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.
High prices of Apple phones a barrier
Apple is planning to launch a special trade-in program in India that would allow people to put non-Apple smartphones toward the cost of an iPhone 5c or 4S, according to local publication Business Today. A specific list of phones will be eligible, including the Nokia Lumia 925; the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10; the HTC Desire 500, Desire 600, One Mini, and One Dual-SIM; the Samsung Galaxy Mega, S4 Mini, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2, and Galaxy Note 3; and finally, the Sony Xperia C, Xperia ZR, Xperia Z, Xperia Z1, and Xperia Ultra. Apple's own iPhone 4 will of course also be an option.
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.
Does iMessage Suck?
This week in the MacNN forums, Clinically Insane member "subego" asks "Does iMessage Suck?" and follows up with some arguments about why it doesn't. Grizzled Veteran "jmiddel" just upgraded to iOS 7, and is wondering if there is a way to make the Dock's background transparent on an iPhone 4S.
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.
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.
Also promises HSPA speed boost for iPhone 4S
An updated hacked carrier profile for AT&T unlocks early access to HD Voice for the iPhone 4S and 5, among other features, says developer iTweakiOS. The update is moreover said to enable faster HSPA speeds on the iPhone 4S, up to 21Mbps down, as well as early access to disaster and Amber alert systems. Troubleshooting efforts deal with unstable HSPA+ connections and iPad users losing signal entirely with a previous update.
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.
Disputed patent acquired from Siemens
A Texas company, Bluebonnet Telecommunications, is suing Apple for patent infringement in relation to call forwarding technology. Specifically Bluebonnet says that the iPhone 4S and 5 violate US Patent No. 5,485,511, a patent that previously belonged to Siemens Rolm Communications but was picked up by Bluebonnet in June 1996. The patent describes a phone communicating with a central switch to generate a list of options, which are then displayed for the phone's user.
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.
Aimed at existing customers eligible for an iPhone 5 upgrade
Hot on the heels of iPhone 5 promotions from T-Mobile and Verizon, AT&T appears to have thrown its hat into the ring with reports that existing, upgrade-eligible customers are being targeted in a new email. The email offers special trade-in pricing for used iPhone 4S models, promising up to $200 in credit towards the cost of an iPhone 5 -- effectively cancelling out the up-front cost of moving up. Appleinsider reports that the email may be only a regional promotion instead of national.
4S still significantly more expensive than in US
Apple has lowered the prices of unlocked models of the iPhone 4 and 4S in Brazil, reports observe. The 8GB iPhone 4 has dropped from R$ 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.
Device relays information to and from the iPhone
Wahoo Fitness, an iPhone-powered fitness vendor for running and cycling enthusiasts, announced the RFLKT iPhone bike computer. Using Bluetooth Smart, Wahoo’s product allows cyclists to transmit cycling data from a carried iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 wirelessly to the handlebar-mounted RFLKT.
No word yet on planned Japanese Maps changes
Apple has released iOS 6.1.1 as an over-the-air update. The download is only for iPhone 4S owners, and is primarily meant to solve problems with 3G access reported in recent days. It should also solve some issues with battery drain and overheating.
Glitch may prevent people from connecting to networks
(Updated with new iOS 6.1.1 rumors) Carriers Vodafone UK and 3 Austria have issued statements elaborating on problems with the iPhone 4S and iOS 6.1. "We’re aware of an issue caused by Apple iPhone 4S handsets that have been upgraded to iOS 6.1 which impacts performance on 3G. Some customers may occasionally experience difficulty in connecting to the network to make or receive calls or texts or to connect to the internet [sic]," Vodafone's notice begins.
Suggests 6.1.1 may solve 3G issues
Carrier Vodafone UK is warning iPhone 4S owners against upgrading to iOS 6.1, accounts say. "If you've not already downloaded iOS 6.1 for your iPhone 4s [sic], please hold off for the next version while Apple fixes 3G performance issues. Thanks," reads a text message being sent out to subscribers. Vodafone hasn't gone into any more detail on performance problems.
