We have seen a lot of rumors in the last months suggesting that Apple will start building a cheaper iPhone aimed at developing markets, like China. Last week, we heard that production of the device is about to start, since one of the Apple’s manufacturing partners is hiring 40% more workers.
A cheaper iPhone would mean that Apple would have to use cheaper materials to build its iconic iPhone. The most common theory, for example, is that the Cupertino tech giant will probably renounce using aluminum for the phone’s back plate and switch to plastic, instead. A lot of fans were worried that plastic might end up ruining the overall look and feel of the device. But a new video released by concept designer Ran Avni shows without a doubt that a plastic iPhone might not end up looking so shabby, after all.
Yes, you can see the phone doesn’t have the premium look of the iPhone, but it doesn’t seem bad or tacky either and we’re pretty sure it would prove to be very popular with the crowds.
The iPhone presented in the video features the same two colors we have been accustomed to: silver and black. When looking carefully at the plastic back, one might see resemblances to the iPad mini. The video proves that Apple could still release a plastic device on the market and turn it into a smash hit, like it did with everything it has launched so far.
May 13, 2013 - 2:31 PM - by Maura
You might be kicking yourself when you read this story if you delayed getting an iPhone 5 on T-Mobile, as iDownloadBlog reports today that following its early launch offers, T-Mobile has now increased the price of the initial down payment for the iPhone 5 to $149.99. When T-Mobile first sold the iPhone 5 back in April, it cost just $99 initially, plus 24 monthly payments of $20. Then, for a short time last week, T-Mobile actually slashed the initial down payment to zero, provided you had another phone to trade in at the same time. So, you should congratulate yourself if you actually managed to get an iPhone 5 for free during this very short window, as any new would-be buyers will now have to fork out $149.99. As TMoNews via iDownloadBlog points out, this latest increase means that the total cost of owning a 16GB iPhone 5 on T-Mobile has now risen to $629 from $579.
Source: How ?Uncarrier?: T-Mobile increases iPhone 5 down payment to $149
May 13, 2013 - 1:40 PM - by Maura
iPhones and other smartphones are highly desirable and expensive objects that prove to be a very easy target for muggers and pick pockets. It seems a shame that anyone should be nervous about using their iPhone on the street or in a café, but the reality is that theft of such devices is at an all-time high, so caution is always advised when using your expensive piece of kit in public. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman clearly believes that the situation has now got so bad that more action is needed from the smartphone manufacturers themselves, and so he has today written to Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung to ask directly what they are doing about helping to prevent smartphone theft in New York, Bloomberg reports.
The figures speak for themselves, with Bloomberg reporting that Apple products were stolen in 11,447 incidents from January to September 2012, marking a rise of 40% on the previous year. Some of the examples that Schneiderman gives are particularly violent, including the stabbing of a chef in April 2012. So far only Google has responded to the letter, with spokeswoman Gina Scigliano issuing an email statement to the effect that Google encourages smartphone owners to lock the phones with a PIN or pattern, and keep it set to automatically lock. No word as yet from Samsung, Apple, or Microsoft.
“I seek to understand why companies that can develop sophisticated handheld electronics, such as the products manufactured by Apple, cannot also create technology to render stolen devices inoperable and thereby eliminate the expanding black market on which they are sold,” wrote Schneiderman in his open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Source: Apple, Google Pressed by N.Y. Over Handheld Device Thefts - Bloomberg
May 11, 2013 - 3:33 PM - by Maura
AppleInsider reports that the U.S. Department of Defense has announced that it will be granting security clearance to iOS devices for use on the Pentagon’s secure network sometime next week, which, aside from being great news for Apple and for Pentagon staff is also bad news for BlackBerry, which until now had the lion’s share of military contracts. Speaking to Bloomberg, the Pentagon’s Defense Information Systems Agency spokeswoman Alana Johnson said that once approved next week, government-issue devices running iOS 6 would be allowed access to top security military networks. However, they will not instantly be available for use on the network, as Johnson said that the Pentagon will first have to build a mobile device management system suitable for the iOS devices. This move to clear Apple devices for Pentagon use was first reported on a couple of weeks back, just a few days before Samsung’s Knox-compatible devices and BlackBerry 10-enabled devices were granted access to DoD systems.
