Apple confirms manufacturing issue that could shorten battery life in some iPhone 5s units

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 30th, 2013, 10:58
Category: battery, Hardware, iPhone

eliphone5s

If your iPhone 5s’ battery seems a bit wonky, there’s a valid reason for it.

Per 9to5Mac and The New York Times, Apple has confirmed that a “very limited” number of iPhone 5s units could experience shortened battery life as the result of a manufacturing problem.

“We recently discovered a manufacturing issue affecting a very limited number of iPhone 5S devices that could cause the battery to take longer to charge or result in reduced battery life,” said Teresa Brewer, an Apple spokeswoman. “We are reaching out to customers with affected phones and will provide them with a replacement phone.”

The exact number of affected units is not clear, but the statement is said to imply that the number is in the few thousands range. Apple sold 9 million iPhones total over its opening weekend. The article notes that a manufacturing problem does not equal a defective battery, so it is unclear what the actual source of the issue is.

Affected users can expect to be contacted by Apple soon and will be issued a replacement phone.

If you’ve seen this issue on your end, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases Q4 2013 numbers, shows $7.5 billion profit, but relatively flat year-over-year sales

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 29th, 2013, 02:06
Category: Finance, News

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A US$7.5 billion quarter is nothing to sneeze at, but the sales were a bit flat compared to a year ago.

Per Macworld, Apple wrapped up its 2013 fiscal year Monday with a US$7.5 billion profit on US$37.5 billion in revenue, reporting accelerating growth buttressed by strong iPhone sales and growth in the Chinese market. Compared to the same quarter a year ago, iPhone sales were up, iPad sales were flat, and Mac sales were down.

Apple announced that its revenues in its fiscal fourth quarter (ending September 28) were up four percent compared to the same quarter in 2012. That was good enough to once again beat most analyst estimates. But year-over-year profits fell eight percent.

The iPhone continued to be the prime mover in Apple’s fiscal world. The company said it sold 33.8 million iPhones—a record for the September quarter—compared to 26.9 million in that quarter last year. iPad unit sales were relatively flat at 14.1 million, up 100,000 from the year-ago quarter. And once again, Mac unit sales were down year-over-year, from 4.9 million in last year’s fourth quarter to 4.6 million this year. (Mac unit sales were lower every quarter this year compared to the same quarter the year before.) In fact, revenues from all Apple product lines except for the iPhone and for iTunes, software, and services were down year-over-year.

The good quarterly sales for the iPhone were no doubt goosed by the introduction of the iPhone 5s and 5c, which famously sold nine million units all by themselves in their debut weekend. The new iPhones were on sale for the last nine days of the quarter. Overall, iPhone unit sales were up eight percent over the previous sequential quarter, and up 26 percent over the year-ago quarter.

For the overall fiscal year 2013, iPhone net sales rose 13 percent (from US$80.4 billion to US$91.3 billion). At the same time, iPhone unit sales climbed 20 percent (125 million to 150 million). Overall, iPhone contributed 53 percent of Apple’s revenues, up 51 percent in 2012 and 43 percent in 2011; iPhones contributed more than half of all Apple revenues in every quarter of 2013.

iPad sales for the year were a mixed bag: While unit sales were up robustly (climbing 21 percent, from 58.3 million tablets to 71 million), net sales rose more anemically, from US$30.9 billion to just under US$32 billion. That revenue reduction can likely be chalked up to the introduction of the lower-cost iPad mini last fall. (With the introduction of the new-model iPad Air and iPad mini, due to ship in November, Apple’s next quarter will likely be quite impressive on the iPad front.)

Mac sales actually declined for the fiscal year as a whole. Unit sales dropped 10 percent in 2013 compared to the 2012 fiscal year (from 18.1 million to 16.3 million); net sales fell 8 percent (from US$23.2 billion to US$21.4 billion). Remember that there were actually very few Mac product introductions in 2013, beyond some tweaks to the MacBook Air line. Yet, as Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer pointed out in the conference-call with analysts that accompanied the release of the results, the Mac has increased its share of the PC market in 29 of the past 30 quarters. In a rapidly shrinking market, a slow loss can look like growth.

The iPod is still selling, but in such relatively insignificant quantities that it doesn’t even merit a mention in Apple’s earnings call. That could be because it’s contributing just 3 percent of Apple’s overall revenues these days.

