Posts Tagged ‘Apple’


Release of the Next Generation Larger Format Mobile Phone (Phablet) – is Imminent – This time it might change the whole marketplace.

8 April 2014
by Loren W
Melbourne, Australia

 

Even the name Phablet is part of technological ambiguity. PC Magazine used the word in 1993 to describe the AT&T EO 440 a personal computer, perhaps even a mistake in the current context of the word, but it was tablet of sorts with a modem in it and could be used as a phone. It was 5.9″ x 4.3″ and quit being made in 1994.

However, the Samsung Galaxy Note I circa 2011 (my 1st phablet) is normally referred to as the first phablet. By early 2013 it was estimated that 25.6m phablets had been sold worldwide and numbers were expected to grow to 60m in 2013 and 146m by 2016 depending on what your definition is of a phablet is of course. For the sake of this article we will assume a phablet is primarily a mobile phone larger than 5.89 in and less than 7in.

Phablets Lagging Behind and One Step Ahead

Most phone manufacturers have launched Phablets months after they announce the more popular smaller form factors, and thus often before the next generation mobile depending on your perspective. This has been true of Samsung, HTC, and Sony. This often means features of Phablets (other than the size) usually offer less features than the next mobile phone based on this evolutionary conundrum. For instance the Sony Z Ultra was announced soon after the Sony Z1 and way before the Z2. Unfortunately it was made to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Note, so offered less features than the Z1 or naturally the Z2.

All the phablets on the market offer similar features in some respects very different ones in others usually depending again on the release date vs its competitors.

For example the Sony Z Ultra is the largest of the main group coming in at 7×3.6×0.26 inches, but is waterproof to 30m, almost identical screen quality, but with a much lower quality camera than the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, has less memory than the Samsung but was announced 3 months before the Samsung. It has the same CPU as the Samsung so is almost identical in benchmark tests. The HTC Max is a lower spec phone but less expensive.

 

 

 

The Apple & Marketplace Phablet 3 Bears Conundrum

The late great Steve Jobs said tablets should stay big, phones should stay small period. Later Apple released the now very popular iPad mini. It is no secret Apple is testing a larger iPhone the iPhone 6, Google is sponsoring the Nexus 6, Nokia has the 1520. A recently leaked internal document by Apple shows concerns over losing sales to Phablets.

The next round of Phablet Wars included HTC, Google, Samsung, Apple, and Even Microsoft / Nokia.

 

 

 

 

Phablet Winners / Losers Summary Android – Samsung wins the high end spec race (matched by a earlier released less market savvy known, Sony Z Ultra 2). Nexus 6 wins on the best value front, HTC will draw interest from the 1 Max but with a low spec camera perhaps in line with the Nexus 6 , Motorola will draw a lot of interest with its 1st Phablet the X +1 and Microsoft will draw increasingly more interest with the Lumina 1520 and its replacement perhaps the Lumina 1820 due to windows 8.1 and Cortana voice assistant. . Apple might slip in under the minimum Phablet size but call it a Phablet anyhow, but might remain the one to watch. If they launch a phablet, (6inch or larger) it would change the phone demographic forever.

 

My Tablet is a Phablet – On the WTF side of things many new tablets continue to come out with phone features, as this happens folks will move to headsets vs talking into tablets as these less portable devices continue to trickle out.

 

 



Apple Uploads Game of Thrones on iTunes as soon as USA broadcasts completed.

2 April 2013

got

Though over 4 million saw the season 3 premiere of Game of Thrones in the USA, millions more will be watching it across the world faster than ever. Illegal downloads (if you believe in such a thing), clogged servers across the globe. Measurements are not so well tracked but Heroes is believed to have achieved 145,000 downloads from one site with Game of Thrones hitting almost 3 times as many.
On the legal side (if you believe in such a thing), Apple moved to make the most of it by putting
Season 3 on iTunes, as soon as broadcasts were shown across the continental USA. Lawyers that self-promote their services to the USA TV networks, worked hard to bring down many links for illegal sites. Torrent activity also was being chased by lawyers working to entrap and shut down the sites.

Overall estimates seem to point to over 1million downloads reports Jethro Nededog at the wrap.com. Australia was a respectable 3rd only to the UK and USA in downloads so far. I say respectable as HBO seems to view the piracy as a compliment.

As Apple released season 3 to iTunes so fast, I query why this was not publicized, as many would have paid the $4 versus hunting down an illegal episode

house


New iPhone 5 Problems Surface As With the iPad1 in 2010

Melbourne Australia
Tomorrow 2012

On Reading the news I was amazed to find out the similarities  between these and the original iPad problem  I found and then fixed for many in 2010. The original 2010 story and fix is here 

It has to do with the default iPhone 5 setting not being optimum then for dual band Apple routers now built into the iPhone 5 itself..


Loren W
Melbourne Australia

Is JB Hi-Fi Market Recovery Short Sighted?

I have to admit I read with some interest a recent article (worth a read) by Roger Montgomery, founder of Montgomery Investment, in the weekend Australian. His observation on JB Hi-Fi and the concealment of a more complex reality, though I admit I agree with, I believe missed a few key points, though some were touched on.

Firstly, the US and UK market and the majority of the online market unlike the Australian brick and mortar market, is not built on haggling.  This means that almost anyone walking into JB and making even the smallest of purchases can haggle their way to a lower price. This is starting to show its age. I cannot walk into an Apple store and haggle a price, though they also are seeing the light and offering to price match against the likes of JB Hi-Fi and others, adding to the market competition.

Price haggling in this way as JB and others do is a dying trend but one that falsifies Roberts own perspective on JB being higher than the US market on list price alone. The point you missed is that because the perception in some cases and reality in others and the advent of online business means a haggled price though the norm does not help with perception regardless. Consumers are more market research savvy than ever, and an item that is $400 at JB say a new tablet, might be 20% less online. For many consumers, it is not worth trying to haggle when you can buy even from the US and have an item delivered 10-15% cheaper (even though JB would might have matched it if asked). In regards, to competition Apple recently announced they would price match other retailers on their own products, making the competition even hotter, there. Finally there is the dreaded Moore’s Law impact which observes the speed the market changes due to the speed the underlying technology improves. This means with new technology coming out so fast it makes the previous items outdated faster than ever, that the level of inventory required (and a risk) and resulting impact on profits is not surprising going to take a massive hit.  In the last 3 weeks alone we have seen a new Operating System for Microsoft, and Apple; a new iPhone beater for Samsung, a new office suite for Microsoft, a new tablet by Google all being released and a rumored new iPod, iPad, and iPhone (and Samsung again) in the next 3 weeks.  This trend and speed to market has resulted in many of the JB Hi-Fi’s peers in the US and UK going bump and many others going online only to reduce their product overheads. Pricing is a mindset; when was the last time you walked into Coles and negotiated over a bottle of milk. This duality of looking for a better price online and not knowing for sure what the lowest price is in your own retailer is silly at best, or market suicide, and the times have changed.