Puts video calls on iPhone 4S, supporting iPads
(Updated with Free Press intention to file a Net Neutrality complaint for unlimited data plan omission) Following up on a silent rollout, AT&T has formally announced plans to enable FaceTime calls with any tiered data plan. The carrier previously lifted a policy restricting FaceTime to Mobile Share plans, but still required a device with a tiered plan and LTE, blocking out the iPhone 4S. "We have already begun updating our systems and processes and expect to start rolling the update out to customers on an ongoing basis beginning in the next couple of weeks," reads a blog post by AT&T's senior VP for voice and data, Mark Collins.
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.
iPhone 5 price drops to $127
[Update: the sale iPad is a third-gen model, not fourth-gen] Starting today, Walmart is launching a sale on several Apple products in the US. The retailer is dropping the price of a 16GB, third-generation Wi-Fi iPad down to $399 -- the same price as the iPad 2 -- and beginning Monday, also bundling in a $30 iTunes card. The third-generation iPad was discontinued when the latest model was introduced in October, just eight months after the third-generation's debut.
Retailer cuts $50 off 5, 4S
RadioShack has announced an expansion of its holiday iPhone sale. The retailer is now offering $50 off in-store purchases of both the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S. The cut applies to all carriers and capacities; RadioShack is also supplying $10 email coupons for every $50 spent through December 17th.
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.
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.
People with iPhone 4S or unlimited plans now reporting access
In spite of earlier statements by the carrier, AT&T appears to be extending cellular FaceTime to all compatible devices on its network, note forum posters at MacRumors. It had been announced that while cellular FaceTime would no longer be restricted to Mobile Share plans, the option would still require a tiered data plan and a device with LTE. By definition that would block the iPhone 4S and/or anyone on a grandfathered unlimited plan; anything earlier than the 4S is unsupported because of Apple's own restrictions in iOS 6.
Baltimore, Houston, Washington D.C. get improvements
T-Mobile announced today that it was activating its 4G HSPA+ network in three major metropolitan areas with the goal of improving coverage and getting faster speeds for owners of unlocked iPhones. T-Mobile customers in Washington D.C. and surrounding areas, Baltimore, and Houston will now reportedly see a significant boost on T-Mobile's network. T-Mobile's internal testing reportedly showed a 70 percent download speed boost for the iPhone 4S on T-Mobile's network over AT&T's network.
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.
Unicom allegedly preparing for December iPhone 5 launch
Shops in Hong Kong are still sold out of the iPhone 5, according to Topeka Capital Markets' Brian White. The analyst is currently touring Asia, and says that in Hong Kong all of the stores he visited were out of the new iPhone. "At Apple's retail store, the iPhone 5 can be ordered online and a lottery process determines who is eligible for pickup at the store the next day," he comments in a new investor memo. "Based on our conversations, you might have a better shot at winning the lottery than getting the iPhone 5 the next day."
Apple aware of problems
Some users of the iPhone 4S and third-generation iPad are reporting ongoing wireless connectivity problems after upgrading to iOS 6, according to a thread on Apple's support forums. People may, for instance, find the option to connect to Wi-Fi grayed out. Others may be able to turn Wi-Fi on under Settings, but nevertheless be unable to connect to their LAN. Still another group is experiencing trouble with Bluetooth, which may not be able to detect or pair with devices, simply scanning for them forever.
Vulnerability exposes contacts, photos, but not SMS or email
A vulnerability in WebKit, the engine behind Mobile Safari and other iOS browsers, allowed two Dutch professional security researchers to come up with an exploit that compromised an iPhone 4S and won the pair a $30,000 cash prize at the mobile Pwn2Own contest in Amsterdam. While the finished exploit can be deployed in minutes, finding a vulnerability to use in WebKit and developing the technique took about three weeks of dedicated work, Certified Secure CEO Joost Pol told interviewers. The vulnerability is not yet patched in iOS 6, the team says.
