Apple iPhone 5S to come in different screen sizes and colours?

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Jan 082013

CES 2013 may be in full swing but there’s always time for some new Apple rumours. Two different reports point to Apple possibly offering a number of different iPhone models in 2013. Along with a new low-cost model for emerging markets, the next iPhone, likely to be called the Apple iPhone 5S, could offer users a choice of screen size and colour.

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White reports that his “checks” with Apple suppliers suggests that Apple will take a different approach with the next iPhone model. He expects “more choices for customers,” including “more color patterns and screen sizes.” Much like the current iPod touch, the new iPhone will come in multiple colours, perhaps as many as eight. “In our view, the iPhone 5 unibody aluminum case is a work of art and we believe it would be even more popular with the ability for consumers to choose from a wide array of vibrant colors that only Apple can deliver,” he writes.

Perhaps more important is the suggestion that Apple will, for the first time, offer different screen sizes for a single model. The move would allow Apple “to better bifurcate the market and expand its reach.” The report adds that one of those sizes would be larger than the iPhone 5’s 4-inch display. Another would be smaller and would allow Apple to grow its reach in emerging markets including China and India.

According to Digitimes and its “supply-chain sources,” Apple will in fact take a different route for the iPhone 5S. They report that the low-cost model would sport a larger display to meet the “prevailing trend for the adoption of 5-inch displays for high-end models” and a new exterior design.

It’s not the first time that there have been rumours about multiple colours for the next iPhone. It was suggested in December that it would come with a “super HD” display and camera, NFC support, and a better battery.

Read more: Barron’s and Digitimes

Apple App Store tops 40 billion downloads with record December month

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Jan 072013

Apple today announced that 40 billion apps have now been downloaded through its App Store. Nearly half of those downloads came in 2012 alone with December setting a record with over two billion downloads during the month. These numbers do not include re-downloads and updates.

“It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “Developers have made over seven billion dollars on the App Store, and we continue to invest in providing them with the best ecosystem so they can create the most innovative apps in the world.”

Apple highlighted a couple of applications:

  • Temple Run was downloaded 75 million times in 2012
  • Supercell’s DragonVale and Clash of Clans have earned more than US$100 million

The Apple App Store now offers over 775,000 apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Some 300,000 of those are native iPad apps. It also now has more than 500 million active accounts.

Apple had announced that the App Store had topped 30 billion downloads back at WWDC 2012 last June.

Read more: Apple

Apple’s “Do Not Disturb” iOS 6 bug to fix itself on January 7th

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Jan 022013

Apple today posted a support document acknowledging that the “Do not disturb” feature is currently not deactivating itself at the scheduled end time. The bug first surfaced on New Year’s Day. In the document, Apple explained that the feature will resume working correctly on January 7th:

Do Not Disturb scheduling feature will resume normal functionality after January 7, 2013. Before this date, you should manually turn the Do Not Disturb feature on or off.

To turn off the scheduling feature, tap Settings > Notifications > Do Not Disturb and switch Scheduled to Off.

The timing of the bug is particularly ironic given that Apple launched a new ad touting the feature on the same day that it first surfaced

It’s not the first time that Apple and the iPhone have run into a New Year bug. Non-repeating alarms did not function correctly on New Year’s Day back in 2011. They started working again correctly on January 3rd.

What is it with Apple and New Year’s bugs?

Read more: Apple

Is Apple already testing the iPhone 6?

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Jan 012013

There is little doubt that Apple is already at work on the successor to the iPhone 5 and the next version of iOS. Signs that Apple may have begun to do some early testing surfaced today courtesy of The Next Web. A number of developers have contacted it with reports of a new iPhone identifier and OS number showing up in app usage logs.

One iOS developer showed entries for a device identified as ‘iPhone6,1’ powered by iOS 7. Given that the current iPhone 5 models are identified as ‘iPhone5,1’ and ‘iPhone5,2.’ The entries also point to IP addresses originating from Apple’s Cupertino campus, suggesting that someone from Apple is playing with a device we know little about. Sadly, the logs reveal nothing about device specifications or new features we can expect in iOS 7.

Given the length of development cycles, it is not implausible that Apple is already doing some testing on its next-generation smartphone and operating system. Then again, it is not particularly difficult to spoof this type of information. So take all of this with a grain of salt for now. But one thing is sure: The Apple iPhone 6 and iOS 7 rumours have begun!

