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2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

News

Apple CEO Cook to meet with investor Icahn

  • September 26, 2013
  • Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook will meet with controversial billionaire investor Carl Icahn on Monday, according to CNBC. CNBC’s report speculates that Icahn — who made a large Apple investment in August — may consider adding to his stake in the company; he frequently takes positions in companies to force major changes in their operations and offerings to shareholders. Icahn’s stake is already believed to be worth “at least $2 billion.” Earlier this month, he said it was “a no-brainer” to add to his position.

Strava, MotionX-24/7, Argus apps now support iPhone 5s M7

The first three apps to support the iPhone 5s’s M7 motion co-processor — Strava Run (free), MotionX-24/7 ($3), and Argus (free)—are now available in the App Store. All of the apps are fitness-based, though features differ from app to app. Due to these apps now using the M7, some privacy permissions and dialog boxes that haven’t been seen within the iPhone 5s have now been revealed.

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Motion Activity appears by default in privacy settings, with all apps requesting motion data appearing in that category with on/off switches. As the M7 is allowing for more motion data reporting than ever before on an iPhone, each app must request motion-tracking permission, notably separately from access to GPS functionality.

Leaked poster shows China Mobile to get iPhone 5c, 5s

A recently leaked promotional poster shows that China Mobile will get both the iPhone 5c and 5s. As the world’s largest cellular carrier, China Mobile has long been rumored to receive the iPhone, but network incompatibilities and contract issues have apparently held the offering up. China Mobile now has its network ready for 4G and is only waiting on government approval, which will come before year’s end — possibly as early as mid-October.

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A recent report noted the carrier would at least get the iPhone 5c. The poster claims customers in China will receive full 3G/4G support, and speeds of up to 100 Mbps with “the strongest iPhone.” [via Unwired View]

Apple announces iOS 7 Tech Talks

  • September 25, 2013
  • Apple

Apple has announced iOS 7 Tech Talks for developers. The talks will take place in San Francisco, Shanghai, New York, Berlin, Tokyo, and London. Each city will get two days of talks — one day for app developers, and the following day for game developers. The talks start in San Francisco on Oct. 8 and end in London on Dec. 18. Developers can apply now; the deadline for submissions is 10 a.m. Pacific, Friday, Sept. 27.

Apple can use iPhone trademark in Brazil

A court has ruled that Apple is allowed to use the iPhone trademark in Brazil. Brazilian company IGB Electronica SA previously had exclusive rights to the “IPHONE” name. Both companies can now legally use the iPhone name in Brazil, but Judge Eduardo de Brito Fernandes said Apple’s iPhone is “world renowned,” and it would be unfair to Apple to let IGB Electronica use the name without restrictions. Last year, IGB Electronica launched a “Gradiente iPhone,” which runs Android. [via AFP News]

French authorities investigating Apple carrier contracts

French authorities are looking into Apple’s contracts with French carriers, according to a new report. Specifics are unclear, but the investigation is likely over concerns of anti-competitive practices. A few months ago, the country’s Competition Authority searched Apple’s French headquarters, wholesalers, and retailers. It was also reported that authorities were monitoring the App Store due to pricing changes. [via MarketWatch]

EA claims, then denies Apple paid to delay Android PvZ 2

Following claims that Apple paid “a truckload of money” to delay the Android version of Plants vs. Zombies 2—a quote that was apparently accurate, spoken by an EA executive and noted by a reported—EA has issued a statement denying a “paid relationship” with Apple, stating that “a comment from an internal meeting taken out of context has created an unfortunate misunderstanding.”

Apple had said the initial claims were “not true,” after which EA said that reports of a paid relationship are “factually inaccurate.” It’s likely that Apple offered EA special promotional considerations in the App Store, including prominent placement in its promotional banners, which guaranteed EA a substantial early flow of revenue for the iOS version of the game. Plants vs. Zombies 2 was released in the U.S. App Store in August. [via PocketGamer]

U.S. regional carriers to sell iPhone 5c, 5s on Oct. 1

A number of U.S. regional carriers have announced next Tuesday, Oct. 1, as a launch date for the iPhone 5c and 5s on their networks. Nine carriers have announced an Oct. 1 launch thus far: Appalachian Wireless, Bluegrass Cellular, C Spire, Cellcom, GCI, MTA, Nex-Tech Wireless, Ntelos, and Strata. It’s possible that other regional carriers may add the 5c and 5s on Oct. 1, but so far, these are the only confirmed carriers to add the device on that date. [via MacRumors]

AppleCare+ now covers users internationally

AppleCare+, Apple’s two-year extended warranty and damage protection plan for certain devices, now allows users to receive iPhone, iPad, or iPod service in any country offering the service. Coverage is limited depending on which countries cover which device models. For example, the CDMA iPhone 5 can’t be replaced in Brazil, where it isn’t available. AppleCare+ for iPad, iPhone, and iPod is now available in 15 different countries. [via TechCrunch]

Space gray, silver fifth-gen iPad shells leaked

  • September 25, 2013
  • iPad

More apparent upcoming iPad parts have been posted online by Sonny Dickson — this time, space gray and silver shells for the fifth-generation iPad. A number of other parts are also featured in the gallery.

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Dickson previously posted front panel photos of the fifth-generation iPad. A French site recently posted an alleged space gray shell for a second-generation iPad mini, as well.

Report: Apple working with Quanta on 12-inch iPad

Apple is rumored to be working with Taiwanese computer manufacturer Quanta on a 12-inch iPad, according to a report from Taiwan. A July report noted Apple was working on tablet devices “measuring slightly less than 13 inches,” and a more recent report claimed Apple was working on a 17-watt power supply for an unknown product — possibly a larger iPad, considering the wattage. [via UDN (translated link)]

Apple TV 6.0 reposted, seemingly with iOS 7.0.2 inside

Apple TV has reposted its 6.0 software update. Interestingly, the update now appears to be based upon iOS 7.0.2, making Apple TV the first device to include this version of iOS. The iPhone 5c and 5s currently run iOS 7.0.1, as did the original version of the 6.0 software update. Apple pulled the most recent software update on Monday after complaints of bricking devices, among other issues.

