Rumour: Apple to launch 4.8-inch iPhone model in June

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Jan 212013
 
Apple

The rumours continue to suggest that Apple will abandon its long-held strategy of releasing a single new iPhone model later this year. A new report by the China Times suggests that Apple will release not one but three different models later this year (if I read the Google translation correctly). Alongside the Apple iPhone 5S, we could see a new iPhone handset codenamed “iPhone Math” as well as a third model that would follow somewhat later.

Details are slim on the “iPhone Math” but it will reportedly sport a 4.8-inch display to allow Apple to take on other devices in the phablet space. It should also have an 8MP camera with lenses from Largan Precision. It should launch alongside the iPhone 5S this summer.

Component shipments are set to start in March with production to follow in late April to prepare for the launch. Foxconn looks set to the key manufacturer for both devices.

A third iPhone model, this one sporting a 12MP camera, would follow in the latter part of the year in time for the holiday season.

The report makes no specific mention of a cheaper iPhone model although past rumours have hinted that it would have a larger display. Could the “iPhone Math” be that cheaper model?

Confused? You’re not the only one. For now, take all these rumours with a pinch or two of salt.

Read more: China Times (in Chinese) [Google translation] (Source: AppleInsider)

More information on upcoming cheaper iPhone?

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Jan 152013
 
Apple

Rumours of a cheaper Apple iPhone model coming this year refuse to go away. Citing its usual sources from the upstream supply chain, Digitimes reports that the new device could use a redesigned case made of plastic rather than glass and aluminium as seen on iPhones to date. The move (along with others) would allow Apple to drive the manufacturing price down.

The case could also be a blend of plastic and metal. The sources add that it could have transparent portions that would let users see internal components. Past reports have also suggested that it could be made of polycarbonate.

The report adds that the case would be provided by an unnamed US-based supplier.

Component validation is apparently already underway in preparation for a launch sometime in the second half of the year.

Read more: Digitimes

Did Apple’s Schiller really dismiss a cheaper iPhone? (Updated)

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Jan 112013
 
Apple

The story behind an interview between Apple SVP of Worldwide marketing Phil Schiller and the Chinese newspaper Shanghai Evening News has taken an interesting twist. It all started with a number of reports that Apple was working on a cheaper iPhone (to sell perhaps as low as US$99). In the subsequent interview, Schiller appeared to deny the rumours. Or did he?

According to translations, Schiller was quoted as saying that cheap smartphones would “never be the future of Apple’s products.” He added that Apple would not compromise on quality and only used “the best technology available.” Those comments are now being brought into question by Reuters, one of the many publications that picked up the story. It has now removed its article, indicating that the source material, namely the original interview, has been “subsequently updated with substantial changes to its content.” Even stranger is that it’s not clear what if any changes have been made. According to BusinessInsider: “The original story doesn’t appear to have had any major changes.”

Did Schiller say that Apple would not make cheap phones or not? No one seems to know and even Apple is not saying. One thing is clear: Even if Apple were to launch a cheaper iPhone model, it would certainly not describe it as such.

Update: Reuters has posted a revised story where it outlines changes to the original Shanghai Evening News interview. It reports that references to cheaper smartphones have been removed except for the mention of a “cheaper, low-end product.” The headline of the story has also been modified to “Apple wants to provide the best products, will not blindly pursue market share” from “Apple will not push a cheaper smartphone for the sake of market share.” For its part, Apple confirmed that the interview took place but declined to provide a transcript of the interview.

Read more: Reuters (Source: Business Insider)

Apple’s Schiller dismisses cheaper iPhone rumours

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Jan 102013
 
Apple

Rumours this week have suggested that we could see Apple launch an entry level iPhone smartphone priced as low as US$99. Reports came from a number of sources including Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal indicating that such a device could launch by the end of the year in emerging markets and perhaps even in mature markets. In an interview with the Chinese newspaper Shanghai Evening News yesterday, Apple’s SVP of Worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, threw some cold water on the rumours.

In the interview, Schiller explained that Apple would not sell a cheap smartphone solely for the purpose of expanding its market share. “At first, non-smartphones were popular in the Chinese market, now cheap smartphones are more popular and non-smartphones are out,” Schiller explained. “Despite the popularity of cheap smartphones, this will never be the future of Apple’s products. In fact, although Apple’s market share of smartphones is just about 20%, we own the 75% of the profit.”

Schiller added that Apple will not compromise on quality: “Every product that Apple creates, we consider using only the best technology available. This includes the production pipeline, the Retina display, the unibody design, to provide the best product to the market.” What is left unsaid is that Apple will not trade its healthy profit margins for the sake of market share. A cheap poor-quality smartphone is out of the question but a cheaper device using slightly older or cheaper components is not necessarily out of the question. Look at the Apple iPad: The iPad mini is in many ways simply a cheaper (but not cheaply made) version of the iPad.

Apple obviously does not want to tip its hand but don’t rule out a cheaper iPhone by year’s end just yet.

Read more: The Next Web

Entry-level Apple iPhone to sell for as low as US$99?

