Public release expected soon
Apple has seeded the second iOS 7.1 beta to developers, nearly a month after the first beta was released for testing. The company has yet to publicly detail any changes to the second release, which was spotted by 9To5Mac, though the first beta was primarily centered around bug fixes and performance enhancements.
Microsoft sees big increase in activations, but percentage still tiny
A new study by Microsoft Exchange services firm Intermedia has shown that Apple devices being activated on its Microsoft Exchange-based network accounted for 76 percent of all small- and medium-business (SMB) activations across 2013 -- some 190,000 iPhones and iPads in total. This was more than six times the 29,000 activations seen with Samsung Android devices, providing some insight into a continuing trend in business that favors Apple products.
Current and projected future sales paint rosy picture for Apple
Surging on the strength of its new models, Apple's premium iPhone 5s and mid-range iPhone 5c continued to dominate sales with all the major US wireless carriers, with only Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 positioned as a challenger. US sales data also showed an unsurprising dominance by the iPad in tablet sales, with a new study suggesting that 72 percent of future tablet buyers plan on getting an iPad.
Apple's new iPads topping all in tablet sales
The tablet market is performing strongly this holiday season, and Apple's iPad Air and iPad mini are leading the pack among all contenders. This according to a new report from market analysis firm Canaccord Genuity, which saw the two newest iPads outpacing entries from Samsung, Amazon, and Google throughout November and the first half of December. The findings are in keeping with previous analyses of the tablet market, which showed Apple in the lead but Samsung and others increasing share.
Medical experts sent to investigate
Apple has rejected claims that an underage worker's death at a Pegatron factory was due to poor working conditions. The Cupertino-based company reportedly sent its own team of medical investigators to the factory, which is said to assemble the iPhone 5c, however the experts agreed with Pegatron's assertion that the assembly line environment was not a contributing factor in the pneumonia death.
Chance to pre-order new iPhones on China Mobile may be just hours away
An official China Mobile page which lets Beijing-based users make reservations for its new "4G" LTE service features a graphic of the iPhone 5s and (on a different page) a jewel-encrusted golden apple -- which both confirms that the world's largest cellular carrier will be including the iPhone at long last, and hints that pre-orders for it could begin as early as late Thursday. China Mobile is the last of China's major cellular providers to carry the iPhone, the result of nearly six years of negotiations.
Discount applies to 16GB models only, requires two-year contract
In a move likely designed to compete with T-Mobile's recent discounting of iPhone down payments, US retail giant Walmart will cut its up-front price for the 16GB models of the iPhone 5s and 5c by $72 when purchased with a two-year contract from either AT&T or Verizon. The promotion, which begins Friday December 13, coincides with the launch of Walmart's contract-free iPhone sales with service through Straight Talk or NET10 Wireless.
Massive sales surge comes ahead of deal with giant China Mobile
Even before an expected debut on the world's largest cellular provider, China Mobile, is announced, Apple's new iPhone models have led to a surprising surge in Chinese sales, vaulting the company from sixth place in marketshare to third place since it debuted its latest models. The popularity of the iPhone 5s and 5c have been such that the company tripled its marketshare in a single month, according to a report from market researchers Counterpoint.
HandHold and CrossWay wallet iPhone cases for iPhone 5 and 5s released
Felix has released its latest phone cases for the iPhone 5 and 5s today: the HandHold, and the CrossWay. Designed to be minimalist, the cases protect the phone as well as store thin items such as credit cards, a license, or cash.
Deal good for 16GB models only, iPads also available with zero down
America's fourth-largest carrier, T-Mobile, has announced a holiday season special that allows buyers to sign up for a 16GB iPhone 5s or 5c with no down payment for a limited time. The up-front costs of the iPhones were previously $149 for the 5s and $49 for the 5c. T-Mobile suspended down payments previously over the Black Friday event, but resumed charging the down payments afterwards. The suspension of down payments applies to "well-qualified new and existing customers," the company says.
