Combination of larger screens, Apple Pay, Apple Watch intriguing Android users
Investment firm Cowen and Company has opted to raise its year-end target price on Apple stock to $135 following a survey it conducted with existing smartphone owners around the world. After polling some 3,000 people in various regions, the firm discovered that 25 percent of all iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus sales are coming from Android switchers, who are persuaded not just by the larger displays.
Investment firms believe Apple sold well north of 54 million units
Two investment analyst firms, Barclays Capital and UBS, have issued their first predictions on the number of iPhones Apple is likely to sell in its fiscal second quarter, which concludes at the end of March. The firms disagree on the exact number of units, but are within 10 percent of each other, ranging from 54 million to 58 million units. UBS' Evidence Lab is predicting higher numbers, but Wall Street estimates remain conservative.
Samsung's Plan B looks a lot like its Plan A, but this time things are different
The Samsung Galaxy S6 is about to hit retail stores in April, but Apple has nothing to fear from it. Samsung is on a similar trajectory to HTC, despite its much more substantial advertising budget and resources. While there will likely always be a market for premium high-end Android smartphones, there are at least two significant factors that will see this segment struggle to reproduce the types of profits that it has previously for HTC and Samsung.
Details of Apple Pay on iPhone 5 family revealed
Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue made an appearance at Oakland, California's Oracle Arena, and showed off the Apple Watch's Apple Pay functionality -- and took a veiled swipe at a competitor at the same time. Sporting the stainless steel model of the Watch, Cue showed how the device functions with the iPhone 6 series family, as well as confirmed an important detail of how the Apple Watch will bring Apple Pay to the iPhone 5 series of phones.
Chain has had NFC compatibility previously, will upgrade new locations as well
In addition to sandwich chain Panera Bread and Subway, and fast food king McDonald's, some 860 branch locations of sub sandwich chain Firehouse Subs will now officially begin accepting Apple Pay starting today. Apple Pay allows users to pay for food by simply holding the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus to a terminal while holding the Touch ID button on the devices. The franchise is hoping to more than double the number of locations it has in the US to over 2,000 by 2020.
Move could be temporary, with iPhone 6 permission coming from Sprint
While other Sprint mobile network resellers -- such as Ting and Straight Talk -- are preparing to finally be allowed to offer the latest iPhone 6 models, one company appears to have gone in the opposite direction. Virgin Mobile USA, which has continually had inventory issues with its current offerings of iPhone 5/5c/5s models since the launch of the iPhone 6, has now removed all mention of Apple products from its online storefront -- though this could be a temporary measure.
Analysts believe Apple outsold all others in China, sold more iPhones than US
In the midst of so much good news that came out of Apple in its fiscal Q1 report today, a significant milestore was also noted: the company said it had sold its one billionth iOS device, which it will keep for historical purposes. The device was said to be a 64GB Space Grey iPhone 6 Plus, and was part of the extraordinary 74.6 million iPhone sold worldwide in the holiday quarter. China sales played a major role as well, growing sales 157 percent from the previous quarter.
STM announces Dux rugged cases for iPad, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
STM Bags has announced the release of its new Dux case for iPad, along with versions for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Described as offering "rugged" protection from drops and general wear and tear, the Dux case consists of a rubberized bracket and polycarbonate exterior. Its clear back allows for customizing the appearance of the device, or letting the back of the iPhone or iPad remain visible. The Dux for iPad (priced at $50) features sizes designed for iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 2 through 4, iPad mini, as well as mini 2 and 3, and is available in blue, red, and black. Dux for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (priced at $30) are available in black and red.
Nearly doubles rival Samsung's sales, equals all combined competition
Apple's share of the US mobile phone market has nearly doubled following the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 in October, a new study has revealed. The report, by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, finds that the iPhone went from 28 percent of the market in the July-to-September quarter to just over 50 percent in the final three months of the year, an improvement even over the same time the year before, when the iPhone 5s was released.
Catalyst announces new waterproof case for iPhone 6
Waterproof accessories brand, Catalyst, has announced the release of its new iPhone 6 case. Measuring at 11.4mm thick, each case is waterproof up to a depth of five meters (16.4 feet), and is designed to meet or exceed Military Standard 810G for drops and shocks up to 6.6 feet. Both the touchscreen and Touch ID of the iPhone can be utilized while using the new Catalyst case, and its hard-coated optical lens allows for underwater camera usage.