I recently had a chat with an area sales rep for Canon Camera Australia, that I cornered when I found the latest camera the 7D, had an RRP of $2100 in Australia, $1700 in the US and $1200 in Hong Kong and a cost to JB for $1600 but I was able to purchase it from an importer across the street from Canon HQ in Victoria for $1300, with the full warranty supported globally by Canon (cheaper if you buy online direct) Previously some folks would not have supported the gray import warranty. Canon had a different view and does not use the ‘Gray import’ label instead opting for a ‘Parallel import’ label. Their view is simple and one that folks like JB have to be worried about. Canon’s view was that though the retailer in Australia might not like it, a market savvy consumer should not be punished for their purchase by not having their warranty supported. It was highlighted that this trend is growing and folks like JB Hi-Fi will not be the only ones impacted.

Instead of price deflation what Australia needs is honest price reality, so the lowest price is always offered. Expect to see many other stores impacted in the same way.

Loren is founder of tech-news.tv and a self-proclaimed ‘technologist evangelist’, introducing new products and services for the likes of British Telecom UK (BT) and NEC Australia Japan, including business broadband for BT in 1994, and Data Centre Service for NEC.  He is a beta tester for Google, Microsoft, and Apple. His twitter followers (over 65,000) follow his views and blogs from all over the world He is contactable on twitter @mr_internet and on email at loren@loren.net.au

Loren Wiener aka mrinternet
Melbourne Australia
10 August 2012 (tomorrow for many of you)

Convenience  vs.  Security You Do not Have to Choose 

We are all grateful for Mat Honan from Wired full story here raising to our attention the ease that we sometimes offer hackers. I was in charge of Business Internet Products and Security in a previous life for a large Telco and I wasn’t even aware of how easy some of this was, for the hacker.  The daisy chain effect where accounts are linked etc. was part of the issue, and not a relatively new event (5 years or less old) the not so tight processes at Amazon and Apple (now changed thanks to Mat ) was another part also not new. But the part where it pretty much all started is the part many take for granted, and the oldest issue, that many is that of the domain name. Mad had linked (daisy chained) various accounts) in the process of identification a home address was needed, and this was freely offered by looking up Mat Honan’s address from his domain name. Public addresses, for all domain is public by default as technical, billing, and domain owner name is required. There are options for all domain names to hide this information, and you can usually just not put in address in this. If we learn nothing else here (besides doing back-ups) is hide, use a PO box, or do not offer your address on your public domain name info.

Note: I hope Mat gets back his data, and I for one would contribute to any costs in helping him do that. We need more Mats’


Update: (video at 3pm EST 23 Dec 2012)

SPB 3D has landed on honeycomb adds refreshing UI to Tablets 



Requiring a bit more power than the early Android phones, this UI is a sight to behold on a 10” tablet.

The app is here http://bit.ly/vI1F8k 

This might be very special on ICS as well 

One reason I bought my first Android Phone the Atrix 4G was also due to my bad timing.

I had the iPhone 3G but was bored with it, was too late for an iPhone 4 (with the 5 or 4s looming),  and I had an iPad2 so had my iOS fix.

I purchased the Samsung Omnia 7 WP7 phone (pre-mango) but got  quickly frustrated with the lack of eco-system, and pre-mango issues.

I am a strong believer as well that if you are a truly connected soul, then the mobile operating system you have should be mirrored by the desktop or tablet OS.

Based on that, WP7 was homeless to be as it best goes with windows 8 (was not out in beta yet), but still has some syncing issues for me.

This meant  choosing the Apple OS model, once the 4S was released giving me the iPhone 4S, a Mac, and iPad2, so I have followed my own model mentioned above.

I just sold my Atrix 4G (as the Atrix 2 has just been announced), but kept my Samsung 10.1 Google i/o Tablet running Android Honeycomb, and to be honest I still find Android OS Gingerbread on the phone a bit ugly, to the point of despair, and mind boggling at the lack of  Apple-esque ‘updatablity’ to a new OS on Androiddevices, painful,  never knowing when or if with ease a phone / tablet will get updated having to deal with the 3 way pain of carrier, google/android and hardware manufactuer.

Here in Australia we have been let down in the past by the likes of Samsung with their 1st 10.1 Tablet (the 10.1V P7110)  not getting the same updates as the first USA released 10.1 the P7500 series.

The other reason I bought my 1st Android app, and what pushed me over the edge, like a moth drawn to light was the SPB Software 3D Shell. A  Russian company I have been fascinated with their beautiful products for years, when they were offering apps for windows mobile phones.

Their Android offering of the SPB 3D shell, though not without its own issues (like being a bit CPU hungry), did beautify an otherwise ugly Android phone.

Enter Ice Cream Sandwich a unifying OS from Android, that will offer the same OS on the tablet as it does on the mobile phone.

This also means (as confirmed in an exclusive conversations with the SPB Software devleoper), that  Android tablets running IceCream Sandwich, will also benefit enjoy running, SPB 3D Shell. SPB is currently working on their ICS version, and scaling issues to the larger size.

I cannot wait

Here is a video of their mobile app


Loren | aka @mr_internet | Melbourne Australia
30 November 2011

I originally posted this months ago, when the Samsung 10.1 tab and Motorola Xoom had gone on sale in the USA but had not in Australia.
The Samsung Tab 10.1 has still not gone on sale yet in Australia, accept via the grey market (some ok some more risky).

With the buying season upon us, and more pertinent now than ever, so hope you enjoy.

Is An Android 10.1” Tablet on Your List ...

I had a friend ask me recently, a simple question in theory.

What type of  Tablet PC to get?

