Posts tagged Apple
Apple just announced its most expensive iPad yet. And as usual, what you’re paying is far, far more than what it costs Apple to make. Apple’s long been at the top of the heap when it comes to making money on one key aspect of its portable devices: storage. That trend continued with this morning’s announcement of a 128GB model of the iPad, a device that costs just a steak dinner short of a full-blown Mac notebook. The new models ring in at $799 for the Wi-Fi only, or $929 for the version with 4G LTE connectivity. That’s $100 more than the 64GB model, which is $100 more than the 32GB model, which is — you guessed it — $100 more than the 16GB iPad. The end result is that Apple can make a healthy profit on those buying the top-of-the-line model, with nearly all of it coming from the storage. The timing on the new model is no accident. NAND flash, which is what Apple uses in the iPad, costs far, far less than what it did a year ago, says IHS’ Andrew Rassweiler.
“Apple’s cost per GB in NAND flash is currently around $0.55/GB. Last year it was closer to $0.90/GB,” Rassweiler said in an e-mail. “So it’s clear that pricing has eroded to the point that Apple can afford to offer 2X memory configurations while maintaining the kind of incremental profit margins they were making on the memory upgrades a year ago.” That means Apple’s spending about $35.20 more for an upgrade that it’s charging buyers $100 for, Rassweiler says. And that’s on top of what people are already spending over the two other storage upgrades from the base model.
The new model comes as analysts are watching Apple’s margins closer than ever, with fears that the iPhone, iPad, and Mac maker is losing its touch when it comes to maintaining high margins on its products. That’s been especially true with iPads, with Apple’s newer, less-expensive iPad Mini bringing in less profit per device than its bigger brother. So will this new, high-end iPad fix that? Not necessarily. In announcing the product this morning, Apple was keen to note that this device is good for “enterprises, educators and artists,” as opposed to the standard consumer. That’s a lucrative group to sell to, but far removed from the millions snapping up the entry-level model.
Offers Twice the Storage Capacity to Create & Enjoy Even More Incredible Content
CUPERTINO, California―January 29, 2013―Apple® today announced a 128GB* version of the fourth generation iPad® with Retina® display. The 128GB iPad with Wi-Fi and iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular models provide twice the storage capacity of the 64GB models to hold even more valuable content including photos, documents, projects, presentations, books, movies, TV shows, music and apps.
“With more than 120 million iPads sold, it’s clear that customers around the world love their iPads, and everyday they are finding more great reasons to work, learn and play on their iPads rather than their old PCs,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With twice the storage capacity and an unparalleled selection of over 300,000 native iPad apps, enterprises, educators and artists have even more reasons to use iPad for all their business and personal needs.”
iPad continues to have a significant impact on business with virtually all of the Fortune 500 and over 85 percent of the Global 500 currently deploying or testing iPad. Companies regularly utilizing large amounts of data such as 3D CAD files, X-rays, film edits, music tracks, project blueprints, training videos and service manuals all benefit from having a greater choice of storage options for iPad. The over 10 million iWork® users, and customers who rely on other incredible apps like Global Apptitude for analyzing team film and creating digital playbooks, Auria for an incredible 48 track recording system, or AutoCAD for drafting architectural and engineering drawings, also benefit greatly from having the choice of an iPad with more storage capacity.
“Our AutoCAD WS app for iOS was designed to give customers seamless access to their designs anywhere, anytime,” said Amy Bunszel, vice president of AutoCAD products for Autodesk. “These files are often large and highly detailed so having the thin and light iPad with its Multitouch display, integrated camera and all-day battery life, is a real advantage for iPad users to view, edit and share their AutoCAD data.”
“The features and capabilities of iPad give us the ability to set a new standard for multitrack recording and editing on a mobile device,” said Rim Buntinas, WaveMachine Labs’ CEO. “Users of the Auria app can play 48 mono or stereo 24bit/96 kHz tracks simultaneously, record up to 24 of those tracks simultaneously, and also edit and mix with familiar tools. With its portability and all-day battery life, iPad has revolutionized recording for audio professionals allowing artists to record anywhere.”
