Every 3.5 seconds, someone in America loses a cell phone. And more often than not, it happens in a coffee shop, a new study says.
All those absentminded moments add up to $30 billion in annual losses, the report, from mobile security company LookOut claims. And after cafes, the most common places people abandon their handsets are bars and offices.
Night time seems to be the hours most phones get misplaced, the study found, given that some 67% of handsets are located between of 9pm and 2am. Chicago may be the exception, where church is the third most popular place to lose a phone (behind coffee shops and drugstores). Thomson Nguyen, data scientist at Lookout, says the trail of lost phones gives an insight into the social activities in various cities: New Yorkers, for example, lose most of their phones in fast-food restaurants. (In Dublin, it’s the pub.)
The release of a new version of Apple’s tablet in February might rankle those who give or receive an iPad this month.
The company may be gearing up for its release of the iPad 3 in just two months,according to a report by Richard Gardner, an analyst with Citigroup Global Markets, citing several unnamed sources. The news might seem a cruel joke to those giving and receiving an iPad this month, but it’s unlikely to keep gadget buyers from holding off, analysts say.
Barnes & Noble says its new Nook Tablet outmatches the Amazon’s Kindle Fire on everything except price.
Unveiled this morning, the new device costs $249 – that’s $50 more expensive than the Kindle Fire, although still half the cost of an entry-level iPad. Barnes & Noble makes the case that the Nook is worth the extra $50, but analysts are not so sure. “It’s not groundbreaking,” says Peter Wahlstrom, senior analyst with Morningstar research. “But the difference in price and services on the Nook Tablet is enough to give customers pause for thought.”
In its favor, the Nook has 16 gigabytes of memory or twice the memory than the eight-gigabyte Kindle Fire (six gigabytes of which are only available to customers for storage), and comes with Hulu Plus and Netflix apps pre-loaded – although users still need to pay for subscriptions. It also has one gigabyte of RAM – or random access memory – versus 512 megabytes for the Kindle Fire. It also has free in-store customer support, and has nine hours of battery life, versus approximately eight for the Kindle Fire.
Mourning the loss of Steve Jobs made consumers even bigger fans of the company he founded, new data shows. Popular sentiment for Apple shot up 10% since Jobs died on Oct. 5, according to a survey by market research firm YouGov BrandIndex. The company’s “impression score” increased from 42.6 to 47 during that period.
In brand popularity terms, that’s quite a jump, the firm says. To put the numbers in context: The technology product sector’s average score is 27.2, and ranges from -100 to +100, according to YouGov BrandIndex. However, Apple’s most recent climb began from 35.4 on June 1 – just before the release of iCloud – eventually hitting 43.6 on Aug. 16 – 10 days before Jobs’s resignation as CEO.
These warmer, fuzzier feelings for Apple among consumers – many of whom honored Jobs’s passing by purchasing new Apple products – is part of a sentimental journey for customers, Drew Kerr, a spokesman for YouGov BrandIndex, says. “It’s that old feeling: You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone,” he says. Chung Ng, partner with digital ad agency Rokkan, says, “I’d have thought the score would be even higher as during that period Apple received so much coverage.”
When a new iPhone comes calling, Apple’s fans and its competitors both get put on hold. Due to the more than one million pre-orders for the iPhone 4S placed since the gadget was announced last week, many are already being told to expect shipping to be postponed “one to two weeks.”
And not wishing to get overshadowed by Applemania, Samsung delayed the release of its Nexus Prime, which was due to be unveiled in San Diego tomorrow. Samsung claims the postponement was a way of paying respects to Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs, who died last week. “We believe this is not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Jobs’s passing,” it said in a statement. But not everyone is convinced. “That’s a weird justification,” says Edgar Dworsky, founder of ConsumerWorld.org. Who wants to go up against the new iKid on the block? Not Samsung, Dworsky says.
Loyal Apple fans may also fall victim to the phone’s success on future models. The demand for the iPhone 4S could ultimately lead Apple to hike prices for the iPhone 5 as it continues to dominate the higher end of the smartphone market, analysts say. “The iPhone 5 will have much faster LTE technology and is expected to look really different,” Dworsky says, “which may finally make it more expensive than previous models.”
