Deutsche Telekom statement adds to speculation that iPhone 5S may support LTE-A (aka LTE+)

Samsung is so far the only company to announce an LTE-A compatible phone

Samsung is so far the only company to announce an LTE-A compatible phone

A statement by Deutsche Telekom is adding to speculation that at least the European model of the iPhone 5S may support the high-speed LTE-A standard (also known as LTE+). The prospect of the 5S supporting the faster version of LTE had first been suggested back in July.

In announcing that the carrier will be launching its high-speed LTE-A data service this month, offering speeds of up to 150MBit/s, the company said:

Samsung will offer an updated version of the Galaxy S4 with LTE +. Appropriate devices from other manufacturers will follow the end of September.

Given the timing, some are suggesting that one of the ‘other manufacturers’ may be Apple …  Read more

Canadian carrier Telus will discontinue 32 and 64GB iPhone 5 on September 28th, 16GB to remain on as mid-tier?

telus-iphone-5-disc

A new leaked doc from Canadian carrier Telus (via MobileSyrup) shows that the carrier has plans to discontinue the iPhone 5 on September 28 just days after the next-generation iPhones are rumored to launch. Although it would lend weight to the theory that Apple could get rid of the iPhone 5 since the rumored iPhone 5S and especially the lower cost iPhone 5C are so close internally to the current device, the doc only shows that the 32GB and 64GB models will be discontinued, which might be a clue the 16GB iPhone 5 will stick around as an entry level model.

Keeping the 16GB iPhone 5 seems to line up with what we’ve been hearing at Verizon and adds even more weight to the theory that Apple will keep the iPhone 5 around as a lower cost option perhaps in between the 5S and the 5C in much the same way that the last-gen iPhone 4S currently occupies the $99/plan spot in Apple’s lineup.

On the other hand, often-accurate KGI analyst Mingchi Kuo said earlier this month that he thinks Apple will stop selling the iPhone 5 at the end of Q3 2013 and continuing selling the iPhone 4S until the end of the year.

Apple yesterday sent out invites to the September 10th event and is expected to start selling the iPhone 5S and 5C starting around the 20th of September.

vodafone_inventory

Update: Similar chatter is coming out of Vodafone Germany, indicating that the 32GB and 64GB iPhone 5 and 16GB iPhone 4S will soon be discontinued.
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China Mobile said to be ‘keen’ on selling iPhone, issues that remain are ‘commercial and technical’

Xi-Guohua-china-mobile-iphone

China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua

China Mobile, the world’s largest Telecom with close to 700M subscribers, reported mixed earnings today on slow growth of its smartphone business relative to its competitors which both carry the iPhone. Chairman Xi Guohua noted this and said that talks with Apple on carrying the iPhone were progressing.

“Both sides sounded keen (during recent talks),” Xi told a news conference after announcing the company’s first-half results.

“Good progress was made in preparing for the commercialization of TD-LTE,” Xi said, referring to 4G “long-term evolution” network technology that may support newer iPhone models.

Dow Jones’ Paul Mozur noted the remaining issues to be worked out:

Working out the hurdles and signing up the world’s largest telecom would obviously be a big win for Apple and CEO Tim Cook, who would probably love to announce the carrier relationship at the upcoming September 10th iPhone event in San Francisco.   Read more

Digitimes: Initial ‘iPhone 5S’ shipments to be constrained as fingerprint sensors hit low yield-rates

Digitimes, which is notorious for its mixed track record, is out with a new report claiming that initial shipments of Apple’s next-generation iPhone will be in tight supply. The reason being low yield rates for the production of the sensor for the device’s rumored fingerprint scanning technology. That’s in addition to some chips required to power the new iPhone’s LCD.

Poor yields of fingerprint-recognition chips and LCD driver ICs will likely force Apple to reduce first-quarter shipments of the rumored iPhone 5S, which is slated for launch in September 2013, according to industry sources. Volume production of fingerprint-recognition and LCD driver chips for the iPhone 5S should have started at the end of June or early in July, but issues related to yield rates will delay commercial production of the two chips to the end of July, therefore affecting the initial supply of the iPhone 5S, the sources explained.

Furthermore, the site says that production of said device’s sensors should have begun late last month or earlier this month, but production won’t actually begin until later this month. This in turn will affect initial shipments of the new iPhone come September. Digitimes says this will result in 3 million delayed units…

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Russian iTunes Music begins showing up on the App Store at very low prices

Update, Nov 2o: RIA Novosti reported today, citing sources familiar with Apple’s product plans in Russia, that iTunes music in the country could be “delayed indefinitely” as Apple runs into issues getting necessary licensing from artists. Another report from Vedomosti claimed  iTunes senior executive Eddy Cue and iTunes Europe Director Ben King went to Russia for the launch originally scheduled for November 20. The newspaper also cited sources close to Apple as saying the launch is now scheduled for the first week of December, possibly to coincide with the launch of iPhone 5 in the country.

