Gartner makes it official: smartphones are outselling dumb phones

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 14, 2013

Smartphones – once the preserve for geeky first adopters – are now the norm. You notice the change on the street, on television and now with such traditional research firms as Gartner. Sales of smartphones in the second quarter reached 51.8 percent, compared to an astounding 21 percent decline in feature phones, or dumb phones as they’re also called, according to the researcher. At the same time, the Asia/Pacific region marked the highest smartphone growth, reaching to 74 percent… Read More

 

Infographic: the iPhone supply and manufacturing chain

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 14, 2013

Because of its size, popularity and visibility, Apple is being increasingly scrutinized for outsourcing gadget assembly to Asian contract manufacturers.

Although Tim Cook has pledged to bring some of the manufacturing jobs back to the United States with the new ‘Made In USA’ Mac Pro, critics still slam the company for sourcing product components from Taiwanese vendors. Per usual, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

For example, while iPhone screens are made by Asian vendors, its cover glass is being manufactured in the US by Gorilla Glass in Kentucky. As for the chips, the engine that drives the iPhone is Apple’s in-house design, fabbed by Samsung in Austin, Texas.

I stumbled upon a very nice infographic that details the source of the many iPhone components, including the speakers, vibration motor, rear earth metals and more, jump past the fold to have a look… Read More

 

Analyst: iPhone 5C may exclude Siri, but will boost margins and attract new sales

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 13, 2013

For some time, Wall Street investors and Apple watchers have stressed the iPhone maker must adjust to more modest profit margins, as well as a worldwide reality where cheap Android smartphones enable competitors to attract price-conscious consumers. Now comes a voice saying Apple could have it all: a cheap handset, fatter margins and a larger international audience.

By attracting the prepaid market, Apple’s much-expected iPhone 5C will do all that by going after a huge pool of prepaid wireless customers that’s four times larger than the current U.S. subscribers. Meanwhile, another analysts believes he knows the cheaper iPhone will exclude some features, such as Siri… Read More

 

T-Mobile ending ‘no money down’ promotion for iPhone 4S,5

By Cody Lee on Aug 9, 2013

If you were planning to pickup an iPhone 4S or 5 on T-Mobile anytime soon, you better act fast. According to a new report, the carrier is ending its popular ‘$0 down’ promotion on the two handsets that it just started in late July.

The deal, which is said to be ending tomorrow for the aforementioned models, allowed new T-Mobile subscribers to purchase an iPhone with no downpayment, and monthly payments of around $25 until the phone was paid for… Read More

 

AT&T cuts Next pricing, iPhone 5 now $27 a month

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 9, 2013

AT&T’s new device upgrade program called Next has managed to enrage rival T-Mobile, which thinks the initiative is just plain “sneaky and underhanded.” The early upgrade program is indeed a bad deal for consumers so the nation’s second-largest telco has tweaked pricing earlier today, making a number of devices more affordable.

This includes Apple’s iPhone 5, which can be now had for $27 per month for the entry-level model with sixteen gigabytes of storage. That’s $5.50 per month cheaper compared to the previous $32.50 per month iPhone 5 pricing under AT&T’s Next.

Sticking it to Verizon, the new $27 per month tier is also a buck per year cheaper versus Verizon’s Edge plan… Read More

 

Cincinnati Bell landing the iPhone 5 on August 16

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 9, 2013

Another regional United States telco is about to land Apple’s iPhone 5 soon.

Cincinnati Bell, the leading wireless carrier in Cincinnati, Ohio, and its nearby suburbs in the U.S. states of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, will start offering the Apple smartphone next Friday, August 16, The Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper has confirmed.

Although the device will be priced a bit higher versus other prepaid carriers, the launch festivities are said to include a nice $100 trade-in promo. I’ve included the full details after the break… Read More

 

Best Buy offering iPhone discounts, double trade-in value this weekend

By Cody Lee on Aug 9, 2013

The only thing better than scoring a cool gadget is scoring a cool gadget at a discount. So of course we just had to pass along this information regarding some hot deals that Best Buy will be running this weekend for smartphones and tablets.

