As the teams battle away on the Clash of the Coders, ideas are quickly becoming reality as developers are hard at work on their projects.
Some projects are, admittedly, utilitarian. Now is a great opportunity for devs to create in-house tools for use during the rest of the year. In a shop that caters to Android as well as iOS development, tracking and managing dozens of Android variations can prove a big challenge, as BNR works to create apps for many-shaped phones and tablets.
Other projects are all about the fun. One team is building a giant joystick, another electronically scrubbing already-started crosswords from the backs of those on-line airline magazines.
One of my favorite projects, however, is less technological than inspirational. The Carter Center has been monitoring the eradication of the guinea worm, a parasite that's been documented throughout human history. A Nerd Ranch team is working on an app to promote awareness.
In 1986, when the center first started its campaign there were 3.5 million cases reported across Africa and Asia. By 2012, that number had dropped to just 542. "Guinea worm disease is poised to be the next human disease after smallpox to be eradicated," writes the Carter website.
The team's app offers background, support links and -- if they manage to pull it off -- a countdown clock that reflects the success on the war of the guinea worm over time.
Do any of the teams have a lock on the win? It's still too early to tell.
Big Nerd Ranch Clash of the Coders: Projects originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 03 May 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Apple has announced its annual "Red Friday" Chinese New Year sale. The sale will take place this Friday, January 25th from 12:01AM to 11:59PM SGT. The sale is valid at Apple's online store in Hong Kong, Malaysia, China, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan.
The Asian market -- and China in particular -- is of increasing importance to Apple and its Red Friday sale, which originated last year, is a sign of that. There are no details yet as to what deals will be had, but last year the deals included 8 percent off iPads and 10 percent off iPod touches, plus a HK$770 discount on MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros and iMacs.
The term "Red Friday" is derived from the term "Black Friday," which originated in the United States and is the Friday after Thanksgiving when holiday sales have traditionally kicked off. Chinese New Year -- or the Lunar New Year -- is as big a holiday as Christmas in many parts of Asia. This year Chinese New Year takes place on February 10th. Apple launched a Chinese New Year gift guide earlier this month.
Apple's Chinese New Year sale begins Jan 25 originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 22 Jan 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Apple CEO Tim Cook promised during the last earnings conference call that the iPhone 5 would be available in 100 countries worldwide by the end of year and the recent December 21 launch of the phone in Southeast Asia, Africa and the Caribbean helped the company reach that milestone.
According to Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Apple 2.0, Apple's latest handset quietly debuted in St. Kitts, Barbados, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Egypt, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, St. Lucia, St.Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Uganda. Apple didn't announce this end-of-the-year roll out, but one local report suggests the launch of the phone was greeted with a small line of eager customers.
iPhone 5 launches in Africa, Caribbean and Southeast Asia originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 27 Dec 2012 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
The opening of two new Apple Stores, one in Shenzhen this last weekend and the Wangfujing store in Beijing in late October, is a sure sign of Apple's strengthening control of its distribution channels in China. Now Patently Apple is reporting that the company has reduced the number of licensed distributors from four to two, relying on its own stores, electronics retailers and premium resellers.
Two nationwide licensed distributors, Beijing Founder Century Information Systems and Beijing Hanlinhui Information Industry, confirmed with Shanghai's First Financial Daily that they had lost their distribution deals. Century Founder is now serving as a premium reseller, opening its own stores in Henan, Hebei and Hanlinhui rather than distributing Apple products to other resellers. Those stores tend to make most of their income off of Apple product accessories, which have a profit margin of more than 30 percent, while the margin on Apple equipment is a slim 8 percent.
First Financial Daily also reported that the iPad mini launch drew smaller crowds in the Asian market than for other Apple products in the past. The Hong Kong Store reportedly had fewer customers than staff on hand, the Sydney, Australia store had about 50 people in line, and the Tokyo and Seoul stores both had about 100 customers in line at the opening.
Apple halves number of licensed distributors in China originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 05 Nov 2012 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
The second annual Macworld | iWorld Asia event has begun in Beijing this week. IDG has hosted the conference twice now to serve the growing number of Mac, iPhone, and iPad users in China. It sounds a lot like San Francisco's version of Macworld | iWorld, with dev conferences, a big keynote event, and an open exhibition floor, with exhibitors like LaCie, Macally, and Logitech showing their wares.
