iPhone 5 is closer to launching in China, as two models have been approved for use on Chinese mobile networks by State Radio Management, Chinese blog Sina Tech reports. The A1429 model can support the networks of China Unicom and China Mobile, while the A1442 model supports China Telecom’s network. There’s long been speculation that Apple could finally reach a deal with China Mobile — China’s largest mobile carrier. Once the iPhone 5 secures a network-access license, it can be sold in China. No launch date has been announced as of yet. [via CNET]
A Facebook post questioning AT&T’s restrictions on FaceTime over Cellular has gone viral, racking up more than 690,000 “likes” and more than 51,000 comments as of this writing. In a Facebook post directed at AT&T, a customer named Wynter Farmer notes her disappointment with AT&T forcing customers to switch to a more expensive, limited data plan in order to use FaceTime over Cellular on the iPhone 5. “In order for FaceTime to be used without WiFi a Family Share Plan is required. That plan has limited data. It took me a second to wrap my head around that,” Farmer wrote, noting that she currently has an unlimited data plan.
The post ends with Farmer writing, “If AT&T doesn’t delete this post please like it to show them you also think it is an underhanded, unfair and despicable way to treat their loyal customers.” The post was written on Oct. 14 and is still racking up comments and likes by the minute, illustrating that user anger over AT&T’s restrictions has not subsided.
During Apple’s fourth quarter 2012 financial results conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer made a number of comments related to Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod businesses.
Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO, noted that the iPod touch continued to account for over 50% of iPods sold, and continues to account for 70% of market share, according to NPD. This is despite declines in overall iPod sales.
Oppenheimer also noted that the demand for the iPhone 5 continues to outstrip supply and the company continues to work as hard as it can to get an iPhone into the hands of every customer who wants one.
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Reporting its fourth quarter 2012 financial results today, Apple said it sold 26.9 million iPhones in the quarter, a 58 percent increase year-over-year, up somewhat from 26 million units in the prior quarter. Apple sold 14 million iPads during the quarter, up 26 percent from the year-ago quarter but down from 17 million units in the third quarter of 2012. Finally, the company said it sold 5.3 million iPods during the quarter — a 19 percent decrease compared to the same quarter last year. Unit sales of iPhones, iPads, and iPods bring the cumulative totals for the three device categories to 271 million, 98.08 million, and 356.38 million, respectively, though Apple did note at a media event several days ago that iPad sales have since surpassed the 100 million mark.
Apple posted revenue of $35.97 billion and net quarterly profit of $8.2 billion, or $8.67 per diluted share, compared with revenue of $28.27 billion and net quarterly profit of $6.62 billion, or $7.05 per diluted share in Q4 2011. Revenue from Other Music Related Products and Services, which includes revenue from the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore in addition to sales of iPod services and Apple-branded and third-party iPod accessories, was 2.29 billion for the quarter, up 43 percent year-over-year and 29 percent from the prior quarter. Apple’s Board of Directors also declared a cash dividend of $2.65 per share of the Company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on November 15, 2012, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 12, 2012.
“We’re very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re entering this holiday season with the best iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod products ever, and we remain very confident in our new product pipeline.”
“We’re pleased to have generated over $41 billion in net income and over $50 billion in operating cash flow in fiscal 2012,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2013, we expect revenue of about $52 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $11.75.”
According to posts on Apple’s Support forums, iPhone 5 owners are continuing to report problems with the phone’s automatic date and time settings. The incorrect time or date will be displayed — anywhere from minutes to weeks different from the correct time and date. The bug was first reported on Apple’s forums on Sept. 24, and responses have continued up to today. Most of the reports seem to come from Verizon users.
The automatic date and time issues are somewhat reminiscent of the iPhone alarm problems users discovered on New Years’ Day 2011, which weren’t fixed right away. According to forum comments, Apple and Verizon both seem to know about the latest issue, but there’s been no official statement or fix from either company as of yet. [via AppleInsider]
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak opines that Apple has been arrogant regarding the iPhone 5, during a podcast interview with TechCentral. “Part of me wishes that Apple had not been so … kind of arrogant and feeling, ‘We’re the only ones with the right clue,’ ” Wozniak said, noting that he wishes Apple would have made a wider version of the iPhone 5.
“I think Apple tricked itself and said, ‘Oh, you can reach everything with one thumb’ and I don’t see anybody having any trouble using the larger screens,” Wozniak said. “So you can do everything with one thumb, but Apple said that as a defensive move, because when the other phones came out, they all had larger screens. And now Apple had to get defensive.”