Supply now caught up with demand in stores, online
Just in time for the holiday rush, Apple's online store has moved the popular iPhone 5s -- even in the coveted gold color option -- to a shipping estimate of 24 hours, the best time the sought-after premiere model has ever seen. Since its debut in September, the iPhone 5s has seen constraints on availability, causing a worldwide frenzy for the advanced smartphone in the first days of its debut. Retail partners, online resellers and Apple itself appear to have overcome supply issues for all configurations.
Updated DataMan Pro offers improved Smart Forecast, usage prediction
DataMan Pro, a data usage app for iOS, has released an updated version today. Version 8.3 of the app learns its user's usage trends, and can notify users how much they can use each day without surpassing a user-defined data cap. The new version also features an improved Smart Forecast, allowing users receive notifications on their usage based on trended information.
Patent hints at curved device development
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple patent protection for a manufacturing process that focuses on curved touchscreens. Patent No. 8,603,574, spotted by AppleInsider, describes a fabrication method that attempts to minimize a curved touchscreen's substrate and film thickness without distorting or damaging the integrated components.
Buyers prefer iPhone 5s over 5c by 3-to-1 margin, but both doing well
Confirming widely-held beliefs that the iPhone 5s is outselling the iPhone 5c -- but upending the conventional wisdom that the iPhone 5c isn't doing as well as the iPhone 5 did a year ago -- the latest numbers from mobile analytics company MixPanel show a healthy and growing market for both models, though the iPhone 5s is the more popular -- and, roughly three months after introduction, now accounts for 10 percent of all iPhones.
December 13 date of device sale, December 18 date of 4G rollout
Potentially dispelling the rumors and false starts, China Mobile is taking preorders for iPhones on Thursday in Shanghai, according to an advertisement that briefly appeared on its website and in a call placed to customer service. Using the slogan "4G is here!" the ad not only announced the opening date of iPhone sales, but also suggests phones from other vendors such as Sony, Samsung, and HTC, that all support the new 4G network that the carrier has been building out for the last two years.
Availability expected December 13
TracFone has announced that it will be offering prepaid iPhone 5s and 5c handsets, sold through the company's Net10 and Straight Talk brands. The iPhone 5c will sell for $549 with 16GB of storage and the standard range of color choices, while the 16GB iPhone 5s fetches $649 in gray, silver or gold.
Grammy winner records video on iPhone
Multi-Grammy award-award winning musician LeAnn Rimes has released a video for her new single that was shot entirely on Apple's iPhone. Jim Dalrymple's The Loop carried a story on Sunday showcasing Rimes' video for the single "Gasoline and Matches," a stop-motion music video that was the result of a collaboration between Rimes and director Ian Padgham.
Older models being traded in hints at strong wave of new-model upgraders
Online trade-in site Gazelle has reported that iPad trade-ins for cash jumped 175 percent over normal on the weekend of Black Friday, a certain indicator that Apple CEO Tim Cook's prediction that it would be an "iPad Christmas" is likely to come true. The Apple tablet, which continues to dominate the category three and a half years after its introduction, has also topped holiday wish list compilations and has seen some constrained supplies of the two latest models, particularly the Retina iPad mini.
US first to see changes
Google has redesigned the Android and iOS versions of its News web app with a variety of improvements. The look of the app has been cleaned up to make it easier to read and track different stories, and it can now be customized with light or dark themes, adjustable font sizes, and/or bigger story cards that include more content. Navigation has been streamlined by funneling access to every section, including customized ones, through a News icon in the top left; Google Feedback can be reached through a menu in the upper right.
Carrier maintains position despite rumors of imminent launch
The world's biggest cellphone carrier, China Mobile, says it is still discussing an iPhone deal with Apple, according to a Reuters report. "We are still negotiating with Apple, but for now we have nothing new to announce," comments Mobile spokeswoman Rainie Lei. Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal claimed that a deal had been signed, supporting rumors that Mobile might start selling iPhones as soon as December 18th.
