iPhone 5 devices with sleep button issue may qualify for an extra $80 trade-in credit at Apple Retail locations

iPhone 5 - Slate/Silver
Late Friday afternoon Apple issued a press release stating that some iPhone 5 devices manufactured through March 2013 may have a defect that causes the sleep/wake button to fail. At that time, Apple positioned mail-in repairs as the only remedy for this issue, but we have learned today that there is another option that may allow affected customers to upgrade to an iPhone 5c/5s for free…

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iPhone sales could be threatened as subsidized costs become more visible, say analysts

iphones

How much did your iPhone cost? If you said $199, $299 or even $399 you’re somewhere near $350 off. As some consciously forget, the carriers often shield the owner from the real total cost of the iPhone. That may not last.

iPhone sales could be hurt as carriers switch from so-called subsidized contracts, where customers pay only a fraction of the cost a new iPhone up-front, to deals where the true cost of the phone is more visible, argues a piece in the WSJ.

Many U.S. iPhone customers are not aware that the full cost of an iPhone ranges from $549 for a 16GB 5c to $849 for a 64GB 5s. The reason is that carriers have traditionally asked for only $0 to $200 up-front, hiding the balance of the cost in the monthly tariff. With carriers now switching to separate instalment costs for the phone, and the cost of upgrading every year or two more visible to consumers, analysts believe some will choose to upgrade less often …

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Wall Street predicts just two percent year-on-year growth in iPhone sales

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Fortune has its usual roundup of what the analysts are expecting Apple to report in iPhone sales next week, and the forecasts make worrying reading. The overall average is for quarterly sales of 38.2 million, which would represent year-on-year growth of just two percent.

averages

Adding to the concern, ten of the 32 analysts included in Fortune‘s poll predict a fall in sales when compared to the same quarter last year.

With the new iPhones having generated record sales in their opening weekend, and Apple having reported all-time quarterly high iPhone sales in Q1, the question is why the pessimism regarding Q2 … ?  Read more

8 GB iPhone 5c now available in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Sweden, Poland, Italy, Ireland and several others

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After a brief period of downtime, the Apple Store website around the world has now gone back up. Aside from a bit of Mother’s Day promotional advertising, there is no change to most regions. For some countries, however, Apple has now made the 8 GB iPhone 5c introduced last month available for sale. The device is now available in the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, and other regions.

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China Mobile sold over 1M iPhones last month, chairman non-committal about the numbers

A man holds a new Apple iPhone 5S next to his iPhone 5 at an Apple Store at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district

Photo: readwrite.com

China Mobile announced that it sold 1.34M 4G handsets in February and that “most of them” were iPhones. China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua was relatively non-committal on the numbers.

It’s just been getting started for one or two months. So far it’s hard to tell how that will affect our business […]

We are happy with the progress as we are still building our 4G network and the coverage is only available in some major cities.

Analyst estimates of likely sales had varied widely. Most had predicted at least 15-17M sales a year in China as a whole, however, suggesting that 1M in a month on what is by far the country’s largest carrier may be somewhat lower than anticipated …  Read more

Apple introduces 8 GB iPhone 5c in five markets to help boost disappointing sales

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Update: Apple has now added the 8 GB 5c to its European online stores. In the UK, the device is priced at £429 unlocked — a difference of £40 between it and the 16 GB model. It will likely appear on the U.S. site in the coming hours. It appears limited to the UK, France, Germany, Australia, and China.

Earlier today, we reported that Apple was planning release an 8 GB version of the iPhone 5c to help support the phone’s lagging sales. Now it seems that U.K. carrier O2 has made that plan official by releasing the phone for sale on its website. At the time of this writing, it has not appeared on any U.S. carriers’ stores nor the Apple website.

Aside from the reduced capacity offering, there aren’t any changes to the device. This new 8 GB model seems to be designed to help pick up a few more sales in the low-cost phone arena where the 8 GB iPhone 4s may have seemed like a much less attractive device. The newer version includes Apple’s custom dual-core A6 processor, an 8 MP iSight camera, and FaceTime HD camera.

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Opinion: Will Apple abandon the ‘low-cost’ iPhone concept after apparent failure of 5c?

5c

Apple doesn’t break down its iPhone sales figures, so we don’t know for sure that the iPhone 5c sold poorly, but certainly everything we do know seems to point in that direction – from early sales estimates through analytics and consumer surveys to Apple switching production from the 5c to the 5s.

Tim Cook said in an earnings call that “the mix was something very different than we thought,” and intimated that the model might be dropped: “If we decide it’s in our best interest to make a change, then we’ll make one.”

None of this necessarily means that the 5c was a complete failure, of course: record-breaking iPhone sales right from the outset could mean that the plastic phone did ok, it’s simply that the 5s sold far better than expected. It could also be that it was the extra sales gained from the 5c that helped break those records.

But I suspect not. While the brightly-colored 5c was not without its fans, it was the iPhone 5s with its Touch ID sensor and gold colored model that got all the attention, and I don’t think Tumblr advertising is going to change that. So my bet is we will again see a trend away from  colorful plastic iPhones …  Read more

Next iPhone reportedly sports a larger screen and sapphire crystal display

Apple-iPhone-6-concept

Apple is preparing to release not one, but two new versions of the iPhone in September, according to the South China Morning Post. Each version will ship with a larger display than the iPhone 5s, coming in at a whopping 4.7″ and 5.5″, respectively. The displays are said to have a pixel density of 441ppi, much higher than the current 326ppi found in the iPhone 5 and later.

The report also states that both displays will be made from sapphire crystal, which fits with recent reports that Apple is planning to have its latest sapphire plant in Mesa, AZ operational in February for a “critical” product component. The displays will also be flat, not curved, the Post says.

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WSJ says two larger screened iPhone models due this year, plastic 5c to be scrapped

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is planning to release two distinct iPhone models with larger displays later this year. This corroborates a report from Bloomberg News published late last year, so this is not entirely new information. The first new iPhone is claimed to have a screen between 4.5 and 5-inches while the second model will go beyond 5-inches in size:

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Foxconn execs charged with taking bribes to award iPhone supply contracts

Photo: Thomson Reuters

Photo: Thomson Reuters

Several former execs at Foxconn have been charged with taking bribes from companies supplying the company with iPhone components, reports the WSJ.

Following a year of investigation, prosecutors said Thursday they have detained a former Foxconn general manager for allegedly taking kickbacks from supply chain partners. Prosecutors said three other former Foxconn employees were released on bail [after being charged] …  Read more