Profits from stolen phones spent on cars, gold, gambling
Last week in Beijing, three men tunneled underground into a warehouse belonging to an Apple distributor and were able to steal 240 of the latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models. The incident is just the latest in a series of crimes involving the latest iPhone -- resulting in a nickname for the device that translates "Kidney 6," in reference to a case in 2012 when a 17-year-old allowed one of his kidneys to be removed and sold so he could afford to buy an iPhone and iPad.
Sensor supplier gave Apple 'sweetheart deal' that hurt profits, suit charges
A new lawsuit filed against gyroscope and accelerometer supplier for Apple, InvenSense, accuses the company of failing to tell investors about the concessions it made to secure a recent deal. InvenSense parts are used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Executives should have warned investors, the suit alleges, that Apple was given a "sweetheart deal" that would hurt profits. "Instead of revealing the true condition of the company and its prospects, defendants hid those facts from investors and chose to issue strong guidance and paint a picture of a bright future with a new mega-customer," the complaint reads. More seriously, the suit charges that investors were led to buy stock at inflated prices, while insiders sold off $5.3 million in shares.
Only one exception
Almost all models of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are now listed as "in stock" -- shipping immediately -- at Apple's US online store, after months of constrained supply versus demand. Those units should also be available for in-store pickup. The one exception to the newfound proliferation is the recently-introduced unlocked SIM-free iPhone 6 Plus, which has a one-day wait for online orders.
Maker cautions that real experience will vary based on carrier and location
A company called Antenna79 has launched the Reach79, a case claimed to boost cellular signals for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The key is an embedded gold-plated antenna layer, allegedly CETECOM-tested to improve signal strength by an average of 1.6 times, peaking at twice normal levels. Antenna79 suggests this can result not only in better coverage, but faster downloads and improved battery life, since a phone doesn't have to struggle as much to find a connection.
Release date sometime this year
Otterbox-owned LifeProof has announced the fre Power, a battery case for the iPhone 6. The product supplies 2600mAh of power, said to double an iPhone's regular life. More significantly, however, the case safeguards against water, drops, and dust/snow, partly through its shell but also via a built-in screen protector. The case is said to be waterproof at depths of 2m (6.6 feet )for up to an hour, and LifeProof also claims that the case meets milspec standards for shock and impact, protecting against drops up to 6.6 feet. In addition, the ports can be sealed to prevent particles from getting in.
Five new cases providing extra power for iPhone 6
Otterbox and Incipio today announced new cases for the iPhone 6 with built-in batteries to boost up time. The new offerings, which join today's announcement of the Mophie's Juice Pack series are the Otterbox Resurgence and the four-model Incipio offGrid series.
Promises up to 12 extra hours of web use
Charging specialist Mophie has launched anticipated Juice Pack battery cases for Apple's latest iPhone models. For the iPhone 6, buyers have access to the Juice Pack Air or the Juice Pack Plus. Both come in black, white, or gold colors. The Air is a $100, 2750mAh model that doubles battery life; the Plus costs $120, and boosts longevity by 120 percent, while also adding an "impact isolation system" that protects against more severe hits.
Previous unlocked phones came with T-Mobile SIM
Apple has begun selling SIM-free versions of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus at its US online store. Unlocked iPhone 6 models have been available since September, but until now came with a T-Mobile SIM inserted. As with the T-Mobile option, a SIM-free iPhone 6 starts at $649 for 16GB, and an equivalent 6 Plus is $749. Costs scale up to $949 for a 128GB Plus.
Affected people forced to get replacement devices
A number of iPhone 6 owners are complaining that they have been unable to add their cards back to Apple Pay after restoring iOS. The problem -- described in Apple's support forums -- can manifest whether restoring from a backup or starting fresh, and so far the only solution involves getting a replacement phone from Apple. Genius Bar technicians appear to be offering replacements to most affected people, whether in the form of a refurbished or genuinely new device.
