Vendors looking forward to big-screen iPhones
Carriers and other vendors in China are seeing relatively weak demand for the iPhone 5s, suggests Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White. White is currently touring the country and speaking with various parties. Instead demand is said to be rising for various local smartphone brands, like Xiaomi. Vendors are, however, said to be expressing "great enthusiasm around the potential for Apple to introduce a larger iPhone form factor in China this year with the iPhone 6."
Revamped HTC One M8 knocks Galaxy S4 from second at Verizon
The iPhone -- specifically, the iPhone 5s -- has been the top seller at all four major US carriers since its introduction, a trend that continued in March according to figures compiled by Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley. The year-old Samsung Galaxy S4 took second place among three of the four carriers, though it was knocked out of second at Verizon by the new HTC One M8. The S4 took third at Verizon, with the company's Note 3 phablet taking third at AT&T and Sprint, while the LG G2 took third at T-Mobile.
Touch ID more reliable, but S5 swipe reader able to be used with more merchants
A new video posted to YouTube offers a head-to-head demonstration of the iPhone 5s' "Touch ID" fingerprint-recognition technology and the "swipe-style" fingerprint reader found in Samsung's Galaxy S5, its just-released latest flagship smartphone. Over the course of five minutes, the poster of the video makes clear that Touch ID, first introduced late last year, continues to offer a better overall experience. The clip covers the technical aspects of both companies' approaches.
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.
Available for all iOS 7-compatible devices
After a lengthy development and testing period, Apple has released the finished version of iOS 7.1 to the public. The code makes a number of improvements to iOS 7, for instance enabling CarPlay support in yet-to-be-launched vehicles. Siri will now let users hold down the Home button to decide how long a device should listen, instead of having to wait for the system to decide no one is talking. More naturalistic voices have been supplied for Japanese, British and Australian English, and Mandarin Chinese.
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.
Will reportedly solve 'fade' glitch
Apple is at work on a software update that will fix a "fade" glitch with the iPhone 5s' Touch ID sensor, a source says. The company has reportedly been working with the original AuthenTec team -- which was absorbed into Apple in 2012 -- to smooth out iOS' recognition software. The problem is that while Touch ID appears to be extremely reliable for the first few months after setup, some users have subsequently encountered intermittent failures.
September event becomes ad-like promo for iPhone 5s camera
Apple has edited down footage shot with multiple pre-release iPhone 5s units during a Burberry fashion show last September into a 30-second TV ad-style video, currently seen on the iPhone's spotlight page. Like the recent "01.24.14" ad, the promo and fashion show were shot in HD entirely using the iPhone 5s as a showcase of how high-quality the camera is. The shortened spot may end up appearing on television as a genuine ad to promote the iPhone 5s.
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.
Ten customers win iPhones signed by Apple CEO, China Mobile Chair
Apple's iPhones have formally arrived on China Mobile, the world's largest carrier and China's largest provider. The iPhone went on sale Friday morning in Beijing and other locations, with stores fulfilling long-awaited pre-orders of the iPhone (the 5s in particular) that have been gathered since mid-December. Foxconn is said to have delivered approximately 1.4 million iPhone 5s units to China Mobile recently, possibly an indication of strong pre-orders.
Skype's iOS apps receive two-way HD calling, improved chat sync
Social messaging platform Skype has updated its iPhone and iPad apps with the release of Version 4.17 launched today. Users can message, voice or video call friends and family who are also on the service for free with Skype's service. Version 4.17 has added two-way HD video calls, supported on the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display.
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.
Apple, China Mobile may be anticipating high demand
China Mobile has taken in a shipment of approximately 1.4 million iPhone 5s units from Foxconn, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. Mobile is set to launch its own iPhone sales on Friday, after years of losing sales to China Unicom and China Telecom. One Journal source comments that shipping over a million units to a single carrier in a month is "substantial," but at the same time notes that he/she has no information about demand beyond this month. Allegedly, Apple hasn't notified Foxconn about its goal for the next shipment.
