Mar 21, 2012 - 2:50 PM - by Maura
Boy Genius Report has a story today on an interview on Mobile World Live with Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, where he talks all about the importance of the iPhone to Sprint. Although Sprint’s taking up of the iPhone has been criticized by some industry commentators, Hesse is confident that it was the right move for the company, and that having iPhone customers on board is very much a plus. “Subsidies are heavy for the iPhone,” he told Mobile World. “This is the reason why a high percentage of new customers is important, but iPhone customers have a lower level of churn and they actually use less data on average than a high-end 4G Android device. So from a cost point of view and a customer lifetime value perspective, they’re more profitable than the average smartphone customer.”
Hesse went on to say that iPhone sales have “exceeded expectations” for Sprint, and that the company is actually managing to poach customers from AT&T and Verizon. “Four out of every 10 iPhones we sold are for new customers. That’s roughly double the rate of either of our competitors, so we’re pulling a lot of customers from our competitors,” he told Mobile World.
Source: Sprint CEO defends company's decision to bet it all on Apple's iPhone
Mar 21, 2012 - 2:42 PM - by dgstorm
Good news for the more clumsy Apple customers on Sprint. Rumor has it that Sprint is working on an iPhone warranty service entitled “Total Equipment Protection”. The announcement was made public on SprintFeed which explains what will be included in the service.
For those unfamiliar with TEP this represents an insurance program with a monthly premium of $8 a month which covers your device in case of it being lost, stolen and more importantly damaged. The TEP tops over AppleCare+, thus extending the number of accidental repairs by two (which still cost $49 servicing fee) for a one-time payment of $99. To acquire TEP customers have a 30 day period after purchasing their devices. So basically it means, that interested parties would have to pay $192 compared to just $99 for AppleCare+’s two year coverage. The publication goes on to say that:
“There’s no word yet if the iPhone’s variant of TEP will carry a different premium or deductible from current offerings, but hopefully we’ll hear something official from Sprint and Asurion very soon.”
There is yet no clear indication why Sprint decided to bring back the service. Nothing official has come out of the carrier yet. Back in 2011 the company announced that it will not provide complete coverage for the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, leaving customers only with the option of paying $99 for the standard AppleCare+ package!
Source: Sprint reportedly working on iPhone warranty | TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog
Mar 21, 2012 - 2:37 PM - by dgstorm
Costumer service has always been one of the trickiest areas in any company. How do you keep customers happy? How do you help them in time of need? How much do you get involved? These are the questions customer service employees must deal with every single day. Apple has been known to provide one of the best experiences in the field, no matter how complicated the situation turned out. Here’s an extraordinary example of that.
Following the footsteps of his predecessor Steve Jobs, the new CEO Tim Cook usually answers a couple of emails from customers. This is what he did with this particular customer who had to move to Canada. The only problem the customer had was that he decided to take his iPhone 3GS with him and use it on a Canadian carrier pay-as-you-go plan. But, as it turns out, the device needed unlocking from the carrier he was subscribed to in America. So the customer asked AT&T to do it. The big shocker was that AT&T refused to do it and told him to go ask Apple to perform the “miracle”. The poor man went to Apple, but he was turned away again. The Apple employees told him that only AT&T had the authority to unlock his phone. The man was persistent so he went back to AT&T only to hear the same “no” again. This time they at least suggested he try to just jailbreak the phone.
Left suffering, the customer had no choice but to pick up his laptop/tablet and write a polite and calm email to CEO Tim Cook requesting some assistance. Cook did not reply to him in person; however, a short while later, a reply did arrive from an AT&T Partnership Operation who stated that Mr. Cook personally requested that AT&T unlock the customer's phone for him. The email also specified that this was a one time exception. He also received a call from Cook’s assistant making sure that everything went according to plan.
Now that’s how Apple takes care of its customers.