“The bottom line for our customers is winning football games, and iPad running our GamePlan solution unquestionably helps players be as prepared as possible,” said Randall Fusee, Global Apptitude Co-Founder. “The iPad’s unbeatable combination of security, being thin and light, having an incredible Retina display and also being powerful enough to handle large amounts of data enables us to deliver a product that takes film study to a new level and ultimately gives our users the best opportunity to prepare, execute and win.”
The fourth generation iPad features a gorgeous 9.7-inch Retina display, Apple-designed A6X chip, FaceTime® HD camera, iOS 6.1 and ultrafast wireless performance**. iOS 6.1 includes support for additional LTE networks around the world***, and iTunes Match℠ subscribers can download individual songs to their iOS devices from iCloud®.
iPad runs over 800,000 apps available on the App Store℠, including more than 300,000 apps designed specifically for iPad, from a wide range of categories including books, games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. iPad also supports the more than 5,000 newspapers and magazines offered in Newsstand, and the more than 1.5 million books available on the iBookstore℠.
Pricing & Availability
The new 128GB versions of the fourth generation iPad will be available starting Tuesday, February 5, in black or white, for a suggested retail price of $799 (US) for the iPad with Wi-Fi model and $929 (US) for the iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular model. All versions of the 128GB iPad will be sold through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers.
*1GB = 1 billion bytes; actual formatted capacity less.
**Network speeds are dependent on carrier networks. Check with your carrier for details.
*** Information about LTE carriers can be found at www.apple.com/ipad/LTE.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.
More companies embraced the close-range connectivity technology at the Consumer Electronics Show. How they’re using NFC may surprise you. Move over, mobile payments. NFC is finding other ways to make itself useful. In fact, paying for items with one’s phone seems to be the least common use for the close-range connectivity technology right now, at least based on gadgets unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show. Rather, essentially all products using NFC shown at the recent confab employed the technology in one of two ways: To set up a sort of digital handshake between a mobile device and another gadget or as a way to share information between products with just a tap. ”NFC really simplifies things,” Scott McGregor, CEO of connectivity chipmaker Broadcom. “The most advanced technology is stifled if it’s not easy to use. … NFC plays a very valuable role in simplifying user interfaces for consumer products.”
NFC is short for near-field communication, a chip technology that allows devices to transfer small amounts of data between each other. Both devices must contain NFC chips and must be closer than an inch to connect. Typically, NFC works by tapping the two devices together to securely exchange data such as credit card information, train tickets, coupons, press releases, and more. NFC has long been hailed as the technology to bring mobile payments, or the idea of waving your phone in front of a cash register to purchase a good, closer to reality. However, the mobile payments trend has been slow to take off, and it continues to face many hurdles for adoption. While the technological issues have largely been resolved, there just aren’t that many stores and point-of-sales terminals equipped with NFC for widespread use.
But at CES, NFC popped up in nearly everything imaginable (just not at cash registers). Along with the usual devices, like smartphones, there were speakers, cameras, televisions, refrigerators, business cards, and numerous other items. Some companies, such as Panasonic, have even added NFC to rice cookers and other usual items. NFC is already becoming a familiar spec in smartphones. Aside from mobile payments, many handset vendors have been using NFC technology as a way to differentiate their products from rivals, particularly the iPhone. Apple is the most notable NFC holdout, though it’s widely expected to incorporate the technology into future devices. Samsung, meanwhile, has been one of the biggest companies pushing the technology. It has released several ads that show what users can do with NFC (like sharing videos by tapping two Galaxy S3 phones together), and it also has slammed the iPhone 5 for its lack of sharing capabilities. At CES, the company unveiled speakers that use NFC to pair a phone to the device. Content is then streamed via Bluetooth.
And Sony included NFC in nearly all of its products shown at CES, including TVs, smartphones, remotes, and speakers. The company, which dubbed the technology “One Touch,” said during its press conference that it offers more NFC-enabled products than any other electronics maker in the world. Sony noted the technology would ease media transfer and streaming among phones, tablets, TVs, and audio devices by establishing a link between them just by touching the devices to one another. ”Customers are asking for easy, seamless ways to be able to access and transfer their personal content,” Brian Siegel, Sony vice president of marketing, told CNET at CES. “We’ve been talking about it collectively for a long time, and it’s been this combo of wireless and wired solutions. NFC and Sony’s One Touch, we believe, is the easiest solution ever brought to market.”