I use the word ‘PC’ loosely as these currently aren’t quite replacements for the
Personal Computer for most people at least not yet. I have to admit I
have multiple Android devices as well as Apple and a Windows Home
Server / PC, so offer no bias to a brand.

Well having an iPad2 already, my thoughts were there initially with Apple, but
having just bought my first Android phone (the Atrix 4G by Motorola) to try it
out before the launch in Australia, my thought then turned to considering
that perhaps the OS of the phone might make the OS transition (if
there was one) initially easier. In my friends’ case, husband has an
Android and wife and iPhone. I quickly ruled out a Windows Tablet (don’t get me
started there).

With Apple having a single design of iPad2 (barring colour and capacity of course),
it was hard not to make a case for the iPad2 (e.g. I have one and there are
some things it does very well). Unfortunately for me
the realization that the iPad2 is really running a 5 year old
Operating System

But knowing what is out within the last 4 weeks or will be soon, in the Android
Tablet space I would be remiss had I not mentioned the Android Tablets. I go on
about this as the Android Tablet Space of 10.1″ tablets, is perhaps more
fast pace than Sebastian Vettel is around an F1 Grand Prix race track, with so
many models coming out a review is a bit confusing.

Instead of taking away from the great detail other have offered, I am looking more at a
top level view comparing more the aesthetic pros and cons of various models
compared to each other PHEW

Here are the 4 Android Tablets

Acer
A500 32GB with MicroSD Card, WiFi Only 5x2MP Camera
(10.1″)
Samsung
Galaxy Tab 10.1G (or GT or GTp7510) 32GB with No MicroSD Card , WiFi Only ,
3x2MP Camera-
Samsung
Galaxy Tab 10.1V 3G/4G / WiFi Only 16GB no MicroSD Card 8x2MP Camera
Motorola
Xoom WiFi Only with WiFi Card , 5x2MP Camera 10.1″
Apple
iPad For Size Comparison – & it is getting jealous and
nervous
Part One – Does Size Matter?

Part Two – Tell Me more Pros and Cons

Part Three – Summary


When iTunes Match launched, the world celebrated. Apple offering cloud services we could all use.

Uniquely, iTunes Match, lets you use your own music library and Apple, looks at the music and if it already exists in Apples extensive cloud library, it moves none of your music but associates your music in the cloud so you can listen to it on any of you iOS devices like the iPad, Mac, iPhone,  and AppleTV.

This is a better way for those that have broadband (with sometimes slow upload speeds) and especially if you have a large existing music library. Amazon and Google offer similar choices, but require you to upload all your own music. Amazon charges for storage above 5GB.

Unfortunately iTunes Match does not work outside the USA.

Actually that is not correct, it does not work unless you have a US address, & US credit card. The assumption is you must therefore live in the USA.  Apple has not said why.  However there are companies offering these minor details, allowing iTunes Match access for all across the globe.

It is believed Apple did not want to launch the service globally as it does not have the cloud infrastructure in place to handle the traffic this would cause if used in mass.

How it works: Once you log into to your iTunes account and register your US credit card and details, you can pay the $25 per annum to apple.  iTunes uses any outstanding vouchers or credits you have before it uses your credit card. There are only 3 steps after that

As it says you can use iTunes whilst iTunes Match is doing its thing. I have just under 10,000 songs, and this takes up 53GB of space. Apple is limiting space to 25,000 songs, so I find this very generous.

That aside there are downsides, though they are few but the first one is a biggie.

1)      Your Own Corrupt Music Data – It is believed many people will have corrupt data (or meta tags) associated with their music tracks. This means in the traditional garbage in and garbage out world of IT, that Apple might miss associate some of your music library with the wrong songs. This can be dangerous if you over write your master library with that from your new found cloud friends Apple. Note there are some good programs that fix the meta tags either automatically or manually (like Tag and Rename and Tune Up Companion, with the later attaching itself to iTunes so you can drag and drop your music into it to cleanse and correct meta tag issues) . So it is worth backing up your music library so it cannot be over written. If you can wait it is worth cleaning you music tracks to make sure all your meta tags are in order.

2)      Music Quality–  Audiophiles that enjoy the new remastered tracks of everything from the Beatles to the Who, may have ripped their music in raw or high quality that is better than the 255k that Apple is offering (that is overall better than most have with 64k and 128k tracks), but an issue none the same (it might be possible to keep the higher-definition tracks in the cloud I am still testing that now). I estimate 5% of my music is above 255k, or around 25 albums or 500 songs).

Time: This is not a quick process but I hope well worth it. I am currently over 2  hours in and will update this after it is complete.  Step 1, The diagnosis phase took 1 hour, Step 2, the matching phase took an hour also matching about 3 songs a second Competition: The Google Music Service as mentioned is similar but it took 21 days to upload half my music, a daunting task indeed, but the service works very well, also globally, and on any browser (phones, tablets, pcs, or macs)

 


Update:

SPB 3D has landed on honeycomb (video at 3pm EST 23 Dec 2012)

Requiring a bit more power than the early Android phones, this UI is a sight to behold on a 10” tablet

 

This might be very special on ICS as well 

One reason I bought my first Android Phone the Atrix 4G was also due to my bad timing.

I had the iPhone 3G but was bored with it, was too late for an iPhone 4 (with the 5 or 4s looming),  and I had an iPad2 so had my iOS fix.

I purchased the Samsung Omnia 7 WP7 phone (pre-mango) but got  quickly frustrated with the lack of eco-system, and pre-mango issues.

I am a strong believer as well that if you are a truly connected soul, then the mobile operating system you have should be mirrored by the desktop or tablet OS.

Based on that, WP7 was homeless to be as it best goes with windows 8 (was not out in beta yet), but still has some syncing issues for me.

This meant  choosing the Apple OS model, once the 4S was released giving me the iPhone 4S, a Mac, and iPad2, so I have followed my own model mentioned above.

I just sold my Atrix 4G (as the Atrix 2 has just been announced), but kept my Samsung 10.1 Google i/o Tablet running Android Honeycomb, and to be honest I still find Android OS Gingerbread on the phone a bit ugly, to the point of despair, and mind boggling at the lack of  Apple-esque ‘updatablity’ to a new OS on Androiddevices, painful,  never knowing when or if with ease a phone / tablet will get updated having to deal with the 3 way pain of carrier, google/android and hardware manufactuer.