Source: Tim Cook convinces AT&T to unlock customer’s iPhone | 9to5Mac | Apple Intelligence
Dockhide is a Cydia Tweak which will, well... hide your dock! This way you have more room to see your wallpaper or possibly add some icon rows. The tweak comes with the option to stretch out your icons so they fill the screen which is pretty nice. You set an Activator option to hide/un-hide your dock. DockHide can be found for free under the ModMyi Repo.
Mar 20, 2012 - 2:54 PM - by dgstorm
Apple is already known for offering a very good costumer oriented shopping experience within its online store, and now it is taking it to the next level. As of this week, Apple added a new element which aims to make the process of figuring out which iPhone or iPad to buy in the online environment easier and more pleasurable.
Apple embedded a new section into its website called “Answers from the community.” Now, customers can ask fellow customers whatever question they have on their minds about Apple products, and potentially get a quick response from fellow Apple buyers.
Here are a couple examples: “Why is the iPad 2 better than the new iPad?”, “Will this cover work for the new iPad”.
From now on, if you have a question related to any product whatsoever, just scroll down at the bottom of most product pages and post your questions to other device owners. “Answers from the Community” also comes with a built in search bar plus a list of links to the most asked questions and popular topics.
For now, most of the new section is available for Macs, the iPad and iPhone. At the moment, there are no available “Answers from the community” features for the iPod, MacPro or AppleTV products, but Apple could be working on that as we speak.
Source: Online Apple Store adds 'Answers from the Community' to product pages
Mar 20, 2012 - 2:43 PM - by dgstorm
Now that the new iPad release is behind us, Apple is looking to the future iPhone 5 and other devices. What will they come packed with? What amazing technology will they bring? A new patent seems to reveal a glimmer of their future plans.
Apple might be developing a process of bonding plastic and metal parts in order to build more solid portable devices like the iPhone and iPad. The patent in question is called “Ultrasonic Bonding of Discrete Plastic Parts to Metal” and describes the process in which a piece of plastic is melted upon a metallic surface thus fusing them together.
The idea Apple is trying to work with is using the metal surface to create a surface to better bond the plastic materials. The new technology could be used in a series of external metal parts and internal plastic parts, increasing the flexibility and durability of the product tremendously. The new technique could be applied to the production process as well.
"Any desire to substitute metal parts in for plastic parts in a design where welding is the mode of attachment has been traditionally impossible. This serves to limit the abilities of designers with respect to the materials that can be used in a particular design, such as for the housing and internal features or parts of an electronic device having complex internal features."
The technology behind the application was devised by Christopher David Prest and Douglas Weber. The patent was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on September 2011.
Source: Apple wants to improve bonding of plastic and metal in building new iPhones
Mar 20, 2012 - 1:24 PM - by Maura
9to5 Mac has a really nice story today about how Apple CEO Tim Cook is following in the late Steve Jobs’ footsteps by answering personal emails from customers and Apple fans when he gets the time, including one from an iPhone user who needed a little help dealing with AT&T. According to the report, one of 9to5 Mac's readers, who is also one of their trusted sources, told them how he sent an email to Cook asking for his help after the reader had to relocate to Canada for work purposes and AT&T had refused to unlock his iPhone 3GS so that he could use it on a Canadian carrier’s network. Apparently AT&T told him that only Apple could unlock the iPhone, and then Apple in turn told the reader that only AT&T could unlock it! When he went back and spoke to AT&T again, they told him to “just jailbreak your phone”! After getting no joy from either camp, the exasperated iPhone owner sent an email to Tim Cook asking for his help. Although he never actually received a reply from Cook, writing to him certainly did the trick, as he soon heard directly from AT&T Partnership Operations, who told him that Cook had contacted them and asked them to unlock his iPhone! AT&T then went ahead and unlocked his iPhone as a special exception. Tim Cook’s special assistant also called the reader to find out if AT&T had carried out his request to unlock the phone. Great stuff!
