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In the second case of its kind in a week, a woman in Brazil reportedly awoke in the middle of the night to find her iPhone emitting sparks and smoke.

Being awoken from a deep, soothing slumber by an alarm clock or wake-up call is bad enough, but being awoken by a fire on your bedside table would be something else altogether. It’d certainly get you out of bed in a hurry.

According to Brazil’s techtudo website, a woman by the name of Ayla Mota had her iPhone 4 plugged in to charge overnight when it allegedly began to emit sparks and smoke as she slept (no, the picture on the right is not of the actual incident).

The fact that the phone was on Ayla’s bedside table meant the indoor fireworks display was kicking off only a short distance from her head. Upon waking, it seems that Ayla was able to deal with the situation without coming to any harm, though she was reportedly shaken up by the event.

The incident comes in the same week that another iPhone 4 device was said to have spontaneously combusted, this time on board a passenger plane in Australia. In that incident the phone was reported to have emitted dense smoke and a red glow. A quick-thinking flight attendant used a fire extinguisher to deal with the emergency and no one was hurt. Australian airline authorities are looking into the incident.

Apple has yet to publicly comment on either case, though no doubt the company will be keen to cast its eye over the results of any investigations.

It’s hardly time for iPhone owners to start sleeping with a bucket of water under the bed though. These are extremely isolated incidents and with Apple having sold so many of its smartphone device, what are the chances of yours going up in smoke?

If, however, multiple reports start coming in of iPhones spontaneously combusting here, there and everywhere, then perhaps that’ll be the time to start filling up the bucket. But one hopes it won’t ever come to that.

 

Provided by Trevor Mogg

The intellectual property battle rages on between Apple and Samsung. In April 2011, Apple filed for patent infringement, claiming that Samsung copied its iPhone and iPad designs. Courts all over the world have taken on this battle. Europe and Australia, for instance, have ordered preliminary injunctions barring Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from shelves — just in time for the holiday season.

 

Provided by Stephanie Buck

Steve Jobs Emails

An ebook released Tuesday takes an inside look at the email correspondence of Apple founder Steve Jobs.

“Letters to Steve: Inside the Email Inbox of Apple’s Steve Jobs” ($2.99), by CNN technology writer Mark Milian, explores how the tech innovator fielded emails from fans — and how he handled the missing Apple iPhone 4 prototype dilemma with Gizmodo editors.

Jobs often responded to customer emails directly, which is highly unorthodox for someone in his position. Many ended up online.

Milian spent months scouring the Internet, looking at blog postings and message boards for email correspondences, and spoke to many of those who were lucky enough to get a response. The book, available for the Kindle, is a compilation of what he found.

Mashable spoke with Milian about what it was like to receive an email from the former Apple chief executive — and what kind of questions generally triggered him to respond.

Mashable: What trends did you notice about Jobs’ email responses while doing your research?

Milian: Steve Jobs is often described as a perfectionist, and he was known to be obsessive about typography. But he occasionally made typos. He was also inconsistent about whether he’d sign his name or include “Best” in his sign-off signature. Some of the sources I interviewed for the book believed he had assistants help him with his mail, but I didn’t find any evidence to support that.

Mashable: What type of emails grabbed his attention?

Milian: Flattery certainly helped people get a response. However, some would sent combative emails and still get replies, even if they were unpleasant. It’s obvious that Jobs cared very deeply about many of the topics he took the time to address. He cared about customers having exceptional experiences with their products and Apple’s repair system. But he also cared about things you’d never guess he had a passion for. For example, he’d write long missives about Flash or the H.264 video codec or the Objective-C programming language. If someone happened to touch on a topic he was engrossed in at a certain point, it got his attention.

Mashable: Is it unusual for someone with such executive power to field customer service inquiries?

Milian: There’s a chapter in the book about how Jobs directly handled customer-service inquiries by e-mail and occasionally by phone. Sure, you’ll find some CEOs on Twitter and Google+, but you won’t see them personally helping a customer get their laptop repaired. It fits with Apple’s mission statement to make sure customers have a great experience. If someone’s iPod is broken, that person is not having a good experience. Jobs at times felt like it was his duty to handle those types of emails.

Mashable: Which email exchange sticks out most in your mind?

Milian: Steve Jobs loved to end emails with a zing. An email I got exclusively for the ebook came from a man that runs a company. The man wrote to a bunch of people at Apple including Jobs about a flaw in the App Store’s ranking system. Jobs replied and explained some changes coming to the App Store, and then ended his email with a great jab: “I notice that your app has not received great reviews.”

He also played every angle in an attempt to get that [prototype iPhone 4] back, and it showed his brilliant negotiating tactics. However, Gizmodo was not about to give that phone up without a fight.

Mashable: What is it that most shocked you about the emails?

Milian: I was a bit surprised that so many people would so readily publish private correspondences without Jobs’ permission. I can see why, of course. He’s an icon, and people were excited when they received a message from him. But I found it unusual that many didn’t think twice about forwarding these e-mails to reporters or posting them to their own blogs.