Panasonic unveiled a couple cameras with the technology, and LG also incorporated NFC into its electronics, as well as its appliances such as washing machines, vacuums, and refrigerators. In the case of appliances, people will be able to pair their smartphones with the product and then control it remotely, like turning on the washing machine while still in the office. NFC has many benefits over other connectivity technology. Most important, it allows users to bypass all the steps required to set up something like Bluetooth. Just think about how long pairing a phone to a Bluetooth speaker takes. You have to discover the device, enter passwords, etc. For less tech savvy users, simply getting two devices to talk to each other can be daunting. With NFC, it’s one tap and the items are paired.
It can even be used to get information from a poster or other non-electronic device by installing passive NFC tags in the item. Unlike NFC readers, which are used in smartphones and other electronic devices, the passive tags don’t need batteries, and they’re very cheap, costing only pennies. An NFC-enabled smartphone is able to decipher the information on the tag by sending energy to it to power it up and receive the data. Caesars Entertainment, owner of eight hotels and casinos in Las Vegas, is making use of such technology. It installed more than 4,500 interactive Samsung TecTiles in its resorts, allowing anyone with an NFC-enabled device to tap the various TecTiles for information such as game tutorials, show times, restaurant menus, and ticket purchases.
“People are talking about putting them in virtually every consumer device,” Henry Samueli, Broadcom co-founder and board chairman, told CNET at CES. “You could walk through your grocery store, and something you buy for a couple dollars could have a tag. That would be useful for stores for inventory control and things like that, and for the consumer, it’s a fast way of exchanging information.” By getting NFC into more devices, companies are easing consumers into the idea of using the technology, which should help when (if) mobile payments take off. Because NFC is a secure technology, it’s still seen as an ideal way to handle mobile transactions. ”NFC was very present at CES, but it had nothing to do with payments,” Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said. “It’s smart because you’re getting consumers familiar with the technology so when mobile payments is ready and the ecosystem ready, they’ll feel comfortable with it.”
Of course, NFC isn’t perfect. Because the technology requires two devices to be very close to each other, it won’t be replacing Bluetooth or Wi-Fi anytime soon. Those longer-range connectivity technologies will still be required for streaming content. Also, in the early days of NFC, it was hard to figure out where to tap to make the connection. In addition, while NFC technology itself is a standard, not all NFC products work together. That’s because companies incorporate their own software into the systems, limiting what devices the products work with. That helps create brand loyalty (if you have a Samsung phone and want to stream content to your TV, it’s easier to also own a Samsung television), but it also limits what consumers are actually able to do with their products.
Market watchers say that should change as industry groups and companies agree on a standard. And in time, NFC might actually show up in the majority of consumer electronics. ”Right now you see Samsung commercials where you tap a Galaxy S3 with another and you’re exchanging videos.” Gartner analyst Mark Hung said. “That’s great, but try doing that with a Nokia phone. All these other companies also have NFC, but interoperability leaves much to be desired. I expect that to be sorted out this year.”
Here are some products that use NFC (Note: not all of these were announced at CES):
- Virtual press kits and business cards – Various execs and companies used NFC as a fast way to share their contact information and press releases. All people meeting them had to do was tap their NFC-enabled phone (sorry, iPhone users) to the item, typically a wristband or business card, to access the information. Samsung, for example, handed NFC-enabled wristbands to all attendees at its press conference, and Sharp gave out business cards embedded with its press release.
- Information points such as posters – Caesars Entertainment, owner of eight hotels and casinos in Las Vegas, installed more than 4,500 interactive Samsung TecTiles in its resorts. Anyone with an NFC-enabled device will be able to tap the various TecTiles for information such as game tutorials, show times, restaurant menus, and ticket purchases.