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.
FitBit update features MobileTrack activity tracking for iPhone 5s
FitBit has announced an update to its iOS fitness app, released today in the App Store. FitBit allows users to monitor their exercise activity with their iPhone, track their stats and set fitness goals. Version 2.1 of FitBit features MobileTrack, which utilizes the M7 coprocessor in the iPhone 5s to track basic activity as it occurs.
Munster sees China Mobile deal bumping AAPL by five percent
Apple's new deal with China Mobile could net the iPhone maker an additional 17 in unit sales over the course of 2014, according to a new analysis. This according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who believes that the finalization of the China Mobile deal will prove quite lucrative for the Cupertino tech giant. Despite the potential sales jump that is now possible due to the iPhone being available on the world's largest wireless carrier, Piper Jaffray is taking the conservative approach and not altering its price targets for the company until Apple reports new sales figures.
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.
Completes holiday theming throughout site
Apple has posted its holiday-themed new commercial, "Misunderstood," to the front page of its website, replacing the tribute to Nelson Mandela that had graced its landing page. The site shows off both the TV ad and the original "Harris Family Holiday" video which the company has since verified was shot entirely on an iPhone 5s. Apple has received nearly universal acclaim for the touching holiday ad, and the change completes the company's site-wide redecoration for the holiday season.
iPhone 5s, 5c rank high in Google's Zeitgeist
Apple's iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c were among the most searched-for gadgets of 2013, according to Google Zeitgeist. The search giant's annual publication of the hottest search terms of the year saw Apple's new high end iPhone battling with Samsung's Galaxy S4 for supremacy in smartphone searches, but the iPhone 5c – essentially a repackaged iPhone 5 – also ranked high on Google's Zeitgeist list, indicating that consumers were interested to see just what Apple would come out with for what was initially thought to be a "low-cost iPhone."
Based on actual home video shot on iPhone 5s
Apple has debuted a 90-second holiday TV ad for its iPhone 5s, called "Misunderstood," that is based on a family holiday home video shot on an iPhone 5s. While the company didn't say if the original home video was actually created within the family, the commercial version introduces a backstory of a teenage member of the "Harris family" who makes a thoughtful Christmas present by creating a movie on his iPhone.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Supplier adds more workers to assembly lines
The recent uptick in iPhone 5s supplies is connected to "around the clock" production at Foxconn, and more people being brought onto assembly lines, says the Wall Street Journal. At the supplier's Zhengzhou facilities, 100 lines are said to be operating at all hours for the 5s, with about 600 people per line. "We have been churning out about 500,000 iPhone 5ss everyday, the highest daily output ever," an anonymous Foxconn executive is quoted as saying.
Supplies finally catching up to demand
Roughly 90 percent of iPhone 5s models are back in stock at US Apple Stores, according to data collected by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Breaking figures down by carrier, the two biggest US providers -- AT&T and Verizon -- are showing 99 and 98 percent availability, respectively. The ratio shrinks to 72 percent for Sprint; unmentioned are figures for T-Mobile or SIM-free models.
Apple Stores now selling Mini to walk-in shoppers
Apple's US online storefront has begun selling SIM-free unlocked models of the iPhone 5s. Units are currently shipping in 1 to 2 weeks. T-Mobile models are also unlocked, and shipping in just 3 to 5 days, but going with the SIM-free option may save some hassle for people choosing AT&T or a pre-paid GSM carrier.
Document kept out of public eye until after 5s launch
The US Patent and Trademark Office has published an Apple patent application for the technology inside its Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The document is titled Capacitive Sensor Packaging, and was originally submitted on March 15th. Like a number of Apple filings, though, it appears to have been kept secret until after the product associated with the technology launched.