 

Provided by Samantha Murphy

ipad-3-concept

Next models of iPad and iPhone could get a boost in size to go along with improved specs.

While the normal tendency is to make each iteration of a product slimmer, a new rumor suggests that the next generation of iPads and iPhones could actually be a step up in both specs and size.

Citing the site’s “most reliable source,” iLounge has posted some details about the next generation of iPads and iPhones that suggest both product lines will gain a little size when new models are released in 2012.

With the iPad 3, the size increase will only add about .7mm of thickness to the tablet computer. The change is necessary to support a second light bar for the higher-resolution display — rumored to be an impressive 2048 x 1536 pixels. The site indicates that that the iPad 3 could debut sometime in January for a March release.

As for the iPhone 5, the site’s source says the phone will need an extra 8mm to accommodate its new 4-inch display. Upgrades to the phone’s battery could also play into the size increase.

The report suggests that the iPhone 5 will debut sometime in the summer, and that it’s still in the engineering phase (as opposed to early production).

 

Provided by Rick Marshall

gmail-logo-good

The fix is in: Google returns the Gmail iOS app to the Apple App Store bug-free.

 

After a very public screw-up, Google has re-released the Gmail app for iOS devices into Apple’s App Store. The app is currently available for download. (Though, for some reason, it’s not showing up in the iOS App Store app, as of 3:30pm ET.) Users who managed to snag the earlier version of the app, which contained a number of bugs that rendered it inoperable, will have to either log out, or completely uninstall the app, before installing the updated version.

A native Gmail app for iOS has been a long time coming. For the past few years, users of Android-based smartphones have boasted their ability to access added functionality of Gmail which was lost when using the email service on iOS, through its app client. With this release that perk is no longer exclusive to Android users.

At the top of the new-features heap is the addition of Push Notifications, as well as greater speed, efficiency and touchscreen functionality. Better search, email address autocomplete and the ability to upload and send photos are also part of Gmail for iOS.

Google says that, since releasing the original version, it has begun to work on adding a number of additional features, as well. These include the ability to use multiple accounts. Notifications and “mobile specific” touchscreen gestures will also be getting an upgrade. “Many more” new features are on their way, says Google.

The Gmail app is free, and will work on any device that runs iOS 4 or above.

Apple’s iPad may well appeal across the board, but what kinds of people are most likely to buy one? Well, someone has done a spot of research and come up with an infographic providing the answer.

 

Whether it’s a barely-talking toddler who seems to be able to know exactly how to operate the thing, or someone in their twilight years for whom desktop computers were always just too darn tricky, the fact is that Apple’s popular iPad appeals to many types.

Data management firm BlueKai took it upon itself to take a closer look at which kinds of people would be more likely to purchase the device. Through its research, illustrated in a neat infographic at the bottom of this page, it found that an iPad buyer is most likely to be male, a fan of video games and a pet owner. It’s hard to find a connection between pets and iPads but it’s likely that it’s those video game players who are helping to push up iOS mobile gaming revenue to record levels.

Falling into the ‘highly likely to buy an iPad’ category are scientists and health care workers, as well as domestic business travelers (keeps them busy on the plane), international travelers (ditto), apartment dwellers, proponents of organic food and vitamin takers.

Other information included in the demographic included comScore’s discovery that 45.9 percent of tablet owners live in households earning in excess of $100,000 per year. Additionally, research by Nielsen showed that 70 percent of all iPad use takes place in front of a television.

The iPad is proving a huge success for Apple, which sold more than 11 million of the devices during the most recent quarter for which data is available. Precisely how many of those belong to male, pet-owning gaming fans isn’t currently known.

 

Provided by Trevor Mogg

apple-iphone-4s-white-black

The iPhone 4S continues its international rollout November 11, going on sale in Hong Kong, South Korea, and 13 additional countries.

 

Apple is continuing its rapid international rollout of the iPhone 4S, announcing today that the device will go on sale in Hong Kong and 14 additional markets beginning November 11, with pre-orders in many markets launching on November 4. The launch will bring the number of countries with the iPhone 4S to 29, making the device’s international rollout one of the fastest in the smartphone industry. And it’s not slowing down: Apple now says it expects to have the iPhone 4S available in more than 70 countries by the end of 2011.

The new iPhone 4S markets are Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and South Korea. Pre-orders will be available on November 4 in about half the new countries; customers in Albania, El Salvador, Guatamela, Malta, Montenegro, and Panama will have to wait until the 11th.

The rapid international rollout will no doubt boost numbers for Apple’s current financial quarter, which will include end-of-year holiday sales: the growing international availability of the iPhone 4S may be one of the reasons Apple CEO Tim Cook was unabashedly optimistic about the iPhone 4S’s sales potential for the quarter, after Apple’s most recent results delivered something of a disappointment to investors now accustomed to Apple delivering a series of hugely successful quarters.