Posts Tagged apple customers

Apple and Children: The In-App Purchase Dilemma



Apple’s “freemium” apps are highly popular because they do not require upfront payments for items. Rather, they are marked as “free” at the App Store and draw you into the games and challenges they present. For Apple customers who want to save cash, or college students who do not want to spend their gas money, freemium apps provide a free form of leisure that you can participate in while keeping your money in your pocket. Freemium apps, however, are not “free” in the strictest sense of the word; although they require no fees upfront, freemium apps require money as the game carries on. I experienced this one year ago after I purchased the iPad 3 with Retina display, the first iPad from Apple I had ever purchased. I started playing Crime City because I was fascinated by the idea that a game could be created about how to be a gangster and survive the streets. At first, all was well; I played the game free of charge. Eventually, however, my gold and dollars started to decline, and I needed some serious cash and gold to continue raiding, robbing, and “killing” people (I do not like the idea of painting myself as a virtual gangster in this regard).

In any case, the downside to freemium apps is an exploit that children are now using to put their parents in financial peril. As early as last month, parents began to report (increasingly) that they were denied purchases in the App Store because of their children’s “clicking” habits during a freemium app game. One parent, Chris Brown, reported that he downloaded the “Smurfs Village” app for his six-year-old son to play. Some time later, he wanted to purchase an app from the App Store and was unable to do so because his son had purchased 160 euro’s worth ($208.13) of in-app accessories from the App Store. This has been the case with many parents. What makes parents even easier targets of innocent purchases is that Apple provides a 15-minute “granted access” window where a child (or user) can download apps without having to reenter his or her password for each app purchased. How many apps can children download in 15 minutes? I shudder to think of the money deducted with each app.

ITunes parents brought a lawsuit against the Apple Corporation in 2011 because of the 15-minute “window of opportunity” that served as a gateway to financial ruin. Some 23 million iTunes account holders will receive a minimum of $5 credit (some as much as $30 or more) as a result of the child downloads. Apple attempted to patch this loophole up, but the loophole still remains, as CNET’s Josh Lowensohn reports:

“Apple changed that behavior as part of a system software update in March 2011, but not before some parents were hit with massive bills. A report from the BBC earlier today noted that it’s still possible to rack up charges, given the case of a 5-year old from southwest England who spent more than $2,500 in purchases on his parents’ iPad without the password, an amount that was reportedly refunded by Apple” (Josh Lowensohn, “Apple’s In-App Purchase Settlement Faces Approval”).

What can we learn from the story of child downloads? First, parents are responsible for their child’s behavior. It is fine that Apple chooses to refund parents for purchases made, but parents have a duty to watch their children and monitor their progress. While iTunes downloads pale in comparison to the number of children who die each year because parents leave their guns within the child’s reach, parents are still responsible — either way.

Next, Apple is not innocent in the matter. Parental neglect is on the parents, but software loopholes are the fault of Cupertino. The company must take care to make its software such that both users and the children of users can handle iTunes without incurring massive financial charges that must be refunded later. Lawsuits are not fun for either the plaintiff or the defendant, and Apple needs to do all it can to stay out of the courtroom. The last time Apple was in the courtroom, it pursued a case against Korean manufacturer Samsung that, in part, has been overturned by about $400 million. Currently, Samsung’s fiscal responsibilities stand at approximately $598 million. The reason? Something about the case went wrong. Apple has spent the last year on the hunt for patents it can claim (filing forty or more in one week), not to mention suing Samsung and being currently under lawsuits by other companies. The last thing Apple needs to do is be the defendant in another lawsuit.

The simple solution to Apple’s problem is this: fix the software. It may seem cute that children are growing intellectually smarter nowadays than they were when I was a child (some 20 years or more ago), but it is not so cute when Apple is forced to pay millions. In the same way Cupertino fixes its security holes against jailbreakers, the company needs to focus on helping parents so that, in 2014, there will be no further talk of an Apple iTunes lawsuit. Let’s learn from this mistake so that we do not find ourselves in this place again.

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Recent Patent Filings Show Us What Apple’s Planned for IOS7

Apple's Slide to Unlock May Be Replaced in IOS7

[Photo Credit: Wired UK]

Now that iOS6 has been out for five months, the world has moved beyond iOS6 and wants to embrace Apple’s newest OS announcement that will emerge this coming July. While Apple is not one to come out and tell what its future plans are, tech writers and media have a way of finding photos, news bytes, and other juicy details about what could be Apple’s future plans. While some of the news tech writers receive is accurate and true, there are other news bytes that involve Apple filing for ideas it does not plan to use. Some news has no bearing on the new phone or new company products that will emerge in the immediate future. By the time some products are released (years from now), most consumers will forget about the company’s patents.

Apple is not a stranger to patent applications. The company received 48 patents within the last week, and Cupertino just filed two patent applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office: (1) Identity Unlock and (2) Automatic Sound adjustment. The new Identity Unlock Patent would provide a lock screen where an individual has to identify the face of the individual on the display in order to unlock the screen. The Identity Unlock patent would replace the passcode that iOS users are forced to enter when their phones are in lock mode. Apple is constantly trying to find ways to protect its consumers from theft. This is yet another form of anti-theft protection that may work better than the passcode. It may also be easier to use than the passcode because iOS users would not have to remember a code (which they could forget easily).

The other patent filed is known as the automatic sound adjustment, a feature that would adjust sound for hearing aid patients so that they would not have to adjust their own volume when listening to music. This is important because hearing aid patients share iPods, iPads, and iPhones with non-hearing aid patients. Since hearing aid patients are audibly challenged, they should be accommodated with their physical challenges instead of excluded. It is no different from braille or sign language being used to accommodate blind and deaf patients.

