Discount applies to 16GB models only, requires two-year contract
In a move likely designed to compete with T-Mobile's recent discounting of iPhone down payments, US retail giant Walmart will cut its up-front price for the 16GB models of the iPhone 5s and 5c by $72 when purchased with a two-year contract from either AT&T or Verizon. The promotion, which begins Friday December 13, coincides with the launch of Walmart's contract-free iPhone sales with service through Straight Talk or NET10 Wireless.
Buyers prefer iPhone 5s over 5c by 3-to-1 margin, but both doing well
Confirming widely-held beliefs that the iPhone 5s is outselling the iPhone 5c -- but upending the conventional wisdom that the iPhone 5c isn't doing as well as the iPhone 5 did a year ago -- the latest numbers from mobile analytics company MixPanel show a healthy and growing market for both models, though the iPhone 5s is the more popular -- and, roughly three months after introduction, now accounts for 10 percent of all iPhones.
Availability expected December 13
TracFone has announced that it will be offering prepaid iPhone 5s and 5c handsets, sold through the company's Net10 and Straight Talk brands. The iPhone 5c will sell for $549 with 16GB of storage and the standard range of color choices, while the 16GB iPhone 5s fetches $649 in gray, silver or gold.
First-gen iPad mini, iPhone 5c also see surges
iPad Air activations grew some 51 percent over the previous weekend during the course of Black Friday and the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend, according to new Localytics data. The figure is based on the number of new devices that appeared in Localytics tracking for some 20,000 apps. The iPhone 5c and first-generation iPad mini also did well, each growing by 26 percent.
Discounts limited to 10 percent
Some US Apple Stores have quietly begun price matching for the iPad Air and iPhone 5c, sources say. The option arrived earlier this week, although not all stores and regions are participating. Even when a store is willing to match a competitor, the ceiling is a 10 percent discount off Apple's usual sticker price. A 16GB Wi-Fi iPad, for instance, would drop to $449, and a 16GB 5c would dip to $89.
First acknowledgement of deal between Apple and world's largest carrier
A website owned by a subsidiary of China Mobile has begun taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, the first time any site affiliated with China's (and the world's) largest carrier has done so. The move signals a formal deal between Apple and the carrier, which has taken some six years to put together -- and marks the opportunity of a lifetime for Apple to make more serious inroads in China's expanding smartphone market.
Demographic skews older, and with more buyers under median income
"Almost half" of the people who bought the iPhone 5c in September and October were people switching from Android phones, particularly ones by Samsung and LG, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. By comparison, some 80 percent of iPhone 5s purchases were by people upgrading from a previous iPhone. Kantar also notes that over 40 percent of 5c buyers were earning less than $49,000 per year, versus roughly 20 percent for the 5s. 5c buyers also tended to skew older, with an average age of 38 instead of the 5s' 34.
Appalachian Wireless deal valid today only
T-Mobile is planning to cut down payments for the iPhone 5s and 5c to zero on Black Friday, according to a leaked memo. Normally T-Mobile charges $149 for the 5s, and $49 for the 5c. The deal should officially run Friday through Sunday, although a "select number" of stores will reportedly begin discounts on Thursday evening. On Cyber Monday, T-Mobile will adjust down payments to $50 and $10, respectively, before scaling back up to full price.
iBeacon tech will allow for virtual 'signs'
Apple is working on two display initiatives for its retail stores, sources say. The first is the addition of special holiday decorations, in the form of LED snowflakes, which will surround window displays for the iPad Air and iPhone 5c. The decorations are expected to go up in many countries later this week, and stay in place through early January.
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.
May be supported by recent claims of production scaling
Apple's main assembly partner, Foxconn, is halting production of the iPhone 5c at its Zhengzhou factory and shifting the labor towards the iPhone 5s, sources tell Digitimes. While Digitimes has a mixed track record, the claim is consistent with recent reports of cutbacks in 5c production. Foxconn in particular is said to be churning out just 8,000 to 9,000 units a day; the core 5c manufacturer, Pegatron, has allegedly scaled back from 320,000 phones per day in October to just 80,000.
iPhone 5s holds wide lead in popularity
Apple suppliers are cutting back still further on iPhone 5c production, a Chinese report says. Primary assembly partner ProTek -- better known under its parent name, Pegatron -- has slashed production from 320,000 units per day in October to only 80,000. Foxconn is said to be manufacturing units at a minimal level, only 8,000 to 9,000 per day. That company is, however, more focused on the iPhone 5s and other top-priority Apple products.
Supplier posts record revenues, but takes hit on profits
Asian supplier Pegatron is facing some financial trouble, allegedly due to cutbacks on iPhone 5c orders, according to Reuters and the Wall Street Journal. Both news agencies, quoting unnamed sources, say that the 5c has been selling relatively weakly compared to the 5s, supposedly prompting Apple to ask for fewer additional units. Apple has released general iPhone sales figures for the last quarter, but never distinguishes between models in any of its public data.
