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What Is the True Cost of the iPhone 5?

With all the hype and emotion around the iPhone 5 it is getting greater scrutiny than most phone releases in the past.

One of the things that is being looked at is the total cost of ownership for the iPhone. Our friends at Avalaunch Media have created an infographic that looks at just how much this mobile wonder could run you. Some feel the estimates are actually a little low. What do you think?

Check out the full infographic.

Online Map Battle Continues as Both Sides Sound Off

As you probably already know, Apple CEO Tim Cook has issued his mea culpa for the Apple Maps ‘problem’. No matter which side of this argument you are on this has elicited some interesting responses.

First we hear from the pro-Apple, ‘Yeah Tim Cook rocks!” camp headed by camp counselor, Farhad Manjoo of Pando Daily. He cuts to the chase saying that this is over in one masterful swipe from the head Apple and that even Google has stubbed its toe here.

If You Got Lost Using Apple Maps, Tim Cook is Sorry

Yesterday, I upgraded my Apple iPad and iPhone to iOS 6. Lucky for me, I didn’t leave the house after that or I might not have made it back to chat with you this morning.

As you may have heard, Apple’s new mapping system, the one they installed to replace Google Maps, doesn’t work quite right. Some of the results are amusing, like the bridge in this screengrab. The General Lee might make it across, but the rest of us are going to have issues.

You’ll find that image and more at The Amazing iOS 6 Maps Tumblr.

Other reports include buildings in the wrong place, missing rivers, entire cities moved to a new state, parks five times their actual size and have a look at this incredible melting roadway.

Google’s ‘Field Trip’ App for Android Adds to Local Offering

It appears that for the past several months the folks at Google have been hard at work preparing for the Apple Maps launch.

They were hard at work because they knew they had a potentially formidable opponent and that even related services to local and location based offerings needed to be strong to face this foe. Of course, even in their wildest dreams could they have imagined the apparent train wreck that is Apple Maps and the Apple local experience in general.

So now all that hard work has paid off handsomely. The latest local offering which is for Android only is an app called Field Trip which allows you to get information about things based on your location. The Verge reports

Google has just launched Field Trip, a new app that the company says is “your guide to the cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around you.” It sounds like it works as a virtual tour guide — with the app running in the background, a “card” will pop up with information any time you’re near a site of interest.

Here’s one of the usual heart-strings-tugging videos from Google to promote the app.

Mobile Marketing Goes Postal with Holiday eCommerce Promotion

It may not seem like it, but mobile is actually the perfect compliment to the US Postal Service. When a customer uses their mobile device to buy something online, that something has to be mailed to them and there’s a one in three chance that that something is going to arrive via the US Postal Service.

In order to encourage this symbiotic relationship, the USPS is offering a special holiday direct mail promotion aimed specifically at mobile marketers.

The 2012 Holiday Mobile Shopping Promotion gives online merchants a 2% postage discount as long as they have a a mobile bar code or QR code that leads back to the web. (You’ll find the specifics here.)

Google’s Schmidt Says No Google Maps for iPhone 5 Users

Although it was a bit unclear from the article from Reuters it appears as if there are no plans to roll out any Google Maps alternative for the millions of people making the mobile move to the Apple’s iPhone 5 and iOS 6. I say unclear because it is hard to tell if the door is left open for an app in the future or not. This revelation comes despite the rumors that bubbled up (shocker!) that Google has an app waiting approval for iOS 6 users (which could end up ultimately being true considering how the truth is rather fluid in the Internet space but the likelihood seems extremely slim at best).

Reuters reported

Solavei Launches Phone Network That Pays Back for Social Sharing

While part of the population is willing to camp out on the street in order to get their hands on the newest iPhone, other folks are struggling to pay their monthly mobile bill. For many people, the mobile phone has replaced their home phone so it’s their only connection to work, school and family.

Enter Solavei, the mobile network that not only offers a great deal, they offer cash back, too. We’re not talking $10 rebates here, we’re talking about recurring monthly income of up to (wait for it. . . . ) $20,000 a month!?

Solavei’s income option is based on the pyramid style affiliate program that used to generate millions of dollars back when the web was wild. Quite simply, I get a bonus for every person who signs up for phone service under me, and I get a smaller bonus for everyone who signs up under my friends. What makes this intriguing is the emphasis on social sharing.