Can Apple get away with another “S” iPhone?

iPhone5S-9to5-Feb2013

There have been many rumors this year about what upgrades Apple will include in its anticipated annual iPhone refresh. Most agree Apple will move to release two iPhones, but there is some debate about what those phones will be.

Rumor has it that Apple is working on a low-cost iPhone that will do away with the current iPhone design and instead use a new plastic case with a curved back similar to previous iPods. Despite being a less expensive device, that could make things even trickier for Apple to impress with an iPhone 5S upgrade that is largely expected to retain the “old” design of the currently shipping iPhone 5. The devices from competitors are making things even more difficult for Apple’s expected “S” upgrade. Rumors of a 4.8-inch iPhone prototype that recently surfaced don’t seem likely for the next iPhone, but that hasn’t stopped mainstream media and analysts from reporting that Apple is losing out on iPhone sales as consumers opt for larger screen devices. However, that might now be the case, at least not in the United States, with Strategy Analytics and NPD estimating Apple beat Samsung to become the No.1 phone vendor in Q4 2012. Will consumers want or expect a larger screen on the next iPhone, or will Apple’s usual minor refresh suffice?

What did past S upgrades have? Read more

Report claims iPad 5 with iPad mini-like design set for October release, offers new details on upcoming iPhones

iPad5-mockup-render-03new report from Jeremy Horwitz of iLounge provided us with what he claimed is a few details on the upcoming fifth-generation iPad based on hands-on time with a “supposedly accurate” physical model. He also claimed to have details on upcoming iPhone releases.

Horwitz noted he has inspected what he believed are casings for the iPad 5, and he described a completely redesigned device with “virtually no left or right bezels, and only enough space above and below the screen to accommodate the mandatory camera and Home Button elements.” As previously rumored, Horwitz claimed the fifth-gen iPad as iPad mini-like in its physical design with similar “chamfered edges and curves” along with the slimmed down bezel.

He also speculated that Apple could go with an IGZO display to achieve what he said is a much thinner design compared to previous generations:

Beyond that, it’s noticeably thinner, as well, which is to say the the fifth-generation iPad will be smaller in every dimension than its predecessors. As it will have the same chamfered edges and curves, calling it a “stretched iPad mini” is very close to entirely accurate… The changes are so considerable that a new screen technology, such as IGZO, seems like a given. Going Retina for the third-generation iPad forced Apple to make that tablet a little thicker than the iPad 2, in part to seriously beef up the battery.

The report also said that Apple is now targeting an October release for the iPad 5, “give or take a couple of weeks,” after originally planning for a March launch.

Horwitz, who has been accurate with details of unreleased Apple products in the past, also claimed to have new details on the upcoming iPhone releases:

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iPhone 5 Apple online store shipping time drops from 3-4 weeks to 2-3 weeks

Apple updated the iPhone 5 section of its online store to show shipping estimates for the handset have improved from “3 -4 weeks” to “2 -3 weeks”. The iPhone 5 has seen shipping delays since it first went on sale in late September due to high demand and problems in production. Today’s improvements follow official word from Foxconn in October that production for the iPhone 5 has improved. Foxconn said the iPhone 5 is “the most difficult device that Foxconn has ever assembled,” and it added production is getting better day-by-day. During Apple’s Q4 earnings call, CFO Peter Oppenheimer said, “We’re working very hard to get more into customer hands as quickly as possible.” CEO Tim Cook added, “The demand for iPhone 5 is extremely robust. We are in a significant state of backlog.”

Thanks, Luis!

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iPhone 5 Nano-SIMs headed to T-Mobile in October

We already knew T-Mobile had big plans for the iPhone in coming months when it announced plans to launch the Unlimited & Unlocked iPhone marketing initiative on the same day as the iPhone 5 launch. Today, we get confirmation from TmoNews that nano-SIMs are indeed on the way to T-Mobile for customers wishing to use the new iPhone on its network. The carrier expects the SIMs to arrive in October, but we are hearing they have already started arriving. You will, of course, first have to get your hands on an unlocked iPhone 5.
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Fox: New iMacs launching before Christmas

Clayton Morris at Fox says that new iMacs will launch soon, perhaps as early as next week during the iPhone event or even after the rumored October event, but he seems to think they will be available for the holidays.

I’ve been hoping for an iMac update and it looks like my wish is about to come true! Multiple sources tell me that a new lineup of desktop machines from Apple is imminent.

It appears that Morris changed his story from “releasing next week” but there is no mention of that on the Fox News website.  Only this tweet:

There has been no shortage of new iMac rumors, and supplies have been dwindling in a number of retail channels. We are in agreement with some of Morris’s predictions like USB 3, updated CPU/GPU and SSD options, but we are not yet on board with the outward design overhaul and loss of optical drive.

A few things we can count on in the new iMacs are new Ivy Bridge processors, improved graphics chips, USB 3.0, and expanded SSD capacities. Also look for a new slimmer design with Apple finally removing the optical drive from the side.

It is possible that the iMac announcement could happen at the rumored October iPad mini announcement, but I’m not holding my breath for that. Apple has been known to update the desktops without much fanfare.

Analysts have expected a new iMac for some time now, with KGI Research’s latest estimates below: Read more

European carriers again offering pre-order Tickets for the next iPhone

Much like in the weeks leading up to the iPhone 4S launch in early October 2011, European carriers are preparing for the expected Sept. 12 introduction of the new iPhone with pre-order tickets now available through various carriers. As noted by reports from German website iPhone-ticker.de, Deutsche Telekom will offer pre-order tickets to interested customers through its distribution partners starting today. The tickets will offer a first-come, first-serve basis for the new iPhone with express delivery of the device to ticket holders on the first available day. Carriers are clearly preparing for the launch of Apple’s next-gen iPhone. Not that we need additional verification, as the most recent reports once again confirm a Sept. 12 unveiling and add the device could actually be available for pre-order on the same day. Last year, Vodafone and other carriers quickly followed Deutsche Telekom by offering iPhone pre-order tickets.

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