Year of the smart phone on college campuses?

A market analysis describes the Android as a "wild card" among smart phones.
A market analysis describes the Android as a "wild card" among smart-phone systems.

An international market research firm predicts a 55-percent jump in smart-phone sales this year—a projection that could lead to an unprecedented increase in internet-enabled phone use during colleges’ 2010-11 academic year.

The mobile device market analysis, released Sept. 7 by International Data Corp. (IDC), is welcome news to researchers who have predicted a jump in smart-phone use for educational purposes, because college-aged men and women are among the likeliest to use the technology.

There will be about 270 million smart phones—such as the iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry—shipped during 2010, a major jump from the 173 million sold in 2009, according to IDC’s projections.…Read More

Apple: Free cases to alleviate iPhone 4 problems

Apple Inc. will give free protective cases to buyers of its latest iPhone to alleviate the so-called “death grip” problem in which holding the phone with a bare hand can muffle the wireless signal, reports the Associated Press. Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the giveaway July 16 during a news conference at the company’s headquarters, even as the company denied that the iPhone 4 has an antenna problem that needs fixing. The more than 3 million people who have already bought the iPhone 4 and new buyers through Sept. 30 will all be eligible. People who already purchased the $29 “Bumper” cases will be refunded. Jobs began the event by saying, “We’re not perfect,” but was quick to point out that no cell phone is perfect. He played a video showing competing smart phones, including a BlackBerry from Research in Motion Ltd., losing signal strength when held in certain ways. Phones usually have an antenna inside the body. In designing the iPhone 4, Apple took a gamble on a new design, using parts of the phone’s outer casing as the antenna. That saved space inside the tightly packed body of the phone, but means that covering a spot on the lower left edge of the case blocks wireless signal. Consumer Reports magazine said covering the spot with a case or even a piece of duct tape alleviates the problem. It refused to give the iPhone 4 its “recommended” stamp of approval for this reason, and it had called on Apple to compensate buyers…

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iPhone 4 paves the way for mobile video conferencing

Colleges and universities could take advantage of the iPhone 4's video conferencing feature.
Colleges and universities could take advantage of the iPhone 4's video conferencing feature.

Apple’s iPhone 4, which went on sale June 24, features a mobile video conferencing application that could increase collaboration among students and faculty at different locations and make on-the-go meetings easier for higher-education officials.

Video conferencing is possible with the addition of a second camera on the front of the new iPhone, in addition to a five-megapixel camera and a flash on the back. For now, the video conferencing function, FaceTime, works only if both parties to the call have an iPhone 4 and are connected over a Wi-Fi network rather than a cell phone network.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs indicated that FaceTime eventually will work over cellular networks, saying Apple needs to “work a little bit” with wireless providers to make it “ready for the future.”…Read More