Leather wallet case for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus now available in gray
Mujjo has introduced its Leather Wallet Case line-up for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in gray, as part of its Desaturated Collection. The wallet case is designed to hold two to three essential cards without sacrificing a thin profile. The case is available in two styles for iPhone 6 -- one with the card slot angled upright and the other with an 80 degree angle pocket -- and the 80 degree angle pocket case is available for iPhone 6 Plus. Pricing for the Desaturated Collection begins at $40, and cases can be purchased through Mujjo.
East coast-based chain adds personal, business debit and credit cards to Apple technology
TD Bank, the US-based subsidiary of Canada's similarly-named financial giant, will "soft launch" support for Apple Pay in the US starting today, in accordance with earlier reports. Customers can now add any TD Bank Visa-branded debit or credit cards to Passbook, and use them to make purchases at supporting merchants with an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. While customers will have to call their branch to verify some details, both consumer and business cards are now supported.
Airing Thursday in UK
At 9PM GMT on Thursday, BBC One will be airing a documentary on the working conditions in Apple's extended supply chain. The Panorama piece, titled Apple's Broken Promises, focuses initially on conditions at Chinese factories producing the iPhone 6. It also goes into detail on the sources of materials for Apple products, bringing cameras to an Indonesian tin mine where children are digging out materials by hand.
SwitchEasy announces Camos, Boombox cases for iPhone 6, Numbers case for iPhone 6 Plus
SwitchEasy has announced the upcoming release of three new iPhone cases: the Camo and Boombox for iPhone 6, and Numbers for iPhone 6 Plus. The Camo is created by way of 3D printing, and features a camouflage aesthetic. Aiming to protect an iPhone from wear and tear without adding additional bulk, the Camo case is priced at $20 and will be available in blue, yellow and orange.
Dodges legal issues that blocked first add-on
The creators of the Typo keyboard case have returned with a new model, the Typo2. The accessory has been redesigned not only to accommodate the iPhone 6, but to avoid the legal troubles the company has encountered with BlackBerry. Although a lawsuit is still pending, BlackBerry won a sales injunction against the first-generation case.
Overall, consumers still prefer smartphones under five inches in size
In less than eight weeks, Apple's iPhone 6 Plus has already grabbed a 41 percent share of all US "phablet" (5.5 inches or larger in display size) sales, and is continuing to struggle to meet demand. A new study published by Kantar World Panel reveals that, despite much more publicity, phablets continue to make up only a small minority of smartphone sales -- but the category is growing fast. The finding is another blow for the struggling Samsung, whose Galaxy Note phablets now account for only five percent of such sales in the US, and only eight percent of phablets in China.
Posts proof it notified Apple in September
A Chinese smartphone maker, Digione, is claiming that the iPhone 6 may violate a phone design patent. The patent was submitted to China's State Intellectual Property Office in January, and approved in July. On Monday, the company took to Sina Weibo to post proof that it sent a letter to Apple in September, notifying it about the issue and suggesting that "a communication with goodwill would contribute to solving potential legal disputes." So far, Apple appears to be remaining silent.
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.
NewerTech announces Nuguard KXS Impace X-Orbing Screen Armor for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
NewerTech has introduced an update to its line of Impact X-Orbing Screen Armor, now available for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Featuring military grade, triple-layer protection, the self-adhesive layer requires no water or other liquids for easy, bubble-free installation. the screen protector is compatible with cases, and includes a lifetime limited warranty.
New features allows voice messages to be sent in iOS 8 as MMS
Following a pair of new ads that debuted on Tuesday, Apple has followed it up with an unusual single additional ad in the current campaign, which again features Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon and entertainer Justin Timberlake. In the new TV spot, called "Voice Text," the pair demonstrate the WhatsApp-esque Voice Text feature in iOS 8, which allows for easy recording of voice which is then sent as an MMS message or iMessage (depending on the recipient) for times when texting is too inefficient.
iPhone's RAM, storage, and batteries could come from one supplier
Apple may be turning to Samsung for more parts in future production runs of the iPhone 6, sources tell Business Korea. Beginning this week, new runs will reportedly use batteries manufactured by Samsung SDI. More significantly, though, Apple is said to be considering replacing Toshiba TLC NAND flash storage with a Samsung equivalent. Toshiba NAND is currently believed to be the only kind used in 128GB iPhones, and some reports have linked it to occasional device crashes. Toshiba, SanDisk, and SK Hynix are allegedly producing the storage for 64GB models.
