German group breaks through iPhone 5s Touch ID fingerprint authentication, releases video of hack

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Date: Monday, September 23rd, 2013, 11:48
Category: Hack, iPhone, News, security

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It only took three days to hack the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID authentication system.

Per The Mac Observer, the gChaos Computer Club has claimed to have hacked Apple’s newest security feature. The group started by scanning the fingerprint associated with an iPhone at high resolution, and then printing it out for transfer to another material such as latex. Once the material holding the print, complete with ridges and grooves, has finished setting up, the group placed it over someone else’s finger and used it to successfully unlock the iPhone.

The Chaos Computer Club said, “In reality, Apple’s sensor has just a higher resolution compared to the sensors so far. So we only needed to ramp up the resolution of our fake.”

They added that it’s a simple process to lift fingerprints and then convert those into fakes that can be used to bypass security systems. “You leave them everywhere, and it is far too easy to make fake fingers out of lifted prints,” they said.

While the process CCC showed was fairly straight forward, it isn’t exactly a simple process for the average person. It involves successfully collecting a quality fingerprint, scanning it at 2400 DPI or higher, and cleaning up the scanned image and then printing it to an acetate sheet on a laser printer before applying the material that will ultimately hold the fake print.

The group released the following video demonstrating the hack:



Assuming someone steals your iPhone with the intent of hacking around Touch ID it’s actually much easier to simply make you unlock your iPhone instead of duplicating your finger or thumb’s unique patterns. Find My iPhone can also be used to remotely wipe the device and keep anyone from hacking into your personal information.

The bigger problem in this case is that someone else has physical control over your iPhone. When that happens it’s much easier to find ways to hack in — especially since at that point the potential hackers have time on their hands.

Even still, the CCC’s Touch ID demonstration does show that Apple’s Touch ID technology may not be quite as secure as the company implied.

Working around fingerprint security systems is something that people have been doing for years, and Apple doesn’t force iPhone 5s owners to use Touch ID. It’s a convenient alternative to using a four-digit passcode, and is still more difficult to work around.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

iPhone 5s, 5c handsets now available for Apple Store Personal Pickup

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Date: Monday, September 23rd, 2013, 06:06
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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As of now, you can have the new iPhone models set aside at the Apple Store location for later.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Monday extended its popular order-online, pick-up-in-store option to the newly launched iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

The Personal Pickup program, in which customers can choose to order their device online and pick it up at their local Apple store rather than wait for the item to be shipped, has proven popular with consumers. Apple says that in most cases, products ordered for personal pickup can be collected within one hour.

Facing “incredible” demand for the new flagship iPhone 5s and mid-range iPhone 5c, Apple sold more than nine million of the devices in their opening weekend. Shipping times for the handsets from the Apple online store have since slipped to “October,” and the new gold model is reportedly in particularly high demand.

By choosing the Personal Pickup option, customers can cut their wait down to the time it takes to drive to the nearest Apple retail store. Some models can be picked up immediately, with the iPhone 5c showing generally wider availability than the iPhone 5s. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said that the company completely sold out of its launch supply of the new Touch ID-enabled iPhone.

iFixit completes iPhone 5s teardown, finds interesting new changes in current handset

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Date: Friday, September 20th, 2013, 08:14
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

eliphone5s

The gents at iFixit got busy again.

Granted, they were a little behind the Aussie teardown, but they still found some pretty cool stuff within the new iPhone 5s.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, the iFixit teardown revealed the following:

- The confirmation of AuthenTec as the company behind the fingerprint sensor, which was expected since Apple acquired the biometric hardware company last year. The sensor uses a CMOS chip and requires 5 to ten images to create a complete profile of your fingerprint ridges.

- iFixit also noted that the display in the 5s should be familiar to everyone as it is “no bigger, better, or badder than the [iPhone] 5.” In fact, it is the same 326 ppi Retina display assembly.

- iFixit has reported that the teardown is done and has given the iPhone 5s a 6 out of 10 for repairability. It gets a lower score for using pentalobe screws, a battery with a more sticky adhesive and an all-in-one front panel that includes the front glass, digitizer, and LCD.

