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.
Foxconn staff still overworked
Apple's biggest supplier, Hon Hai -- better known as Foxconn -- is continuing to break Chinese labor laws, according to a newly-published audit by the Fair Labor Association. The latest evaluation was conducted in January, and did find that Foxconn is complying with 98.3 percent of the 360 points of action the FLA and Apple initially agreed to. 70 out of 76 items that were pending in mid-2012 have been complied with.
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.
Adds 2,100mAh battery
Accessory maker Mophie has launched an iPhone 5 version of the Juice Pack Plus. The new case adds a 2,100mAh battery, which can roughly double the usable life of an iPhone. It in fact holds slightly more power than the Plus for the iPhone 4/4S, which is rated at 2,000mAh.
May hint at upcoming discount
[Updated with Verizon confirmation] Earlier today, Verizon briefly posted a $100 pricetag for the 16GB iPhone 5 on its website this morning, a move the company later confirmed was a genuine offer, but only for select customers. The phone typically sells for $199 with a two-year contract, which was also a stipulation for the $100 cost. Verizon quickly reverted the price back to normal, and in response to inquiries would only say it doesn't discuss rumors.
Promotional $99 down payment rises to $149 for 16GB model
The newest national carrier of the iPhone, T-Mobile, has ended a promotional "introductory price" period for the iPhone 5, raising the down payment from $99 to $149 for the 16GB model -- with similar $50 increases for the 32GB and 64GB models. Though it is still one of the cheapest ways to buy an iPhone 5 rather than buying a no-contract phone or going through a contract with one of the other carriers, the price difference with a T-Mobile plan is now down to about $20 less than buying the iPhone outright.
Does not require jailbreaking, doubles throughput rates
An altered carrier update that has been modified by two hackers successfully increases the bandwidth available for iPhone 5 units on T-Mobile's US network, tests have found. The patch to the carrier update file, which was originally distributed to add LTE signal to the iPhone 5 using T-Mobile's 1900MHz band, works on both unlocked AT&T units as well as "native" T-Mobile iPhone 5 devices without requiring a jailbreak, though instructions vary for customers using jailbroken iPhones.
Focuses on iPhone 5 discount
T-Mobile is planning to push the iPhone 5 heavily in weekend advertising for Mother's Day, according to an internal memo obtained by TmoNews. The effort should specifically focus on the trade-in offer T-Mobile has had since April 12th, in which new or otherwise qualified customers can hand in an iPhone 4 or 4S and negate the cost of buying a 5. The deal applies to both GSM and CDMA trade-ins, but does require that the old hardware have no damage.
Service currently limited to Houston, Orlando, Tampa
AT&T has officially launched Aio Wireless, an awaited MVNO carrier offering cheaper prepaid plans. Aio is offering Basic, Smart, and Pro tiers for phones, all of which including unlimited calling and texting. Basic costs between $35 and $40, and includes 250MB of data. Smart costs $55 per month for 2GB, and the $70 Pro plan ups the data cap to 7GB. Once a cap is exceeded, Aio begins throttling speeds. A special $15 tablet plan provides 250MB of data.
BiteMyApple ships OCDock iMac or Thunderbolt display-mounted iPhone 5 dock
Accessory retailer BiteMyApple.co has commenced shipping the OCDock, a dock for the iPhone 5 that fuses with the “foot” of the iMac and Thunderbolt Display. Designed to eliminate the hassle of wires, the OCDock boasts a cable as thin as a sheet of paper that slides under the aluminum foot of the iMac or Thunderbolt display. The dock is crafted out of brushed aluminum so it looks like an extension of the Apple product, not a separate piece. The dock retails for $80, and is sold exclusively at BiteMyApple.co.
Rollercoaster ride used to demonstrate low-light capabilities
Nokia is continuing to tease its impending launch of the Lumia 928, by comparing its camera against that of the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III. A video on the Nokia website using footage from the three phones claims to show how the 8.7-megapixel PureView camera stands up to those found in competing handsets in low-light conditions.
Carrier may try to compete with Sprint, T-Mobile
Verizon will launch a $100 discount on the iPhone 5 sometime in mid-May, evleaks claims. No other information on the sale is available, such as how long it might last and who will be eligible. The rumor may have some merit, however, as Verizon's competitors have made similar efforts.
Continues trend of targeted iOS updates
In an unexpected move, Apple has released a new version of iOS exclusively for iPhone 5 owners. iOS 6.1.4 upgrades the audio profile for the device's speakerphone, and so far doesn't appear to make any other changes. The update applies to both GSM- and CDMA- equipped iPhones.
