Smartphones Stories August 25, 2015

BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 17: Apple store employees welcome the customers to buy iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at an Apple store on October 17, 2014 in Beijing, China. Apple Inc began delivering its smartphone iPhone6 and iPhone6 Plus to the Chinese mainland on Friday. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images) (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)
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BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 17: Apple store employees welcome the customers to buy iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at an Apple store on October 17, 2014 in Beijing, China. Apple Inc began delivering its smartphone iPhone6 and iPhone6 Plus to the Chinese mainland on Friday. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

(Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

IDC released an updated forecast today lowering its expectations for worldwide smartphone shipments this year with a continuing slowdown in growth in China cited as the biggest contributor to the lower than expected shipments. It also shared some insight into expected growth for Apple in the years to come, predicting Android’s current 81% share of the market by operating system will likely hold strong through 2019 and that a cheaper iPhone 6C model wouldn’t do much to help. expand full story

Smartphones Stories August 21, 2015

9to5Toys Last Call: iPhone 6/Plus Screen Protector $1, Canon AirPrint Laser $90, Beats Studio Wireless $230, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates:

Samsung SmartThings hub comes next month with Amazon Echo-powered voice control support

iPhone 6/Plus Accessories w/ Prime shipping: Anker Screen Protectors $1 (Reg. $4), TechMatte Magnetic Air Vent Mount $6 (Reg. $9)

Canon imageCLASS 3-in-1 AirPrint Wireless Laser Printer $90 shipped (Reg. $109+)

Beats Studio Wireless headphones: Titanium $230 (Reg. $380), Blue $264 (Reg. $380)

App Store Free App of the Week: Quell Memento+ puzzle game goes free for the first time ($3 value)

Apple 12-inch MacBook w/ Retina display 1.1GHz/8GB/256GB in all colors: $1,149 shipped (Reg. $1,299)

Apple 12-inch MacBook w/ Retina display 1.2GHz/8GB/512GB: $1,500 shipped (Reg. $1,599)

Tile announces a new generation of its Bluetooth tracker

LAST CHANCE! Giveaway: Blackbox Case gives your iPad or MacBook a cozy bamboo home, multiple winners

More new gear from today:

Daily Deals: up to 60% off ARRIS SURFboard Cable Modems (refurb) from $40, Jawbone UP Fitness Tracker $25, more

Aukey accessories w/ Prime shipping: Bluetooth Selfie Stick $9 (Reg. $13), Sport Bluetooth 4.1 headphones $18 (Reg. $30), more

More deals still alive:

NRGized Apple Certified MFi 3-foot braided Lightning cable w/ metal connectors $9 Prime shipped (Reg. $14)

Anker 9-foot Apple Certified MFi Lightning to USB cable (black or white): $11 shipped (Orig. $16), more

Apple iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi in all colors: 16GB $289 (Reg. $399) or 64GB $399 (Reg. $499)

Apple iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi 16GB in Gold or Silver: $380 shipped (Reg. $499)

iPad Air 2 w/ Retina display 64GB in Silver (open-box) $440 shipped (Reg. $600)

New products & more:

Quick Review: The Conway Electric Extō Dual-USB is the envy of all power strips

Beyerdynamic takes its pro-audio pedigree to the streets with these new custom headphones

SLICK’s motorized mount takes the bumps out of your GoPro videos

The coolest Apple-certified MFI Lightning cables you can buy for your iPhone, iPad and iPod

Smartphones Stories July 16, 2015

ResearchKit iPhone

First pitched by Steve Jobs in 2007 as “an iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator,” the iPhone has since evolved into a medical device of sorts as software has gotten smarter and sensors have become more advanced in recent years.

Apple embraced this with iOS 8 and the rollout of HealthKit, a framework which allows medical and health apps to share data with each other and your doctors with your permission. Apple’s open source ResearchKit took it a step further by allowing developers to turn apps into scientific health and medical research tests.

