iPhone 5s, 5c to come to additional U.S. regional carriers on October 1st

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Date: Thursday, September 26th, 2013, 07:04
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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The iPhone’s regional support and overall availability in the U.S. is about to become a bit more robust.

Per AppleInsider, Apple’s new flagship iPhone 5s and mid-range iPhone 5c will become available on eight regional wireless carriers in U.S. beginning Oct. 1, including C Spire, Cellcom, and Bluegrass.

The new iPhones may get slightly easier to find as they make their way to regional wireless carriers next month. Apple moved more than nine million iPhone 5s and 5c units in their first weekend of availability, and larger national carriers AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint quickly sold out of their supply.

Carriers launching Apple’s new phones on Oct. 1 include:

- Cellcom – Michigan and Wisconsin

- C Spire Wireless – Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Georgia

- Nex-Tech Wireless – Kansas and Colorado

- MTA – Alaska

- GCI – Alaska

- Bluegrass Cellular – Kentucky

- Appalachian Wireless – Kentucky and Virginia

- Ntelos – Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina

Some of the smaller carriers have chosen to offer the devices at a discount — for instance, consumers can get an on-contract iPhone 5s from Ntelos for US$149.99, a US$50 discount from the the phone’s normal price.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

AppleCare+ policies to change, will allow for hardware repairs in any country where AppleCare+ is offered

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Date: Wednesday, September 25th, 2013, 07:48
Category: Apple TV, AppleCare, iPad, iPhone, iPod, News

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If you travel with an AppleCare-covered device, you might like this.

Per AppleInsider and TechCrunch, it was revealed on Tuesday that Apple has changed the terms and conditions tied to AppleCare+ and will be lifting geographic limitations on support, meaning travelers can get their device serviced outside of their home country.

As noted, the recent policy change allows owners to take in products for repair in any country where AppleCare+ is offered, lifting previous restrictions that limited service to the country in which the plan was purchased. Devices include the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, Apple displays and Mac models.

It should be noted that replacements and repairs may not be offered in all countries. The publication offers the CDMA version of the iPhone 5 as an example, pointing out the handset can’t be serviced or replaced in countries where it is not sold, like Brazil.

The changes are likely part of Apple’s continued effort to overhaul its post-sales service. When the iPhone 5s and 5c were unveiled on Sept. 10, it was announced that the AppleCare+ for iPhone per-incident deductible would be raised to US$79, up from US$49 previously.

Currently, AppleCare+ for iPhone, iPad and iPod is offered in Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

iSuppli runs numbers, finds $199, $183 build costs for iPhone 5s, 5c handsets

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Date: Wednesday, September 25th, 2013, 07:47
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

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If you’re wondering how much Apple’s new iPhone handsets cost to manufacture, they’ve got a number.

Per AllThingsD, a forthcoming IHS iSuppli report posits that Apple spends at least US$191 on components to build a 16GB model of the iPhone 5s and between US$167 and US$176 for a low-end iPhone 5c. Those prices are just a few dollars lower than what Apple spent in order to build the iPhone 5 according to iSuppli’s year-ago report on that device. The firm adds another US$8 in assembly costs for the iPhone 5s, while iPhone 5c assembly tacks on another US$7 to assemble, giving full construction estimates of US$199 for the 5s and between US$173 and US$183 for the 5c.

The iPhone 5, released in 2012, cost Apple about US$205 to produce and sold for between US$649 and US$849 off-contract. Apple saves about US$13 to produce the new high-end iPhone, even considering its beefed up processor and biometric sensor, and Apple sells it for the same price point.

Memory capacity plays a part in the price of an iPhone, with the jump from a 16GB module to a 64GB module adding US$19 to the component cost, plus another US$8 in assembly.

The display components are among the biggest cost contributors for the device, though, amounting to US$41 out of the component cost. IHS believes that Apple’s displays came from a number of vendors, including Sharp, Japan Display Inc., and LG Display.

The use of a polycarbonate shell for the iPhone 5c helps Apple drop the component cost of what is essentially an iPhone 5 even further. Whereas the iPhone 5 was machined from a single piece of aluminum in a costly process, Apple spends only US$173 to build a 16GB iPhone 5 model and US$183 to build the 64GB model.

IHS’ look at the new iPhones seems to agree with some observers’ opinion that the iPhone 5s, despite the addition of a number of technologies, is more of an incremental progression over its predecessor.

“I would say that they’re almost the same phone,” said IHS analyst Andrew Rassweiler, “except for that the 5s has the fingerprint sensor, the A7 processor and some newer memory chips that consume less power. Beyond that, they’re basically the same.”

The lower production cost per unit could work in Apple’s favor going forward. The Cupertino company recently revised its guidance for the September quarter after selling more than nine million new iPhone units in the launch weekend. Part of that guidance revision was to orient investors to look toward the upper range of its previous estimate, possibly due to the improved margins on its hot-selling new devices.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple removes iPhone 5s retail store pick-up option from web site, change may be due to low inventory levels

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Date: Tuesday, September 24th, 2013, 07:32
Category: iPhone, News, retail

eliphone5s

The iPhone 5s is proving popular.

Well…to the point that Apple sold nine million units over the weekend and has now removed its in-store pickup feature for the handset after just one day.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Apple’s website now says that the iPhone 5s is not eligible for pickup and that all purchases must be made in the store.

It’s unknown as to why the change took place, but it’s possible that the reservation system went online earlier than planned. Apple typically has sold new iPhones in the store on a first-come, first-serve basis for the first few weeks after launch. Once demand and supply start to even out, the company then enables in-store pickup on its website. It’s also possible Apple will turn on the option and turn it off as inventory ebbs and flows.

If you are still on the hunt for an iPhone 5s, your best bet is to keep checking back with Apple, your wireless carrier and retailers like Best Buy, Radio Shack and Walmart. It’ll take time, but your persistence will pay off eventually.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

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.

Apple TV 6.0 out the door, adds support for AirPlay, iTunes Radio, other new features

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Date: Friday, September 20th, 2013, 11:05
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

On a day filled to the brim with iPhone 5s and 5c happenings, Apple pulled the trigger on the good stuff for its Apple TV set top box.

Per AppleInsider, Apple released its anticipated software update to Apple TV today. The new software adds the followings fixes and changes:
- Added support for iTunes Radio and AirPlaying content from iCloud — like music from iTunes Match — to another person’s Apple TV.

- Allows users to take any purchased iTunes content — such as music, movies or TV episodes — and stream it directly to an Apple TV that may not be configured with their iTunes login credentials. The authentication is instead provided wirelessly by a connected iOS device, like an iPhone or iPad.

- Added access to purchases from the iTunes Music Store, and allows users to sync their podcasts. Photos from a shared Photo Stream can also be accessed.

- Added support for the newly launched iTunes Radio service, which is similar to established streaming Internet music provider Pandora. iTunes Radio debuted on Wednesday on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with the release of iOS 7.

The new Apple TV update may be the last software refresh before the company’s rumored Apple TV hardware reboot. The company took delivery of a mysterious shipment of “set top boxes” in the days leading up the iPhone 5s and 5c announcement.

As always, the software can be downloaded and installed by entering the Apple TV’s General Settings, then clicking “Software Update”.

If you’ve tried the new Apple TV software and have any comments or feedback about it, please let us know in the comments.

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

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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

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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

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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.