Samsung has made significant improvements to the GS4 AMOLED display
DisplayMate has run an in depth analysis on the new Super AMOLED 5-inch 1080p display in the Samsung Galaxy S4 giving its seal of approval. According to the site, the quality of AMOLED displays is starting to “challenge the best performance of the best LCDs.” Compared to the display in the superseded Galaxy S III, the new Galaxy S4 display is said to be better calibrated and brighter.
Some 240,000 units available across carrier's outlets
A number of US T-Mobile stores saw small lineups today for the carrier's launch of the iPhone 5, reports say. The information is confirmed by photos, first-hand accounts, and calls to some locations. In some cases, according to AppleInsider, shops reported having a "full store" for some time after opening. Documents obtained by TmoNews reveal that T-Mobile is limiting orders to one phone per person every 14 days, and that it has over 240,000 launch units to sell.
Upgrade offer from T-Mobile for iPhone 5 launch on carrier
T-Mobile is offering discounts and credits for customers trading up from an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5 through retail stores. The offer, an attempt to encourage upgrades between the iPhone 5's launch on the network on Friday 12th, removes the $99 upfront cost for the iOS device, as well as providing a credit of up to $120 towards monthly bills.
Carrier extends features to pre-April 12th iPhones
T-Mobile has released a software update for iPhone 5 users on its network, ensuring that people with older models can get access to some of the features planned for phones shipping on April 12th. That includes access to AWS LTE, Visual Voicemail, the Commercial Mobile Alert System, and HD Voice call quality.
Choice between monthly installments or full payment
T-Mobile has officially opened up preorders for the iPhone 5. Buyers can choose either to make a down payment and a series of monthly installments, typically $20 per month for two years, or pay in full right away. The cost of paying in full is $580 for a 16GB phone, $680 for 32GB, or $780 for 64GB.
Requires unlocked model
A new hack allows a current-generation AT&T iPhone 5 to operate on the 1700MHz band of T-Mobile's network, reports claim. The method involves a custom carrier file, and demands an unlocked A1428 model of the phone, whether with AT&T or officially unlocked by Apple. Once active the hack only provides access to LTE, and not T-Mobile's HSPA+ network.
Requires different radio, so previous units can't update to it
[Update: AWS iPhone 5 has cleared FCC approval] In light of the rollout of Apple's iPhone on T-Mobile, Apple has announced that it will begin selling a very-slightly modified version of the iPhone 5 starting April 12. The "new" version, which will carry the same model number, is different only in that it adds capability for T-Mobile's LTE network frequencies, known as AWS (Advanced Wireless Services). No other new features have been added, but because the AWS addition requires a hardware change in the cellular radio, current iPhone 5 units cannot be upgraded through software to AWS compatibility.
Only fixed caps will see throttling to 3G
T-Mobile CEO John Legere and other executives have clarified the carrier's policy on data throttling and Wi-Fi Calling in the wake of the company's iPhone announcement. During a Q&A session, they stated that throttling measures will only drop users to 3G speeds if they're on a fixed plan and exceed their data caps. Anyone on an unlimited data plan will be able to continue at full speed, as long as they aren't interfering with other customers.
Takes advantage of IPhone 5's wideband audio
The T-Mobile iPhone 5 will support the carrier's HD Voice technology, according to an announcement. The feature provides clearer voice calls when compared with normal cellphone service. To take advantage of it, though, all parties must be on a T-Mobile device, and connected to the carrier's HSPA, HSPA+, or LTE networks.
iPhone 5, iPad mini boost Apple's ranking
Samsung remained the world leader in "smart connected" devices during 2012, but Apple gained some ground, according to new IDC data. In all the market grew 29.1 percent year-over-year to reach over 1 billion units, and a value of $576.9 billion. Samsung grabbed 21.2 percent of unit shipments, but Apple came in second with 20.3 percent.
Apple refreshes iPhone 5 marketing page following GS4 debut
Apple has updated its iPhone 5 webpage in the wake of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 launch this week. The new page includes a section on ‘Why iPhone’ as well as a new slogan ‘Loving it is easy. That’s why so many people do.’ The new slogan replaces the previous slogan that read ‘The biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone,’ which emphasised Apple's switch to a 4-inch display from 3.5-inches.
The Galaxy S 4 is a technical marvel, but I won't be switching from the iPhone 5
So the Samsung Galaxy S 4 has finally launched with nearly all the major leaks and rumors about the device proving true. There can be no question that Samsung has put everything it could possibly fit into its extra-large ‘Galaxy S IIIS’ as some are referring to it, because it looks much the same as the Galaxy S III. However, as much tech as Samsung has packed into its new flagship, it simply doesn’t tempt me to switch from my iPhone 5.
