5S ▪ October 29, 2013

Apple has confirmed to The New York Times that a “very limited” number of iPhone 5s units could experience shortened battery life as the result of a manufacturing problem.

“We recently discovered a manufacturing issue affecting a very limited number of iPhone 5S devices that could cause the battery to take longer to charge or result in reduced battery life,” said Teresa Brewer, an Apple spokeswoman. “We are reaching out to customers with affected phones and will provide them with a replacement phone.”

The exact number of affected units is not clear, but the statement is said to imply that the number is in the few thousands range. Apple sold 9 million iPhones total over its opening weekend. The NYT notes that a manufacturing problem does not equal a defective battery, so it is unclear what the actual source of the issue is.

Affected users can expect to be contacted by Apple soon and will be issued a replacement phone.

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5S ▪ October 9, 2013

China Mobile cell tower

While a possible deal with China Mobile, one of the world’s largest telecoms, was rumored for quite sometime leading up to launch of the new iPhones, the company said in August that it was still working out “commercial and technical issues” with Apple. Today, Bloomberg points us to an Apple job listing in China that provides some evidence that the company is indeed preparing to launch the iPhone on the carrier’s network:

The manager, who will be based in Beijing, will “support and drive the carrier approval of mobile phones,” Apple said in an advertisement on its China website. The position seeks experience with TD-SCDMA, China Mobile’s own third-generation standard that isn’t used by other carriers.

On top of TD-SCDMA, the job listing is also seeking an engineer with experience in TD-LTE, which is the LTE standard that China Mobile has quickly been rolling out. Back in August the often reliable KGI analyst Mingchi Kuo claimed that Apple was ramping up TD-LTE supported iPhone 5c production and estimated that the iPhone 5s and 5c on China Mobile could account for penetration of 25% and 35% of total shipments for the two devices. Currently the carrier has approximately 756 million subscribers, around 63% of the 1.2 billion wireless subscribers in China. expand full story

5S ▪ October 3, 2013

5S ▪ September 30, 2013

The new gold color option for the iPhone 5s might be driving higher demand over the 5c in China, but for those unable to find or afford the more expensive model, gold stickers and skins have quickly become an inexpensive alternative. The Wall Street Journal reports that a long list of retailers in the country have started offering gold skins for the iPhone 5/5s, allowing users to give their iPhone a similar gold appearance for as little as $2.

“Dear, you don’t need to sell your kidney for the new iPhone,” one of the ads said.“Instead of paying 5288 yuan (the retail price of the 16-gigabyte iPhone 5S in China), you only need to spend 35 yuan to make your iPhone 5 look like a golden iPhone 5S in seconds.”

The report notes that online retailers through taobao.com have sold thousands of gold iPhone skins in less than a month, and there is certainly no shortage of similar options through Amazon and other online retailers.

The new gold iPhone is in limited supply at most retailers around the world, and even Apple’s own retail stores have had extremely limited supply of the model compared to other color options since the device’s launch on September 20.

As noted by WSJ, the gold iPhone 5s is considered somewhat of a status symbol in the country with local Chinese media often referring to the gold 5s model as “Tuhao Jin” or “local tyrant’s gold.” expand full story

5S ▪ September 19, 2013

As online sales for the iPhone 5s begin to go live in Australia, Asia, and now the UK, lines outside of Apple stores around the world are starting to grow in anticipation the September 20th, 8AM retail launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c. Shipping times for the 5c have been slipping since preorders went live last week, but Apple seems to be in even shorter supply of the iPhone 5s as shipping times are starting at 7-10 days in most countries where online orders have already kicked off.

If you’re expecting to queue up to get your hands on an iPhone 5s like the many customers pictured below, you might want to get in line soon. We learned earlier today that retailers, including Apple stores, are getting little to no Gold and white iPhone 5s units, and will mainly have just the new Space Grey model available in store. However, as we’ve seen following launches in other countries today, the 5s in all colors seems to be in shorty supply even for online orders.

The September 20 iPhone 5s and 5c retail launch will take place in the US, Australia, China, Canada, Germany, France, Singapore, UK, and Japan.

Head below for a look at the long lines starting to form outside Apple Stores around the globe: expand full story

5S ▪ September 18, 2013

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