Apple is using this audio accommodation patent in order to cater to its elderly customers. While Android users are teenagers and young adults (20s and 30s), the elderly are Apple customers. Elderly customers are loyal to Apple because of its ease of use. After all, it does not take much to operate a basic touchscreen phone (which the iPhone seems to be). Elderly customers struggle to learn new things, so an iPhone that has not changed over the last six years (2007-2013) provides a predictable smartphone setting for the elderly. Android, on the other hand, is an OS that takes some adjustment and time. After all, there are several main pages on an Android smartphone, rather than one or two pages for an iPhone. In addition, there are a lot fewer icons on an iPhone, whereas there are numerous icons available on Android smartphones. Widgets are another area where Android smartphones would make life more difficult for the elderly than for young adults.

These are two new features that will only create hype for iOS7. I think a good suggestion for Apple is to use their lock screen to create new hype for iOS7. The lock screen does not do much on Apple devices, while Android users can read news, check stocks, and stay in touch with Facebook RSS feeds on their lock screen.

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Apple Awarded Stay, Won’t Have to Say ‘Samsung Didn’t Copy Us’ For Now

  Dang. Apple has won a stay on the recent ruling from the U.K. that would have forced them to post a statement on their official website, informing Apple customers that Samsung did in fact, not copy their iPad design. Until the case can be heard in October by the courts, Apple won’t have to post any [...]

Click through to continue reading…

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Easily Shift From iOS To Samsung Products With Samsung Easy Phone Sync App

Samsung Galaxy S III is really something you cannot just ignore. In fact, some now feel that it might be the first Android smartphone to actually surpass the iPhone in unit sales. Samsung, however, does not want to leave it at that and has come up with a new strategy to woo not just new customers but Apple customers to itself.

If you among those Apple or iOS users who wants to shift to Samsung products but hesitate for the sole reason that a huge amount of your data is stuck in iTunes and your Apple account and are reluctant to take the pain of moving all that data onto an Android phone. Samsung has now teamed up with Media Mushroom Applications and developed an App called Easy Phone Sync and it’s for user exactly like you.

The Easy Phone Sync comes for free with the purchase of any Samsung Galaxy device and it offers an easy way to sync the data – music, videos, podcasts, pictures, contacts and text messages – from iTunes to the Samsung device. Also, any DRM free content purchased on iTunes can also be synched with the Samsung device. Meanwhile, you can continue to manage all data on iTunes on your PC or Mac and sync your Android device whenever required.

Here is what Simon Stanford, Vice President, Telecommunications and Networks, Samsung UK and Ireland says about Samsung’s new strategy, “We’re really proud to announce the launch of this new application and can’t wait to hear what our new and existing customers think of it. We know that traditionally iPhone users have been reluctant to switch to an Android device because they couldn’t use iTunes to manage their content. Easy Phone Sync means people can now enjoy their iTunes content on a Samsung Galaxy phone. What’s more is that it’s really easy for them to do, and literally takes five minutes to set up.”

For More info on the app visit

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Samsung Protesters Promote “WAKE UP” Campaign Outside Apple Store, Only To Generate More Press For The Tech Giant

Samsung and Apple’s patent war has been going on for quite a while now, and the two companies have really been going at it, especially Samsung, when it comes to advertisement. Samsung has not been light-footed when it comes to attacking Apple whenever they can, and the iPhone has been a huge focus of their latest ad campaigns. Samsung has already spent millions of dollars in advertising, whether it’s against Apple or not, marketing their Galaxy devices, and continues to do so.

Today, Samsung hired a group of protestors to stand outside of an Apple store in Australia and relentlessly repeat their motto “Wake Up.” This wake up call is to Apple customers who are specifically looking to purchase iDevices, but other than that they really aren’t saying much. A timer is present with a countdown to the GSIII launch, and we’re not really sure if this group is planning to stay until the timer hits zero, or whether they will call it a day.

In my opinion, hiring a protesting group is money spent that probably should have gone to Samsung’s actual products. Is Samsung’s hardware as completely sound and perfected? No. Is TouchWiz an ICS launcher replacement that we just can’t live without? Definitely not. And if all of this is true, Samsung may need to rethink  their marketing strategy. Sure, it’s not all bad, but stunts like this are not only ineffective, but also embarrassing for the company and Android itself. Most of the people walking into the Apple store that day either had no clue what these protesters were talking about, or didn’t care, because obviously Samsung’s products didn’t divert them from the Apple store the first time. While a commercial or two may be fine, Samsung is crossing the line with a full protesting team that is doing exactly what Apple wants in the first place: generating press. If Apple products aren’t good, why would Samsung attack them? Cupertino couldn’t be more pleased.

 Source: Android and Me

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Apple offers free repairs for iPhones, other products damaged in Japan quake

Apple customers with Macs, displays, and iOS devices that were directly damaged in the Japan earthquake and tsunami may be eligible for free repairs. The offer, posted on the company’s Japanese website, excludes iPod classic, nano, and shuffle, and only applies to customers living in areas covered by the Ministry of Health’s Disaster Relief Act. Originally posted in March, Apple’s announcement joins Softbank’s offer to replace lost iPhones registered to its network, and free calls to Japan from U.S. carriers, among others. Considering water and other accidental damage typically voids a device’s warranty, you’ll want to give AppleCare a call soon — the acceptance period only runs through June 30th.

Apple offers free repairs for iPhones, other products damaged in Japan quake originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 16 May 2011 12:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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