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Briefly: 70K iPhones in Germany; HD DVD cuts; Office 2008 flaw

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Germans have purchased only 70,000 iPhones since the handset went on sale in November. Meanwhile, HD DVD is said to be on its last leg, prompting Toshiba to slash the price of its HD DVD players across the board. And Microsoft is promising to fix a flaw discovered in its just-release Office 2008 suite for Mac.

T-Mobile iPhone sales

Deutsche Telekom, which umbrellas T-Mobile Germany, said on Saturday it has signed up 70,000 iPhone customers in the 11 weeks since November 9, 2007.

That means Germans are buying just over 900 of the touch-screen handsets each day, a rate considerably slower than that of French consumers, who according to France Telecom's latest numbers are purchasing the device at a rate of over 1,600 per day.

"The iPhone is by far the most sold multimedia device in T-Mobile's portfolio," the head of T-Mobile Germany, Philipp Humm, said.

Earlier this month, Apple said it had shipped over 4 million iPhones in total since the device launched in late June, though there has been some recent controversy over how many of the handsets remain idle in retail channels.

The demise of HD DVD

Price cuts by Toshiba on its HD DVD players in the U.S. earlier this month may prove to be "useless resistance" in the battle against the rival Blu-ray Disc optical disc format, according to Gartner.

The market research firm predicts Blu-ray Disc to win the battle against HD DVD by the end of the year.

Following a loss of support from Hollywood studio Warner Bros., Toshiba said it will cut the price of its HD-A3 player in half, to $149.99 from $299.99, while its higher end models, the HD-A30 and HD-A35 will sell for $199.99 and $299.99, respectively.

Online retailer Amazon.com is already reflecting the price cuts, and then some. It's listing the HD-A3 at $126, with the HD-A30 and HD-A35 priced at $153 and $239, respectively.

Office 2008 for Mac security flaw

Microsoft has acknowledged a security flaw in its recently released Office 2008 suite and has promised an update to fix the issue. The installer flaw, reported earlier this week, incorrectly grants ownership of the files to a particular local user as it installs them, allowing a second local user -- without administrative access -- to modify the Office 2008 install.

According to the company, the issue, however, does not expose the Office 2008 install to modifications by any networked user account or to any local account other than the second one created on your Mac. The Mac BU says that it is working on an update to Office 2008 that will automatically fix the file ownership (will be made available via Microsoft's AutoUpdate tool and via a web download), but offered a set of terminal commands users can run to repair the issue if the suite has already been installed.
post #2 of 24
Why would anyone run Microsoft Office on a Mac? NeoOffice is so much better, as well as being free.
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post #3 of 24
"The demise of HD DVD".

Yes, please. ASAP. Blu-ray is so much better. And also better for backups!
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The market research firm predicts Blu-ray Disc to win the battle against HD DVD by the end of the year.

Predicts? Just because HD-DVD hasn't left the feild doesn't mean Blu-ray hasn't already won.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

Why would anyone run Microsoft Office on a Mac? NeoOffice is so much better, as well as being free.

The last time I used Neo Office it was a horror to use. Sincerely asking, why is it better?
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post #5 of 24
"has signed up 70,000 iPhone customers"

That's different from "sold". Each customer may have multiple iPhones (family plan), and I suspect a lot of iPhones were bought to be hacked.

BTW, I just found out two of my old colleagues in China bought iPhones in US to be used in China. Keep in mind, the cell phones in Asia are normally sold without operator discount. They said the $400 is significantly cheaper than other high end phones there. Hacked iPhones are sold for about $900 in China on the street. - Now we know where the missing 1.4M iPhones went.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnqh View Post

"has signed up 70,000 iPhone customers"

That's different from "sold". Each customer may have multiple iPhones (family plan), and I suspect a lot of iPhones were bought to be hacked.

BTW, I just found out two of my old colleagues in China bought iPhones in US to be used in China. Keep in mind, the cell phones in Asia are normally sold without operator discount. They said the $400 is significantly cheaper than other high end phones there. Hacked iPhones are sold for about $900 in China on the street. - Now we know where the missing 1.4M iPhones went.

Not to mention hacked iPhones sold on streets of China for 900.00 less the 400.00 to purchase iPhone here in the states, "accounting" for the 1.4M missing iPhones and a, lets see, 600.00 "profit' multiply that by 1.4M equals 840,000,000! Not a bad haul. Better than my Apple stock in recent days.

