Walmart puts iPhone 5c up for $1, iPhone 5s for $79 under contract
Giant retailer Walmart has lowered the cost of the 16GB iPhone 5c to a mere 97 cents as part of what appears to be an early move to clear stock ahead of the arrival of the iPhone 6, or to bring in back-to-school shoppers. The chain has also lowered the price on the 16GB iPhone 5s to $79, cut from $99 previously. Both offers require signing a new two-year contract with either AT&T, Verizon or Sprint (T-Mobile is not included in this promotion).
Carrier likely clearing out stock ahead of next-gen hardware
AT&T has begun a new promotion aimed at people on Next upgrade plans. If a subscriber buys an iPhone 5s or 5c, the carrier is offering $200 off a cellular-equipped iPad. That brings the price of a 16GB cellular Retina Mini down to $329, and an equivalent Air to $429. There are other stipulations as well however, namely that an iPad has to be activated under a two-year wireless agreement on a Mobile Share Value plan or a standalone data plan.
Phones must be examined before replacements are authorized
(Updated with European news) As predicted, Apple Stores have officially begun replacing iPhone 5s screens. Accounts indicate that the procedure can take as little as an hour, and is rolling out across the US, although it may not be available at every location. Previously, if an Apple Store didn't replace a phone outright it would ship the unit out for service, something that could take several days.
Phone's marketing campaign winds down
Over the weekend, Apple began airing a new TV ad (below) for the iPhone 5s, dubbed "Dreams." The spot continues Apple's recent theme of highlighting different real-world uses for its products, although in this case the uses are even more diverse. In one segment, for example, students are shown capturing weather data, while in others a fire department responds to emergency calls, and a veterinarian examines a horse.
Stores receiving 'large quantities' of 5s screens
US and Canadian Apple Stores will finally start conducting iPhone 5s screen replacements on or around August 4th, sources say. Some US stores have been piloting the service for the past several months, but now Apple Stores are reportedly receiving "large quantities" of replacement screens. iPhone 5c screen services began in January.
Car accessory mounts iPhone to air vents
Logitech has announced a pair of new accessories for the iPhone 5 and 5s. The first is the Protection+, a case with a tough external shell and a rubber internal layer to absorb some of the force of impacts. Its edges are deliberately raised to guard the screen. Phones in the case should be able to withstand drops up to 1.8 meters, or roughly 6 feet.
Larger screen size not causing many to defect from Apple, study finds
A new study done by Kantar Worldpanel, covering the big five European markets on the occasion of the Samsung Galaxy S5's first full month of sales, and found that it was unable to surpass Apple's 10-month-old iPhone 5s or even the iPhone 5c in sales. It did, however, come in third place -- with further survey results suggesting that the larger screen size of the S5 has had some modest success in attracting Apple users. In the US, the Galaxy S5 displaced the iPhone 5c to become the second best-selling smartphone in May.
Apple iPhone 5s is the most forward-compatible iPhone ever
If the rumor mill is correct, Apple will launch a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 on September 19, which is less than 100 days away (it may also launch a larger 5.5-inch model at or around the same time). Typically, as the anticipated launch event gets closer of any product, sales of the previous generation model begin to taper. So is it worth hanging on for Apple's next-generation smartphone, or should you jump in and grab an iPhone 5s now anyway? For some people answer to the question is a no-brainer -- wait, and get the next iPhone because it is literally going to be bigger and better. However, there are a few considerations that might still make you want to jump in now and grab and iPhone 5s anyway.
In prelude to next iPhone, retailer to slash prices to $99, $29 respectively
Walmart is planning to again permanently lower prices on the current iPhone models, cutting the cost of an iPhone 5s on contract to $99, a drop from its previously-discounted price of $149. The iPhone 5c will see an even more dramatic drop, down to $29 from $49. At most other outlets, the 5s sells for $199 and the iPhone 5c for $99 with a two-year contract commitment. The permanent new pricing is said to take effect beginning tomorrow, but only for in-store sales rather than Walmart's online store.
All models are 16GB only, limited choice on selection and carriers
Nearly four years after Costco and Apple had a falling out that resulted in the discount chain pulling all Apple products from its warehouse outlets, the discounter is now again selling iPhones and iPads, albeit in a limited fashion for the time being in its US stores. After first bringing back iTunes gift cards to the stores, the Costco Mobile online store is now carrying 16GB models of the iPhone 5s and 5c, as well as the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, with discounts as high as $121 off retail.