As noted by CNET, starting today, the electronics retailer will be offering double the trade-in value on mobile devices for folks purchasing a smartphone from one of the 3 major carriers. Additionally, it’s also taking $100 off select iPhone models… Read More

 

Your iPhone 4 is actually gaining value, study finds

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 8, 2013

Unlike the auto which loses much of its value the moment you drive off the dealer’s lot, iPhones tend to remain valuable to owners. According to new research, Apple’s handset does better at retaining its value, compared to Android phones. In a related study, trade-in programs are increasingly important to smartphone owners deciding on carriers.

Although the value of Android phones fell by as much as a third in three months, iPhone prices actually go up. The price of an iPhone 4 asked on eBay was 10.3 percent higher than at the start of the three-month period, one Wall Street analyst found… Read More

 

Incipio Atlas review: a waterproof case backed by a warranty

By Jim Gresham on Aug 3, 2013

Last month I featured five cases to protect your iPhone at the beach. Seeing the article, Incipio noticed I selected their ATLAS case as one of the current beach worthy options and sent me one to play with more closely. After receiving the case in the mail a few weeks ago, I have been toting around the water, dust, and shock proof case on my iPhone 5. The case is proving quite useful.

This is the first of Incipio’s attempts to produce a waterproof case. However, even though new to the market, Incipio boasts a water damage warranty with the purchase of ATLAS. The company provides an easy product registration app to help you through the process. This confident move is an impressive customer service guarantee not all competitors are offering.

The fanciful, well-built packaging opens to reveal a solidly constructed case, complete with an installation guide to make sure everything is air tight… Read More

 

CaptCase: a cleverly crafted iPhone folio case and card holder

By Jim Gresham on Aug 2, 2013

I have tested my fair share of folio style or wallet type cases for all iOS devices. Each has its own eccentricities and the CaptCase for iPhone 5 is no different. With a mission to utilize simplicity of design to provide a beautiful and functional product, the company strives to create accessories that “enhance the use of your smartphone, without getting in the way.”

There is one excellent feature of the CaptCase that proves their point. This is the only folio style iPhone case I reviewed with a cutaway in the front panel to allow phone calls. Truly, an excellent feature with functionality at the fore. Many others must agree, as CaptCase easily reached its Kickstarter goal.. Read More

 

Good deal: $40 off Spigen iPhone 5 case and GLAS.t screen protector set

By Cody Lee on Jul 29, 2013

Those of you in the market for a new case and/or screen protector for your iPhone 5, may want to check out this new promotion from Stack Social. The deal site is currently offering a package with a case, and two screen protectors at a steep discount.

The three accessories, which are all made by Spigen, include the popular Slim Armor Case, the GLAS.t SLIM screen protector—which we reviewed back in March, and loved—and the Ultra Crystal screen protector. Keep reading for more details… Read More

 

T-Mobile slashes down payment to zero bucks for all devices

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 26, 2013

T-Mobile USA today announced an awesome summer deal for smartphone buyers: zero dollars down for all devices, including Apple’s iPhone 5. Previously, buying an iPhone 5 from T-Mobile required a down payment of $149.99 plus 24 installments of $21 per month.

With today’s announcement, smartphone buyers get their device free from T-Mobile and pay it off completely via monthly installments. In the case of the iPhone 5, you’ll be paying $27 per month for 24 months so you’re looking at a total cost of ownership of $648 over a two-year period, plus of course monthly wireless service fees.

Samsung’s Galaxy S4, HTC’s One and BlackBerry’s Q10 are available for $25 per month over 24 months. Nokia’s Lumia 925 will set you back $20 per month for 24 months. The limited-time promotion is available starting tomorrow, July 27. Full details are right below… Read More

 

Rumor: Apple to discontinue iPhone 5 alongside budget, 5S launch

By Cody Lee on Jul 24, 2013

A new report out of Korea today claims that Apple is going to be discontinuing production of the iPhone 5 this fall, transferring all of its efforts to its next generation flagship handset, the iPhone 5S, and the long-rumored ‘budget iPhone.’