Source: Apple's iPhone, iPad to be granted Pentagon security clearance next week
May 11, 2013 - 1:28 PM - by Maura
No doubt we live in dangerous times, and with the recent news of the kidnap victims in Cleveland, not to mention horror stories of attacks and crimes against the person appearing in the news with frightening regularity, I’m sure a lot of us have considered downloading one of the various safety alarm and alert apps in the App Store. One such app, Bipper’s bSafe, is supported by Jada Pinkett Smith, who appeared on Piers Morgan Live this week talking about the app, which she has personally invested in so that it can be marketed internationally, and which forms part of her campaign work and activism to end human trafficking and slavery. bSafe combines text, video and GPS-Tracking features, all designed to keep the user safe and alert the authorities should anything untoward happen. The Follow Me feature looks particularly good, where you can get your appointed guardians to “follow you” if you have to walk home alone, for example. Jada discovered the app after her daughter Willow started using it last year, and was impressed enough to want to back it.
"bSafe is a safety service that can easily be used by anyone," says Jada. "Users can ask for help, provide important information about their location and preserve evidence through video recordings with one click on their mobile phone. Everyone needs a service like this."
Click here to download the free app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bsafe/id459709106?mt=8
There have been countless comparisons made between the Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5 and here’s the latest. Samsung’s newest phone has been taken apart piece by piece and the people doing it, found that, all in all, the Galaxy S4 costs more to make than its fiercest competitor.
Other interesting details surfaced with the part analyzing study conducted by HIS iSupply. For example, on the market there are two available versions of the Galaxy S4 – the US one and the Korean one. The research estimated that the two versions have two different assembly prices. The US one offered by AT&T was built for $237 while the Korean version has been manufactured for $252.
Where does the difference in price come from? First off, the American version’s processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core CPU manufactured for $20 while the Korean one is a Samsung Exynos 5 Octa that comes at $28. The most expensive part of the Galaxy S4 is its display, which is a Super AMOLED 441-pixel-density and features Gorilla Glass 3. As opposed, the cheapest part turns out to be the power management components that are only $9 to make.
In the Apple camp, manufacturing an iPhone 5 costs just about $205, but the sum varies according to carriers and such. The prices posted by HIS iSupply only cover the hardware and software expenses, so the R&D part of the process is left out. With that added we might be moving very close to the retail price.
If you follow fashion trends and you want to be in style, you might be interested to know that a new fab accessory has been released for the iPhone. So, if you don’t know where to keep your favorite smartphone, you might consider the new Freedom of Creation collection by Alan Nguyen.
This fashion house is based in Amsterdam and specializes in 3D printing. And if you’re thinking we are talking about a bland bag or case for the iPhone, you couldn’t be more wrong. Fashion is sometimes about extremes and using items one wouldn’t expect.
So, Freedom of Creation launched the iPhone Mashup Shoes. That’s right, that means a pair of trendy shoes and a place to keep your phone while out and about. The shoes have been designed for the size 37 (Europe), which translates to size 6 (American). They come available in a bright yellow color, which would make them perfect for performers and DJs but also for people who want to make a fashion statement.
The case is implemented in the shoes’ heels, which have been 3D printed using material from the FreshFiber website. The shoes have already been on display during the Milan Design Week and Maison et Objet Paris. The latest appearance of the shoes was during an event organized by a 3D printing oriented magazine called Print Shift, in London.
May 10, 2013 - 10:24 AM - by Maura
If you’re someone that loves to read well-sourced and credible Apple news (which is hopefully why you’re at this Forum as well!) then you’ll be interested to learn from iDownloadBlog today that the excellent Loop blog, which features the well-sourced Apple news and opinions of Editor-In-Chief Jim Dalrymple, among others, is launching a digital magazine for iOS devices, which is now available via the Newsstand app. Called The Loop Magazine, it is instantly recognisable from the lush purple art scheme, and very basic layout, just like the web blog. You can share stories that you read in the magazine via Safari, Twitter, Mail, and Messages, and it also has a built-in web browser so that you can open links. The magazine will be published bi-monthly, and the first free edition has six articles, including “a personal look at disruptive problem solving from Flexibits co-founder Michael Simmons,” and “an autobiographical piece from Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess talking about the impact of technology and how he has embraced it in his work.”
