Apple Stores to implement iBeacon location technology to improve service, boost sales

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Customers entering an Apple Store (Photo by Gary Burke)

iOS 7’s flashy launch earlier this year overshadowed a breakthrough new feature: iBeacons, a location-based technology with profound implications for industries such as retail. An iBeacon system could allow a store to install transmitters that would wirelessly connect to an iPhone and tell the phone its location with respect to items on shelves. This iPhone could then perform additional functionality if it is equipped with a specialized application. According to multiple sources, Apple is planning to soon enable just that in its retail stores… Read more

Wall Street Journal backs up analyst reports that Apple is reducing component orders for iPhone 5c

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is cutting component orders for the iPhone 5c by up to a third, reiterating the news that Apple is curtailing iPhone 5c production. This backs up a multitude of reports by industry analysts, which said that iPhone 5c demand is weaker than Apple’s initial expectations.

Apple told its Taiwanese assemblers Pegatron Corp. and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. that shipments of the iPhone 5C in the fourth quarter would be cut, the people said. Pegatron, which analysts say assembles two thirds of the iPhone 5Cs, was told orders would be cut by less than 20%, said a person familiar with the matter. Hon Hai, which assembles the remaining low-cost iPhones, was told orders would be cut by a third, said two people familiar with the matter.

In the past, Apple CEO Tim Cook has cautioned against supplier shipments analysis as an indicator of sales performance, saying that Apple sources components from multiple manufacturers. However, the sheer number of independent reports about cuts to iPhone 5c suggests there is some underlying truth to the story. On the flip side, iPhone 5s sales seem to be booming, doing better than predicted.

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Twice as many people buying iPhone 5s as iPhone 5c (latest claim)

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With no word from Apple on the breakdown of its record-breaking iPhone sales between 5s and 5c (and no word expected during the company’s earnings call either), everyone is posting their estimates.

First to the punch was Localytics, who used iPhone connections to mobile and web apps to come up with an estimate of three to one in favor of the 5s. KGI’s Mingchi Kuo disagreed, using supply chain analysis to put the figures closer to 50/50, and suggesting that, if anything, sales of the 5c might be slightly higher. Now we have Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (via AllThingsD) using consumer surveys to suggest that the 5s is outselling the 5c two-to-one …  Read more

Are iPhone 5c sales low or supplies high?

Image: abcnews.com

Image: abcnews.com

KGI’s Mingchi Kuo, an analyst with a solid track-record, and the man who came closest (almost) to calling opening weekend sales of the iPhone, now believes Apple shipped ‘just’ 11.4M iPhone 5c handsets in September, rather than the 17M he had earlier forecast, reports Business Insider.

Kuo is now estimating Apple shipped 11.4 million 5Cs in the September quarter, a 33% drop from his original estimate. He also says he expects 5C sales to be just 10.4 million units for the December quarter, a 10% sequential drop.

This makes some sense of the rampant discounting seen on the 5C (which actually started at Walmart before launch), but doesn’t necessarily mean that iPhone sales as a whole are down …  Read more

Production analysis disputes claims of 5s outselling 5c; forecasts combined sales of 50-55M in Q4

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KGI’s Mingchi Kuo, an analyst with an excellent track record, has disputed an earlier suggestion by web analytics company Localytics that the iPhone 5s is outselling the 5c three-to-one, suggesting that actual sales are closer to 50/50 – with 5c sales actually likely to be somewhat higher.

KGI estimates that the 9M initial sales comprised 3.5-4.5M iPhone 5s, and 4.5-5.5M iPhone 5c.

The confidential briefing document points out that analytics data is based on activation (or, more specifically, use of the phone to browse the web and run certain apps), which is not the same as sales. KGI’s estimates are based on production numbers …  Read more

Apple announces record 9 million iPhone sales over first three days, 200 million iOS 7 updates

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Update: On Twitter, Tim Cook has tweeted, for the second time, to thank customers for the “amazing” sales.

Apple has just announced first-weekend sales figures for the iPhone 5s and 5c. Sales for both phones total 9 million. In comparison, the iPhone 5 shipments topped 5 million in the same period. These numbers come in at the higher end of analyst estimates, with many predicting bearish sales similar to the iPhone 5 launch last year. As expected, Apple did not reveal the breakdown of sales between the different iPhone models.

Alongside phone sales, the company’s press release also highlights iOS 7’s successful launch. Apple has announced that 200 million devices have been updated to iOS 7 since it was released last Wednesday. This is double the rate at which iOS 6 was adopted.

