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Dr. Touch #020 – “Summer Pause”

Between Apple event’s it’s back to looking for interesting rumors out of Cupertino. And my guest on this show is Ken Seto who made $100000 in 4 months with iMockups for iPad.

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The Show Notes and script after the break.

News

Apple has begun testing three new devices as can be seen if you disassemble the latest BETA of the 4.1 SDK. Apparently new devices cannot be activated via the iTunes production server and so Apple apparently has a short cut for certain device strings to skip activation altogether. The three devices are two minor updates to the current iPhone 4. Likely one of the iPhones will be a CDMA version that Apple bitterly needs to catch up to Android on the US carrier Verizon. Pundits are pretty certain about that it will be CDMA. But they are less sure of what variant the third iPhone 4 will be. Maybe 4G, also called LTE which stands for long term evolution. Another theory that I have is that it might be like an iPhone 4GS, with a Near Field Communication antenna.

Now the third device uses the same code as the iPad and judging from the version number it would be version 2 of the iPad. There is talk of a possible 7″ iPad, but I don’t really think that Apple would want to dilute their brand like this. It’s more likely that the current iPad will become the cheapo version at like 200 dollars and the iPad 2.0 will be the latest and greatest. And iPad with a Retina Display would really be something, but to pull this off the graphics power would have to be quadrupled.

So when will we see these devices hit the market? Sources tell us that in the past new device ids always appeared about half a year before launch. So if I’m calculating correctly that would be end of January, or put differently: Q1 2011. Can’t be wrong with that prediction.

Deutsche Bank released a report that compares the global portable computing market share. This report holds two very interesting facts for us.

One, the iPad apparently cannibalizes other manufacturer’s netbook and notebook sales. They where growing steadily for at least the year prior to the iPad’s launch. But when the iPad got released in Q1 2010 you can see all lines bending downwards. Except MacBooks which took off and crossed Acer to become number two in notebook market share.

Two, if you add the sales of iPad to the category it turns out that Apple is number one in mobile computing year-over-year unit growth. That’s units, the number of devices sold, not the money being made. But as usual a good info to know that you are betting on the right horse.

Big names Capcom and Bioware are reported to be “disappointed” in their app store income. Well what do they expect? Their experiments on the platform are not really innovative, reviews for their games are lukewarm. While it is true that a couple of companies like Gameloft are taking home the biggest portion of the app store pie, small companies like Rovio show us that a new experience that plays to the unique strengths of the platform can be extremely successful. Actually today I have somebody on the show who is living proof of this.

Apple revamped iTunes Connect, specifically the app management pages. When they did that they also disabled the previous method of uploading apps. From now on you need to download and use a Mac app for that, the Application Loader which is available for free from the website. Basically you set up your app’s marketing materials and then when you are ready to upload you start the loader, select the app in the list box and choose the zip file to upload.

After there have been a lot of complaints about lacking security for iTunes accounts Apple has silently introduced a new security feature. If you are accessing the iTunes account from a new device you have to re-verify your payment info. This should make it less possible to create a multitude of accounts with the same credit card.

For devices running iOS 1.1.3 up to 3.1 Apple relied on Skyhook Wireless to locate uses in the absence of GPS data. In a response to federal legislators Apple revealed that starting with 3.2 and above OS versions they moved to their own database. Apple tries to build their own asssets in the mapping and location services arena, maybe to become less dependent on Google. They purchased Placebase about a year ago and last month they acquired small Canadian mapping firm Poly9.

After lots of haggling Apple finally reached an agreement with sellers of paper-based magazine subscriptions. The argument was about Apple insisting on their cut of 30% from apps, whereas magazines wanted to sell bundle subscriptions that would allow them to charge the users directly and have a free app to access their subscribed content. Apparently this has been worked out, or rather Apple seems to have given in. People magazine will be the first publication by Time, Inc. to follow this model.

With the new release of the operating system 4.0 we developers got a great deal of new toys to play with. One question we keep asking ourselves is: when do we reach the point that it makes business sense to release an app that requires 4.0 and above? Well, we’re coming close to the tipping point. According to Chitika, who sampled 9 Million page views on their network, 4.0 has surpassed an adoption of 50% at the end of July. If you take into consideration that it had only been launched about a month before that’s an amazing adoption rate.

If this keeps up then I would say you can already plan your next iPhone-only app in 4.0. Only if you want to go hybrid then you are still stuck with 3.2 as 4.0 remains notably absent for iPad. I hope they merge the versions back again real soon, because this is kind of a pain.

Google claims to be activating 200,000 Android handsets every day, but two studies show that the app store is still the choice for the majority of mobile developers. Beginning of June there have been around 43,000 iOS developers and around 10,000 Android developers, with 1,400 being cross-platform. The growth of Android must be a bit of a headache for Apple since it’s obviously their lock-in with AT&T that’s costing them lots of growth in the US. And I know from experience here in our small country of Austria that the exclusive contracts with number 2 and 3 of our cellular providers leaves number one, Mobilkom, in the rain selling Android and Blackberry instead.

Tbere are other reasons why people, like myself, prefer the iOS platform. On the android marketplace you don’t have a possbility to charge for apps in the majority of markets. It’s not like with the app store where you can sell apps in every country that has been opened. And also the customer mentality with Android handsets is “it’s free, it’s me. Me pay, no way!”.

And the funniest bit of news came last week: Oracle is suing Google to “impound and destroy” Android, or more precisely everything that infringens on Oracle’s rights in Java. Google had hoped to get around all licensing by creating their own Java implementation and compiler, but in Oracle’s opinion that still means they are using ideas Oracle owns. Owns because they purchased them in the form of Sun earlier this year. Pundits smile and suggest that Steve Jobs and Oracle CEO Larry Elison are close friends, so Larry is doing Steve a big favor. It’s suspected that some companies might distance themselves from Android while the outcome of the lawsuit is open. Investing in Android is something of a business risk at the moment. Good for us Apple fanboys.

Interview

I’m talking with Ken Seto who together with his brother made $100,000 with iMockups for iPad. How did he do it? What advice does he has for us?


Categories: Podcast

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