Giveaway: PureGear Utilitarian case
This week MacNN and Electronista are getting into the holiday spirit, and as such we are going to be giving away a lot of cool prizes from today through Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the weekend in between. Be sure to check back often to get in on the action. First up, we are giving away three PureGear Utilitarian cases for iPhone 4/4S and 5, or Galaxy S III.
Will soon support older iPhones
Sprint-based wireless provider FreedomPop has announced that people with an existing Sprint phone can now activate a device on its service. The company offers extremely low-cost data plans, including a free tier with 500MB of data, 500 text messages, and 200 voice minutes. To get access, though, people previously had to pay $99 for an HTC Evo Design, a phone which is now largely obsolete.
Apple still considers NetAirus parent invalid
Jury selection is slated to begin today in the long-running NetAirus v. Apple lawsuit, Bloomberg reports. The case, first filed over three years ago, complains that the iPhone violates a 1997 patent held by NetAirus owner Richard Ditzik, documenting a handheld device merging a computer with wireless communications over local- and wide-area networks. Apple has maintained that the Newton MessagePad achieved similar technology as early as 1994, rendering NetAirus' patent obsolete.
iPhone support still largely quiet
Ting -- an MNVO carrier launched just last year, and based on the Sprint network -- is now supporting the iPhone 4 and 4S, a report claims. Ting, Apple, and Sprint are said to have signed a deal for the arrangement, which is described as a "beta" in which Ting has to prove that it can support iPhone customers, and hold up Apple's brand reputation, partly through screening for lost or stolen devices showing up on its network. Sources say that Ting is "scared to make Sprint nervous," and that "Sprint is terrified to make Apple nervous," given that Sprint has a deal to sell the iPhone while Ting doesn't. Being able to sell the iPhone often involves strict demands from Apple, including minimum marketing budgets and unit purchases.
Backs reports of China Mobile deal
The iPhone 4 is still available through Apple's online store in China, checks show. The 4 has disappeared as an option elsewhere in the world, the 4S taking its place as the cheapest option in Apple's iPhone lineup. Many carriers will be offering the 4S for free on contract. In China, an 8GB iPhone 4 is listed at RMB 2,588 (about $420) unlocked, while a 4S is RMB 3,288, and 16GB versions of the 5c and 5s are RMB 4,488 and RMB 5,288, respectively.
'Wiggly' power buttons on iPhone 4, 4S claimed to be safety hazard
A US District Court Judge has thrown out a lawsuit aimed at Apple that alleged that supposedly "wiggly" power buttons on some iPhone 4 and 4S handsets present a danger to users, including on an aircraft -- since the alleged defect meant users can't shut down the iPhone per the flight crew's instructions. Two users claim that Apple knew that the power button was faulty and would likely fail after the original warranty.
Retailer likely clearing out stock ahead of iPhone 5S
The US branch of Best Buy has launched another iPhone trade-in promotion, running today through August 18th. People who bring an iPhone 4S into a Best Buy store can get a gift card towards an iPhone 5 worth at least $200, so long as the phone is working and undamaged. A similar deal exists for people trading in an iPhone 4, although the base gift card value starts at only $100.
Oddly, iPhone 4S and 5 also drop slightly in resale value
Analysts at investment firm Piper Jaffray, after monitoring online auctions for Apple and Samsung smartphones, have found that the three-year-old iPhone 4 has actually gained in resale value by just over 10 percent, while the later iPhone 4S and 5 models dropped in resale value -- but nowhere near as much as Samsung's former flagships the Galaxy S III or Galaxy Note II. A similar study conducted in China looking at resale auctions there saw similar results, with the iPhone 4 gaining resale value while newer iPhones and Galaxy products dropped.
Last-minute ruling is the first ITC reversal since 1987
US Trade Representative Michael Froman, on behalf of the Obama administration, has decided to invoke a Presidential veto of the recent ITC ruling against Apple that would have resulting in a sales ban on GSM iPhone 4 devices (and other models no longer being actively sold). The ruling, in which the ITC reversed its own prior judgements on whether a Standards Essential Patent (SEP) that is under dispute should ever qualify for a sales injunction, was widely criticized even by Apple's competitors as a poor decision that overstepped the ITC's boundaries.
