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Launched in China, a lower-cost iPhone might triple Apple's potential market share in the country, says a Morgan Stanley analyst.

Pg-48-china-afpIs an iPhone Mini due out this year?An iPhone Mini priced at $330 in China would provide a healthy shot in the arm to Apple's Chinese smartphone sales, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.

A low-priced iPhone would add another 20 percent to the 10 percent Chinese market share currently addressed by the iPhone 5, the analyst said today. Smartphone prices are starting to stabilize in China, which will open up the market for such a phone. But a deal with China Mobile is also key.

Apple currently sells the iPhone to Chinese consumers through China Unicom and China Telecom. The company has been trying to cook up a deal with China Mobile, the country's largest carrier, but has run into stumbling blocks.

Still, the analyst sees China Mobile as a major contributor to the growth of the iPhone, citing a few different factors. First, Apple would launch a new Mini model. Second, legislation for TD-LTE licenses and number portability could pass later this year or in 2014. And third, China Mobile would be more open to subsidizing higher-end smartphones on a TD-LTE network.

"We believe Apple could launch iPhone Mini at $330 (about Rmb 2,000), in-line with flagship products in China from Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, and Coolpad," Huberty said in an investors note out today. "Even in a scenario of low 40 percent gross margin and 1/3 iPhone cannibalization rate (flattening legacy iPhone shipment growth), which we view as conservative, the iPhone Mini adds incremental revenue and gross profit dollars."

The $330 would be the unlocked price for the phone in China. Launching over the summer, the iPhone Mini would target other emerging markets beyond China, according to the investors note.

Rumors of a low-cost iPhone gained traction last month following stories from The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg claiming such a device is on the horizon.

Several analysts have also forecast a less-expensive iPhone on the agenda for sometime this year.

Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston also sees an iPhone Mini in Apple's future butdoesn't think it will appear until 2014, at the earliest.

Source: news.cnet.com

 KickstarterApp 70979 screen

Crowd-funding site launches free mobile software for iPhone and iPod Touch allowing users to find and follow projects; creators can see pledges in real time. 

Crowd-funding site Kickstarter today launched a free iPhone and iPod Touch application, allowing general users to find and follow projects and creators to track pledges on the go.


Users looking for a project to support can browse by category and also tailor results based on their location. In addition, the Kickstarter app allows users to watch videos and contribute to projects through the app.

The Kickstarter app also boasts an "Activity" tab, which collects project updates from initiatives users are backing. New updates will stream in once they are posted by creators. The app also includes social features, allowing users to find Facebook friends and receive notifications when they fund or launch a project.

Lastly, the Kickstarter app features support for creators, notifying them of new pledges in real time. In addition, creators can track their project's progress and share pictures and videos from the iPhone or iPod Touch.

The Kickstarter app was not announced for Android devices, though a representative from the company said, "We're really just focused on this app for iPhone now."

Source: Gamespot.com

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The update,  which would fix the Exchange syncing issue and the passcode hack in iOS 6.1, could come before Wednesday, claims a German blog site. 

Apple may be prepping iOS 6.1.2 for launch early next week. At least, that's the claim from German Apple blog site iFun. In a blog out today, iFun cited evidence that the next iOS update would probably be available before Wednesday. Courtesy of Google, the English translation of the German page reads a bit rusty. But the information was apparently based on checks with different mobile carriers, according to 9to5Mac. This sounds like something strictly for the rumor mill. However, iFun correctly pegged the launch of iOS 6.1.1 based on intel from the same sources, 9to5Mac added.

iOS 6.1.2 would resolve at least a couple of glitches introduced with version 6.1.

One bug due to be squashed keeps iOS 6.1 devices from syncing with Microsoft Exchangeservers. Another flaw lets someone get through the iPhone's passcode through a specific series of steps, allowing that person to use the phone and listen to voice mails. In both cases, Apple said it was aware of the issue and was working on a fix.

iOS 6.1.1 was released Monday, but only to iPhone 4s users, in an attempt to fix problems with cellular performance. Since then, several iPhone 4S users have complained that the battery drains faster after updating to 6.1.1.

Source: news.cnet.com

 iphone6-and-iphone-6-pro1

Last seven years should be called as golden years for Apple as a company. It has dominated, if not high jacked, the market of gadgets; sometimes by its simple iPods and sometimes by its personal computer systems. Last but not least is its flagship smartphone iPhone.

Apple releases a new iPhone every year, and that phone comes with the latest version of iOS installed. Apple also follows a set pattern of upgradation that leads us to believe that the next iPhone will be dubbed as the iPhone 5S.