Counters ATT push for more expensive plans
(Updated with news of device support) Sprint and Verizon are repeating earlier statements that unlike AT&T, their subscribers will be able to use FaceTime over cellular without upgrading plans. AT&T is forcing users to move to more expensive shared data plans if they want 3G/4G FaceTime, in spite of similar apps being unrestricted. The difference may be that FaceTime is integrated into iOS, making it more easy to access and thus more likely to consume bandwidth.
Limits for other devices not explained
The Panorama feature announced for the iPhone 5 will also work on other devices, Apple has indicated. The option is also being supported on two other devices, the iPhone 4S and the fifth-generation iPod touch. It's unknown why other camera-equipped devices, such as the iPad, are unsupported despite Panorama being built into iOS 6.
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.
Could represent iPhone 5 units plus 8GB iPhone 4S
The UK branch of T-Mobile is listing four "iPhone X" models in its internal and external databases, notes 9to5Mac. The models are split into four different capacities, scaling up to 64GB. Of special interest though may be the 8GB model, since Apple isn't generally expected to introduce an 8GB iPhone 5.
AT&T, Verizon, Sprint models from $125 to $325
RadioShack announced today that it will be cutting prices on the iPhone 4S by $75. Beginning Sunday, August 26, all AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint iPhone 4S models will be available for the discounted price to new and upgrading customers at RadioShack locations nationwide. The Apple smartphone is also eligible for RadioShack's Trade & Save program, which allows customers to trade in old devices for credit toward new purchases.
Joins rush to clear out phones ahead of September announcement
Walmart has announced that beginning today, it's dropping the price of the 16GB iPhone 4S to $148 at some of its US stores. The cut is $40 off Walmart's normal price, and applies to contract phones for all three national carriers: AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. Walmart hasn't produced a list of the participating stores, and is instead asking shoppers to check with local outlets.
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.
Trying to clear inventory ahead of alleged September event?
The third-largest US iPhone carrier, Sprint, quietly dropped the price of the iPhone 4S by $50 across almost all sizes over the weekend, with the 16GB model now starting at $150 on a two-year contract, though the base 8GB model remains at $100. The 32GB and 64GB models are also $50 off, at $250 and $350 respectively. The company is also waiving its usual activation fee, an indication that it is intent on increasing iPhone sales in the run-up to the rumored September 12 unveiling of the next model.
Uses Siri to navigate taxi ride, day planning
Apple has released another ad for the iPhone 4S and its biggest selling point, the Siri voice assistant. The new commercial stars film director Martin Scorsese driving into downtown New York City for a busy day, and using Siri to help him reorganize his schedule, check on traffic, and identify the whereabouts of a friend. The ad is the first to show Apple's "Find a Friend" app in action, pointing out that Siri can leverage the program in response to a question such as "where's Rick?"
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.
$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.
Microsoft retreats from previous sales claims
In a pair of related developments, Microsoft has retreated from earlier claims that its phone OS was more popular in China than iOS just as new figures for the first quarter of 2011 show that Apple has nearly tripled its sales of iPhones in the country and raised its share from eight to 19 percent, mostly due to the launch of the iPhone 4S, which was launched with two of China's major carriers in January to great demand and some crowd issues.
New ad reveals the meaning of life
Apple has released two new televisions commercials featuring the iPhone 4S, its Siri voice capability and a celebrity in need of company. Like the first two ads in the series, a famous actor (in this case thespian and director John Malkovich) is inside a white house alone, making conversation with Siri. Unlike the previous commercials, Malkovich never leaves his chair, and gets two distinct ads -- one of which reveals the meaning of life.
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.
Trade-in offer expected to begin May 18th
Beginning tomorrow, Sprint is planning to offer "at least" $100 for older iPhones traded in towards an iPhone 4S, a leak claims. A graphic provided by a source identifies the promotion as running through June 30th, and also requiring the activation of a new line of service. What it might take to get more than $100 for an old iPhone has not been mentioned.