We look at past high and low points as we prepare for tomorrow's show
This week on the show, Charles and Mike (with a cameo from William) talk about, yes, the latest predictions for the Wednesday event (which is handy, since Labor Day knocked the show's debut into Tuesday!). We also discuss our recent articles "Bad Apples" and "Good Apples," which respectively talk about the so-called "failures" of Apple hardware and how the critical "fails" often turn out to be the biggest sellers; defend the iPhone 5c on every level; the latest court cases for Apple; a recent Pointers column, and William pops by with his App of the Week, which this week isn't an app, but a thing. Read on to find out what!
Accidental image could be Photoshop error, or hint at wider Apple Pay rollout
Among the promotional photos released in connection with the new Apple Lightning Dock designed for the iPhone 6 line (but which also works with the older iPhone 5 family) is an image that appears to show an iPhone 5c equipped with a Touch ID sensor rather than the normal home button. While the image could be a simple Photoshop gaffe, it raises the possibility that Apple might refit and freshen the iPhone 5c to be able to handle Apple Pay as part of a larger, multi-country rollout of the mobile payments service.
Carrier waives deposit on Personal CellSpot
For Cyber Monday, the US branch of T-Mobile has announced special discounts on iPhones. People buying a 16GB iPhone 6 will be automatically upgraded to a 64GB model; likewise, choosing a 32GB iPhone 5s will get an upgrade to 64GB, and buying an 8GB iPhone 5c will get a bump to 32GB. The carrier cautions that the deal is limited to online purchases only, and only as long as inventory lasts.
Device sits at bottom of iPhone hierarchy
Two Apple suppliers, Foxconn and Wistron, will stop their production of the iPhone 5c by the middle of 2015, according to an unsubstantiated claim in Taiwan's Industrial and Commercial Times. The 5c was originally launched in 2013 alongside the iPhone 5s, and like its sibling, made available in several different models. It has since become the lowest-end iPhone however, and is currently relegated to an 8GB model free on contract, or $450 unlocked.
5s and 5c still selling in small amounts
Within the first 30 days of the phones' availability, the iPhone 6 outsold the iPhone 6 Plus by a margin of almost three-to-one, according to data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. The iPhone 6 accounted for 68 percent of all iPhone sales in that window, whereas the 6 Plus took home a little over 23 percent. The 5s and 5c -- which are still being manufactured -- together accounted for the remaining fraction.
5s, 16GB 5c still in plentiful numbers
Verizon is deliberately letting its remaining 32GB iPhone 5c inventory run dry, a source tells AppleInsider. The carrier has allegedly "retired" the model, as it prepares for Apple to launch new iPhones next month. The Verizon online store is in fact already out of the 32GB 5c in all colors except for blue. Every 16GB model is still in stock, as are all editions of the iPhone 5s.
Carrier likely clearing out stock ahead of next-gen hardware
AT&T has begun a new promotion aimed at people on Next upgrade plans. If a subscriber buys an iPhone 5s or 5c, the carrier is offering $200 off a cellular-equipped iPad. That brings the price of a 16GB cellular Retina Mini down to $329, and an equivalent Air to $429. There are other stipulations as well however, namely that an iPad has to be activated under a two-year wireless agreement on a Mobile Share Value plan or a standalone data plan.
Colorful iPhone model continues to be among best-selling smartphones
One of the most surprising things analysts heard on Tuesday in Apple's quarterly earnings conference call that was low on surprises was that year-over-year growth of the iPhone 5c is strong -- so strong, in fact, that its share gain outpaced that of its previous-year rival in the mid-tier "slot" in Apple's lineup, the iPhone 4S, at the same point in the previous cycle. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts that it even outpaced the growth rate of the iPhone 5s vs the iPhone 5, and the 4S versus the iPhone 4, each in their respective tiers.
Larger screen size not causing many to defect from Apple, study finds
A new study done by Kantar Worldpanel, covering the big five European markets on the occasion of the Samsung Galaxy S5's first full month of sales, and found that it was unable to surpass Apple's 10-month-old iPhone 5s or even the iPhone 5c in sales. It did, however, come in third place -- with further survey results suggesting that the larger screen size of the S5 has had some modest success in attracting Apple users. In the US, the Galaxy S5 displaced the iPhone 5c to become the second best-selling smartphone in May.
In prelude to next iPhone, retailer to slash prices to $99, $29 respectively
Walmart is planning to again permanently lower prices on the current iPhone models, cutting the cost of an iPhone 5s on contract to $99, a drop from its previously-discounted price of $149. The iPhone 5c will see an even more dramatic drop, down to $29 from $49. At most other outlets, the 5s sells for $199 and the iPhone 5c for $99 with a two-year contract commitment. The permanent new pricing is said to take effect beginning tomorrow, but only for in-store sales rather than Walmart's online store.