One thing San Francisco doesn't have that Macworld | iWorld Asia does is a "Macworld Girl" beauty contest, which apparently is a common happening at conferences in China and that area. But other than that, the event sounds just about as popular as the one in San Francisco, with about the same stuff to see.
| iWorld Asia, in case you're there or want to go over there (good luck with that), continues through August 5.
Macworld |originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 02 Aug 2012 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
A company called Campaign Asia-Pacific has released the results of its latest survey, examining the popularity of various brands in Asia. Apple has reached number two on the list. The company from Cupertino has topped big names like Sony and Panasonic, and jumped up along with Nestle (which is also growing hugely in Asia lately) to take the second spot inside the top five.
But Apple still has a little climb to go. Samsung is currently still the top brand in the Asia region, and that's a company that's going head up against Apple itself, both in patent battles and on retail shelves. But Apple's growth is still huge, especially when you consider that this is a survey of all consumer brands. Clearly, consumers in that region are interested in high quality electronics, and Apple's making a big push to get noticed over there as best it can.
Apple becomes Asia's second most popular brand originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 05 Jul 2012 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
It's a gold rush in China as investors line up to cash in on Apple's success by buying up shares in Apple's Asian suppliers, says a report in Reuters. Chinese law prevents investors from buying Apple directly, so many are turning to firms Apple mentioned on its recent supplier list. Even companies rumored to be an Apple supplier are benefitting from this enthusiasm for anything related to the Cupertino company.
Analyst Zhou Feng of Donghai Securities Co. said, "Investors want to share in Apple's growth as they believe sales of iPhones and iPads will remain strong." We will see how strong these sales are later today when Apple announces its quarterly earnings for Q2 2012.
Chinese customers investing in Apple's suppliers originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Now that the iPad's been announced and launched, it's time for the rumor mill to start churning out gossip on the next generation iPhone. The latest report comes from a Maeil Business Newspaper via Reuters and claims the next iPhone will sport a 4.6-inch display. An unnamed industry source provided this tidbit, so I wouldn't place any bets just yet.
If you want to see what a 4.6-inch handset looks like in real life, then head down to Verizon Wireless and scope out the Galaxy Nexus. You might be surprised by how big a phone has to be to accommodate such a screen.
The rumors have begun: next iPhone to get a bigger screen? originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 23 Mar 2012 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
A one-day "Red Friday" sale on Apple's online store has hit several Asian countries in celebration of the Lunar New Year, including China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. Discounts on the Hong Kong store are broadly similar to the modest discounts Apple offered during its Black Friday promotion, with one-day price reductions of no more than ten percent on Apple's own gear.
Discounts on third-party accessories are a bit more generous, so if you're looking for a case or some other accessory for your Mac, iPhone, or iPad, the one-day Red Friday sale may be a great time to buy.
Apple's Red Friday sale runs for the rest of today only, so if you live in one of the eligible countries be sure to check it out.
Apple's 'Red Friday' sales launch in several Asian countries originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 05 Jan 2012 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Tablet component suppliers in Asia are concerned about the lack of competition in the tablet market. The iPad is the dominant player and is driving the growth in the industry. This is great now that the iPad is growing 166% year over year, but it doesn't bode well for the future when iPad sales reach their saturation point.
Other tablet manufacturers are either dropping out of the race completely or proceeding cautiously. As a result, these companies are ordering small volume orders which won't help component suppliers when the demand for the iPad sales begin to level off.
To combat this possible slowdown, component suppliers are reportedly working hard to meet the demands of these trailing tablet makers. Second tier component suppliers, in particular, are more flexible and willing to accept these smaller orders. These suppliers are likely grabbing orders while they can and hope that one of these competing tablets will catch on before iPad demand begins to plateau.
Tablet component suppliers concerned over iPad's dominance originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 24 Oct 2011 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Apple supposedly cut its fourth quarter orders for iPad components by 25%, according to a report from Bloomberg. This adjustment may have a financial effect on suppliers and manufacturers like Foxconn, but may not hurt Apple. Some analysts, like Mark Moskowitz of JPMorgan, are not adjusting their outlook and still expect Apple to sell 10 to 12 million iPad units in the last two quarters of 2011.
Before customers begin to panic about reduced inventory and product shortages, some analysts believe this reduction was part of Apple's strategy to compete with other tablet manufacturers. In this scenario, Apple ordered high and locked up suppliers and manufacturers so their competitors would be at a disadvantage. Now that this quarter is approaching, the Cupertino company is adjusting its orders down to a lower level.