Unusual design may allow iPhone to tilt up to 45 degrees
Gaming hardware maker Razer is working on a Made for iPhone-certified controller, a leak hints. Images depict a case-style product similar to the Logitech PowerShell, allegedly codenamed the Kazuyo. An unusual aspect though is the Kazuyo's ability to tilt an iPhone or iPod up roughly 45 degrees, potentially giving players a better viewing angle.
Tech already supported in Apple Store iPhone app
Apple is today deploying iBeacons at all 254 of its US retail stores, according to the Associated Press. At the Fifth Avenue store in New York City alone, the company has 20 iBeacons; some of these are reportedly just iPhones and iPads, but, like regular iBeacons, can communicate with a visitor's iPhone as they walk around the store. To receive notifications a person needs to have Bluetooth enabled, and the latest version of the Apple Store iPhone app, which must be allowed access to location data and push notifications.
Production finally catching up with demand in time for holidays
At one of the best possible times, Apple's production of the iPhone 5s appears to be catching up with demand, allowing worldwide online Apple Stores to offer the highly-prized smartphone -- even in the prized gold color -- with a shipping estimate of just 1-3 days for all carriers and capacities, the first time this has happened since its debut in September. The 64-bit smartphone, which has seen delays so severe that on occasion Apple's website offered no specific timetable for delivery, is now much more widely available.
Android, iOS, Windows all gain share at BlackBerry's expense
Apple's share of the smartphone market in the US continues to grow slowly, though chief rival Samsung is growing at a faster rate but still has a long way to go to catch up. Android sales combined continue to dominate, but have seen very slow or flat growth in recent months -- however, in the latest three-month ComScore MobiLens survey, the platform managed twice the growth rate of iOS. Windows Phone also gained share, with all three platforms benefitting from BlackBerry's continuing fall.
Agreement would increase iPad sales opportunities, lift Apple revenues
Assuming that the latest iPhones (and possibly iPads) debut in China and on China Mobile as expected on December 18, Apple will have just two weeks of sales there to record before the close of the company's fiscal Q1 for 2014. In a testament the sheer scale of both China's overall economy and China Mobile's subscriber base are, those few days might be enough to materially affect Apple's overall earnings for the period, says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.
Apps were previously English-only
Google has updated its Android and iOS Search apps with voice support for French, German, and Japanese. The upgrades let people both speak commands and hear responses in the new languages. Previously, non-English speakers had to type in any search requests.
Venture thought to be worth over $1 million
TV host Ryan Seacrest and a venture co-founder have invested over $1 million in producing a keyboard case for the iPhone, the Typo Keyboard, sources say. The pair are eventually expected to invest over $5 million in their company, since other keyboard products are already in development. Seacrest claims that inspiration for the iPhone case came from the frustration of friends and peers carrying two phones: an iPhone as their main device, and a second phone for "typing and correspondence."
Further refines look for iOS 7
Check-in service Foursquare has released a major update of its iOS app, v7.0. Building on earlier releases, the interface has been evolved to bring it further in line with iOS 7. The most significant addition however may be an expanded push notification system, capable of alerting people to the most interesting things about a new location without having the app open. At a restaurant, for example, notifications may point out the most popular menu item, or food on discount.
Obama sticks with BlackBerry due to security risks
President Barack Obama's administration is likely the most tech savvy the United States has seen, but the Commander in Chief can't rely on the best selling smartphone in the world for personal use. In a summit at the White House today, Obama revealed that he cannot use an iPhone for official business due to "security reasons." The President still uses a BlackBerry in the course of his daily duties, but even that device is quite limited in what it can be used for.
Special conditions apply
AT&T has introduced Mobile Share Value Plans, a new discount option for its subscribers. The option cuts significant amounts per month off of a Mobile Share plan, so long as a customer meets certain criteria: people must have an off-contract phone, or else upgrade through AT&T's Next program. Under these scenarios, a person can save between $10 and $115 per month on a single device, and between $20 and $105 on a two-device account. Two phones on a 4GB plan, for instance, costs $120 per month.
