T-Mobile to offer iPhone 5 on April 12th, will incorporate $99 upfront payment plan

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Date: Tuesday, March 26th, 2013, 08:33
Category: iPhone, News, retail

The day T-Mobile customers have been waiting for has arrived.

And you’ll be able to snag an iPhone via T-Mobile on April 12th.

Per AppleInsider, customers of T-Mobile, the fourth-largest carrier in the U.S., will get long awaited access to Apple’s iPhone when the iPhone 5 launches on the carrier’s network April 12.

The announcement was made Tuesday by T-Mobile as part of the company’s “Uncarrier” branding, which seeks to differentiate the carrier from competing providers like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint — all of which already carry the iPhone.

In standing out from the others, T-Mobile is offering a 16-gigabyte iPhone 5 for US$99 up front, with 20 additional monthly payments of US$20. With an April 12 sale date in T-Mobile’s retail stores, preorders will begin April 5.

Joining the iPhone 5 will be the remainder of Apple’s current smartphone lineup: the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4. As with other carriers, only the iPhone 5 will be compatible with T-Mobile’s new 4G LTE high-speed data network.

T-Mobile officially announced its new LTE network at Tuesday’s event as well, available in a total of seven U.S. markets: Kansas City, Kan., Houston, Tex., Las Vegas, Nev., Phoenix, Ariz., San Jose, Calif., and Washington, D.C.

T-Mobile’s new data plans include 500 megabytes of high-speed online data and unlimited calls and texts for US$50. For an extra US$10 per month, users get 2.5 gigabytes of high-speed data, while unlimited 4G access runs US$70 per month. In addition, users are simply throttled, not penalized, when they go over their data cap.

Bringing Apple’s iPhone to T-Mobile with full support has been no small task. While the carrier counts some two million iPhone customers among its base — with about 100,000 added per month — T-Mobile’s reliance on the 1700MHz frequency for its 3G HSPA+ network proved an obstacle for T-Mobile with regard to Apple’s bestselling smartphone.

The 1700MHz frequency, branded as “4G” but not “LTE”, is unique to T-Mobile among carriers, and allows iPhone users only very slow 2G connectivity. Given T-Mobile’s relatively small customer base, Apple never moved to support T-Mobile’s standard. Instead, T-Mobile has been working to switch much of its network to 1900MHz in order to allow iPhone connectivity. The company will be repurposing its 1700MHz band for 4G LTE.

T-Mobile last year announced a deal with Apple to begin selling Apple products in 2013. Executives from the carrier said in January of this year that customers could expect Apple products on T-Mobile sooner rather than later, floating the possibility of “three to four months” rather than “six to nine.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple to triple franchise stores in India between now and 2015, official Apple Store locations unlikely

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Date: Tuesday, March 26th, 2013, 07:47
Category: News, retail

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Never doubt the power of economic expansion.

Per the Economic Times, Apple plans to triple the number of Apple-exclusive franchise stores in India from 65 to 200 by 2015, but the country still won’t see any official Apple Stores.

Government regulations mean that branded stores must source 30 percent of their stock from Indian companies, something Apple’s yet unable to do. Thus, the stores will sell via franchisees who operate under their own brands, the stores emulating Apple’s look and feel in the process.

These franchisees, who did not wish to be named, told ET that they have been asked to scale up operations in the country as the Cupertino-based company plans to grow aggressively in the country. In addition to increasing the number of Apple exclusive stores, called Apple Premium Resellers, that are owned and managed by 17 franchisees, the company also plans to expand its presence in multi-brand stores, they said.

Some of these plans are said to have been discussed during last month’s Mumbai visit of Hugeues Asseman, Apple’s vicepresident (sales) for Europe, Middle-East, India, and Africa. Asseman met key trade partners and franchisee owners to take stock of the company’s India business and to outline the company’s expansion plans. Apple’s London-based spokesman, Alan Hely, declined comment on the company’s expansion plans.

Apple will increasingly look to expand sales in developing markets as its traditional markets have reached saturation point.

Apple’s high prices relative to local salaries mean the company has historically struggled to sell significant volumes in India, but the introduction late last year of monthly installment plans along with more focus on marketing and distribution saw Apple’s share of the smartphone market jump from 3.9-percent in Q3 to 15.6-percent in Q4.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

After a decade in beta, Quicksilver 1.0.0 out the door

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Date: Tuesday, March 26th, 2013, 07:56
Category: News, Software

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10 years is a long time to be in beta.

For those of you who know it and love it, Quicksilver, the epic app-launching tool by Patrick Robertson, hit version 1.0.0 today. The new version, a 6.8 megabyte download, offers the following (extensive) list of fixes and changes:

What’s New:
– Preliminary support for retina displays (#1044, #1378).

– Many internal images have been upscaled.

– Icons and images are no longer downscaled in the interface.

