Apple has already sold a lot of iPhone 5s, just not as many as analysts wanted. Not everyone is paying for their new iPhone even though they should, Apple's Maps isn't working out so well for the company, and the U.S. Apple v Samsung patent trial keeps finding new ways to never end. Enter Mac OS Ken's Ken Ray: The man with an opinion. OK, lots of opinions.
Over 5 Million Served
Apple sent out one of its revealing press releases on Monday, spelling out how many iPhone 5s were sold through the weekend.
So what are we looking at? 6-million units? 8-million? 10-million iPhone 5s?
How would you feel about 5-million? Actually it doesn't matter because no matter how you feel about it, that's how many Apple says they sold.
Quoting Apple's press release, "Apple today announced it has sold over five million of its new iPhone 5, just three days after its launch on September 21, and more than 100 million iOS devices have been updated with iOS 6, the world's most advanced mobile operating system."
Said Apple CEO Tim Cook
Demand for iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible ... While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. We appreciate everyone's patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone.
I got mine, by the way. It's kind of slick. In a cool way, not a slip out of your hands way. At least not yet. Fingers crossed, though not on the hand holding the iPhone 5.
iPhone 5 Finger Discount
While some waited in line for hours, even days in some cases for their iPhone 5s, others decided the whole waiting thing just wasn't for them. So they stole a bunch of iPhone 5s.
iMore has word of a few such capers. According to the piece an O2 store in the UK saw 252 iPhone 5s and an undisclosed amount of cash go missing. A store assistant is suspected in that case.
Across the world in Japan, three separate incidents at KDDI and Softbank stores saw 191 iPhone 5s take a walk.
And here in the states -- in my original home state of Tennessee -- somebody or a group of somebodies broke into a Best Buy sometime last week and stole iPhone 5s and iPads worth over $100,000 total.
So some people at those specific stores my have ended their time in line empty handed.
What's been the reaction of people who actually did take delivery of their shiny new iPhone 5s? Well, they may not stay shiny long. AppleInsider says a bunch of iPhone 5 owners have reported cosmetic damage to their new phones straight out of the box. "Scuffgate," some are calling it, which is not nearly as cool as "mapocalypse."
How big of a bunch is "a bunch of people?" Insufficient data. "While the exact percentage of affected iPhones is unknown," says AppleInsider, "the issue appears to be significant enough to warrant its own (#Scuffgate) hashtag on Twitter."
Well then somebody better do something. Maybe.
The piece says that most of the reports are coming from people who ordered the cool one, that of course being the black and slate affair, also known as the cool one. It's also reportedly happening to the aluminum and white phone, though. Also known as the other cool one.
Meanwhile, iFixit has posted a video trying out the "scuffability" thing on the black and slate iPhone 5. More scratch prone than the iPhone 4S, according to the piece, though the test doesn't reflect regular day-to-day use.
Can You Find Me Now?
I have to say, when I heard that Apple was ditching Google Maps for its own mapping solution, I assumed that Steve Jobs' thermonuclear war against Android had survived him, and that this was yet another missile. But a piece from The Verge says the decision actually wasn't that petty. At least not on Apple's side.
According to the piece, which relies heavily on secret sources, Apple was bothered that Google wanted more while bringing less to the iOS table than it was bringing to the robots.
Quoting the piece:
Apple apparently felt that the older Google Maps-powered Maps in iOS were falling behind Android — particularly since they didn't have access to turn-by-turn navigation, which Google has shipped on Android phones for several years. The Wall Street Journal reported in June that Google also wanted more prominent branding and the ability to add features like Latitude, and executives at the search giant were unhappy with Apple's renewal terms.
Still, Google saw no need to worry, since Google Maps were still licensed for use in iOS for another year. What were the chances that Apple was going to ditch Google Maps with a whole other year of access left? Apparently better than Google thought.