Read more: The Next Web

17.4 million Android and iOS devices activated on Christmas Day

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Dec 272012

It appears that a few people asked Santa Claus for smartphones or tablets and Santa appears to have come through in a big way. In fact, it was a record-setting day with 17.4 million Android and iOS devices being activated on Christmas Day according to Flurry Analytics.

More iOS and Android devices are activated on Christmas Day than on any other day of the year. This year was no exception. On this Christmas Day 2012, more iPhones, iPads, Galaxy’s, Kindle Fires, and more, were activated than on any other day in history. Moreover, as soon as we could tear the wrapping paper off our cool new devices, we started downloading a record volume of apps.

As the graph below shows, Christmas is a day like no other. Christmas Day 2011 held the previous record of 6.8 million Android and iOS device activations. This year’s Christmas was a mighty 2.5 times larger!

Android and iOS activations on Christmas Day 2012

Interestingly, whereas smartphone activations dominated the first 20 days of December, tablets caught up and accounted for roughly half of Android and iOS devices found under the tree.

Tablet and smartphone activations on Christmas Day 2012

As soon as all those devices were unpacked, they were used to set a record download day. 328 million apps were downloaded, over 100% more than the average day in the first 10 days of December.

Read more: Flurry Analytics

Apple releases iOS 6.0.2 with Wi-Fi fix

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Dec 182012

AppleApple today released iOS 6.0.2, a small update aimed primarily at the iPhone 5 and iPad mini. According to the changelog, it fixes a single issue: “a bug that could impact Wi-Fi.” It will hopefully address complaints about poor Wi-Fi performance exhibited by some users of both devices.

To update Over-The-Air, users can select ‘General’ > ‘Software Update’ vai the Settings app. It is also available through iTunes.

The next major iOS update, version 6.1, is expected in early 2013. Apple iOS 6.1 beta 4 is currently available to developers.

Read more: AppleInsider

Google Maps for iPhone downloaded 10 million times in first 48 hours

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Dec 172012

Google MapsIt appears that there was a bit of pent-up demand for an alternative to Apple Maps among iOS users. Google’s Jeff Huber today announced that Google Maps for iPhone was downloaded over 10 million downloads in the first 48 hours that it was available.

We’re excited for the positive reception of Google Maps for iPhone around the world. Congratulations to the Maps Team on the recognition for the passion and hard work they poured into it, for this release and over the last 7+ years.

Google Maps for iPhone shot to the top of the App Store charts and remains there today.

Read more: Jeff Huber [via Google+] (Source: TheNextWeb)

Next-generation iPad mini to sport Retina Display?

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Dec 142012

AppleThe next-generation Apple iPad mini may address one of the biggest complaints against the first-generation model: The lack of a high resolution display. According to Digitimes, enhancements in the iPad mini’s successor will focus primarily on the display.

The report adds that sources are still unsure whether the new tablet will use a Retina Display with a resolution of 2,058 by 1,536 pixels and 326 PPI or one with a somewhat lower resolution – but still higher than the current iPad mini’s XGA (1024×768) display. If so, Apple will need to address the higher power requirements of such a display.

The next-generation iPad mini may not launch until next fall if Apple’s past product refresh strategy is any indication.

Apple will also reportedly redesign the next iPad to use a single LED light bar instead of two to reduce the weight of that device.

Read more: Digitimes

Google Maps now available for iPhone and iPod touch

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Dec 132012

As expected, Google has launched much-anticipated Google Maps for the iPhone and iPod Touch (4th gen). Former users of the app will find it familiar but the interface has been refreshed in much the same way that Google has recently updated other iOS apps such as Gmail and YouTube.

Navigate your world with Google Maps, now available for iPhone. Get comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps with built-in Google local search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions, Street View and more. Use Google Maps to discover great places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and reviews from people you trust. Sign in to save your favorite places and quickly access all your past searches and directions from your computer, right on your phone.

Google also took the time to remind its users that it makes “tens of thousands of daily updates” to keep Google Maps accurate and asks users to shake their phones to send them feedback if something is not right.

Google has also released the Google Maps SDK for iOS so that developers can integrate Google Maps in their own apps.

The Google Maps app is available as a free download for the iPhone and iPod Touch (4th gen) iOS 5.1 and higher. An iPad version of the app is not available at this time.

