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iPhone Going Global

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The newest generation of iPhones kept bleary-eyed customers up late (or early) to be first in line to purchase Apple’s newest mobile device. Although U.S. users got to handle the new iPhone weeks earlier, it has just rolled out to more foreign markets today. The countries where the iPhone went on sale today are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Japan, and Netherlands. Sales were strong, but not as strong as the much-anticipated release of the first iPhone.iPhone Global

Japan, by no means a stranger to advanced technology, generated some of the most activity in terms of sales. Japanese customers bought one million iPhones when the device was first launched. However, many market hawks are predicting that the new iPhone 3GS won’t sell quite as well. One market analyst explains, “It’s difficult to expect considerable replacement demand for the new model.” Since sales were so high mere months ago, and most mobile phone plans are 24-months, fewer customers will buy the new iPhone this early.” While most analysts believe that the new iPhone sales slump is attributable to a too-recent launch of the first one, other analysts realize that some consumers may prefer the Palm Pre, the Android, or the Blackberry. Strange, but true. Of course, the Palm Pre alone cannot outdo the iPphone giant, but the combined forces of dozens of new smartphone options may just put a dent in Apple’s optimism.

The new iPhone boasts a spate of new features, including a new, fast operating system (the S in 3GS stands for “speed”), a 3-Megapixel video camera, a sweet voice activation system, and a digital compass.

iPhone Goes Organic and Orders a Cuppa to Go

More Retailers Adding iPhone Apps to Promote Their Business

The latest trend in comestibles these days is to get it organic. Meanwhile, iPhones are pretty much sweeping the tech world. Combine them, and what do you get? Gluten-free techies roaming the aisles looking for tofu and vegan burgers? Quite possibly. Let’s make that actually.

While Whole Foods Market is attracting food-snobs in droves, the marketing department has apparently also noticed that many of their customers are also up on the latest tech trends, too. In response, Whole Foods has developed the Whole Foods iPhone app that gives users the directions to the closest Whole Foods Market, allows them to check store hours, find out the local specials, grab a recipe for dinner, and investigate the nutritional information for the grilled salmon they’re having for supper. Since the app is free, it’s obvious that Whole Foods isn’t using it to generate revenue. They’re using it to whet appetitesand funnel more customers in for grocery shopping.

Whole Foods Market isn’t the only tech-savvy company that has married technology with food. Dunkin’ Donuts has done the same. Passionate coffee lovers can’t resist, even if their marketing strategy is a bit more direct than Whole Foods. Rather than obliquely suggest that customers buy food at their store, Dunkin’ Donuts virtually demands it. With the app “Dunkin’ Run” coffee-loving iPhone users can take office coffee orders right on their iPhone. As if that’s not enough, other Dunkin’ Run users will receive alerts when someone is planning a run to the shop, and orders can be placed online-right from the interactive online menu.

As other cuisiniers, restaurant owners, and food chains get caught up in the world domination of apps for everything, we may find more eager shoppers at our coffee shops and grocery stores, wandering the aisles-iPhone in hand.

iPhone: Manage Your Schedule, Pay Your Bills, and…Track Down Thieves

Kevin Miller, iPhone 3G owner and Lego enthusiast is now an avowed supporter of Apple’s new MobileMe service, “Find My iPhone.” For Miller, it actually worked. We’ve all had that sickening feeling that Miller felt—the feeling of what-am-I-forgetting-oh-no-it’s-my-iPhone. Thankfully, Miller had “Find My iPhone” enabled. With the help of two friends, a Sprint 3G-enabled MacBook, and a bit of time, Miller and his friends were able to locate and retrieve the missing phone, with a bit of adventure to boot. The real upside, though, was for Apple, which got a free, real-life, action-packed, living, breathing advertisement for the new feature.

It all started after dinner at a downtown bar. Kevin Miller realized, not too long after leaving the bar, that he was without his iPhone. Back to the bar for Kevin and Co., only to find no trace of the phone, no clues from guests, and no idea what to do. No idea, that is, until he remembered the just-released “Find My iPhone” feature. The next morning they began tracking the phone, first identified at a stationary location, then cruising down the street on a bus, and finally cornering the thief who sheepishly returned the iPhone with a feeble excuse and without much of a fuss.

iPhone Find

The success story draws attention to the new MobileMe feature which was announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference 2009, hosted in San Francisco earlier in June. The handy feature gives users the ability to use their lost iPhone as a homing device, broadcasting its exact coordinates to the user’s MobileMe account, which can be accessed online.