- Speakers – NFC is typically used in these devices to pair a smartphone to a speaker. The music is not actually streamed to the system via NFC but is shared through Bluetooth. Samsung and Sony were two notable companies with NFC speakers.
- Headphones – The function is much like wireless speakers. Users tap their phone to the headphones to allow pairing for the transfer of music. Sony also makes these.
- Boomboxes and other music players – Sony, again.
- Cameras – At least two cameras introduced at CES included NFC capabilities: ThePanasonic Lumix ZS30 and the Panasonic Lumix TS5. Along with built-in Wi-Fi, the cameras should enable “the widest range of remote shooting options, remote viewing, and instant sharing on social networks.”
- TVs – LG and Sony were a couple big companies showing off NFC-enabled TVs at CES. Like with audio devices, NFC is used to pair a phone to the TV by tapping the two together.
- Remote controls – In this instance, users tap their phones to their remote instead of their TV to pair the device to the television. Sony is one company doing this.
- Appliances – LG showcased a slew of washers, dryers, ovens, refrigerators, and vacuums with NFC technology. After pairing the appliance with a phone, users can program their products from afar, such as turning on a washing machine while still in the office.
- Other weird kitchen items – Panasonic’s Asian operations have made an NFC-enabled rice cooker and a steam microwave oven. Users can search for recipes and program cooking instructions using their smartphones.
- Computers – HP’s SpectreOne all-in-one desktop PC, announced in September, incorporates NFC technology, which it calls HP TouchZone. Via a sensor built into the base of the unit, users can log into the SpectreOne or transfer files to it by simply swiping a smartphone or another device equipped with NFC. HP’s Envy 14 Spectre ultrabookalso includes NFC, as does Sony’s Vaio Tap 20 mobile desktop PC.
- Smart meters for utility companies – Landis+Gyr in late 2011 said it was working with NXP Semiconductor on energy management products with integrated NFC.
- Digital bubble gum machine – Digital advertising agency Razorfish last July developed a high-tech prototype version of the gum ball machine that allows users to download digital content like apps and movies to their NFC-enabled phone for a small fee.
- Heart monitor – Impak Health, a joint venture between Swedish chipmaker Cypak and U.S.-based Meridian Health, developed the RhythmTrak heart monitor. The product tracks certain heart-related data, which can then be downloaded or sent to a clinician by placing it next to an NFC-enabled phone.
- Wii U – It’s not really clear how NFC will be used in this Nintendo console, but it may allow users to do things like add new characters to games.
- Cars – An NFC-enabled smartphone will be able to unlock Hyundai cars by 2015.
As negative as the sentiment has turned on Apple, it’s important to remember that the iPhone has substantially outsold the Galaxy franchise over the last few years.
Despite the doom and gloom talk surrounding Apple, its iPhone franchise has still vastly outsold Samsung Electronics’ own Galaxy lineup. That’s according to Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt, who compiled the cumulative sales of the iPhone 4, 4S, and 5 and stacked them against the Galaxy S and Galaxy Notesmartphones. In total, Apple outsold Samsung 219 million to 131 million. ”Although undoubtedly Samsung’s Galaxy lineup has been tremendously successful, given the sudden negative sentiment related to iPhone, we thought it would be interesting to compare Galaxy sales vs. iPhone sales over the last two and a half years,” he said in a research note issued today.
Samsung has surged over the past few years as the undisputed leader in handsets and smartphones. That’s largely in part due to the success of its Galaxy S flagship lineup. The company, however, has also seen its market share rise thanks to a wide ranging portfolio of phones and tablets, not all of which are as profitable or noteworthy. Apple, meanwhile, has seen its stock slump on fears that demand for its latest iPhone 5 has dropped, prompting the company to cut display orders. There has been an increasing outcry that the iPhone has lost its cachet as people gravitate toward Samsung Android phones instead.
The cries over the lack of innovation began with the debut of the iPhone 4S, and echoed further with the introduction of the iPhone 5. While both solid phones, neither did much to up the ante in terms of features, with the iPhone 5′s marquee additions being features that Android phones have long enjoyed. Still, that didn’t prevent the iPhone 5 from having its usual frenzied launch, and Apple has said it is the fastest-selling iPhone in history. McCourt noted that Apple actually extended the iPhone lead over the Galaxy lineup over the course of last year.