Given the stigma that has followed the last two “S” releases, specifically that the “S” phones are  merely incremental upgrades of the previous release, Apple could be looking to mix it up this year.

We’ve heard several rumors that suggest Apple is planning an early release of the next iPhone this year.

One of the reports says that iPhone 6 could revive slide out keyboard concept. Proponent of the slide-out keyboard, however, always has a point: on-screen touch screens are notoriously inaccurate and frustrating, and with iOS (still) offering nothing along the lines of Android’s swipe feature. For sure, feeling of manual buttons while typing would be a welcome feature for some users.

iOS 7, the latest iPhone operating system could also be the key factor for tremendous response for iPhone 6. According to reports, Many other new exciting applications are also in the plan of Apple’s new iPhone.

If these rumors go true, then for sure market for other brands like “Galaxy S4” would definitely be in recession.

Source:thenewstribe.com

Twitter mobile update

 

In an update to Twitter's iOS and Android apps, and to mobile.twitter.com, users will now see all discovery content in a single stream. And iOS gets a search button like the one that's been available in Android.


Twitter has streamlined its mobile apps to make it easier to find any kind of content, and has added a search button to iOS that can be used anywhere in its mobile apps.
The social-networking giant said today that it is updating its iOS and Android apps, as well as its mobile.twitter.com offering, in an attempt to make it easier for users to find the things they're looking for. The update is the latest in a string of tweaks Twitter has made in recent months presumably aimed at improving users' content discovery experience.


Perhaps the most important on a daily basis is the new search button in iOS, which has been available in Android for some time. Previously, it was necessary to go into the Discover tab in order to search for specific Twitter users, hashtags, or other content. Now users will be able to click the search button at any time, regardless of which tab they're in.


Another big element of the update is that all content delivered in the Discover tab -- tweets, activity, trends, and suggestions of accounts to follow -- will come in a single stream instead of breaking each category into a different section.


In addition, Twitter has updated the Connect tab. "To provide a simple experience in the Connect tab, the default view is now Interactions," Twitter wrote, "which shows you new followers, retweets, and mentions." Users can also modify their settings to show only their mentions in the Connect tab.
Twitter also updated the way clicking URLs works, so that when users do so, the app takes them directly to the Web site rather than first expanding the tweet and then requiring a second tap on the URL.

 

Source: News.cnet.com

iphone-air-concept 0(Photo: Ciccaresedesign.com) Forget the iPhone 5, 6 or 7. Here's the slick iPhone Air, a concept by Italian designer Federico Ciccarese.The iPhone may be one of the best-selling smartphones on the planet, but Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak believes Apple's flagship smartphone has fallen behind its competitors, namely those built by Samsung, when it comes to smartphone features.

Speaking at Businessweek's Best Brand Awards on Thursday evening, Wozniak said he was proud of how loyal Apple fans were to the iPhone, but also said "this loyalty is not given," shortly before denouncing his own company's smartphone.

"Currently we are, in my opinion, somewhat behind with features in the smartphone business," Wozniak said. "Others have caught up. Samsung is a big competitor. But precisely because they are currently making great products."

In the last two years, Samsung has effectively made its Galaxy S smartphone line into the flagship model for Google's Android OS, balancing slick design with forward-thinking user features. For example, unlike any iPhone built by Apple -- including the best-selling iPhone 4, iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 -- the Samsung Galaxy S3 can run two apps at the same time with a split-screen, prevent entering sleep mode by using its front-facing camera to detect the user's face, and the oft-advertised S-Beam feature, which allows two Samsung Galaxy S3 models to share files, photos and videos, simply by tapping them together.

The iPhone is a comparatively simpler smartphone: Users can organize and multitask across applications, execute various tasks with Siri, beam music and video to Bluetooth and Airplay-enabled devices, but besides those and a few interesting phone technologies, the iPhone is not a feature-ridden device. Most of the iPhone's power comes from within its ecosystem of easily downloadable applications, which make the iPhone into the versatile tool that it is.

That said, Wozniak is right: Apple has time and time again said "no" to most iPhone features we've heard rumored in the past, from NFC chips for S-Beam-like abilities, to advanced haptics that create molded buttons on the smartphone screen when an application calls for them. Apple has patented many of these features, meaning it has at least considered them at one point; yet, Apple would argue that simplicity and focus is what makes the iPhone so universally appealing.

However, Apple might spice things up over the next two years, with plenty of reports coming through the rumor mill this month saying Apple has plans to release three new iPhone models, including a true iPhone 5 successor (either iPhone "5S" or "6"), a cheap, plastic-made iPhone 5 (designed for emerging markets in Asia), and a large-screen iPhone+, originally reported as "iPhone Math."