Claims milspec-level damage protection
Casemaker OtterBox has announced Resurgence, a new line of battery cases, initially designed for the iPhone 5 and 5s. Each case is rated at 2,000mAh, and will automatically stop charging an iPhone once the device hits full power. OtterBox also promises that users can still do wired sync with a Resurgence equipped, and use an included headphone jack extender to hold headphone cords.
Trial of cellular network gives users a week with 'latest, greatest' smartphone
Proclaiming "the way we buy wireless in this country is patently absurd," T-Mobile CEO John Legere on Thursday announced a promotion called "Test Drive," where prospective customers get a free week's use of the network -- on a new iPhone 5s, also provided by the company -- to see how they like it, with no cost or obligation. Twenty-four hours later, Legere reported that over 12,000 new users have already signed up for the program, which begins on Monday.
Video features authentic pre-game prep rituals by star soccer athletes, company says
The first promotional ad for Beats' headphone division, Beats by Dre, since Apple's deal for the firm has been released -- and heavily features the iPhone 5s throughout the five-minute video. Unlike previous commercials, however, the iPhone is seen to be the only smartphone used by the athletes. The ad, titled "The Game Before the Game," focuses on World Cup stars such as Neymar da Silva Santos Junior and features what the company says are genuine pre-match rituals.
Companion app identifies compatible games, remaps buttons
Gaming peripheral maker Razer has announced the Junglecat, a combination case and gamepad for the iPhone 5 and 5s. Unlike some alternatives, the controller is designed to be small and thin enough to fit in a pocket. To that end only the bumper buttons are always exposed; a D-pad and four pressure-sensitive face buttons slide out from behind the case. Native iPhone ports and buttons remain accessible at all times.
iPhones free with trade-ins
Today through June 9th, the US branch of RadioShack is running a special in-store discount on Apple's iPhone 5s and 5c, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S5. 5s buyers can get a 16GB model on AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint for free if they bring in a working iPhone 4S, or simply pay $80 -- in either case, a new or upgraded two-year contract is required. The rules are similar with the 5c, except that a broader range of phones can be traded in, and the cash option is only $30.
Apple's Schiller says commercial was put together inside one of the cars used
A "short documentary" on the Bentley Mulsanne, running about four and a half minutes, has appeared on the luxury automaker's website, promoted through a tweet by Apple SVP Phil Schiller. The video, which the company says was put together inside one of the vehicles, was shot on an iPhone 5s and edited using an iPad Air. Titled "Intelligent Details," the video showcases this year's new model, interviews Bentley design executives and shows how the video was created.
Samsung Galaxy S5 keeps 5s sales from going higher
Surveys conducted by Canaccord Genuity indicate the iPhone 5s "remained a top selling smartphone at all tier-1 US carriers and at a number of global channels," according to an analyst with the firm, Michael Walkley. The data has led Walkley to increase his price target for Apple stock from $610 to $660. He does note, though, that 5s sales were "softer"in April than they were in the March quarter, as the launch of the Galaxy S5 allowed Samsung to snag a good portion of the international high-end smartphone market. "In fact, the Galaxy S5 was the #1 selling smartphone at all four tier-1 US carriers," he remarks.
HTC One versus Apple iPhone 5s
We recently reviewed the HTC One (M8) and were left in no doubt that HTC has delivered the most cohesive Android smartphone experience yet. There is a symmetry to its physical design and its Sense 6 Android-based software that makes it the most Apple-like smartphone experience that marks it as a standout package. Yet, there is nothing especially derivative about it. HTC has done something that few, if any consumer electronics companies done, which is to truly capture the essence of Apple's hardware design and software aesthetic without simply trying to rip off Cupertino. The iPhone 5s, on the other hand, stands as testament to Apple's legendary hardware and software design symmetry. It has taken this cohesion to new levels with its SVP of design Jony Ive leading both hardware and software efforts for the first time. How do the two devices compare in a head-to-head shoot out?
Fraction of planned furnaces reportedly online
The Arizona sapphire plant operated by Apple and GT Advanced Technologies started production last month in a 100-furnace trial, claims UBS analyst Stephen Chin. The material was allegedly shipped to one of Apple's manufacturing partners in China. From there, it's believed to have gone into the Touch ID sensors and camera lens covers for the iPhone 5s, which already use sapphire from other suppliers.
