iPhone 6 Sales Heat Up Beyond 10 Million

Sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from Apple have led on from the record-breaking pre-order figures as planned by the American company, with the total for the two handsets reportedly already breaking 10 million units across its first weekend.

iphone_burnFirst released in a number of territories on 19 September, the products broke Apple’s record for the smartphone range after just 3 days of being put on shelves, and naturally continue to keep setting Apple’s internal bar higher.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said of the results so far: “Sales for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend, and we couldn’t be happier. We would like to thank all of our customers for making this our best launch ever, shattering all previous sell-through records by a large margin. While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile, though, some people who are either in on the joke themselves, or just incredibly gullible enough to both spend so much money on an iPhone and then immediately waste it on something they just read of the internet.

That something was an ‘official-looking’ prank avert running on 4Chan, which claimed that a new feature of the iOS 8 operating system, named “Wave”, was the ability to charge the products via 90 seconds in a microwave. The results from those that actually tried it, as exampled above, were rather… predictable.

The same pranksters had done something similar with the iOS 7 announcement, suggesting it made the smartphone waterproof . Whatever they do next for iOS 9, you can assume that as before, people who follow the advice of these fake adverts will surely have deserved to spend whatever money they did on the ‘premium product’ and then witness it succumb to the elements…

Netflix Australia Plans Sends Locals Into Right(s) Frenzy

The recent concerns surrounding Netflix‘s unofficial presence in Australia look set to be partially removed and primarily amplified in the near future, after rumors that Netflix are planning to act on their long-standing intention of launching a Netflix franchise in the country left local TV broadcasters moving quickly to try and retain their broadcasting rights with American distributors.

Netflix-AustraliaThe renegotiation process, where deals are coming to an end between Australian networks and American content providers, is thought to be a move to make Netflix’s arrival in Australia as uncomfortable as possible for as long as possible following launch, with the ‘hold back’ rights planned for on ‘first-run’ TV shows and films stopping them from running on ‘subscription video-on-demand’ (‘SVoD’) platforms such as Netflix for up to 18 months.

Networks are also set to pour money into their own official or supported  SVOD platforms, with exclusive and non-exclusive rights deals being made to retain and draw in content ahead of a possible Netflix-storm.

Amongst these moves include Seven West Media joining forces with Foxtel’s Presto platform but with ‘no guarantee’ of staying there, and Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media putting AU$100 million into an SVOD venture of their own.

Despite the frantic activity being seen at present, it appears as though TV executives are unsure as to whether or not their efforts will have any significant impact on Netflix, especially considering the strong subscriber numbers they already have through Australians paying for the American version of the service, who access the American site via geoblocking proxy servers.

Presto director Shaun James is of the camp that disagrees, though, saying of the ‘inferior service’ that he thinks Netflix will probably have in Australia: “I’m not trying to undersell the task we have got in terms of raising Presto’s brand awareness but [Netflix] will be an inferior local service because of the rights that currently sit with Seven, Nine, Ten, ABC and Foxtel. They have looked at this market and seen that.”

Richard Freudenstein, CEO of Presto owners Foxtel, added to the sentiment, claiming his company’s deal with HBO will prevent Netflix from showcasing their own original content in Australia, with HBO having previously been sold international distribution rights to Netflix ‘commissioned & funded’ series including House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Freudenstein stated: “You will never see an HBO program on Netflix in Australia. Netflix will find it is a very competitive market for the acquisition of first-run programming.”

Though Netflix have moved to improve their methods in that department as they become increasingly global (with a deal made with Disney’s Marvel Comics to hold all international distribution rights on a number of TV franchises), their lack of content elsewhere will certainly not allow them to just waltz into the Australian marketplace. That being said, they are already a competitor without even being there… and many of their shows initially missed out on in Australia will have the same attributes with a little browser disguising magic…

PlayStation TV Release European Release Details

Shortly after further details regarding the Sony internet TV project were revealed, the Japanese technology company have finalised their plans to roll out their PlayStation TV product to the European market.

playstationtv_mini-consoleWith a release date now penned for 14 November, potential European users of the microconsole will be able to get their hands on it in exchange for €99.99/£84.99.

The set-top box device, marketed mainly for its gaming functions but also for second-screen streaming abilities, will be supportive of close to 700 titles from its first day – with iconic PS1, PSP, and PlayStation Vita games along with a number of ‘PlayStation minis’ series titles available on the microconsole, and even more notable games such as Minecraft promised for the future with designs on taking the total beyond 1,000.

Having already released in Japan in 2013, and set to do so in North America for $99.99 on 14 October, the European roll-out of the 1GB streaming product will be sold with voucher good for three digital downloads of PlayStation Vita games with OlliOlli, Velocity Ultra, and Worms Revolution Extreme being the titles that will serve as defaults on most units.