Much of Apple’s business is seasonal, spurred on by fall product announcements and massive holiday-quarter sales. But there’s one part of Apple’s business that just keeps growing, quarter by quarter, seemingly impervious to seasonal fluctuations. It’s the iTunes/Software/Services revenue line, which has grown more or less continuously every quarter. For the most recent quarter, it generated 4.26 billion dollars, up from 3.5 billion in the year-ago quarter. iTunes/Software/Services revenue has doubled in size in the past three years, from US$2.15 billion in the first quarter of 2011.

Apple’s retail segment is most definitely a seasonal business, but it’s showing strong growth. In fiscal 2012 Apple’s retail outlets generated US$15 billion in revenue; in fiscal 2013 that number wasUS $20 billion.

During Monday’s conference call, one analyst commented that Apple was one of the very few companies he was tracking to show strong growth in China this past quarter. Indeed, while Apple’s revenue in the Americas was actually down from the previous sequential quarter, many other key Apple segments showed sequential growth, most notably China and Japan.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple to release Q4 earning results today, analysts looking for company to beat its own guidance

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 28th, 2013, 09:31
Category: Finance, News

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Apple’s Q4 financial results are due in via a conference call today and according to 9to5Mac and Fortune, more than half of the analysts included in Fortune’s survey expect the company to beat its high-end guidance of $37B. The average is driven up by the amateurs, who come in at US$37.38B, while the professionals expect just a touch under the top end at US$36.95B.

Predictions on both revenues and earnings do vary markedly, however. While the consensus view is that year-on-year revenues will be up 3 percent and earnings down 6 percent, even among the professionals the earnings estimates span a 15 percent range.

Apple beating its own guidance wouldn’t have been remarkable in the days when Apple gave absurdly pessimistic guidance and then blew it away, but would be impressive since Cook started offering realistic ranges …

Apple began offering realistic guidance this year, offering a range running from what it has “reasonable confidence” of achieving to what it “believes” it will do. In Q2, Apple slightly beat its high-end guidance of US$41-43B with revenues of US$43.6B, while in Q3 it came in just below its top-end number at US$35.3B.

The official launch of the iPhone in China is the big unknown in the equation, with some big numbers being bandied about, but no hard data.

It’s also likely that supplies of iPhone 5s models will play a large role in the numbers. Demand was extremely strong, but production was struggling to keep pace with the gold model in particular, whose popularity appeared to have taken Apple by surprise.

The earnings will be broadcast at 2 PM PT/5 PM ET via this link.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases iOS 7.0.3 update, addresses accelerometer, security, assorted issues

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013, 23:37
Category: iOS, News, Software

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You’ve been hankering for this fix.

On Tuesday, Apple released iOS 7.0.3, an updated new version of its operating system for its iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. The new operating system, which weighs in as a 59.1 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Adds iCloud Keychain to keep track of your account names, passwords, and credit card numbers across all your approved devices.

- Adds Password Generator so Safari can suggest unique, hard-to-guess passwords for your online accounts.

- Updates lock screen to delay display of “slide to unlock” when Touch ID is in use.

- Adds back the ability to search the web and Wikipedia from Spotlight search.

- Fixes an issue where iMessage failed to send for some users.

- Fixes a bug that could prevent iMessage from activating.

- Improves system stability when using iWork apps.

- Fixes an accelerometer calibration issue.

- Addresses an issue that could cause Siri and VoiceOver to use a lower quality voice.

- Fixes a bug that could allow someone to bypass the Lock screen passcode.

- Enhances the Reduce Motion setting to minimize both motion and animation.

- Fixes an issue that could cause VoiceOver input to be too sensitive.

- Updates the Bold Text setting to also change dial pad text.

- Fixes an issue that could cause supervised devices to become un-supervised when updating software.

iOS 7.0.3 is available via iTunes or Over-The-Air updating and requires an iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5S, 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 opens in-store reuse and recycling program in UK retail locations

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 14th, 2013, 05:00
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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If you’re across the pond and looking to get something from Apple for your old iPhone, now’s your chance.

According to Pocket-lint, Apple has opened an in-store iPhone trade-in program. That means you can check your phone’s value online first then head along to an Apple Store and have it ready to trade-in, saving you money on your new handset.

