch from some months ago, and both sporting cameras. Remember the ones that Steve Jobs said it was “impossible” to fit cameras inside? Yes, those ones. The devices were quickly removed without selling.

The mind boggles at what the guys who put them on sale were thinking!

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Did we miss anything?

]]> 0 Mac and iPod sales are up so far in 2010 Tue, 16 Mar 2010 05:22:17 +0000 Read More]]> Piper Jaffray and Gene Munster, as reported by AppleInsider, are very confident of 2010 being the “Year of the Mac”. February sales figures for both Mac computers and iPods are “impressive” according to the analysts.

Mac sales for the first two months of 2010 are up 39 percent year over year. With an estimate that Apple will sell around 2.8 to 2.9 millions Macs in March. Higher than Wall Street’s estimate of 2.7 million.

iPod sales were also up by around 7% for the beginning of 2010, which is the first increase in sales in over a year.

Sales for Apple were slow in 2009, which put it in a good position to improve this year.

Piper Jaffray has maintained its overweight rating for AAPL stock, and a 12-month price target of $284.

As of the writing of this article shares in AAPL have actually dipped back to around $223 from a high of $226 last week.

It remains to be seen what effect the iPad will have on iPod sales in coming months.

Souce: AppleInsider
]]> 1 Apple removes Wi-Fi finders from the App Store. Some fear another purge! Sat, 06 Mar 2010 13:38:32 +0000 Read More]]> It seems Apple may be starting another round of application removals from the App Store. On Thursday it started removing selected Wi-Fi finder apps, otherwise known as “stumblers”. These apps enable iPhone and iPod Touch users to locate Wi-Fi networks around them and then try to use those networks for internet access.

One reason given by Apple to one app author was the “use of private frameworks”. Although the author questioned about this is unable to explain which private framework this may be.

Wi-Fi finders which rely on an online database have not been removed, and a Tokyo based developer has had his app “Sekai Camera” app removed for it’s use of Wi-Fi networks. That app is not a Wi-Fi finder app primarily, but does scan for nearby Wi-Fi networks in a similar way to the “stumbler” apps and that of the iPhone’s own OS.

So it seems that this is likely to do with the way some developers are using the iPhone and iPod Touches Wi-Fi radio to scan for nearby networks.

This looks less like a purge and more like a pruning of apps that use borderline methods to achieve things.

In an App Store which is bulging at the seems with applications it seems likely that apps that skate too close to the line of what is and isn’t allowed may well be the first to go in any spring cleaning Apple decides to do.

Have you had an app removed? Let us know…

By: Stephen Northcott

]]> 0 New iPhone TV Ads: ‘On Hold’, ‘First Steps’ and ‘Family Travel’ Mon, 22 Feb 2010 14:02:11 +0000 Apple updated their website with three new iPhone ads ‘On Hold’, ‘First Steps’ and ‘Family Travel’

On Hold

First Steps

Family Travel

]]> 1 38 iPhone App Promo Codes Giveaway Tue, 14 Jul 2009 19:20:09 +0000 Read More]]> We are happy to announce the launch of Touch Reviews Forums – iPhone App Reviews, Apple News and Promo Codes.

The primary focus of this forum is to provide the latest news, updates, discuss topics, engage readers via giveaways/contests and address any iPhone related issues.

Touch Reviews encourages discussion on varied topics like iPhone apps, gaming tips, previews, rumors and much more!

We are very excited about our new Forums and are celebrating with 38 iPhone App Promo Codes Giveaway!

Choose your favorite Topic*, start an engaging discussion, win promo codes and help others win too!

Contest Details

Please Note: At Touch Reviews we continue to receive promo codes daily so don’t be surprised if we increase the number of promo codes to be won!
** As on July 15, 2009
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