Breaking with recent tradition, Apple apparently will not be streaming live video of its 2013 “brighten everyone’s day” iPhone Event from its Cupertino headquarters. Regardless, we’ll be posting live updates here to discuss what’s taking place at the event as it happens. Thus far, details leaked before the event strongly suggest that we will see the introduction of the iPhone 5S (possibly styled “iPhone 5s”), iPhone 5C (“iPhone 5c”), and iOS 7, as well as software updates to iTunes and the Apple TV—the basic details of which have been known for days or weeks. Also possible are price changes and other tweaks to the iPod lineup, which has been suffering from declining sales for quite some time.
Apple has announced the plastic iPhone 5c ($99 for 16GB, $199 for 32GB) as a complete replacement for the iPhone 5, available in five plastic colors (white/pink/blue/green/yellow). It has also debuted the iPhone 5s (16GB: $199, 32GB: $299, 64GB: $399) as a sequel, in three colors (space gray, silver/white, and gold/white), with a 64-bit processor, improved cameras (improved FaceTime HD, faster iSight lens, plus 120fps 720p video recording), Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and promised somewhat better battery life. The iPhone 4S (now restyled as “iPhone 4s”) will oddly remain as an 8GB model for $0 on contract. The new phones will go on pre-order September 13 and hit stores on September 20.
Additional details are found after the fold, so if you’re on our main page, click on the title of this article for the full story. Updated: Apple’s official video of the event was posted after its conclusion, and is available here.
A number of photos on Weibo appear to show packaging for an Apple-made leather case called the iPhone 5s Case designed for the “iPhone 5s” and iPhone 5. The packaging reads “This case is made from natural aniline leather. Its appearance will change as you use it.” The leather version of Apple’s iPad Smart Cover case also uses aniline leather, suggesting that Apple will once again charge a fairly substantial price for this accessory.
It’s notable that the packaging is specifically branded for the iPhone 5S, while also reading, “Compatible with iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s” — a lowercase “s” in the new device’s name, while omitting the older device’s name from the accessory’s official title. [via HDBlog.it (translated link)]
One more leak before today’s Apple event appears to show the iPhone 5S’s Home Button now listed as a “Home Button/Touch ID sensor” in the device’s user guide. The device’s fingerprint scanner will apparently be referred to by Apple as a Touch ID sensor.
The fingerprint scanner was long rumored to be in the iPhone 5S, and recently confirmed by the Wall Street Journal. As was previously reported, it appears that the button lacks the rounded square icon of the past and is surrounded by a gray ring. [via Nowhereelse.fr (translated link)]
Fast Company is on the cusp of concluding an extensive feature story titled “An Oral History of Apple Design.” The story has interviews from many interesting figures throughout Apple’s recent history, revealing a number of details that were little-known or unknown before. As the piece notes, very few designers have left the design team of Apple Senior Vice President Jony Ive — “Two quit; three died.” Fast Company interviewed the two designers who quit, along with a number of other Apple veterans. The series is set to end tomorrow, and it’s a recommended read for anyone with a remote interest in Apple design. We’ve highlighted a few interesting tidbits and revelations within the expansive article.
The feature starts in 1992. It notes that Ive personally tailored the design studio’s every facet to make former Apple CEO Steve Jobs comfortable, ranging from the clothing people wore to the music they played, to the rule that people had to slowly move away from where Steve was when he came in. It became the CEO’s “happy place.” Apple designers chose translucent plastic for the iMac because it gave “the feeling that there was something intelligent” inside the computer, which were all previously opaque beige boxes, a design theme that carried over to the iPod.
Keep reading for many additional interesting details.
Apple is being sued by an Ohio man who claims he’s owed $22.99 for not receiving all 16 episodes in the iTunes Season Pass for Breaking Bad — the fifth and final season of which was split into two parts by AMC. The suit claims Apple engaged in false advertising, as the Season Pass page notes that viewers will get “every episode in that season,” but Apple only provided the first eight episodes with the pass. The suit makes the case that the last 16 episodes of the show have always been referred to by show creators as “Season 5.” The class action suit seeks either $14.99 or $22.99 depending on whether viewers purchased the Season Pass in standard or high definition. [via GigaOM]
Apple Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jony Ive has teamed up with U2’s Bono and designer Marc Newson to create special items for The Global Fund in an upcoming auction, including a pair of 18-karat solid rose gold Apple EarPods. Ive and Newson customized the EarPods for the (RED) Auction, which takes place on Nov. 23 at Sotheby’s in New York. The two also designed a customized Leica Digital Rangefinder camera for the auction. The Global Fund is an organization dedicated to fighting AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. [via AppleInsider]
Chug Patrol: Ready to Rescue ($5) is a new Chuggington interactive pop-up book from StoryToys Entertainment. Based on the licensed Chuggington characters, this flip-style book is lightly animated on its regular pages, but features lots of voice narration and audio samples to keep kids excited. Interactive roadside rescue/task games break up the flat pages, and kids will find it easy to play the activities due to simple tap action commands. Young fans of Chuggington will find this book charming, and the artwork is all in extremely high resolution.
