AWT News Update: May 22, 2015

After missing a day yesterday, the AWT News Update is back with some fun and informative news about the world of Apple... and its competitors:

  • Anker announces a number of adapters and cables for the new USB-C standard
  • Samsung's flagship Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge phones aren't selling well
  • Researchers at Cambridge University find big problems with security on Android phones
  • Apple Watch sales cool a bit after a hot launch

The full text version of the AWT News Update podcast can be found below.

Text Version

I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for May 22, 2015.

Those of us who have the 12-inch MacBook are, for the most part, quite happy with our purchase. For most of our connections to the rest of the world we use wireless right now instead of wired connections, mainly because there aren’t that many USB-C adapters at this point. Apple offers three — a $19 USB-C to USB adapter, a $79 USB-C Digital AV Multiport adapter and a $79 USB-C VGA Multiport adapter. Well, accessory manufacturer Anker has just announced more solutions, including USB-C to micro-USB, USB-C to USB 3.0, and — this is the one I’m excited about — a USB-C to Lightning cable. Belkin and Google have also come out with USB-C cables and adapters, so it won’t be that long before we’ll have a good variety of cables to work with the 12-inch MacBook and any future Apple devices that use the new connection.

It sucks to be Samsung right now. Investment bank Oppenheimer published a research note that shows not only that sales of the company’s phones in the key China market dropped by more than 50% in the last year, but sales of the flagship Galaxy S6 smartphone are lagging big time. Oppenheimer pointed out that Samsung’s strategy with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge is misguided. All of the changes are in hardware, while quote “we see little improvement in Samsung’s software user experience, and no value-added to existing Samsung users who are on prior generations of devices.” In other words, there’s no big compelling reason for consumers to purchase a Samsung device.

While we’re taking a close look at the failings of Android phones today, it’s worth pointing out the results of a study by Cambridge University researchers Laurent Simon and Ross Anderson, who found that the factory reset function in Android OS is so weak that data could be recovered from phones that had been factory-reset — even with encryption turned on. How many devices could be affected? The researchers belive that 500 million Android devices may not fully wipe device disk partitions, and as many as 630 million Android smartphones are susceptible to an issue that results in internal SD cards not being wiped. Other critical failures of various versions of the Android operating system were outlined in the research paper, which can be found here. Aren’t you glad you use iOS?

After an initial burst of sales — about 2.5 million in the first five weeks of availability — sales seem to be slowing for the Apple Watch. The numbers aren’t bad, averaging about 30,000 orders per day or about 900,000 per month. But that’s not on track with Apple’s hopes to sell 15 million of the devices by the end of September. It’s expected that sales will rebound and rise as soon as the Apple Watch appears in retail locations starting next month. And in case you’re concerned, the numbers are outpacing early sales of both the iPod and iPhone, and are quite close to initial numbers for the iPad.

The staff at Apple World Today is going to be taking the long three-day Memorial Day weekend off, so we’ll be back on Tuesday with another AWT News Update.