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4G LTE iPhone Launch Unlikely Until At Least Q3 2012

October 5th, 2011 10:30 admin View Comments

New iPhone 5

It was widely expected that Apple won’t launch a 4G LTE iPhone this year, so it didn’t come as a surprise that iPhone 4S – Apple’s fifth generation iPhone unveiled at yesterday’s Let’s talk iPhone event didn’t support 4G LTE networks.

However, the lack of redesigned iPhone 5 and no 4G support seems to have raised expectations that Apple will launch a redesigned 4G LTE iPhone in the summer of 2012. The bad news is that it seems highly unlikely that Apple will be able to launch a 4G LTE iPhone before the third quarter of 2012.

Back in April, Will Strauss, President of wireless chip tracker Forward Concepts didn’t expect the appropriate 4G chipsets to arrive in time for the fifth generation iPhone. He had gone on to explain how Apple’s competitors have managed to launch smartphones with 4G support:

The only 4G handset on the market in the United States, Verizon’s Thunderbolt, currently relies on a pair of chips to work. One chip, from Samsung, communicates with Verizon’s 4G networks, allowing the handset to achieve blazing data speeds of between 5 and 20 MBPS. Another chip, from Qualcomm, lets the handset talk to Verizon’s 3G network.

That two chip solution is needed because Verizon’s 4G network isn’t widespread enough for the carriers to offer handsets that rely on 4G alone.

Strauss noted that Apple was looking for a solution where chips support 4G and 3G on a single chip so that the 4G LTE iPhone is as thin or thinner than iPhone 4 and it doesn’t consume too much battery life.

According to Strauss, chipmakers like Qualcomm, ST Ericcson and Intel were expected to launch the next generation chips that support 4G and 3G on a single chip towards the end of this year. But AnandTech reports that there has been a slower-than-expected transition to new 28-nanometer chip processes:

As you may have heard however, the move to 28nm at both TSMC and Global Foundries isn’t really going all that smoothly. The jump from 4x-nm to 28nm is a very big one, so it’s not unexpected to have pretty serious teething problems as the process ramps up. I suspect that an aggressive 28nm roadmap that didn’t pan out probably caught a lot of SoC and smartphone vendors in a position where they couldn’t ship what they wanted to in 2011.

AnandTech believes that Qualcomm’s MDM9615 modem is the ideal chip for Apple’s iPhone (especially since Qualcomm’s chip is probably used in iPhone 4S and also CDMA iPhone 4) and as you can see from the roadmap below, it is not scheduled to begin shipping until the second quarter of next year, which indicates that the earliest that the 4G LTE iPhone can be introduced is by the third quarter of 2012.

We also expect Apple to launch a new iPhone with at least a year’s gap, as anything sooner may not go down with with iPhone 4S users. So expect iPhone 6 (not iPhone 5 as it would be odd for the sixth generation iPhone) to be launched around the same time next year.

So if you were planning to skip buying or upgrading to iPhone 4S in the hope that Apple will launch a 4G LTE iPhone in June or July then you might want to reconsider you decision.

[via AnandTech]

Source: 4G LTE iPhone Launch Unlikely Until At Least Q3 2012

Apple Launches AppleCare+ For iPhone Users; Extended Warranty Also Covers Accidental Damage

October 5th, 2011 10:35 admin View Comments

AppleCare+

Apple has introduced a new product called AppleCare+ for iPhone users. AppleCare+ will be available for $99 and it essentially extends the 90 day technical support and one year of hardware repair coverage that you get when you buy an iPhone, to two years.

Apple’s new extended warranty coverage for the iPhone will be available from October 14th – iPhone 4S launch day.  

AppleCare+ also includes coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage due to handling. Apple says it will charge $49 as service fee for replacement of devices. The replacement device could either be new or refurbished. AppleCare+ replaces AppleCare that was available for $69.

Here’s a look at what the hardware coverage includes:

AppleCare+provides repair or replacement coverage, both parts and labor, from Apple-authorized technicians. Service coverage includes the following:

  • Your iPhone
  • Battery
  • Included earphones and accessories
  • Coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage from handling, each subject to a $49 service fee.

AppleCare+ will be available for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS.