“iPhones hold great value. So, Apple Retail Stores in the UK are launching a new program to assist customers who wish to bring in their previous-generation iPhone for reuse or recycling,” an Apple spokesperson has said. “In addition to helping support the environment, customers will be able to receive a credit for their returned phone that they can use toward the purchase of a new iPhone.”

So if you’re thinking of upgrading to an iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C now’s the time to do it without hurting your wallet too much.

If you’re over in England and have tried this program, let us know how it went in the comments.

Apple offers iTunes credit for qualifying customers who purchased iWork apps after September 1st

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 14th, 2013, 05:47
Category: News, retail, Software

If you bought Apple’s iWork apps recently, you may have a refund en route.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog and 9to5Mac, Apple will be offering credits to customers who purchased these apps after September 12th of this year. When Apple first introduced the iPhone 5s and 5c on September 12, they concurrently announced that new iOS device owners would be able to download Apple’s suite of mobile iWork apps along with most iLife apps for free. Taken together, the free apps would otherwise cost US$40.


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Apple on Friday began sending out emails to eligible consumers indicating that iOS users who purchased iWork or iLife apps as early as September 1 will be eligible for iTunes credits in the amount they paid.

The e-mail reads as follows:

“Dear iTunes Customer,

On September 10, 2013, Apple announced that iPhoto, iMovie, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers iOS apps are now available as a free download on the App Store for qualifying iOS 7 compatible devices activated on or after September 1, 2013.

Our records indicate that you purchased one or more of these apps on or after September 1, 2013 so we have provided you with the iTunes code below in the amount of US$5.34. This credit can be used towards the purchase of any content on the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBooks Store.

Detailed instructions for redeeming the code can be found at http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1574. Code: [redacted]

Thank you and we hope you enjoy using this credit towards your next purchase on iTunes.

Regards,

iTunes Customer Support iTunes Support”

So, if you bought the iWork apps after September 1st, keep your eyes peeled for the e-mail and let us know how it went in the comments section.

Rumor: Apple to introduce all-new 12-inch MacBook, iPad with higher resolution in 2014

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 14th, 2013, 05:49
Category: iPad, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Rumor

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It’s the rumor mill that keeps things interesting, especially when it comes down to new hardware.

Per AppleInsider, Apple has an all-new-design 12-inch MacBook with a high-resolution display, and a new 9.7-inch sixth-generation iPad with an even higher pixel count than the current Retina display, both in the works for 2014, according to well-connected insider Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo, an analyst with KGI Securities, revealed on Saturday that Apple has a number of major new products in the works for next year. Most notably, the new 12-inch MacBook will feature what he said is an “ultra-slim clamshell form factor.”

He expects this new model to offer a marriage between the portability of the 11-inch MacBook Air and the greater productivity offered by the 13-inch model. The display is said to be on par with Apple’s high-resolution MacBook Pro Retina display.

According to Kuo, the new MacBook is expected to “redefine laptop computing once again following the milestone created by the MacBook Air.”

Despite speculation that Apple could introduce a notebook powered by its custom A-series chips found in the iPhone and iPad, Kuo does not expect that the new 12-inch MacBook will run on an A-series chip. Instead, he has predicted that the new MacBook will feature a traditional Intel CPU.

The analyst also revealed that Apple is working on a new sixth-generation iPad with a higher pixel-per-inch count than the existing 9.7-inch iPad with Retina display. Contrary to recent rumors, he doesn’t expect Apple to launch a 12-inch iPad next year.

The sixth-generation iPad is expected to launch in late 2014, and will pack in as much as 40 percent more pixels than the current iPad’s Retina display.

Kuo has a strong track record of accurately revealing Apple’s future product plans. He was the first to reveal that Apple would retire its 17-inch MacBook Pro, he correctly forecast Apple’s entire fall 2012 product lineup, and his predictions for Apple’s 2013 launch schedule made in January have thus far proven accurate.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Study shows Microsoft’s Windows market share falling from 90% to 33% in post-PC device world

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 11th, 2013, 06:21
Category: iPad, iPhone, News

microsoftlogo

The day you never thought would arrive may finally be here.

Of course, it still depends on how you look at the data…

According to Asymco’s Horace Dediu, over the last five years, Post-PC devices have displaced conventional Windows PCs so rapidly that Microsoft’s dominance over personal computing has plummeted from roughly 90 percent share to less than a third.

