Apple and State of Arizona filings have come to light today that indicate Apple is rapidly expanding its Mesa, Arizona operations and GT-Advanced sapphire crystal production. PTT Research Senior Analyst and GTAT investor Matt Margolis shared the new documents from his latest research with 9to5Mac. The first interesting piece of the filings is a letter from Apple’s Director of Global Trade Compliance James J. Patton from early July to the U.S Department of Commerce:
New startup Q Designs seeks to help solve a problem that many people have: we sometimes need to power our mobile electronic devices, but we don’t want to carry external battery packs or bulky charging cases. Q Designs’ solution, the QBracelet, looks like an ordinary bracelet, but it is actually a high-tech charger that can juice up your electronic device discreetly.
The QBracelet will work with iOS and Android devices at launch. No cord is needed, since inside the bracelet’s clasp there is a lightning adapter for Apple products and a micro-USB port for Android devices.
The Apple TV is showing up as ‘Unavailable for pickup’ at Apple Stores across the U.S., with multiple NY Apple Stores we called saying that in-store stocks had been exhausted by demand created by the promotion offering $25 iTunes credit with every purchase, along with that generated by the upcoming London iTunes festival as well as the recent Lollapalooza livestream. Apple has been promoting the music festival as a good reason to buy the box now …
Walmart has cut the prices of both of the current iPhone models substantially in what looks like some early prep for the iPhone 6, which is expected next month. As noted by Engadget, you’ll be able to get the 16 GB model of the iPhone 5c for only $.97. No, that’s not a typo. The phone is now selling for ninety-seven cents.
The 16 GB iPhone 5s also got yet another price cut, this time down from $99 to $79. Both of these prices are only temporary and will climb back to their usual points in 90 days—unless of course a newer model comes along and knocks the retail price of these handsets down a few bucks.
Earlier this month Samsung announced yet another Android handset dubbed the Galaxy Alpha that many observers noted borrows design cues from the iPhone 5 first introduced by Apple nearly 2 years ago. The Galaxy Alpha does feature a metal frame with chamfered edges, but does it really favor the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s or is it more Samsung than anything else?
Designer Martin Hajek has created a new collection of 3D renderings to help visualize that comparison and answer that question showing Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha handset side-by-side with Apple’s iPhone 5s. Read more
A claimed schematic of the 4.7-inch model of the iPhone 6 appears to support suggestions that the camera lens will protrude, though only by 0.77mm. Posted by Apple Club in Taiwan, it appears to show a 7mm thick casing with the thickest part of the camera extending 0.77mm beyond this.
Suggestions that the quest for thinness might result in an iPod Touch-style protruding camera lens on the iPhone 6 date back to March, and have been supported by claimed backplate photos as recently as this month. There have, though, been conflicting reports, with one suggestion that Apple would be able to avoid this by restricting optical image stabilization to the larger 5.5-inch model … Read more
Early this year, we heard from a source that Apple had been testing multiple resolutions for the iPhone 6’s larger display, including a resolution of 960 x 1704. As we outlined, the benefit of that resolution is that it allows both developers and consumers to smoothly transition to the new display without losing high-quality imagery and graphics found in many applications from the App Store. At that density on both a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch display (the two larger screen sizes for the next iPhone), all content would display larger in comparison to the current, 4-inch iPhone, but there would not be more actual screen real estate. Now, we’ve discovered another potential iPhone 6 screen resolution by way of iOS 8 files inside of the latest Xcode 6 Software Development Kit (SDK) betas for developers.
We raised the possibility yesterday of the iPhone 6 including a redesigned USB to Lightning cable that allows the USB end of the cord to be inserted into a USB port in either direction. In other words, like the Lightning connector, the next Apple USB cable could be reversible. Leaks of the purported cables have been flowing quickly out of Asia-based areas surrounding the Apple supply chain, and now Sonny Dickson has shared a video of the cable in action. While the video does not show the iPhone actually syncing with the new USB cord, the video does show the cable being inserted in both directions into a standard USB port. This lines up with a recent Apple patent, which is for a USB connector that can be inserted in either direction into currently existing USB hubs.
You can watch the videos and see the new photo below:
In honor of the Bank holiday in the United Kingdom, Apple is offering five Newsstand magazine issues per day at no charge. The deal started today (August 18th) and lasts through August 22nd…
A set of schematics by GeekBar on Weibo have been making the rounds today, claiming to show both NFC support for the iPhone 6 as well as ‘confirmation’ that the device will feature just 1 GB of RAM, like the iPhone 5s.
Although the site focuses on the 1 GB description at the top of the image, it turns out that the schematic is actually a design for a NAND flash component (a storage chip, the same memory used in iPhones and other mobile devices for storing user data like music and photos) rather than RAM for the SoC.
Todd DeRego, a SoC memory engineer, says that the schematic does not have enough signals for it to be a DRAM interface. He also points out that the AP_TO_NAND text refers to an application processor to NAND link, indicating this memory is actually used as a way of storing the booting firmware and not the main memory of the iPhone. Although the RAM claim is almost certainly untrue, the NFC claim cannot be so easily dismissed.
Electronics trade-in site Gazelle has today announced that it will lock trade-in prices for iPhones between now and September 9th for 50 days. This means that iPhone owners looking to upgrade can get a quote today, but not let go of their device until the new iPhone arrives, keeping the original quoted price. Gazelle predicts that trade-in prices for iPhone 5s to fall up to 25% in the month following the expected iPhone 6 announcement.
Gazelle is also running another promotion in tandem, temporarily raising prices offered for iPhone 5s. Gazelle will now offer up to $350 for an iPhone 5s in perfect condition. Obviously, arranging an iPhone trade-in sooner rather than later will ensure you get the highest price for your devices.
The iPhone 6’s packaging might not only include a redesigned smartphone, but a redesigned USB to Lightning cable. While it’s unlikely that Apple will yet-again change the Lightning port introduced with the 2012 iPhone 5 anytime in the near future, a redesigned version of the USB plug could be ready for this fall. Sketchy photos of a reversible USB cable first surfaced on the web last week, and Sonny Dickson yesterday shared another shot of the cables via Twitter.
Like the Lightning connector, the benefit of a reversible USB connector is that it can be inserted into a USB port in either direction. This makes it easier to insert the connector in darkly lit or hard to reach places (like behind a desk). Due to uncertain sourcing, the first batch of photos did not seem completely believable, but digging a little deeper into the situation reveals that Apple readying a reversible USB iPhone cable is a real possibility…