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post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

Why would anyone run Microsoft Office on a Mac? NeoOffice is so much better, as well as being free.

Excel is the standard in business settings. NeoOffice is nice, but I would not think it to be better when you look at the limitations it has in some areas. I use both, and I can say I prefer Nisus Writer Pro over Word or anything else any day of the week, but it has it's limitations too at the moment when mail merges are consdered.

The OpenOffice guys must be freekn sleeping on their port to the Mac.

To answer your question, corporate America has Excel as the defacto standard in most business places and truthfully, it is the only MS product I feel that performs its function better than I expect.
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post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The last time I used Neo Office it was a horror to use. Sincerely asking, why is it better?

I second your question and I CURRENTLY use Neo Office (whatever the latest version is), but only when I really have to.

It's god-awful slow to launch. The spreadsheet app/mode is a pain to use:
  • Hit "Delete" to clear a cell and get a stupid pop-up window.
  • Hit "Print" and get a pop-up window, get past that and get to the actual Print dialog screen.
What a hassle for simple functionality.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The last time I used Neo Office it was a horror to use. Sincerely asking, why is it better?

Yeah, a shame that Neo Office can't really cut it for more than simple tasks (and it's slow). Also, there are many macros and keystroke settings that Neo won't do that, say, Word will. Actually, the Mac Word 2008 is much more pleasant than the 2004 Mac Word... but the Excel seems rather draggy at the moment.
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post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Predicts? Just because HD-DVD hasn't left the feild doesn't mean Blu-ray hasn't already won.

Even if HD-DVD dies soon (which I expect it to), I think Blu-Ray needs to grow to several times its current active user base to be sustainable.

Quote:
The last time I used Neo Office it was a horror to use.

NeoOffice has improved a lot since I've first used it. If you haven't tried it in six months or a year, I think it's worth a re-try.

Quote:
Sincerely asking, why is it better?

I think maybe in the fact that it's free and it does everything well enough, at least for me. There's no penalty to try it and the uninstall is easy if it doesn't work out.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
That means Germans are buying just over 900 of the touch-screen handsets each day, a rate considerably slower than that of French consumers, who according to France Telecom's latest numbers are purchasing the device at a rate of over 1,600 per day.

Stands to reason really!! The French business model is more consumer friendly and flexible than the one in Germany and the UK.

The penny will eventually drop \
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post #12 of 24
I think Vodafone's attempt to force T-Mobile to sell unlocked iPhones effectively stalled sales in Germany until the matter was resolved. After all, why buy a mobile that's only available on T-Mobile if there was a chance of being able to run it on an existing network without switching?

What is interesting about the iPhone in Europe is that word of mouth endorsement among people who have bought one is starting to have an extremely positive effect on sales. Everyone in Europe thought that the iPhone would be an extremely compromised piece of hardware without 3G. This simply isn't true. It works so well and easily with WI-FI networks that the absance of 3G is not really an issue. Luckily, more and more people are starting to realise this and telling their friends.

in the UK, 02 are selling at least 2,000 iPhones a day. Add to the fact that 02 is also starting to win the battle for UK customers hearts and minds over and above expensive Vodafone and you have all the ingredients for growing success not a stalling product launch.

I said in a related thread, the iPhone is certainly the single most successful smart phone to have been launched. Apple has achieved in less than a year what took Blackberry five years to achieve. And we're only on V 1.0 of the iPhone. If the next iteration takes a leap forward that is comparable to that made by second generation iPods, then the future is looking very good.

The iPhone glass is half full not half empty.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Even if HD-DVD dies soon (which I expect it to), I think Blu-Ray needs to grow to several times its current active user base to be sustainable.

HD DVD's death would make that so much easier. Right now, Blu-ray is fighting a war on two fronts -- against HD DVD and against DVD. Any military strategist will tell you that being able to concentrate all your resources on one front gives a much better chance of victory. Not to mention the fence-sitters who didn't want to buy until the HD format war ended can finally join in.
post #14 of 24
BestBuy was having a 20% off sale on your choice of Blu-Ray or HD-DVD players. There were no Blu-Rays left on Saturday, and a dozen Toshiba HD-DVD players. Not scientific, but true.

KW
post #15 of 24
Would it be possible for Microsoft to fix at least some of the other Office bugs at the same time? Particularly the really bad compatibility with Expose. How hard can it be to make the "blue hover" appear in the right spot, along with the window title?

JAG
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Even if HD-DVD dies soon (which I expect it to), I think Blu-Ray needs to grow to several times its current active user base to be sustainable.