The data highlights in implosion of growth that has sapped Worldwide PC shipments starting with at the launch of Apple’s iPad in 2010.

While PC shipments have stagnated over the past five years, Apple’s sales of iPhone and iPads and the estimated shipments of Android-based devices have grown rapidly.

The personal computing industry has shifted from 92 million shipments in 2008 to today’s market of 269 million units, as the site further details in charts.

Five years ago, Windows PCs accounted for the vast majority of computing devices – around 90 percent. But after failing to materially participate in the shift to tablets and smartphones, Microsoft has been left with its OS software on less than a third of the devices companies and individuals now use.

Dediu’s figures come from Gartner’s PC and tablet shipment data. The firm, along with IDC, suddenly stopped counting certain tablets among PC sales after Apple released its iPad. Both companies have since added Microsoft’s Surface and other Windows-branded tablets to their PC numbers while relegating iPads and Android tablets into a separate “media tablet” category.

Ostensibly, this was to separate devices used only for “media consumption” from PC figures, but the firm’s PC data has always included vast numbers of PCs that have only ever been used to browse the web or check mail, and have also included low powered netbooks and other limited-duty PC devices.

In stark contrast, complete PC market data from Canalys has more clearly shown how modern tablet form factors have had a tremendous impact on the PC market, without regard for how flattering the truth is to Microsoft.

iPhone 5s handsets entering short supply stage while iPhone 5c units remain fully stocked, more readily available

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 11th, 2013, 06:38
Category: iPhone, News, retail

iphone5c

If there’s a new iPhone handset popularity contest going on, the iPhone 5s is currently the winner.

Per AppleInsider, three weeks after the latest iPhones went on sale in the U.S., availability of the iPhone 5s has actually declined while Apple prepares for greater international roll-out.

Analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray has been checking inventory levels of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c since they went on sale Sept. 21. In a note to investors released on Friday, he indicated that supply of the iPhone 5s went from 27 percent availability two weeks ago to 6 percent over the past week, based on a check of 60 Apple stores.

In addition, the number of stores that had at least one iPhone 5s SKU available dropped from 90 percent two weeks ago to 40 percent over the past week. Munster believes the shrinking supply is probably a result of Apple preparing for an international launch, with 51 new markets set to receive both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c by Nov. 1. Resale value of the iPhone 5s is currently 32% above market value in the U.S.

In another sign of demand, Munster has also been tracking resale value, and found that the entry-level 16-gigabyte iPhone 5s is currently selling at a 32 percent premium in the U.S.

The story is different for the iPhone 5c, which is selling at an 11 percent discount over its retail price. Munster’s checks also found that the iPhone 5c remains well-stocked, and he expects that demand for the mid-level handset is about in-line with market expectations.

In comparison, Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 currently sells for a 12 percent discount in the U.S., putting it about on par with Apple’s iPhone 5c.

“We expect iPhone aftermarket prices should decrease as 5S supply catches up to demand and would consider the 5S fully stocked when the 5S is available to ship in a 24 hour lead time,” Munster wrote. Currently Apple’s online store quotes iPhone 5S October lead times in Apple’s 6 largest countries, and 24 hours for the 5C.”

Apple job listing points towards partnership with China Mobile wireless carrier

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 10th, 2013, 06:18
Category: iPhone, News

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It’s the job postings that show where Apple’s headed…

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog and Bloomberg, a new Apple job listing seeking an engineer experienced with China Mobile’s proprietary TD-LTE network. The job listing notes that the position will “support and drive the carrier approval of mobile phones.”

The job posting seeks in-depth knowledge and experience with wireless systems including TD-LTE, which is the 4G standard used by China Mobile. Skills with WCDMA and CDMA, the technologies used by China Unicom and China Telecom, respectively, are also sought. “This role will be responsible for the overall management of the technical interface to all carriers in the Greater China region,” Apple said in the ad.

China Mobile is the world’s largest carrier with upwards of 700 million subscribers. To that end, reaching a deal with them would provide Apple with a tremendous opportunity to really create a noticeable uptick in iPhone sales.

Just recently, word emerged that in early September, Apple received a “network access license” to carry the iPhone on China Mobile.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.