“I see all the modern smartphones, big, big, big, big, big and then there’s the iPhone,” he said. “…You get a feeling you’re getting more with a larger screen.” The interview covers a number of other topics, as well, including Wozniak’s wishes for a more open Apple and thoughts on the ongoing patent wars. [via Macworld UK]
Production of the iPhone 5 is slowing as Apple aims to reduce obvious damage to units leaving its factories, confirms Bloomberg, noting that Apple has indeed instituted tighter quality control standards at contract manufacturer Foxconn. Customers have reported scratches and nicks on their brand new iPhones, which Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller claimed was “normal”. According to the report, the new, stricter benchmarks have caused a shortage of parts, even halting production at a factory in Shenzhen for a day. Notably, an earlier report had claimed that workers at contract manufacturer Foxconn briefly went on strike in response to the new quality control demands, though Foxconn denied that a stoppage had taken place. Apple has not made an official statement on the quality control changes.
The first electronic dock claiming compatibility with Apple’s Lightning standard has surfaced courtesy of iPhone5mod.com. The Chinese company has made the iPhone 5 Flash Lightning Dock — a dock ($20) and illuminated Lightning cable ($20) for the iPhone 5. According to reports from M.I.C Gadget and MacRumors, iPhone5mod was somehow able to obtain official Lightning chips from Apple’s supplier, but the company claims that it has also obtained cracked authentication chips, as well.
As we previously reported, Apple has tightened its Made For iPad/iPhone/iPod (MFi) policies to exert more control over the manufacturing of Lightning accessories. Apple will apparently host third-party manufacturers at a November seminar before allowing developers to produce new accessories, but if Apple’s authentication chips have actually been cracked, unauthorized third-party accessories may be on the way sooner. [via 9to5 Mac]
A just-issued China Labor Watch report claims that thousands of workers at Foxconn, Apple’s contract manufacturer, went on strike following heightened quality control demands for the iPhone 5. The new standards apparently limit dents in the aluminum body to 0.02mm or less, and relate to “scratches on frames and back covers.”
Some early purchasers of the iPhone 5 noted the presence of scratches and/or dents on the aluminum bodies of newly-opened devices, as discussed in iLounge’s comprehensive review of the device, and although Apple’s marketing chief dismissed them as “normal,” the company apparently quietly attempted to improve the quality control standards to guarantee that such marks would not be visible to customers.
According to the report, Foxconn’s workers were unable to “turn out iPhones that met the standard,” claiming that the new guidelines were too difficult to meet without proper training, and suggesting that the iPhone’s design is flawed. Fights between workers broke out, leading to injuries, property damage, and additional physical threats, which were allegedly ignored by Foxconn management, subsequently leading to a work stoppage. China Labor Watch blames Foxconn pressure on the workers, including limits on vacation time during Chinese holidays, for contributing to the issues. [via AppleInsider]
Update: Foxconn denied that a strike or workplace stoppage had taken place, conceding that two fights had broken out but claiming that they were quickly addressed by management. The company also said that workers had been paid three times their normal wages for labor over the Chinese holiday break, which they had undertaken voluntarily. Regardless, China’s official news agency Xinhua reported that quality inspectors had indeed briefly halted their efforts after a workplace clash at Foxconn.
iOS 6 users with iPhones and iPod touches can now add the Starbucks app to Apple’s Passbook, thanks to a new update. Existing Starbucks Card holders can add their cards to the app for phone payment and rewards, while users without cards can sign up for a new mobile card. Up to 10 “favorite stores” can be added to the app — your device can use geofencing to recognize that you’ve entered one of those stores, and load your card accordingly. To add the card to Passbook, sign in, then go to My Card>Manage>Add Card to Passbook. Note that while the Starbucks app is not yet formatted for iPhone 5, it runs properly in the center of the new iPhone’s taller screen.
Street View has officially been added to the mobile Google Maps web app, accessible on iOS devices at Maps.Google.com, or by searching for an address within Safari’s search bar. After selecting a location within Google Maps, a new icon of a person pops up on the bottom of the screen, leading to Street View within a new Safari tab. The web app for Google Maps also has a new, branded icon, which users will see after adding the page to their Home screens.
Today’s addition of Street View was anticipated by recent reports, and it arrived sooner than initial estimates anticipated. Google Maps is one of the apps mentioned by Apple CEO Tim Cook as an alternative to Apple’s iOS 6 Maps.
- October 3, 2012
Although a small number of reports shortly after the iPhone 5’s launch suggested that a strange “purple haze” was appearing in certain photos taken with the rear iSight camera, we held back on running the claims because they appeared to be consistent with a well-known phenomenon known as lens flare. Users noted that purple-tinted light rays were appearing in photos with a bright light source — such as the sun — near the edges of the frame, and now Digital Photography Review has examined the iPhone 5’s camera more closely, as shown in its photo below, ultimately attributing the issue to two common lens factors: lens flare and internal reflections.
Although the flare is a bit more noticeable on the new iPhone than on some larger cameras, DPReview notes that all lenses can suffer from lens flare, and in this case is likely “caused by a combination of different things, none of which, alone, is unique to the iPhone 5.” The site suggests that users “avoid putting bright lights near the edge of the frame when shooting.”
