Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Dark Side Arises for Phone Apps

June 4, 2010

Dark Side Arises for Phone Apps
Security Concerns Prompt Warnings

By SPENCER E. ANTE

As smartphones and the applications that run on them take off, businesses and consumers are beginning to confront a budding dark side of the wireless Web.

Online stores run by Apple Inc., Google Inc. and others now offer more than 250,000 applications such as games and financial tools. The apps have been a key selling point for devices like Apple’s iPhone. But concerns are growing among security researchers and government officials that efforts to keep out malicious software aren’t keeping up with the apps craze.

In one incident, Google pulled dozens of unauthorized mobile-banking apps from its Android Market in December. The apps, priced at $1.50, were made by a developer named “09Droid” and claimed to offer access to accounts at many of the world’s banks. Google said it pulled the apps because they violated its trademark policy.

The apps were more useless than malicious, but could have been updated to capture customers’ banking credentials, said John Hering, chief executive of Lookout, a mobile security provider. “It is becoming easier for the bad guys to use the app stores,” Mr. Hering said.

Unlike Apple or BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd., Google doesn’t have employees dedicated to vetting applications submitted to its Android store. Google said it removes apps that violate its policies, but largely relies on users to alert it to bad software. “We check reactively,” said a Google spokesman. “There is no manual bottleneck.”

As more companies, governments and consumers use wireless gadgets to conduct commerce and share private information, computer bad guys are beginning to target them, according to government officials and security researchers.

Read the rest of the story here.

Exclusive: Verizon Wireless Prepares for the iPhone

December 18, 2009

Verizon Wireless Prepares for the iPhone
Verizon Wireless is buttressing its network in the event Apple drops AT&T as the exclusive carrier of its popular smartphone

By Spencer E. Ante

There’s no telling yet whether or when AT&T (T) might lose its position as the sole U.S. carrier of the Apple (AAPL) iPhone. But in the event Apple opts to partner with other mobile-phone service providers, Verizon Wireless says it’s up to the task.

Verizon Wireless has even made upgrades that would make its network more capable of handling extra traffic that would be generated by the iPhone, Verizon Wireless Chief Technology Officer Anthony Melone says in an interview.

“We have put things in place already,” Melone tells Bloomberg BusinessWeek. “We are prepared to support that traffic.”

AT&T has come under fire for the spotty performance of its network. Vexed by dropped calls and slow download speeds, some consumers say the company was unprepared for the surge in traffic that’s resulted from iPhone use. Verizon Wireless in TV commercials has mocked AT&T’s network coverage, and Melone says his company’s equipment would do a better job catering to the heavy data demands of iPhone customers. “Absolutely, I think we could handle it,” he says.

Read the rest of the BusinessWeek story here.

Verizon: Who Needs the iPhone?

October 29, 2009

Verizon: Who Needs the iPhone?
To stay ahead of AT&T and Apple, Verizon is placing a big bet on Android smartphones and other new gadgets

By Spencer E. Ante

Can Verizon Wireless keep its spot as the leading wireless company in the U.S. if it doesn’t have the industry’s hottest phone?

Lowell McAdam, the company’s chief executive, is trying to make the case that it can. Two years ago, Verizon Wireless passed on the chance to become the exclusive U.S. distributor of the Apple (AAPL) iPhone and pushed Apple into the arms of rival AT&T (T). Since then the iPhone has become a megahit, helping AT&T close the gap with Verizon. In the most recent quarter, AT&T added 2 million wireless subscribers, bringing its total to 81.6 million, while Verizon Wireless added 1.2 million, for a total of 89 million.

Now, McAdam is launching a slew of products designed to keep Verizon ahead. In the fourth quarter the company is rolling out its largest new-product lineup ever: 14 devices, vs. half that number a year ago. Among those will be two netbooks and five smartphones, including the Droid phone from Motorola (MOT), a sleek device with a touchscreen and keyboard that runs on Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system. The new products are backed by an unusually aggressive marketing campaign. In one TV spot, Verizon takes direct aim at Apple with a series of “iDon’t” quips that explain all the things an iPhone can’t do. “The Droid can compete head to head” with the iPhone, says John Stratton, chief marketing officer of Verizon Wireless.