- Other goodies include the potential identification of the camera module as a Sony component and the sighting of 1GB of RAM.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Gold iPhone 5s sells out via Online Apple Store, other iPhone 5s, 5c models show varying availability

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Date: Friday, September 20th, 2013, 08:02
Category: iPhone, News, retail

eliphone5s

Sometimes you don’t know how popular a product model is going to be.

Per The Mac Observer, the Online Apple Store quickly ran through its gold iPhone 5s inventory for AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint in the first half hour of availability Friday morning. T-Mobile’s contract-free gold iPhone models are still showing shipping estimates of 1-3 days.

This means the gold iPhone 5s is either the most popular model or the model with the least availability.

You might remember that the gold and white model was initially met with disdainful criticism by tech bloggers, who labeled it a terrible mistake and a sure sign of Apple’s downfall when it was leaked.

Within minutes of being available for order online, however, it was the gold one whose shipping estimates slipped the fastest. In 26 minutes, gold models for AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon were all listed as “October.” T-Mobile’s contract-free models were still showing 1-3 days.

Most space gray (the new black) and silver (the new white) models are still showing shipping availability in 1-3 days as of this writing, though the 64GB model on AT&T quickly slipped to 7-10 days.

Apple began taking orders for the iPhone 5s at 12:01 AM PST, and customers can also wait in line at their nearest Apple Store and some third party retailers, with Apple’s retail stores opening at 8:00 AM local across the country.

Carriers have reported having “grotesquely low” inventory of all models, with inventory of anything but space gray being particularly light.

So…if you want the gold iPhone 5s, you’re out of luck for a bit. If you’re comfortable with the other colors, you’re in better shape.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

First iPhone 5s, 5c unboxing videos surface

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Date: Friday, September 20th, 2013, 08:48
Category: iPhone, News, retail

eliphone5s

The iPhone 5c and 5s unboxing videos have surfaced.

Just hours after Apple launched sales of the iPhone 5s and 5c at its brick-and-mortar Apple Stores, videos showing the some of the devices’ first unboxings have been uploaded to YouTube.

Per AppleInsider, Aussie iPhone customer Ben Pasternak offers one of the first looks at the two devices in two separate clips. The first features what seems to be an rare gold version of the iPhone 5s. Availability of the of the new color is thought to be extremely constrained as reports from those waiting in line have said Apple Stores will only be receiving five to ten units per location.

iPhone 5c unboxing:



iPhone 5s unboxing:



Apple is rolling out sales in 11 countries on Friday, opening its doors to customers starting at 8 a.m. local time. Those unwilling to wait in line can order the device via the Online Apple Store, though delivery times in countries such as Australia and the UK started out at 7 to 10 days.

Aussie-based tech shop iExperts performs initial teardown of iPhone 5s, reports findings

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Date: Thursday, September 19th, 2013, 14:56
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

eliphone5s

The Aussies completed an initial teardown of the iPhone 5s and there are some impressive components inside.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog and Australia-based tech shop iExperts, the guys at iExperts were able to remove the standard pentalobe screws holding the handset together, then used a suction cup to remove the screen. The team noticed that there’s a special cable that connects the Touch ID sensor on the iPhone 5s to the charging port assembly — not sure of the reason, but some speculation has indicated that it’s for grounding the sensor when the iPhone is docked and charging.

The batteries on the new devices have higher capacities than the one on the iPhone 5 (5.45 Whr), with the iPhone 5s coming in at 5.92 Whr and the iPhone 5c at 5.73 Whr. Those batteries, according to iExperts, are made by Apple Japan, something they’ve never seen before on iPhone batteries.

The logic boards for the new iPhones are quite compact in comparison to the one in the iPhone 5, and iExperts noted that the 5s and 5c boards share a similar design. The team also marveled at the “incredible functionality for such little circuitry” found in the Touch ID sensor on the 5s (below).

If you’re one of those people with an iPhone 4, iPod touch, iPod nano (sixth generation) or iPhone 5 that had a power switch failure, you’ll be happy to know that the switch assembly has been changed in the new iPhones.

