New Steve Jobs email a treasure trove of information about Apple TV, Google ‘holy war,’ and behind-the-scenes strategy

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 8.48.37 PM

A new email from Steve Jobs that was published during today’s Samsung lawsuit (via The Verge) has revealed a lot about Apple’s plans for its products in 2011 and beyond. As we’ve previously noted, Jobs referred to 2011 as a year of “holy war” against Google, but this document goes above that and describes how exactly Apple planned to wage this war.

A few choice bits are below, followed by the complete email.

Read more

Apple’s iPhone ‘Reuse and Recycle’ trade-in program detailed, begins rolling out August 30th

IPhone_4S_Apple_Store

Yesterday, we reported that Apple is gearing up to launch its iPhone trade-in program in September. The program will allow an iPhone user to exchange an older iPhone model for a new iPhone at a discounted price. Today, we’ve learned several new details about the program, including how it works, the official name, and information about the launch.

The trade-in program will be marketed as the “iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program.” It will begin rolling out in select Apple Stores this upcoming Friday, August 30th. Like we previously reported, a larger-scale rollout will occur during the month of September.

The program is applicable to both standard customers and business customers that want to purchase a new iPhone.

Here’s how it will work:

Read more

Can Apple get away with another “S” iPhone?

iPhone5S-9to5-Feb2013

There have been many rumors this year about what upgrades Apple will include in its anticipated annual iPhone refresh. Most agree Apple will move to release two iPhones, but there is some debate about what those phones will be.

Rumor has it that Apple is working on a low-cost iPhone that will do away with the current iPhone design and instead use a new plastic case with a curved back similar to previous iPods. Despite being a less expensive device, that could make things even trickier for Apple to impress with an iPhone 5S upgrade that is largely expected to retain the “old” design of the currently shipping iPhone 5. The devices from competitors are making things even more difficult for Apple’s expected “S” upgrade. Rumors of a 4.8-inch iPhone prototype that recently surfaced don’t seem likely for the next iPhone, but that hasn’t stopped mainstream media and analysts from reporting that Apple is losing out on iPhone sales as consumers opt for larger screen devices. However, that might now be the case, at least not in the United States, with Strategy Analytics and NPD estimating Apple beat Samsung to become the No.1 phone vendor in Q4 2012. Will consumers want or expect a larger screen on the next iPhone, or will Apple’s usual minor refresh suffice?

What did past S upgrades have? Read more

Apple becomes the top smartphone vendor in US as Siri helps iPhone 4S outsell iPhone 4 by 75 percent

We saw the Android-iOS duopoly coming last summer. Now, the effects of this incredibly tight chokehold are becoming painfully evident to virtually every handset maker sans Apple and Samsung. According to a fresh NPD survey from this morning, during the fourth quarter of 2011 Android and Apple together accounted for over 90 percent of smartphone sales in the United States. No wonder RIM is sliding fast. The remaining 10 percent is up for grabs.

Apple, which seized the No. 1 crown from Samsung last quarter, and leapt past Samsung and LG to become the best-selling U.S. handset brand, according to NPD. The iPhone maker grabbed 43 percent of all U.S. smartphone sales, while Android devices accounted for 48 percent of devices. First-time buyers prefer Android (57 percent) to iPhone (34 percent). Smartphones in Q4 represented 68 percent of all cell phones in the U.S., up from 50 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Some perspective: HTC today reported fourth-quarter results and blamed Samsung and Apple for a 26 percent income drop. What’s more, HTC devices are nowhere to be seen on NPD’s list of the top five best-selling devices in the U.S.

Read below for more highlights…

Read more

Why does iPhone 4S cost $2K in Brazil, and what does Apple plan to do about it?

Apple’s iPhone 4S hit Chile and Brazil this evening, and boy is it overpriced. The company’s online store has the R$ 2,599 price tag attached to the 16 GB SIM-free version. The 32 GB/64GB versions of the popular smartphone sell for R$ 2,999/R$ 3,399. The exchange rate of Brazilian dollar is approximately R$ 1.71 to USD 1.00… so you get the picture.

Just to give you a little feel, the unlocked 64 GB iPhone 4S in Brazil sells for three times its $849 United States asking price, or a whopping $2,000. This slideshow cleverly depicts what this amount of money can buy folks in Brazil. Turns out you can get a decent fridge, a big screen Sony Bravia TV or even an entry-level Ford car for the price of an unlocked 64 GB iPhone 4S.

