Court rejects faulty iPhone power button suit

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 30, 2013

A California U.S. District judge derailed a potential class-action lawsuit against Apple and AT&T earlier this week, rejecting a complaint that the two companies conspired against fixing a defect in the popular iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S handsets. Two California consumers had alleged a “wiggly” power button presented a safety hazard which both the tech giant and the carrier kept hidden in order to sell more of the handsets.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess dismissed the argument for a racketeering charge, ruling the safety hazards were “speculative” and occurred beyond the product’s warranty period. The court’s rejection could influence a second similar federal lawsuit still making its way through the legal system… Read More

 

Gazelle locks iPhone trade-in prices through October 15

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 27, 2013

Are you thinking of upgrading to Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C, expected to be announced in early September? One handset trade-in firm is offering customers a guaranteed price on their current iPhones despite the usual drop in value following new product releases.

Gazelle said Monday it will lock-in pricing for iPhone trade-ins through Oct. 15, giving consumers time to wait until the iPhone 5S is announced before sending in their current smartphone… Read More

 

Best Buy offering $200 iPhone trade-in through Sunday

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 15, 2013

The United States consumer electronics retailer Best Buy has launched another noteworthy iPhone trade-in promotion (all over again) which offers a minimum $200 credit in exchange for your iPhone 4S in working condition. Own an iPhone 4 instead? No problem, Best Buy will treat you to a $100 credit.

In both instances your Best Buy Gift Card credit is only good toward the purchase of an iPhone 5 with a two-year carrier agreement with Verizon Wireless, AT&T or Sprint. Now you can get rid off your iPhone 4/4S and get a brand spanking new entry-level 16GB iPhone 5 for zero bucks, normally a $199 value with a two-year contract… Read More

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Ban veto: Obama’s pro-Apple ruling cripples ITC as future patent weapon

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 5, 2013

What’s the likely impact of the weekend decision to veto a proposed ban on sales and imports of Apple’s older iPhones and iPads? Aside from the expected self-congratulations and condemnations, the action by the Obama administration puts in question the value of patents and the ability of rivals to knee-cap their competitors via ITC rulings.

The most immediate impact may be further delays in Apple’s quest to ban imports of Samsung devices. The final ITC ruling is expected Friday on whether Samsung products the iPhone maker says infringes patents should be blocked from the US, according to a Monday report… Read More

 

Obama Administration vetoes ITC’s US sales ban on Apple products

By Cody Lee on Aug 3, 2013

Huge news out of Washington this afternoon, as reports are coming in that President Obama has stepped in and vetoed the ITC’s decision to place a US import ban on a handful of Apple’s older iOS devices. The ban came after the International Trade Commission found some of Apple’s products infringed on 2 Samsung cellular patents.

The ruling was handed down on June 4, and exclusion orders were sent to the White House, giving Obama’s Administration 60 days to veto the ban based on “public policy.” And that 60-day deadline would’ve ended soon, but it looks like the President has heeded to the requests of Verizon, AT&T and others to overturn the ITC’s decision… 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

 

‘UnthreadedJB’ untethered jailbreak released for CDMA iPhone 4 on iOS 5.1

By Cody Lee on Jul 26, 2013

Make sure you read that title very carefully before you get too excited. Yes, there’s a new jailbreak out, and yes, it’s untethered. But odds are, you’re not going to fit its compatibility requirements. It only works for CDMA versions of the iPhone 4, and the app only runs on Linux.

It’s called UnthreadedJB, and it’s developed by a group of people under the same name. To be fair, this is the first untethered jailbreak we’ve seen for iOS 5.1—I believe Absinthe 2.0 was for iOS 5.1.1—so it doesn’t come without acclaim. And several users have confirmed that it works… Read More

 

Verizon asks Obama to prevent upcoming iPhone sales ban

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 25, 2013

In April, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ordered an import ban on the iPhone 3G/3GS/4 after determining Apple had violated Samsung’s 3G cellular technology patent. Apple was hoping the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) would overturn ITC’s decision on the basis that Samsung was asserting a standards-essential patent.

Needles to say, Apple asked ITC to stay an order while the court considered the appeal, arguing the sales ban would “sweep away an entire segment of Apple’s product offerings.” And in an interesting twist earlier this week, the nation’s top carrier Verizon Wireless pressured President Obama to intervene in the Apple v. Samsung case and veto the impending ban… Read More

 

Apple navigates low revenue, tight margin future

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 24, 2013

Tuesday’s announcement by Apple that it sold more devices but with less profit during the June quarter seems to have reset investor expectations about the tech giant. The key to Apple introducing new products going forward now appears to be the ability to sustain Wall Street confidence that CEO Tim Cook can continue steering the ship effectively without the hand of late co-founder Steve Jobs.

Although overall quarterly revenue of $35.4 billion topped the consensus of $35 billion, profit fell 22 percent to $6.9 billion. As a result, Cook tried to reassure investors, announcing Apple was “laser-focused and working hard on some amazing new products” set for the fall and 2014… 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