Most buyers still existing iPhone owners
The number of new iPhone buyers switching from an Android device increased during the launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c, a new Consumer Intelligence Research Partners study claims. The firm interviewed 400 buyers of the new iPhones during the devices' first 30 days, and found that about 20 percent of them were coming over from Android. That compares with only 16 percent for the launch of the iPhone 5 in 2012.
Full discount limited to retail stores
As planned, Sprint-owned Boost Mobile has begun sales of the iPhone 5s and 5c. The prepaid carrier is offering roughly $100 off Apple's pricing if a phone is ordered online. A previously unannounced promotion, however, is that through November 24th, people buying any device in-store will be eligible for an additional $100 off, so long as they're switching from another carrier.
Plan should save time, money for Apple
Apple will soon start offering in-store repairs for the iPhone 5s and 5c, sources say. The people explain that clerks will soon be able to replace several individual parts of the phones, instead of having to simply hand someone a new unit. To deal with the complexity of replacing a touchscreen, Apple Stores will reportedly get special machines needed to calibrate displays. Clerks will also be able to replace parts like volume buttons, vibration motors, speakers, and even the rear camera; only the 5c's button is expected to be replaceable, however, since it's believed that the 5s' Touch ID sensor may be too complicated.
Foxconn, Apple said to be at loggerheads
Apple is planning to add two Taiwanese firms, Wistron and Compal, to its list of manufacturing partners, says the Wall Street Journal. The company currently depends mostly on Foxconn and Pegatron. Wistron is expected to take on iPhone 5c production, whereas Compal will help build the iPad mini. Foxconn will reportedly continue to focus on the iPhone 5s, though it's known to handle a range of Apple products.
Reliance now carrying iPhone 5s and 5c on contract
For the first time ever, iPhone fans in India will be able to buy Apple's phones in a subsidized manner. Reliance Communications, India's third-largest telecom, is now offering the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on contract, according to The Wall Street Journal. The carrier's decision to offer a contract option signals a willingness to try again in an arena that has proved difficult to maintain in India.
Contract-free 5s starts at $550
Prepaid carrier Boost Mobile has revealed prices for its November 8th launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c. 5s models will run $550 for 16GB, $650 for 32GB, and $750 for 64GB. A 16GB 5c will be $450, while 32GB will cost $650. People wanting a cheaper iPhone will be able to opt for a $300 iPhone 4S.
First fully-subsidized iPhone offered in India.
The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c have gone on sale in 12 more countries, following its original launch on September 20th and later expansion to 28 more countries on October 25th. India, one of the new countries to receive the Apple smartphones, will now have its first fully-subsidized iPhone on sale as part of a new contract.
iPhone 5c seeing most traction in US, data suggests
The iPhone 5s represents about 3.8 percent of active iPhones worldwide, according to new tracking data from Localytics. The iPhone 5c holds a share of just 1.7 percent; the most popular model at the moment remains the iPhone 5, sitting at 39.8 percent. The 4S is at 32.9 percent, while the three-year-old iPhone 4 is at 20.2.
Israeli models launching on November 3rd
(Updated with UAE info) Israel's Cellcom, Orange, and Pelephone have announced plans to launch the iPhone 5s and 5c on November 3rd, according to local business publication Globes. The carriers were previously expected to debut the new phones on November 7th. Cellcom will sell a 16GB 5s for NIS 3,700, and a 16GB 5c for NIS 3,000. Pelephone is asking NIS 3,680 and 3,220 for the same models. No Orange prices have been announced; sources say that HOT Mobile is also expected to get the new iPhones, but no dates or prices have been hinted at.
Said to affect outlying virtual keys
The iPhone 5s and 5c show poor touch detection along the edges of their displays, which may be affecting people's typing accuracy, says Finnish testing firm OptoFidelity. Via testing software and a robotic finger, the firm says that it found "extremely bad" accuracy near the edges, such that people trying to hit keys like Q, O, and P on iOS 7's virtual keyboard might have their touches misinterpreted. OptoFidelity only considers a result "accurate" if it's within 1mm of the robotic finger's actual position.
Second round of 24 countries starts October 25, more November 1
Apple's worldwide rollout of the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c continues. With the initial rollout complete and stock levels rising, Apple has shut down the online stores in 24 countries in preparation for commencing sales on the popular devices on October 25. A third round of 16 countries will see the phone release on November 1.
