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

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…

expand full story

Smartphones Stories February 20, 2014

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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