While Kevin Miller’s success story is good news, the iPhone locating program isn’t without its potential downsides. In the first place, users need to enable the “Find My iPhone” feature if they ever hope to find their phone. Plus, MobileMe is a paid subscription (an additional cost to the regular iPhone subscription), which provides users with an online coordination and synchronization of files, e-mail, address book, calendar, photos, etc. Another potential downside is the fateful quandary of performing a mobile swipe. The good news is, a mobile swipe would effectively protect your personal information. The bad news is, if you perform the mobile swipe on a lost iPhone, you’ll never be able to find your phone using the “Find My iPhone feature.”

And then there’s the question of, “What do I do if I find my iPhone in the hands of an angry, armed thief?” That’s an entirely different question, and I’m afraid technology doesn’t have a good answer yet.

Apple’s Stimulus Package?

2009 WWDC Begins with Price Cut Revelation

When the economy is down, consumers with extra cash know that the down economy can often be a good time to make long-awaited purchase as prices are lowered to attract customers. But companies wanting to boost their business during slow times know it, too. It looks like that’s just what Apple is doing. Of course, getting a Mac will still cost you a pretty penny, but now you can get a little more for what you might have previously shelled out for an even lesser version.

Today in San Francisco, Phil Schiller is beginning the 2009 World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) by introducing Apple’s “most affordable line ever.” Of netbooks. Ever? If they really mean ever, now might just be the time to buy if you’re going to buy a new Apple notebook.

The MacBook Pro price has been dropped $1699, and their also upping the specs while they’re at it. Like 7 hours of battery time and a new SD slot. As a I’m typing this on my MacBook, I’m pretty sure that the SD slot and 7 hour battery would make me pretty happy right about now. Oh yeah, they’re also throwing in up to 8GB of RAM, though you’ll have to shell out a little more than $1699 for that. In case $1699 is a little too much, Apple’s also added a 13-inch version to the MacBook Pro line, and at $1199, it will be sure to attract some new Pro fans. And the MacBook Air? It will be an affordable $700 less than before, starting at $1499.

But hold onto your wallets, because the WWDC only just started. If this is how it’s starting out, you might be in for some pretty sweet surprises further into the conference.

The Mac Book Pro Gets Boosted With A New Intel Chip

Apple has long been at war with the PC on system benefits versus applicable usage in a modern consumer world albeit for business or recreation. The Mac designs have always surpassed the more clunky PC designs though users demand more than that. The need is for much more computing throughput, so the necessary power exists on the chip to process today’s’ demanding computing tasks.

Apple released the latest MacBook Pro with the edge needed in this competitive market. The Intel Core 2 Duo chip has found a seat on the Mac motherboard. There are two processors available, a 2.4 GHz option and also a 2.66 GHz machine. This depends on your monitor preference at the time of sale; if you opt for the 17 inch screen, the MacBook comes with the 2.66 GHz processor.

Built-in features include stereo speakers, an omni-directional microphone and an iSight camera. Mac users whom have been tainted with the reputation of owning an inferior machine in the eyes of the PC purist can now fight back. The speed advantages of the dual core MacBook Pro machine are noticeable right away from how fast the OS loads up to running applications like Word or TextEdit.

If you love video editing and compositing using Final Cut Pro, you will notice the increased performance on comparison to earlier MacBooks. In fact, performance in terms of speed measures at up to 40% faster than the previous models. Both storage and memory capacity has been upgraded. Macbooks are also quite light in weight and this attribute remains true to the new model.

NVidia graphic processor compatibility is an addition that will be received with great aplomb by gamers and designers. The 15 inch MacBook Pro comes with an NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor, RAM memory at 256MB(GDDR3), 250GB of ATA hard disk space with a 2.4GHz processor. The 17 inch configuration has the same card, and RAM memory at 512MB(GDDR3) and up to 8 hours of battery life.

Mac users are requiring a wider range of applications available for the MacBook Pro. The model will not be moving current Mac users instantly away from the iMac or the slick looking MacBook Air. Though attributes such as the Magsafe power conductor which simplifies charging the machines battery as it magnetically couples the power cord to the Mac will surely turn many heads.

The selling point here is the new MacBook Pro computer is now much faster; what users really want is to accomplish more completed tasks in less time. The new MacBook Pro meets this need by offering a powerful notebook to fit today’s user requirements.