Spot features Pixies' song, array of apps and users
A new Apple ad premiered tonight on Disney-owned ABC, called "Powerful." The 90-second spot (now available on Apple's YouTube channel) is the first this year to spotlight the iPhone 5s rather than the iPhone 5c, and features a band performing the Pixies song "Gigantic" while an array of apps -- beginning with musically-oriented ones, then branching off in other directions -- is shown. Like most recent Apple ads, the focus is on enabling people to do interesting things using their iPhones.
Minor maintenance update
As anticipated, Apple has released iOS 7.1.1 via iTunes and iOS' over-the-air update mechanism. The code is simply a maintenance release, primarily fixing keyboard responsiveness, as well as glitches when using Bluetooth keyboards while VoiceOver is on. For iPhone 5s owners, the patch improves Touch ID fingerprint recognition.
Shack cuts up-front cost in half, iPhone 5s drops to free when trading in an iPhone 4S
Although there have been a number of good deals in recent months on both the iPhone 5c and 5s, a new deal kicking off tomorrow from RadioShack may be the one iPhone 4S holdouts have been waiting for. Starting April 18, new or upgrading customers using AT&T, Verizon or Sprint can buy the 16GB version of the iPhone 5s for $99, half of its usual $199 up-front cost. The deal, which is available both online and in stores, gets sweeter if users trade in a working iPhone 4S or newer.
RunKeeper's step tracking app utilizes Apple's M7 chip in iPhone 5s
RunKeeper has launched a new, passive step tracking app today, entitled Breeze. By constantly tracking motion with the M7 chip found within the iPhone 5s, Breeze offers its users a personal coaching feature, in the form of push notifications and updates regarding one's activity levels. The following day, Breeze details a summary of the previous day's activities and stats. Users can share their completed goals, high activity level days, and a general activity profile with friends on Facebook, Twitter, RunKeeper and elsewhere. Free to download, Breeze requires iOS 7.0 or later and an iPhone 5s for full feature compatibility.
Vendors looking forward to big-screen iPhones
Carriers and other vendors in China are seeing relatively weak demand for the iPhone 5s, suggests Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White. White is currently touring the country and speaking with various parties. Instead demand is said to be rising for various local smartphone brands, like Xiaomi. Vendors are, however, said to be expressing "great enthusiasm around the potential for Apple to introduce a larger iPhone form factor in China this year with the iPhone 6."
Revamped HTC One M8 knocks Galaxy S4 from second at Verizon
The iPhone -- specifically, the iPhone 5s -- has been the top seller at all four major US carriers since its introduction, a trend that continued in March according to figures compiled by Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley. The year-old Samsung Galaxy S4 took second place among three of the four carriers, though it was knocked out of second at Verizon by the new HTC One M8. The S4 took third at Verizon, with the company's Note 3 phablet taking third at AT&T and Sprint, while the LG G2 took third at T-Mobile.
Touch ID more reliable, but S5 swipe reader able to be used with more merchants
A new video posted to YouTube offers a head-to-head demonstration of the iPhone 5s' "Touch ID" fingerprint-recognition technology and the "swipe-style" fingerprint reader found in Samsung's Galaxy S5, its just-released latest flagship smartphone. Over the course of five minutes, the poster of the video makes clear that Touch ID, first introduced late last year, continues to offer a better overall experience. The clip covers the technical aspects of both companies' approaches.
Units are still locked to Virgin Mobile, cannot be legally unlocked
Sprint subsidiary Virgin Mobile, which sells CDMA iPhone models without an obligation to a monthly contract, is running a sale on both the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, with the 16GB 5c starting at $315, with the 32GB at $385. The iPhone 5s is available for $385 (16GB), $455 (32GB) or $525 (64GB). There is a catch to the offer: the iPhones are all locked to Virgin Mobile, and the carrier doesn't unlock the phones. Under current US law, it is illegal to unlock a carrier-locked smartphone without the company's blessing.
Available for all iOS 7-compatible devices
After a lengthy development and testing period, Apple has released the finished version of iOS 7.1 to the public. The code makes a number of improvements to iOS 7, for instance enabling CarPlay support in yet-to-be-launched vehicles. Siri will now let users hold down the Home button to decide how long a device should listen, instead of having to wait for the system to decide no one is talking. More naturalistic voices have been supplied for Japanese, British and Australian English, and Mandarin Chinese.
Report confirms speculation that 5s outselling 5c by 3:1
A new report from mobile ad analysis firm Mixpanel has reinforced some speculation about the iPhone 5s, even as it has dispelled other rumors about the iPhone 5c. In its latest report, the company says that the iPhone 5s is set to top the popular iPhone 4s in user share, with the newer model currently accounting for about 19 percent of all active iPhones.