Amazon’s Kindle (free) app has updated to 3.9.2. According to Amazon, it is a required update before upgrading to iOS 7. The update fixes an issue with iOS 7 that could cause customers to have to re-register and re-download books which were already purchased from Amazon.
China Mobile will carry Apple’s iPhone 5C, according to a tweet from Wall Street Journal reporter Ian Sherr. It’s been speculated that China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier, would carry the iPhone — especially after Apple announced its Sept. 11 event at Beijing’s China World Trade Center. Apple and China Mobile have long been in negotiations for the carrier to sell the device. Sherr did not report any additional information about any other iPhone models China Mobile might sell; given the carrier’s long-time interest in an iPhone model catering to price-conscious customers, it’s possible that China Mobile could only carry the iPhone 5C.
Alleged photos of the iPhone 5S box were recently posted on a Chinese site. Notably, the Home Button no longer appears to have the rounded square icon — a previously rumored change. Instead, there’s a gray ring around the Home Button, which has also been rumored.
Some have speculated that the gray rings in Apple’s official Sept. 10 event invitation allude to the gray iPhone 5S ring. If the photos are legitimate, the box would mark a return to 3GS-era packaging, as boxes for the iPhone 4, 5, and 5S all had an angled front view of the devices. The low-quality photos make the leaks questionable, but certainly not inconceivable. [via C Tech]
Update: iPhoneinCanada posted much clearer versions of the same photos — we’ve replaced the lower quality photos with the better pictures, and added two additional pictures, which feature a better view of the iPhone 5S name on the side of the box.
Odoyo has announced its SoftEdge and Candy Combo cases for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5C. The SoftEdge ($20) cases are translucent, with a flash ring that claims to eliminate lens flare and light bleed from photos. SoftEdge cases have a polished glossy texture on the back for grip, and they come in one of six color designs.
Odoyo’s Candy Combo ($25) cases also employ a flash ring and the company claims the bumper on the case amplifies and projects audio. Six solid bi-color designs are offered. The cases are scheduled to be released Sept. 10 — the day of Apple’s iPhone event.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote has issued an injunction against Apple for its involvement in fixing e-book prices, Reuters reports. Cote barred Apple from entering any agreements with the five major publishers — Macmillan, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, and Hachette — that would impede its ability to reduce e-book prices or offer discounts. Judge Cote also said an external monitor would be appointed for two years to prevent antitrust behavior from Apple. The terms will expire after five years, but the judgment could be extended in one-year increments. As expected, no App Store changes were included in the injunction.
Additionally, GigaOM notes Apple may not enforce most-favored-nation clauses in any e-book publishing contracts for five years. The company must also stagger new contract negotiations with the five major publishers in an order set by the judge. Apple plans to appeal the injunction. “Apple did not conspire to fix e-book pricing,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said. “The iBookstore gave customers more choice and injected much-needed innovation and competition into the market.”
Apple is reportedly testing new iPhones with screens ranging from 4.8 to 6 inches, according to The Wall Street Journal. Suppliers say Apple has tested larger iPhone screens recently, and the company has been “particularly interested” in testing a 4.8-inch screen. As the report notes, Apple eventually adopted a multi-size approach to its iPod — it wouldn’t be out of the question to see the company take a similar path with the iPhone in the future. Sources indicate Apple is “more willing” to move in that direction than it was before.
Coming out of nowhere today is Call of Duty: Strike Team ($7), a premium-priced shooter from Activision. The newest title in a long line of Call of Duty games, Strike Team offers both first-person and third-person views of combat, as players can switch views during the game for traditional FPS shooting and melee combat, then tactical strategy viewed from the position of a drone. CoD: Strike Team features a single-player campaign mode, plus a survival mode which lets players fight off waves of enemies while competing against others. It’s a neat game — unfortunately, like 2K Drive below, we experienced a few technical problems with the game, as it crashed multiple times during the first level. Hopefully future updates will fix the issues.
Hello Vino, the free wine app from Drive Thru Interactive, has gotten a sizable update in version 3.0. The updated app has been redesigned and is now universal for iPhone and iPad. Hello Vino now offers insider wine deals, expert reviews from Elizabeth Schneider, audio pronunciations of wines, improvements to the “My Wines” feature and enhancements to the wine label scanner. Tens of thousands of new wines have also been added to the app’s database.