The cumulative total also includes the slower ramp-up of Galaxy sales early on. While the iPhone 4 was a blockbuster from the get-go, Samsung had a much more modest start with the various Galaxy S models, with the first generation coming in the U.S. in four different versions under different names. It wasn’t until the Galaxy S2 that it began to see more momentum. Things are different now. Kevin Packingham, chief product officer for Samsung’s U.S. mobile division, said Galaxy S3 sales actually spiked after the launch of the iPhone 5, and analysts have noted that it continues to be a top-selling phone at all of the carriers. Earlier this week, Samsung said it sold 100 million Galaxy S phones.
According to Apple watchers, the iPhone 5 is not experiencing weak demand — the recently ballyhooed cuts in component orders could in fact reflect improved yields on components.
All of that talk that Apple has reduced iPhone 5 component orders due to slumping demand for the smartphone might be wrong. Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu today wrote in a research note to investors that Apple’s reported cuts to component orders have nothing to do with weak demand. Instead, Wu said that while component orders are lower, they’re due to “much improved yields meaning lower component builds and supplier shifts.” ”As far as we can tell, iPhone 5 demand remains robust,” Wu said. Baird analyst William Power offered up a similar evaluation to investors today, saying that he was “actually raising our calendar fourth quarter iPhone forecast slightly,” adding that “most demand indicators remain favorable.”
The debate over iPhone 5 orders cropped up on Sunday when The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources, that Apple had cut its iPhone 5 screen orders in half. Those sources said that the cut was due to “weaker-than-expected demand.” On Monday, investors responded by selling off Apple shares. The company’s stock ended the day down 3.6 percent to land at $501.75 — a far cry from its 52-week high of $705.07 a share. Now, though, analysts are lining up to make clear that the iPhone 5 is doing just fine. Mark Moskowitz, an analyst at J.P. Morgan, yesterday called the iPhone 5 demand rumors “more noise,” according to AppleInsider. The analyst went on to say that the “order cuts are a direct result of manufacturing yields improving following the fast-and-furious product roll-outs of the iPhone 5 as well as new iPads and Macs.”
And about those cuts? It appears they might not be as deep as the Journal’s sources said. Those folks indicated that iPhone 5 component orders were cut by “roughly half.” According to the New York Times, which spoke with NPD DisplaySearch analyst Paul Semenza, Apple had expected to order 19 million displays for its iPhone 5 in January, but cut it to between 11 million and 14 million. The question now, though, is whether investors will respond favorably to the latest spate of news. As of this writing, Apple’s shares are up 82 cents to $502.57 in pre-market trading.
The new breeds of Android devices exceeds the iPhone 5 in every way, including hardware, operating system, and apps. For the past month, I have been using an HTC Droid DNA, which has similar specs to the rumored upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4. People approach me at grocery stores, airports, coffee shops, even on the street and ask me about the phone. The device is indeed quite compelling, even from a distance. The HTC DNA has an amazingly bright 1080p HD display with a higher resolution than Apple’s iPhone 5 Retina display. The operating system is modern with dynamic widgets that tell you at a glance what’s going on. The apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and such are equivalent to those available to iOS, and Google Apps such as Google Now, voice recognition, and Google Maps are sleek and modern. This is hands down a better device than the iPhone 5, and people seem to intuitively recognize it.
What phone would I recommend for my mom? An iPhone. It’s safe, predictable, and uniform. What would I recommend for anyone under 40? Definitely one of the new breeds of Android phones. Android might still be a bit quirkier than an iPhone, but it’s definitely not confusing for people who interact daily with a variety of advanced technology. Samsung really nailed it in its commercial where a young woman is waiting in line for a new iPhone and it turns out she is holding the spot for her parents.The new breed of Android devices exceed the iPhone 5 in every category — hardware, operating system, and apps.