Citing ‘industry partners’ with knowledge of the situation, ETNews is reporting this afternoon that Apple has asked its supply chain partners to wind down iPhone 5 production. And, according to the report, it plans to halt it altogether this fall… Read More

 

Older iPhones comprise almost half of Apple’s U.S. handset sales

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 22, 2013

Apple’s iPhone 5 accounts for just over half of the company’s smartphone sales, with 48 percent coming from the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, according to new research. That compares to the iPhone 4S which comprised about 75 percent of Apple sales almost a year after launch.

The figures illustrate how a larger portion of Apple’s smartphone revenue is being generated by lower-cost iPhone models, a concern for investors heading into Tuesday’s third-quarter financial report… Read More

 

High-end smartphone market gone, warns analyst

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 22, 2013

Welcome to the commoditization of smartphones, or the Emachining of the iPhone. As the handsets move from only the hands of first-adopters to something even your grandma owns, prices are plummeting. It is to the point where one analyst declares the end of the high-end smartphone gold rush.

The average price of a smartphone has fallen nearly $100 in the past year as consumers dismiss talk of 4G and other technical debates, concentrating on just one question: is it good enough and within reach of their wallet… Read More

 

Bluelounge unlocks portable charging with Kii

By Jim Gresham on Jul 20, 2013

In a recent turn of events, two companies released a keychain Lightning charger. You may remember, last week we ran a giveaway for an extremely similar product. However, if you read through the previous post, there were a few things the competition could do better.

Enter, Kii by Bluelounge. A clever pun, Kii is a keychain charger, which is produced both for Lightning and 30 pin options. This little guy is currently attached to my daily key ring and traveled with me for the past couple weeks. Offering a charge on a moment’s notice, the Kii is the perfect companion not only for travel, but also daily use… Read More

 

Hires closeups indicate plastic iPhone may borrow logic board design from iPhone 5

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 19, 2013

The sheer amount of would-be budget iPhone shells and supposed parts coming out from Asia has gotten out of hand.

Case in point: a small electronics company Techdy just recently posted several photographs that purportedly picture the chassis of Apple’s long rumored less-pricey iPhone.

These shots made rounds on the web until someone exposed them for what they are: a publicity stunt. Indeed, all of a sudden Techdy started selling an Android handset that looks like Apple’s rumored budget iPhone. This is precisely why iDB passes on dozens of tips we receive on a daily basis and instead selectively tells you about the most interesting “leaks”.

Today’s nugget fits that description perfectly. Not only does a new set of photos reveal what appears to be some sort of an iPhone shell next to the iPhone 5, they do so in intricate detail unlike most prior leaks. We have high-resolution closeups just after the break… Read More

 

Could Apple Stores sell more iPhones?

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 17, 2013

Can Apple more than triple the percent of iPhones sold at its retail stores, pumping up sales of its flagship smartphone?

While CEO Tim Cook is pushing the idea, some observers question whether the goal of selling half of all iPhones in Apple Stores is in fact attainable.

The Apple CEO says he’d like in-store sales of iPhones – now at fifteen percent – to match the fifty percent of handsets serviced by Apple Store Geniuses. Currently, around 90 percent of iPhones are purchased either through U.S. carriers or third-party resellers… Read More

 

Photos picture plastic iPhone shell next to iPhone 5

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 17, 2013

With both big mediaChinese blogs and everyone and their mother in between seemingly betting on the arrival of Apple’s polycarbonate-made mid-range handset later this year, small wonder purported spyshots of the device’s casing have been leaking out from Far East.

iOS developer Sonny Dickson, who has previously proven himself a reliable source of information about unreleased Apple products, has been on a roll these days tweeting out a number of purported plastic iPhone images. The newest series of authentic-looking images depict several colorized plastic iPhone shells, including one comparing the current iPhone 5 to the purported less-pricey model… Read More

 

Here’s why Apple dropped the ball in Russia

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 16, 2013

Russia is one of the BRIC countries mentioned alongside Brazil, India and China as areas where demand for smartphones is increasing rapidly. Yet, recently, the last of Russia’s big-three carriers stopped selling the iPhone, leaving it up to resellers and Apple’s new online store to meet demand.

Why are Russian carriers saying no to the iconic handset – and adopting competitors, such as Samsung and Microsoft? The answer could be as simple as 1-2-3… Read More

 
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