30-year-old Chinese man was able to call for help, now in coma
Another report of an accidental electrocution has surfaced in China, this time a 30-year-old man named Wu Jian Tong who was stricken when plugging in an iPhone 4 using an unapproved third-party charger. The man survived the ordeal but has been comatose for the past 10 days. He was not breathing when paramedics arrived and was revived using CPR. Authorities believe his coma is due to severe oxygen deprivation to the brain. Earlier this week, a 23-year-old former air stewardess was killed when she allegedly answered a call on her iPhone using what is believed to be a non-Apple charger.
Retailer cutting $50 off iPhone 4, 4S
RadioShack has announced plans to join in tomorrow's launch of the Virgin Mobile iPhone 5. Prices will be identical to those direct from Virgin, except that RadioShack is promising $50 off the cost of the phone with a qualifying trade-in. That offer expires July 27th. If a person trades in an iPhone 4 or 4S, they can get $150 off until July 13th.
First trade-in day retailer's most successful ever
On Friday, the US branch of Best Buy will be launching another promotion in which shoppers can get a "free" iPhone 5. People who bring in an iPhone 4 or 4S in good condition can get at least $150 in credit, which is enough to cover most of the cost of a 16GB iPhone 5 with Best Buy's current $50 instant rebate. Should a used iPhone be worth more than $150, Best Buy says it will make up the difference with a gift card.
China now has more active Android, iOS devices than US, growing rapidly
Market analysis firm IDC has released its latest figures on smartphone share in China, and reports that Apple has achieved a nine percent share of the estimated 78 million smartphones sold in China during the first three months of 2013, a rise of 117 percent year-over year. While all of the top vendors did well, Apple -- led by its entry-level iPhone 4 -- grew at an annual rate of 211 percent. Another survey firm, Canalys, gave Apple an eight percent share but also ranked it in fifth place among manufacturers, about double the prevailing view on the company's marketshare in China.
Deal should cover most of 16GB iPhone 5's price
Best Buy is doing a one-day promotion on Saturday in which it will give $150 in trade-in credit for a working iPhone 4 or 4S, says CNET. The deal is meant to cover the cost of a new 16GB iPhone 5. Buyers must be eligible for an upgrade (or new contract) with AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint however, and pay any sales tax or carrier activation fees. The promotion is also limited to Best Buy's retail stores.
Other phones getting week-long promotions
The US branch of Best Buy is planning to launch a $50 discount on iPhones starting on Sunday, says AllThingsD. The sale should last for four weeks, and cover the iPhone 4, 4S, and 5. All phones must, however, be tied to a new two-year contract with AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint, ruling out carriers like T-Mobile.
Sale limited to online orders
The US branch of Virgin Mobile is now offering a 15 percent discount on the iPhone 4 and 4S. The promotion is applicable only to web orders, and will last only for a limited time, or until supplies run out. Virgin hasn't said when the sale is scheduled to end.
Says Apple was aware of issue but kept quiet
A Florida woman, Debra Hilton, has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of iPhone 4 owners, says GigaOM. The case alleges that Apple knew about a flex cable defect that was causing problems with the phone's power button, but stayed quiet to sell phones without fixing the issue. A lawyer for Hilton points to threads on Apple's support forums, as well as a repair video on YouTube claiming that the issue is prevalent with the 4.
Case reaches conclusion
iPhone 4 owners are beginning to receive $15 checks as their part of the settlement in a class action lawsuit against Apple, notes 9to5Mac. The payouts mark the end of the dispute, which merged 18 different cases involving the iPhone 4's alleged "death grip" issue. Holding the phone in the wrong way without a case would effectively kill its cellular reception.