All models are 16GB only, limited choice on selection and carriers
Nearly four years after Costco and Apple had a falling out that resulted in the discount chain pulling all Apple products from its warehouse outlets, the discounter is now again selling iPhones and iPads, albeit in a limited fashion for the time being in its US stores. After first bringing back iTunes gift cards to the stores, the Costco Mobile online store is now carrying 16GB models of the iPhone 5s and 5c, as well as the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, with discounts as high as $121 off retail.
UK repair company says unofficial USB-to-Lightning adapters may burn out crucial circuit
Reports of iPhone 5 units with charging issues has lead a UK repair shop to note that unauthorized third-party charging accessories used with the iPhone 5 (and possibly other Lightning-equipped iPhones) may be causing damage to the iPhone itself, specifically by burning out a specific power-management integrated circuit (IC) labelled "U2." The circuit helps flow power to the battery and charging circuitry and also controls some USB functions as well as sends power to the sleep/wake button.
iPhones free with trade-ins
Today through June 9th, the US branch of RadioShack is running a special in-store discount on Apple's iPhone 5s and 5c, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S5. 5s buyers can get a 16GB model on AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint for free if they bring in a working iPhone 4S, or simply pay $80 -- in either case, a new or upgraded two-year contract is required. The rules are similar with the 5c, except that a broader range of phones can be traded in, and the cash option is only $30.
Initial wave of purchases to include free cases
The 8GB iPhone 5c has launched in India earlier than anticipated, according to the Times of India. The official retail price is 37,500 rupees, but Apple is said to be discounting that to 33,500 ($572). On top of this the company is offering a free case, but only as a limited-time bonus.
Will help fill in hole left by defunct iPhone 4
Apple is planning to launch the 8GB version of the iPhone 5c in India by early June, says the Times of India. The device will reportedly sell for around 35,000 to 37,000 rupees ($583 to $616) with a buyback offer, or about 2,000 less than the 16GB model currently costs. The introduction is necessary to fill in a gap left by the discontinued iPhone 4, which will soon make the 4S the cheapest iPhone option in India, as elsewhere. At the moment it's priced at 24,000 rupees after a buyback.
Model still not available in US
The 8GB iPhone 5c is now on sale in 14 more countries, checks show. When the 8GB option first became available last month, it launched in just a handful of regions. The model is newly available in the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Spain, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Switzerland.
Units are still locked to Virgin Mobile, cannot be legally unlocked
Sprint subsidiary Virgin Mobile, which sells CDMA iPhone models without an obligation to a monthly contract, is running a sale on both the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, with the 16GB 5c starting at $315, with the 32GB at $385. The iPhone 5s is available for $385 (16GB), $455 (32GB) or $525 (64GB). There is a catch to the offer: the iPhones are all locked to Virgin Mobile, and the carrier doesn't unlock the phones. Under current US law, it is illegal to unlock a carrier-locked smartphone without the company's blessing.
8GB iPhone 5c retains specification, lowers storage capacity and price
Apple has made a few expected and unexpected changes to its product lineup, including both the introduction and removal of mobile devices. A cheaper iPhone 5c has been listed in the European online Apple stores, while the iPad 2 has been pulled from sale on both sides of the Atlantic, and replaced by a fourth-generation iPad with Retina display as rumored yesterday.
Could be attempt to revive device's sales
(Updated with photo of packaging label, iPad 4 rumor) Apple is preparing an 8GB version of the iPhone 5c and may ship it as soon as March 18, according to an alleged internal email from the German branch of O2. The message says that O2 will sell the phone tomorrow contract-free for €509 ($707), as compared to the €569 ($791) a 16GB model costs. It's unclear how that might affect the iPhone 4S, which is already at 8GB and currently serves as most carriers' "cheap" iPhone, often heavily discounted, or free on contract.
Apple seeks to boost slow growth of mid-range iPhone offering
As previously reported, a series of animated iPhone 5c ads that focused on the colorful plastic-covered metal casings that began as a Tumblr page (and got promoted to "sponsored posts" to increase exposure) has now expanded, appearing in The New York Times website and on the homepage of search giant Yahoo. The campaign showcases the uses of the phone tied to color choices, inviting the user to "find your colors."
Report confirms speculation that 5s outselling 5c by 3:1
A new report from mobile ad analysis firm Mixpanel has reinforced some speculation about the iPhone 5s, even as it has dispelled other rumors about the iPhone 5c. In its latest report, the company says that the iPhone 5s is set to top the popular iPhone 4s in user share, with the newer model currently accounting for about 19 percent of all active iPhones.