Apps: djay 2 2.1, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, FIFA 14 + TiltShiftGen2

Algoriddim’s djay 2 ($10) is now ready for iOS 7 in version 2.1. The music mixing app has a new library, and new sample packs from Snoop Dogg and DJ Qbert. DJ Qbert also has his name on new built-in scratch tools within the app. djay 2 has also added support for inter-app audio, and tracks now load faster in iOS 7. On the iPhone 5S version, Harmonic Match has been added to enable automatic key matching of two songs in realtime.

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PBS Kids recently released a newer Daniel Tiger app, but Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Play at Home ($2) is still in the App Store. Play at Home lets kids play with five different games, including Doctor, Bedtime, In Daniel’s Bathroom, Feel the Music, and Sticker Book.

Apple Stores seeing more gold iPhone 5s units in stock

Apple Stores are starting to get more gold iPhone 5s units in stock, as iLounge has seen firsthand. From what we gather, there now appears to be more available gold 5s inventory than there was on launch day. However, supply is still extremely limited, with stores running out of stock as quickly as the phones arrive. A recent report noted that Apple has asked suppliers to increase production of the gold iPhone 5s. More silver iPhone 5s models also seem to be available in stores now.

Teardown: 5s build costs at least $199, 5c $173

A teardown of Apple’s iPhone 5s and 5c by research firm IHS reveals just a few internal differences between the new phones. IHS estimates the 5s costs Apple between $199 to $218 for components and assembly — the lower cost for a 16GB model, and the higher cost for the 64GB model. The iPhone 5c is estimated to cost Apple $173 for the 16GB model, and $183 for the 32GB model. IHS analyst Andrew Rassweiler pointed out that Apple is “spending a lot of time and money combining RF chips,” which allows the phones to support more frequency bands. But internally, there aren’t too many differences between the 5c and 5s. “I would say that they’re almost the same phone, except 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,” Rassweiler said. Though the report claims the phones have “the same cameras,” iLounge has found differences in areas like aperture, angle width and pixel size — the phones have a different flash, as well. [via AllThingsD]

Apple offers credit for Breaking Bad season passes

Apple is offering a $22.99 credit to customers who purchased the fifth season of Breaking Bad via the iTunes Season Pass. Customers expecting to get the full final season found the 16 episodes were split into separate “seasons” by iTunes, requiring separate purchases — the episodes were split into two parts by AMC, but they were still considered part of the same season. One man recently filed a class action lawsuit seeking $14.99 or $22.99 depending on whether viewers purchased the Season Pass in standard or high definition. Apple’s credit is enough for viewers to purchase the high definition pass.

Apple’s email reads, “We apologize for any confusion the naming of ‘Season 5’ and ‘The Final Season’ of Breaking Bad might have caused you. While the names of the seasons and episodes associated with them were not chosen by iTunes, we’d like to offer you ‘The Final Season’ on us by providing you with the iTunes code below in the amount of $22.99. This credit can also be used for any other content on the iTunes Store. Thank you for your purchase.”

Marshall Headphones intros Stanmore speaker

Marshall Headphones has announced the Stanmore ($400), a new Bluetooth speaker. Modeled after a vintage Marshall amp, the Stanmore also has analog knobs for control. The Stanmore puts out 80 watts of total output from a 5 1/4” woofer and two 3/4” tweeters.

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Optical output is also included with the Stanmore, so devices including the Apple TV can be connected to the speaker. A 3.5mm input and RCA input are on board, as well. Marshall’s Stanmore is available now in black or cream.

iPhone 5c/5s cases: Orbino’s Patine, Pantera + iSkin’s exo

Orbino has announced its new Patine ($109) and Pantera ($189-$399) cases for iPhone 5s and 5c. Patine is a hand-stained leather case that comes in graphite, sunburst, mocha, or mahogany colors. Pantera is a hand-stitched leather case that comes in a number of different colors and leather options, with more exotic leathers such as ostrich and crocodile dramatically increasing the price of the case.

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iSkin has introduced the exo ($30) for iPhone 5c. Exo is a shock-absorbing protective case that comes in black or translucent white. The Orbino cases ship Oct. 15; iSkin’s exo ships in five to seven days.

Uncommon intros Power Gallery iPhone 5s custom battery case

Uncommon has introduced Power Gallery ($120), a new customizable battery case for iPhone 5s/5. Power Gallery lets users upload their own images and text to be printed on the back of the case, which contains a 2200 mAh battery. For those who don’t wish to use their own photos, a number of graphic designs are available for use. Power Gallery also lets the user sync the iPhone to a computer while the case is still on.

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Also included with the case are a micro-USB cable and pass-through headphone jack extension cable. Matte black and glossy white versions of Power Gallery are sold for $100 each, and available now.

Apple offers iPhone 5s in-store pickup, availability check

Apple is now allowing customers to check the availability of its iPhone 5s and arrange for in-store pickup through its online store. Currently, all 5s models on all carriers are showing an October shipping date. Although it differs by store, a search of numerous zip codes shows very few models are available for in-store pickup at this time, however, some iPhone 5s units—particularly in Space Gray—are available for certain carriers. By comparison, the iPhone 5c is still shipping within 24 hours, and many models appear to be available for in-store pickup.

Update: Apple is no longer offering in-store pickup for the iPhone 5s as of Sept. 24, a day after making the option available. But it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the option return again in the near future.

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