Scientific American recently profiled three smartphone apps in development that point to how the iPhone could become even better at monitoring our health. The apps in development aim to determine what a patient’s cough means, diagnose sleep apnea, and even predict a bipolar episode before it starts… expand full story

Smartphones Stories April 3, 2015

Apple Watch table from Event - BusinessInsider
Comments (74)

Watch4

Apple’s<a href="http://9to5mac.com/2015/03/29/apple-store-revamp-for-apple-watch-revealed-magical-tables-demo-loops-sales-process/" target="_blank"> upcoming retail overhaul</a> for displaying the Watch

A lot of my techie friends are saying that the entry priced-Apple Watch Sport will be their pick next month, and not because of the exterior look. The theory is that Sport is the cheapest way to experience Apple’s new product category in 2015, and since the second-gen Apple Watch will inevitably be upgraded, why pay a premium this year for nicer materials such as stainless steel and sapphire glass?

Despite the Apple Watch’s desire to marry jewelry with technology, it hasn’t lost the baggage gadgets carry, namely the reality that they’ll be outdated and replaced in a relatively short period of time. If the Apple Watch evolves anything like the original iPad did when it became the iPad 2, the differences could be dramatic.

Personally, when I think about getting more perceived value out of a higher-priced stainless steel Apple Watch rather than testing the waters with the cheaper aluminum model, I’m more concerned with how soon the Apple Watch 2 will be announced rather than how much more functional the newer device could be. No matter what happens with the first-generation model, an Apple Watch 2 will come to market. How will Apple balance keeping the Apple Watch evolutionary momentum going with keeping the first-generation model “modern” for enough time to satisfy early adopters?

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Smartphones Stories March 25, 2015

AAA road safety campaign shows real videos of teenage car crashes while using smartphones

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has put online video clips from real car crashes caused by 16-19 year old drivers using smartphones while driving. The videos, which show both the view through the windscreen and a view of the driver, are designed to make real the dangers of distracted driving.

None of the crashes featured in the above clip feature injuries, but almost 3,000 people a year are killed in crashes involving drivers in this age-range, the majority of them caused by the driver being “inattentive or engaged in some other non-driving-related activity.” A further 383,000 people a year are injured.

Researchers at the University of Iowa examined carcam footage from 1,691 crashes involving drivers aged 16-19 to determine the cause. Distracted driving was found to be the cause in 58% of crashes, with 12% of them due to using a phone while driving. For crashes involving the car leaving the road, a full third of crashes were attributed to cellphone use.

UK tests conducted earlier this month suggested that smartwatches are even worse than smartphones for driver distraction.

The full AAA report can be downloaded here.

Smartphones Stories March 16, 2015

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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Smartphones Stories February 17, 2015

iphone-lineup

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. expand full story

Smartphones Stories January 22, 2015

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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… expand full story

Smartphones Stories December 18, 2014

Eddy-Cue-McDonalds-01

McDonald’s is testing Bluetooth beacon-based offers in at least some of its locations as it pilots beacon platform Piper that works with both iOS devices using Apple’s iBeacon framework and other mobile devices. expand full story

Smartphones Stories July 29, 2014

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: expand full story

Smartphones Stories July 22, 2014

AMC debuts trailer for ‘The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land’ mobile game arriving w/ season 5

AMC announced today that it will release a new mobile game for The Walking Dead early next year alongside season 5 of the hit TV show. The TV network is teaming up with Next Games to develop the title and today shared the first trailer for the game that it plans to show off at Comic Con International later this month.

The game, titled The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land, will allow players to experience the world of the iconic show through gameplay exclusively developed for smartphones and tablet devices. Developed by Next Games in close collaboration with AMC, the game will feature themes familiar to the TV series, where characters fight for survival in a post-apocalyptic, walker-infested world. A recurring theme of choosing the right survival strategy and making the most human choices possible is at the heart of the first-of-its-kind game.

Telltale games already publishes a game based on universe of The Walking Dead comic book series, but this is AMC’s first official game based on its TV show version of the franchise. It isn’t, however, sharing many details on what we can expect from gameplay other than the description above or specifics on platforms.

The Walking Dead Season 5 is coming this October and the game, The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land, will hit smartphones and tablets early next year when the mid-season premiere of Season 5 airs.

Smartphones Stories July 12, 2014

Chinese clone-makers already have functional ‘iPhone 6’ knockoffs for sale

NowhereElse.fr has posted some pretty amusing pictures today of working iPhone 6 clones from China. These devices use the rumored specification and schematics of the actual iPhone 6 that we have seen so much over the last few months, but obviously use off-the-shelf internals and don’t run iOS.

Although unconfirmed what knockoff OS these devices are running, it is most likely a skinned version of Android with a custom launcher that imitates the appearance of iOS 7. The Google Play store is already full of iOS 7 Home Screen and app clones.