One other point of interest in the piece from The Verge: The site says when it became obvious this spring that Apple was tossing the built-in Google Maps, Google started "scrambling to develop an iOS Google Maps app." Sources say that app is incomplete, though, and is unlikely to ship for several months.
So that's at least one story of why the Mapocalypse, which does not change the state of iOS Maps today. And that needs to change according to Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes.
Barrons has Mr. Ben saying:
While we feel concerns over the Maps app are overblown, Apple may need to address the situation soon perhaps at another product launch event. Our colleague Anthony DiClemente believes that the Maps issue highlights one key area in the mobile ecosystem where Google has the clear advantage (beyond just search). We believe that Apple can improve its offering with software updates over time and that the issues seem more significant overseas.
I know Apple has used the word "magical" in the past, but I don't think they're actual magicians. If we assume that The Verge story is true, that Google -- current king of the mapmakers -- started working on a standalone iOS Google Maps app months ago and is still months away from done... if we assume that's true... Apple can have all of the media events it wants. Won't make making its maps app better a faster process.
It's gonna take time. Apple has said so. Even Reitzes says its gong to get better over time, so I'm not sure what it is he's calling for exactly.
iPhone 5: Unlocked
Here's a surprise: the iPhone 5s sold for Verizon are shipping unlocked, and they're apparently going to stay that way. That means they could be made to work on the networks of AT&T and Sprint in the states, as well as a number of other carriers both here and abroad.
A piece from the Associated Press has a spokesperson for Big Red saying the carrier does not plan to lock the phone in the future, something it would be able to do with a software update.
What good is this? Right now not much to most people, though the piece does point out a few benefits: It does give (customers) the option to switch carriers when the contract expires, or they can sell the phone to someone who plans to use it on a competing network. They also have the option of breaking the contract, paying an early termination fee, and signing up for cheaper service -- the Verizon iPhone 5 even works on prepaid service plans.
For 4G/LTE service, though, Big Red will stay that phone's one-and-only. Verizon is the only carrier that can provide a Verizon iPhone with "4G LTE" data speeds, though the phones can tap AT&T's 4G HSDPA+ network. Fast, just not quite as fast.
iPad: The New Cash Register
iOS devices got a firmer bit of retail love this week from Urban Outfitters. Speaking at the chain's first-ever analyst day on Thursday, CIO Calvin Hollinger said Urban Outfitters will eventually ditch all of its cash registers for iPod touches and iPads.
"Two or three weeks ago," said Hollinger, "we placed our very last register order... once we make sure this iPad works, all stores will be equipped with iPod touches and iPads."
The CIO says iPads cost about one fifth the price of a cash register, and can do a lot more. The plan is to put those on a swivel where the registers will have been, so customers can view orders, enter personal info, check lists and so on. Employees on the floor will carry the iPod touches, presumably for price checking, inventory, and product information.
No word on when the iOS-ification of Urban Outfitters will be completed.
Apple v Samsung: The Lawsuit that Won't Die
And finally this week, it looks like the Apple v. Samsung v. Apple trial may -- officially -- never end. Apple is seeking $707 million more than the $1.049 billion awarded by the jury, but Samsung would like to take the whole thing further. Like, back to the beginning. CNET has Sammy requesting an entirely new trial based on alleged juror misconduct.
Jury foreman Velvin Hogan has served on juries in the past and is a patent holder himself. This, one could argue, would give him a greater understanding than the other jurors of how both trials and patents work. Both Hogan and another juror say Hogan used that expertise to guide the jury through some of the case's more confusing bits, and here is where Samsung sees its chance.
According to Hogan, in trying to walk his fellow jurors through the case he illustrated by talking about another patent, one not associated with the case. Samsung says this means Hogan introduced "extraneous prejudicial information," contrary to his pledge to Judge Lucy Koh to apply the law per the Court's instructions "and not based on [his] understanding of the law based on [his] own cases."
Whether the court agrees with Samsung's assessment of the situation remains to be seen.
Expect this case to come to its ultimate conclusion just ahead of the next big bang.