Recently, authorities in the United States uncovered a scam in which criminals stole millions of dollars by making small charges to stolen credit cards. The average charge ranged from as little as 25 cents to no more than $9, which explains why 94% of the victims never noticed the charges.
If complaints that surfaced this past weekend are any indication, scammers with a similar model have set their sights on one of the world's most popular service for buying digital content: iTunes/the App Store.
iPhone users in the United States have an interesting relationship with
their phones: by in large, most of them love their iPhones (and apps) but they don't particularly care for their carrier - AT&T.
AT&T didn't gain any love recently when it announced that it was
revamping its iPhone pricing scheme and adding data caps, while 02 has announced the end of unlimited data in the UK. The new deal: lower costs for most users, but no more all-you-can-eat buffet. The goal: attract a new legion of mainstream iPhone customers but limit the profligate, network-harming usage seen with a very small number of customers.
Apple's rise to the top of the tech world has been marked just as much
by controversy as it has by success in the mobile market. The company's
desire for control has made it a target for critics, and potentially
Apple attracted the spotlight when it implemented new rules that essentially killed Adobe's iPhone/iPad ambitions by making it clear that apps developed using Adobe's Packager for iPhone tool contained in the newest version Flash Professional would not make it into the App Store. And its dislike for Flash was made abundantly clear when the iPad was unveiled, sans Flash support.
An iPad news reader app designed by two college students has taken more than a few breaths away. Developed as part of a class at Stanford University’s Institute of Design, Pulse is everything you'd want out of an iPad news reader: it has both form and function.
The user experience is obviously a big reason why the app, which sells for $3.99, quickly became the top-selling iPad app in the App Store. And it's a big reason why Steve Jobs, who was reportedly disappointed with the New York Times' own iPad app, personally highlighted Pulse this week.
By almost every reasonable measurement, Google's Android OS is giving Apple a reason to check the rear-view mirror. But for many developers, developing for Android is still somewhat unattractive because the common wisdom is that successful Android apps are likely to generate far less revenue than successful iPhone/iPad apps.
One of the possible reasons: paid Android apps are sold through Google Checkout, which Android critics argue offers a far less pleasant experience than the App Store purchasing experience offers iPhone and iPad owners.
For those who admire Apple, it's always interesting to watch the loyalty Apple commands from its most loyal customers and how that loyalty manifests itself. It has been said that Apple CEO Steve Jobs accomplishes his magic through the use of a 'Reality Distortion Field.'
The Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field isn't, however, simply limited to consumers (or the media). Apparently it is making its way to Madison Avenue.
Why is the iPhone so popular with developers? One word: money. The App Store is a developer's lottery ticket. All it takes is the right app at the right time and fortune can be yours.
The widely-publicized stories of developers who struck it rich with iPhone apps arguably did more for iPhone development in the early days than any developer-oriented sales pitch from Apple or Steve Jobs. It has been somewhat difficult, however, to find the same sort of stories about developers who struck it rich with Android apps.
Apple is, for lack of a better word, an unconventional company. And in
the past several days, it has apparently decided to take on the
conventional wisdom that 'sex sells'.
In a publicly unannounced and unexplained move, several days ago Apple
began a mass purge of the App Store. The target: iPhone apps that somebody, somewhere might find a sexual overtone in. From bikinis to ice skating tights to
mere silhouettes, Apple is reportedly done with any apps whose purpose
is to create "excitement or titillation" -- for both males and females alike.
On the surface, it seems like an unfair fight -- 24 on one. But that's what it might take some of world's biggest mobile carriers if they hope to defeat the reigning king of mobile app distribution, Apple.
The carriers have banded together to create the 'Wholesale Applications
Community'. The goal: make it possible for developers to build
applications that work across handsets and carriers. The 24 carriers
participating in the Wholesale Applications Community have three
billion subscribers combined, and the initiative is also receiving
support from the GSMA, which is made up of handset manufacturers LG
Electronics, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.
When it comes to marketing, 'location, location, location' has always
been important. But thanks to the rapid growth and maturity of mobile
technologies, 'location, location, location' is taking on new meaning.
Location-based advertising is potentially the holy grail of mobile
marketing. And it appears that Apple, which occupies an important
position in the mobile market with the iPhone, apparently wants to keep
location-based advertising opportunities to itself.