Apple announces record 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales in opening weekend

iphone6

Apple has today announced that it sold 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units in the first three days of sales. This includes the 4 million units sold in the first 24 hours of preorder sales. Apple’s newest iPhones have consistently been out of stock across the world, particularly the iPhone 6 Plus which is believed to have faced production issues, limiting the number of available devices for sale.

For comparison, Apple reported 9 million iPhone 5s and 5c sales in the first three days. This means the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus set a new record by over a million units. Apple is unlikely to give any more color regarding iPhone sales performance until its quarterly earnings call in October. As usual, Apple has opted to not share the breakdown of sales between the two new devices.

With limited stock across the board, iPhone momentum is certainly strong. Currently, all iPhone 6 Plus models ship within 3 – 4 weeks on Apple’s Online Store. The iPhone 6 has similar availability issues, although they are less severe. People looking for iPhones sooner should check brick-and-mortar stores, and take advantage of Apple’s online pickup options, as new stock comes in daily.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said the results exceeded Apple’s expectations, in a statement.

“Sales for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend, and we couldn’t be happier,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We would like to thank all of our customers for making this our best launch ever, shattering all previous sell-through records by a large margin. While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible.”

Apple opens up the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to more than 20 countries on the 26th September. It is important to note that last year’s opening weekend sales for the iPhone 5s and 5c included China, a key region which inflated total sales. Details on when the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be available in China are still unknown as regulatory proceedings are ongoing.

European Regulators Permit Personal Electronics During ‘All Phases’ of Flights

Air travel in Europe just got a lot less boring

The aircraft of Germany's Foreign Minister Westerwelle arrives next to French Foreign Minister Fabius aircraft in Geneva

From gate to gate, travelers in Europe will now be able to use personal electronics at anytime. The European Aviation Safety Agency approved new measures this month that will allow passengers to use “tablets, smartphones, e-readers, and other devices” during all stages of flight, according to a report.

However, the new decree doesn’t give passengers free range to chat on their cellphones for the flight’s duration — not just yet anyways. According to the guidelines, all personal electronic devices must be switched to “airplane mode.” Regulators are reportedly looking to clear the way for the use of mobile phones on commercial flights for calling purposes soon.

 

BBM for Android and BBM for iPhone: Official Launch Details

BBM for Android and iPhone Launch

This is the news you’ve been waiting for! I am thrilled to tell you that BBM is about to officially resume rollout of BBM for Android and iPhone customers around the globe! In the next few hours, people will start seeing BBM in Google Play, the App Store and in select Samsung App Stores – where it will be free to download.

The demand for BBM on Android and BBM on iPhone continues to be amazing. About six million people signed up for information about BBM at BBM.com. About one million Android users were using the unreleased version of BBM for Android. What you don’t know is that more than one million people have found creative ways to “side load” BBM on their iPhone. This is incredible.

To help manage this unprecedented pent up demand for BBM, Blackberry is implementing a simple line-up system to ensure a smooth roll out. Here’s how it is going to work…

 

BBM Roll Out Details:

  1. Download BBM – the easiest way is to visit BBM.com from your Android or iPhone browser*
  2. Once you install the app, open it, and enter your email address to hold your spot in line
  3. An email will be sent to you as soon as you reach the front of the line and can start using BBM

 

If you are among the millions that took the time to sign up at BBM.com, you can start using BBM immediately without waiting in line. If you didn’t sign up in advance, don’t worry – Blackberry is focused on moving millions of customers through the line as fast as possible.

The team of developers and engineers have been working around the clock to bring you BBM – and some upgrades would be made available while they are at it – and some incredible work has been done.

For updates on how quickly the line is moving you can follow @BBM on Twitter.

Locally made phone to be introduced – PAPDAN

phone: Image: REX Features

Mr Godfrey Nwosu of the Phone and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (PAPDAN), on Wednesday said that plans were underway to launch two new locally made mobile phone brands before December.