While Apple has released a fix for Verizon iPhone 5 users experiencing unexpected cellular data usage while on a Wi-Fi network, AT&T iPhone 5 users are also reporting the same issue, suggesting that an iOS 6 problem is to blame. Apple’s support forum has complaints on the issue from both Verizon and AT&T users, but no fix has been announced for AT&T iPhone 5s thus far. [via 9to5Mac]
Verizon iPhone 5 users can now download an update to fix issues with the phone’s cellular data usage while using Wi-Fi. Apple’s website notes that the “carrier settings update resolves an issue in which, under certain circumstances, iPhone 5 may use Verizon cellular data while the phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network.” Many users were reporting cellular data drain with the phone while using Wi-Fi, an issue that may have resulted from a planned but seemingly absent Settings switch to let iOS 6 users fall back to cellular data when Wi-Fi wasn’t working properly. Installation details for the update can be found here.
Apple planned to build its own Pandora-style music streaming service—allegedly as a new iPhone 5 feature—until talks with the world’s largest music publisher Sony/ATV reached a late impasse, according to the New York Post. The two companies couldn’t agree on a per-song rights fee, sources said, dashing the possible deal. While those rights are normally a tenth of a penny per stream, Sony/ATV sought a higher rate from Apple. According to the report, Sony/ATV is also reportedly set to leave the ASCAP and BMI copyright associations, throwing a wrench into future negotiations with other services over streaming rights. [via CNET]
- September 28, 2012
As of midnight, 22 additional countries saw the iPhone 5 become available from Apple. The full list includes Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Prices vary from country to country, but some customers are already complaining about the high costs of the new phone—an annual tradition resulting from international exchange rates, taxes, and country-specific costs of doing business.
The iPhone 5 was also released on a number of regional carriers today, and some of the carriers are already offering discounts on the phone. The regional carrier list includes Cellcom, nTelos, and Appalachian Wireless — all three are knocking $50 off the standard price of the major carriers — as well as C Spire, GCI, and Cricket Communications. Cricket is notably offering a no-contract iPhone 5 for $499. [via PC Magazine]
Wind Solutions has announced the final release of CopyTrans Contacts, software that allows PC users to import and manage contacts across iOS devices without using the cloud or any third-party servers. Contacts can be transferred or imported from other iOS devices and PC email solutions such as Outlook or Gmail. Users can edit contacts on a PC or through the Contacts app. Designed for Windows 7, XP, and Vista, the download is currently available for $2, and is compatible with all iOS devices.
Tap tap tap has released Camera+ for iPad, an iPad optimized version of its popular photography app for the iPhone and iPod touch. In addition to support for the larger iPad screen, Camera+ for iPad introduces several additional unique features including new brush on effects, a photo straightening tool, advanced image adjustments and the ability to layer multiple effects. Users of the iPad version can also import photos from Flickr and Facebook directly into the app to apply effects or touch them up from there.
iCloud support has also been included in the new Camera+ for iPad and added to the iPhone version in an update, allowing users to automatically sync their Lightbox photos between all of their iOS devices using iCloud. The iPhone update also adds support for the expanded iPhone 5 screen and Facebook sharing with single sign-on in iOS 6. Camera+ for iPad requires iOS 5.0 or later and is currently available from the App Store for $1.
Garmin has released major updates to both its Navigon and StreetPilot Onboard iOS apps adding the Public Transit and other navigation features announced last month for both apps as well as bringing Navigon’s Google Street View and Panorama View 3D features to StreetPilot Onboard users.
In addition, the latest versions of Navigon and StreetPilot Onboard now feature full support for the larger iPhone 5 screen and integration with the new iOS 6 Maps allowing users to select an address or point of interest in the Apple Maps app and then switch to Navigon or StreetPilot Onboard to navigate to the selected destination, including support for driving, walking and public transit directions, where available, with the optional Urban Guidance add-on. Garmin StreetPilot OnBoard and Navigon are available from the App Store in several region-specific versions, including Navigon North America ($50), Navigon Europe ($90), Garmin StreetPilot Onboard North America ($45) and Garmin StreetPilot Onboard Western Europe ($85). Urban Guidance is available as a one-time in-app purchase at a special price of $3 as a limited-time discount from the regular $5 price.
Users of iOS 6 who miss Google Maps already have a workaround to access Google Maps — a workaround that will offer Street View in two weeks, according to the New York Times. Street View will soon be added to the iPhone indirectly, through the Google Maps Safari web app. Like any website on Safari, you can add maps.google.com to your home screen; you’ll be prompted to add it to the Home Screen each time you visit. While this isn’t as easy to use as a native iOS app, it’s a quick way to restore nearly everything Google Maps offers, including written directions and traffic reports.
The Google Maps web app does not, however, offer spoken directions, and All Things D reports the lack of voice-guided navigation on iOS Maps was the true deal breaker between Apple and Google, causing Apple to go its own way with Maps. Prior reports citing Google’s desire to add new features and more prominent branding to Maps were also verified as points of contention in the new report.