So, why those exorbitant price points?


A comparison of approximately two times higher iPhone prices in Brazil compared to the U.S. The chart is courtesy of The Next Web.

Read more

Canon PIXMA wireless printers get AirPrint support

Today Canon announced AirPrint support for their PIXMA series of Wireless Photo All-In-One inkjet printers, enabling wireless printing from iOS devices to the PIXMA MG8220, MG6220 and MG5320.

Along with the announcement, the company also confirmed the majority of their new Canon PIXMA lineup will get AirPrint support going forward. The PIXMA MG8220 goes for $299.99 on Amazon, the MG6220 for $199, and the MG5320 for $149. There’s a new Canon website for AirPrint as well.

A few months back HP also pushed out an update enabling AirPrint support for thirteen printers in their LaserJet series. Epson did the same a few weeks ago.

For the release head south V.

Read more

Apple ups iPhone orders to 56M units for 2H11, iPhone 5 to be almost half

According to Digitimes, Apple has increased their second-half of 2011 iPhone orders to 56 million units from a previous goal of 50 million units. These 56 million iPhones cover current and next-generation models: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (GSM + CDMA), and the upcoming “iPhone 5.” As previously reported, the iPhone 5 will make up almost half of Apple’s 2H11 iPhones with 25.5-26 million total units.

In addition, Apple reportedly originally planned to build 7 million iPhone 5 units for the third quarter, but adjusted their production plans to 5.5-6 million units. On the other hand, Apple is expecting major iPhone 5 demand in the fourth quarter and has increased Q4 iPhone 5 orders to 20 million units from 14 million units.

The iPhone 5 will go on sale this fall and will almost certainly include the dual-core A5 processor found in the iPad 2 and an eight megapixel camera possibly made by Sony. There has been debate over the new iPhone’s design, with some reporting a design that is largely similar to the iPhone 4, and others calling for a major redesign. As the iPhone 5 moves into Apple’s product lineup (in addition to a possible cheaper iPhone), Apple will be eliminating the iPhone 3GS.

Read more

At 3 in Sweden, the iPhone 3GS is on a fire sale

.

Three in Sweden is having a “half price sale” on the iPhone 3GS “while supplies last”.  The free iPhone 3GS with the 99 Kroners a month ($15.42) plan works out to about US$370 for the entire contract and that is before minutes and the unlimited Internet (throttled after 1GB) are considered.  That is incredibly cheap.

In the US, the price of an iPhone 3GS off contract is still over $400 and we’re used to some of the lowest prices on Apple products globally.

The move would seem to indicate that the iPhone 3GS is nearing its end of life (EOL) and prices may begin to drop in other countries as well.

The Swedish carrier’s move is interesting because we heard a report last month that the iPhone 3GS would continue to be offered next year at a sub-$350 prepaid option alongside the ‘iPhone 4S’.

Updated: Denmark too!

Machine translated plan, below: Read more

iPhone 3GS supply tightens ahead of likely discontinuation this fall

Although it seems likely that Apple will soon discontinue its legacy iPhone 3GS, some reports have said that Apple will retain the device as its cost-effective pre-paid option. Others, including us, have reported that Apple is preparing two next-generation iPhones for this fall: one as the successor to the iPhone 4 and one as a cheaper, possibly pre-paid model.

According to several sources in different countries, stock of Apple’s iPhone 3GS is quickly tightening with hardly – or even any – shipments coming through to certain regions. In addition, according to a source at one popular international carrier, the iPhone 3GS has disappeared from the stock database.

We have heard from reliable sources at a major European iPhone carrier that stock of the iPhone 3GS is unusually low, with little stock coming through for the next few weeks. An accurate source at a major U.S. based iPhone reseller also reported to us that stock of the iPhone 3GS is significantly lower than usual. In addition, this source says, similarly to what our European carriers sources reported, that no iPhone 3GS shipments are coming through to several districts in the United States. On top of all of this, an accurate source with a hand in Apple’s global channel shipping operations reports that shipments of the 3GS are rapidly decreasing with a little amount of units remaining in the channel.

Apple gradually tightens its shipments and production of products ahead of its upgrade or discontinuation. This minimizes already-replaced product inventory from the company’s product lineup (which Apple often just moves to “refurbished”). This iPhone 3GS situation is a prime example of this process.