The spec is alive and well — and killing Apple
Hardware from Samsung, HTC, LG, and others has now caught up and eclipsed Apple’s devices. Smartphones don’t really have that many specs to evaluate, and each of the specs actually means something tangible to an average consumer. After five years of advanced smartphones, specs like screen size, screen density, screen brightness, camera speed, camera megapixels, physical dimensions, physical weight, amount of memory, and battery life are easily understandable and relevant to even the average smartphone consumer. Even specs like the number of processor cores and speed that are typically not easy to understand are easily understood when framed as “faster than the iPhone 5.”
Conversely, the spec is definitely irrelevant when purchasing Apple products. There are so few products to choose from that decision making is essentially boiled down to a Goldilocks-style small/medium/large decision mainly driven by cost rather than actual features. While this is great for my mom and MG Siegler, the lack of spec-based decision making is not necessarily a good thing in a world where consumers actually understand each of the specs and would like to choose how to balance them out relative to cost. Apple has been a follower on many specs, particularly in terms of form factors, trailing the market in both 4-inch phones and 7-inch tablets.
iPhones are definitely gorgeous devices, but they are relatively uniform and monotone. Aluminum is definitely great. I was surprised by how many women commented on the red accents on the HTC DNA, which are part of the DNA’s crossbranding with Beats Audio. People like colors and variety, and they don’t necessarily like having to completely cover a phone’s shell and make it bulkier in order to express themselves. Let’s not forget that all of those Samsung Galaxy phones you see cost the same as an iPhone — their owners are not bargain shoppers; they are spec and style shoppers.
The screen should actually show you something!
As mobile app developer Ralf Nottman recently noted, the new generation of Android 4 Jelly Bean is a fundamentally better operating system than iOS — better rendering, better cross-app sharing, better app/OS integration, and more polished. But the real standout for Android is the customizability of the display. Rather than iOS static icons with embedded notifications, with Android, apps are front and center, displaying the time in different time zones, the weather, appointments, emails, texts, whatever you want in numerous themes that can completely reinvent the user interface.
Windows Phone 8, the dark horse in this race, is actually even more integrated, with a unified messaging interface that consolidates emails, texts, and Facebook messages into a single thread, and a consistent tile interface with which apps can display information on the home screens. The operating system is not as important as the apps, and this is where Android is beginning to shine.
The cloud behind the app is more important than the app
In a world where the hardware and operating system have become commoditized, the apps are the differentiator, and more and more, the apps are a viewport into a cloud service driven by machine learning. The vast majority of Internet users rely on Google Search, Maps, YouTube, Mail, and such, and spend more time in those apps than in the mobile operating system itself. As people are beginning to note, Google’s apps are way better than Apple’s. What good is Siri if it thinks “Hurricane Sandy” is a hockey team, when Google knows what’s actually going on? Google Now is adding ambient awareness to Android devices, letting people know what’s going on around them and what they need to do in a very personal way, with features like a notice that you need to leave for your next meeting because there is now traffic en route.
Perhaps, as is rumored off and on, Apple will start snapping up cloud services such as Waze.However, it is hard to buy and integrate a new type of product category into a large company that doesn’t have it in its DNA. Competing with Google, an entrenched, dominant player in machine intelligence that recently added Ray Kurzweil to its roster is going to be a challenging affair. Microsoft actually had a better track record of delivering large-scale cloud services, such as mail, mapping, and storage, than Apple.
Beyond Google’s apps, the reality of the app market is that all of the applications that matter are now on Android, and it actually will soon have more apps than iOS. Dan Lyons of ReadWrite is lambasting the Silicon Valley tech press for living in an iPhone echo chamber, and he does have a point. Pundits are lauding Google Maps features on their iPhones that have been available on Android devices for literally years. Bloggers breathlessly reveal new Facebook iPhone app features such as “Find Friends Nearby” that had been available for over a month on Android. The feedback loop of the echo chamber is that developers initially develop apps on iOS, much like the recently popular Cinemagram. However, developers like Nottman like cool devices, and are starting to shift over to Android. In addition, developers are feeling limited by iOS user interface patterns and its skeuomorphic apps and are branching out. Like the Mac OS of the early ’90s, the consistent UI across applications will likely splinter.
