iNews Review

9-pin Dock Will Kill Low Cost Audio Docks, iOS Generates 2/3 of Mobile Web Traffic, and More

This Week's iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Apple TV News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2012.09.07

Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review, and general Mac news is in Mac News Review. Older Macs are covered in Vintage Mac News. All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

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New iDevice Port Means an End for Inexpensive Audio Docks

The Register's Tony Smith reports that makers of of low-cost audio docks for Apple mobile devices think Apple's new dock connector, expected to debut on the iPhone 5, will put an end to that product category, because the new 9-pin port is expected to lack the dedicated analog audio lines found in the familiar 30-pin connector that's been used on iPods, iPhones, and iPads for a decade, according to a Hardware.info article.


Mockup of new 9-pin iDevice connector and 30-to-9-pin adapter courtesy Metablog.it.

Smith notes that many docks rely on these lines, fed by the connected iPhone, iPod, or iPad's own digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to save on the price of a DAC themselves. But with no analog lines in the new connector, there'll be no simple port converter product either.

Don't Use the iPhone as Your Only Camera

TheNextWeb's Matthew Panzarino comments about a couple having their wedding shot with iPhones and processed entirely in Instagram, noting that while the iPhone 4 and 4S take very, very good pictures for a cellphone and make powerful cameras of opportunity, there are a host of reasons why they shouldn't be the only camera you choose to document an important occasion like your wedding, where there normally is plenty of time to prepare.

He goes on to explain why in detail.

iOS Devices Now Generate 65% of Mobile Web Traffic

PR: Chitika Insights has posted a great infographic, showing that among many other things, Apple had a great month in August, with its devices now generating 65% of all mobile Web traffic.

Mobile Manufacturer Web Usage Shifts in 2012

And with the imminent release of the iPhone 5, the advertising oriented market research firm expects Apple's share of the mobile market to increase "significantly."

Publisher's note: At Low End Mac, it's about 75% iOS, 20% Android, with everything else dividing the remaining 5%. dk

Apple Now One-Third of US Smartphone Market

PR: comScore, Inc. has released data from the comScore MobiLens service, reporting key trends in the US mobile phone industry during the three month average period ending July 2012.

The study surveyed more than 30,000 US mobile subscribers and found Samsung to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 25.6% market share. Google Android continued to lead among smartphone platforms, accounting for 52.2% of smartphone subscribers, while Apple secured 33.4%.

OEM Market Share

For the three-month average period ending in July, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices. Device manufacturer Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 25.6% of US mobile subscribers, followed by LG with 18.4% share. Apple continued to gain share in the OEM market, ranking third with 16.3% of mobile subscribers (up 1.9 percentage points), followed by Motorola with 11.2 percent and HTC with 6.4% (up 0.4 percentage points).

Top Mobile OEMs July 2012

More than 114 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in July, up 7% versus April. Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 52.2% market share (up 1.4 percentage points), while Apple's share increased 2 percentage points to 33.4%. RIM ranked third with 9.5% share, followed by Microsoft (3.6%) and Symbian (0.8%).

Top Smartphone Platforms July 2012

Mobile Content Usage

In July, 75.6% of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device (up 1.5 percentage points). Downloaded applications were used by 52.6% of subscribers (up 2.4 percentage points), while browsers were used by 51.2% (up 2.2 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 1.9 percentage points to 37.9% of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 33.8% of the mobile audience (up 0.7 percentage points), while 28.3 percent listened to music on their phones (up 2.5 percentage points).

Mobile Content Usage July 2012

MobiLens data is derived from an intelligent online survey of a nationally representative sample of mobile subscribers age 13 and older. Data on mobile phone usage refers to a respondents primary mobile phone and does not include data related to a respondents secondary device.

comScorecomScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics.

30% of iPad Owners Would Prefer a Smaller Tablet

PR: Strategy Analytics' latest tablet survey covered six countries across three continents - USA, UK, Germany, France, China, and Japan.

The research showed marked differences between countries, particularly between US/UK, France, Germany, and Asian markets, including desired screen size, the most popular applications, distribution channels used, brand perceptions, and timeframes for replacement tablet purchase.

The Strategy Analytics Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies Service Reports found that 10" screens remained the most popular preference across all countries.