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Jan 092013
 
Apple

Following rumours yesterday suggesting that Apple was readying an entry-level iPhone, Bloomberg is the latest to add fuel to the fire. According to “people familiar with the plans”, the device would be aimed at emerging markets. But it could also make its way to more mature markets as Apple has reportedly already spoken to one top U.S. wireless carrier about it.

The report adds that Apple is reportedly looking at a retail price between US$99 and US$149 for such a device. It’s not clear whether this price includes carrier subsidies although that appears to be the most plausible theory at this time. Given that an unlocked iPhone 5 starts at US$649, Apple would likely have to make substantial hardware compromises to get the price down this low (without subsidies) and still maintain the profit margins it is used to. Conversely, it already sells the previous-generation iPhone 4S for US$99 albeit with a contract.

As for the device itself, it would use cheaper parts (including a polycarbonate body?) and would likely be smaller than current models. It could also be designed to work on multiple wireless networks.

Apple will launch the new smartphone late this year “at the earliest,” suggesting again that Apple is not yet fully committed to this project.

Read more: Bloomberg

Wall Street Journal: Apple working on cheaper iPhone

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Jan 082013
 
Apple

Following similar rumours earlier today, The Wall Street Journal is the latest to report that Apple is working on a lower-end phone, adding that it could be released later this year. The move would come in response to the growing challenge posed by Android and more particularly Samsung.

The cheaper model would look like its more expensive counterpart but would use cheaper components. For example, it could use a polycarbonate case instead of the aluminium one used on the iPhone 5. It could also make use of older and cheaper components to further reduce the price. This report makes no mention of smaller or larger displays as the earlier ones did.

The move would mark the first time that Apple would offer different current models since it first launched the original iPhone back in 2007. To date it has only sold a single current model with older models at lower prices. According to “people familiar with the efforts,” Apple has been considering such a device since 2009 (which may explain the recurring iPhone mini rumours) but concerns over increased manufacturing process complexity have kept it on the backburner.

The report adds that Apple could still decide not to move forward with this plan.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal

WIND Mobile not interested in Apple iPhone?

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Dec 112012
 

WIND MobileIn an interview with the Edmonton Journal, WIND Mobile’s COO Pietro Cordova shared some thoughts on how the carrier is faring as well as one of the the industry’s top smartphones.

With about 560,000 customers now onboard, WIND Mobile has established itself as Canada’s fourth largest carrier. But the carrier has found the market tougher than it had expected. It had originally wanted to have 1.5 million subscribers within the first three years of operation. “I believe the Canadian market is a slow market so it’s up to us to keep on delivering so more and more people will actually trust us,” Cordova said. He added that part of the challenge was that potential customers were still unsure of WIND’s long term viability. “It tells you the story of how Canadians look at things and if we continue delivering we will gain traction because the customers that are with us are happy… and I think that this is spreading,” he added.

Asked about the Apple iPhone, one of the most sought after smartphones, Cordova downplayed its importance to the carrier. “The iPhone 5, or iPhone in general, is not a huge factor for us. Clearly, our customer base is not necessarily a customer base that is entirely interested in those kinds of phones,” he said. He added that the carrier did not see “any real slowdown in our sales even in the peak weeks of the launch of the iPhone 5.”

What Cordova failed to add is that WIND Mobile cannot sell the iPhone because Apple has never offered an AWS variant. It’s more than likely that Cordova and WIND Mobile would love to be able to offer the iPhone to their customers as it is one of the few devices that could sway new customers over

Would you switch over if WIND Mobile offered an iPhone?

Read more: Edmonton Journal (Source: iPhoneInCanada)

Apple iPhone turns 5 today

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Jun 292012
 

Apple iPhoneIt was five years today that Apple first began selling the Apple iPhone. First introduced at the 2007 Macworld conference keynote, this was the day that customers could finally get their hands on the US$599 smartphone.

Since that fateful day, Apple has sold some 250 million iPhones and brought in about US$150 billion in revenues. Apple revolutionized the smartphone market, forcing its competitors to adapt quickly. While some have, many (including Nokia and RIM) are still struggling to return to former glory. Apple, for its part, has since established itself as one of the top smartphone manufacturers. In fact, it was still the top one in the U.S. in the first quarter of the year despite stiff competition from Samsung.

According to Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics:

“The iPhone portfolio has become a huge generator of cash and profit for Apple. A quarter of a billion iPhones have been shipped cumulatively worldwide in the first five years since launch and Apple reaches its fifth birthday at the top of its game. However, there are emerging signs that the iPhone’s next five years could get tougher. Some mobile operators are becoming concerned about the high level of subsidies they spend on the iPhone, while Samsung is expanding its popular Galaxy portfolio and providing Apple with more credible competition.”

Five years in, Apple’s competitors have in many ways caught up. But Apple has demonstrated several times over that is one of the most innovative technology companies out there and it likely has a few more surprises in its bag of tricks. It should be an exciting five more years (and beyond).

Read more: Strategy Analytics

Next Apple iPhone and iPad to use OLED display?