Check out the rest of my BusinessWeek story here, along with a video of me discussing the Droid launch. We’ve already got 44 comments on the story. Join the fray!

Verizon Still Wants the iPhone (Despite those Droid Ads)

October 26, 2009

Despite a recent slew of negative ads dissing the Apple iPhone in support of Verizon’s new Android-based device, Verizon chairman and CEO Ivan G. Seidenberg told investors on its earnings call today that the company still covets the iPhone.

“This is a decision that is exclusively in Apple’s court,” said Seidenberg. “We obviously would be interested in any point in the future they thought it would make sense for them to have us as a partner. And so we’ll leave it with them on that score.”

This statement jives with my feeling that Verizon’s embrace of the Google Android operating system is just as much a negotiating tactic as a hedge against the iPhone.

Without the iPhone, a game-changing devices that is the world’s single hottest smart phone, Verizon is pursuing a sort of spread-your-bets strategy in which they offer a whole range of new devices, including most importantly a series of Blackberry handsets.

For example, Verizon this week is launching the Storm 2, an updated version of the first touchscreen Blackberry, which is getting much better reviews than the first one. And the Motorola Droid, a super-thin phone that uses Google’s Android operating system, will be unveiled on Wednesday.

“We have expanded our base of other devices,” explained Seidenberg. “So our view is to broaden the base of choice for customers and hopefully along the way, Apple as well as others will decide to jump on the bandwagon.”

Required Tech Reading: Mary Meeker’s 2009 Web 2.0 Presentation

October 22, 2009

On Oct. 20 Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker delivered her annual “Economy + Internet Trends” report. For techies, this is required reading, so I am posting an embed of the report on this blog.

Among the most important takeaways:
* The Tech Sector is a Growing Part of the Global Economy
* Ad Spending Should Grow in 2010
* Mobile Internet Usage Will be Bigger Than Most Think
* Apple Mobile Share Should Surprise on the Upside Near-Term
* Mobile Internet Outpaces Desktop Internet Adoption!
* Facebook is the Largest Share Gainer of Online Usage Over Past 3 Years

Mary Meeker’s Internet Presentation 2009

BusinessWeek Launches Blackberry & iPhone Apps

September 1, 2009

Over the last week, BusinessWeek entered the wireless application market and launched its first two apps. Last week, the BusinessWeek for Blackberry app was released, and yesterday we launched an iPhone app.

I have not seen the iPhone app yet but I just downloaded the Blackberry app. To get the app, I would recommend going to this Web site, instead of downloading it from the Blackberry app store. I tried to download it from the app store but it did not work. On the other hand, the Web-based download process worked fine.

The BW app features three main sections: Latest news, a watch-list of stocks, and another channel list that organizes the headlines based on the subject matter (e.g. Top News, Finance, Technology, Innovation, Management, etc.)

The app and stories download fast. The user interface is clear and iis easy to navigate. And the stock ticker feature works, though it was a bit slow when I used it this morning. It is also easy to add stocks to your watch-list by clicking on a link. That’s all good.

For future iterations, I would like to see a tab that zips you to the Most Read or Most Emailed stories of the day. That is one of my favorite features of the Bloomberg app. And it would be cool to be able to watch our videos on the mobile app as well. Congrats to the BW team for launching these apps. I look forward to hearing feedback from users, which you can easily pass along via a link at the bottom of the app.

Video: New Gear from Apple and Verizon Wireless?

May 3, 2009

I normally would not send out a link to about a story published earlier this week. But since the scoop, New Gear from Apple and Verizon Wireless, continues to draw interest (it popped up again on the most read stories list of BusinessWeek this weekend), I am posting a link to the video commentary I taped for the story.

Click here to see my video commentary on the talks between Verizon Wireless and Apple over potentially distributing to new Apple Devices.

Apple and Verizon in Talks Over New Devices

April 28, 2009

This morning, USA Today wrote a story reporting that Verizon was in talks with Apple about the “possible development of an iPhone for Verizon.”

That story attracted a lot of attention but I think the reporter, whom I respect, got the story wrong.

