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

 

Apple crowd-sourcing iPhone sales ideas in internal contest

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 16, 2013

It wasn’t long ago Apple was threatening to fire its retail employees over unauthorized use of iOS 7 betas. Now comes word the company seeks “pie in the sky” suggestions from store workers on ways to improve iPhone sales. The request came in a contest distributed last week, with the winning employees getting an eight-week trip to Apple’s Cupertino, California headquarters… Read More

 

Carved improves handmade wooden case line for iPhone

By Jim Gresham on Jul 16, 2013

iPhone cases vary from waterproof to minimal skins and all variations in between. Interestingly, there are several options that combine the beauty of nature, in stark contrast to the cold feel of anodized aluminum and glass. Carved is one of those companies that pours completely customized and natural elements into each case.

Utilizing wood, Carved hand selects each piece of grained material in their Indiana shop. The whole process takes place in their shop, including the CNC machining and even the shipping. If you want your product double checked by hand, Carved may be your new favorite case company, assuming you love wood… Read More

 

ChargeCard now available for the iPhone 5

By Cody Lee on Jul 15, 2013

We’ve been following the ChargeCard story since it debuted as a Kickstarter project last fall. The credit card-sized accessory, which has garnered all kinds of media and consumer attention, fits in your wallet, ensuring you’re never left without a charging cable.

Earlier this year, we went hands on with a pre-production version of the 30-pin model of the ChargeCard, which is perfect for connecting your older iPhone to a USB port for charging. But what if you have an iPhone 5? Never fear, the iPhone 5 model is here… Read More

 

Did an iPhone 5 charger electrocute a Chinese woman?

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 15, 2013

Was a Chinese stewardess, just weeks from her wedding, electrocuted by her iPhone 5 charger? That’s the claim Apple is investigating following a report widely distributed across a Chinese social media site.

Ma Ailun, a 23-year-old China Airlines flight attendant reportedly died after being electrocuted Thursday when she answered a call using her iPhone 5 that was recharging. The message was reposted more than 3,000 times on Weibo, China’s microblogging site… Read More

 

Strap-E iPhone case carries your cash, credit cards and more

By Cody Lee on Jul 14, 2013

I’ve long been in search of a proper wallet-iPhone case combo that would allow me to leave my conventional wallet at home. I’ve tried the BookBook, the HEX and several others, but have yet to find one that met my requirements for form and function.

This new Strap-E case looks interesting though. It’s a slim (only adds 3mm to your iPhone) plastic, slide-on case that has durable, injection molded loops on the back that allow it to carry cash, credit cards and almost anything else you can fit in your pocket… Read More

 

Is iPhone 5 ‘most hated’ or have rivals hijacked Apple’s message?

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 12, 2013

Judging from last week’s online chatter over whether people hate the iPhone 5 or love Samsung’s Galaxy S4, you’d have thought the tech press had returned to high school, where the halls are filled with BFFs and everyone dots their ‘i’ with hearts.

However, there is some actual news coming from that torrent of tweets and Facebook posts.

Apple, long admired for its tight control of information, is great at talking up its brand, but does little to guide the conversation once a product is launched. Hence, the iPhone 5 ‘most hated’ drivel… Read More

 

Saidoka dock cradles iPhone 5 at the perfect angle

By Jim Gresham on Jul 9, 2013

Review fans will be quick to recognize the Bluelounge company name as an accessory manufacturer we tend to frequently cover on iDB. Regularity is due to the creative products Bluelounge designs and produces on a continuing basis. The company is an international design studio that creates relevant and well detailed accessories for Apple products. The creative director, Dominic Symons, believes Bluelounge products should solve a problem, look great, and be well built.

To that end, today, Bluelounge announces the Saidoka desktop iPhone companion that is “docked by your side.” The clever and streamlined design utilizes a minimal footprint and is an officially licensed MFI dock with a Lightning charging pin assembly built into the cradle. Thanks to a friend at the company, I enjoyed playing with the dock before its public release… Read More

 

Apple closes gap with Android in May, thanks to T-Mobile

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 8, 2013

Apple may want to thank its newest U.S. carrier partner, T-Mobile USA, for helping narrow the gap between iOS and Google’s leading Android smartphone software. According to a newly-released market survey, Android had 52 percent of the domestic market in May 2013 while Apple scored 41.9 percent, a 3.5 percent gain over the same end of May period in 2012.

The figures are slightly encouraging to Apple, which held 39 percent of the U.S. smartphone market according to another research firm in June. Remarkable about today’s numbers is how the iPhone accounted for more than half of T-Mobile smartphone sales, enticing a higher-than-average percent of feature phone owners to upgrade to the Apple handset… Read More

 

Keep your Lightning cable handy with Nomad [review and giveaway]

By Jim Gresham on Jul 8, 2013

Running out of the house with an empty iPhone battery can be catastrophic. We have all been there, stuck in the office, out of town, on a long car ride, when the low battery indicator pops up begging for more juice. Despite many 21st century successes, smartphone batteries still weigh us down. Unfortunately, this causes me to keep a Lightning cable near my nightstand, at the iMac, around the office, and in my car.

To prevent such problems, Kero developed the Nomad cable. Cleverly designed as a keychain, Nomad is a 3″, fully Apple certified lifesaver. The seemingly simplistic resolution to an everyday problem prevents charging headaches…

Read More

 

AL13 iPhone case adds elemental style and protection

By Jim Gresham on Jul 7, 2013

Aluminum is ubiquitous with Apple products, and to emphasize that association, case manufacturer “M” released a new iPhone bumper case simply named “AL13.” For the less science savvy folk, Aluminum, abbreviated “AL” is atomic number 13. Now, with a brief periodic table lesson out of the way, what makes this case special in relation to other similar cases?

