Review: Anker IQ 40W 5-port smart USB adapter is the last power source you’ll ever need

As our families grow, so do our device charging needs. Where we just used to need 2 USB ports to charge our iPhones, we now have iPads, cameras, Bluetooth speakers, portable flashlight/batteries and even a few Android devices laying around that constantly need to be chargers. Our excellent 2-port ZaggSparq just couldn’t handle all of the stuff anymore. Time to step up to something more substantial.

Anker-reviewsWe’d heard great things about the new Anker IQ 40W 5V / 8A 5-Port Family-Size USB power supply. In fact, at Amazon where it can be nabbed on sale for $26, it gets almost exclusive 4 and 5 star ratings.

Anker hooked me up with a unit to test out at CES and I’ve relied on it since to keep our house full of devices charged. What’s particularly impressive about this one is that it has 40W of power to distribute through the 5 USB ports (a 25W one is a few bucks less). Anker’s new IQ does one better by recognizing high power requirements in devices like iPads, other tablets and even HPs new Chromebook and giving those devices the full 2-3 Amps of power they need to get charged quickly. Anker explains it thusly:

Not all USB ports are equal. Where past USB ports were hard-wired to exclusively charge iOS OR Android, we’re introducing Smart Port technology to create a truly universal charger. Dynamically adjusting to any device’s unique maximum charging speed, the Smart Port takes the brainwork out of compatibility.Just plug in and it’ll do the rest.

Were the reviews right? Was this the end to my USB charging woes?

Read more

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).

virgin-mobile-iphone-plans

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

AAPL stock drops 8 percent on iPhone numbers and flat guidance

aapl

Despite Apple returning to growth for the first time in a year, AAPL stock opened almost 8 percent down, as iPhone sales fell below analyst predictions and Apple’s mid-point guidance on Q2 earnings forecast was for zero growth.

Analysts had predicted 55.3M iPhone sales, while Apple reported sales of 51M. Analysts were also disappointed in Apple’s guidance for Q2 of $42-44B, as the mid-point of $43B would not show any growth over the same quarter last year …  Read more

Tim Cook as good as confirms mobile payment via Touch ID on the way

touchid

When Touch ID was first rumored, there had been much speculation about whether the iPhone 5s would act as an electronic wallet, with payments to retailers authorized by fingerprint. While that hasn’t yet happened, it does now seem clear that it’s on the way.

Asked about mobile payments during yesterday’s earnings call, CEO Tim Cook gave what is, in Apple terms, a surprisingly direct response.

The mobile payments area in general is one we’ve been intrigued with. It was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID [...] it’s a big opportunity …  Read more

Apple mood-based advertising patent is another hint of company’s new obsession with body sensors

Image: techbeat.com

Image: techbeat.com

An intriguing patent application by Apple to deliver mood-based advertising contains what could be read as a strong hint that the rumored iWatch will, as we’ve speculated in the past, major on sensor technology.

In addition to describing ways of assessing mood by such clues as likes in social media, type of applications used and music playing, the patent also lists physical characteristics that could be used:

Mood-associated physical characteristics can include heart rate; blood pressure; adrenaline level; perspiration rate; body temperature; vocal expression, e.g. voice level, voice pattern, voice stress, etc.; movement characteristics; facial expression; etc …  Read more

Analysts estimate Apple sold 55.3M iPhones last quarter, up 16 percent

fortune

With Apple due to report its earnings a week from today, Fortune has run its usual roundup on the numbers analysts are predicting.

The consensus among the 44 analysts we’ve heard from so far – 27 professionals and 17 amateurs — is unit sales of 55.3 million iPhones, up 16% from the same quarter last year.

It’s a near-certainty the numbers will be high …  Read more