Poll: If the iPhone 6 is indeed a larger iPod Touch design, has Apple got it right?

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Case designs and claimed leaked sketches are a less than wholly reliable method of predicting what the new iPhone 6 might look like, but we do seem to be hearing a fairly consistent story of a significantly slimmer handset with a rounded back. Very much like a larger iPod Touch, in fact.

Slimmer is likely to be welcomed, though there are those among us who’d prefer to stick to the existing thickness in return for greater battery-life, but with the iPhone expected to be available in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch sizes, it’s likely that a larger battery will be possible even with a slimmer format …  Read more

Strong iPhone 5s sales sees Apple gain market share in Japan, Australia, UK, France & Spain

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Kantar data showed that Apple saw its smartphone market share rise in five out of nine countries surveyed “primarily due to the strong performance of the iPhone 5s.”

The iPhone gained market share in Japan, Australia, UK, France and Spain, with its strongest growth in Japan, where first quarter market share grew by 8.6 percent, from 49 percent in 2013 ro 57.6 percent in 2014. Apple’s success in the country followed a deal with Japan’s largest wireless carrier, DoCoMo.

Japan’s love affair with Apple shows no sign of fading. Even though the iPhone has now been available on Japan’s largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, for a number of months Apple still accounts for more than 40% of sales on the network. The success of the iPhone is also filtering through to the iPad, with almost a quarter of Japanese iPhone owners also owning an iPad. With smartphone penetration in Japan lagging well behind Europe and the US, Japan will remain a key growth market for Apple …

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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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Opinion: Will PC-like upgrade cycles keep iPad sales flat?

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Tim Cook may well be right that iPad sales didn’t really fall 16 percent year-on-year, and that the number was artificially deflated by reduced retail inventories. It’s also true that it’s been the fastest-growing product line in Apple’s history, and his argument that its success in education will drive future demand also has merit.

But this chart from Business Insider tells a story that can’t be denied: the overall trend is for flat iPad sales.

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Apple airs new “Powerful” TV ad, promoting content creation on the iPhone 5s

Update: Apple has now posted an accompanying microsite for the ad, featuring the ads shown in the video.

Apple has begun airing a new iPhone 5s ad this evening, first premiering on ABC during Agents Of SHIELD. This ad, featuring the interesting song ‘Gigantic‘ by the Pixies, takes a very different tone than the “Metal Mastered” ad released in October, which showed that gold really is best.

The ad shows common and uncommon tasks people can accomplish with their iPhone, such as creating music, tracking their health, shooting videos and photos, and playing games. The ad ends with the tagline “You’re more powerful than you think”. A new page on Apple’s website shows off the ad along with the featured software.

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

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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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RunKeeper launches friendly fitness app “Breeze” for iPhone 5s users

FitnessKeeper, the makers of the GPS tracking and fitness monitoring app RunKeeper, is out with a new activity monitoring app called Breeze. Breeze is simple: it takes advantage of the M7 co-processor on the iPhone 5s that measures steps taken and presents the data in a clean, approachable user interface. Using that data, Breeze reminds you each morning how many steps you took the previous day so you start out motivated. Its activity monitor presents total steps taken each day and summarizes the number of steps and hours spent moving in total.
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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.

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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

Want to upgrade your iPhone 5s camera to 2k video? All you need is this app …

If you like to use your iPhone to shoot video and Apple offered to upgrade your iPhone 5s from 1080p HD to 2k video for just $7, the decision wouldn’t require much thought. That’s exactly the trick Ultrakam has pulled off with its new iPhone app.

If you’re wondering how a mere app can convert your camera to a higher resolution, it doesn’t: it simply allows the software to use more of the hardware capabilities of your camera. Apple may say that your iPhone 5s has a 1080p HD videocamera, but that’s not quite true: the camera hardware itself is capable of anything up to 3264×2448, it’s just that the software can’t process that many pixels at a sensible frame-rate …  Read more

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

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

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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

Should Apple open the iPhone’s fingerprint sensor to devs in iOS 8? [Poll]


With Touch ID in the iPhone 5s, Apple wasn’t the first to integrate a fingerprint sensor in a smartphone, but it certainly popularized the feature as other manufacturers race to build similar technology into their next-gen iPhone competitors. HTC is packing in fingerprint sensors in its latest flagship devices and Samsung announced its new Galaxy S5 earlier this week with finger scanning as one of the standout upgrades. The verdict is still out on how Samsung’s tech compares to Touch ID, but it is interesting to see how others are using fingerprint sensors while Apple keeps it closed to developers and offers very limited applications. With Samsung letting app developers access the new S5’s fingerprint scanner for mobile payments and more right out of the gate, should Apple open the fingerprint sensor to devs in iOS 8? Read more