Even if two of these rumored phones turn out to be bogus, Apple will most certainly release a true iPhone 5 successor in 2013. And Wozniak might actually like this one, considering how many new and noteworthy smartphone features this model may introduce.

We’ve heard several rumors about Apple’s iPhone 5 successor: For example, iLounge editor-in-chief Jeremy Horwitz released a lengthy report last month detailing the iPhone 6, noting an updated rear camera – “perhaps featuring Sony’s 13-megapixel sensor” – as well as a processor bump to an Apple-built A7 chip -- both the camera and flash enhancements, as well as the A7 processor, were mentioned in a similar report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the very best in the business at predicting Apple's product pipeline.

While Horwitz may be accurate, one of the most rumored features we've heard about the iPhone 5 successor has to do with the signature home button, which is said to introduce an integrated fingerprint sensor to replace the need for usernames and passwords on the phone.

A fingerprint sensor makes great logical sense for an iPhone feature: Unlike other smartphones with multiple buttons at the bottom, the iPhone has only one mechanical button on its face, which makes it exceedingly easy and intuitive for users to find and use this feature. Furthermore, given Apple’s urgency to acquire Florida-based AuthenTec last July (as noted in the company’s own filing to the SEC), there’s an excellent chance that we’ll see this unique feature in a soon-to-be-released iPhone -- hopefully the iPhone 5S or 6.

We’ve also heard that Apple is investing a great deal of time, energy and money on the display for its next-gen iPhone 5S or 6.

Jan. 3 report released by the China Times said Apple might switch to a "Touch On Display" panel currently in development at Taiwan-based Innolux Corp., which has reportedly been licensed to use Sharp's proprietary IGZO display technology.

Whether or not Apple chooses Innolux to make the next iPhone's screens, however, Apple is most likely going to feature Sharp's ultra-thin IGZO display technology in its next iPhone.

In late December, DigiTimes and Apple analyst Horace Dediu both mentioned Apple’s alleged investment in the ultra-thin IGZO displays produced by Sharp, predicting the inclusion of the technology in Apple’s next batch of iOS devices, including iPhones and iPads. Dediu also pointed to Apple’s recent $2.3 billion investment in “product tooling, manufacturing process equipment and infrastructure,” believing the cash was used to help bail out Sharp, which had been in financial straits in 2012. Sharp is reportedly going “all in” on IGZO technology, so it’s possible Apple saved Sharp to leverage its investment in the next generation of displays.

IGZO display technology is not only thin and tough, but it can even handle higher screen densities than Apple’s Retina display, which is visually stunning on its own. IGZO displays can reportedly handle display densities north of 330 ppi; for a quick comparison, the new iPad 4 can only achieve 264 ppi.

One of the advantages of IGZO display technology is its lower power consumption. Most Apple products, from the iPhone 5 to the iPad 4, require cartoonishly big batteries to achieve just eight hours of power -- this is because current-gen Retina displays are extremely power hungry. If Apple wanted its iPhone 6 to not only last longer during the day but also charge faster when plugged in, IGZO seems to be the way to go for the next generation of iOS devices.

Besides rumors about the display, however, there haven’t been too many other legitimate reports on the iPhone 6, but we have noticed a few interesting patents: A patent filed in March but published last September described tactile keyboards, flexible displays and laser microphones and speakers built into an iPhone, designed to conform to the user's needs. Flexible displays would allow for easier holding and typing, while the highly advanced tactile screens would create buttons when needed so users can feel "keyboard" letters as they type or touch the topography on Apple's Maps. 

It's wishful thinking that Apple would include all these technologies in this year’s iPhone 5S or 6, rather implement them over time, but it's certainly fun to think about.

The full text from Steve Wozniak's speech at BusinessWeek's Best Brand Awards is available at German magazine WirtschaftsWoche.

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Weekly Video Peek

 

Weekly Editor's Pick

Pac Man Dash

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Pac-Man has been around for over 30 years, but is usually relegated to munching in a maze. Like many other video game characters, Pac-Man has now made the transition to the endless runner in the form of Pac-Man Dash. It’s a fast paced 2D side scrolling sprint covering twisting pathways while collecting dot cookies, and ghosts. Rather than an endless set-up, there is a single concrete mission to complete in each level whether it’s running a certain distance, eating a certain number of ghosts or cookies, or using a special ability. It’s a whole new way to play Pac-Man, and a different way to play the endless runner style.

 

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