Availability at retail improving just as holiday season gets underway
The iPhone 5s, initially constrained by severe shortages on its debut, is now much more readily available at retail (though the "gold" option is still more scarce than the other colors), and Apple on Monday reduced the ship time to "3-5 business days" across all models and capacities. The move indicates that the company is feeling more confident about having the stock levels necessary to meet demand over the holidays - where Apple is expected to break its own and industry records for sales.
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.
Most buyers still existing iPhone owners
The number of new iPhone buyers switching from an Android device increased during the launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c, a new Consumer Intelligence Research Partners study claims. The firm interviewed 400 buyers of the new iPhones during the devices' first 30 days, and found that about 20 percent of them were coming over from Android. That compares with only 16 percent for the launch of the iPhone 5 in 2012.
Full discount limited to retail stores
As planned, Sprint-owned Boost Mobile has begun sales of the iPhone 5s and 5c. The prepaid carrier is offering roughly $100 off Apple's pricing if a phone is ordered online. A previously unannounced promotion, however, is that through November 24th, people buying any device in-store will be eligible for an additional $100 off, so long as they're switching from another carrier.
IFTTT introduces iOS Photos, Reminders compatibility
Productivity app IFTTT (pronounced like 'gift' without the 'g') has released its latest update, version 1.2. IFTTT allows users to enter formulaic commands (called 'Recipes') to complete tasks between apps and web services (called 'Channels'). Version 1.2 has introduced Actions for iOS Photos and Reminders, as well as a new Feedback button within Settings. The background syncing has been improved for iOS 7, and new swipe gestures have been added. IFTTT is available on iTunes for free download.
Plan should save time, money for Apple
Apple will soon start offering in-store repairs for the iPhone 5s and 5c, sources say. The people explain that clerks will soon be able to replace several individual parts of the phones, instead of having to simply hand someone a new unit. To deal with the complexity of replacing a touchscreen, Apple Stores will reportedly get special machines needed to calibrate displays. Clerks will also be able to replace parts like volume buttons, vibration motors, speakers, and even the rear camera; only the 5c's button is expected to be replaceable, however, since it's believed that the 5s' Touch ID sensor may be too complicated.
Currently limited to iPhone 5s, program tracks all motion
On Monday, Nike debuted its new Nike+ Move app (free) on the iOS App Store following its appearance at the iPhone unveiling in September. The app, which leverages the motion data found in the iPhone 5s' M7 co-processor, effectively turns the premium smartphone into a whole new level of fitness app, mimicking wearable but more primitive fitness monitors like Nike's own Fuelband, the Fitbit Flex or the Jawbone Up, among many other rivals.
Reliance now carrying iPhone 5s and 5c on contract
For the first time ever, iPhone fans in India will be able to buy Apple's phones in a subsidized manner. Reliance Communications, India's third-largest telecom, is now offering the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on contract, according to The Wall Street Journal. The carrier's decision to offer a contract option signals a willingness to try again in an arena that has proved difficult to maintain in India.
Contract-free 5s starts at $550
Prepaid carrier Boost Mobile has revealed prices for its November 8th launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c. 5s models will run $550 for 16GB, $650 for 32GB, and $750 for 64GB. A 16GB 5c will be $450, while 32GB will cost $650. People wanting a cheaper iPhone will be able to opt for a $300 iPhone 4S.
First fully-subsidized iPhone offered in India.
The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c have gone on sale in 12 more countries, following its original launch on September 20th and later expansion to 28 more countries on October 25th. India, one of the new countries to receive the Apple smartphones, will now have its first fully-subsidized iPhone on sale as part of a new contract.
People with problems allowed to contact AppleCare on their own
Sources have revealed more details of Apple's iPhone 5s battery recall. The people explain that while Apple will be individually contacting customers with affected serial numbers, a 5s owner can also contact AppleCare on their own if they feel they're having battery trouble. At that point an AppleCare worker will check the phone's serial number against the list of eligible replacements, and issue one if it fits; otherwise, regular support procedures will take over.