Report hinges on single, unnamed source, but signs are there
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a formal agreement between Apple and the world's largest -- and up till recently, the biggest iPhone holdout -- carrier, China Mobile, has been signed. The story is confirmed only by a single, unnamed source -- normally a violation of journalistic standards -- but other evidence to support the contention has appeared, including a pre-order site connected to China Mobile serving a wealthy Shanghai suburb and state media announcements.
First-gen iPad mini, iPhone 5c also see surges
iPad Air activations grew some 51 percent over the previous weekend during the course of Black Friday and the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend, according to new Localytics data. The figure is based on the number of new devices that appeared in Localytics tracking for some 20,000 apps. The iPhone 5c and first-generation iPad mini also did well, each growing by 26 percent.
iPad app so far going without free downloads
Apple is now giving away Christmas music via the Apple Store iPhone app, users observe. Some of the songs made available this week include "The First Noël" by Mary J. Blige, "Silent Night" by Kelly Clarkson, and "Ave Maria" by Il Volo. The music is only available in the US, and is missing from the recently-launched iPad app. The offer will expire on December 31st.
Repeated reports may be an 'echo chamber' effect, or mirror actual trials
Rumors and other unconfirmed reports about Apple products -- particularly those that are only in an experimental prototype or testing phase -- are difficult to sort out. Readers who see similar reports on multiple sites or in various print and online outlets have a tendency to believe them after a while, even if the reports are just echoing each other. New reports have emerged recently from different sources claiming that Apple is at least probing the idea of larger iPad and iPhone models, but a healthy dose of skepticism is often required.
Display Audio tech requires iPhone 5 or later
The 2014 Civic and the 2015 Fit will each get two forms of iOS integration, Honda has announced. The most significant is Display Audio, which will let users control functions like music, calling, and navigation through gesture controls on a built-in capacitive touchscreen. Connecting will require an iPhone 5, 5s, or 5c, and one or more of four new HondaLink apps: Connect, Navigation, Aha, and Launcher. Aha provides access to Internet audio including radio, podcasts, and audiobooks, plus Twitter and Facebook updates, and listings for nearby points of interest. Launcher is used to find and launch HondaLink-compatible apps. The official Honda apps are all free except for Navigation, which costs $60.
Discounts limited to 10 percent
Some US Apple Stores have quietly begun price matching for the iPad Air and iPhone 5c, sources say. The option arrived earlier this week, although not all stores and regions are participating. Even when a store is willing to match a competitor, the ceiling is a 10 percent discount off Apple's usual sticker price. A 16GB Wi-Fi iPad, for instance, would drop to $449, and a 16GB 5c would dip to $89.
Ember offers image file organization, sync via iCloud
RealMac Software has launched its latest app for iOS, imaging organizer Ember (formerly known as LittleSnapper). Allowing users to collect images and organize them into projects, the compiled library can be synced via iCloud for accessing on a Mac, iPhone or iPad.
Design gets shareable themes, drag-and-drop data
Having leaked it yesterday, today Apple-owned FileMaker has formally announced FileMaker 13, the next major edition of its database creation software. One of the major additions is WebDirect, an HTML5-based method of publishing databases to the web without special programming. When developing iOS frontends, users can now generate them in a single step, and add things like slide controls, popovers, gesture controls, custom keyboards, and barcode capture functions.
First acknowledgement of deal between Apple and world's largest carrier
A website owned by a subsidiary of China Mobile has begun taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, the first time any site affiliated with China's (and the world's) largest carrier has done so. The move signals a formal deal between Apple and the carrier, which has taken some six years to put together -- and marks the opportunity of a lifetime for Apple to make more serious inroads in China's expanding smartphone market.
Demographic skews older, and with more buyers under median income
"Almost half" of the people who bought the iPhone 5c in September and October were people switching from Android phones, particularly ones by Samsung and LG, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. By comparison, some 80 percent of iPhone 5s purchases were by people upgrading from a previous iPhone. Kantar also notes that over 40 percent of 5c buyers were earning less than $49,000 per year, versus roughly 20 percent for the 5s. 5c buyers also tended to skew older, with an average age of 38 instead of the 5s' 34.