The interest in 10" screens by iPad owners was greatest in the USA, UK, and China, where 62% or more preferred this size; this contrasted with 46% of owners in Germany, where 31% of owners would prefer a 7" screen. In Japan, a quarter of Apple iPad owners stated that they would choose a 7" screen if available.

Across all six countries, 20% of the sample of 923 tablet owners (including iPad owners) would prefer a 7" screen device for their next purchase.

Peter King, Service Director for the Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies Service (TTS) says, "Clearly Apple has correctly targeted the most preferred screen size with its initial 10" iPad offerings, but our survey suggests that if the iPad Nano is launched in the next few weeks, the company can be confident that market potential exists for a smaller screen size." Martin Bradley, Associate Director and author of the report, adds: "the survey also indicated that demand for 7" screens among future tablet owners was slightly stronger than for current iPad owners."

These findings reflect the myriad of potential use cases for tablets, where innovative internet based services can be developed in a variety of ways for different markets and segments.

Tablets with Docking Keyboards Are Not the Way to Beat the iPad

The Guardian Technology Blog's Matthew Baxter-Reynolds calls Microsoft's forthcoming Surface "a post-PC tablet done right to compete effectively against the iPad."

So why, he asks, did "tablets" on show at IFA 2012 look so much like adapted netbooks?

He notes that Samsung Ativ, a Windows 8 RT tablet, was the only one of 11 tablets shown off at IFA 2012 without a keyboard as z standard item, and now that Windows 8 is ready with its magical reimagined touchable-ness, "instead of kit worthy of Windows 8, we get a bunch of revamped netbooks, a technology the market rejected around the same time its love affair with the iPad started . . . three Windows RT devices, and eight Windows 8 devices, ten of them . . . irrevocably meshed together with the idea of the keyboard," and that, Baxter-Reynolds says, positions them as netbooks.

What's not clear to him is why people think Windows 8 running on something that looks like an iPad should suddenly become a clamshell laptop, contending that you don't need to choose between a real computer or an iPad - you likely need both - and what the OEMs demonstrated at IFA 2012 is that they just aren't with the program.

Apps & Services

NextWorth Extends Dates for iPhone Trade-In Quotes to at Least October 1

PR: NextWorth announced an extension of its price lock guarantee for iPhone trade-ins. To make it easier for consumers to upgrade to the anticipated new iPhone, online quotes for all iPhone models received after August 20th are now guaranteed through at least October 1st.

NextWorth has lengthened its usual 21-day price lock to ensure that customers get the highest available value for their old iPhones, while keeping their old devices for as long as possible before sending them in. Avoiding a lag time between trading in and the availability of the new model will enable consumers to trade in their device at a great price without having to go without their phone.

With the rumored September 12 announcement date looming, iPhone trade-in volume is up over 2,500% compared to the same period before the iPhone 4S launch. However values are expected to decrease as the announcement approaches so consumers taking advantage of the value lock-in now can ensure they receive the best possible trade-in value.

Unlike Apple, NextWorth offers a cash option for trade-ins as well as gift cards. Currently, NextWorth offers more money for old iPhones than both Gazelle and Apple:

NextWorth

  • $300, iPhone 4S (16 GB)
  • $351, iPhone 4S (64 GB)

Gazelle

  • $287, iPhone 4S (16 GB)
  • $313, iPhone 4S (64 GB)

Apple

  • $285, iPhone 4S (16 GB)
  • $345, iPhone 4S (64 GB)

"We are seeing an unprecedented amount of trade-ins, and we want to make sure our customers are getting the best prices," says Jeff Trachsel, CMO of NextWorth. The best time to trade-in is now, so extending the lock-in period helps consumers get the best value for their old iPhones and not be without a device before the new iPhone is available."

To get started on an iPhone trade-in quote, simply go to nextworth.com, select the appropriate iPhone model and answer a few questions about its condition. Print and save the free and fully insured UPS shipping label provided by NextWorth, and drop it off with UPS before October 1. For trade-in payment, customers have the choice of PayPal, cash or a gift card.

For customers who prefer an in-person experience, NextWorth is partnered with more than 1,450 Target locations nationwide. A team member will evaluate the item on the spot and provide a quote for its value. Customers immediately receive credit toward a purchase, or a gift card for the amount.

In addition to iPhones, NextWorth also accepts devices in the following categories: iPads, iPods, cell phones, point and shoot cameras, Digital SLR cameras, tablets, e-readers, game consoles, GPS units, laptops, movies, video games, and calculators.

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