Here in Australia we have been let down in the past by the likes of Samsung with their 1st 10.1 Tablet (the 10.1V P7110)  not getting the same updates as the first USA released 10.1 the P7500 series.

The other reason I bought my 1st Android app, and what pushed me over the edge, like a moth drawn to light was the SPB Software 3D Shell. A  Russian company I have been fascinated with their beautiful products for years, when they were offering apps for windows mobile phones.

Their Android offering of the SPB 3D shell, though not without its own issues (like being a bit CPU hungry), did beautify an otherwise ugly Android phone.

Enter Ice Cream Sandwich a unifying OS from Android, that will offer the same OS on the tablet as it does on the mobile phone.

This also means (as confirmed in an exclusive conversations with the SPB Software devleoper), that  Android tablets running IceCream Sandwich, will also benefit enjoy running, SPB 3D Shell. SPB is currently working on their ICS version, and scaling issues to the larger size.

I cannot wait

Here is a video of their mobile app


 

6 September 2011

Tech-News.TV (coming soon)
Melbourne Australia
by Loren Wiener (@mr_internet)

 

Samsung to Be Eventual Winner

 

 

Whilst Apple fights Samsung across the globe, on tablet patents, many tablet manufacturers like Motorola (Googorola) Toshiba, Acer, Asus, HP, RIM are all hoping to gain some benefit here in Australia.  Samsung will likely win and Motorola lose for a few reasons.

1) Apple patent wins will at best,  just delay the Samsung selling of their tablets. Remember Motorola also has injunctions against them.  It is not likely a totoal coincidence that the patent wars are going on leading up to the announcemnet in the next few days of the iPhone5.

2) Samsung marketing machine, though not great is better than any of the others on the market

3) Previous versions of Samsung tablets have been sold in Australia for some time, they already have a large presence not just in tablets, but mobiles, televisions and home appliances. The product awareness offers a big association for other products like tablets as they are sold at the same retailers as well as carriers.

4) Samsung products have been offered for some time unlocked, offering more choices for consumers to choose their own carrier, this carries over to the tablets.

Motorola To Be Biggest Loser

 

1) Samsung network for selling tablets is much larger than others, more retailers and carriers than Motorola.

2) Other tablet suppliers have strong market associations in the marketplace / market share, Blackberry (RIM)- Mobiles, Toshiba/Asus/Acer/HP (Computers). Though the recent HP position confuses things.

3) Motorola New Relationship with Google with take time to gain momentum. Remember Google is a company that sells advertising. Google is NOT experienced in selling hardware product.

30 September is an important date currently in the patent wars, when it is believe Samsung will be allowed to sell their new tablet  in Australia.


28 May 2011

Loren | aka @mr_internet | Melbourne Australia  

Is An Android 10.1” Tablet on Your List Before or After Tax Time

I had a friend ask me recently, a simple question in theory. What type of Tablet
PC to get?

I use the word ‘PC’ loosely as these currently aren’t quite replacements for the
Personal Computer for most people at least not yet. I have to admit I
have multiple Android devices as well as Apple and a Windows Home
Server / PC, so offer no bias to a brand.

Well having an  iPad2 already, my thoughts were there initially with Apple, but
having just bought my first Android phone (the Atrix 4G by Motorola) to try it
out before the launch in Australia,  my thought then turned to considering
that perhaps the OS of the phone might make the OS transition (if
there was one) initially easier. In my friends’ case, husband has an
Android and wife and iPhone. I quickly ruled out a Windows Tablet (don’t get me
started there).

With Apple having a single design of iPad2 (barring colour and capacity of course),
it was hard not to make a case for the iPad2 (e.g. I have one and there are
some things it does very well).  Unfortunately for me
the realization that the iPad2 is really running a 5 year old
Operating System

But knowing what is out within the last 4 weeks or will be soon, in the Android
Tablet space I would be remiss had I not mentioned the Android Tablets. I go on
about this as the Android Tablet Space of 10.1″ tablets, is perhaps more
fast pace than Sebastian Vettel is around an F1 Grand Prix race track, with so
many models coming out a review is a bit confusing.

Instead of taking away from the great detail other have offered, I am looking more at a
top level view comparing more the aesthetic pros and cons of various models
compared to each other PHEW

Here are the 4 Android Tablets

  • Acer
    A500 32GB with MicroSD Card, WiFi Only 5x2MP Camera
    (10.1″)
  • Samsung
    Galaxy Tab 10.1G (or GT or GTp7510) 32GB with No MicroSD Card , WiFi Only ,
    3x2MP Camera-
  • Samsung
    Galaxy Tab 10.1V  3G/4G / WiFi Only 16GB no MicroSD Card 8x2MP Camera
  • Motorola
    Xoom  WiFi Only with WiFi Card , 5x2MP Camera 10.1″
  • Apple
    iPad For Size Comparison –  & it is getting  jealous and
    nervous

Part One – Does Size Matter?

Part Two – Tell Me more Pros and Cons

Part Three – Summary

 

 

 


Pre-orders likely by 1 June 2011

Updated: 3 June 2011

Harvey Norman is about to start taking pre-orders for the new Samsung 10.1 Tablet 2 (version 1 in the USA).
No further information is available but the Samsung Australia Website has updated its support  section to include a P7500 16mb  only old non 10.1  information is there currently , but that is good or bad if you are holding out hope if a MicroSD Card, as 16GB unit might hint at an upgradeable memory.

Reviews on thai sites, rusisan sites and some retailers suggest a microsd card is on board also, but other sites suggest it is not.

20 May 2011

by Loren aka @mr_internet

With out much fanfare retail computer shops are discussing exact pre-order dates for the next big thing to hit in computer tablets.

Though there are some unanswered questions, and though it has not been formally announced, the Samsung Galaxy Tablet PC  10.1 version 2,  is about to land in Australia and be sold around a week after it is launched in the USA. The USA has announced a 8 June launch date with Australia launching around the 15th of June. Retailers that will be stocking the device are already considering  pre-orders dates such as June 1.

The new thinner 10.1 is viewed by many as biggest competition yet for the Apple iPad2, and is  one of many new tablets, showing up in all places that sell laptops now. Many of these will be running the more open and very new  Google  Android  Honeycomb Operating System 3.0 that is already getting an update to 3.1.

The Apple iPads run on the Apple iOS operating system that has not changed much in over 4  years, a long time in the marketplace.