Retailer ups smartphone trade-in credit by $50 for new iPhone buyers
Beginning on Sunday, the US branch of Target will run another trade-in promotion for iPad 2 owners. People who bring in a used iPad 2 will be awarded a gift card worth at least $150. Although that credit can only be used at Target, the company is also offering an extra $30 card if a person buys a new iPad. $150 is generally higher than most specialized third-party trade-in services offer. The promotion ends March 15th.
Will reportedly solve 'fade' glitch
Apple is at work on a software update that will fix a "fade" glitch with the iPhone 5s' Touch ID sensor, a source says. The company has reportedly been working with the original AuthenTec team -- which was absorbed into Apple in 2012 -- to smooth out iOS' recognition software. The problem is that while Touch ID appears to be extremely reliable for the first few months after setup, some users have subsequently encountered intermittent failures.
September event becomes ad-like promo for iPhone 5s camera
Apple has edited down footage shot with multiple pre-release iPhone 5s units during a Burberry fashion show last September into a 30-second TV ad-style video, currently seen on the iPhone's spotlight page. Like the recent "01.24.14" ad, the promo and fashion show were shot in HD entirely using the iPhone 5s as a showcase of how high-quality the camera is. The shortened spot may end up appearing on television as a genuine ad to promote the iPhone 5s.
Fixes problems with Chinese cellular networks
Apple is now seeding a rare iPhone-only iOS update, v7.0.5. The release is intended exclusively for the iPhone 5s and 5c, and deals with unspecified "network provisioning" problems on some Chinese models. For people who already have iOS 7.0.4 installed, the download is just 35.4MB when fetched via Software Update.
Ten customers win iPhones signed by Apple CEO, China Mobile Chair
Apple's iPhones have formally arrived on China Mobile, the world's largest carrier and China's largest provider. The iPhone went on sale Friday morning in Beijing and other locations, with stores fulfilling long-awaited pre-orders of the iPhone (the 5s in particular) that have been gathered since mid-December. Foxconn is said to have delivered approximately 1.4 million iPhone 5s units to China Mobile recently, possibly an indication of strong pre-orders.
Skype's iOS apps receive two-way HD calling, improved chat sync
Social messaging platform Skype has updated its iPhone and iPad apps with the release of Version 4.17 launched today. Users can message, voice or video call friends and family who are also on the service for free with Skype's service. Version 4.17 has added two-way HD video calls, supported on the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display.
China Mobile adds 3,000 outlets for iPhone 5s, 5c sales in China
Apple CEO Tim Cook is said to be "incredibly optimistic" over the multi-year agreement the company made with China Mobile last month. Ahead of the impending launch of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on the mobile phone network on January 17th, Cook hinted that there could be more collaboration between the carrier and Apple in the future.
Second case still ongoing
VirnetX is seeking to add Apple's most recent slate of products to a lawsuit against FaceTime devices, according to an announcement. The patent holding firm says it has submitted a petition to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, one which would add the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPad Air, Retina iPad mini, fifth-generation iPod touch, and the latest Mac notebooks and desktops to the list. VirnetX has accused Apple's FaceTime of violating a patent for peer-to-peer VPN technology.
Apple, China Mobile may be anticipating high demand
China Mobile has taken in a shipment of approximately 1.4 million iPhone 5s units from Foxconn, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. Mobile is set to launch its own iPhone sales on Friday, after years of losing sales to China Unicom and China Telecom. One Journal source comments that shipping over a million units to a single carrier in a month is "substantial," but at the same time notes that he/she has no information about demand beyond this month. Allegedly, Apple hasn't notified Foxconn about its goal for the next shipment.
New Year's promotion offers lowest price for entry-level 5s
Best Buy, which began offering the 16GB iPhone 5c for free with a contract at its stores and website on December 29, has now upped the ante on the promotion with a discount on the 16GB model of the more advanced iPhone 5s, which is down to $125 (originally $200) through all major carriers until Sunday, January 5. The offer is available now online, with the in-store price dropping on Friday. Also ending Saturday is a $100 off promotion on all non-Retina MacBook Pros.
FitBit update features MobileTrack activity tracking for iPhone 5s
FitBit has announced an update to its iOS fitness app, released today in the App Store. FitBit allows users to monitor their exercise activity with their iPhone, track their stats and set fitness goals. Version 2.1 of FitBit features MobileTrack, which utilizes the M7 coprocessor in the iPhone 5s to track basic activity as it occurs.