Other analysts believe Apple is responding to weakening demand for the iPad and global economic conditions. Analyst Wanli Wang of RBS Asia Ltd., says, "It's back to reality. Now it seems even for Apple, due to the market situation, we need to be conservative." It's also possible Apple is cutting production in advance of the iPad 3 launch early next year. It may also be shifting some of its manufacturing to Brazil.
Apple reportedly cuts orders for iPad parts originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 26 Sep 2011 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Apple is experiencing explosive growth in China, overtaking computer manufacturer Lenovo in its home country. Lenovo, though, is not threatened by Apple's success and notes that the companies are competing in two different markets. CEO Yang Yuanquing said, "Their (Apple) calculation includes the phone business but Lenovo's main focus is in PCs; our phone business isn't that strong even in China."
This is a situation Lenovo hopes to change by introducing a variety of Android and Windows tablets in the coming years. Unlike Apple which targets the high-end market with its US$499 iPad, Lenovo will focus on all tiers of the tablet market. Yang hopes to gain tablet market share by introducing mid and low-range devices that appeal to low-income customers in the smaller cities and townships. "We will be one of the strongest of the players in this area," Yang reportedly told the Financial Times.
Lenovo: Apple won't dominate tablets forever originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 22 Aug 2011 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Apple is prepping its Asian suppliers to begin production of the next generation iPad in October, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Cupertino company has placed orders for about 1.5 million iPad 3 tablets. Apple is targeting a launch in early 2012 which fits in perfectly with the company's current yearly upgrade schedule. Apple is reportedly ordering 9.7-inch displays with a resolution of 2048 x 1536, effectively doubling the resolution of the current iPad and iPad 2 display. Foxconn is the assembler of the iPad and has not commented on its future plans. Apple's Beijing spokeswoman Carolyn Wu also declined to comment.
Wall Street Journal suggests higher-resolution iPad next year originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 19 Aug 2011 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Not only are Mac sales going gangbusters in Asia, but the units moving over there have kicked Apple up a notch: The company has overtaken Lenovo for sales in the region. In terms of revenue, PC maker Lenovo (which has been growing rapidly in China and the surrounding region), pulls in about $2.8 billion, but this past quarter, Apple raked in $3.8 billion in the same area.
Now, there is a catch here, and that's that Apple is making Macs, iPhones, and iPads, while Lenovo is strictly a PC maker. These numbers apparently include sales of all devices, so it's not strictly kosher to compare these two companies in the region.
What is important to note is that Lenovo is experiencing huge growth in Asia, and Apple is growing even faster and larger than that. We've known for a while that growth in China is one of Apple's big goals as a company, and a figure like this shows that not only are they taking that goal seriously, but they're on the road to accomplishing it in a big way as well.
Apple surpasses Lenovo in China sales originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 18 Aug 2011 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
In past earnings conference calls, Apple has emphasized the important role of Asia in its future growth. And it's not just iPhones that are flying off the shelves. Mac shipments are also booming in the Asia-Pacific region. According to Needham analysts Charlie Wolf, Mac shipments rose 67.6% in the region and this explosive growth drove worldwide shipments to a staggering 55.2% year-over-year increase. Mac sales have been on the rise over the last six quarters, a trend that is only increasing and not slowing down.
Apple products are popular in Asia and its middle class, with discretionary income, is growing. If you need more proof, just look at all the fake Apple stores that are cropping up across China. They are trying to capitalize on Apple's success, too
Mac sales are booming in Asia originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 17 Aug 2011 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Apple might be growing in the US thanks to brisk sales of the MacBook Air and the expansion of the iPhone 4 to Verizon Wireless, but in Asia-Pacific, the Cupertino company is exploding. Over the past five years, Apple's revenue has climbed from US$14 billion in 2005 to $64 billion in 2010. During that time, international revenue grew a staggering 727%, while US revenue grew 268%. Profit showed a similar trend with Asia-Pacific increasing by a whopping 2,991% in the last five years. US profit also grew, but only at a comparatively small rate of 682%.
This upward trend is expected to continue in the current 2011 fiscal year. Last year, Apple reported $8.25 billion in sales to the Asia-Pacific region. We are half way through this year and Apple has already reached $5 billion in sales. Its sales are expected to quadruple year-over-year and Apple hasn't even tapped into China's lucrative mobile phone market.