The new s10.1 not only resembles the Apple iPad2, it is slightly wider, and lighter as well as being thinner. It is of course also  lighter and thinner  than  it’s only 4 week old predecessor 10.1V that launched in May,  a limited edition model that is being sold exclusively by Vodafone.

The 10.1V also has a better quality camera than the newer, thinner 10.1  (8MP vs 3MP).

The older version 10.1V is being sold to other markets across the globe but  outside the USA only.

Another popular tablet the Motorola Xoom is landing in Australia (exclusive to Telstra initially) the end of May, with the other shops selling the Samsung Galaxy 10.1  just 2 weeks later.

One of the advantage of the new more open Android tablets is that when connected to a PC or a Mac computer it appears like any other external hard drive allowing folders to be set up and files transferred to the devices much easier than the iPad that requires the iTunes interface only. Also new applications purchased for the Android device on a computer  can be downloaded  wirelessly on local networks to multiple Android devices.

The fast pace dynamics of the tablet market is different around the world with Europe and Australia getting the 10.1V but not the US, and the US getting the Motorola Xoom months before the release in Europe or Australia.

This makes the launch of the Samsung 10.1  a global launch only a week earlier in the USA vs Australia (and likely Europe)

The online community was buzzing when 5-6000 Galaxy 10.1 were given out to mostly rave reviews to attendees at the recent Google i/o 2011.

With the USA not seeing or hearing much about the 10.1V many were confused on discovering the 10.1 is viewed as the second generation model but hardware wise is lower quality than the second generation 10.1, but is thinner, bigger and lighter.

Many believe the 10.1V that was not launched in the USA, because when Apple launched the iPad2, Samsung decided to stop production and introduce the thinner version.

Price is believed to be the same as the Motorola Xoom @$840, but it is not clear the exact detail of the 10.1 Model only it is being referred to as Galaxy Tab 10.1 Version 2 in Australia.

Edit:
There was a lot of confusion in the marketplace when Australian buyers of the Samsung Galaxy 10.1V were told tablets were being shipped when they had actually been over sold and back-ordered.

It is still not clear if customers will receive the back-ordered stock before the new 10.1 goes on sale. At the same time customers were unknowinly having their tablets back ordered other stores were getting in stock to sell in the shops,  making matters worse for Vodafone. Customer service were only told the 10.1V  stock was on back order 48 hours later, so only some early orders were assured delivery.

Speaking to a retail buyer for one of the future stockists of the new thinner Samsung Galaxy 10.1 and seeing the orders, it is unclear if stock levels will be adequate.  There appears to be no gag order on this information.


Some Content Courtesy of Redmond Pie
For Jenny (no comment)
By Loren (aka @mr_internet)

Apple iPad2 vs. Samsung Galaxy 10.1 vs Motorola Xoom vs RIM Blackberry Playbook vs HP TouchPad

I have had a few folks asking me about a Tablet preferences of iPad vs this or that. But it is not that easy. For now as of 12 April 2011, there are 4 tablets worth really considering, and a few more soon.

I made a conscious descion a while ago to avoid the Android Google world. But with new versions out I am being tempted more than ever.

I ditched my iPhone some months ago and I must admit I do miss it often as I have an iPad.

This is relevant as I have not seen a good phone, that plays well with another manufacturer tablet operating system, and having 2 inventories of apps to keep up with is a pain. In this day and age where our pc, mobile phone, and tablet are all part of our lives having them not play well togethermakes life hard.

I realised this when my windows phone 7 phone, did not do much, an idea I kind of liked, but now feel very inhibited.
But the apple iPhones are feeling rather dated as well.

So I have a new Google Motorola ATRIX, arriving soon, the latest mobile not out in Australia yet and an android.
This might mean I also cosider ditching my iPad in favour of an android tablet, we will see.

I hear the Andoid store is a mess as there are so many versions of android, that you cannot tell when you purchase an app if it will work with your device or not. That is silly, I will see in my next review how good or bad the andoid app library is.

The other thing to consider is iTunes. I hate iTunes as much as I love my iPad. But you need it really to manage the iPad.

So It Really is Google vs Apple

Again this is relevant because I think keeping to one platform  for phone and tablet might be the best way to go.

  • If you own an iPhone and plan to keep it, I would stay with iPad.
  • If you are considering seriously getting a tablet other than an iPad (as I am now), then you seriously might want to consider a phone form the same operation system, if you have or are considering an Android phone, you have more choice available on the tablet from but I think the Motorola XOOM is one to watch.

All the tablets have their own merits and flaws, here is a view of all 4.

The Reviews
Some Content Courtesy of Redmond Pie

Well, it’s finally here. Apple recently launched the anticipated 2nd-generation iPad. With Google’s Android, RIM’s BlackBerry powered PlayBook, and HP’s webOS getting fancy new tablets either recently or in the future, buyers are going to be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a new slate device.

We thought we’d take a closer look at the iPad 2′s four main competitors in the tablet space: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Motorola Zoom, HP/Palm’s TouchPad and BlackBerry PlayBook.

Apple iPad 2

First up we’ve got the new kid on the block, Apple’s iPad 2. Announced by Steve Jobs to be powered by a dual-core CPU that’s supposedly twice as fast as the current iPad. The new graphics chips are ’9x faster’ too. Impressive, at least on paper. In typical Apple fashion, we don’t have actual figures other than the usual dimensions. Thickness? 8.8mm. That’s one third thinner than the current model.

Interestingly, the new iPad 2 features two cameras, one rear and one front facing and the most interesting specification of them all is the availability of the new white iPad. Apple couldn’t get a white iPhone 4 out the door but no such issues with the iPad 2.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Samsung showed off its new Galaxy Tab 10.1 at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, with the new tablet hoping to build on the success of its smaller sibling.

Sporting a new 10.1-inch 1280×800 display (hence the name), the new Tab boasts some impressive specifications. Powering that new screen is a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 CPU with both front and rear facing cameras providing the video input. The Tab’s rear camera is capable of HD video recording and has the now obligatory in-built flash.

Software-wise, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will run the latest and greatest from Google’s Android stable, namely 3.0 Honeycomb.

Motorola Xoom

Another Honeycomb-endowed offering is Motorola’s Xoom. Recently released in the United States, the Xoom has been very well received by the gadget press. Arguably a very similar machine to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 – at least spec-wise – the Xoom’s party piece is its LTE capability. The downside here is the wait. Early-adopters will need to send their unit away for a hardware upgrade in order to take advantage of LTE speeds. Fortunately a quick turnaround is promised by Motorola, with 6 days the expected wait.

