Apple to launch Android device trade-in program to encourage iPhone upgrades

iPhone 6 in Apple Store - Reuters

iPhone 6 in Apple Store – Reuters

In a move to boost iPhone sales, Apple will soon introduce a new recycling and trade-in program that will accept non-Apple smartphones, notably including Android and BlackBerry devices, in exchange for gift cards to be used toward the purchase of new iPhones. In continuing to court Android switchers, Apple will use a similar system to the one it uses to repurchase iPhones, whereby Apple Retail Store employees determine trade-in values for devices by considering their cosmetic and functional condition, according to multiple sources…

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IDC: Xiaomi’s growth tops Samsung in China, but Apple is making a dent too

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According to the latest numbers from IDC, Xiaomi—the rising star of the smartphone industry—has managed to pass up Samsung in China. In 2013, Xiaomi trailed Samsung’s almost 19% market share by a solid 13 percentage points (at just 5.3%), and was only the 5th largest maker of smartphones in China. Things changed in 2014. Last year, Xiaomi finished off with 12.5% of the market, almost a half-point more than Samsung at 12.1%, taking the top spot and passing not just Samsung, but Lenovo, Huawei, and Coolpad as well.

Interestingly, though, the latest numbers also show that Apple’s launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus contributed to a decent size dent in both Samsung and Xiaomi’s market footprint in Q4 of last year. Read more

T-Mobile launches Smartphone Equality, expanding base of customers qualified for financing & special deals

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T-Mobile often rolls out “Un-carrier” initiatives that intend to challenge its competitors (which sometimes get copied), and John Legere’s latest announcement for the company is no different. The T-Mobile CEO shared today that the carrier soon start offering the same financing options to customers with weak credit as it provides for well qualified customers. The program is called Smartphone Equality, and here’s how it works… Read more

Apple & Samsung lose share to smaller Chinese OEMs in Q2 smartphone shipment numbers

IDC-smartphone-shipments-worldwide-Q2-2014

Following releasing its second quarter data for tablet shipments worldwide, IDC today released its Q2 2014 report for smartphone shipments during the three month period that ended in June. The numbers line up with Apple’s fiscal Q3 earnings call that took place earlier this month where the company reported iPhone sales of 35.1 million units for the quarter. With 295.3 million units shipped total during Q2, and consumers anticipating a new iPhone this fall, IDC notes that both Samsung and Apple lost share to the smaller Chinese manufacturers: Read more

iPhone 6 mockups are a ‘rough approximation’ according to report, claims antenna design will differ signifcantly

Apple iPhone 6 (Mockup) 43

Japanese paper Nikkei has published a new report on their website comparing the mockups of the iPhone 6 to their supply chain sources. As translated by GforGames, the report says that while the mockups offer a good estimate of the final design, some key details are omitted.

Many of the things claimed in the report are obvious discrepancies, like button misalignment, but the report hones in on the antenna design (which has been critiqued by some readers) specifically. It says that the final iPhone 6 may not feature the ‘stripes’ at all, claiming that these simply mark out an area for glass materials to replace the aluminium frame, just like the iPhone 5s. Another possibility is that the stripe appearance is still present, but the stripes will be made out of attractive highly-polished glass.

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Police: iOS 7’s Activation Lock has helped reduce iPhone theft in some cities

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When Apple introduced the new Activation Lock anti-theft system with iOS 7 to help prevent the re-use of stolen iOS devices, some lawmakers saw it as the perfect way to help quell smartphone theft. In fact, many sought to make features like it standard on all mobile devices. Today, the New York Times has released some new numbers that shows a decrease in iPhone theft following the implementation of Activation Lock.

According to New York police, thefts involving Apple products have dropped by 19% in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. London and San Francisco authorities have seen even more impressive drops, with 24% and 38% reductions in iOS device thefts, respectively, in the six months following the feature’s release when compared to the six months immediately preceding it.

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More pictures of the iPhone 6’s front and back appear online as Apple ramps production

On Weibo, user dreamerJimmy has posted more shots of the supposed iPhone 6 design, which has shown up in photos time and time again in recent weeks. The new images are of reasonable quality, though and indicate how the larger phone would compare physically with the current iPhone 5s. The user has a good reputation for leaks, posting accurate images of the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c months before their unveiling.

In the first image, the much thinner bezels of the supposed new device can be clearly seen, to maximise the screen space on the front side. The distance between the Home Button and the display has also been shortened.

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Apple & Samsung slip below 50% in global smartphone marketshare for Q1 2014

Both Samsung and Apple have slipped in smartphone marketshare globally during the first quarter of 2014 according to the latest numbers from research firm Strategy Analytics. While global smartphone shipments grew 33 percent to 285 million units in Q1 compared to 213.9 million in the same quarter last year, Apple and Samsung collectively dropped from over 50 percent of the market to 47 percent. The report cites strong growth of “second-tier smartphone brands” such as Huwaei and Lenovo and lack of entry-level devices in markets abroad from Apple as the main contributors to slowed growth for Samsung and Apple. As for Apple on its own: Read more

Next-gen iPad Air front panel with integrated display reportedly shown in leaked photos

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New photos that reportedly show the front panel of a next-generation iPad Air have surfaced. Originally shared by One More Thing, the front panel appears to have an integrated display. This notable change could result in an even thinner iPad Air, or leave room for Apple to rework the hardware and add additional components.

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Apple seemingly turns to Tumblr to promote the iPhone 5c

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Apple appears to have taken to Tumblr to start up a new advertising campaign for the iPhone 5c. The campaign is called “Every color has a story,” and the webpage called “ISee5c” appeared within the past couple of days.

The advertisements are videos portraying different iPhone 5c phone colors and case colors. Each roughly 15 second video plays a different song and showcases the dots featured on the rear of the iPhone 5c official cases and on the iOS 7 dynamic wallpapers…

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How app store scammers can make $10,000 a day from a $10 game template

Game Center WWDC 2013

TechCrunch has a fascinating insight into the world of App Store scammers, using the example of a game created from a $10 template that ended up making $10,000 a day.

The piece alleges that the developer of the paid version of Red Bouncing Balls Spikes used a network of around 20,000 fake Apple IDs to buy his own app in order to get it to the top of the charts, an up-front investment of $20k that would be repaid many times over …  Read more