Carriers like Verizon and AT&T also offer insurance plans for the iPhone. AT&T’s Mobile Insurance plan costs $4.99 per month and and $50 or $125 deductible for each claim depending on the particular model, while Verizon Wireless offers a $10.99 per month insurance plan to iPhone users with a $169 deductible for the 16GB model and a $199 deductible for the 32GB model. The only downside of AppleCare+ is it does not seem to cover theft or if you lose your iPhone.

We would recommend AppleCare+ or any of the insurance plans if you’re clumsy like us and plan to use iPhone 4S or iPhone 4 without a case or bumper.

[Apple via GigaOM]

 

Source: Apple Launches AppleCare+ For iPhone Users; Extended Warranty Also Covers Accidental Damage

Apple’s New iPhone Will Come With “More Definitive GPS Features”?

October 4th, 2011 10:24 admin View Comments

New iPhone 5

The Next Web has just revealed some new information about Apple’s new iPhone.

They claim based on information they’ve received from “sources familiar” with the situation, Apple’s new iPhone will come with “more definitive GPS features†thanks to Apple’s faster dual A5 processor that is expected to power the fifth generation iPhone.

The Next Web reports:

Sources familiar with Apple’s plans have revealed to us that Apple will indeed debut the new iPhone 4S today, featuring an 8-megapixel camera with “enhanced optics†and “more definitive GPS features†thanks to Apple’s new A5 processor.

Other information in the report seems to be in line with the rumors and speculations we’ve heard so far. Apple’s fifth generation iPhone is expected to come with the faster A5 processor, improved 8-megapixel camera, 1GB RAM and Apple’s new revolutionary Assistant feature.

It will be interesting to see if Apple will launch a new Maps application and if it gave us a hint with the Maps icon in the invite for the event.

It less than 2 hours to go, but the wait seems unbearable. Live coverage of the event starts here.

[via The Next Web]

Source: Apple’s New iPhone Will Come With “More Definitive GPS Features”?

Apple’s New iPhone Pricing – $99/$199/$299 For 16GB/32GB/64GB Models; Launch On Oct 14th?

October 4th, 2011 10:32 admin View Comments

New iPhone 5

The last minute rumors are pouring in, with just over an hour to go for Apple’s Let’s Talk iPhone event. 9 to 5 Mac reports that they’ve received information on the international prices for Apple’s new iPhone.

They also claim that the launch date for the new iPhone will be October 14th, just as we had predicted.

9 to 5 Mac reports:

We’ve got international pricing for the iPhone 4S (N94) that Apple is announcing tomorrow. The conversion to U.S. subsidized equivalents is obviously not clear cut math, but we think we may have figured it out. According to our source, the price of the unlocked 64GB iPhone 4S will replace the price of the current 32GB iPhone 4. In addition, the price of the new 32GB iPhone 4S will replace the price of the current 16GB iPhone 4.

With this knowledge, we think it’s highly likely that the 64GB iPhone 4S will cost $299, the 32GB will cost $199, and the 16GB will drop down to $99 in the United States. The 8GB iPhone 4 (N90A)will most likely cost $49, which will replace the current $49 iPhone 3GS price point. 

It will be interesting to see if Apple will offer the 8GB iPhone 3GS for free with a two-year contract or an unsubsidised, unlocked iPhone 3GS for $349 for the price sensitive prepaid market.

They also claim that Apple’s new iPhone will be available on October 14th with Apple retail stores opening at 7:00 am and some to close at midnight.

We will find out about Apple’s plan in just over an hour. We can’t wait for the event to begin.

[via 9 to 5 Mac]

Source: Apple’s New iPhone Pricing – $99/$199/$299 For 16GB/32GB/64GB Models; Launch On Oct 14th?

New iPhone’s Assistant Feature Will Be “World-Changing”

October 3rd, 2011 10:50 admin View Comments

iOS 5's Siri

Details of an “Assistant” feature in iOS 5 have been building for some time now despite its inconspicuous absence at this year’s WWDC 2011. Many predict it will be integral to the new iPhone, considering the latter’s bumped hardware specs.

9 to 5 Mac scored an interview with someone close to Siri – a company Apple acquired some time ago – who could shed some insight.

Apple acquired Siri about a year and a half ago, not long after Siri Personal Assistant came out in the App Store. Siri is actually a company that spun off of SRI International, which had coordinated the government-funded “Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes” program back in 2003. 9 to 5 Mac spoke with Norman Winarsky, one of the co-founders of Siri. The interview discusses Norman’s involvement with the creation of Siri, the use of the Nuance speech recognition engine, and the potential of an integrated voice-based assistant in the new iPhone.