Nwosu, the president of PAPDAN, said in Lagos that the proposed phones, iQ and MaxTel, resulted from a partnership involving 20 Nigerian investors.

Nwosu said that PAPDAN had identified a growing appetite for cutting-edge technologies among telecoms consumers.

“The two Nigerian brands would cater to three market segments, namely feature, medium and smart phone segments,” he said.

Nwosu said the phones would offer more choices to the local consumers.

The PAPDAN official also said that membership of the association currently stood at 3,000.

“Our members occupy a crucial place in the retail end of the technology market.

“As they sell in excess of 2 million units of phones and allied devices in Nigeria and several economies across West Africa monthly,” Nwosu said.

Active telephone lines drop again by 5.6 million

The number of active telephone lines in the country fell by 5,601,812 in July, according to the latest report by the Nigerian Communications Communication. The number of active subscribers is now 114,760,406.

As of the end of June this year, the figure was put at 120,362,218, indicating a decline by 386,536 lines from the 120,748,754 active lines recorded in May.

The figures for March and April were put at 117,281,669 and 119,356,665 respectively by the NCC.

The decline was reflected across board, affecting the Global System for Mobile Telecommunication operators, Code Division Multiple Access operators and fixed/fixed wireless operators.

The number of GSM lines fell to 111,866,933 in July, from 117,412,363 recorded in June, while active CDMA lines fell to 2,519,602 from 2,567,177 in the same period. Active fixed/fixed wireless dropped to 373,871 from the 382,678 recorded in June.

The country’s teledensity is now 81.97 per cent. By NCC’s last statistics, it was 85.97 per cent.

Teledensity is the percentage of connected lines in relation to the population at a given period of time, and its growth is proportionate to the growth in the subscriber base.

For GSM operators, MTN has maintained its lead with 55,238,430 active lines, followed by Globacom, 25,019,862; Airtel, 21,591,904; and Etisalat, 15,303,647.

According to the NCC, the percentage of GSM, CDMA and fixed/fixed wireless lines are 97.55 per cent, 2.13 per cent and 0.32 per cent, respectively.

The industry ended 2012 with a combined subscriber base of 113.1 million, up from 95.8 million active subscriptions in January of the same year.

The NCC data, however, showed that only the GSM operators contributed to the addition in subscriber base, as the CDMA and fixed line operators recorded declines in the first quarter.

The CDMA operators comprising Visafone, Multi-Links, Starcomms and the dormant ZoomMobile, experienced a reduction in their subscriber base from 2.9 million lines in December 2012 to 2.8 million lines as of the end of January 2013.

While a little over N1tn was spent on telephone services in 2011, subscribers spent N1.14tn on the services in 2012.

With the declines being experienced in the industry lately, experts say revenue accruable to operators might also decline significantly by the end of 2013.

Experts Welcome World’s First Malaria Vaccine

GlaxoSmithKline-1611.jpg - GlaxoSmithKline-1611.jpg

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 

From test trial, the world’s first vaccine to tackle malaria, a disease that threatens the life of about 3.3 billion worldwide, will soon be available in commercial quantity for the treatment of the disease.

British drug maker, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is seeking regulatory approval to produce the malaria vaccine for sale, after trial data showed that it had cut the number of cases in African children.

Experts Tuesday welcomed the bid, saying they are optimistic about the possibility of the world’s first vaccine being deployed to tame malaria, after the trial results.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), malaria, a mosquito-borne parasitic disease, kills hundreds of thousands of people worldwide yearly, with an estimated 219 million cases of the disease reported in 2010, causing an estimated 660,000 deaths.

But scientists said an effective vaccine was crucial to attempts to eradicate the disease instead of the drug regimen being used now to fight it.

The vaccine known as RTS,S was found to have almost halved the number of malaria cases in young children in the trial and to have reduced by about 25 per cent the number of malaria cases in infants.