Here’s my take on what is going on between the two companies. Verizon and Apple are talking but not so much about the existing iPhone. Rather, talks are heating up about Verizon potentially distributing two new Apple devices under development. Here’s the top of the BusinessWeek story that we published around 7pm EST:

Apple, Verizon Wireless Discuss Devices
By Spencer E. Ante and Arik Hesseldahl

Verizon Wireless is warming to the idea of an Apple partnership. Verizon Wireless is in talks with Apple to distribute two new iPhone-like devices, BusinessWeek has learned. Apple has created prototypes of the devices, and discussions reaching back a half-year have involved Apple CEO Steve Jobs, according to two people familiar with the matter.

One device is a smaller, less expensive calling device described by a person who has seen it as an “iPhone lite.” The other is a media pad that would let users listen to music, view photos, and watch high-definition videos, the person says. It would place calls over a Wi-Fi connection. One of these devices may be introduced as early as this summer, one person says.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Steve Jobs on the Recession: “We’ll be fine.”

October 22, 2008

Great companies are producing solid earnings so far. Yesterday, Apple was the latest company to turn out solid resultsin the Panic of 2008. Still, Apple’s forecasts for revenue and earnings going forward were lower than analysts expected. So Apple may be fine but they are not immune from the slowdown.

My colleague Arik Hesseldahl covered the announcement.

“Steve Jobs may not be sure how much the economic slump will hurt Apple, but he’s clear on this: It won’t be as bad as pessimists predict. And for the first time in eight years, he got on an analyst conference call to discuss quarterly results to make sure the point wasn’t lost on anyone.

“We may get buffeted by the waves a bit, but we’ll be fine,” Jobs said on the call, following the release of Apple’s fiscal fourth-quarter results.

Evidence of the buffeting may already be showing up. Apple (AAPL) reported $7.9 billion in sales, below the average estimate of analysts, which had come in at $8.05 billion. As for the fiscal first quarter, which includes the all-important holiday selling season, Apple forecast sales of $9 billion to $10 billion, more than $500 million less than analysts were expecting. Per-share earnings will come in at $1.06 to $1.35, at least 30¢ below the consensus estimate. CFO Peter Oppenheimer said the company was being “prudent” in light of the uncertain economy.”

The other stunning news. Apple sold more cell phones than RIMM, which Jobs gleefully pointed out on the call. Having released its second iPhone product, the iPhone 3G in July, Apple sold 6.9 million iPhones, besting the 6.1 million BlackBerrys that RIM sold during the quarter ended Aug. 30.

Read the rest of the story here.

Blackberry vs. Apple: The Battle Heats Up

September 11, 2008

Big news in the smartphone wars today. My colleague Arik Hesseldahl broke the news that the makers of the BlackBerry are stepping up efforts to court consumers, further moving onto Apple’s iPhone turf.

On Sept. 11, Research In Motion is unveiling features that make it easier for users to connect to social network MySpace. The Canadian smartphone manufacturer also plans to announce tools that let subscribers control their TiVo video recorders and view programming that’s been saved via Sling Media’s (DISH) Slingbox.

As I’ve said before, I think this battle benefits both Apple and RIMM. Why? Because the increased innovation stemming from the war is generating a lot of excitement and demand for smartphones, growing the overall market more than it would have without the competition.

The other newsflash: Google announced on its Mobile blog that it has released Google Mobile App for BlackBerry, replacing Google Updater for BlackBerry. Google Mobile for Blackberry gives cell phone owners a comprehensive phone app that bundles many key Google features into one streamlined application.

The Google blog says the app will allow consumers to do the following:

* Fast Google search – enter queries without waiting for a browser to load
* Search history – easily access and amend your previous queries
* Google Suggest – complete queries with less typing
* Easy access to Google products for your phone – click once to download and install our applications for BlackBerry, and get immediate access to our web-based services
* Google Apps support – get direct links to your Google Apps Calendar and Documents/Spreadsheets (select Menu, Options, Use Google Apps Domain: yes, and then enter your domain name)
* Update alerts – learn about new versions of downloadable Google mobile applications and upgrade with just one click


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