Winarsky described the production of the Siri Personal Assistant app as using Nuance’s engine in a modular fashion.

When we first built Siri, we use Vlingo for speech recognition and as such, at the time of purchase the speech recognition component is modular. Theoretically, if a better speech recognition comes along (or Apple buys one), they could likely replace Nuance without too much trouble.

He was also quick to point out that Nuance also is incredibly prominent in speech synthesis. He also commented on the potential of the synthesis of Siri’s technology with iOS.

Make no mistake: Apple’s ‘mainstreaming’ Artificial Intelligence in the form of a Virtual Personal Assistant is a groundbreaking event. I’d go so far as to say it is a World-Changing event. Right now a few people dabble in partial AI enabled apps like Google Voice Actions, Vlingo or Nuance Go. Siri was many iterations ahead of these technologies, or at least it was two years ago. This is REAL AI with REAL market use. If the rumors are true, Apple will enable millions upon millions of people to interact with machines with natural language.

Integrated voice-recognition technology and the requisite artificial intelligence to make it work smoothly would make iOS more competitive to Google’s Android, which has had a similar ability for some time now. When asked about whether the integration of Siri in iOS 5 may have delayed the new iPhone, Winarsky didn’t comment on it, but cited the effort needed for Siri’s app on the iPhone 3GS and said, simply, “All I can say is that it will likely run much better on a faster phone.”

You can also checkout the demo video of Siri’s iPhone app here to get a glimpse of what to expect and if you haven’t already, be sure to check out the mockup video of what the new Assistant feature could be. Do you think this will change the world? Share your thoughts in the comments.

[via 9 to 5 Mac]

Source: New iPhone’s Assistant Feature Will Be “World-Changing”

Will Apple Offer iPhone 3GS For Free With 2-Year Contract Or Unlocked iPhone 3GS For $349?

October 3rd, 2011 10:19 admin View Comments

iPhone 3GS

When Apple launches the next generation iPhone at the Let’s talk iPhone event tomorrow, Apple is also expected to introduce an 8GB iPhone 4, which will be the new entry level iPhone that will be available for $99, replacing two generations old iPhone 3GS.

But we’re hearing murmors that Apple may not discontinue iPhone 3GS tomorrow and instead offer the 8GB iPhone 3GS for free with a two-year contract.

Back in June, RBC Capital Markets General Manager Mike Abramsky predicted that Apple will offer iPhone 3GS for free with a 2-year contract, when it launches iPhone 5.

Apple is expected to finally offer the phone for free in an effort to aggressively attack mid-market smartphone buyers and counter Android’s momentum. Abramsky sees this move more than doubling Apple’s global addressable market to 150 million smartphones, up from 64 million, and it will drastically accelerate Apple’s growth outside North America. In the U.S., this of course begs the question, how will Verizon Wireless stay competitive with AT&T? Apple does not currently offer a CDMA iPhone 3GS, so the carrier would be unable to match AT&T with mid-market customers.

Apple usually drops the price of the previous generation iPhone to $99 (iPhone 3GS is currently available for $49 with a contract) and sells the new iPhone for $199 and $299. So based on Abramsky, iPhone 3GS will be available for free and continue to be the entry level iPhone, followed by iPhone 4 for $99 and iPhone 5 for $199 and $299 respectively with a two-year contract.

Abramsky noted that AT&T’s $15 data plan with a free iPhone with a two year contract would be an attractive option for customers looking to buy an iPhone on a budget.

Some reports have also suggested that Apple could offer iPhone 3GS without a contract (basically an unlocked iPhone 3GS) for $349 to target the price sensitive prepaid market with the launch of the fifth generation iPhone.

Is that the reason iOS 5 is compatible with iPhone 3GS? We won’t have to wait too long to find out, but a free iPhone 3GS with a 2-year contract or an unsubsidised one for $349 does sound like a good idea to us. What do you think?

Source: Will Apple Offer iPhone 3GS For Free With 2-Year Contract Or Unlocked iPhone 3GS For $349?

Kickstarter Project “Zombies, Run!” Can Make Running Fun

October 2nd, 2011 10:13 admin View Comments

Zombies Run

Zombie, Run! is an app that overlays your everyday fitness activities with a game layer. Apps like RunKeeper and Nike+ GPS do a very good job at keeping track of your runs, but lets face it they’re not a better motivator than saving the Earth from zombies.