– Assign the same trigger to different actions in different applications (#1201).

– Add files and folders to the catalog using the Add To Catalog action (#1276).

– AppleScript Action enhancements – http://qsapp.com/wiki/AppleScript_Actions (#1023, #1048).

– Assign an alternate name to something by creating a synonym (#1325).

– Plugin documentation is now accessible from the plugin’s preferences (#999, #1364).

– Plugin documentation is accessible directly from the list of plugins via a button in the bottom-right (#1364, #1384).

– Trigger type can be specified in the third pane for the Add Trigger action (#1345).

– Clipboard history will omit “transient” data (#1213).

– New localizations for Korean, Catalan, Chinese (Hant, China) and Spanish (Mexico).

Fixed:
– Names and labels for files should be determined faster and more accurately (#1263, #1288).

– Catalog entry names won’t override file names (#730, #1240).

– Docking window controls behave correctly (#1247).

– Recent Commands and the Last Command proxy are working (#722, #1207).

– Fixed the missing default application for the Open With… action (#1360, #1361).

– The Find With action (for web searches) works with Current Selection (#1311).

– Fixed the Add Trigger action (#515, #1345, #1390).

– Prevent changes to the catalog before it finishes loading (#1216).

– Fixed the “Delay” settings for triggers (#583, #914, #1201).

– Fixed the generic “Computer” icon (#1298).

– Avoid redrawing icons for files unnecessarily (#1297).

– Prevent catalog entries from disappearing in the preferences (#893, #1313).

– Prevent lock ups when scanning the catalog on startup (#1339).

– Correctly switch to text mode in the third pane when spacebar behavior is “Jump to Argument Field” (#1357).

– Text items in the third pane no longer show up as empty with details underneath (#1346).

– The count at the bottom of the results list is updated correctly (#1346).

– Only show folders when saving a command to a file (#1357).

– Change “plug-in” to “plugin” in the Setup Assistant (#1357).

– Only show catalog related actions with a single item selected (#1276).

– Internal improvements to the Assign Abbreviation… action (#1374).

– Set a default string ranker to prevent meaningless notifications (#1380).

– Prevent a crash when changing row height immediately after choosing a new interface (#1383).

– Fixed an exception when right-arrowing into applications with iCloud documents (#1396, #1398).

– Changed the process for displaying the Dock icon (#1152, #1414).

– More reliable file type detection (#1427, #1428, #1430).

– Internal optimizations, stability improvements, and fixes (#1335, #1346, #1385, #1390, #1401, #1371, #1403, #1388, #1410).

Changed:
– Simplify Services and set the “Command Window with Selection” trigger to use ⌘⎋ by default (#409, #1295, #1416, #1418).

– The Current Selection proxy object appears quicker (#1295).

– Better auto-detection of URLs in text entry mode (#1312, #1346, #1376).

– If files are omitted from the catalog, they will still be available when browsing the filesystem (#1195, #1322).

– Handlers preferences are grouped with other preferences for the core application (#1182, #1253).

– Disable settings for predefined catalog entries (#1341).

– Improved localization for Advanced Preferences (#1338).

– Release Notes have some style (#1228).

– Updated localizations.

Development:
– Developers don’t need to understand and track the relationship between name and label (#1263).

– Passing options to string rankers is more efficient (#1212).

– Support bundle version requirements for plug-ins (#1261).

– Allow actions to specify whether they want to see proxy objects, or only the resolved object (#1342, #1343).

– Removed some unused code related to Event Triggers (#1300).

– Better logging of exceptions in Debug mode (#1201, 1357).

Quicksilver is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried version 1.0.0 and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Rumor: T-Mobile USA to announce iPhone today

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Date: Tuesday, March 26th, 2013, 07:12
Category: iPhone, Rumor

The T-Mobile/iPhone news you’ve been hankering for could arrive today.

Per CNET, T-Mobile has an event scheduled for later today called “Uncarrier” and is expected to announce its carrying of the iPhone under new no-contract, no-subsidy rules, where a customer pays a small fee upfront and pays a monthly charge on top of the service plan to cover the phone costs.

T-Mobile previously deployed their faster 3G/HSPA data speeds on what’s known as AWS, a range of frequencies different than those of AT&T, and not supported by Apple and the iPhone. T-Mobile has been adding non-AWS HSPA support in many markets over the last couple of years. T-Mobile has also been trailing the other networks when it comes to 4G/LTE data speeds, with support for that only beginning this year.

The iPhone’s popularity means Apple can charge the carriers a premium price for it, making it a potentially lucrative but an immediately expensive proposition for carriers. The original iPhone launched on AT&T in June 2007. The iPhone 4 launched on Verizon in January 2011. The iPhone 4S launched on Sprint in October 2011.

If this rumor pans out, the iPhone 5 will launch on T-Mobile USA sometime in the spring of 2013.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.