In the first quarter of Apple’s fiscal year 2007, the last quarter before Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone, Apple’s revenue amounted to US$7.1 billion. Contributing $3.4 billion to that total, the iPod was Apple’s most important product back then.

Eight years later, the iPod has been rendered all but obsolete as smartphones have taken over most music playback duties. Apple doesn’t even break out iPod sales anymore; instead they are buried in the “other products” category along with Apple TV which, as Steve Jobs once put it, is considered a mere hobby at Apple.

iPhone-Chart

Meanwhile iPhone sales alone generated $51.2 billion in the most recent quarter, accounting for almost 70% of Apple’s total revenue in that period. Being considered Apple’s most profitable product, it is very likely that the iPhone also accounted for the lion’s share of the company’s record-breaking $18 billion profit over the last three months. It only took the iPhone eight years to evolve from what many considered an overpriced niche product to the planet’s biggest cash cow – an achievement that is unlikely to be repeated in the foreseeable future. (The accompanying chart is courtesy of Statistica.)

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Apple has updated its Flash Player blacklist again, this time blocking versions lower than 16.0.0.296 and 13.0.0.264. The move follows a zero-day exploit currently targeting Windows PCs that could also potentially affect Macs, too.

As The MacObserver notes: “If you don’t need Flash Player on your Mac, don’t install it. Flash is an ongoing security headache that doesn’t seem to be improving despite Adobe’s constant updates.”

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KT has raised its subsidies on each iPhone 5S to KRW 814,000 (about US$750) from KRW 226,000 for users that subscribe to the KRW 77,000 monthly calling plan, reports Yonhap News (as noted by BrightWire, a global investment newswire).

KT (also known as KT Corp. and formerly Korea Telecom) is a South Korean integrated wired/wireless telecommunication service provider. The iPhone 5S, released in Korea 15 months ago, is now free of any subsidy regulation, the newspaper adds.

The 16GB model is now free, while prices of the 32GB and 64GB models fell to KRW 132,000 and KRW 264,000, respectively. As SK Telecom and LG Uplus are also considering raising subsidies on the iPhone 5S, subsidy competition is likely to follow, according to Yonhap News.

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SteveJobsUniversal has announced the cast and kicked off principal photography on Steve Jobs, the biopic of the Apple co-founder’s life.

The cast includes Michael Fassbender as Jobs, Seth Rogen as Steve “Woz” Wozniak, Kate Winslet as former Macintosh marketing boss Joanna Hoffman, Jeff Daniels as former Apple CEO John Sculley, Katherine Waterston as Jobs’ ex-girlfriend Chrisann Brennan and Michael Stuhlbarg as one of the Mac’s original developers Andy Hertzfeld, and Perla Haney-Jardine. Ripley Sobo, Makenzie Moss, Sarah Snook and Adam Shapiro round out the cast.

Based on the Walter Isaacson biography of Jobs, the film will be adapted by Aaron Sorkin, writer of West Wing, The Social Network, and more, and directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, 28 Days Later). Sorkin has said the movie will be divided into three long scenes, each taking place backstage before one of Jobs’ famous product launches (the Mac, the NeXT computer and the iPod).

Steve Jobs will be the second film based on the life of the late Apple co-founder and CEO. Open Road’s 2011 film, Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher in the title role, was critically drubbed and made only US$35 million worldwide.

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By Frank Petrie

Contributing Editor

Ever since Apple has released its first iteration of Mail, users have always found desired features lacking. And so it goes.

As a result, over the years, a multitude of substitutes have been produced. Recently, a respected reviewer that I follow on Twitter mentioned this new app. So, I thought that I’d give Mailbox (recently revved to version 2.3.4) a bash.

The first thing that caught my attention was the swipe-based operation. I have been a long time user of Clear, a swipe-based, to-do list. Ever since, I have been drawn to swipe-based apps like a moth to a flame.

Mailbox JPEG

Mailbox  handles both your iCloud mail and your Gmail mail among other formats. You can add aliases to each of these accounts.

Unfortunately, there’s more of a learning curve than usual with swipe-based apps. But Mailbox does come with tutorials to help you through this.

What I found that I didn’t like about their swipe-based feature was that it depended on how far you swiped to determine which feature was triggered. This was kind of tricky to learn, although after long use I imagine you would become accustomed to it. Personally, I like it when you can swipe to the left, and it gives you three choices, or you can swipe to your right and get three different choices.

However, there are a plethora of other distinct advantages to this app. If you’re striving for a zero inbox, they have a batch swipe feature if you’re brave. You can reorder your messages, archive them, mark them read/unread and, star them. Plus, you can assign separate signatures to each account.

There is a fine list function , but I didn’t like it as much as Apple’s sidebar. That’s a feature that has kept me from switching. (Yes, I realize that you can do this with online services but I like to keep copies of my mail on my hard drive). I wish there was a way to migrate my archives.

Mailbox also comes with the ability to sync with Dropbox, with several gigabytes of extra spaced kicked in. It shows a lot of promise but still has a few features to work on or add.

Mailbox by Dropbox, Inc is available at the Apple App Store. It requires iOS 8 or later and is optimized for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 models.

ADR Rating: 7 out of 10

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Copyright 2015 Frank Petrie

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Oryx Digital has introduced Hyper Plan 1.0.1, its new planning solution for Mac OS X and Windows. It allows anyone to create cards with user-defined properties, such as status, priority, assigned to and budget.

The cards can then be arranged and colored according to these properties. Users can arrange cards in rows by priority, or even colored by who they have been assigned to. Hyper Plan can also arrange cards in a timeline and total numerical properties by row and column.

Hyper Plan allows you to create cards with properties such as status, priority, assigned to and budget. The cards can then be arranged and colored according to these properties. For example, you could arrange cards into columns to do, doing, done and waiting with rows for each member of staff, and colored according to priority.

Or you could arrange them in rows by priority, colored by who they have been assigned to. You can switch between views with a mouse click. Hyper Plan can also arrange cards in a timeline and total numerical properties by row and column.

Hyper Plan costs US$40 per user and is available here. A demo is also available for download.

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AssistiveWare has released Wrise 1.0, its latest Mac OS X application that will be introduced at this week’s ATIA conference in Orlando, Florida.

Wrise is a text-to-speech-powered word processor designed to make reading and writing accessible for everyone. Offering word highlighting, zoom and EasyReading mode, texts become more comprehensible and easier on the eyes, says says David Niemeijer, CEO and founder of AssistiveWare. With Speak as you Type, Word Prediction and speech tags, writing effort is significantly reduced, he adds.

Wrise-Screen

Wrise is fully customizable and can be used to read selected text aloud in any Mac application. Users can personalize their reading experience by selecting their preferred voice, adjusting its speech rate and even fine-tuning the pronunciation of words. What’s more, it allows import of a variety of document types including PDF, Word (doc/docx), plain texts and RTF and with the intuitive formatting features texts are easily edited and styled.

Wrise 1.0 can be used with Text to Speech voices in many different languages, but the user interface is currently only available in English. The application requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later and is exclusively available through the Mac App Store at an introductory price of US29.99. After Feb. 15 the price will be $59.99.

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