Interested in Apple’s take on a satellite phone? The Patently Apple website discussed a patent application that Apple filed with the US Patent & Trademark Office regarding a future iPhone equipped with satellite communications technology.
Apple filed its patent application in the fourth quarter of 2012. Intriguingly, Apple itself did not develop the patent; instead, the Company had acquired it, meaning the design is much older than the date of its application implies it to be.
Using satellites for personal and business communications has become vital in global communication networks. Users can send and receive communication signals over a significant coverage area through satellite communications systems.
The patended Apple device will feature a method and system that can improve links in diverse communications systems, be they satellite-based or others. The system adjusts timing offsets, sharing/reallocating timing misalignments, and other scheduling and zoning methods that reschedule the transmissions of mobile stations sharing the same zone.
Apple’s latest brainchild is not limited to the mobile-to-satellite communication link. It can also be applied to all communication links regardless of the direction of the information transfer.
The new satellite communications device is also exceedingly focused on engineering aspects. The patent application is presented in a low key and reveals little about future applications planned by Apple.
There are, however, clues to be gleaned from the potential benefits that a satellite phone can provide to users in remote locations- say, on mountaintops or aboard cruise liners. In addition, it is also logical that Apple plans to deliver movie and television services through its planned satphone.
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Demand for gadgets running on Google’s Android platform has surged and just last week, it was announced that the OS already has 72% of the global smartphone market share. Three out of four smartphones are now running on Android and experts say Google will continue taking a bite on Apple’s share as consumer continue to look for an innovative and low-cost alternative to the iPhone and even iPad devices running on the closed ecosystem of the iOS.
Google’s OS has been a key factor in the rise of smartphones since Android was introduced back in 2008. Apple’s hold on the tablet market has also been affected, with shares falling to 50% from 65%, as more Android devices gain tract. Experts point out to Android’s stretch across a variety of smartphone and tablet manufacturers which cover a large range of price points as key to its success.
Just last week, it was announced Samsung’s Galaxy S3 overtook the iPhone 4s as the world’s best selling smartphone, and the South Korean tech giant is just one of many companies launching devices on the Android platform. Google’s fast-paced innovation has also been hurting Apple, as Android benefits from its open source platform, allowing users to freely improve the OS, providing crucial insights to Google along the way, and delivering the necessary feedback for constant innovation. On the other hand, Apple has been very tight in controlling its products’ software and hardware.
According to Gartner Inc, sales of smartphone and tablet computers will surpass the one billion mark by 2013, as sales for 2012 are already making its way to 821 million. The technology research and advisory firm said that they expect sales of smart device to be around 1.2 billion by next year.
Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, explained that although these smart devices will not replace the desktop computers, more consumers especially businesses, will embrace the technology and look into strategies that will maximize the use of the said devices, making them even more ubiquitous.
The Stamford-based research firm also forecasted that “two-thirds of the mobile workforce” will own a smartphone by 2016. Milanesi notes that tablets will also be more pronounced as a business tool, with over 13 million already in used this year. By 2016, the numbers are expected to rise to 53 million.
Android-devices would still take a lion’s share of the smartphone market in the coming years. Gartner estimates that by 2016, 56% of smartphones used in Europe and North America will be Android-based. Google is challenging tech-giant Apple with its more open smartphone eco-system which is winning more customers.
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Is Apple planning to steal Microsoft’s spotlight?
The Redmond-based tech giant is scheduled for a historic launch of the Windows 8 and the Surface tablet-device on Friday but Apple is already set to announce tomorrow the iPad mini which could possibly take the attention away from Microsoft.
According to experts, Apple is set to introduced the smaller, and cheaper iPad tablet tomorrow. Some expect the new device to be priced below $500 and could go as low as $250. At half-the size of the original iPad, Apple is looking into biting the market share competitor Microsoft hopes to tap with its Surface tablet. Based on market research, devices, in particular tablet computers, priced around $300 do well in terms of sales.
On the other hand, software giant Microsoft, is spending over a billion dollars in what is billed as its “most important and historic” launch since the introduction of the Windows 95. The company is also launching the Surface tablet, priced between $559 to $789, which is equipped with 64GB worth of storage, a 10.6-inch screen which uses Microsoft’s ClearType HD display technology. It will also feature two-kinds of keyboards – the Type Cover with physical keys, and the pressure-sensitive Touch Cover – both of which connect to the Surface via magnetic strips.
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