GSK is developing RTS,S with the non-profit Path Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI), supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Researchers found out that the vaccine, which is being developed in the US, protected 12 out of 15 patients from the disease, when given in high doses.
The method is unusual because it involves injecting live but weakened malaria-causing parasites directly into patients to trigger immunity.

“Many millions of malaria cases fill the wards of our hospitals,” said Halidou Tinto, a lead investigator on the RTS,S trial from Burkina Faso.

“Progress is being made with bed nets and other measures, but we need more tools to battle this terrible disease,” Tinto added.

The malaria trial was Africa’s largest-ever clinical exercise involving almost 15,500 children in seven countries.

The findings were presented at a medical meeting in Durban, South Africa.
“Based on these data, GSK now intends to submit, in 2014, a regulatory application to the European Medicines Agency (EMA),” the pharmaceutical company said in a statement.

The statement said the hope now is that WHO may recommend the use of the RTS,S vaccine from as early as 2015 if EMA drugs regulators back its licence application.
Testing showed that 18 months after vaccination, children aged five to 17 months had a 46 per cent reduction in the risk of clinical malaria compared to unvaccinated contemporaries.

But in infants aged six to 12 weeks at the time of vaccination, there was only a 27 per cent reduction in risk.

A spokeswoman for GSK told the AFP that the company would file its application to the EMA under a process aimed at facilitating new drugs for poorer countries.

UK politician Lynne Featherstone, International Development Minister, said: “Malaria is not just one of the world’s biggest killers of children, it also burdens health systems, hinders children’s development and puts a brake on economic growth. An effective malaria vaccine would have an enormous impact on the developing world.
“We welcome the scientific progress made by this research and look forward to seeing the full results in due course.”

When THISDAY yesterday sought the views of the National Coordinator, National Malaria Control Programme, Abuja, Dr. Nnenna Ezeigwe, on the bid to produce the vaccine for sale, she said she was attending a meeting in Durban.
Without providing further insights, Ezeigwe sent in a short message, saying she would comment later.

However, a pediatrician with a general hospital in Lagos, who craved anonymity, said the development would have a salutary effect because of the burden of malaria disease on the continent.

According to him, the disease ranks highest in claiming the lives of children under-five and a vaccine to check the death toll from malaria would be highly appreciated.
Also speaking on the vaccine, Dr. Olumuyiwa Odusote of the Lagos General Hospital, described the development as cheery.

However, Odusote stated that all precautionary measures and checks would have to be done by regulatory authorities to ensure that when the vaccine is eventually released into the market, it would be efficacious.

He said malaria remains the leading cause of maternal mortality and death of children aged under five years in the country.

He added that if a vaccine that could build up people’s immunity against malaria attacks is finally released, “it will be very interesting indeed.”

Source: This Day

The 11 moments that defined BlackBerry’s rise and fall.

 

The 11 moments that defined BlackBerry's rise and fall
It’s more like a jar of coins now…

Once a pioneer and leading light in the smartphone market, BlackBerry is in a potentially terminal downward spiral. The Canadian company, formerly known as RIM, established an iron grip on the enterprise and successfully bridged the gap from pager, to handheld computer, to smartphone.

In the last couple of years Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android platform have taken over with a combined market share that tops 90 percent. Struggling to arrest a declining user base, amid poor sales of its latest devices, we are now hearing that BlackBerry might sell up.

What better time to look back at the company’s rollercoaster ride over the last three decades?

1984: The formative year

 

RIM HQ

 

A couple of engineering students, Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin, founded Research In Motion in 1984 in Waterloo, Canada.

The first few years saw the company developing wireless data technology using the Mobitex standard.

RIM enabled wireless communication for point-of-sale terminal equipment, and worked on modems and pagers, paving the way for mobile devices in the future when they were still confined to the

1992: Jim Balsillie joins

 

Ballsillie

 

Taking a 60 percent pay cut, mortgaging his house, and sinking £160,000 of his own money into RIM James Balsillie bet big on the company when he joined in 1992. He brought the hard-nosed business sense that would complement the engineering skills of Lazaridis. The two would go on to serve as co-CEOs of RIM for the next two decades.