Continues series of ads with Fallon and Timberlake
Apple has premiered a pair of new iPhone 6 ads (below), continuing a series starring the voices of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. The first, "Gamers," depicts the pair playing the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) title Vainglory, used in some previous Apple marketing as well. The ad touts the speed of the A8 processor in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
iPhone buyers likely grabbing 'vital' apps
App Store downloads surged to a record 7.8 million per day average for the top 200 free iOS apps in October, says mobile marketing firm Fiksu. That represented a 42 percent increase from September, and a 39 percent jump year-over-year. The firm says it expects the trend to continue into the holiday season. It appears to have been kickstarted by sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which first launched on September 19, but which has been been gradually rolling out to more and more countries.
Strength of iPhone 6 demand, Apple Watch predictions to fuel growth, analysts say
Two leading investment and analysis firms have joined with others in raising AAPL target prices recently, in part because the stock has already outperformed most expectations on its most recent bull run. Longtime Apple analyst Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray has raised his target from $120 to $135 on the strength of iPhone 6 demand, while Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty raised her view to $126 per share from the previous $115, which the stock has already surpassed. The two join a growing list of AAPL bulls.
Larger iPhone 6 Plus at 16GB now listing 7-10 day shipping for US models
The US online Apple Store has recently revised the wait time for an online-ordered iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, just in time for the holiday buying season. The units are still very constrained, but are slowly catching up with demand, based on changes to ship times on Apple's website. The two higher-end iPhone 6 models now have a US ship time of seven to 10 days, while the 16GB model now has a five-to-seven day wait time. The larger iPhone 6 Plus has dropped to a seven-to-10 day shipping window for the 16GB model, but still has longer times on larger-capacity units.
Release of new OmniGraffle 6.1 includes Yosemite update, new tool options
The Omni Group has released its latest version of OmniGraffle, a graphic document editing app for OS X. Allowing users to create graphic documents efficiently, lines stay connected to shapes even when they're moved in the new version, while style and organization tools finish off a diagram that is simplistic or technically in-depth. OmniGraffle 6.1 offers a new user interface, as well as the ability to detach inspectors into their own floating panels. New fill effects, stroke and shadow types, and support for the Visio 2013 format are all included. Requiring OS X Yosemite to run, OmniGraffle is priced at $100.
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.
All 1,400 US locations ready, retailer says
Business supply chain Staples has begun accepting Apple Pay at all of its 1,400 US retail locations, according to an announcement. Retail shoppers must have an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. The company has also begun accepting Apple Pay through its iOS app, however, where people with an iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3 can also make purchases.
SwitchEasy announces new kickstand cases for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
Mobile accessories designer SwitchEasy has announced two new cases for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus entitled Rave. Composed of a combination of faux leather and thermoplastic polyurethane, the Rave case is reflective, and shimmers when it catches the light. Its folding design allows the phone to be propped up into a kickstand, ideal for watching videos. The Rave joins SwitchEasy's line of cases for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and will be available online, with pricing starting at $30.
Plus currently in hands of Foxconn alone
One of Apple's key suppliers, Pegatron, is increasing production capacity to produce more iPhone 6 units, and may soon add the 6 Plus to its assembly lines, says Japanese business publication Nikkei. The company is a secondary iPhone 6 manufacturer, assisting Apple's main partner, Foxconn. The latter is in fact the sole firm building the 6 Plus, and Nikkei notes that it's only rumored in Asian media that Pegatron could follow suit.
NAND in devices not universally faulty, or to blame for some units crashing
After a night of sensationalist reports from South Korea, news agencies elsewhere in the world reported that the iPhone 6 Plus 128GB was likely going to be subject to a recall. MacNN started looking into the newest claims of iPhone 6 Plus problems early this morning, in parallel with an ongoing investigation that started last week about app library size causing device instability. Despite reports of phones being bent either accidentally or on purpose, we can report that there is no reason for a recall at this time over faulty NAND memory, or any other cause.