The real thing is expected to be announced by Apple in September, featuring larger 4.7 and 5.5 inch displays.

Smartphones Stories June 30, 2014

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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Smartphones Stories June 18, 2014

Activation-Lock-02

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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Smartphones Stories June 11, 2014

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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Smartphones Stories April 29, 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: expand full story

Smartphones Stories April 23, 2014

Tim Cook: 60+% of iPhone 4s and 5c buyers are ‘Android Switchers’

The success of Apple’s low end phones, the 3.5-inch iPhone 4s and the colorful plastic 5c, has been questioned since the current lineup was launched last year. But in today’s earnings call,  Tim Cook might have just explained why Apple keeps the lower end devices in its stable: They bring in the lower-end Android crowd. Specifically Cook said 62% of iPhone 4s, which is usually free (or cheaper) with a plan in the US buyers and 60% of iPhone 5c buyers were switching from Android.

Cook previously compared Android to Europe in its fragmentation and had some harsh words for some of the low end Android tablets in enterprise saying Apple would never produce or label products of that low quality. 

Smartphones Stories April 18, 2014

OMT-ipad

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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Smartphones Stories April 11, 2014

Dubious iPhone 6 cases already rolling in

It may be five or so months before Apple launches the iPhone 6, with very little known for sure at this stage, but the case makers have already started firing-up their 3D printers.

French site NoWhereElse has posted photos of what claims to be transparent cases for the iPhone 6, with a cut-out for the rumored new position of the power button, on the side of the phone, opposite the volume buttons. Oddly, however, there is also a button-shaped cut-out on the top of the phone.

NWE acknowledges that the source of the photo has no track-record of leaks, and we can’t see any reason to believe this is anything more than the usual attempts by case companies to guess what Apple plans to launch – a move that can sometimes have expensive consequences.

However, it has been known for case makers to get it right, basing their designs and measurements on molds from Chinese manufacturers, so it can’t be entirely discounted.

Smartphones Stories March 2, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 7.43.35 AM

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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Smartphones Stories February 20, 2014

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 …  expand full story

Smartphones Stories January 31, 2014

M7-powered Pedometer++ gets major update with new design and export options

Pedometer++ rose to fame after developer David Smith moved quickly to have an M7-enabled fitness app available for the iPhone 5s. The newest update builds on the original in several key ways. Importantly, it changes the design of the app from a list to a chart-centric format showing one week of activity at a time. You can flip through a week at a time, a big improvement of the previous layout.

The tint color of the app indicates the current day’s progress towards the daily step goal. If you have hit your daily limit, it changes the feel of the entire look. The navigation bar, buttons and titles turn green to reflect your achievement. It’s a really clever detail that just adds that extra level of polish to the app.

Smartphones Stories January 30, 2014

Lenovo on Moto aquisition: Our mission is to surpass Apple and Samsung

Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yang spoke to CNNMoney about his company’s recent acquisition of Motorola from Google today. In the interview, Yang was asked if his goal for Lenovo was to eventually catch up with more established competitors in the mobile space, such as Apple and Samsung.

With Motorola, Lenovo will be the No. 3 smartphone maker worldwide. Do you think your company can catch up with Apple or Samsung, who are still far ahead of you? And how long will it take?

Definitely, over time. Our mission is to surpass them.

Yang says that Lenovo’s smartphones will probably be released under the Motorola banner, a smart branding decision given Motorola’s existing name recognition and popularity in the U.S. and other countries.

The branding choice combined with the infrastructure and personnel from the Moto buyout could help propel the company to the top of the market, but it will be a hard road to the level of success that Yang is after—especially with Apple and Samsung already locked in a fierce, years-long battle for the top spot.

Throughout the interview, Yang continued to note that several decisions still need to be made with regards to how phones will be branded in certain countries and whether the Lenovo name will be associated with Motorola at all. It will certainly be interesting to see how Yang uses the Motorola brand to push Lenovo forward.

Smartphones Stories January 28, 2014

A billion smartphones were sold last year, says IDC

A billion smartphones were sold in 2013, according to IDC data, the first time the milestone has been hit. The number represents one smartphone sale for every seventh man, woman and child on the planet.

IDC says that price has been the main driver for growth, putting yesterday’s market share stats into perspective.

Markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments

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