The iExperts team will be posting more information on the chips located on the logic board later, so bookmark the page for additional information as it becomes available.

iPhone 5s, 5c preorder deliveries delayed for customers in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore

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Date: Thursday, September 19th, 2013, 14:37
Category: iPhone, News, retail

eliphone5s

The new iPhone you want might be delayed depending on your location

Per AppleInsider and the Sydney Morning Herald, just after midnight local time, Apple opened sales of their new flagship iPhone 5s and 5c to customers in parts of Asia and Australia, and orders were immediately met with delays of a week or more, pushing deliveries into the next month.

Apple’s new flagship handsets are now available for purchase from the company’s online store in Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. iPhone 5c, which has been available for preorder since Sept. 13, shows shipping lead times of 1 to 3 business days in all three countries.

iPhone 5s, which is said to face severe supply constraints, is shown with lead times of 7 to 10 business days in Australia. Hong Kong and Singapore list shipping dates for the handset simply as “October.”

It’s believed that limited supplies may be due to low yields of the new Touch ID fingerprint sensor, prompting Apple to not offer preorders of its latest flagship handset.

Although Apple has not released preorder numbers for the iPhone 5c — much to investors’ chagrin — a spokeswoman for Australian carrier Vodafone, one of Apple’s launch partners, stated that preorders were “going well as expected.” Analysts believe that Apple could sell as many as 8 million of the new handsets over the coming weekend.

Customers in the new iPhones’ other launch countries — Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Puerto Rico, the U.S. and the U.K. — can purchase the devices at an Apple retail store starting at 8:00 am local time on Friday, and the phones are also available from Apple’s carrier partners.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve experienced this delay via your iPhone 5s or 5c preorder, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases iOS 7.0, 7.0.1 updates for iOS devices

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Date: Wednesday, September 18th, 2013, 13:34
Category: iOS, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, iPod, News, Software

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It’s finally here.

On Wednesday, Apple released iOS 7.0 and iOS 7.0.1 (depending on your iOS device), the long-anticipated new version of its operating system for its iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. The new operating system, which weighs in as a several hundred to a 1.33 gigabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Control Center: Control Center gives you quick access to the controls and apps you always seem to need right this second. Just swipe up from any screen — including the Lock screen — to do things like switch to Airplane mode, turn Wi-Fi on or off, or adjust the brightness of your display. You can even shine a light on things with a new flashlight. Never has one swipe given you so much control.

- Notification Center: Notification Center lets you know about new mail, missed calls, to-dos that need doing, and more. And a new feature called Today gives you a convenient summary of, well, today. One glance at your iPhone and you’ll know if it’s a certain someone’s birthday, if you’ll need an umbrella, or if traffic will slow down your commute. You’ll even get a heads-up on tomorrow. You can access Notification Center from any screen, including the Lock screen. Just swipe down. And get up to speed.

- Multitasking: Multitasking has always been a smart way to switch between apps. Now it’s even smarter. Because iOS 7 learns when you like to use your apps and can update your content before you launch them. So if you tend to check your favorite social app at 9:00 a.m. every day, your feed will be ready and waiting for you. That’s multitasking in iOS 7. It knows what you want to do before you do.

- Camera: Camera in iOS 7 puts all your shooting formats — still, video, panorama, and now square — front and center. With a swipe, you can capture what you want the way you want. Fast. And new filters let you do even more with each image. Give it a retro feel. Dial up the contrast. Or go black and white. Artistic license is all yours.

- Photos: Now there are faster, easier, and more delightful ways to scroll down memory lane. Introducing Years, Collections, and Moments — smart groupings of your photos and videos based on time and place. Tap Years and all your shots fill the screen. Each year holds Collections, like your trip to San Francisco. And in that Collection are distinct Moments — photos from Union Square, videos from AT&T Park. So you can find a shot from whenever, wherever, in no time.

- AirDrop: Sending a photo or a document to someone via text or email is fine. But if that someone is right next to you, a text or an email suddenly feels like too many steps. Enter AirDrop for iOS. It lets you quickly and easily share photos, videos, contacts — and anything else from any app with a Share button. Just tap Share, then select the person you want to share with. AirDrop does the rest using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. No setup required. And transfers are encrypted, so what you share is highly secure.

- Safari: Browsing is bigger, better, and more beautiful with Safari in iOS 7. Buttons and bars — like the unified smart search field — stay hidden until you scroll to reveal them. So you see more content than ever on your screen. And with a swipe, you can go back or forward a page. It’s all designed so nothing gets in your way or slows you down.

