iPhone 4 owners begin receiving their $15 ‘Antennagate’ settlement checks from Apple

Check-iphone-4-settlement.

Payday has come for some of the first responders to the iPhone 4 class action lawsuit.  Last February a settlement was reached that granted iPhone 4 owners who had not previously received a free bumper for their “defective” iPhones a $15 payout.  Several of our readers are now reporting that they received their settlement checks today.  The first checks were issued on April 17 2013 and are void after July 16th.  Unfortunately the deadline for submitting a claim has passed so if you missed out the first time around it seems you are out of luck.

In case you forgot, the settlement found:

Apple was “misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4–particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software.”

Apple paid out a total of $53 million in the settlement, which was lawyers took a hefty $16M chunk.

Verizon CFO talks iPhone: Free iPhone gains, incentivizing employees to sell lower subsidy devices & Share Everything plans

verizon-iphoneVerizon CFO Fran Shammo spoke at the Duetsche Bank Annual Media, Internet & Telecom conference this morning, where he was asked a few questions related to the iPhone. Verizon reported its fourth quarter 2012 earnings last month with 9.8 million smartphone activations—a record 6.2 million of which were iPhone. We knew about half, or 3.1 million, of those iPhone sales were driven by the first full quarter with the iPhone 5, but today Shammo talked about just how important getting the free iPhone 4 was during the quarter:

But this past fourth quarter you had a couple — you had really one thing happen that never happened before, especially with Verizon Wireless, and that was for the first time ever, because of the iPhone 5 launch, we had the 4 at free. So it was the first time ever you could get a free iPhone on the

Verizon Wireless network. So that produced a lot of volume for us. We had a lot of new customers come into Verizon who took that free phone, and that was great for us because again if you think about — we sold a lot of LTE product in the fourth quarter. We sold a lot of 3G product from the iPhone products in the fourth quarter.

But that is key for us, because if you think about our two networks it is important for me as I migrate people into the 4G network I still have this very large 3G network that operates very efficiently. We are not investing any more capital in that network other than to keep it up and running, so no more coverage capital, no more capacity capital. If I can keep that network up and running that just generates more contribution margins for us. So it is critical for us to balance that. But, again, I think you had one point in time where you had a free phone, a free Apple phone that never happened before with us and that generated a lot of volume.

While noting that 53 percent of the carrier’s smartphone activations were iPhones in 2012, Shammo was asked about the opportunity to incentivize employees to sell non-Apple devices that would also come with lower subsidies for Verizon:

The answer is, no, we don’t and it is critical that we don’t do that. The reason for that is because what is more important for us is when a customer walks into a store that customer walks out with a phone that they will be happy with and not return under our 30-day guarantee. Because the worst thing that can happen for us is for me to incentivise a salesperson to get you into a phone that you walk out the door with thinking you are going to like and in three days you come back because you don’t like it. Therefore, now I’ve just subsidized two smartphones because that phone you used I can’t resell as a new phone.

You can read more from Shammo’s presentation and where he discusses the growth of Share Everything plans, tablets, and more here.

First photos of cases for next full-sized iPad again point to narrower, iPad mini-like design

ipad5caseminisuit

In January, we published the first photos of actual rear shells for Apple’s upcoming fifth-generation iPad. Based on these photos, the next iPad will carry a design that is akin to the iPad mini, but, of course, larger.

Today, we have received the first photos of a carrying case for this redesigned 9.7-inch iPad. Once again, this new evidence of a redesign points to a form-factor that is narrower in comparison to previous full-sized iPads.

The edges of the case also point to a more squared-off design, as found on the current-generation iPad mini. Our previous photos of the fifth-generation iPad parts point to the design also because almost as thin as the iPad mini. Thanks to Steve at Minisuit, who make great cases for iOS devices, for the lead.

Update: We have received additional photos of iPad 5 (the blue ones) cases. We’ve put a full gallery below:

Read more

Report: Apple to launch 11- and 13-inch Retina MacBook Air in Q3

MacBook AirAccording to a translated report from Taiwanese publication Economic Daily (via Macotakara), Apple is apparently in the process of preparing suppliers for the launch of a Retina MacBook Air in Q3 2013. The report appears to claim that both 11- and 13-inch variants of the MacBook Air will launch with Retina displays in addition to an upgrade from Intel’s new Haswell platform. Apple supplier Quanta is expected to begin receiving shipments of the new components in the second quarter, according to Economic Daily.