In September, a report from Russian language publication vedomosti.ru cited industry sources and noted Apple was preparing to launch iTunes music in Russia by the end of year. The report also noted that songs would be sold for less than their 99-cent U.S. counterparts, somewhere between 11- to 20 rubles each (roughly 35- to 65 cents USD). It appears Apple is getting ready to launch the service today, with several Russian readers reporting music is now searchable on the App Store in the country. The search provides users with a link to “Continue search in Store…”, and Twitter seems to confirm that many Russians can access music using this method.

Interestingly, as noted in previous reports, iPhones.ru confirmed songs are indeed listed for less than the U.S. store, with most songs currently selling for 15 rubbles (roughly 50 cents USD). We expect Apple to roll out full access the store in Russia shortly.

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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As Apple event approaches, new iPhone fakes, mockups, and hoaxes become more elaborate

With the September 12th Apple event approaching, anticipation for a redesigned iPhone is heating up. Besides the legitimate information leaking over the course of the past months, there has been fake information, mockups and hoaxes about the device floating around. Over the past few days, the increasing anticipation and speculation for the new iPhone has led to a new level of mockups and hoaxes.

GSMIsrael, this weekend, claimed a world exclusive iPhone 5 hands-0n. Though, their hands were actually on a plasticky mockup built by a case maker.

It gets much worse…

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T-Mobile wants its staff to sell against the iPhone on Sept. 21

In what should not be a surprise to anyone, it looks like T-Mobile won’t carry Apple’s next-generation iPhone. In a memo to employees, leaked by TmoNews, T-Mobile is encouraging its retail staff to begin “selling against the iPhone” on Sept. 21. Of course, Sept. 21 is the rumored launch date for the latest handset out of Cupertino. T-Mobile is probably just making an assumption, rather than having inside knowledge, but you never know.

T-Mobile has been battling for the iPhone for years and does not have much to show for it. Last holiday quarter alone, the nation’s fourth-largest carrier lost 802,000 contract customers (many of whom moved to pre-paid plans).

T-Mobile hosts over a million iPhone customers on its network. Thanks to T-Mobile’s recent push to 1900MHz 3G network (and 4G at WWDC), customers are able to enjoy magenta’s network. Luckily, for those who want to take the unlocked route, another leaked memo today shows that T-Mobile will sell an updated MicroSIM kit that allows customers to use their iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S on the network. The new “Monthly4G microSIM kits” will begin arriving in stores Aug. 29 and will allow for T-Mobile’s awesome new unlimited data plan to be used. [TmoNews]

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AAPL hits all time high, market cap again passes $600B (update closes at: 648)

Some good news for those who did not sell their AAPL shares to buy plummeting Facebook stock:

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Apple passed its all-time high of 644 and its market cap is once again over $600 billion. Apple last hit both milestones on April 10. The news follows yesterday’s first dividend disbursement in 17 years that paid $2.65 per share of the company’s common stock. The stock price closed over 648.

Also today, Jeffries Analyst Peter Misek reported that Apple’s HDTV production was a go with early 2013 set as a target shipping date.

Investors are also looking forward to what appears to be a huge product launch in September which should include a new iPhone, an iPad Mini and other products for the holiday season.

More alleged iPhone 5 parts leak out of China, shows new nano-SIM card once again

According to a new report from French publication Nowhereelse.fe and Chinese forum iColorOS, more sixth-generation iPhone parts have surfaced from China. As you can see above, we now have a look at the alleged glass front, home button, sensors, volume control buttons, and the protection element placed on the back of the phone screen that may appear in the next iPhone. The leak also adds a bit more validity to a report earlier this week that showed a new nano-SIM card and smaller home buttons for the device.

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Digitimes’ latest rumor: new iPhone coming September, 7-inch iPad in August, and new 10-inch iPad in Q4

The ever-sketchy DigiTimes does not have the best reputation when it comes to predicting Apple product launches, but today the publication is reporting Apple OEM Pegatron began receiving orders for a new iPhone and a next-generation 10-inch iPad. It also reported Apple plans to release a 7-inch iPad in August:

Pegatron Technology reportedly has landed orders for a new-generation iPhone to be launched in September and a 10-inch iPad to be launched in the fourth quarter, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers. Pegatron is currently an OEM for the iPhone 4S and new iPad… A 7-inch iPad, which reportedly will be released in August, will be manufactured by Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry).

With the release of Apple’s new iPad last March, we find it hard to imagine Apple plans to break its yearly release window with a new 10-inch iPad, in addition to a 7-inch variant in August. We heard many rumors lately about a 7-inch or 7.85-inch tablet, indicating Apple could be experimenting with smaller screen sizes. In April, a translated report from a Chinese publication claimed Apple was prepping 7.85-inch iPad minis to launch in Q3 for $250 to $300, but we have not heard anything concrete on Apple’s plans to release a 7-inch tablet. As for iPhone, we are still expecting an October launch at this point.
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