Just as fans snatched up the music of John Lennon, Ray Charles or Michael Jackson in the days and months after their deaths, now Apple acolytes are lining up to buy iPhones and iPads in memory of the company’s founder, Steve Jobs.
Low-tech memorials of flowers and photos, and handwritten messages are being placed outside Apple Stores around the world, as The Wall Street Journal reports today. At Apple’s flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York, mourners scrawled messages to Steve Jobs on the scaffolding surrounding the location’s famous glass-cube entrance, the report said. In Beijing, one customer said he bought an iPhone today in honor of Jobs’s legacy, noting “this is truly the end of an era.”
While there’s no sales data available yet for the hours since Steve Jobs’s death was announced last night, the company’s new iPhone 4S — which was given a lukewarm reception following its unveiling this week — has suddenly taken on mythological status. Some Apple devotees across the blogosphere are even speculating that the model number — 4S — stands for “For Steve.”
Just don’t call it the iPhone 5. The just unveiled iPhone 4S may not look any different on the outside, but it’s souped up on the inside with a faster operating system and better graphics. And when it goes on sale Oct. 14th, it will be the first iPhone available on Sprint.
Unlike its predecessor, the 4S uses the faster chip developed for the iPad. As predicted, it’s a “world phone,” so you can choose any overseas carrier when traveling. Oh, and it’s got a cool new camera. “This will be the best still camera they’ve ever owned and the best video cameras they’ve ever owned,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told the press conference in Cupertino, Ca.
Here’s how the new model compares with the previous model:
iPhone 4S: $199/16GB, $299/32GB, $399/64GB. (iPhone 4 will now be $99/GB and free for 3GS on contract).
Availability: Sprint, AT&T and Verizon Wireless. (iPhone 4: Verizon and AT&T).
Roll out: It will be available in 70 countries with 100 carriers.
Camera quality: 8-megapixels and 33% faster. (iPhone 4: 5-megapixels).
Video quality: 1,080p HD video. (iPhone 4: 720p).
Color: black and white (iPhone 4: black and white).
“Siri” technology: Voice-activated “personal assistant” software supported by Yelp.com to find restaurants.
A free iPhone is no longer just the purview of spam emails and suspicious web pop-ups.
Apple announced today that the iPhone 4S starting price would be $199 for a 16GB version when you sign a two-year cellphone contract. As a result, the once-$199-and-up iPhone 4 now starts as low as $99 for a new 8GB model at AT&T and Verizon, and the $49 8GB 3GS is now free with a two-year AT&T contract.
The free 3GS is likely to appeal to AT&T customers previously priced out of buying an iPhone, says Samir Sakpal, an industry manager and senior analyst for Frost & Sullivan. “It’s a good device; it’s just not the latest,” he says. But it’s not worth switching carriers for, either. The camera is a measly 3 megapixels and there’s no FaceTime video calling. The most noticeable difference for most users will be speed: the older phone just doesn’t surf as fast. Still, that may not be a deal-breaker for parents buying a teen’s first smartphone or mid-contract consumers looking for a cheap replacement for a broken phone, Sakpal says.
Amazon’s tablet announcement today could have far-reaching implications for your gadget use.
The $199 “Kindle Fire” tablet is less than half the starting price of an iPad 2 and boasts Wi-Fi, Flash video and access to Android apps and games — as well as all the movies, books, songs and other digital content Amazon sells. Lest that make the old $114 Kindle look overpriced, Amazon replaced it with three new e-reader models, the cheapest of which is just $79.
It’s the e-readers that are likely to make the bigger impact.
According to this video posted on YouTube, the hotly-anticipated iPhone 5 could be thin as a credit card, with a larger screen and holographic capabilities. The video has received almost 22 million views, even though it’s only what’s called a concept video – more of a thought experiment than anything else, in this case credited to Aatma Studio, an animation company based in San Francisco, Calif.
But it raises the question: Could the iPhone 5 be this cool? Todd Day, a wireless industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan, says the iPhone 5 could include some of the features in the video. Apple’s next iPhone will likely have a bigger screen. As for that svelte profile, that’s further down the road. “I wouldn’t put it past Apple to be able to make a device that thin,” Day says. “Just not yet.”
Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @SMPayDirt.