Today’s report of course goes against recent claims from analysts predicting the next-gen MacBook Air would land in Q2 or Q3 without a Retina display. We heard last year that Apple was working on MacBook Airs with Retina displays, but sources indicated the power drawn from the Retina Displays combined with the thin and light form factor of the MacBook Air may pose challenges for Apple and its product manufacturers. Read more

Apple ready to release additional iPad model; likely 128GB version (Updated: Pricing)

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 6.31.06 PM

We’ve gotten word from sources that Apple is preparing to release (in some fashion) a single, additional iPad model. This would be a new SKU for the current fourth-generation iPad with Retina display line. At this point, we do not have pricing information, so it is definitely difficult to pinpoint exactly what this new iPad model is.

Here is what we do know:

  • It is a fourth-generation iPad, not a new design.
  • It comes in both the current black and white color options.
  • It comes in both WiFi-only and WiFi + Cellular versions.
  • It is a more premium SKU that will join the current line of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB fourth-generation iPads.
  • 10-pack deals (in both colors) for educational institutions will be offered.

With developers finding code in the soon-to-be-released iOS 6.1 that points to 128GB iOS devices, and with recent findings of 128GB references in Apple’s recent iTunes 11 release, speculation naturally points to Apple releasing a 128GB iPad in the very near future. While it is certainly plausible that this new iPad model is the 128GB iPad, we are currently not confident enough to outright claim that, but it seems likely based on the evidence.

Update: We’ve received pricing information for this new iPad model. The pricing is in line with a higher storage capacity, coming in at around $799 for the WiFi-only model and $929 for the Cellular-compatible model in the United States. So, new capacity sounds even more likely.

Here are the new SKUs via a source at a high-profile U.S. retailer:

Read more

Watch the iPhone’s accelerometer pick up keystrokes from an invisible keyboard (Video)

A student at Goldsmiths, University of London has apparently been able to create an invisible, virtual keyboard for iPhones by using the device’s built-in accelerometer to pick up vibrations caused by tapping or typing on a surrounding surface area. As you can see from the video demonstration above, the “Virbrative” software developed by Florian Kraeutli (on a jailbroken iPhone 4) allows him to measure the strength and frequency of vibrations and then map them to iOS’ onscreen keyboard. The Telegraph spoke with Kraeutli about the software developed for a project on user interfaces:

“The signals I’m collecting are very weak,” said Florian Kraeutli, a computing student at Goldsmiths, who created the system as part of his work on user interfaces.“At the moment it’s more of a proof of concept but if you made the accelerometer more sensitive you could improve the accuracy quite easily.”

In the video above, we see the developer use a keyboard drawn on a piece of paper to train the system before tapping directly on the table underneath. Kraeutli noted users would ideally “train each key, but you can do just a couple.” According The Telegraph, the system “determines the intended key correctly about 80 per cent of the time, so the data is also fed into an auto correct dictionary to ensure the words are spelled correctly.” Kraeutli suggested that access to more powerful accelerometers could allow him to increase the accuracy of the system: Read more

Apple already catches up with fourth-gen iPad demand, now ‘in stock’

Last time we checked in, the new fourth-generation iPad with Retina display was listed as shipping in “3-5 business days” from Apple’s U.S. website. That was down from the estimated one-week shipping time Apple had listed for the device in the weeks leading up to the device’ official Nov. 2 launch alongside the iPad mini. Since then, Apple announced it sold 3 million new iPads (iPad 4 and iPad mini) over the first three days that the devices were on sale. While CEO Tim Cook confirmed Apple is “practically sold out of iPad minis,” it appears it has now caught up with supply/demand for the iPad 4. At least Apple’ s U.S. and Canadian online stores now list all Wi-Fi models of the iPad 4 as “in stock”, meaning Apple has supply ready to ship immediately. LTE models are still expected to roll out over the next couple weeks.

This comes a week after Apple sold out of initial iPad 4 supplies on its website. Apple did, however, begin allowing personal in-store pick-ups for new iPads ordered after 10 p.m.

It’s unclear what percentage of the 3 million iPads Apple sold were made up of iPad mini and iPad 4 models, but it looks like Apple is having a much easier time with supplies of iPad 4. It remains to be seen whether Apple can catch up with iPad mini demand leading into the holidays. Apple’s website still currently lists the device as available in “2 weeks”, with online stores in different countries listing the LTE models as available in mid- to late November. There is no word when Apple Stores will get additional supplies, but many we checked with have remained sold out since launch day.

