In The News 10-21-2011
Your Weekly Update In The World Of Technology
There’s Something About Apples In The Fall
October has been a big month in the world of Apple. After its initial release on October 14, Apple’s new iPhone 4S caused some noise by selling more than four million units over the following three days. That is almost double the amount of Apple’s previous model, the iPhone 4, when it was released. These numbers come is a bit of a surprise due to general disappointment over the 4S’s announcement back on October 4. Most people were hoping, and expecting, for Apple to release version 5 instead of an upgraded version of 4.
This comes as excellent news to iPhone data plan carriers AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon due to the device’s price tag. The base 16GB model is $199 with a qualifying two-year plan, and will be available for a whopping $649 in November for the unlocked and contract-free model ($299 and $749 for the 32GB, and $399 and $849 for the 64GB models, respectively). The difference in price will most certainly drive people to opt for an iPhone with an agreement, as the four million sales have helped to prove.
The differences between the iPhone 4 and 4S aren’t huge, but that is obviously not stopping sales. The bigger new features include an 8 megapixel camera (the 4 had 5 megapixels), video recording at 1080p (720p on the 4), and a faster processor in the dual-core Apple A5 (touted as being four times faster than the 4’s A4 processor). The iPhone 4S also comes pre-installed with Apple’s newest mobile operating system, iOS5, as well as Siri, an advanced voice-recognition software that is generating a ton of buzz. At four million sales in the first weekend, it seems as if most people have forgotten they were expecting the iPhone 5 in the first place.
Let’s Be Honest, No One Liked Vista Anyway
After two years, Windows 7 has finally overtaken XP as top dog in the world of operating systems. According to StatCounter, October 2011 has shown that Windows 7 has taken an overall 40 percent share globally compared to XP’s 38 percent share. Not too surprisingly, Vista is sitting back in the shadows at a mere 11 percent. Windows 7 actually took over the North American majority share back in April, but this most recent news has shown that the rest of the world is finally starting to let go of the much-loved (or hated, depending on your point of view) XP operating system. OS X came in fourth at 7 percent and Linux was fifth at just under 1 percent.
As for web browsers, the gap is finally starting to narrow between the top three. Internet Explorer still has the biggest share at 41.66 percent, however that number has fallen steadily from 58 percent in the past two years. At number two, Mozilla Firefox has also taken a hit, though at a smaller rate. Firefox is at 26.6 percent, compared to 31.8 percent mark two years ago. The big mover in the web browser race is Google Chrome. Since October of 2009, Chrome has gone from a 4.17 percent share to a 24.8 percent share, good for third place. That’s nearly a 600 percent increase! Meanwhile, Safari came in fourth at 5.9 percent and Opera was fifth at 1.8 percent. With these big changes in numbers, is Google Chrome the next big thing in the future of web browsing?
If you are a BlackBerry user you may have noticed a drop in service between Monday and Thursday of last week. This outage was no isolated incident as it spread over the entire globe, including Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and North America. RIM (Research In Motion), the company that developed the BlackBerry, says service outages started in Europe and ultimately affected most of the world before being fully restored on Thursday.
So what is RIM’s response and compensation for the massive outage? Free apps. Instead of receiving compensation in the form of cash or free service, RIM is offering a dozen or more apps that are worth approximately $100 if purchased through BlackBerry’s app store. These apps will then be available for free for the rest of the year. Free apps include popular titles such as SIMS 3, Bubble Bash 2, Bejeweled, Drive Safe.ly Pro, and others.
The compensation that RIM has provided has been received with mixed responses from BlackBerry’s 70 million customers. Some have praised the offer of free apps while others, mainly those who do not load up their phones with apps, are disappointed they were not reimbursed for the amount of time their service was out.