Carrier China Telecom briefly indicated that it was accepting reservations for Apple’s iPhone 5S and 5C. The message, which referenced sales of both new phones, was posted on a microblogging website and has been removed. It’s possible Apple could launch both devices in China earlier than usual, coinciding with an expected U.S. launch on Sept. 20. Apple is hosting a special event in Beijing on Sept. 11, with many speculating that carrier China Mobile will start carrying the iPhone. [via TechWeb (translated link)]
Separately, a report indicates that Japan’s NTT DoCoMo has reached an agreement with Apple to sell iPhones, breaking a long-time impasse between the companies. The issues began after minor rival Softbank secured an early exclusive on the iPhone, which then continued to erode DoCoMo’s once-dominant Japanese market share. [via Asahi Shimbun (translated link)]
Hard Candy Cases is the latest company to unveil new cases for Apple’s upcoming iPhones, debuting its HarvestCraft Slider ($40) for iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. The slider cases come in three different color combinations per base color package.
Availability is listed as October, after the expected release dates for the new phone. Yesterday, Booq unveiled an iPhone 5C case, but the page has since been taken down.
German carrier Deutsche Telekom announced today that it will be launching LTE+ — otherwise known as LTE-Advanced, capable of doubling LTE speeds to up to 150Mb/second — as an addition to its network, fueling speculation regarding iPhone 5S LTE-Advanced capability. In the announcement, the company notes that Samsung will offer a Galaxy S4 with LTE-A, while also claiming “comparable devices from other vendors will follow at the end of September,” around the time of Apple’s expected iPhone 5S launch. An earlier report claimed that Apple was negotiating to bring an LTE-A iPhone 5S to South Korea, on SK Telecom’s network. It’s unclear whether Apple plans to include LTE-A technology in any or all iPhone 5S devices, or if it will be included in separate models based on country and network.
Notably, AllThingsD has reported that Apple will hold special satellite events in Berlin, Beijing, and Tokyo on September 11, following its September 10 unveiling of the iPhone 5S. New carrier-specific deals or services in these countries may be the reason for the events.
Ten One Design has released a set of new interchangeable magnetic tips for its Pogo Connect stylus for iPad, selling four different packages. Ten One Design’s R1 ($10) is built for note-taking, with a thin profile. The R2 ($10) is a bit thicker, and the R3 ($10) is the standard tip that comes with every Pogo Connect. Each of the tips comes in a pack of two.
The other new tips are the B1 and B2 ($25), two paintbrush tips that come together in a set. B1 is a straight brush, while B2 is an angle-brush style tip. All of Ten One Design’s new Pogo Connect tips are available now.
Reportedly involved in producing the iPhone 5C, Apple supplier Jabil Circuit has been accused of numerous labor violations by China Labor Watch. The watchdog group has alleged that Jabil Circuit’s factory in Wuxi, China has engaged in infringements including millions of dollars in unpaid overtime wages, more than 100 hours of monthly mandatory overtime, more than 11 hours of daily standing work with no rest other than 30-minute meal breaks, hiring discrimination, and inadequate pre-work training. The full report can be found on the China Labor Watch website. Notably, the company is based in St. Petersburg, Florida.
IK Multimedia has announced the iRig Pro ($150), a universal digital mobile audio/MIDI interface for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. A pocket-sized, battery-powered interface, the iRig Pro is a step up from the company’s iRig HD. It “accepts virtually every type of audio and MIDI input” — dynamic or condenser microphones, guitars, line-level sources, keyboards, pads, and controllers are all compatible. The audio and MIDI inputs can be used simultaneously to control guitar or vocal software with foot controllers or pedals, for switching presets, and for controlling effects levels. A suite of IK’s music creation apps is also included.
iRig Pro features a 1/4”-XLR combo input connector for use with standard XLR cables, a 1/4” mono line, or instrument signal cables. A switchable 48V phantom power supply can be used with studio condenser microphones. iRig Pro is powered by a 9V battery, and comes with three detachable cables that are compatible with Lightning, Dock Connector and USB connectors. IK Multimedia’s newest interface is set to ship this month.
Harman debuted its fall line of products today, notably including two Harman Kardon speakers and one JBL speaker. Borrowing design elements from the earlier Go + Play speaker system, the Harman Kardon Onyx Wireless Speaker System ($500) can use either Bluetooth or AirPlay to stream music. Built with four speakers and a 60-Watt amplifier, the circular Onyx also has a six-hour rechargeable battery inside. Harman Kardon also unveiled Esquire ($249), a square wireless portable speaker and teleconferencing system featuring dual audio drivers and dual noise-cancelling microphones. Esquire uses Bluetooth for up to 10 hours of wireless operation during music streaming and phone calls. An adapter with three built-in USB ports is also included for charging multiple devices at once.
Harman also announced the JBL Spark ($129), a colorful cone-shaped wireless speaker system. Two 40mm drivers are included in the speakers, which can stream audio via Bluetooth. Spark includes a stainless steel hanging hook and fabric cord with inline controls, as well as a power adapter.