Munster sees China Mobile deal bumping AAPL by five percent
Apple's new deal with China Mobile could net the iPhone maker an additional 17 in unit sales over the course of 2014, according to a new analysis. This according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who believes that the finalization of the China Mobile deal will prove quite lucrative for the Cupertino tech giant. Despite the potential sales jump that is now possible due to the iPhone being available on the world's largest wireless carrier, Piper Jaffray is taking the conservative approach and not altering its price targets for the company until Apple reports new sales figures.
iPhone to launch on world's largest carrier on January 17
Apple and China Mobile on Sunday announced the completion of a multi-year agreement to bring the iPhone to that carrier, the largest in the world. The deal will see Apple's bestselling iPhones sold in China Mobile's retail stores, as well as China Mobile-compatible iPhones in Apple retail stores across mainland China. The announcement marks the completion of a months-long process that has been marked by continual rumors and apparent delays, even as the last month seemed to confirm the iPhone's arrival, with the carrier opening reservations for the devices in early December.
iPhone 5s bests all previous iPhones in running iOS 7
A new comparison video that hit the Internet last week shows off the degree to which the iPhone 5s is faster than its predecessors. TheUnlockr took each of the iPhones that is capable of running iOS 7 and put them against each other in a speed test. Apple's newest smartphone, the most powerful to date with a 64-bit processor of course bested all of the previous models. The video, though, demonstrates the progress Apple has made with its handhelds, as the difference in speed between the older devices and the newer models is more than apparent.
Target iOS sale runs Dec. 22 to Dec. 24
Target on Friday revealed a number of discounts on Apple products that will see the retailer offering the iPhone 5c for $30 and the iPhone 5s for $180. The new discounts come as Target is winding down a similar promotion that had the 5c available for $50. The sale will begin on Sunday, December 22, and it will run through Tuesday, December 24.
Completes holiday theming throughout site
Apple has posted its holiday-themed new commercial, "Misunderstood," to the front page of its website, replacing the tribute to Nelson Mandela that had graced its landing page. The site shows off both the TV ad and the original "Harris Family Holiday" video which the company has since verified was shot entirely on an iPhone 5s. Apple has received nearly universal acclaim for the touching holiday ad, and the change completes the company's site-wide redecoration for the holiday season.
iPhone 5s, 5c rank high in Google's Zeitgeist
Apple's iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c were among the most searched-for gadgets of 2013, according to Google Zeitgeist. The search giant's annual publication of the hottest search terms of the year saw Apple's new high end iPhone battling with Samsung's Galaxy S4 for supremacy in smartphone searches, but the iPhone 5c – essentially a repackaged iPhone 5 – also ranked high on Google's Zeitgeist list, indicating that consumers were interested to see just what Apple would come out with for what was initially thought to be a "low-cost iPhone."
Based on actual home video shot on iPhone 5s
Apple has debuted a 90-second holiday TV ad for its iPhone 5s, called "Misunderstood," that is based on a family holiday home video shot on an iPhone 5s. While the company didn't say if the original home video was actually created within the family, the commercial version introduces a backstory of a teenage member of the "Harris family" who makes a thoughtful Christmas present by creating a movie on his iPhone.
Shenzhen store given over to iPhone banners, phones, accessories
While again not a confirmation of a formal agreement between China Mobile and Apple, one of the carrier's resellers or retail outlets is already aggressively promoting the forthcoming LTE network and pushing the latest iPhone models as being compatible with it. An American blogger in China going by the name "PRC and Me" spotted and photographed the store in Shenzhen's Futian district, featuring advertising material, accessories and on-display iPhones.
Current and projected future sales paint rosy picture for Apple
Surging on the strength of its new models, Apple's premium iPhone 5s and mid-range iPhone 5c continued to dominate sales with all the major US wireless carriers, with only Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 positioned as a challenger. US sales data also showed an unsurprising dominance by the iPad in tablet sales, with a new study suggesting that 72 percent of future tablet buyers plan on getting an iPad.
Chance to pre-order new iPhones on China Mobile may be just hours away
An official China Mobile page which lets Beijing-based users make reservations for its new "4G" LTE service features a graphic of the iPhone 5s and (on a different page) a jewel-encrusted golden apple -- which both confirms that the world's largest cellular carrier will be including the iPhone at long last, and hints that pre-orders for it could begin as early as late Thursday. China Mobile is the last of China's major cellular providers to carry the iPhone, the result of nearly six years of negotiations.