- iTunes Radio: iTunes Radio features streaming radio stations you’ll love from day one — from the best selection of music. The more you listen, the more personalized it becomes. And it’s available on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC, and Apple TV for free. It’s radio re-imagined.

- Siri: Siri in iOS 7 gets a new look, a new sound, and new capabilities. It features a redesigned interface that fades into view — on top of whatever’s on your screen. A clearer, more natural-sounding female or male voice makes Siri even easier to understand. It’s faster at answering questions and it checks more sources, such as Bing, Wikipedia, and Twitter. And Siri takes on extra tasks, like returning calls, playing voicemail, controlling iTunes Radio, and more.4

- App Store: Apps Near Me — a new feature of the App Store in iOS 7 — shows you a collection of popular apps relevant to your current location. And the new Kids category lets you browse and buy the best apps for children based on age. iOS 7 also keeps your apps up to date automatically, so you don’t have to bother. Another bonus of automatic updates: no more little red badge begging for your attention.

- Find My iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: Losing your iOS device feels lousy. Thankfully, Find My iPhone can help you get it back. But if it looks like that’s not going to happen, new security features in iOS 7 make it harder for anyone who’s not you to use or sell your device. Now turning off Find My iPhone or erasing your device requires your Apple ID and password. Find My iPhone can also continue to display a custom message, even after your device is erased. And your Apple ID and password are required before anyone can reactivate it. Which means your device is still your device. No matter where it is.

- Bug fixes for iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.

iOS 7.0 and iOS 7.0.1 are available via iTunes or Over-The-Air updating and requires an iPhone 4, 4S, 5, iPad 2, third or fourth-gen iPad, iPod Touch 4th Gen or iPad Mini to install and run.

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

Apple posts press release regarding iPhone 5s, 5c launch day availability

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Date: Tuesday, September 17th, 2013, 08:08
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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Come Friday, you will stand in line for a new iPhone 5s or 5c, gently shove the elderly out of your way and emerge victorious.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Apple sent out a press release today confirming the launch details for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. Though much of the information was announced last week, this latest communication reaffirms the retailers which will be selling the iPhones when they launch this Friday, September 20th.

Besides the Apple Store and Apple’s online storefront, customers can visit their local wireless carriers including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. The iPhone will also be available at Best Buy, RadioShack, Target, Walmart stores and other Apple Authorized Resellers. If you are not sure whether a retailer will be selling phone, you may want to call them in the next few days, so you can plan your Friday shopping trip.

That being said, good luck, don’t push the elderly out of the way on Friday (they often have interesting stories and will share their Werthers Originals candies) and happy hunting!

Chinese wireless carriers to offer subsidies, incentives for iPhone 5s, 5c handsets

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 17th, 2013, 07:39
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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If you’re over in Asia and pondering an iPhone 5s or 5c, there are incentives around the corner.

Per AppleInsider and Fortune, newly-released rate cards from China Unicom and China Telecom reveal that Apple’s newest handsets will hit the street for significantly less than their sticker prices.

As the Chinese market becomes increasingly important for Apple, the company’s carrier partners in the middle kingdom have advertised steep subsidies on the new flagship iPhone 5s and 5c, according to information obtained by ISI and reported by Fortune’s Apple 2.0 blog.

China Unicom and China Telecom, the nation’s second- and third-largest wireless carriers, will each offer multiple plans in which customers can receive an iPhone 5s or 5c for free in exchange for signing a long-term contract. In typical fashion for Chinese handset subsidies, customers will pay the full price of the device up front and receive a prorated portion of the cost back each month in the form of a discount on their wireless bill.

Japanese carriers NTT DoCoMo — Apple’s newest carrier partner in Asia — KDDI and Softbank similarly offer plans that give customers a new iPhone for free when signing a long-term contract.

The subsidies may help to assuage investors’ fears that the lower-cost iPhone 5c is not inexpensive enough for the still-developing Chinese market. The relatively high cost of the new iPhone, coupled with Apple’s lack of transparency about preorder numbers, has caused analysts to downgrade Apple’s stock outlook and triggered a steep decline in shares of the Cupertino company.

If you’re in the Chinese marketplace and have seen similar offers, please let us know in the comments section.