iPhone sales could be threatened as subsidized costs become more visible, say analysts

iphones

How much did your iPhone cost? If you said $199, $299 or even $399 you’re somewhere near $350 off. As some consciously forget, the carriers often shield the owner from the real total cost of the iPhone. That may not last.

iPhone sales could be hurt as carriers switch from so-called subsidized contracts, where customers pay only a fraction of the cost a new iPhone up-front, to deals where the true cost of the phone is more visible, argues a piece in the WSJ.

Many U.S. iPhone customers are not aware that the full cost of an iPhone ranges from $549 for a 16GB 5c to $849 for a 64GB 5s. The reason is that carriers have traditionally asked for only $0 to $200 up-front, hiding the balance of the cost in the monthly tariff. With carriers now switching to separate instalment costs for the phone, and the cost of upgrading every year or two more visible to consumers, analysts believe some will choose to upgrade less often …

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RunKeeper launches friendly fitness app “Breeze” for iPhone 5s users

FitnessKeeper, the makers of the GPS tracking and fitness monitoring app RunKeeper, is out with a new activity monitoring app called Breeze. Breeze is simple: it takes advantage of the M7 co-processor on the iPhone 5s that measures steps taken and presents the data in a clean, approachable user interface. Using that data, Breeze reminds you each morning how many steps you took the previous day so you start out motivated. Its activity monitor presents total steps taken each day and summarizes the number of steps and hours spent moving in total.
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Wall Street predicts just two percent year-on-year growth in iPhone sales

iphones

Fortune has its usual roundup of what the analysts are expecting Apple to report in iPhone sales next week, and the forecasts make worrying reading. The overall average is for quarterly sales of 38.2 million, which would represent year-on-year growth of just two percent.

averages

Adding to the concern, ten of the 32 analysts included in Fortune‘s poll predict a fall in sales when compared to the same quarter last year.

With the new iPhones having generated record sales in their opening weekend, and Apple having reported all-time quarterly high iPhone sales in Q1, the question is why the pessimism regarding Q2 … ?  Read more

Want to upgrade your iPhone 5s camera to 2k video? All you need is this app …

If you like to use your iPhone to shoot video and Apple offered to upgrade your iPhone 5s from 1080p HD to 2k video for just $7, the decision wouldn’t require much thought. That’s exactly the trick Ultrakam has pulled off with its new iPhone app.

If you’re wondering how a mere app can convert your camera to a higher resolution, it doesn’t: it simply allows the software to use more of the hardware capabilities of your camera. Apple may say that your iPhone 5s has a 1080p HD videocamera, but that’s not quite true: the camera hardware itself is capable of anything up to 3264×2448, it’s just that the software can’t process that many pixels at a sensible frame-rate …  Read more

China Mobile sold over 1M iPhones last month, chairman non-committal about the numbers

A man holds a new Apple iPhone 5S next to his iPhone 5 at an Apple Store at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district

Photo: readwrite.com

China Mobile announced that it sold 1.34M 4G handsets in February and that “most of them” were iPhones. China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua was relatively non-committal on the numbers.

It’s just been getting started for one or two months. So far it’s hard to tell how that will affect our business [...]

We are happy with the progress as we are still building our 4G network and the coverage is only available in some major cities.

Analyst estimates of likely sales had varied widely. Most had predicted at least 15-17M sales a year in China as a whole, however, suggesting that 1M in a month on what is by far the country’s largest carrier may be somewhat lower than anticipated …  Read more

Opinion: Will Apple abandon the ‘low-cost’ iPhone concept after apparent failure of 5c?

5c

Apple doesn’t break down its iPhone sales figures, so we don’t know for sure that the iPhone 5c sold poorly, but certainly everything we do know seems to point in that direction – from early sales estimates through analytics and consumer surveys to Apple switching production from the 5c to the 5s.

Tim Cook said in an earnings call that “the mix was something very different than we thought,” and intimated that the model might be dropped: “If we decide it’s in our best interest to make a change, then we’ll make one.”