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Apr 022012
 

AppleIn a report about today’s launch of Samsung Display as an affiliate of the flagship Samsung firm, The Korea Times is reporting that Apple could use OLED panels for upcoming iPhone and iPad models. Samsung Display is planning to “massively increase its investment for OLEDs” as LCD revenues drop due to increasing competition. Citing “unnamed Samsung executives,” the report indicates that the increased volumes could allow Samsung to meet Apple’s shipment targets for future OLED iPads and iPhones. “So far, Apple has questions over an output commitment and product volume as Samsung’s OLED business isn’t on full track. But chances have risen to break the wall,” said one Samsung executive.

Quantity may not be the only challenge Samsung faces though. Apple had apparently considered Samsung OLED technology in the past but eventually opted not to due to unspecified “technological problems.” It would have to resolve these (if not already done) to earn Apple’s business.

Despite their legal battles, Apple was Samsung’s biggest customer in 2011, supplying it with a wide range of components (including LCD panels) in deals worth a total US$7.8 billion. That is set to increase to US$11 billion this year.

Read more: The Korea Times (Source: 9to5Mac)

Why do so many Apple iPhones show 9:42 in ads?

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Feb 052012
 

If you go back and look at Apple’s ads for the various iPhones, you will notice that many of them show the time 9:42am. The reason behind this was revealed this week former Apple exec Bob Borcher. In a presentation that covered a number of topics, he explained that this particular time marks an important moment in Apple history:

“If you ever see an Apple ad, print or TV, you look at the time and it’s always going to be 9:42 — 9:42 is when we launched the iPhone.”

It makes sense until you realize that a large number of ads show the time as 9:41 rather than 9:42. Here’s just one of them:

So, it is 9:41 or 9:42? Apple, how can you be so unsure? Or is there a conspiracy afoot within Apple to try to change history?

Read more: Business Insider

CES 2012: Next Apple iPhone 5 headed to T-Mobile with AWS support?

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Jan 112012
 

Apple iPhone 4SThe technical issues that prevented T-Mobile to offer the iPhone in the past could be resolved by the time the iPhone 5 is launched. In separate interviews, both T-Mobile’s CEO Philipp Humm and CTO Neville Ray suggested that the next chipset Apple will use will support AWS. They both acknowledge that whether they can reach a deal with Apple if and when this becomes a reality remains to be seen.

Speaking to AllThingsD, Humm said, “The key reason we didn’t have the iPhone in the past is we are on different band than globally the market was. That is something which will change over time. Chipsets are also evolving to be able to allow for more bands.”

In an interview with CNET, Ray essentially said the same thing: “The next chipset will support AWS. The challenge that existed in the past will go away.”

Should this come to be, it is likely that a few carriers here in Canada would also be interested. Mobilicity, Vidéotron and WIND Mobile all use AWS and, like T-Mobile, have so far been unable to offer the iPhone.

Read more: CNET and AllThingsD

No iPhone 5 for T-Mobile USA in 2011?

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Sep 202011
 

T-Mobile USAThere is some potentially disappointing news today for those hoping that the Apple iPhone 5 would land at T-Mobile USA. Speaking at an employee town hall meeting, T-Mobile Chief Marketing Officer Cole Brodman said: “We are not going to get the iPhone 5 this year.”

As TmoNews.com points out, the statement is open to some interpretation. It asks: “Does that mean an iPhone 4/4S is coming to T-Mobile this year or is a deal in place for T-Mobile to launch an iPhone in 2012?”

Just yesterday, J.P. Morgan predicted that Apple would announce Sprint as a new US carrier offering the iPhone 5 but made no mention of T-Mobile USA.

Brodman did indicate that T-Mobile USA would launch two more smartphones for the holiday season.

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AT&T and Apple gearing up for early to mid-September Apple iPhone 5 launch?

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Jul 252011
 

AT&TBGR.com is reporting today that AT&T has begun preparations to launch the Apple iPhone 5. “A proven source” outlined some of what AT&T is doing. Retail employees have been asked to complete any type of training as quickly as possible. Managers have also been asked to make sure that employee training is complete to make sure that employees are available to deal with the expected customer influx.

A separate report from MacRumors.com also indicates that AT&T is looking to hire additional staff. It has apparently reached out to former employees to ask them to come back from August 15th to September 15th to support the “holidays, new product launches and back to school time.”

Recent rumours point to a busy fall for Apple with the launch of the iPhone (perhaps even two), a new iPad with Retina Display, and likely new iPods.

Sources: BGR.com and MacRumors.com

Apple releases iOS 4.3.4 with PDF security patch

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Jul 152011
 

AppleApple today released iOS 4.3.4 (and iOS 4.2.9 for the Verizon version) with a fix for a recent PDF vulnerability. It also includes two other security fixes. Apple had acknowledged the PDF security issue earlier issue this week and promised a fix.

While there no reported attacks, the PDF vulnerability had been used by JailbreakMe.com to let user jailbreak their devices. Needless to say that the update will prevent you from using this latest jailbreak technique.

The latest iOS update is available for the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, and third- and fourth-generation iPod touch devices.

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