Apple sells the iPhone through China Unicom which has 170 million subscribers, a number that pales in comparison with 600 million subscribers on China Mobile. Overall, China has over 900 million mobile phone users. If Apple could produce an iPhone for China Mobile and China Telecom, its resulting revenue and profits could go off the charts.
Apple's Asia-Pacific profits reportedly soaring originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 28 Jun 2011 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Thanks to steadily increasing iPad and iPhone market shares in countries such as China and South Korea, iOS apps are booming in Asia. The download volume of iOS apps in Asian countries grew significantly over the past six months, while their Western counterparts such as the United States saw a decrease in download volume during the same time frame.
China is now the second largest market for iOS apps after the United States, and is followed by countries such as South Korea, where the number of apps downloaded per device is one of the highest worldwide.
But high growth doesn’t necessarily mean great opportunity: developers who are hoping to bank on this recent boom should not rejoice too fast, as while the download volumes in Asia increased in general, the proportion of paid downloads and the overall revenue still lag behind when compared to the United States and Europe. And since in-app purchases are almost non-existent in Asia, developers have no choice but to look for other ways to make money, such as advertising.
Free vs. Paid Apps Ratio in Asia – Free is king
Unlike Europe, South America and the U.S., where the top apps are roughly the same, the most popular iOS apps sold in Asia are only popular in Asia, with apps such as iBunko, Taiwan Mahjong, taiko no tatsujin and ComicShelf. In other words, localization is key to becoming popular especially when considering countries like China, South Korea, and Japan.
It's been another rough week for Foxconn, Apple's biggest manufacturing partner. After an explosion at a Foxconn factory killed three workers last Friday, the Chinese government urged the manufacturer and other Taiwanese companies to better ensure the safety of their employees.
"We hope Foxconn and other Taiwanese firms can learn lessons from this, carry out safety responsibilities, step up internal oversight, stamp out potential safety risks in a timely manner, and ensure safe production," Fan Liqing, a spokeswoman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Wednesday.
Friday's deadly explosion rocked a Foxconn polishing workshop in Chengdu, a city in southwest China, where workers put the finishing touches on electronic products for many of the world's largest brands, including Apple. Immediately after the blast, the local government began rescue efforts and an investigation into its cause. So far, investigators believe the explosion was the result of a "production safety accident," according to Fan, who didn't go into further details about the cause of the incident. Previous reports suggest that combustible dust in the polishing workshop ignited to fuel the blast.
In response to the incident, Foxconn has temporarily suspended operations at all of its workshops that polish electronics in China and, according to Fan, the manufacturer pledged to "make an all out effort" to treat the injured workers, reassure the families of their employees, and remove hidden safety risks "in accordance with relevant requirements."
Foxlink, one of Apple's component suppliers and primary retail partners in Asia, revealed plans to expand its chain of Apple specialty shops in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea. The Taiwan-based company aims to double the number of stores it operates in the region from 50 locations to 100 by the end of the year.
Similarly, Foxconn, another of Apple's biggest partners, also has plans to build more locations for its chain of Cybermart electronics outlets in China. One of Foxconn's new locations, in Changchun, China, will dedicate 200 square meters exclusively to Apple products. Other Cybermarts are expected to open in Xiamen, Zhengzhou, Taiyuan, Tianjin, Xinjiang, and Kunming.
China represents a huge opportunity for growth for Apple. The Cupertino company operates four of its own stores in the nation that have become its most visited and highest revenue generating locations in the world. Even so, Apple relies heavily on third party resellers to promote its hardware and software in Asia.
Apple kicked off sales of the white iPhone 4 yesterday and the launch in China was marked by long lines and steady sales. According to interviews from those in line, many Asian consumers passed on the black version of the handset and waited for the white variant to make its debut. Sales were so strong that the white version is reportedly sold out in Beijing, one of China's largest cities. Hong Kong sales were also brisk with reports suggesting the available stock of the white iPhone 4 sold out in one hour.
This demand for the white iPhone 4 was forecast by Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities. The analyst predicted sales of the white version would be strong in Asia where white is a desirable color. Besides delivering on a promise to launch the white iPhone 4 this spring, the launch of the white model will also keep Apple iPhone sales strong in the current quarter. Last quarter, Apple sold over 18 million iPhones globally.