1998: the first BlackBerry

 

950

 

The RIM 900 Inter@ctive Pager launched in 1996. It was a wireless two-way pager which flipped open to reveal a tiny keyboard and an even tinier display. It enabled peer-to-peer messaging, could send faxes, and provided delivery and read receipts.

It was also capable of sending and receiving email, but its successor in 1998, the RIM 950 Wireless Handheld was really the first BlackBerry.

Sporting a patented keyboard design that made it easy to type with your thumbs, the BlackBerry name came from the appearance of the angled keys.

Rave reviews helped RIM to establish a number of important partnerships with companies like IBM, BellSouth Wireless (later Cingular and then AT&T), and Rogers Cantel.

The BlackBerry email service followed in 1999, and then the company listed on the NASDAQ, raising over £150 million. Sales went through the roof and rapid growth followed.

2001: NTP sues RIM for millions

A major patent infringement lawsuit was brought against RIM by NTP and the jury initially ruled in NTP’s favour and awarded £21 ($33) million damages.

RIM fought it, but would lose further ground in the battle and eventually have to settle for £390m ($612.5m) in 2006, although the legal case did highlight the growing popularity of the BlackBerry brand.

In fact, such was its power the U.S. Justice Department decided to weigh in, warning against a network shutdown because of the government’s reliance on BlackBerry.

It had a positive side too: the BlackBerry network provided backup communications in the aftermath of 9/11 after the phone systems in New York and Washington D.C. couldn’t handle the demand.

By the time the case was settled in 2006 RIM had almost 5 million active BlackBerry subscribers and net income of £240 million for the year.

2006: The CrackBerry craze

 

CrackBerry
Credit: AP Richard Drew

 

Initially popular with the business community, by 2006 RIM was attracting major mass market attention. The 7100 “Charm” series marked a new focus on consumers and more features followed in the “Electron” and “Pearl” releases, including cameras, navigation, and chat features.

Dubbed “CrackBerry” in the US because of its addictive nature, the BlackBerry brand was riding high and it looked like nothing could stop the keyboard revolution.

2007: The world at its feet

Apple launched the iPhone at the start of 2007 and it was set to compete with the BlackBerry Pearl, released the year before.

The Pearl was the first BlackBerry with a camera and a media player and was seen by many as the right move to bring RIM’s products closer to the consumer.

The BlackBerry 8800 series and the entry-level Curve would follow later in 2007 to further this claim, with RIM becoming the most valuable company in Canada.

With 10 million subscribers by the end of the year, there was no sign of concern about the iPhone’s potential as a BlackBerry killer, with RIM clearly feeling that functionality was still the most important element to the smartphone buyer.

2008: A Storm begins to brew

 

BlackBerry Storm

 

Android launched quietly towards the end of 2008, and hot on its heels was RIM’s first touchscreen device, the BlackBerry Storm.

It was up against the iPhone, the HTC Dream, and the Palm Pre. It would be fair to say that the Storm did not compare favourably, with reports of glitches, sluggish performance, and a poor touchscreen experience.

The hugely successful BlackBerry Bold launched the same year, and RIM hit its all-time highest estimated worth at £49 billion.

2011: Not from the ‘how to make tablets’ PlayBook

 

PlayBook

 

The iPad’s success pointed to the potential of the tablet market and RIM decided to produce a tablet of its own.

Sadly, the PlayBook was doomed from the start, largely due to a lack of apps and a clunky interface, and at release it didn’t even have an email or a calendar app.

The form factor, with a 7-inch display flanked by a large bezel, also came in for criticism, although it would prove successful for Amazon and Google in the months to come.

2011: The ‘BlackBerry riots’ and worldwide outages

In the summer of 2011 riots swept across England and BlackBerry Messenger was apparently used to organize them, with the televised media keen to highlight the role RIM’s devices played in, with it transpiring that 37 per cent of the UK smartphone market in poor urban areas had BlackBerrys.