Source: Tim Cook convinces AT&T to unlock customer’s iPhone | 9to5Mac | Apple Intelligence
Webspot is a simple Cydia Tweak for those of you who don't use Spotlight. This allows you to replace Spotlight with a webpage space. Within the settings you can set your favorite webpage to show up and be loaded when you swipe right into Spotlight. This can be your favorite news source, Twitter, Facebook, etc. showing up as a kind of Widget on your Springboard. Webspot can be found for FREE in the Cydia Store under the Big Boss Repo.
BatteryLevelAE is an AssistantExtentions add-on for Siri which will give you estimates of your battery use. You have a few commands you can say in this one to estimate your battery. Saying " How much internet time do I have?" will list and say how many hours and minutes you have left on your iDevice for that task. You can also ask about Music, Gaming, Video, Talk etc. time to get an estimate. BatteryLevelAE can be found for $1.00 under the Big Boss Repo.
Awesome Music Controll is a Cydia Tweak which will give you MusicBanners, plus a lot more. If you guys remember MusicBanners which popped up a notification with song info every time a song changed this does that. It also allows you to tap the notification to bring up music controls. If you need more, you can set an Activator action to pop up the last notification as well. An extra feature to this is a musical note icon on your Lockscreen which will also pop up music controls. You can find Awesome Music Controller for $0.99 in the Big Boss Repo!
Mar 19, 2012 - 4:05 PM - by Maura
International Business Times reports today on the possibility, based on a new patent find by Patently Apple, that Apple could be planning to use ultrasonic bonding on the next iPhone. According to Patently Apple, Apple filed a new patent application with the US Patent & Trademark Office on March 15 2012 that modifies a previous patent from 2008 involving using ultrasonic bonding on such devices as the 2009 metal-backed iPhone and the current iPod range. According to the report, ultrasonic bonding is able to forge a stronger, longer-lasting bond than that achieved by adhesives. Apparently Apple has used the technique previously, as mentioned, and the report says that aside from providing a more durable bond when used to fuse different parts of a device together, the result can also be more pleasing to the eye. Apparently there are some challenges involved with the use of ultrasonic bonding, however, in particular with materials that have different melting points, such as metal and plastic. Apple’s aim with this new patent is to try to eliminate these issues by using metallic material in its devices that is capable of withstanding the flow of melted plastic.
Source: iPhone 5 Release Rumors: Will ?Refined? Ultrasonic Bonding Make Apple?s Next iPhone Stronger? - International Business Times
Mar 19, 2012 - 2:17 PM - by Maura
Retro games experts DotEmu have already made nostalgic gamers very happy by resurrecting such classic games as R-Type and Another World for iOS, and it appears that they’re carrying on in the same laudable vein with the announcement today that they have iOS versions of two more classic PC games in the works, namely The Last Express and Little Big Adventure. The Last Express was originally created by legendary Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner back in 1997. At the time, the critically acclaimed point-and-click adventure game was heralded for its interactive storytelling. The action takes place in 1914 on board the Orient Express right before the start of WWI. The Last Express uses unique gameplay mechanics and is one of the only adventure games to occur in “real time”. Now Mechner and DotEmu have joined forces for the iOS version of the game.
Twinsen’s Adventure, also known as Little Big Adventure, is another retro fan favourite. The game was originally designed by Frédérick Raynal, and features the game’s hero, Twinsen, who lives on the Island of the Citadel during the dictatorship of Dr. FunFrock. After some strange dreams talking about how the planet will soon be free, Dr. FunFrock, who is not so fun, it seems, throws Twinsen into a mental asylum. The premise of the game involves not just escaping from the asylum, but also ridding the land of Dr. FunFrock, and saving the world!
"The Last Express is unlike any other game I've done. Its story, characters, and unique game design have stood the test of time and have won the loyalty of an exceptionally passionate and committed fan base,"
said Jordan Mechner, game designer. "I'm delighted that, thanks to DotEmu, a new generation of iPhone and iPad gamers will now be able to 'board' the Orient Express and immerse themselves in a deep, real-time interactive adventure across Europe on the eve of war. I can't wait!"
DotEmu says that The Last Express will be out “soon” and Twinsen’s Adventure will be out this fall.
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