4S still significantly more expensive than in US
Apple has lowered the prices of unlocked models of the iPhone 4 and 4S in Brazil, reports observe. The 8GB iPhone 4 has dropped from R$ 1499 ($741 US) to R$ 1099 ($544 US), while the 16 GB iPhone 4S has moved from R$ 1999 ($989 US) to R$ 1699 ($840 US). While buying either device in Brazil normally involves 12 monthly payments, paying in full over the phone can reduce prices by another 10 percent, to R$ 989 ($489 US) and R$ 1529 ($756 US), respectively.
Complaints about iPhone replacements force response
Apple CEO Tim Cook has posted an open letter to Chinese customers, announcing changes to the company's warranty policies in the country. He explains that in the past couple of weeks the company has received a number of complaints, particularly in relation to the iPhone 4 and 4S. The people charged that while customers elsewhere were getting full replacements for faulty hardware, Chinese customers were only getting repairs using replacement parts.
Only affects iPhone 4
A new lockscreen bypass has been discovered in iOS 6.1.3, notes iPhoneinCanada. Unlike the tricks discovered in iOS 6.1, the new one appears to affect only the iPhone 4. It also, unusually, involves popping out an iPhone's SIM card while using Voice Control to dial an emergency number.
No plan to 'incent' phones with lower subsidies
Speaking at the Deutsche Bank 2013 Media, Internet, and Telecom Conference, Verizon Communications Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said that the company has no interest in offering additional commissions for sales staff to sell low-end phones over the free iPhone 4 with contract on the carrier. The CFO also addressed the impact of the FiOS network on the company's bottom line, as well as the impact of tablet sales on the company.
Plans begin at $45 per month with $25 per month financing
Walmart will add the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4 to no-contract Straight Talk unlimited plans, with no carrier subsidy, starting on January 11, the company says. More than 2,000 Walmart stores and the online corporate site will sell the iPhone 5 for $649 (16GB model only) and the iPhone 4 for $449 (8GB model only). Qualified buyers will be able to get a Walmart Credit Card that allows for the phone cost to be billed in $25 monthly increments.
Attempts to provide alternative to dedicated sports cameras
Accessory maker Mophie has launched the OutRide, a new camera case for the iPhone 4 and 4S. The gear creates a polycarbonate housing for an iPhone with a 170-degree wide-angle lens, effectively turning an iPhone into a first-person sports camera similar to a GoPro. An included waterproof add-on lets users submerse an iPhone as far as 5 meters.
Discount available for largest carriers
Best Buy has rolled out its latest holiday promotion, slashing $50 off iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 pricing. New or upgrade-eligible subscribers can now pick up a 16GB iPhone 5 for $150 with a two-year contract, while the iPhone 4S currently starts at $50. The discounts include both white and black variants connected to Verizon, Sprint and AT&T.
Core designs of iPhone 4, iPad 2 secured
Apple has won the rights to several important design patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office. These include the look of the iPhone 4, which is credited in part to lead designer Jonathan Ive, as well as the company's co-founder, Steve Jobs. Ive is also cited in all the other new patents, such as one for the iPhone 4 "Bumper" case.
iPhone 4 sold out in many US locations
Although the iPhone 5 sales have been "very strong" at US carriers AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, the two older iPhone models -- the iPhone 4 and 4S -- are also doing well, says Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley. The claims are based on channel checks, and moreover indicate that the iPhone 4 is actually selling out at some stores. In the US, the 4 is typically free if a person locks into a two-year carrier contract.
Win a Q Card Case for iPhone!
How many times do you run out of the house in the morning while talking on the iPhone, and then get to Starbucks only to find out that you forgot your wallet and thought to yourself "wouldn't it be great if my phone was a wallet." Well fortunately CM4 already has a solution for that, the Q Card Case for iPhone 4/4S and 5 MacNN has teamed up with CM4 to give away one of their cases to our readers. Read on to find out more about this case, and how you can enter to win.
Fusion Drive discussions and more
This week in the MacNN forums one Fresh-Faced Recruit was looking for a way to move photos from a camera roll to photo stream on iPhone 4S, join in here. "So I've been curious about Fusion Drive…" is how the thread titled "Fusion Drive" by Waragainstsleep began earlier this week, read more here.