Most notably, the design is extremely lightweight: a mere 14 grams. A slick looking, lightweight, and stylish aluminum case is not always easy to find. The goal of M’s entrepreneurs Lester Mapp and Jeremy Foster was to create the perfect aluminum case but provide the final product at a price point well below competition. Inside I take a look at their newest creation and determine if their goal is met… Read More

 

iFixit’s video walkthrough details DIY iPhone 5 battery replacement process

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 4, 2013

Teardown experts over at iFixit know a thing or two about repairing consumer electronics and just yesterday they posted a nice video walkthrough explaining the process of replacing your iPhone 5′s battery. So, if your battery died on you and you’re eager to bring life back yourself to the device with a new one, block out your next hour, grab your screwdrivers and prying tools and arm yourself with patience and a steady hand… Read More

 

iOS apparently grabbed nearly 75 percent of mobile ad market in May

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 3, 2013

As we’ve noted in the past, Apple has the unique ability to have products outnumbered by Android, yet excel in areas which count – like advertising. The latest case in point is a study finding nearly 75 percent of mobile ads are served to Apple’s iDevices.

By contrast, Android’s share of the mobile ad market is decreasing with Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphones delivering barely any ad impressions, according to figures released by a mobile ad company… Read More

 

Five cases to protect your iPhone at the beach

By Jim Gresham on Jun 29, 2013

It was a pleasant time, gathered with family on the sandy East coast beach. There was a gentle breeze and a calming 80 degree forecast. Everything was going perfectly until I had the displeasure of dropping my naked iPhone on the beach. What a way to kill your afternoon.

Obviously, when Sebastien asked me to do a beach-friendly iPhone case roundup, I was certainly onboard with the idea. After spending the remainder of the afternoon making homemade ice cream and sucking the sand out of my iPhone’s speakers, ports, and mute switch, I was cautiously excited to have removed all of the visible sand grains from my infected device. Nothing will stop your heart faster than dropping a $600 iPhone into the slushy beach sand, or swimming pool, or your favorite mixed drink, an oncoming wave, or everyone’s favorite place to drop a phone, the toilet.

Inside, I highlight multiple waterproof options to keep your Apple product safe from the elements this summer, and year-round for that matter… Read More

 

Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 beats nine-month-old iPhone 5 in speed and battery life tests

By Ed Sutherland on Jun 28, 2013

Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy S4, won top honors in a series of tests conducted by a UK-based consumer research organization called Which?. The organization found that Samsung’s Galaxy S4 topped Apple’s iPhone 5 and other competitors when it comes to speed, call time and Internet use.

Apple’s nine-month-old handset led in just one test: time required to recharge… Read More

 

Radio Shack to start offering Virgin Mobile iPhone 5 tomorrow

By Cody Lee on Jun 27, 2013

We’ve been hearing for a while now that the iPhone 5, Apple’s flagship handset, was on its way to popular Prepaid carrier Virgin Mobile. Last week a report claimed that the device would launch this Friday, and today comes further confirmation of that.

9to5Mac is reporting that it has learned from a reliable source that retail giant Radio Shack will begin offering Virgin Mobile-flavored iPhone 5 models tomorrow. They’ll come in both black and white, and start at $499  with the trade-in of a compatible device… Read More

 

New hacked AT&T carrier update adds HD Voice and other improvements

By Cody Lee on Jun 27, 2013

Folks with an iPhone on AT&T might be interested to hear that there’s a new hacked carrier update available that promises a number of enhancements. It’s brought to you by the same folks who created similar hacks for SprintVerizon and T-Mobile.

This time around, the developers say that the modded update is good for more than just speed improvements. In addition to signal enhancements and advanced HSDPA support, it also reportedly includes support for HD Voice on the iPhone 4S/5… Read More

 

AT&T rolls out and expands LTE in several markets

By Cody Lee on Jun 26, 2013

In a recent study by PC Mag, AT&T’s LTE network was found to be the fastest among the top 4 carriers. But Verizon was found to be the most reliable. That’s because Big Red has 4G coverage in nearly 200 more markets than AT&T does.

But it’s working hard to change that. This morning, the nation’s second largest wireless provider posted a number of press releases announcing that it has rolled out LTE to new markets, and expanded coverage in several existing markets… Read More

 

IDC: in Europe, smartphones post lowest gains in nearly a decade

By Ed Sutherland on Jun 25, 2013

Things are not looking good for smartphones over in Europe. Although first-quarter smartphone shipments rose twelve percent in Western Europe, the gains were the lowest since 2004, according to research firm IDC Tuesday. The sluggish increase, coupled with a 31 percent decrease in shipments of feature phones, pulled overall mobile phone ships down 4.2 percent annually across Western Europe.

Samsung held on to its overall lead in mobile phone shipments while increasing its lead over Apple in smartphone shipments. Despite a decline in shipments, Apple rose to second place overall in Western Europe, holding on to its No. 2 spot in smartphone shipments, the researcher announced… Read More

 

Apple patents mysterious Nearby icon, believed to be part of iOS 7 AirDrop

By Ed Sutherland on Jun 25, 2013

Among the 35 patents the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple Tuesday was a design for a never before seen icon entitled Nearby. The icon could describe a wireless transfer feature expected in iOS 7, called Airdrop. This latest patent dump also unveils new emoticons for Messages, as well as another design patent for Apple’s Lightning adapter… Read More

 
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