Thursday, December 5, 2013
The rumors have come to pass, and Apple and China Mobile have signed a deal to launch the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in China. According to the Wall Street Journal, China Mobile and Apple have signed the contract and the 700 million subscribers the Chinese carrier has in its customer base will soon be able to purchase their new iPhones.
China Mobile is the largest carrier in the world by subscriber count, and a 700 million head market is a big stroke for Apple. That means that China Mobile’s customer base is around two times the entire population of the U.S. This deal has been in the making for several years, with Apple executives trying to get a contract inked with the giant wireless provider. No doubt the carrier will see great success with the iPhone launch to its customer base, which is largely made up of China’s middle class.
Apple has been marketing the iPhone in China, and the country is the second largest market for the Cupertino company, coming in behind the United States. However, Apple has been losing ground to other smartphone manufacturers, including Xiaomi. The reason for this is that competitors often offer cheaper options than the iPhone, which attracts more users.
In September, Apple was able to gain clearance from the Chinese government to allow China Mobile to operate the iPhone on its wireless network. This was a big victory for Apple, and quite possibly what has fueled the rumors surrounding the deal for the last few months. Earlier this week, China Mobile also made progress with the government, securing permission to operate a fourth generation network. This new type of network uses TD-LTE technology, which is extremely fast, and will replace the 3G network currently in place.
This deal could mean a huge boost for Apple in the coming weeks. The launch is rumored to be happening on December 18th, so we don’t have long to wait until we find out just how big this deal is for both companies.
|Credit: Charles Dapharak/ AP|
Blackberry has managed to keep one loyal customer while enduring the loss of millions of others to companies like Apple and Samsung. President Obama has said that he is not allowed to use an iPhone because it is a security risk. He told a group that because of “security reasons” an iPhone is off limits, and instead he uses a Blackberry device.
Blackberry Turning Sour
Blackberry was once the device of choice, but in recent years the company has slipped from the forefront of the market to become a distant memory in the minds of a 30 plus generation. The company shed market share to Apple after the advent of the iPhone, and Samsung and other manufacturers have been eating away at what was left of the manufacturer’s customer base.
Blackberry has struggled just to maintain and even keel of late, and recently its CEO, Thorsten Heins, was ousted and replaced by John Chen. The company’s board hopes that Chen can turn the struggling smartphone maker around, but in the meantime, any customer held on to is a plus. The fact that the president of the United States is a loyal customer could be a major advertising boon for the company.
Apple Growing Sweeter
Apple has become a world leader in the mobile market, with its iPhone taking the world by storm. The iPad tablet line has also been a very successful product for Apple and will no doubt help bolster sales during the holiday shopping season. The release of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c last year have carried Apple through the year, and the recent launch of the iPad Miniwith Retina Display and the iPad Air have boosted its numbers.
While Blackberry may have succeeded in keeping Apple from entering the White House, Apple may very well be the force that places Blackberry execs in the poor house if Chen can’t straighten the ailing company out.
Want to see the difference in the iPad Air and the new Galaxy Note 10.1 model? Then take a look at this, as the two products are compared. Awesome spec comparison of the two tablets.
From the tops of massive wind turbines to 50 feet below the surface of the water, the iPad has become a necessary part of many people's lives. Check out this awesome video from Apple detailing how iPad can be used in places you may have never thought it was possible to take a tablet.
Facebook and Twitter have been hacked on a global scale. I know this sounds absurd, but the fact is that both of these networks have been compromised due to the use of simple passwords. This cannot be blamed on a lack of security by Facebook or Twitter. Instead, this one falls directly on the users’ heads.
Trustwave is a Chicago based company that specializes in cyber security. The company posted to its blog that more than 2 million accounts on the Internet, including some on Facebook and Twitter, have been compromised by the “Pony” botnet controller virus. The virus is a piece of malware that spies on your computer via a keylogging script. It was spread around to computers all over the world, leaving many of them exposed to the hack.
Trustwave tracked the activities of the virus to a server in the Netherlands. They managed to do this through an “elite team of ethical hackers,” which successfully traced the information that had been stolen. According to SpiderLabs, Trustwave’s “hacking division,” said that some 650,000 sets of website credentials were stolen in a blog post last June. This was done through the Pony, version 1.9. However, according to the latest report, this time the theft was a very “stable and consistent operation” while the report from June described a more “hit and run” setup.
This time around, 1,580,000 website login credentials and 320,000 email logins were stolen through a server in the Netherlands. The server was first spotted on November 24th, and the accounts that have been compromised are numerous.
Here is a breakdown of the numbers:
· Facebook – 318,121
· Yahoo – 59,549
· Google – 54,437
· Twitter – 21,708
· Odnoklassniku (Russian social network) – 9,321
· LinkedIn – 8,490
· ADP (Payroll solutions provider) – 7,798
These accounts were compromised by a lack of private security by users who chose weak passwords. If your password is “password” or “123456,” then you’re at a much higher risk of being hacked than if you chose “SupercaliFragilisticExpealidocious.” While that might seem a bit over the top, I am sure that the account holders at ADP who found their money managing accounts compromised would disagree with you wholeheartedly.
According to John Miller, a security manager at Trustwave, there was “no evidence” that the hackers actually logged into the accounts. However, he admitted there was no proof otherwise, saying, “but they probably did.”
The bottom line is that if you want to be secure in today’s world, you should choose a password that’s hard to guess. Trustwave has compiled a list of passwords they consider to be extremely insecure, and are suggesting users do not ever incorporate into any online accounts.
Stay away from these passwords at all costs, and protect yourself from attacks like this one. Trustwave did note that most of the accounts that were compromised were located in the Netherlands, however, that is not to say someone will not target the U.S. in the next attack.