With the Xoom being powered by Google’s Android OS in its latest Honeycomb guise, there is little to differentiate it from the Galaxy Tab 10.1 when it comes to software. The main difference? The Xoom is in stores now!

HP TouchPad

Originally expected to go under the Palm name, the TouchPad will run on a new version of webOS. Now at version 3.0, webOS is promising to be a truly tablet-optimized experience. Even during the Pre’s death-throws, many believed the OS was the phone’s best attribute and a tablet was always the logical home for a future updated version.

HP isn’t scrimping on the hardware front either. A 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core CPU is the heart of the machine, with 1GB of RAM keeping the CPU busy. An iPad-like 9.7-inch 1024×768 screen is used, along with all the usual radios we’ve come to expect, including a 4G one. The TouchPad does sport a front-facing camera, though there’s nothing around the back.

BlackBerry PlayBook

With PlayBook, Research In Motion (RIM) is the fourth major platform (in no particular order) after Android, iOS and webOS to enter the Tablet Wars. PlayBook features 1Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 1080p HD video playback and HDMI output.

Powered by BlackBerry Tablet OS with UI designed by QNX, RIM’s PlayBook is expected to hit retail shelves in April this year.

Which device you ultimately stump up for very much depends what you want from a tablet device. Apple’s iPad 2 has the massive advantage of being tied into the largest App Store on the planet, though many would also consider that to be its biggest weakness. If you’re the tinkering type, and prefer the more gritty approach of Android then the Xoom or Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be right up your street. The Android Market is constantly growing though the quality of apps perhaps isn’t quite there just yet, and Honeycomb promises a new raft of software specifically designed for tablets. HP’s offering is a real unknown at this point. A new OS, with new hardware from a company that hasn’t done well with mobile devices in the recent-past could prove disastrous though we doubt it. What we’ve already seen of the TouchPad looks mighty impressive, and the thought of webOS on a 9.7-inch screen excites us. Same goes for RIM’s BlackBerry powered PlayBook. Will there be enough apps for HP’s new tablet or RIM’s PlayBook? That’s the real question.

Ultimately the decision as to which tablet is right for you is a personal one. Many will plump for the safety and security of iOS while others want the power of Android. A few will even want to take a chance on the TouchPad or PlayBook, and who could blame them? We’re not sure where our money will be going, but today’s iPad 2 announcement sure makes for an interesting few months ahead.

Is 2011 the year of the tablet? You betcha!


by Loren Paul

All Hail the New Age of The iPad  / Apple TV / Airplay Video App Updates (the Saviour of the Home Theater)

Update: 14 March 2011- I just learnt that Inmethod, (the great folks behind Air Video)  has an update pending with Apple Apps that fixes at least one minor issue with the iPad and AirPlay.

Folks may not realize it yet but things will never be the same.

Now you can use your iPad , Apple TV,  and 3rd Party Apps like Air Video to access your entire movie library with ease with the updated Airplay.

Back when the iPad was introduced, there was already a challenge in the home theater world.

How best to make use or build the perfect home theatre / media library (and affordably). It required only a few parts;

1)      A Computer for downloading content (all legal of course).

2)      A lot of storage (best served by a NAS storage device)

3)      A media extender connected to your projector or big screen TV

4)      Everything in between to make it all work.

  • Ignoring for a moment item 4, the media extender was a hard one 6 months ago. Some used an Xbox others a Mac Mini, to connect both to the TV and the NAS (media storage). However the interface for the media extender back to the media storage library was not perfect. The Xbox would sync with some items and not others. Using a Mac Mini was near perfect using a computer screen GUI is not perfect either.
  • The iPad offered another opportunity; in that you could load it full of media then with Airplay on the Apple TV you could stream it direct to your big screen TV.
  • The Apple TV (2nd generation) was also good but limited. It offers a great simple interface, but has a big draw back as it doesn’t talk perfectly with a NAS unit and when it does doesn’t like non Mac formats (like avi, or wmv). Jail-breaking the apple TV got past some of this but again offered other challenges.
  • Well with the introduction of iOS 4.3, Apple has done perhaps the unimaginable.
  • They have offered the last piece of the puzzle, the golden chalice if you will, that now allows third party apps (like the amazing Air Video App),  that allow the iPad to be used as a control device for the Media Library.

Those with the first generation iPad could do a lot worse than keeping it as part of the media centre and buy a 2nd one for normal use .. just saying.

Air Video is a 3rd party app that streams video from your own Windows or Mac Home or Office Network your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch either wirelessly or over the Internet via http://www.inmethod.com/

On 9 March free updates were available for the iPad, Apple TV, iTunes  (Mac and PC), and the Air Video app


Ping and iTunes 10 is a Bit Pongy

Following the announcement by the keeper of unicorn tears at Apple (Steve Jobs of course) , of the ‘new’ iTunes 10 and especially Ping! all seemed good.  Perhaps this would be a shot across the bow to facebook, perhaps a complete (and needed) re-write of iTunes that would finally play well with Windows.

Unfortunately, on digging a bit below the surface, old and new flaws appear, and nothing  good. iTunes 10 and Windows still do not play well together, and this shows up especially if you have lots of content (iPhone, iPad) with lots of  none purchased  iTunes music, podcasts, apps etc. Some say this is because QuickTime for windows is 3 generations behind (doesn’t help), others say it is just that Apple and Microsoft hate each other. Well with iTunes 10 being launched last week this was a great opportunity for all things to be fixed. It did not happen.

Ping Me, Ping This

The other problem especially with Ping, is that it only works (barely so far), is if your music collection exists only in iTunes purchases. Being outside the US, and between late launches, and publishing issues and the fact a lot of my music collection pre-dates iTunes.  I never, ever got in the habit  of purchasing music on iTunes.  Even if I changed that today. Some of my favorite music is still not in iTunes, including  many some folks do not have period or would want (Beatles live in Melbourne Australia 1964 is a good example). I cannot be alone with that surely.