Retailer ups smartphone trade-in credit by $50 for new iPhone buyers
Beginning on Sunday, the US branch of Target will run another trade-in promotion for iPad 2 owners. People who bring in a used iPad 2 will be awarded a gift card worth at least $150. Although that credit can only be used at Target, the company is also offering an extra $30 card if a person buys a new iPad. $150 is generally higher than most specialized third-party trade-in services offer. The promotion ends March 15th.
Repackaged iPhone doing poorly next to iPhone 5s
Due to poor sales, unsold inventory of the iPhone 5c has amassed to more than three million units, anonymous Taiwanese supply chain sources claim. Production of the phone is said to have been cut completely towards the end of 2013. Regardless, manufacturer Pegatron allegedly is said to have two million or so units in stock, with the remaining phones being held by carriers and distributors.
Could be playground for new campaign, effort to capture youth demographic
The advertising agency behind many of Apple's campaigns appears to have launched an official iPhone 5c Tumblr page, using the multi-media blogging space to showcase and promote the colors of Apple's iPhone 5c, called "ISee5c." While the junior of Apple's two current top phones is actually doing better than the iPhone 5 did at the same point in its history, reports have claimed that the fashionable phone is losing ground to the more advanced iPhone 5s.
Win a CM4 Slite case for iPhone 5c
By now, those who got an iPhone 5c over the holidays might be considering getting a case to keep it safe (if they haven't done so already). There are plenty to choose from -- but before deciding, take a look at the Slite Card Cases from CM4. MacNN has three to give away to our readers. Read on to find out more about this case and enter to win, you just might save yourself $30.
Fixes problems with Chinese cellular networks
Apple is now seeding a rare iPhone-only iOS update, v7.0.5. The release is intended exclusively for the iPhone 5s and 5c, and deals with unspecified "network provisioning" problems on some Chinese models. For people who already have iOS 7.0.4 installed, the download is just 35.4MB when fetched via Software Update.
Plastic of iPhone 5c to disappear, sources claim
Apple is planning to ship two new iPhone models this year, one of which will have a display over 5 inches, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. The other is expected to measure over 4.5 inches. Otherwise the phones are expected to take after the style of the iPhone 5s, and the plastic exterior of the iPhone 5c will allegedly be discontinued. The new devices are forecast to debut in the second half of 2014; the smaller phone is said to be ready for mass production, but the bigger one is reportedly in "preliminary development."
Repair requires special equipment, costs $149 to fix rather than replace whole unit
As previously reported, Apple has now made available a service to repair damaged iPhone 5c screens rather than replacing the units outright in a number of its US stores. The new service prevents users having to change over to another phone, or send the device away to a remote repair facility. The service, which costs $149 for customers who do not have AppleCare+ on their iPhones, can take as little as one hour thanks to new, specialized equipment.
Company will fix or replace broken displays starting Monday, report says
At least some Apple stores will begin repairing or replacing displays on iPhone 5c units if nothing else is wrong with the device, according to reports. The service is expected to start on Monday, January 20. Up to this point, iPhone 5c units with broken screens were simply replaced with refurbished replacement phones -- repairing or replacing the displays separately is seen as more convenient to the customer and less expensive for the company.
China Mobile adds 3,000 outlets for iPhone 5s, 5c sales in China
Apple CEO Tim Cook is said to be "incredibly optimistic" over the multi-year agreement the company made with China Mobile last month. Ahead of the impending launch of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on the mobile phone network on January 17th, Cook hinted that there could be more collaboration between the carrier and Apple in the future.
Second case still ongoing
VirnetX is seeking to add Apple's most recent slate of products to a lawsuit against FaceTime devices, according to an announcement. The patent holding firm says it has submitted a petition to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, one which would add the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPad Air, Retina iPad mini, fifth-generation iPod touch, and the latest Mac notebooks and desktops to the list. VirnetX has accused Apple's FaceTime of violating a patent for peer-to-peer VPN technology.
Thunderbolt optical cables now available in 10-, 20-, and 30-meter length options
Other World Computing today at CES 2014 announced that it has broadened its array of OWC Thunderbolt cable offerings with three new optical cable lengths of 10-, 20-, and 30-meters. Longer length options allow for noisy storage appliances to be moved to an equipment closet for a quieter and more productive workspace. Utilizing the latest Thunderbolt chipsets for high-speed 10GB-per-second Thunderbolt and 20GB-per-second Thunderbolt 2 devices, the extended cables can enhance video workflow with support for faster 4K video transfer and 4K display capabilities through DisplayPort 1.2 technology.