How to replace the back glass on an iPhone 4
Today in the MacNN forums, one Mac Elite is looking for some advice on how to replace the back glass on an iPhone 4 after an unfortunate incident over the weekend caused the glass on theirs to break. "Are system restore discs necessary?" asks one Senior User yesterday, join in here.
Could be meant as effiency upgrade, China Mobile edition, or something else
A recent version of the iOS 6 firmware may hint at a new iPhone 4 model, reports say. The firmware is listed for an "iPhone3,2" and actually started appearing as a download option on September 19th, but still hasn't been pushed to developers. The GSM version of the iPhone 4 is the iPhone3,1, while the CDMA model is the iPhone3,3.
Bezel gap antenna patent awarded
The US Patent Office has granted Patent No. 8,270,914 to Apple, covering "Bezel gap antennas." The antenna design described in the patent is the same one that led to Apple's much publicized "antennagate" saga in 2010 with the iPhone 4. The design gives Apple the freedom to make their smartphones smaller, but initially it served as a rare distraction in Apple's marketing efforts for the iPhone 4.
Carrier makes itself exception to normal iPhone sales
Sprint is planning to halt its sales of the iPhone 4 come the launch of the iPhone 5 on Friday, a leaked document reveals. "iPhone 4 will be removed from Planogram on 9/21/12," the document indicates. The decision makes Sprint an exception in terms of iPhone sales, since a number of carriers will be offering the iPhone 4 for free on contract, much as they did the now-defunct iPhone 3GS.
iPhone 4 goes free on contract
In the wake of the announcement of the iPhone 5, the iPhone 4 and the 4S have dropped in price. The iPhone 4S is now $99 on a two-year contract, while the iPhone 4 is free under the same terms. Only a 16GB 4S is available however, and iPhone 4 buyers are limited to an 8GB model.
Claims it's 'well known' that glass can break
A US District Judge, Edward Davila, has thrown out a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of iPhone 4 owners. Initially launched by Californian Betsalel Williamson, the suit complained that Apple misrepresented the strength of the glass in the device. Williamson says that after knocking a new iPhone 4 off the arm of a chair, the device broke, "resulting in spider cracks across the back glass panel" which forced him to get a replacement.
Would maintain cycle scheme used in 2011
Apple is planning to axe the iPhone 3GS, and make the iPhone 4 the company's entry-level smartphone, retail sources tell The Telegraph. It's expected that the phone will probably be given away free on contract. The sources add that an 8GB version of the iPhone 4S could be launched, and that the iPhone 5 will come in three different storage capacities like its predecessor, shipping on the week of September 21st.
Small set of proceeds go to fight AIDS in Africa
Apple has made a rare update to its line of iPhone accessories, adding a new (PRODUCT) RED version of its Bumper case for the iPhone 4 and 4S. The case costs $29, like any other Bumper, but a small portion of the RED model's proceeds go toward fighting HIV and AIDS in Africa. Apple has been a (PRODUCT) RED supporter for some time, although lately it has produced few devices or accessories for the program.
Vendors prep for impending iPhone update
Two major third-party US retailers, Best Buy and Target, have instituted new price cuts for the iPhone, notes AllThingsD. Target is now selling 16GB AT&T and Verizon models of the iPhone 4S for $179 on contract. Best Buy, meanwhile, has cut the price for the 8GB iPhone 4 for both carriers to just $50.
Retailers try to clear out stock ahead of sixth-gen phone
Best Buy has dropped the price of the iPhone 4 at its US online store to $50 with a two-year contract. The change applies to models for all three major iPhone carriers, namely AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. It also appears to be a more permanent discount, unlike the sales some vendors have held during the past few months.
Verizon, AT&T models available on contract
Radio Shack is now offering "refreshed" and "remanufactured" iPhone 4 and 4S models at a steep discount. Customers can get the two Apple smartphones when signing up for an AT&T or Verizon contract. With a two-year contract, the iPhone 4 is available for free, and the iPhone 4S is available for $100.
iPhone 4 shown to be technically capable of supporting 3D Maps app
The iOS Maps app with 3D Flyover featured as a centerpiece of Apple’s iOS 6 presentation at WWDC has been hacked on to the iPhone 4 by Anton Titkov. For reasons not made entirely clear, Apple controversially opted not to support the capability in its iOS 6 update in the slightly older iPhone with critics debating whether it was due to a hardware limitation. While the performance (of the still beta) appears acceptable, it does not load quite as quickly or smoothly as it does on the iPhone 4S as the embedded video shows.