The Ping Email from Apple

Welcome to Ping. As you get started, here are some tips on how to get the most out of Ping:
Finding People to Follow
Ping makes it easy to find and follow your favorite artists and friends. In iTunes on your Mac or PC, select Ping and click Featured Artists or Featured People to find new or noteworthy Ping members. If you know someone already on Ping, you can search for them by name from the Ping home page. You can even check to see which of your Facebook friends also use Ping by connecting Ping to Facebook when editing your profile.
Your Recent Activity
The Ping home page makes it easy to see recent activity and popular songs from the people you follow. To see what a specific person has been up to, just click on their name. If you find something you like in iTunes, you can tell everyone that follows you by clicking “Like.” You can also recommend a song, album, or a person’s activity – and add your own comment – by pressing Post. And remember, you can always remove any activity you create by clicking Remove from your Profile page.
Purchases and Reviews
Ping automatically tells anyone that follows you whenever you purchase new music or write a review for an album. You’ll also see which of your friends have purchased a song or written a review right from the album page on the iTunes Store.
Going to Concerts
Whenever you follow an artist, Ping will automatically recommend upcoming concerts from that artist and even tell you which of your friends are also going. To see upcoming concerts for a given artist, click Concerts from their artist page in the iTunes Store.
These are just a few of the great new features of Ping. We’re excited to have you participate in a worldwide conversation with the world’s most passionate music fans.
Regards,
The iTunes Store Team
iTunes Store
http://www.itunes.com


Telstra Struggles to Activate iPad Users

31 May 2010
Mr-Internet

Not a problem but until you call

With the launch of iPads outside of the USA on the 28th of May, carriers around the globe had plenty of time to manage their networks, set-up processes, and customer service. Unfortunately it appears at least one infamous International carrier has already buckled in a form that is reminiscent of the USA’s AT&T. I speak of course of Telstra Australia. Australia almost the exact size the USA but with population of Holland, has been punished for years by a non-privatized part government owned incumbent telecommunications company. The monopolistic carrier failed miserably to handle the anticipated numbers of prepaid sims they provided to the apple stores. The iPads could be set-up as well as the carrier Telstra unfortunately the Telstra data connection set-up systems have failed preventing scores of folks from being able to connect to the Internet. People calling Telstra have spent hours on the phone to resolve the issue only to have Telstra cut customers off or tell them it is an Apple iPad issue. However, it has quickly shown up in support forums around the world to actually be a Telstra training issue. There appears to be no immediate fix in site and new iPad users are naturally frustrated.

Summary

The biggest issue is that consumers will be confused that they have can have 5 bars on their iPad, but the iPad service (data) has not been activated, though the instructions mention it.  Why the data and the carrier service could not be activated on line via iTunes, amazes me, and why apple staff could not tell you (when you buy the sim from them), that you will get 5 bars of service but still need to activate the sim also amazes me.

Update

Only 72 hours and after 6 attempts, and holding for 10 minutes the last time, (after holding for 2 hours previously) after buying the 3G iPad, I have been able to activate my iPad data plan. I was told it would then take 2 hours for the activation to take place.  The telstra call centre in the Phillipines was very nice and at least they stay on the phone with the user whilst the systems activate the sim. This took 10 minutes, but I have to think there has to be a better way.

Twitter


Just when it looked like they had not pooched it again.

  • Apple store site has removed the date in June the iPad will be delivered for pre-orders. In Australia the last date was 7 June and the retail stores have now changed the wording.
  • Apple retail stores have been told to tell customers,  ‘they (the iPads) will be delivered in June ‘sometime’  but they (the retail store) are not involved in pre-orders, if you want an iPad you need to go to a retail store and wait in line with everyone else”.
  • It is believed more stock has been shipped to the retail stores to help stalled sales figures. Previously items like the iPhone could be reserved then paid for and collected in the store. This was confirmed by Apple Chadstone, and the apple store web site on Sunday.

Further details are sketchy as they were for the iPhone. Then even on the day of the launch Telstra stores (corporate and retail) were not aware that the iPhones form retail stores were unlocked but were locked from the stores and pricing was all over the place.

Apple iPad Wi-Fi Fixes Summary

Posted: April 26, 2010 in Apple
Tags: , , , , , ,


And why you will might be better off if you do.

“Not since Moses has there been so much excitement over a tablet”

The Magic
Apple amazed the tech work with selling an estimated 500,000 Wi-Fi only iPads in the first week of sales in the USA only.   Considering 300-350,000 of these were purchased sight unseen (or touched) as they were pre-ordered, it is pretty amazing.

Australia and the rest of the world can pre-order 10 May and receive their units the end of May.

Then they will need to decide if they will get a Wi-Fi only model or a combined Wi-Fi / 3G combined models, the only difference being the extra cost of the 3G device and of course the running cost of 3G data plans in Australia.

Steve Jobs

Apple Guru and co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs described the device as ‘magic’ (many times in his recent unveiling). Many now agree with the feel of an iPhone but 4 times larger there is a comfortable feel about the device. Using it, the screen almost seems 3D, due to the video card built into the device.

Some like the iPad considering it unique to computing others do not see the point of it.

In my case I wanted a device (Apple or PC), that I could listen to audio books, read books and pdfs, and listen to media especially videos (podcasts and movies) and of course games whilst being mobile on public transport, airports or even at work not wanting to be in violation of internal internet issues.  The iPhone is great but bigger in this case is definitely better.

So for some the iPad is just a device 3-4 times bigger than an iPhone or an iPod Touch. As the iPad doesn’t make std. phone calls even with 3 . However, you can Skype and make phone calls Wi-Fi or 3G aspects

Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi/3G

This begins the drama of it all. Yes you can choose between 16,32, 04 64GB storage, but why would I not spend  an extra $100-150 and get the 3G model and have both.  I believe for 2 reasons. Cost and Battery Life.  The estimated prices are below in AUD.

Model 16GB 32GB 64GB
Wi-Fi Only $570 $680 $800
Wi-Fi / 3G $720 $830 $945

Updated 20 May – wow I was pretty close on my predictions I added 6% over US (non taxed) pricing above
below is with 10% GST from the apple store

Model 16GB 32GB 64GB
Wi-Fi Only 629 $759 $879
Wi-Fi / 3G $799 $928 $1049

with GST

To date my understanding is the 3G model will NOT allow users to make std.  phone calls on it.
Knowing now expensive and out of control data costs can be on an iPhone. I would be loath to let my child grown or otherwise have 3G, unless it is pay as you go.