Read more: Google Official Blog

Google Maps returning to iOS tonight?

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Dec 122012

Google MapsIf Apple Maps has left you wanting or driven you over to bookmarking on your iOS devices, there good be some good news tonight. AllThingsD reports that Google will release its new iOS Maps app tonight.

Google Maps had been preinstalled on iOS devices from the time that the first iPhone launched. It was dropped from iOS 6 this fall in favour of Apple’s own Maps app. Responding to wide criticism and ridicule for its many inaccuracies, Apple CEO Tim Cook went as far as publishing an open letter apologizing for the quality of the app and vowing that Apple would do “everything we can to make Maps better.”

It will be interesting to see how Google Maps fares against Apple Maps. If nothing else, as AllThingsD points out, anyone holding out on upgrading to iOS 6 over the mapping software will now be able to take the plunge.

Read more: AllThingsD

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 to release iPhone 5S in June in up to 8 colours?

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Dec 102012

AppleApple may not wait a full year before launching its next iPhone. According to Jefferies & Company analyst Peter Misek, Apple could launch the iPhone 5S as early as next June.

The report adds that the iPhone 5S will come with a “super HD” display and camera, NFC support, and a better battery. It will be available in between 6 and 8 colours much as the iPod touch already does.

The Apple iPhone 5S rumours began last month with a report that volume production could begin in Q1 2013 for a mid-2013 launch. Last week, an alleged image of the new iPhone also surfaced.

The report also notes that Misek has made “a lot of bad predictions about Apple TV,” suggesting that this could another such prediction.

Read more: Business Insider

Is this the Apple iPhone 5S?

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Dec 052012

Despite the Apple iPhone 5 having launched only last September, rumours are already floating about that Apple will soon release a follow-up smartphone, the iPhone 5S. The name suggests a very similar device with only a number of relatively minor component upgrades. Now, images of the device have surfaced courtesy of ETradeSupply.

Rumoured Apple iPhone 5S

Rumoured Apple iPhone 5S

According to the site, two signs suggest that this is not the iPhone 5 but a new design. Not only is product information below the logo replaced by a series of x’s but the number of screws used and screw positioning is also different.

The possibility that these are older pictures, possibly iPhone 5 prototypes, cannot be ruled out either.

Past rumours have suggested that Apple could launch the iPhone 5S in “mid-2013.”

Read more: ETradeSupply (Source: BGR)

Canadian Apple stores now selling unlocked iPhone 5

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Nov 302012

Apple iPhone 5Since the Apple iPhone 5 went on sale on September 21st, Canadians have only been able to buy it unlocked through the Apple online store. As of today, there is another option. Apple retail stores in Canada are now started unlocked versions as well as locked ones.

Apple does have a few rules:

  • Before 4PM you are allowed to purchase up to 2 unlocked units per person in-store.
  • After 4PM, you will have to reserve online via for in-store pick up the next day. Note below iPhone reservations are accepted between 7AM and 1PM daily

Much as they do online, prices start at CA$699 for the 16GB iPhone 5 and run up to CA$899 for the 64GB version.

There is good news for those south fo the border as well. The previously unavailable unlocked iPhone 5 is now available in the U.S. starting at US$649 through the U.S. Apple online store. It is not yet available in Apple stores though.

Read more: iPhoneInCanada

Apple to switch to TSMC from Samsung for chip supply in 2013?

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Nov 282012

AppleIn the latest sign that their nasty legal battle is straining their business relationship, a report suggests that Apple is looking to drop Samsung as a chip supplier in 2013. First came rumours that Apple would shift iPad and MacBook battery production from Samsung to Amperex Technology and Tianjin Lishen Battery. Now comes word from Digitimes that Apple is also looking to drop Samsung as its custom ARM-based chip supplier in favour of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacture Company (TSMC) in 2013.

Company chairman and CEO Morris Chang recently hinted that TSMC could dedicate one or even two whole fabs to a single customer, leading to speculation that this would be none other than Apple. With Apple needing some 200 million processors for its iPads and iPhones, TSMC would need at least 200,000 12-inch wafers just to meet that demand.

The report is also causing concern among TSMC’s current customers which include Altera, Qualcomm and Nvidia. For example, TSMC struggled with supply issues for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 chipset in 2012. It remains to be seen if TSMC could manage the additional orders without impacting other customers any further.

Read more: Digitimes