NeoOffice has improved a lot since I've first used it. If you haven't tried it in six months or a year, I think it's worth a re-try.



I think maybe in the fact that it's free and it does everything well enough, at least for me. There's no penalty to try it and the uninstall is easy if it doesn't work out.

I have and always keep up with the latest patch. It isn't horrible to use, but it isn't marvelous either. There are a few aggravating things about it. One, some formula's are missing in NO compared to Excel. You can't use "." in worksheet names and this causes me personal problems due to our dating system. The list goes on. Flexibility is not there yet but I don't want to sound like a butt because I think what the two guys do for NO is great and don't want them to stop. One day, it may be a package for me to use daily at work.
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post #17 of 24
No wonder the Germans don't buy the iPhone. The contracts it comes with are really bad, in addition the sim-lock that is in place in Germany too (unlike France, where there is at least an option for an unlocked phone) probably really keeps sales at a minimum. Still no news on an iPhone in Switzerland either. iPhone 1.0 in Europe so far is pretty much DOA.
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post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnqh View Post

"has signed up 70,000 iPhone customers"

That's different from "sold". Each customer may have multiple iPhones (family plan), and I suspect a lot of iPhones were bought to be hacked.

BTW, I just found out two of my old colleagues in China bought iPhones in US to be used in China. Keep in mind, the cell phones in Asia are normally sold without operator discount. They said the $400 is significantly cheaper than other high end phones there. Hacked iPhones are sold for about $900 in China on the street. - Now we know where the missing 1.4M iPhones went.

? T-Mobile Germany does not offer a "family plan" and you cannot buy the iPhone without a contract at all - it is not like in the US where you can go into an AT&T or Apple store and just buy the device (only exception was the one week in which it had to be sold unlocked under an injunction). Even if somebody bought it "to be hacked" he/she had to sign up and pay for a 24 months contract - why hack it to cripple a device, if you already paid for the service? The number activated is the number sold. It is 70,000 - that's it.

Of course there are legally unlocked phones brought in from France and hacked 1.0, 1.1 phones from the US plus 1.2 phones from the US with expensive hardware unlocks (alternate SIM carriers). If you buy a 1.2 US iPhone with a NextSIM (or similar) off eBay Germany you are already pretty close in price to buying the damn thing from T-Mobile, paying the 24 months and at least benefit from software upgrades.

The problem with iPhones sales here is clearly that people buying such expensive phones at all, always want to have the latest and greatest. Paying more than 1,600 EUR minimum for technology that is more than one year old (when it was introduced to the public) and being locked into a 24 months contract (with no upgrade paths to a new model if it comes out) is simply not attractive. The second problem is T-Mobile: While AT&T at least allows iPhone customers to bundle tariff options (international options, roaming options etc.) and allows moving from an existing contract to the iPhone tariffs - T-Mobile does not offer any of this. Even worse: a lot of T-Mobile's subscribers are not T-Mobile customers, they have their contracts through resellers like Debitel or Telco and cannot move to the iPhone tariffs at all (would have to fulfil their current term and pay the full amount to T-Mobile on top). And even if all this would be available, there is still one big problem: Germans travel to foreign countries a lot - a phone that cannot accept a local SIM and forces you into roaming charges is simply no good. And the iPhone is even worse: even if you have a legally unlocked version (e.g. the French one), you still need a computer with iTunes each time you want to change the SIM, because it requires a restore. Every stupid 20,- EUR plastic phone can accept any SIM in the world without such a hassle. The iPhone simply does not work for that.
post #19 of 24
Bingo. Phone that cant accept different SIM cards is phone that will always be very limited and rare in EU.

When i lived in US (11yrs) and traveled around the country i never felt like i had to switch SIM card in order to save some cash. In Europe when you travel and DON'T switch SIM card you're paying through your nose.

I remember when i was in US people always ridiculed US carriers. Now that i experienced Europe's Vodaphone , Orange and T-Mobile , i dream of At&t days.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

I think Vodafone's attempt to force T-Mobile to sell unlocked iPhones effectively stalled sales in Germany until the matter was resolved. After all, why buy a mobile that's only available on T-Mobile if there was a chance of being able to run it on an existing network without switching?

