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

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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.

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Virgin Mobile cuts unsubsidized iPhone 5s to $440 or iPhone 5c for $360 shipped (Update)

From 9to5Toys.com:

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Virgin Mobile is knocking another 20% off their marked down iPhones yielding the lowest prices we’ve ever seen on the unsubsidized phones (that’s another 10% less than this weekend’s mention).

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Note Apple charges $650 for an unlocked iPhone 5s and $550 for an iPhone 5c so savings is around $200/iPhone. While the iPhones are unsubsidized, Virgin does offer extremely competitive plans on the Sprint 4G LTE network starting at $30/month for unlimited text/data. Read more

Report suggests iPhone 6 could once again retain 8 MP camera, focus on improved optics

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone 4 in 2010, Apple began focusing heavily on the device’s camera as an area for continuous improvement and promotion. That device featured a 5 MP backside camera, and the next three models (iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s) featured an 8 MP iSight camera with various improvements along the way.

That pixel count may not change according to a report from The China Post (via MacRumors) which cites financial group Nomura Securities and falling shares of Largen Precision Company.

According to Nomura Securities (野村證券), Largan’s recently lagging performance in the market is caused by rumors that Apple may adopt an 8 mega-pixel (MP) camera with improved optical image stabilization on its upcoming handset, instead of the 16 MP upgrade anticipated by industry observers.

While the report leaves room to speculate a minor bump in pixel count could see the light of day, it’s not too farfetched to believe Apple’s successor to the iPhone 5s could resist increasing pixel count in favor of further improving optical performance with low light and high dynamic range capturing… Read more

Review: mik Sound Case cranks up the volume on your iPhone

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The mik Sound Case is a new type of phone case available for the iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5/5s. It amplifies the phone’s speaker by an additional 15 to 20 decibels and improves the clarity and quality of the sound. By blocking the speaker, the case forces the sound to travel through a hollow space and out an opening on the back of the phone. Thankfully, the lightweight case doesn’t add any additional weight to the phone.

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Why iPhone longevity means iOS carrier activation share doesn’t resemble sales

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There was a lot of confusion yesterday when Verizon’s results were discussed, with more than one commentator confusing activations and sales. For the record, what Verizon announced was that 51 percent of its activations were iPhone, not 51 percent of its phone sales.

If you doubt the importance of this distinction, I have one word for you: T-Mobile. As of 11th April, the carrier had two million iPhone activations. Its iPhone sales as of the same date? Zero: T-Mobile didn’t start selling iPhones until the following day.

The difference between the two numbers is particularly dramatic with high-end handsets like the iPhone …  Read more

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

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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:

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