Read more

Apple unveils 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display starting at $1,699, ships today

We had many of the details for the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro ahead of today’s unveiling, but Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller just confirmed the device’s specs and pricing. As we told you earlier, the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro comes in two base configurations (with a third 2.9GHz dual-core i7 upgrade option available) and gets many of the enhancements that the 15-inch version received. Schiller noted that the device is 20 percent thinner than the previous generation 13-inch MacBook, and it includes a 2,560-by1,600 Retina display with 29 percent higher color contrast and 75 percent reduced reflection.

Apple also announced that the device would start at $1,699 for the base configuration, and it will start shipping today. Apple also showed a second configuration would be offered for $1,999. Both options below are configurable to a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i7.

  • 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache
  • 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache

Some of the device’s specs—that Apple is now listing on its website— are below: Read more

Apple shows off new iBooks, available today

Apple CEO Tim Cook is live on stage at the company’s special media event in California, and he just announced a new version of iBooks.

News and features:

  • 400 million iBooks downloads
  • Continuous scrolling
  • Better integrated with iCloud— purchased books show up on shelf
  • Fantastic new ways to share — tap favorite quote and share on Facebook and Twitter
  • Supporting over 40 languages— new Korean, Chinese, Japanese
  • Available today, free download

Education news and iBooks Author:

  • iBooks textbooks reinvent the textbook full screen gorgeous layouts, interactive
  • Textbook available for 80 percent of high school
  • 2,500 US classrooms with iBooks textbooks
  • Publishers can now take own fonts and provide custom look
  • Multitouch widgets
  • 94 percent of fortune 500 is testing or deploying iPad—seeing similar in smaller business

Read more

Apple October 23rd event: What we know, expect and some new tidbits

Had you heard? Apple’s got a ‘little’ event going on at the newly-decorated California Theatre tomorrow where they will FINALLY showcase the iPad Mini, new Mac Minis, a Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro as well as software like iBooks 3.0 and iTunes 11.

First, the bad news: We’ve heard that the some of the iMacs that we found earlier have been pushed so far back that they might not warrant inclusion at the event this week. That doesn’t mean they are cancelled but because there have been some issues with the products and the including them is a “gameday decision”. We’re obviously hoping they make the docket.

And now the good news: Read more

4490 mAh iPad Mini battery is almost exactly 3X size of iPhone and 1/3 of the iPad

If the 16.7Whr/4490 mAh iPad Mini battery images that MacRumors reported last night are authentic, it would place the power at almost exactly three times more than the iPhone 5′s 5.45Whr and one-third of the massive 42.5Whr battery of the third-generation iPad. Seems pretty logical.

The battery runs at 3.72 volts, and it shows a model number of A1445 and an Apple part number of 616-0641.

.

iPhone 5 scores ‘low concern’ in chemical analysis of 36 smartphones

Together, with HealthyStuff.org, our friends at iFixit have just completed a chemical analysis of 36 smartphones, including the iPhone 5 and previous generations of the device. Each device was ranked from 0 to 5 (with 0 being best) based on a number of common hazardous materials including lead, bromine, and mercury. In the image above, we see a breakdown on which components of the iPhone 5 have the highest concentration of those chemicals. The findings show Apple is making good in its commitment to greatly reduce harmful chemicals in its products, with the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 ranking significantly better than previous generations. For instance, the iPhone 2G lands itself at the bottom of the list with a “high concern”—not far from Nokia’s N95.

The iPhone 4S was able to outrank the iPhone 5; indicating Apple was not able to significantly reduce hazardous chemicals in the new device. However, all iPhone models were behind the Motorola Citrus—a device Motorola specifically markets as an eco-friendly option. While iPhone 4S came in second behind Citrus, the inexpensive LG Remarq and Samsung Captivate were able to beat out the iPhone 5. When it comes to Apples’ biggest competitors, such as Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III and higher-end devices from HTC, the iPhone 4/4S/5 all outrank the competition.

As noted by iFixit, each year only about 8 percent of the 130 million discarded cellphones make it to proper recycling facilities. With Apple likely to build a 100 million new iPhones in the year to come, Apple’s commitment to make the “most environmentally responsible products in our industry” is certainly an important one.

iFixit explained the method used to rank the phones:

Read more