None of this necessarily means that the 5c was a complete failure, of course: record-breaking iPhone sales right from the outset could mean that the plastic phone did ok, it’s simply that the 5s sold far better than expected. It could also be that it was the extra sales gained from the 5c that helped break those records.

But I suspect not. While the brightly-colored 5c was not without its fans, it was the iPhone 5s with its Touch ID sensor and gold colored model that got all the attention, and I don’t think Tumblr advertising is going to change that. So my bet is we will again see a trend away from  colorful plastic iPhones …  Read more

Should Apple open the iPhone’s fingerprint sensor to devs in iOS 8? [Poll]


With Touch ID in the iPhone 5s, Apple wasn’t the first to integrate a fingerprint sensor in a smartphone, but it certainly popularized the feature as other manufacturers race to build similar technology into their next-gen iPhone competitors. HTC is packing in fingerprint sensors in its latest flagship devices and Samsung announced its new Galaxy S5 earlier this week with finger scanning as one of the standout upgrades. The verdict is still out on how Samsung’s tech compares to Touch ID, but it is interesting to see how others are using fingerprint sensors while Apple keeps it closed to developers and offers very limited applications. With Samsung letting app developers access the new S5’s fingerprint scanner for mobile payments and more right out of the gate, should Apple open the fingerprint sensor to devs in iOS 8? Read more

Opinion: Why I love Apple products, and am just a tiny bit embarrassed to be seen using them

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I love my Apple products. I’ve used Macs since day one. My desk right now has on it my MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPad Air, Thunderbolt Display and iPhone. Oh, and an Apple Bluetooth keyboard and Magic Trackpad, of course.

My friends are convinced that I’m incapable of leaving the house without my iPad, and I have to confess that the evidence is on their side. My car has an iPhone dock so I can listen to music and podcasts. If I’m on a plane, train or tube, it’s a near-certainty that I’ll be using my iPad or listening to music on my iPhone – or both.

I love Apple hardware design. Sleek, minimalistic, beautiful. There aren’t that many other really attractive laptops out there, and most of the ones that are have essentially copied Apple’s designs …  Read more

Next iPhone reportedly sports a larger screen and sapphire crystal display

Apple-iPhone-6-concept

Apple is preparing to release not one, but two new versions of the iPhone in September, according to the South China Morning Post. Each version will ship with a larger display than the iPhone 5s, coming in at a whopping 4.7″ and 5.5″, respectively. The displays are said to have a pixel density of 441ppi, much higher than the current 326ppi found in the iPhone 5 and later.

The report also states that both displays will be made from sapphire crystal, which fits with recent reports that Apple is planning to have its latest sapphire plant in Mesa, AZ operational in February for a “critical” product component. The displays will also be flat, not curved, the Post says.

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Speculation and circumstantial evidence points toward possibility of Apple using solar in upcoming products

Image: 1iphone5wallpaper.com

Image: 1iphone5wallpaper.com

There has long been speculation about Apple incorporating a solar panel into its products, both for environmental reasons and to boost battery-life. There have been Mobile-Solar Apple Jobs that have vanished after discovery, tons of patents, trial rumors and of course the Solar effort/expertise on Apple’s Data Centers and new Campus 2 building. This week, Seeking Alpha has a highly speculative piece by Matt Margolis suggesting that the evidence may be mounting for the iPhone 6 being the product Apple uses to bring the Solar idea to market.

Before we get too far into the speculation, it is worthwhile to note that the surface area of an iPhone would hardly be enough to keep a charge let alone recharge a phone even with the most efficient solar technology in labs today. However, all of the evidence weighed together might make you forget all of that ‘science’…

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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

WSJ says two larger screened iPhone models due this year, plastic 5c to be scrapped

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is planning to release two distinct iPhone models with larger displays later this year. This corroborates a report from Bloomberg News published late last year, so this is not entirely new information. The first new iPhone is claimed to have a screen between 4.5 and 5-inches while the second model will go beyond 5-inches in size:

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