150 percent of stock battery life, MILSPEC tested
Mophie announced its largest battery case compatible with the iPhone 4 and 4S -- the Juice Pack Pro. The case has been tested against military specification MIL-STD 810G, and boasts a 2,500 mAh capacity lithium-ion polymer battery. The polycarbonate and silicone case increases the dimensions of the iPhone to 5.26 inches long, 2.78 inches wide, and 1.02 inches thick -- more than three times as thick as a stock iPhone 4. All models of iPhone 4 and 4S on any carrier are compatible with the case.
$50 unlimited plan may or may not carry over
Boost Mobile will start carrying prepaid iPhones in early September, a TechnoBuffalo source claims. Both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S are expected to be available, but it's unknown if the carrier will apply its $50 unlimited plan to the devices. This not only offers unlimited voice, texting, and data, but also the possibility of a reduction in the monthly bill in $5 increments, down to $35.
Apple takes first step into US prepaid market
Cricket Wireless will start carrying the iPhone on June 22nd, the carrier has announced. The move will make it the first mainland US carrier to offer the iPhone as a prepaid device instead of on contract. An 8GB iPhone 4 will cost $400, while a 16GB iPhone 4S will be $500. A $55 monthly fee will get people "unlimited" voice, texting, and data, though data is throttled after reaching 2.3GB.
OtterBox Armor should protect against water, hard impacts
Accessory maker OtterBox has announced a new case for the iPhone 4 and 4S, the Armor. Unlike most iPhone cases, the Armor is claimed to be not only drop-proof but dust-, water-, and crush-proof. Few other details are being made public, but the case is set to go on sale June 24th.
Oklahoma, Puerto Rico latest additions
Continuing with a string of recent arrivals on US regional carriers, the iPhone has arrived to two news that cover northwest Oklahoma and Puerto Rico, respectively. Open Mobile, the Puerto Rico carrier, may be the first exclusively no-contract carrier in the US to offer iPhones. Oklahoma-based Pioneer Cellular is carrying only the iPhone 4S, while Open Mobile has both the 4 and 4S at various capacities.
FreedomPop 4G iPhone case goes up for pre-order
FreedomPop is now taking pre-orders for its embedded WiMax and LTE iPhone 4/4S case, which first appeared in March. The company is the latest brainchild of Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom and aims to offer users ‘free wireless broadband’ using a freemium service model. Users who put down $99 for a case will get up to 500MB of free data per month in an iPhone accessory that offers users the ability to access 4G speeds, FaceTime video calls, as well as the ability to act as an external battery charger.
RadioShack follows Targets lead, discounts iPhones
Yesterday, RadioShack's Twitter feed carried word of a new discount on the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S. The retailer will, for a limited time, let customers save $50 instantly on the two most recent models of iPhone. The discount follows a similar move by Target. Earlier this week, Target announced it would discount the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S by $50 with a two-year contract.
Each to offer discounted iPhone prices
Three more regional US carriers will begin carrying the iPhone on May 18th, according to separate announcements. These include Kentucky's Bluegrass Cellular, California's Golden State Cellular, and finally Kansas' Nex-Tech Wireless. Following in the footsteps of other regionals, the companies will be offering iPhones at discounted prices; this includes $149, $249, and $349 tiers for the 16, 32, and 64GB iPhone 4S, and a $49 pricetag for the 8GB iPhone 4.
iPhone discounted in Target for a week
Target, which just recently announced it would expand its Apple Store-Within-A-Store (SWAS) program, is now discounting new iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S unite by $50 with a two-year contract, reports 9to5Mac. The new prices in-store offer the iPhone 4 8GB at $50 and the 4S 16GB at $150 with either AT&T or Verizon.