iPhone 4S gains necessary China certification; January launch expected for mainland

People Daily reported that Apple received the certification it needs by the China Compulsory Certification to launch the iPhone 4S in mainland China. The certification was awarded on Dec. 22, shortly after Apple also received certification from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China. With the necessary certifications, Apple has now met all of its requirements to launch the iPhone 4S in China. People Daily said the iPhone 4S-model number A1431- will hit in early January.

To model how well the iPhone 4S could potentially do in China, in this year’s June quarter earnings, Apple’s sales in China topped $3.8 billion. Thus, obviously, the launch of the iPhone 4S in China would boost sales.

China Unicom is the third-largest carrier in China, and it remains the sole carrier for the iPhone. While Apple is able to reach a large market, only being available on one carrier leaves about 1.33 billion people in the market untapped. If Apple were to also sell the iPhone 4S on China Mobile, sales could grow substantially. At any rate, the iPhone 4S is at least on its way to China Unicom by January.


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First untethered jailbreak for iOS 5.0.1 available for non-A5 devices now

We got a sneak peak at the first untethered jailbreak for iOS 5.0.1 earlier this month, and now Dev Team just announced @pod2g has made the solution available for non-A5 devices. That means iPad 2 and iPhone 4S are obviously left out on this one, but the chronic devteam and iPhone devteam have been working hard to package it into redsn0w 0.9.1.0 and PwnageTool for everyone else.

The post mentions pod2g is working on a solution for iPhone 4S and iPad, but it warns A5 devices “cannot use geohot’s limera1n exploit to inject the untether, they require exploits above and beyond those used for this release.”

If you are interested in giving it a shot, you can grab it through Cydia and follow the steps below (via Dev-Team Blog):

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Unlocked iPhone 4S working in some T-Mobile USA’s network pockets, Apple smartphone utilizes HSPA+ 1900MHz spectrum

Although T-Mobil USA wrote in the September letter to customers that they were “interested in offering all of our customers a no-compromise iPhone experience,” the fact of the matter remains that the carrier’s network bands are not supported on the iPhone 4S.

T-Mobile’s 14.4 HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) GSM/UMTS network operates on the rather odd 1700/2100MHz frequency bands that are incompatible with iPhone 4S and other UMTS phones supported by standard 850/900/1900/2100MHz bands. However, some unlocked iPhone users are detecting 3G signals on parts of T-Mobile USA’s network utilizing the 1900MHz bands, according to Tmonews.com:

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First Bluetooth 4.0 accessory helps you find your car, as Microsoft launches Bluetooth keyboard for iPad

The iPhone 4S is one of the first devices to support Bluetooth 4.0. Today, the first accessory to take advantage of the new technology is a new Kickstarter project called Find My Car Smart.

Find My Car Smart uses a Bluetooth 4.0 powered dongle to transmit the location of a car that can then be picked up by an iOS app, letting a user find a car in a busy parking lot on a map. Due to it being a Kickstarter project, it will need to get enough backers to see the light of day. It’s pretty cool, nonetheless. So, if you’re interested make sure you pledge.

Microsoft is also getting in the Bluetooth accessory game with the release of a new tablet keyboard. The Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 is portable and it will hook up with an iPad, Android tablet or any other device that supports Bluetooth.

Microsoft makes the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000, available for $49 on their hardware store. If you can’t look past that Windows logo, you could always just buy an Apple wireless keyboard for $68,or even try Apple’s iPad Keyboard dock.

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Samsung drops iPhone 4S Germany patent suit after discovering Apple’s Qualcomm licensing agreement

Samsung dropped its lawsuit in Germany seeking to ban the sale of Apple’s iPhone 4S.

The South Korea-based company had focused its complaint against a patent covering 3G communications tech. According to patent expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, Samsung recently discovered a Qualcomm licensing agreement protects the technology.

“Other news from Mannheim: Samsung has formally given up attacking the iPhone 4S with 3G patents. Recognizes Apple is licensed thru Qualcomm,” tweeted Mueller on Dec. 16.

Samsung recently lost a preliminary bid to ban iPhone 4S sales in France; although, the case can progress as a patent trial:

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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.

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Upcoming Apple TV to feature low-power Bluetooth 4.0 technology, opens door to new, more advanced input devices

When Apple ships new hardware elements in a product, they typically have good reason. With the future of wireless input devices flashing forward, Apple has realized that the next-generation of Bluetooth – Bluetooth Smart (4.0) – will be the ticket to Apple being a part of this integrated wireless future. Apple demonstrated this with the release of this Bluetooth 4.0-powered phone – the new iPhone 4S – and also with the addition of bluetooth 4.0 in the latest versions of the popular MacBook Air and Mac mini computers.

More evidence for a next-generation Apple TV:

The next-generation Apple TV, the one we first revealed as Apple TV 3,1 with the J33 codename, will include Bluetooth 4.0 technology. Before even getting into the advantages of Bluetooth 4.0, it is worth noting that our code-based finding in iOS 5.1 beta 1 of a next-generation Apple TV with Bluetooth 4.0 is further evidence that an Apple TV refresh will soon be upon us.