Feature additions go unmentioned
Various editions of FileMaker Pro 13 have gone on sale at Apple's UK online store ahead of an anticipated official announcement. The listings don't make mention of specific feature upgrades, but in screenshots the OS X release appears to have a new "Share" button, while the companion iOS app - FileMaker Go -- has been given a visual overhaul for iOS 7. Still missing is a matching FileMaker Server update.
Apple's future phone takes on the Google phone
Two of the hottest smartphones on the market right now come from two companies that were once close allies, but have been divided by Google's decision to enter into the smartphone market with a very similar product. While Apple may or may not have legitimate grievances about what transpired depending on your view, there can be little question that consumers have benefited as a result of what transpired. While their current respective flagship smartphones offer similar functionality, the Apple iPhone 5s and the Google Nexus 5 are both symbolic of how the two companies differ fundamentally in their approach to winning customers. So which is best?
Allows scaling for different phone, tablet szies
RunRev has released v6.5 of LiveCode, its simplified app development tool for iOS and Android apps. The update primarily adds resolution independence -- meaning that the same app can quickly be rescaled for any screen size, whether on a phone or a tablet. This includes accommodation for displays with high pixel densities, such as the iPhone 5s and iPad Air.
EasyPak 5-volt charger
Uuuuug, so much turkey. So much stuffing. So much delicious gluttony. Take a break from the never-ending piles of food, because it is time to recharge with another installment of our Holiday Giveaway Blitz! We have two EasyPak 5V chargers from Newtrent to give away to our readers. Just in time too -- I didn't think my phone was going to make it through another plate.
Skulls of Shogun: Bone-A-Fide Edition now ported to iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Originally released for Xbox 360, Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Steam, Skulls of Shogun is now available for iOS users. The Bone-A-Fide edition of Skulls features five episodes of single-player content, and 36 multi-player maps, playable over the Internet through the turn-based Skulls Anywhere mode, or pass-and-play with up to four people.
Once again, third-party 'knockoff' charger suspected in death
A 28-year-old man was found dead in Rayong province in Thailand, clutching a burnt iPhone 4S in his hand in another case of electrocution -- though police say that once again the use of a third-party charger is believed to be the source of the electric malfunction. Photos taken at the scene strongly suggest that the charger, which was plugged in while the man was using or lying on the device, was not an Apple-made charger. Two other people, both from China, have died or fallen into a coma from faulty chargers connected to iPhones.
Plaintiffs could not prove any data breach, actual harm
US District Court Judge Lucy Koh -- who just concluded a damages retrial between Apple and Samsung and will preside over the next round in the two companies' ongoing patent battles -- dismissed a consumer protection lawsuit on Wednesday that charged that iOS' "geotracking" data -- discovered in iOS 4 in 2011 to be an unprotected file that could theoretically have been accessed by third parties was deliberately designed to collect personal data without consent.
Giveaway: PureGear Utilitarian case
This week MacNN and Electronista are getting into the holiday spirit, and as such we are going to be giving away a lot of cool prizes from today through Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the weekend in between. Be sure to check back often to get in on the action. First up, we are giving away three PureGear Utilitarian cases for iPhone 4/4S and 5, or Galaxy S III.
Fifty per cent off Black Friday sale on Garmin's premium navigation apps
Garmin has announced that its premium navigation apps for iOS, Navigon and StreetPilot, will be available at a 50 percent discount on Black Friday. Garmin's premium apps offer a range of features not included in its free app versions, such as being able to store map information locally on the iPhone.
Appalachian Wireless deal valid today only
T-Mobile is planning to cut down payments for the iPhone 5s and 5c to zero on Black Friday, according to a leaked memo. Normally T-Mobile charges $149 for the 5s, and $49 for the 5c. The deal should officially run Friday through Sunday, although a "select number" of stores will reportedly begin discounts on Thursday evening. On Cyber Monday, T-Mobile will adjust down payments to $50 and $10, respectively, before scaling back up to full price.