The app which is still in development phase has received its required number of pledges on Kickstarter in just a few days and is well above its initial target of funds.

The game starts with you assuming the role of Runner 5, a zombie apocalypse survivor who has been assigned the task of saving the lives of hundreds of people. You do this by going on runs and collecting items like medicine, batteries, and ammo which you would later distribute amongst soldiers and doctors.

Like any other standard fitness app, Zombies, Run! allows you to choose your own music and keeps track of all stats associated with your run. The development team behind the app is also planning to add RunKeeper integration.

Zombies! Run

The concept of using real world tasks in games isn’t entirely new, EpicWin (App Store link) an iPhone app did something very similar by rewarding users with experience points after completing every task to build up their character. But where Zombies, Run! can be better are the orders, clues and stories delivered to players. Here is a section of their description talking more about this:

we don’t make you watch your screen while you’re running; we don’t make you change your favorite routes; and you don’t need to buy any fancy armbands or tracking devices. All you do is press a button when you start, and another button when you’re done. That’s it. We follow your lead.

Six To Start, the company behind Zombies, Run!, is accepting KickStarter pledges till the 10th of October. So if you like their project, head over to the KickStarter source link and donate them a few bucks.

The app is scheduled to launch in the App Store and Android Market in Feb 2012. You can keep track of their updates through the official website or their Twitter account.

[via Kickstarter, Hat tip to TiPB]

Source: Kickstarter Project “Zombies, Run!” Can Make Running Fun

Kickstarter Project “Zombies, Run!” Can Make Running Fun

October 2nd, 2011 10:13 admin View Comments

Zombies Run

Zombie, Run! is an app that overlays your everyday fitness activities with a game layer. Apps like RunKeeper and Nike+ GPS do a very good job at keeping track of your runs, but lets face it they’re not a better motivator than saving the Earth from zombies.

The app which is still in development phase has received its required number of pledges on Kickstarter in just a few days and is well above its initial target of funds.

The game starts with you assuming the role of Runner 5, a zombie apocalypse survivor who has been assigned the task of saving the lives of hundreds of people. You do this by going on runs and collecting items like medicine, batteries, and ammo which you would later distribute amongst soldiers and doctors.

Like any other standard fitness app, Zombies, Run! allows you to choose your own music and keeps track of all stats associated with your run. The development team behind the app is also planning to add RunKeeper integration.

Zombies! Run

The concept of using real world tasks in games isn’t entirely new, EpicWin (App Store link) an iPhone app did something very similar by rewarding users with experience points after completing every task to build up their character. But where Zombies, Run! can be better are the orders, clues and stories delivered to players. Here is a section of their description talking more about this:

we don’t make you watch your screen while you’re running; we don’t make you change your favorite routes; and you don’t need to buy any fancy armbands or tracking devices. All you do is press a button when you start, and another button when you’re done. That’s it. We follow your lead.

Six To Start, the company behind Zombies, Run!, is accepting KickStarter pledges till the 10th of October. So if you like their project, head over to the KickStarter source link and donate them a few bucks.

The app is scheduled to launch in the App Store and Android Market in Feb 2012. You can keep track of their updates through the official website or their Twitter account.

[via Kickstarter, Hat tip to TiPB]

Source: Kickstarter Project “Zombies, Run!” Can Make Running Fun

Apple Vs. Facebook: What Caused Delays In Facebook’s iPad App Launch? [BackStory]

October 1st, 2011 10:01 admin View Comments

Facebook for iOS

A failed HP tablet may have been behind a near fallout between Apple and Facebook, Mashable reports. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg had reportedly promised Steve Jobs that the company would be releasing their first ever tablet app for the iPad. Jobs, however, learnt that Facebook was on its way to release a native webOS app for the HP TouchPad, which obviously didn’t go too well with him.

Apple and Facebook’s relationship has seen a number of ups and downs in the past few years. It started with Apple setting up an “Apple Students” group on Facebook back in 2006, after which a number of other Apple accounts found their way onto the social network. However things turned a little sour when Apple and Facebook couldn’t reach at an agreement with regard to deep Facebook integration in iOS 4 and Ping.