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comScore: iOS gains ground on Android stealing US marketshare away from other players

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comScore has released its US smartphone subscriber study for the three month period ending July. Reflecting similar observations by Millenial Media, iOS continues its ascendancy in the US market. comScore computes its marketshare figures based on active subscribers, which is generally seen as a more reliable representation of market trends than web usage traffic, which is what Millenial uses.

comScore reports that iOS was the only platform to show positive growth, rising 1.2 points from 39.2% in April to 40.4% in June. In comparison, Android fell 0.2 percentage points with even larger decreases experienced by BlackBerry which dropped from 5.1% to 4.3%. Windows Phone’s share remained constant at 3.0%.

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Apple aims for convenience over value as competing iPhone trade-in firms continue to offer better deals

Cook at Palo Alto Apple Store (Getty Images)

Cook at Palo Alto Apple Store (Getty Images)

Following our reports detailing the new service, Apple today officially kicked off its new Apple Store iPhone trade-in program that will see customers trading in old iPhones in exchange for credit towards an upgrade to a newer model. The initiative is part of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s new iPhone sales strategy and meant to be “competitive” with other trade-in services, but is it really the best option for getting the most out of your old iPhone before new devices get announced?

The new in-store program will fall under the same Reuse and Recycling marketing Apple uses for its online trade-in system, but for in-store trade-ins it has switched from partner PowerOn to Brightstar to determine the value of iPhones and handle the trade-ins. Apple employees are even encouraging customers to take advantage of the new trade-in offer when bringing in a damaged device to their local Apple Store, but we’ve found other services are currently offering much more for your used iPhone in good condition.  Read more

Apple’s iPhone ‘Reuse and Recycle’ trade-in program detailed, begins rolling out August 30th

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Yesterday, we reported that Apple is gearing up to launch its iPhone trade-in program in September. The program will allow an iPhone user to exchange an older iPhone model for a new iPhone at a discounted price. Today, we’ve learned several new details about the program, including how it works, the official name, and information about the launch.

The trade-in program will be marketed as the “iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program.” It will begin rolling out in select Apple Stores this upcoming Friday, August 30th. Like we previously reported, a larger-scale rollout will occur during the month of September.

The program is applicable to both standard customers and business customers that want to purchase a new iPhone.

Here’s how it will work:

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Apple drops to 32% tablet market share in Q2 amidst strong YoY Android growth

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IDC is out today with its latest report tracking worldwide tablet shipments, reporting that total shipments have experienced a sequential decline during Q2 at the expense of Apple and the iPad. Apple already announced that it had sold 14.6 million iPads during the quarter, a significant drop from the 17 million it sold in the year ago quarter, but today IDC gives us some insight into where that puts Apple in its lead over Samsung as the top tablet vendor.

Apple was able to pick up 32.4% of the market during Q2, continuing its lead as the top tablet manufacturer, but dropping from the 60.3% of the market it had in Q2 last year. While Apple’s tablet shipments are clearly suffering from lack of new product announcements this year, it’s also losing share to Samsung and others. IDC reports 277% year over year growth for Samsung, giving it 18% of the market with 8.1 million units shipped during Q2. All of the top 3 vendors– Apple, Samsung, and ASUS– experienced a drop compared to Q1 2013, but the Android tablet makers have experienced significant growth compared to Apple since last year. Read more

Consumers in U.S. make case for low-cost iPhone demand w/ increased sales of previous generation iPhones

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New numbers out today from research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (via AllthingsD) show that consumers in the U.S. are purchasing an increasing number of previous generation iPhones compared to recent years. It certainly helps make the case for a much rumored lower-cost iPhone, with the iPhone 4 capturing 18 percent of iPhones sold in the US during the June quarter, and the iPhone 4S an impressive 30 percent.

As noted by AllThingsD, the 52 percent of total iPhone sales captured by the iPhone 5 is much less than the iPhone 4S had just nine months into its release:

Nine months after the iPhone 5′s debut, it accounts for about half of all iPhone sales. The 4S still accounted for nearly three-quarters of iPhone sales almost a year after its launch.

While the obvious conclusion to draw from the data is an increased demand for a lower priced iPhone, CIRP’s Josh Lowitz thinks Apple could continue to take on the lower price market in the US with its previous generations of iPhones: Read more

Like iPhone, analysts expecting big drop in YOY growth for iPad sales in Q3

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With Apple’s Q3 2013 financial call set to take place later this month on July 23rd and Wall Street expecting near zero revenue growth, today we get a look at what analysts are expecting for iPad sales. With no major product announcements since the  introduction of iPad mini and iPad 4 last fall (and only a minor upgrade with the 128GB iPad 4 in January), it’s not all that surprising the consensus from 48 analysts polled by Fortune is that Apple will experience a big drop in growth year-over-year for iPad during the June quarter.

The average estimate of 18.1 million iPad units during Q3 works out to around 6.2% growth compared to 183% and 84% in Q3 2011 and Q2 2012, which some might still consider significant due to the lack of new product announcements and competition from Android tablets: Read more