It is also possible that Apple is preparing an upgrade to the iPhone 3GS. Perhaps they will bump the screen or change something internally (A4?). It is also entirely possible that Apple is decreasing iPhone 3GS supplies in anticipation of more people buying the next-generation iPhone.

Read more

Have we found the iPhone 5?


Click to enlarge

Last evening, a tipster sent us some pictures of what he now thinks is the iPhone 5.  He caught what he said was likely an Apple employee hunched over the device on the way home from work in San Francisco earlier this week.  He told us he was able to get a very good look at the device but the pictures he snapped “didn’t do it justice”.

We contacted the tipster by phone and checked his background.  We believe he saw a totally new Apple device, probably a prototype iPhone 5.  He contacted us because when he got home, he doubted what he saw was legitimate until he looked at the green cases we posted.  Then it all came together for him.  Our tipster has had an iPhone 3GS and currently has an iPhone 4.  He knows his iPhones and iPods and this was like nothing he’s ever seen.  He said it would fit perfectly into the case below.

“Almost EVO-like” in screen size, this iPhone also appears thinner than the current iPhone 4 but also wider.  The edges are rounded metal like the edges of a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 but could still function as an antenna.  The back is a curved/tapered glass or plastic.  He couldn’t tell but if he had to guess he’d say glass.  He said it looked too amazing to be built by anyone besides Apple (fanboy!).

Our tipster wasn’t able to see the front/home button and the man holding the device was covering the Apple logo for all but a brief moment when the above picture was snapped.  It seemed apparent that he was trying to hide what he had more than the average smartphone user.

We aren’t certain if this is legitimate or not but it is too thin and flat to be an iPhone 3GS and too rounded to be an iPhone 4.  The black back with Apple logo would seem to rule out an iPod touch.  Our tipster is all but certain it was a new Apple product and the iPhone 5 would be the most likely scenario.

Would Apple let employees out into the world with these over a month before launch?  Apple has acknowledged that they real world test this way in the past (ahem, Gray Powell).  They’ve also indicated that the cases the iPhone 4s came in may have been a factor in not diagnosing the finger spot/antennagate fiasco ahead of time.  So perhaps this is legit?

Another picture below: Read more

There will be two different iPhones in September and the cheaper one is more important

This afternoon, we recieved some intel from an iPhone source that has been reliable in the past.  Most of the information is already known but it is important to weigh in on what’s going around.  The “big” news is that Apple will be selling two totally distinct iPhones in September.  One will be a low-end variety that will address the cheap Android market, according to the source.  The other will be a high-end device and will be an all new design.  There will be no mistaking these two devices, they will be immediately discernible.  The iPod touch, like it always has, will get updated in September as well.

So that’s where the info path trails off, and to be frank, it isn’t all that surprising.  There are currently two totally distinct iPhones on the market: the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4.  The 3GS is at a cheaper price point while the iPhone 4 is the high-end line.

So we’ll have the same thing in September?  iPhone 4 is the low end and iPhone 5 the high end?

I’m not so sure.  For one, the price of an iPhone 4 isn’t going to compete with cheap Android phones in any way.  Apple is currently selling them for over $600.  They aren’t going to cut the price in half overnight.  The 3GS doesn’t currently compete on price either.  I think that to compete on price with Android, Apple has to make a totally new low end phone as well.

What’s it going to be?  I think a good place to start looking is the curent iPod touch.  The iPod touch has the same resolution screen as the iPhone 4 but with poor(er) viewing angles because the screen doesn’t have In-Plane Switching.  (video below)

Also, the back camera is an order of magnitude worse than the iPhone 4′s, it doesn’t have GPS, has less RAM and the battery doesn’t last quite as long.

…and obviously the iPod lacks the “phone” bits.

But Apple somehow makes a lot of money selling this “almost iPhone” for just $229 retail (and under $200 at discounts) vs. the $650 that the iPhone 4 fetches without a plan.  It doesn’t seem infeasible to me that Apple could use the iPod touch platform that debuted a full year ago to build a cheap iPhone device.

Here’s how:

Start with the same hardware.  Add the GPS/3G baseband chips and some phone wiring and a solid 3 megapixel camera and you are 99% of the way to an iPhone lite.  iPhone Air?  Whatever.

Apple could make this device, one that is thinner than an iPhone 4, with most of the same specs, for $299.  But here’s the best part: Read more