MTS to go through third-party distributors
Russian carriers MTS and VimpelCom will resume selling the iPhone on October 25th, says Reuters. All three major local carriers -- the continuing holdout being Megafon -- stopped direct sales of the iPhone earlier this year, as they chose not renew their contracts with Apple. The Russian government doesn't allow cellphone subsidies, and given the high cost of the iPhone, that put the device out of reach for many people. Apple, meanwhile, was demanding strict sales volumes and marketing budgets.
Prepaid carrier launches alongside US Cellular
Confirming earlier leaks, Boost Mobile has officially announced plans to launch both the iPhone 5s and 5c. The phone will go on sale with the carrier starting November 8th, the same day as US Cellular. Pricing details have yet to be revealed, but the phones will qualify for Boost's "Shrinking Payments" system, which reduces monthly fees for people who regularly pay on-time.
Company may be shifting tax burden to shoppers
Apple has silently raised prices for the iPhone 5s and 5c in France, reports note. 16, 32, and 64GB versions of the 5s previously cost €699, €799, and €899. Now, however, they cost €709, €811, and €911, making even the cheapest 5s worth about $968. French iPhones are sold unlocked, but in the US, an unlocked 5s still starts at just $649.
iPhone 5s, 5c still get high marks
Although the iPhone 5s and 5c are both great phones, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the latest Motorola Droid models -- the Droid Maxx, Droid Ultra, and Droid mini -- are currently better choices, says Consumer Reports. The Droids in particular are said to have superior battery life, and larger displays. CR also points to some software advantages, such as Google Now and Motorola's Active Notifications.
Total webshare traffic for 5, 5c and 5s rises as user base updates
Among iPhones accessing the web, the percentage that are the most recent models -- the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s -- has undergone a "sizable shift" in the past three weeks to over 40 percent, reports app marketing and analytics firm Chitika. Prior to the introduction of the two latest models, the iPhone 5 alone represented just over one in three iPhones accessing the web. The growth suggests that owners of older iPhones are upgrading along with new buyers coming to the platform for the first time.
Report cites executives at suppliers for decrease, increase in manufacturing
Apple is cutting the production of the iPhone 5c after it experienced low demand than the company expected, according to the Wall Street Journal. Echoing similar reports from last week, it is claimed that suppliers Foxconn and Pegatron have been requested by Apple to decrease iPhone 5c production by 20 percent and 30 percent respectively.
Margin shallower than some other data
The iPhone 5s may be outselling the 5c at a ratio of over 2 to 1 in the US, according to a Consumer Intelligence Research Partners survey conducted during the last days of September. During that period, the 5s represented about 64 percent of all iPhone sales, whereas the 5c came in at just 27 percent. The 4S, free on contract, accounted for just 9 percent of iPhone buyers.
Coincides with international iPhone expansion
US prepaid carrier Cricket Wireless will start selling the iPhone 5s and 5c on October 25th, according to an announcement. Little other information is available, but people wanting to pre-register for more news can sign up at Cricket's website. Prices will likely remain consistent with those currently offered for the iPhone 5 and 4S, which are $600 and $500 if bought outright. The phones can also be bought via 24 payments of $25 or $21, respectively.
Launch delayed due to China Mobile TD-LTE build-out
China Mobile will be receiving the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c early next month, if a photograph of a promotional poster is genuine. The launch on the largest Chinese carrier will apparently take place on November 11th, with the iPhone to be made available as one of the first devices to use its 100Mbps TD-LTE mobile network.
Several US retailers now offering discounts
Target is joining the list of US retailers cutting the price of the iPhone 5c. Beginning October 13, the phone will slide from $80 to $50 at the company's stores. People with a REDcard will be eligible for an extra five percent discount.
Less than half of Apple Stores have at least one model in stock
Stocks of the iPhone 5s at US Apple Stores have declined substantially in the past two weeks, says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. The data was compiled using Apple's Personal Pickup availability tracker. "Supply of the iPhone 5S has declined in the US from 27% of total SKU's available two weeks ago to 6% over the past week, based on our checks of 60 Apple stores. Separately, the percent of stores that had at least one SKU declined from 90% two weeks ago to 40% over the past week," Munster writes.
Problems expected to be solved over time
Apps are crashing on the iPhone 5s at twice the rate they are on the iPhone 5 and 5c, according to data from app tracking firm Crittercism. Whereas the 5 and 5c have have a crash rate just under 1 percent, the 5s has been tracked at roughly 2 percent. Crittercism suggests, though, that some issues are natural with new hardware and software, and it's expected that they will eventually be resolved.
Abundance of units causing gray market price drop
Apple is halving production of the iPhone 5c from 300,000 units per day to 150,000, reports say. No reason for the shift has been given. While Apple could simply be ramping down from launch-level production figures, it may also signal that stocks of the phone are overabundant. The latter idea may be supported by changes in the Chinese gray market.