New Year's promotion offers lowest price for entry-level 5s
Best Buy, which began offering the 16GB iPhone 5c for free with a contract at its stores and website on December 29, has now upped the ante on the promotion with a discount on the 16GB model of the more advanced iPhone 5s, which is down to $125 (originally $200) through all major carriers until Sunday, January 5. The offer is available now online, with the in-store price dropping on Friday. Also ending Saturday is a $100 off promotion on all non-Retina MacBook Pros.
Best Buy offering iPhone 16GB iPhone 5c for free
Best Buy is now offering shoppers the chance to pick up Apple's iPhone 5c for free with the activation of a new contract. The retailer has 16GB iPhone 5c models available for Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, each priced at $0, so long as a customer signs up for a new contract. The 32GB versions of the mid-range iPhone sell for $80 on contract, and Best Buy is also offering the iPhone 5s at a low cost.
iPhone to launch on world's largest carrier on January 17
Apple and China Mobile on Sunday announced the completion of a multi-year agreement to bring the iPhone to that carrier, the largest in the world. The deal will see Apple's bestselling iPhones sold in China Mobile's retail stores, as well as China Mobile-compatible iPhones in Apple retail stores across mainland China. The announcement marks the completion of a months-long process that has been marked by continual rumors and apparent delays, even as the last month seemed to confirm the iPhone's arrival, with the carrier opening reservations for the devices in early December.
iPhone 5s bests all previous iPhones in running iOS 7
A new comparison video that hit the Internet last week shows off the degree to which the iPhone 5s is faster than its predecessors. TheUnlockr took each of the iPhones that is capable of running iOS 7 and put them against each other in a speed test. Apple's newest smartphone, the most powerful to date with a 64-bit processor of course bested all of the previous models. The video, though, demonstrates the progress Apple has made with its handhelds, as the difference in speed between the older devices and the newer models is more than apparent.
Target iOS sale runs Dec. 22 to Dec. 24
Target on Friday revealed a number of discounts on Apple products that will see the retailer offering the iPhone 5c for $30 and the iPhone 5s for $180. The new discounts come as Target is winding down a similar promotion that had the 5c available for $50. The sale will begin on Sunday, December 22, and it will run through Tuesday, December 24.
Wider availability of iPhone 5s may have lowered demand
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who just two months ago surprised investors by saying that first-weekend sales of the new iPhone models were likely to have been evenly split between the constrained iPhone 5s and the colorful iPhone 5c, now believes that the iPhone 5c will be outsold by older models of iPhone -- both the still-supported iPhone 4s and scarcer but still in-channel iPhones 5 and 4 -- and that its alleged low sales may be holding up the China Mobile deal.
Shenzhen store given over to iPhone banners, phones, accessories
While again not a confirmation of a formal agreement between China Mobile and Apple, one of the carrier's resellers or retail outlets is already aggressively promoting the forthcoming LTE network and pushing the latest iPhone models as being compatible with it. An American blogger in China going by the name "PRC and Me" spotted and photographed the store in Shenzhen's Futian district, featuring advertising material, accessories and on-display iPhones.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
iBeacon tech will allow for virtual 'signs'
Apple is working on two display initiatives for its retail stores, sources say. The first is the addition of special holiday decorations, in the form of LED snowflakes, which will surround window displays for the iPad Air and iPhone 5c. The decorations are expected to go up in many countries later this week, and stay in place through early January.
High prices of Apple phones a barrier
Apple is planning to launch a special trade-in program in India that would allow people to put non-Apple smartphones toward the cost of an iPhone 5c or 4S, according to local publication Business Today. A specific list of phones will be eligible, including the Nokia Lumia 925; the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10; the HTC Desire 500, Desire 600, One Mini, and One Dual-SIM; the Samsung Galaxy Mega, S4 Mini, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2, and Galaxy Note 3; and finally, the Sony Xperia C, Xperia ZR, Xperia Z, Xperia Z1, and Xperia Ultra. Apple's own iPhone 4 will of course also be an option.
May be supported by recent claims of production scaling
Apple's main assembly partner, Foxconn, is halting production of the iPhone 5c at its Zhengzhou factory and shifting the labor towards the iPhone 5s, sources tell Digitimes. While Digitimes has a mixed track record, the claim is consistent with recent reports of cutbacks in 5c production. Foxconn in particular is said to be churning out just 8,000 to 9,000 units a day; the core 5c manufacturer, Pegatron, has allegedly scaled back from 320,000 phones per day in October to just 80,000.