Both Telstra and Optus have announced they will have a data plan for the new iPad 3G whether it will be a plan with a contract or pay as you go we do not know yet,  but is assumed it will be more expensive than the cheapest plans available today, as all other carriers like Virgin, Three, Vodafone and others have made the data plans for mobile broadband (3G) competitive. The catch on the new iPad is it will require a special new sim card so you cannot use your existing one from your other carriers you do today (not too easily). Make way for new technology and a new choice.

Do it yourself Wi-Fi/3G

A mere 2 years ago a wonderful new device hit Australia. Looking like a regular USB memory stick,  it houses a regular 3G sim card from your standard mobile carrier or has no sim card but allows customers to get 3G for their phone or laptop as long as you have a pc/laptop  to plug the USB device into. Great for the office and has some mobility but not very handy otherwise.  These USB 3G Broadband Modems  are available from all the carriers so data plans are very competitive.  Most of these 3G modems are locked to a single carrier preventing you from changing plans or carriers very easily, but work very well, but are NOT 100% portable again as you need a PC to connect the unit to power it, and run its software.

Newish Products & Technology

New on the market are a couple of devices that offer all the benefits of 3G USB sticks but none of the drama (e.g. no pc required after initial set-up).  There are 2 main versions of this and they both act a bit differently.  They both offer you a Wi-Fi  hotspot , have 5 hours of rechargeable battery life and get bandwidth from  the commoditised 3G broadband market.

Option 1 – Virgin Locked Rechargeable 3g mobile broadband no USB needed-

About the size of a large USB stick or small box of matches, and available from Dick Smith, and others , here in Australia,  the Virgin mobile Wi-Fi modem , allows you to share the device with 3 devices at the same time and even has a Micro SD slot in case you want to add some memory to the device as well to use as a memory stick.  The upside it is it is small and battery operated lasting up to 5 hours. Data Plans from virgin are competitive.

Option 2- Rechargeable 3g mobile broadband no USB needed, /BYO USB  3g Modem stick.

A bit more complicated but just as exciting, The other option is the new NetComm 3GT1WN 3G wireless N, travel Router. Priced the same as the virgin device it does things slightly differently. In this case you will need to buy (or you might have one) a usb 3G modem. So the idea is it is still battery operated but you need to plug in your USB memory stick into it (rather than a pc alone). The advantage is it has a LAN port so you can connect it hard wired to a device if needed. It is also 802.11 N offering connection speeds up to 150mbs between it and your device.

Security

Both devices offer the security STD.  WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security so you don’t have someone else suck your bandwidth.  Pocket-sized it is a better unit but you have a bit more work to do setting it up with the USB modem.

Why do it Yourself?
So an obvious question is if it costs $150 more for the 3G iPad unit why spend $150 on one of the devices above.  For me it was blindingly obvious, with the additional device I can use it as a travel router on anything that takes Wi-Fi  as well as the iPad, my phone, laptop, or share it with a friend,. if you choose.  Also the cost of the data will likely be cheaper this way than a dedicated plan form one of the big carriers.  Yes it might be possible to set-up an ad-hoc network from the iPad, but I think that gets messy. For me the idea of having a small device that can do it all is battery powered is a great idea and using both was a breeze.

Additional Considerations

3g Broadband Plans– Regardless of what 3G plan you get or from which carrier, there is one that best suits your needs. But remember the more data you buy the longer it is before it expired. I made the mistake of buying cheaper data plans $15 or $20, not using it then having it expire on me. Another option is to spend around $150 for a plan that only expires after 12 months.  If you are not sure how much bandwidth you will need you can also buy a cheap amount at first and explore from there.

Using your phone as a Wi-Fi router- I would be remiss if I did not mention this option. There are many many phones even very cheap ones that will act as a wi-fi router per above. However most have their limitations.

The iPhone as a Wi-Fi router (via tethering)
Steve Jobs has said publicly you will not be able to tether the iPhone to the iPad as obvious as it seems. Hackers figured it out almost immediately and on a hacked or jail-broken phone you have an app called  ‘My-Wi’ another called ‘PDANET’ that apparently works very well. I prefer not to jailbreak my iPhone, but this is a good option as well.  I would rather jailbreak my phone than buy the 3G iPad based on information to date.

Updated 20 May 2010- rumours are out that the iPhone 4.0 will allow tethering form the iphone and to the iPad.
We will see next month hopefully

Mi-FI


All the geek rage in the USA and in limited runs here in Australia is the Mi-FI  unit currently only available form Internode in South Australia. Costing between 350-400 it does nothing different than the virgin unit, and is made by Novatel.

Final Thoughts

Wifi, MiFi, or MyWi, the decision is yours. My guess is once Apple realize the black market (mywi) or MiFi alternatives are costing them sales, they will work to allow tethering to the iPad . Perhaps a feature they will have on the new iPhone 4.0 in June

Updated 20 May 2010-

Looks like telstra is now allowing roll over of data usage for the iPad and no locked in contracts. This is a show stopper/maker making in my opinion, the iPad 3G using Telstra data as the best device. I cannot now see why the majorit of folks would use the travel router/modem model. THe except ion is for folks that want to use it for multiple devices (ipad, laptop or iPhone if using a different 3G carrier)

I have a Wi-Fi only iPad and am using the virgin model. I live outside the Melbourne CBD (mornington peninsula) , at home the 3G signal in the middle of nowhere is good and I get fast Wi-Fi to the iPad. But in the car (driving or standing still) I lose signal a lot of the time (90%)  My guess is that the technology for getting the 3G signal sending it via wi-fi to the iPad, and the iPad using that signal there is a dropout.  The obvious answer is there is no coverage here. Per the virgin 3g coveraeg map here it shows 100% coverage by a wide area. With 3G there I believe  is an arrangement that carriers will share each others signal towers in dropout areas. However I am not sure if this same principal works with the huwei/virgin/wifi device, but it is unusable where I am.

I am off to CeBIT in Sydney next week so will try it out there.


Apple slows iTunes Voucher Black Market
by Mr-Internet

At long last 18 days after its release the  iPad apps are now on iTunes outside of the USA, sorta.

You have to go to apps and type in iPad, then click all. Last week you would have seen 6 apps now they are all there,

minus a few that will not work like USA TV channels etc.

Hopefully Apple realized they were helping fund the black market in iTunes’ vouchers from the USA