Win an iSkin Slims case for the iPhone 5
Keeping an iPhone safe from scuffs and scratches, day in and day out, can be tricky, and a lot of protective cases add too much extra bulk to make them practical. One solution is to make a thinner case, and iSkin has done exactly that with the iSkin Slims. MacNN has teamed up with iSkin to give away twelve of the world's thinnest and lightest iPhone 5 case ever made to our readers.
42 key keypad with backlit keys highlight features of case
Mobile accessory manufacturer LinktextNuu has unveiled the MiniKey for iPhone 5, a slide-out Bluetooth keyboard case. The MiniKey for iPhone 5 is based on the previous iPhone 4 model, adopting similar features such as a backlit keyboard, 42-key keypad, slightly raised frame to protect the iPhone 5 screen from scratches, and function keys to facilitate text editing.
Idaho, Colorado should also get coverage
US regional carrier Strata Networks will soon start carrying the iPhone 5, according to its website. The company is currently only promising that the device is "coming soon," and signing people up to be notified when more information is available. Strata is based in Utah, but also has local coverage in Idaho and Colorado, and supports nationwide calling.
Gear4 rolls out new iPhone 5 Lightning connector docks
Gear4 has taken the wraps off its AlarmDock Halo 3 and StreetParty 5, both designed for the iPhone 5 and its proprietary Lightning connector. Gear4 claims that the AlarmDock Halo 3 is the first Lightning-equipped alarm clock radio made for the iPhone 5. Both the AlarmDock Halo 3 and StreetParty 5 portable speaker dock are also Apple ‘Made for iPod, iPhone’ certified.
Integrated buttons, improved battery capacity
Battery-boosting case manufacturer Mophie has used Mobile World Congress to show off its new iPhone 5 case, shortly after putting the Juice Pack Helium on the market. The Mophie Juice Pack Air for iPhone 5 takes the same concept of previous incarnations, but this time it is designed to house the extra size of the iPhone 5, along with a number of slight adjustments.
Apple's handsets three times less problem-prone than competition
A new study by mobile device repair company FixYa examined a key factor in cell phone usage rarely able to be judged by buyers at the time of sale, but one of the most important in ongoing loyalty and value: reliability. From almost three quarters of a million problem reports, Apple's smartphones overall (and the iPhone 5 in particular) were found to be nearly three times more reliable than its nearest competition, Samsung. Google-owned Motorola's phones scored the worst of the four major brands examined.
Unlocked phones otherwise de facto in city
Hong Kong Telecommunications is turning to the legal system in a complaint with the city's telecoms regulator over Apple iPhone locking, according to the Wall Street Journal. Unlocked phones are commonplace in Hong Kong; in fact, the city was one of the first regions in the world to get unlocked iPhones as an option. The iPhone 5, though, is only compatible with two 4G networks in the area, excluding HKT -- which is owned by Hong Kong's biggest telecoms company, PCCW.
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.
New iPhone 5 cases from Lunatik coming soon
Lunatik has placed its new TAKTIK, SEISMIK and FLAK cases for the iPhone 5 up for pre-order. The new cases place an emphasis on shock protection for outdoor users, or users looking for some additional drop protection beyond the average case. The SEISMIK will be familiar to users of the Lunatik TAKTIK case for the iPhone 4.
Only second UK carrier to offer Visual Voicemail
UK carrier EE has turned on Visual Voicemail for iPhone 5 owners. Visual Voicemail allows people to treat voicemail like an email inbox, instead having to call a carrier's number and respond to prompts. With EE, though, the option is only available to iPhone 5 owners subscribed to a 4GEE plan. Data consumed by voicemail doesn't count against any caps.
British retailers recommending Samsung phones over iPhone
Samsung's Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II smartphones may be getting an extra bit of sales push from retail attendants in the United Kingdom. This according to a survey by Informa Telecoms and Media, which found that the two Samsung handsets were the most recommended smartphones among eight of Britain's leading electronics retailers. The two Samsung phones were recommended more often than any other devices, including Apple's iPhone 5, even though much of their competition is newer to the market.
More likely that cuts come from yield improvement, say analysts
[Update: New York Times sets the record straighter] An unverified rumor reprinted in The Wall Street Journal and repeated by other media outlets of Apple cutting orders on the iPhone 5, which briefly sent the stock below $500 is likely misleading, say two leading Wall Street analysts, and at best the result of misinterpretation of supplier reports. Both Maynard Um of Wells Fargo and Mark Moskowitz of JP Morgan believe the reports are little more than "noise" designed to manipulate investors and the market.