Worse was to come as severe outages for BlackBerry services hit in October 2011, leading to an unprecedented video apology from Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis.

This was small comfort to millions of BlackBerry subscribers who were left without internet access, email, or BlackBerry Messenger service. An offer of free apps as compensation for those affected was met with widespread derision.

2011: The BlackBerry 10 delays begin

 

BlackBerry 10

 

Lay-offs, a high profile open letter from a BlackBerry insider criticizing the lack of strategy, the outages, and delays to the new platform all contributed to the pressure that saw Co-CEOs Lazaridis and Balsillie finally step down to make way for Thorsten Heins.

The last roll of the dice was BlackBerry 10. Originally set to launch in 2011, it was delayed into 2012, and didn’t actually arrive until January 2013, when BlackBerry subscriptions had started to decline as users got to the end of their two year contracts and PAYG options from other handset makers became more attractive options.

Launching on the touchscreen Z10, which was soon followed by the more traditional keyboard-toting BlackBerry Q10, the new platform invited an inevitable “too little, too late” verdict from many quarters.

The BlackBerry subscriber base peaked at 80 million in December 2012 and the new platform has not arrested its decline.

2013: The billion dollar bust

BlackBerry bust

The company is now estimated to be worth less than £3.5 billion, which isn’t an insubstantial amount by any means. With a special committee formed to find a buyer able to salvage the power of BB10, it could be that BlackBerry lives to fight another day – but that’s getting harder and harder given the recent financial results.

All those unsold Z10 handsets are burning a rather large hole in the company’s balance sheet, meaning the pile of phones is costing BlackBerry a cool $930 million (about £580m/AU$988m), which means it’s going to be tremendously hard to shift more handsets as consumers struggle to stay loyal to the brand.

The company has also had to postpone its BBM launch on Android and iOS thanks to leaks of the software, but has managed to squeeze out another handset in the shape of the 5-inch BlackBerry Z30, coming with a Super AMOLED screen and everything.

Had this appeared a year ago, perhaps the brand could have made something of a turnaround, but this is starting to look too little, too late for the firm that once led the way in shaping the modern smartphone.

BBM Coming to iPhones and Android this weekend!

The BlackBerry 10 launch event

After mulling the idea internally for several years, BlackBerry is opening its proprietary messaging system to iPhone and Android users this weekend. The free app eliminates what had been a compelling, exclusive draw for the company’s devices, but expands the reach of the service and creates an asset that in theory could be sold separately as BlackBerry considers its alternatives for the future.

BBM will be available Saturday for Android phones and Sunday for iPhones, the company said Wednesday. The plan to take BBM cross-platform was announced by BlackBerry Chief Executive Thorsten Heins four months ago, and the app was due to arrive this summer.

BlackBerry executives toyed with the idea of making BBM cross-platform as long as three years ago, according to people close to the company. A plan was in place in late 2011 to have carriers pay a fee to take BBM to customers using other phones, but was scrapped by Mr. Heins when he took over as CEO in early 2012, according to these people.

The concern was always that finding a bigger audience for the app could diminish incentives to buy the company’s phones.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that BlackBerry is considering spinning off the messaging service into a subsidiary called BBM Inc. that would operate with more independence, according to people familiar with the matter.

BBM currently has 60 million monthly active users, and the company claims users are much more likely to read and respond to BBMs than messages on competing services or text messages.

There are lots of those, however, and they are growing much faster than BBM. Popular rival WhatsApp, for instance, has more than 200 million users.

BlackBerry Channels, a Twitter-like service for companies and celebrities to host BBM pages and interact with customers and fans, won’t be available immediately. BlackBerry executives have signaled that selling ads on Channels is how it plans to earn revenue from BBM.

BBM Video and Voice calling, already available to BlackBerry users, will be available to iOS and Android users in a future version.