1. That was only for a week.

2. Vodafone never doubted that T-Mobile had the right to sell the device exclusively... But they claimed that T-Mobile would also have to sell the device unlocked (even if for an extra fee). So that's what T-Mobile did for this one week until the final court ruling. If anything, there should have been a rush during this week, since it was clear that a) it would not get cheaper afterwards and b) T-Mobile would stop selling the phone unlocked after the final ruling if they would no longer be required to do so (which is exactly what happened).
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

HD DVD's death would make that so much easier. Right now, Blu-ray is fighting a war on two fronts -- against HD DVD and against DVD. Any military strategist will tell you that being able to concentrate all your resources on one front gives a much better chance of victory.

Not to mention the fence-sitters who didn't want to buy until the HD format war ended can finally join in.


Exactly. It's tough enough for the next gen of DVD technology to get off the ground competing against the very cheap, ubiquitous, and 'good enough' DVD format, plus the fact that many people still don't have hi-def TVs yet. \

Now add in the confusing and confidence-sapping format war, and you can easily see why adoption has been so slow. HD-DVD going bye-bye is a very happy result in the end, though I'm sure its partisans will never think so.


Far as German iPhone sales being slow... well, duh, who didn't see that coming? Apple has two major issues to deal with in Europe, price and feature set (3G, MMS). The sooner it does, the sooner the iPhone truly takes off over there. And it will, given even half a chance.



.
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post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayalexander View Post

Would it be possible for Microsoft to fix at least some of the other Office bugs at the same time? Particularly the really bad compatibility with Expose. How hard can it be to make the "blue hover" appear in the right spot, along with the window title?

JAG

Someone on msftrumours might know.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

Germans travel to foreign countries a lot - a phone that cannot accept a local SIM and forces you into roaming charges is simply no good. And the iPhone is even worse: even if you have a legally unlocked version (e.g. the French one), you still need a computer with iTunes each time you want to change the SIM, because it requires a restore. Every stupid 20,- EUR plastic phone can accept any SIM in the world without such a hassle. The iPhone simply does not work for that.

To be fair, roaming charges aren't that much now, since the EU put regulations on foreign mobile carriers who would just rip people off left right and center.

The most you are allowed to be charged for outgoing calls is 55c per minute, and 26c per minute for incoming calls outside your home country, but inside the EU.

It's still crap that you can't swap the sim card out though. Considering in Germany you are signing up for a 2 year contract anyway, they should at least give you the courtesy of allowing you to swap sim card when necessary. They are getting their monthly fee either way.

I'll still buy the iPhone, but the major stumbling block for me is 3G. As soon as that comes out, I will bite the bullet and pay for it, even if it's expensive and lacking some basic features that are taken for granted with other phones.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post

To be fair, roaming charges aren't that much now, since the EU put regulations on foreign mobile carriers who would just rip people off left right and center.

The most you are allowed to be charged for outgoing calls is 55c per minute, and 26c per minute for incoming calls outside your home country, but inside the EU.

Well, that is true for roaming within the EU ONLY. I spend several months each year in the US and Southeast Asia - roaming T-Mobile from e.g. Laos costs me almost 3 EUR (4.42 USD) per minute, calling Germany using a local prepaid SIM costs me about 28 Cents (0.41 USD) per minute (even less in the evening) and the difference is even worse for data roaming (something like 25 times the local price). Hell, I even get ripped off using T-Mobile in the US with a T-Mobile Germany SIM. To add insult to injury you cannot even suspend the German T-Mobile tariff while you are away for months - so you keep paying the 50 EUR (or more) per month without any chance to even use the included minutes/SMS/data.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post

It's still crap that you can't swap the sim card out though. Considering in Germany you are signing up for a 2 year contract anyway, they should at least give you the courtesy of allowing you to swap sim card when necessary. They are getting their monthly fee either way.

I'll still buy the iPhone, but the major stumbling block for me is 3G. As soon as that comes out, I will bite the bullet and pay for it, even if it's expensive and lacking some basic features that are taken for granted with other phones.

I bought the legally unlocked 999 EUR iPhone while it was available - as I still could deduct it from 2007's income tax, the price did not matter. EDGE speed in Germany is really quite good - I was comparing the loading times of Web pages with a friends EDGE phone, the iPhone was always faster or level - Safari's speed helps a lot here. Complex Web pages challenge the slow processors in all phones - the loading time is not that relevant and UMTS coverage is really not as good as the carriers try to make one believe. In our office downtown Frankfurt - less than 500 metres from the stock exchange there is zero UMTS reception, but EDGE works like a dream. I would care for UMTS/3G IF the iPhone could be used as a modem - but if it had that function the carriers would not agree to unlimited data being included.
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