Now reads heart rate from devices, sends NikeFuel and workout data to Health app
Nike has announced a significant update to its Nike+ Running app for the iPhone, which now natively supports the resolution of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. In addition, the app now features cooperation with the Heath app included with iOS 8. The Running app itself can now also read from the M8 motion co-processor, including changes in elevation. It can now read heart rate data created by third-party hardware that is sent to the Health app, and can report NikeFuel and workout data to the Health app.
Would bring tech beyond world of Apple Pay
Apple is hunting for new partnerships that will let it diversify the use of the NFC chip in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, a new report claims. At the moment the chip is meant exclusively for retail Apple Pay transactions, particularly since the related API hasn't been opened to third-party developers. Apple is allegedly negotiating with companies like HID Global and Cubic regarding purposes such as building security and public transit ticketing.
Device outpacing last month's interest in Galaxy Note 4
South Korean preorders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have surpassed 100,000, and are vastly outpacing last month's preorders for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, according to the Wall Street Journal. The country's three biggest carriers -- SK Telecom, KT Corp, and LG UPlus -- opened up preorders last Friday. KT says it received 10,000 preorders within a minute, and 50,000 after 30 minutes. UPlus, a first-time iPhone carrier, received 20,000 orders in 20 minutes. SK Telecom isn't giving out hard numbers, but says that its first and second batches of preorders are already booked and that it's now starting on a third.
Chinese launch weighting phone's demand
Apple may, for a second time, have to adjust the ratios of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus production to more equally favor the Plus, sources tell Digitimes. Earlier this month, the company is said to have noticed that global demand for the Plus was stronger than expected, and adjusted accordingly. After last weekend's launch in China, though, the company is said to have discovered strong demand there, too. Chinese buyers wanting a regular iPhone 6 can reportedly buy one without much trouble, but face a long wait if they opt for the bigger phone.
MLB was early adopter of Passbook app, iBeacons; MLB app will gain Touch ID functionality
Major League Baseball, which has taken the role of unabashed cheerleader for several of Apple's financial and retail technology initiatives including Passbook and iBeacons, has announced another embrace -- this time, Apple Pay. Both of the two MLB stadiums involved in this year's World Series will be accepting Apple Pay for concessions starting with the event, which begins on Tuesday. San Francisco's AT&T Park and Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium will both have the hardware on hand for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users.
iPad shipments see decline
Apple made $42.12 billion in revenues during its fourth fiscal quarter, which ended in September, according to an announcement. That figure surpasses the $37.47 billion the company posted in Q4 2013, as well as consensus expectations of $40 billion, and Apple's own guidance in the last quarter. Net profits rose year-over-year from $7.5 billion -- or $1.18 per diluted share -- to $8.5 billion and $1.42 per share. Gross margins increased from 37 to 38 percent.
Rewards and other perks will remain the same as if physical card had been used
Financial services and credit card issuer American Express has posted a new web page on its site, extolling the benefits of Apple Pay and instructing users on how to add their cards to the Passbook-based payment system. The mobile payment system is designed for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (now expanded to include the latest iPads for online or in-app purchases only) and will be formally rolled out on Monday, alongside the release of iOS 8.1.
Preorder system, midnight carrier debuts credited
The Sanlitun Apple Store in Beijing, one of the company's most important in China, was witness to a "low-key" iPhone 6 launch Friday morning, says the Wall Street Journal. As close as an hour before store opening, just a handful of people had lined up, even less than the 24 security guards Apple had on site. The line grew to around 100 people by launch, but composed entirely of preorder customers with assigned pickup times. People without preorder reservations simply waited for their turn to get in line.
Rdio introduces CarPlay compatibility to its iOS app
Music subscription service Rdio has released an update for its iOS app, featuring new CarPlay support and other iOS 8 inclusions. A paid monthly service, a Rdio Unlimited account offers access to albums, songs, playlists and stations, with the option to download unlimited songs via mobile for offline listening. Rdio v3.0.4 adds push notifications for iOS 8 users, and high-resolution images and album artwork optimized for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
PowerSkin PoP'n 2 power pack for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
Now that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are in the hands of millions of loyal Apple fans, many people are starting to look at useful accessories that third party manufacturers have to offer. One awesome addition to the list of "must-haves" is the PowerSkin PoP'n 2 portable battery pack. We have two of these battery packs to give away to our readers. Find out more about what makes this mobile charging solution different, and how you can enter to win.