Models for sale to be manufactured locally
Brazil's National Telecommunications Agency -- also known as Anatel -- has granted regulatory approval for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, reports say. The agency states that the iPhones to be sold will be built at Foxconn's Jundiaí factory, near São Paulo. Documents also show that they will run on Brazil's native LTE frequency, 2600MHz; previous iPhones and iPads available in Brazil have only operated in the 700MHz band.
Upcoming promotion could yield iPhone 5c for nothing down
Best Buy retail locations are launching another promotion on the iPhone 5c and 5s. A screenshot of an internal Best Buy document shows that the retailer will allow customers to trade in selected -- and completely functional -- smartphones for a minimum of $100 in credit towards purchase of a new device on a two-year contract between October 13 and 19.
Subsequent rollout phase set for November 1st
The iPhone 5s and 5c will launch in over 28 more countries on October 25th, Apple has announced. Italy, Russia, and Spain have been identified as the main launch regions that day, but the list also includes countries like Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, and Thailand. On November 1st, still another 12-plus countries will be added, including India, Mexico, and Turkey.
The iPhone 5c brings color, customization, iPhone 5s power, features
Although both the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s leaked out well ahead of their September launch, the arrival of two new high-end iPhones caught people by surprise. Many thought that the polycarbonate iPhone 5c would be a lower-end iPhone simply because it is made from plastic. Yet, few it seems, stopped to consider the impact that the actual specifications of the shipping product would have on its positioning in Apple’s iPhone line up. Now that people know the answers to those questions, which iPhone should you buy?
Last Japanese carrier to host iPhone loses 66,800 users in September
Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo lays the blame for a record monthly fall in subscribers with Apple, despite having only recently agreed to carry the iPhone on its network. The carrier claims that the loss of 66,800 subscribers in September was down to the lack of stock for the newly-released iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s.
Discount expires November 2nd
(Updated with Walmart discount) Following in the wake of a similar Best Buy promotion, RadioShack has announced plans of its own to cut $50 off the price of an iPhone 5c. Beginning October 5th and running through November 2nd, retail buyers will be able to get a free $50 gift card, which can be applied immediately to the cost of the device. Prices can be lowered further by trading in an old smartphone in good condition.
5c close behind in some cases
The iPhone 5s was the top-selling smartphone at all four major US carriers during the month of September, according to data from Canaccord Genuity. The iPhone 5c, moreover, came in second place at AT&T and Sprint, taking third at Verizon and T-Mobile. Filling in the top three at each carrier was the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Promotion runs through October 7, retail store pickup only
Retailer Best Buy has announced that it is holding a weekend sale (beginning today) that includes a $50 store gift card with any iPhone 5c purchase, effectively reducing the price of the already-discounted iPhone 5 successor to as little as $49 up front with a two-year carrier contract, or $499 off-contract for the 16GB model. The offer requires in-store pickup or walk-in purchase at the company's retail locations, and the gift card can't be used towards the iPhone 5c purchase.
Sprint-based carrier offers cheaper plans than most, no contracts
As previously reported, the US branch of carrier Virgin Mobile has introduced sales of the iPhone 5s and 5c at its stores, and is selling the off-contract phones for $100 less than Apple's advertised prices. It's not clear how long the company will offer the discount, and stores only have the 16GB model (higher capacities can be ordered through the company's website) and the gold 5s and yellow 5c are both listed as out of stock -- but the pricing makes the company the low-price leader on the hot-selling new iPhones.
Analyst argues Apple aiming for better profits over marketshare
A "bill of materials" breakdown for both versions of the new iPhone show that the 5c is significantly cheaper to build than an iPhone 5, while the 5s is only marginally more expensive than a 5, according to a new report from UBS analyst Ben Rooney. While the BOM cost does not include the massive amounts of money devoted to research & development, OS and software development, assembly, distribution, shipping, marketing, packaging and other costs, the new iPhones are likely to be more profitable overall.
US prepaid carrier to get iPhone for first time
Boost Mobile is preparing to launch the iPhone 5s and 5c on its network, leaked promotional art indicates. The art doesn't suggest when Boost will start selling the phones, but that could happen in the near future, given a series of rollouts at US carriers beginning October 1st. Prices are also missing from the advertising.
BBC adds podcast download options to iPlayer Radio app
The BBC has updated its iPlayer Radio app for iOS and Android, adding the option to download podcasts from the broadcaster. Downloaded shows will appear under the new "My Downloads" part of the app, with the option to force the app to only download podcasts while connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot, in order to avoid potential extra data charges from carriers.
Joins regional carriers
The US branch of Virgin Mobile will start selling the iPhone 5s and 5c on October 1, according to a pair of Twitter posts by the carrier. Prices for the phones have yet to be announced, but will likely be in line with previous Virgin iPhone launches. Despite being a national carrier riding on the Sprint network, the Virgin launch will coincide with a host of regional carrier rollouts.