The numbers speak for themselves. Android has a 75 percent smartphone worldwide market share, as evidenced by the hordes of Samsung devices in use throughout Europe and Asia. While Apple is regaining market share in the U.S. with the iPhone 5, it is about to face an onslaught of 5-inch Android phones with specs that far exceed the iPhone 5′s. Wall Street clearly sees a shift coming, and has hammered Apple’s stock price over the past quarter. The average consumer has moved past the days of pious, scruffy haired, unshaven, thick glasses-wearing dudes lecturing us on how Apple is so cool. Perhaps soon Silicon Valley will catch up. When you see someone in a cafe with a MacBook Air, iPad, and iPhone on the table in front of them, is “Think Different” really what comes to mind?
If your iPhone button is not responding and you’re out of warranty, here are four things you can do to fix it. No matter how anal you are about keeping your iPhone safe and intact, there is still a chance your home button will eventually suffer the effects of normal wear and tear. The iPhone 5, which features a change to the anatomy of the home button, may solve this problem, but previous iPhone models are still susceptible to this common phenomenon.
If you’re still within the provided one-year warranty and your phone doesn’t show signs of accidental damage, head on over to Apple. As long as you’re covered by warranty, the company will replace your phone or perform any necessary repairs. Those who got hit with the home button plague after their warranty period can give the following four fixes a try. Just be warned: if you improperly perform methods 2 and 3 and damage your phone, we don’t take responsibility.
Method 1: Calibrate (and possibly restore)
If you’re lucky, your slow-to-respond home button is due to a software glitch. To find out, you’ll need to calibrate your home button. Here’s how: Open up a stock app, like the Clock. Hold down the sleep button until “Slide to power off” appears. When it does, let go of the sleep button and hold down the home button. After about 5-10 seconds, the app will close. If this solved your problem, you are one lucky iPhone owner. If it didn’t you may want to try restoring your iPhone before continuing to the second method.
Method 2: Realign the docking port
There is a chance that through normal wear and tear, your phone’s docking port got misaligned, moving the home button along with it. Although a repair shop might suggest you replace the home button, this YouTuber offered a different solution. Plug a USB cable into your iPhone. Then, gently push down on the 30-pin connector, so that it pushes up behind the home button. While you apply the pressure, click the home button. Remove the cable, and see if that fixed the problem.
Method 3: Clean the home button
A splash of soda, sticky hands, dirt in the bottom of your purse or pocket — any of these things can damage your iPhone’s home button. For this fix, you’ll need 98-99 percent isopropyl alcohol, which can be found at hardware stores. Using a cotton swab, eye dropper, or tissue, apply 2-3 drops of the isopropyl alcohol directly to the home button, avoiding the screen. Then, with a narrow, dull object (like the eraser on the back of a pencil), repeatedly tap the home button so that the alcohol seeps into the frame. Wipe clean, and wait about 10-15 minutes before checking to see if that did the trick.
Method 4: Enable the on-screen home button
If the previous three methods did not work, it sounds like perhaps you have a completely defunct home button. In this case, your home button’s connectors may have been misaligned and would require professional repair. (Or, if you’re willing to brave it, iFixit shows you how to DIY.) The good news is, you can still use your phone using its on-screen home button. Normally, this is used as an accessibility option, but it’s also a common solution for those with non-functioning home buttons. To enable the on-screen home button, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Assistive Touch. Turn Assistive Touch on, and you’ll see a small circle appear on screen. Tapping that circle gives you four options: Home, Siri, More (for things like multitasking and playback controls), and Favorites. In your case, ignore Favorites, but tap this on-screen button whenever you need to access your home screen, activate Siri, or get all the options you’d normally see when you double-tap the home button. If the on-screen home button ever gets in the way, simply tap and hold to drag it anywhere else along the frame of your screen. It’s hardly an ideal solution, but it’ll hold you over until you’re ready to purchase a new phone or get your current one fixed.