The advantages of Bluetooth 4.0: 

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With just two weeks of sales, iPhone 4S steals Android market share in the UK as iOS becomes bestselling smartphone platform in October

A recent survey conducted by GoodMobilePhones.co.uk of 1,694 Brits aged 18 and over made waves with claims that as much as 22 percent of U.K.  owners regret the purchase of iPhone 4S over battery life and jealousy of rival smartphones. What happened instead, research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech claims, was that the device went on to steal Android market share in the United Kingdom.

According to the findings of the research note, Apple’s U.K. handset market share in the quarter leading up to the end of  October climbed to 27.8 percent, a 2.8 percentage point increase, while Android dropped from 49.9 percent to 46 percent. Looking only at October sales, Apple won a cool 42.8 percent of all handset sales during the month versus 35 percent  of October sales for Android phones…
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Details on iPhone 4S launch in India, Russia and Taiwan


Unlocked iPhone 4S is priced out of reach of average folks in India.

Currently available in 44 countries, Apple’s iPhone 4S is patiently awaited in 26 additional territories as Apple makes good on its promise to have the device available in over 70 markets and on 100 carriers before end of the year. iPhone 4S has been well received in Japan and Singapore and pre-orders sold out in Hong Kong in 10 minutes, but reportedly not so much in South Korea… Read more

iPhone 4S buyer’s remorse in South Korea over hardware issues and lack of 4G LTE

You’d think one of the top-rated smartphones by Consumer Reports would become a smash hit in tech-crazy South Korea where people don’t settle for anything less but the very greatest gadgets. Heck, even Hong Kong shoppers turned to South Korea because pre-orders in their home country sold out in ten minutes. But according to Korea Times, local carriers SK Telecom and KT are struggling to hit the promised sales target agreed with Apple.

They apparently sold below 150,000 pre-orders since the device hit South Korea November 4. The story came from the mouth of an unnamed SK Telecom executive and a 31-year-old iPhone 4 user who dropped a planned iPhone 4S purchase due to “hardware-related issues”.

Seriously? Didn’t we establish battery woes as software-driven? The report cites other woes such as noises during 3G-based calls and while operating video functions. Let’s be honest here, iPhone 4S does have its share of teething problems, just like any other Apple product. But the South Koreans appear to be really freaking out over a lack of 4G LTE:

The rising appetite for LTE smartphones in South Korea replaces any desire for the Apple iPhone 4S, officials and experts said.

4G LTE has hit the ground running in the country. Carriers SK Telecom and LG Uplus sold over 500,000 pricey LTE plans since late-September introduction. The Korea Communications Commission expects the number of LTE phone users in the country to top 1.5 million by the year’s end. Not having support for 4G LTE radio technology on the iconic device in the 48 million people market that is leading the world in Internet speeds and is defined by the demanding, tech-savvy consumers? Yeah, this can lead to some friction.

Besides, Siri doesn’t speak Korean (yet) and South Korea is also Samsung’s home turf. And it’s not like iPhone 4S users in some other markets aren’t feeling buyer’s remorse. Us? Forget the handset, it’ll be old news by the next summer anyway. What matters is that with the iPhone 4S came Siri, an exclusive feature deemed a world-changing event, and rightfully if we may add.

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Developer creates proxy server to control any device via Siri

We’ve seen examples of the Siri interface running on prior iPhones and a proof-of-concept video allegedly showing the full Siri port running on iPhone 4. And now, a St. Louis developer @plamoni has figured out how to run a proxy server on his computer to fool Siri into thinking it is talking to Apple’s servers.

The proxy server acts as a middleman that intercepts Siri commands and returns answers. According to the project page, “the idea is to allow for the creation of custom handlers for different actions”. It works by setting up a DNS server on your network to forward requests for guzzoni.apple.com (the Siri servers) to the computer running the proxy.

He used the proxy server to run a custom plug-in that can manage his radio-controlled thermostat via Siri (Tony Fadell should love this). It doesn’t require a jelabroken iPhone since everything is going on off the device. As you can see in the video, Siri responds to commands such as, “What’s the status of the thermostat?”, or “Set the thermostat to 68 degrees”, or even “What’s the inside temperature?”. What’s best, his hack lets any device with a plug-in to be controlled via Siri. A sign of things to come from Apple? Two more videos follow right after the break.

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iPhone 4S can reportedly be unlocked without any hardware or software changes

Update: This only works until the TMSI is refreshed which means it won’t last very long

Michael Capozzi (via Chronic) has apparently discovered how to unlock the iPhone 4S (reportedly AT&T version only) without any software or hardware tweaking. The unlock will assist you in using your iPhone 4S on T-Mobile’s network as long as you have a T-Mobile SIM card. Before you get started, go ahead and cut down your T-Mobile SIM card to match your AT&T SIM card’s size. Go ahead and give the following directions a try:

  1. Insert original carrier AT&T SIM card
  2. Dial 611 for AT&T customer service hotline and drop the call
  3. Turn on Airplane Mode
  4. Take out AT&T SIM card
  5. Insert T-Mobile SIM card

Update: the unlock also works with the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, and will need to be done again if you reset your device. Continue after the break..

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