Excellent pic of Jim with Slash courtesy of iDownloadBlog!:
Click here to download: http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/...rtnerId%253D30
Source: Popular Apple blog ?The Loop? launches bi-monthly iOS magazine on Newsstand
May 10, 2013 - 9:36 AM - by Maura
AppleInsider reports today that we may have to wait a little longer for Apple’s forthcoming iRadio service, due to problems with ongoing negotiations with Sony. Apparently the ever-thorny issue of licensing fees is once again the sticking point, according to the original story in the Financial Times, which says that Apple has already struck a deal with Universal Music, and is on the verge of inking a deal with Warner Music. However, it seems that Sony Music has yet to sign a deal with Apple, apparently wanting more concessions, according to the report. It is thought that Sony wants Apple to pay more, seeing as Apple looks set to make lots of money from any streaming music service that it might set up. AppleInsider says that Apple originally offered just 6.5 cents per 100 tracks streamed, which is half of what Pandora pays. The labels turned this down, so Apple then offered 12.5 cents per 100 tracks, which some of the labels appear to be happy with, but clearly not Sony!
Source: iRadio stalled again as Apple, Sony can't agree to royalty terms
May 09, 2013 - 4:25 PM - by Maura
iDownloadBlog reports today on new findings by research firm Canalys, which provide data for first-quarter smart mobile device shipments, which Canalys says achieved 300+ million new units, representing 37.4% year-over-year growth. Fifty-Nine percent of those devices were Android, and 19% were iOS, with Android beating iOS in the smartphone market, and iOS remaining dominant in the tablet market, as laptop demand continues to fall. iDownloadBlog points out that smartphones, tablets and laptops all come under Canalys’s description of “smart mobile devices.” iDownloadBlog also points out that Canalys only posts stats for shipped units, rather than units sold. In terms of overall figures, Samsung shipped 82.2 million units, representing 26.6% share of the total shipments, with Apple shipping 59.6 million in total, or 19.3%. Smartphones came out on top of all smart devices, with 216.3 million shipped, showing 47.9% quarterly growth. It was tablets, though, that showed the most growth of all, with iPad shipments growing by 106.1 % year-over-year. However, iDownloadBlog reports that Apple’s supremacy in the tablet market could soon come more and more under threat as more cheap Android tablets are released onto the market.
Source: Canalys: one in five smart devices are Apple
We have been hearing a lot of rumors, saying that Apple is secretly working on a cheaper iPhone aimed at developing market, especially China. But some time has passed and no new information surfaced to sediment the theory.
Until now. Reuters has stumbled upon some Apple trusty sources from Japan that claim the low cost iPhone is not out of the cards for the tech giant. Actually, test production of panels is starting as soon as this month, while mass production will kick start in June. One of Apple’s main supplier in China, Pegatron, held a conference this week and during it, President and Chief Executive Officer, Jason Cheng, shared some details with the media. He declined to comment anything concrete about the cheaper iPhone, nevertheless providing some important clues.
The most important is the fact that Pegatron is going to hire a lot of people in the near future. The company is planning to add 40% more workers to its factories across China. This might be a good indicator that the supplier is preparing for something big. Lin also claims that more than 60% of the company’s profits for 2013 will come in the next months, hinting towards the fact that Pegatron has a secure deal of manufacturing products that are sure to become a major success.
Pegatron however is doing quite well as it is. For example, the company reported an increase with over 81% in revenue in Q1 compared to the year before.
May 08, 2013 - 1:45 PM - by Maura
Apple’s famous glass cube store in New York has come in for a bit of a soaking, according to a report in the New York Post today, via AppleInsider. It seems that the store was flooded with water at around 8 am this morning (the store is open 24 hours), with a customer reporting that what started out as a slow leak soon turned into something more serious, with water pouring into the building. “Everyone started scrambling, moving tables,” said Errol Rappaport in the Post. “It didn’t look like there were any electrical issues, otherwise they would have evacuated the store.” As it was early morning, there were only around 15 customers in the store at the time, and employees quickly mopped up the water, with the store remaining open the whole time. The blame for the incident was laid on a “drainage problem” by workers, the result of some construction work carried out at the flagship store back in 2011.
Source: Heavy rains in Manhattan breach Apple's flagship Fifth Ave store
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