The iPhone 5 is just a few months old but its “in-cell” touch technology may already be old news, according to a new report. Apple’s use of the so-called “in-cell” touch technology in the iPhone 5 could be short-lived, according to a new report that claims the company is already eyeing alternatives for its next iPhone model. Citing supply chain rumors.
The China Times (translation) says Apple is currently evaluating technology called Touch On Display from Innolux, the company formerly named Chimei Innolux which Apple last year listed as one of its component suppliers. The reason for the change, the report claims, is due to interference with the current in-cell technology where both the display and touch are embedded in the same panel. By comparison, the Touch On technology offers “good” touch sensitivity with minimal thickness, something that’s become increasingly import as mobile phones get thinner.
Display technology has been a major feature of the iPhone since Apple’s first model, which at 3.5-inches was considerably larger than most competing smartphones when it was released. Apple later increased the pixel density while keeping the 3.5-inch size, technology it called the Retina Display. That same technology ended up on the iPad and high-end versions of Apple’s MacBook Pronotebooks.
The display continues to be one of the most expensive parts of the iPhone. A virtual teardown by IHS iSuppli in September estimated the combined display and touch screen to cost Apple $44, putting it well ahead of the components for wireless antennas, NAND flash memory, and the A-series processor.
Rumors have swirled in recent weeks that Apple is preparing an intermediary upgrade to theiPhone 5 for release as soon as this spring. Alleged shots of its rear casing cropped up last month on a French technology blog that’s been known to get accurate shots of Apple components in the past. Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White this week said that he expects the company to roll out a “5S” model in May or June with “more color patterns and screen sizes,” similar to what Apple offers on its latest iPod Touch models.
A speedier version of 802.11 Wi-Fi is said to be in the works for a future version of Apple’s Macs using technology from Broadcom. Apple’s next round of upgrades to its Mac computers are rumored to include a new, faster version of the ubiquitous 802.11 Wi-Fi spec. Citing sources, The Next Web says Apple is working with Broadcom to include 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology in its Mac lineup, a move that would increase wireless networking speed when used with 802.11ac routers. The 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, which Broadcom has called “5G Wi-Fi,” supports up to three streams and speeds of up to 1.3Gbps on the 5GHz band. That speed is dropped down to 450Mbps over a three-stream version on the existing 802.11n bands, but remains compatible with older devices.
The report does not mention when Apple would roll out such an update, short of saying in future models and that the chip in question is still in development. The company updated nearly its entire Mac lineup except for theMacBook Air and Mac Pro desktop last October, suggesting any revisions would arrive later this year. Any upgrades to the newer standard, which remains in draft, would presumably bring changes to Apple’s trio of Wi-Fi routers as well. It’s been nearly a year since Broadcom announced its first 802.11ac-enabled chips, with many of the first mass-market routers and adapters arriving just a few months ago.
Analyst Brian White claims the next iPhone will get the same color selection as the iPod Touch and arrive in May or June. Oh, and there will be a range of sizes.
A new year brings with it new iPhone 5S rumors. And this time around the latest from Apple could even come in pink. Analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets is all bullish on Apple this morning claiming his sources tell him that the next iPhone will arrive in May or June with more choices for customers including “more color patterns and screen sizes.” Apparently White’s bulls aren’t seeing just red Apples, though. Rather, he believes the iPhone 5S could have as many color choices as the most recent generation of the iPod Touch:
These colors included pink, yellow, blue, white & silver, black & slate… We believe the addition of color to the iPod Touch lineup was a testing ground for adding color to the next generation iPhone that we believe could be available in eight colors in total.
White also says his “checks” indicate that Apple could be planning to offer a single iPhone model in different screen sizes for the first time, perhaps opening the door to a lower-priced iPhone, or going after consumers interested in the trend of bigger phones and phablets like Samsung’s higher-end Galaxy line of phones.
The rumor fits with the way Apple has traditionally worked and their movements of late. Testing the waters with the iPod Touch for an improvement to the iPhone and offering consumers greater choices to compete with the broadening market sounds a lot like Tim Cook’s way of thinking to me. Besides, what else is there for the iPhone fan who lines up for each iteration to buy? How about a second iPhone for his girlfriend or mother in pink? Brilliant.