Phone allegedly seeing 'weaker-than-expected' demand
Apple is slashing its parts orders for the iPhone 5 due to demand falling lower than expected, say Wall Street Journal sources. For the current quarter Apple has reportedly cut screen orders to about half of what it had originally planned for. The sources note that Apple told suppliers about reduced orders last month; one source elaborates that more than just screens have been affected. Sharp, LG Display, and Japan Display Co. are allegedly the main suppliers for iPhone 5 screen panels.
Sony brings $200 double DIN Bluetooth receiver to CES
Sony's car audio booth at CES had a number of new and not-quite-ready for primetime technologies on display along with a new double DIN head unit, the WX-GT90BT. It is compatible with Sony's App Remote, which lets users control their compatible Android-powered smartphones through the car radio and vice versa through the dedicated app.
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.
Solution provides charging and data through magnetic connector
Battery charging peripheral manufacturer BuQu has announced that pre-orders will commence in the second quarter of 2013 on the new Magnetyze Magnetic Charging System for the iPhone 5. The new Android and iPhone-compatible charging station is newly tailored to suit the iPhone 5's larger form factor and Lightning connector. Existing Magnetyze users will be able purchase just a new case for compatibility with existing docks.
Original version developed for first iPhone
Corning Incorporated today announced that it will highlight the company's newest specialty glass solutions, including Gorilla Glass 3, at CES. The new composition boasts durability enhancements, including three times the scratch resistance of the current generation of glass, found in the iPhone 5 and fourth-generation iPad.
Performance of iPhone 5 panels may be reason for switch
Apple may be planning to switch to "Touch On Display" panels from Innolux for the next-generation iPhone, according to the China Times. The panels are allegedly in testing by Apple, and described as being tough, 0.5mm thick, and offering better sensitivity and optical performance. It's thought, however, that Apple may be switching as much because of problems with the panels used for the iPhone 5.
Features tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams
For its first TV advertisement of the new year, Apple has taken another slight turn in tone for its latest promotional spot. The new ad for the iPhone 5, called "Dream," features Olympic athletes Serena and Venus Williams and showcases the "Do Not Disturb" feature on the iPhone 5 -- perhaps an unusual choice of focus for the company's flagship product, or signalling the beginning of a new series of "feature" oriented ads.
Workers could lose time off in order to meet iPhone, iPad demand
Some Apple suppliers will keep manufacturing through the Chinese New Year to meet the company's demands, Taiwan's United Daily News reports. Hon Hai, better known as Foxconn, is said to be keeping a portion of production lines open to assemble the iPhone 5 and iPad mini. A circuit board supplier, Flexium Interconnect, will reportedly keep its Kunshan plant going through the Chinese New Year, using students it has trained for the work.
Tablet out of stock in many stores
Apple is experiencing "insatiable demand" for the iPad mini in Hong Kong and mainland China, says Topeka Capital Markets' Brian White. The analyst explains that based on checks with stores this week, virtually every model of the Mini appears to be selling out in Hong Kong. Similar sellouts have been taking place at mainland Apple Stores.
Post-trial hearing after VirnetX victory
Apple has been ordered to provide updated sales data in the wake of VirtnetX's November lawsuit victory, the latter has announced. At a post-trial hearing earlier today, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Tyler Division asked Apple to submit data for several products, such as the iPhone 5, even though some of them weren't cited for patent infringement in the trial. The information is needed for VirtnetX request for judgment, and a January 15th deadline has been set.
Blogger for iOS gets iPhone 5, iPad compatibility
Google, on a recent spree of iOS apps and updates, has upgraded its blogging application Blogger to v220.127.116.11, which adds compatibility with the longer screen of the iPhone 5 along with native support for the first three models of iPad. More controls are now available as well, now offering "Save as draft," "Publish" and "Cancel" along with support for Google Analytics usage. In addition, a number of big bugs have been fixed, including the composing screen (which previously had issues with losing entered text under some low-memory conditions). Also fixed where some photo upload errors, a bug with Japanese and Chinese keyboard entry, and occasional application launch failures.
Apple sets new iPhone 5 sales record in China
Apple has announced that it sold over 2 million iPhone 5s in its first weekend of sales in China. It was able to clock up the figure in the first three days after its December 14 launch. Apple managed to achieve the new Chinese iPhone first weekend thanks to a new reservation system that helped to take the chaos out of previous launches.
Lack of lines in stores seen as weaker demand
Moves by Apple to control crowds at Chinese stores (due to concerns of violence and scalpers) and an increase in the number of points of sale, as well as a stronger online and in-store reservation system may be fooling some analysts into thinking that the iPhone 5 is seeing weaker demand than forecast. Analysts from UBS and Jeffries cut their estimates on iPhone sales on Friday, sending the stock plummeting four percent to close at $509.79, a ten-month low. The lack of long line-ups that had been seen with previous iPhone launches may be making investors nervous.