The product, along with gaming functions and streaming abilities that include PlayStation Now and PlayStation Store support, also carries the ability to be a remote second screen outlet for the PlayStation 4 console, offering users the ability to use the main console elsewhere when it is already in action. The official trailer for the European release, oddly identical to their promotional campaigns elsewhere, can be seen below:

Microsoft Raise OneDrive Cloud Space For Limited Period

Believed to be in an attempt to lure those Apple customers who have just made an update to iOS 8 for their mobile operating system needs, competing American technology company Microsoft have revealed a limited-time-only doubling of their storage on the ‘OneDrive’ cloud service.

microsoft_onedriveNow increasing the file-storage system to 30GB, users will recieve that level of storage ability permanently from Microsoft should they install the app and change their their ‘photo auto upload’ feature settings to ‘on’ by the end of September.

An official company blog post on the matter read: “For those getting ready to install iOS 8, this means you won’t have to delete a bunch of photos or apps to make room for the upgrade. While it might seem strange to announce new features on a Friday evening, we’ve been listening to the commentary about storage on the new iPhones released today [September 18] and we wanted to get you more storage right away.”

Not to be abandoning their full client-base old and new, though, Microsoft have announced the update will also occur for Android handset holders, as well as the natural home of Windows Phone, with the selling point (not only of it being own-brand in the latter’s case) being that it is much larger than the 5GB free storage offered through the Apple-branded iCloud Drive.

Marking the latest milestone in the service after heading to 15GB free storage capacity in June and a 10GB single upload upper limit from this month, will Microsoft’s means of storing videos (amongst other file types) with no physical presence grow into market domination from this offer?

Netflix Canada Ordered By CRTC To Provide Confidential Data

Netflix‘s American domination of online streaming is at a level its counterpart north of the border attempts to match, and while for the most part it succeeds, there are sometimes obstacles to face on account of not being native and not being ‘traditional television’.

crtc_logoCanadian broadcasting regulator CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) claimed that Netflix must hand over their viewer data to them otherwise be hit with rulings subjecting them to abide by the rules of ‘traditional Canadian television‘.

Setting the instruction at a hearing in Gatineu, CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais announced the decision following two weeks of heated debate with Netflix representative Corie Wright over ‘the future of television’, requesting that Netflix provide statistics regarding the total number of Canadian subscribers, as well as how popular Canadian-made content is on the site, although Netflix have naturally been cautious after citing a lack of confidentiality guarantee from the body.

Blais said to Netflix of the request: “You operate under an exemption order that requires you to provide the information. Failure to provide the information puts at risk your exemption order. The commission is ordering you to provide the number of subscribers that you have currently in Canada by 5 p.m., Ottawa time, Monday [22 September].”

Likely to be hit with having to follow the Broadcasting Act should they not comply, there is plenty of incentive for Netflix to do so with broadcasting taxes amongst the issues they would face by becoming an official broadcaster (an ironic byproduct of the situation considering Netflix’s long-held desire to prove they can compete with traditional TV networks).

Wright, however, seemed to argue that while aiding CRTC in ‘any way they can’ is a goal of the hearing, Netflix were there on a voluntary basis (as well as ‘supporting Canadian content’ of their own accord) and do not consider themselves Canadian or a broadcaster subject to full CRTC governance. She stated: “We are not a licensed broadcaster. We are a foreign entity.”

Set to spark plenty of discussion anyway over whether or not an incoming content broadcaster such as Netflix should be bound by regulations of a local governing body, will the case be made more controversial this evening with no viewer data arriving on CRTC’s doorstep?

Sony Plan Internet TV Launch By End of Year

Further to announcements that a proposed Sony-based internet TV service is picking up speed in terms of rights arrangements, it has been revealed by an executive of the Japanese company that they plan to have the platform released to American viewers before the year 2015, and for non-Americans… probably within 2015.

sony_makebelieveLikely to me made as compatible with a range of official Sony hardware such as the PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Sony Bravia smart TV sets and Sony Xperia mobile devices, the potential for coverage is certainly there for Sony with their plans to move into the TV industry, so all they really need as a defining factor over their success should be content, which for the time being includes Viacom (who will bring a wide selection from their owned networks and studios including Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount, and Spike), and in the future could be joined by companies including Disney, Showtime, and Time Warner, according to rumors.

Andrew House, the CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, claimed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that Sony remain in discussion with a variety of potential content partners to offer licensed programming on the upcoming service, and will roll it out by the end of 2014.

House stated: “A streaming-based approach needs to have a very wide funnel of devices, and that inherently means a broad and manufacturer-agnostic approach.”

Will the Sony TV brand manage to go ahead as planned by the end of the year with the strongest start possible?