Three months ago, Jobs tried to resolve issues between the two companies by paying a visit to Facebook’s headquarters to discuss Facebook’s iPad app. On learning that Facebook was working with HP to develop a native webOS Facebook app, the already strained relationship between the two companies took a turn for the worse. Mashable reports:

When Jobs learned of the webOS Facebook app during his summer visit to Facebook, he was livid. Zuckerberg vowed to get the app pulled. But Jon Rubinstein, the former CEO of Palm and then the GM of HP’s webOS division, refused to halt the release of the app. Facebook responded by restricting HP’s access to its APIs — just as it had done with Apple’s Ping, a year earlier.

Was Facebook playing both sides? Absolutely, says a source close to HP. Facebook was made aware of the application and device integrations. The company knew what was coming, changed its tune right before release — and only did so to appease Apple.

The Facebook app that eventually launched for the TouchPad was an unofficial build that wasn’t too well received.

As of now, the two companies aligned interests to combat Google has led them to join hands and work on Facebook’s HTML5 codenamed “Project Spartan” which, if rumors are to be believed, would launch at Apple’s media event on October 4th along with Facebook’s iPad app.

Also interesting is the chain of events that led to Ping being launched without Facebook integration:

A source familiar with the chain of the events attributes the Ping debacle to a disagreement over iOS 4. Apple had fully integrated Facebook into the iPhone and iPad’s operating system, and was ready to launch the mobile-social fusion when API negotiations broke down. Apple, lacking confidence in Facebook’s ability to build a great application, asked to build its own Facebook for iPhone app. Facebook responded with a firm no. Negotiations came to halt.

We just hope, nothing else goes wrong between the two companies until October 4th.

[via Mashable]

Source: Apple Vs. Facebook: What Caused Delays In Facebook’s iPad App Launch? [BackStory]

Apple Vs. Facebook: What Caused Delays In Facebook’s iPad App Launch? [BackStory]

October 1st, 2011 10:01 admin View Comments

Facebook for iOS

A failed HP tablet may have been behind a near fallout between Apple and Facebook, Mashable reports. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg had reportedly promised Steve Jobs that the company would be releasing their first ever tablet app for the iPad. Jobs, however, learnt that Facebook was on its way to release a native webOS app for the HP TouchPad, which obviously didn’t go too well with him.

Apple and Facebook’s relationship has seen a number of ups and downs in the past few years. It started with Apple setting up an “Apple Students” group on Facebook back in 2006, after which a number of other Apple accounts found their way onto the social network. However things turned a little sour when Apple and Facebook couldn’t reach at an agreement with regard to deep Facebook integration in iOS 4 and Ping.

Three months ago, Jobs tried to resolve issues between the two companies by paying a visit to Facebook’s headquarters to discuss Facebook’s iPad app. On learning that Facebook was working with HP to develop a native webOS Facebook app, the already strained relationship between the two companies took a turn for the worse. Mashable reports:

When Jobs learned of the webOS Facebook app during his summer visit to Facebook, he was livid. Zuckerberg vowed to get the app pulled. But Jon Rubinstein, the former CEO of Palm and then the GM of HP’s webOS division, refused to halt the release of the app. Facebook responded by restricting HP’s access to its APIs — just as it had done with Apple’s Ping, a year earlier.

Was Facebook playing both sides? Absolutely, says a source close to HP. Facebook was made aware of the application and device integrations. The company knew what was coming, changed its tune right before release — and only did so to appease Apple.

The Facebook app that eventually launched for the TouchPad was an unofficial build that wasn’t too well received.

As of now, the two companies aligned interests to combat Google has led them to join hands and work on Facebook’s HTML5 codenamed “Project Spartan” which, if rumors are to be believed, would launch at Apple’s media event on October 4th along with Facebook’s iPad app.

Also interesting is the chain of events that led to Ping being launched without Facebook integration:

A source familiar with the chain of the events attributes the Ping debacle to a disagreement over iOS 4. Apple had fully integrated Facebook into the iPhone and iPad’s operating system, and was ready to launch the mobile-social fusion when API negotiations broke down. Apple, lacking confidence in Facebook’s ability to build a great application, asked to build its own Facebook for iPhone app. Facebook responded with a firm no. Negotiations came to halt.

We just hope, nothing else goes wrong between the two companies until October 4th.

[via Mashable]

Source: Apple Vs. Facebook: What Caused Delays In Facebook’s iPad App Launch? [BackStory]

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