This Is The Best Look At The New iPhone Yet


Ah, the next-gen iPhone. What more can we say? Almost sadly, we already know the screen will be bigger, the connecting port is smaller, and the design will be drastically different, with a two-tone metal casing. And yet, we still haven’t seen one of these bad boys fully assembled. We’ve seen parts — boy have we seen parts!

But with two weeks left until the official announcement, this is the first assembled handset we’ve seen, and it’s smiling for pics alongside the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS, no less!

Now, as with any “leak,” this could be a forgery. The folks at first posted the pics, and then the less-than-reliable kindly watermarked them and re-posted.

After a close inspection, the assembly does look pretty janky. Maybe these tech enthused bloggers tried to assemble the components they had on their own, iFixit-style. Or maybe they Photoshopped the pictures entirely.

That’s not the point. The point is that, whether the pictures themselves are real or not, this is just about what the next iPhone is going to look like, if the bevy of rumors we’ve heard prove true. No, we’re still not sure about NFC, and Apple no doubt has something up its sleeve that hasn’t quite leaked yet, but as far as aesthetics go, I would say this is what you should expect.

Two weeks, people.

Click to view slideshow.

TechCrunch » Gadgets

Amazon Talks Up Android Appstore Growth Ahead Of New Kindle Fire Announcement


And Amazon’s pre-announcement PR onslaught continues. While the recent Kindle Fire leak may have ruined Amazon’s big surprise, the online retail giant is still working to position itself as a hotspot for Android developers, and has just released some new stats about the growth of its Android Appstore to back up its claims.

Amazon’s official release simply mentions that the number of developers creating apps for its Appstore has grown “quickly,” but according to a related email, the number of developers has “more than doubled.” The company pegs that growth on its implementation of impulse-friendly one-touch app purchases, as well as the debut of new services like GameCircle that sought to bring Amazon’s mobile app ecosystem closer to those of its rivals.

Apparently, one of the biggest feathers in Amazon’s developer friendly cap is its in-app purchasing system, which it claims generates more than twice the revenue of the average paid app transaction. The service officially launched back in April (after a considerable beta period), and seemed like a considerable step forward in terms of developer monetization — if Amazon wanted to compete with the likes of Apple or Google’s own considerable app ecosystems, in-app purchases were a must have. As Kim-Mai pointed out at the time, Amazon retains the ability to dramatically discount the selling price of individual apps, but the company’s in-app purchasing scheme see developers earnings a straight 70% of the app’s list price.

The company was also quick to note in that email that the catalog of Kindle Fire-friendly apps has tripled since the tablet’s launch last November. Considering that the unveiling of a new Kindle Fire next week is basically a lock, I’m actually rather surprised Amazon didn’t do more to play up this stat. After all, the Kindle Fire is facing a much rougher competitive landscape than it did when it first launched with Google’s Nexus 7 picking up steam and the supposed iPad mini on the way. Still, there’s one important thing to take note of here — as was the case with some of Amazon’s other recent releases, Amazon hasn’t offered up specific numbers to back up these claims.

TechCrunch » android

The Weather Channel iPad App Tops 10 Million Downloads


We’ve followed The Weather Channel through its transition into the digital era.

It started with a beautiful iPad app, and then the company revamped its iPhone app and website to match the new look and feel. And boy were there features! Social elements, notifications when it will rain, and personalized weather were all in the forecast.

And today, the iPad app that started it all has surpassed 10 million downloads. Much of this is due to Hurricane Isaac, which swept the Gulf Coast this week.

The company reports that the strongest four-day period the app has ever seen started August 26, and TWC saw the most downloads ever (both iPhone and iPad) on August 26.

The Weather Channel has been making a big push of late, hoping to be the world’s go-to destination for weather information, whether they’re visiting on the web, TV, phone, or tablet. The Weather Channel app remains the second most downloaded app on the iPad, according to Apple, and is second only to Apple’s own iBooks.

Click to view slideshow.

TechCrunch » Gadgets

AT&T Opens A Swanky 10,000 Sq. Ft. Flagship Store In Chi-Town

scaled.AT&T Mich Ave - Logo Wall IMG_2092

Today, AT&T opened up its 10,000 square foot flagship retail store on Michigan Ave. in Chicago. It’s a bit of a beast, with an 18-foot Connect Wall that displays news and product info to everyone in the store and in the street.

But despite all the cool technology (and trust me, there’s plenty), AT&T is really looking to have more of connection with its consumers. When you walk into any carrier store, the phone usually comes first. Samsung, Apple, and Motorola come to mind — not AT&T. But the blue carrier is looking to remedy that.

The store has a Microsoft Surface table so that consumers can familiarize themselves with various apps. There’s also a Street Smart section, complete with a Nissan Leaf, which makes customers aware of AT&T’s safe driving products, along with an in-store retail demo area of AT&T’s home automation services and products.

But the tech isn’t just for the consumers. Employees will use biometric technology to open cabinet locks for cash drawers and IT systems using their fingerprints.

Check out the video below for a better look:

Click to view slideshow.

TechCrunch » Gadgets

Amazon Wants Everyone To Know The Kindle Fire Is Sold Out

kindle fire

New Kindles are coming! New Kindles are coming! And Amazon is trying its hardest to build up hype.

The Kindle Fire was the retailer’s hottest product since its launch. The replacement is set be announced next week, but Amazon just took to the wires to announce the original Kindle Fire is sold out. OMGNOWAY!

It’s nearly guaranteed that Amazon will launch new Kindle models next week at its LA-based press conference. New ereader Kindles are expected alongside new Fire models. It should be a good showing by Amazon, but there is a lot of noise in this space now. A boat load of tablets launched at IFA the last few days and Apple is expected to release a Kindle Fire competitor in the coming weeks as well.

Amazon is clearly desperate for attention. And so, just like the, days before the announcement of the next model, Amazon is suddenly out of stock of its best selling item — and quickly issued a press release bragging as such.

SEATTLE—August 30, 2012—(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Less than one year ago, Amazon introduced Kindle Fire —combining 15 years of innovation into a single, fully-integrated, end-to-end service for customers. Kindle Fire quickly became the most successful product launch in the history of, earning over 10,000 5-star customer reviews, and is the #1 best-selling product across the millions of items available on Amazon since its introduction 48 weeks ago. Today, Amazon announced that Kindle Fire is sold out, and that in just nine months, Kindle Fire has captured 22% of tablet sales in the U.S.

“We’re grateful to the millions of customers who have made Kindle Fire the most successful product launch in the history of Amazon,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO. “This has been a big year for digital products on Amazon—all of the top 10 sellers on since Kindle Fire launched just less than a year ago are digital products. Kindle Fire is sold out, but we have an exciting roadmap ahead—we will continue to offer our customers the best hardware, the best prices, the best customer service, the best cross-platform interoperability, and the best content ecosystem.”

Kindle Fire offers customers a vast selection of digital content—over 22 million movies, TV shows, apps, games, books, magazines and more—in one seamless, end-to-end experience, making it easy for customers to browse, discover and purchase. Since Kindle Fire launched last September, all of the top 10 products on Amazon—across all products—are digital products.

TechCrunch » Gadgets