Consumers in U.S. make case for low-cost iPhone demand w/ increased sales of previous generation iPhones

iPhone-5-demand-June-2013

New numbers out today from research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (via AllthingsD) show that consumers in the U.S. are purchasing an increasing number of previous generation iPhones compared to recent years. It certainly helps make the case for a much rumored lower-cost iPhone, with the iPhone 4 capturing 18 percent of iPhones sold in the US during the June quarter, and the iPhone 4S an impressive 30 percent.

As noted by AllThingsD, the 52 percent of total iPhone sales captured by the iPhone 5 is much less than the iPhone 4S had just nine months into its release:

Nine months after the iPhone 5′s debut, it accounts for about half of all iPhone sales. The 4S still accounted for nearly three-quarters of iPhone sales almost a year after its launch.

While the obvious conclusion to draw from the data is an increased demand for a lower priced iPhone, CIRP’s Josh Lowitz thinks Apple could continue to take on the lower price market in the US with its previous generations of iPhones: Read more

Inside AT&T’s 83GB/hour mobile cell tower …or why your iPhone no longer drops out at huge events

LA_Music_Festival_Photo_with_Captions (1).

AT&T shared a little bit of what goes into a portable network cells they put up at special events where bandwidth needs will be extraordinary. Remember, AT&T’s network is about 80% iPhones so this is important stuff. The setup above was what they used to cover a recent Los Angeles festival (read: Coachella).

This isn’t a test network; AT&T’s been honing their skills since they got caught with their pants down at SXSW in 2010 (back when AT&T was the only US iPhone carrier). Since then, with their mobile response team, they’ve been able to keep their network up and running at huge events with the addition of these ‘kits’ above.

The  network performance stats for this setup – some of which are staggering:

  • Carried approximately 83 GB of data traffic during the peak hour on our in-event network
  • Carried a combined 6,054 GB (or more than 6 terabytes) of data on our in-event network during the two weekends of the music festival (24-hour traffic totals, Friday-Sunday for two weekends).
  • About 50 engineers were involved in planning, construction or onsite 24/7 monitoring.

Both the super multi-beam antenna and five-beam antenna are AT&T innovations that were conceptualized by L.A.-based AT&T engineers Bob Mathews and Gary Chow who discuss their work in the videos below: Read more

Class action lawsuit claims iPhone 4 has defective power button nearly three years after its launch

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Nearly three years after the device first launched, GigaOm points us to a recently filed class action lawsuit that claims Apple’s iPhone 4 has a defective power button. The lawsuit claims that a defective flex cable typically causes the on/off switch to fail shortly after the device’s one year warranty has expired. It also claimsApple is aware of the problem, which is costing users around $149 to fix off of warranty.

Apple of course still sells the iPhone 4 through a number of carrier partners as its low end, $0 down iPhone option.

According to the lawsuit, “thousands of iPhone 4 users have suffered” from the issue that Apple allegedly knew existed before manufacturing and selling the device. The problem has never received a lot of mainstream media coverage or a response from Apple, but the lawsuit notes that a support forum on Apple’s website boasts over 800K views since first popping up in January 2011.                                                                                                        
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iPhone 4 owners begin receiving their $15 ‘Antennagate’ settlement checks from Apple

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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

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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