Reports: A8 won’t feature integrated LTE yet, low yield rates pushing Samsung out of the process?

Image via iFixit

Two new reports out today are offering a bit of early insight into what to expect from Apple’s next A-series SoC, or system on a chip, that powers its iPhone and iPad devices.

The first tidbit from Fudzilla says Apple will once again rely on Qualcomm for LTE chips in the next round of iOS devices rather than an A8 chip with LTE integrated. So what does this mean? It’s probably safe to assume Apple will save a SoC which includes the LTE modem in a future iteration.

Generally, the fewer chips required in a mobile device, the better optimized for battery life the device is. Apple, of course, must strive to engineer battery life parity, if not improvements, as our devices get more powerful each generation.

Read more

Virgin Mobile cuts unsubsidized iPhone 5s to $440 or iPhone 5c for $360 shipped (Update)

From 9to5Toys.com:

iphone5sgray-gallery-angle-5

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

Review roundup: The Retina iPad mini verdict is ‘pricey but best small tablet ever’

display_hero

A Retina display may have been some time coming on the iPad mini, but the general verdict appears to be that it was worth the wait.

Many are querying the price, especially now that the full-size iPad Air is so much smaller and lighter than its predecessors, and costs just $100 more. But if portability is key, reviewers seem every bit as impressed by the iPad mini as I was by the Air.

Read on for the conclusions from five early reviews …  Read more

Verizon no longer the gold standard for mobile data?

Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Verizon Wireless, once the gold standard for LTE, has admitted that it is struggling to keep up with demand in the big cities – with some users being dropped down to slower 3G speeds. The carrier’s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said yesterday:

There are certain pockets where we’re absolutely going to experience that down tick from the LTE network down to 3G because of capacity constraints …  Read more

Regional U.S. carriers begin announcing iPad Air availability in ‘coming weeks’

Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 11.34.31 AM

Ahead of next week’s iPad Air launch, dozens of countries across the world, regional carriers within the United States have begun announcing their plans for carrying the LTE-capable version of the tablet. While major carriers AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and Sprint will begin selling the iPad Air on Friday, November 1st, these smaller, region-specific networks say that they will start selling the device in the “coming weeks.”

So far, Bluegrass Cellular and C Spire are the two regional carriers to announce iPad Air plans, and other carriers will likely share their own announcements in the coming days and weeks. Bluegrass Cellular operates in Kentucky while C Spire is based in Mississippi. Both of these carriers began carrying the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c earlier this month alongside several other regional providers…

Read more