RadioShack is offering a $30 discount on all of their AT&T high end smartphones which obviously includes the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, starting Sunday and running until December 17th. The sale will bring the iPhone 4S 16GB down to $170 0n contract and the iPhone 4 16GB to $70 on contract. Also, if you use Radioshack’s trade-in program you can get the phones for free and even have some extra credit left over. Head over to your local store to take advantage of this sale.
In the ever-changing patent wars, somedays you are the windshield and some days you are the bug. After coming up roses Thursday, Apple finds itself on the losing side against Samsung and Motorola.
An Australian court today dismissed Apple’s request to continue the country’s ban on Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet. The ruling by the Australian High Court means the South Korean company will be able to hawk its device during the all-important Christmas buying period.
In an ironic move, the court also ordered the Cupertino, Calif. tech giant pay legal costs. Conversely, on Thursday, a French court denied Samsung’s bid to ban the iPhone 4S, ruling the smartphone maker must pay Apple’s court costs. Apple and Samsung are engaged in courtroom brawls covering some 10 nations.
Apple suffered a second patent loss Friday, this time in Germany. That nation’s court ordered an injunction against the iPhone and iPads using 3G. Motorola claimed the Apple devices infringed on a European patent regarding the “Method for Performing a Countdown Function During a Mobile-originated Transfer for a Packet Radio System.” Patent expert Florian Mueller, writing at FOSS Patents, said the patent was ruled essential for the GPRS standard, a version of 3G used widely used in Europe.
The ruling comes after a German court sided with Motorola in an earlier default judgement against Apple. The default judgement was entered after Apple failed to respond to Motorola’s complaint. Today’s court decision actually carries a penalty compared to the essentially administrative default ruling.
Although the iPhone 4S was released after Motorola filed the German lawsuit, Mueller believes Apple’s newest iPhone would also contain the offending technology. However, the actual ruling mentions only the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G.
While Apple’s next step is unknown, one potential reaction could be for the company to modify its products to remove the patented technology. The company is expected to unveil a new iPhone and iPad in early 2012.
Digitimes’latest report puts some numbers on the low end iPhones coming out of China. The 2.5 year old iPhone 3GS has continued to sell briskly with the volume likely to reach two million units in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 1.4-1.6 million units in the first quarter of 2012, according to “industry sources”.
Think about that for a second. In a world where a new, free Android flagship phone comes out every week or so and dying out a few months later, Apple is selling 2 million/quarter of a device that was introduced two and a half years ago. This is the phone the original Droid went up against — in fact.
Verizon and conceivably other CDMA carriers in the world have also continued to sell the iPhone 4 CDMA version at an impressive clip.
Meanwhile, the production of the CDMA version of iPhone 4 is expected to top 800,000 to one million units in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 500,000-600,000 units in the following quarter, estimated the sources.
Remember in October how Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer went off message and actually predicted this current quarter would see Apple’s selling more iPhones than ever before? It was certainly unusual for Apple executives to raise expectations in such a specific way, but it looks like it wasn’t such a risky call: A new report from UBS says Apple is on track to sell 30 million iPhones this quarter, which would blow away the previous record of 20.34 million set in the company’s fiscal third quarter.
Maynard Um of UBS sent a note to clients late Wednesday night saying that based on AT&T’s exuberant report that the carrier is on its way to selling more iPhones than it ever has, he is upping his estimate of iPhones sold during this quarter from 28 million to 30 million. AT&T says it has sold 6 million iPhones this quarter already, so even with more than three weeks left in the quarter, its executives felt comfortable predicting it would easily surpass its current record of 6.1 million iPhones sold.
But even then, Um said his estimate is still conservative and that the actual number of iPhones sold could go even higher this quarter. He writes:
We believe that there is a general strength across the board for iPhone demand and are raising our CY4Q [estimates] to 30mn from 28mn units. We continue to believe that our [estimates] are conservative as these revised [estimates] are still below where expected build plans are. We conservatively leave our out [sic] qtr ests though we believe China launches could drive upside.
Apple, on the other hand, was the opposite of conservative when it forecast this quarter. Back in October, just after the iPhone 4S went on sale, Cook stated, “I’m confident that we will set an all-time record for iPhone this quarter,” and Oppenheimer put a bold forecast out there to match: $37 billion in revenue for this quarter — up 38 percent from the $26.74 billion of the same quarter last year — and earnings per share of $9.30, up from $6.43.
We will find out mid-January just how bold — or conservative — that call was.
Although AT&T provided few details on how many iPhones the carrier sold this quarter, several analysts are upping their estimates based on consensus that Apple will report record-breaking sales. The Apple smartphone has “general strength across the board” with sales hovering around 30 million units for the three-month period.
Maynard Um, analyst with UBS Equity Research, Wednesday night raised his iPhone sales estimate to 30 million for the holiday period, up from his previous 28 million forecast. “We believe that there is a general strength across the board for iPhone demand,” he told investors.
Both Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu and J.P. Morgan increased their iPhone sales estimates to 28 million. Wu noted the iPhone strength is spread across the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS, as well as the newer iPhone 4S. Wednesday, AT&T announced it was on track to sell more than 6.1 million smartphones during the fourth quarter, smashing its previous high-water mark of 6 million. The carrier sold more than 1 million iPhone 4S handsets during the first five days of its availability. Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4S units in the first three days, more than double that of the 2010 launch of the iPhone 4.
While demand for the iPhone is still going strong, analysts revised slightly downward their expectations for the iPad. Um expects Apple will sell 12 million tablets, while J.P. Morgan’s Mark Moskowitz expects iPad sales will fall to 13 million, down from his previously projected 13.3 million. Wu appears to see the sharpest decline, writing Apple could sell 13.5 million iPads, down from 15 million.
The reason for the lower expectations for the iPad’s quarterly sales is economic pressure. “As consumer wallet constraints persist, some may not be able to buy multiple iProducts simultaneously and may be opting for one larger ticket item with more functionality,” Um reasons.
The increase in iPhone expectations should not come as a surprise. Along with the much-heralded Siri, the iPhone 4S offers razor sharp photography and a third carrier – Sprint. In addition, lowering the iPhone 4 price to $99 enabled more iPhone 3GS owners to upgrade, broadening demand for the iconic handset. In my family, two people have already joined the iPhone camp via the lower iPhone 4 pricing.
As for the slump in iPad demand, it could be a case of “older” technology combined with talk of an iPad 3 appearing in early 2012. The iPad 2 has been around for some time, enough for its newness to start wearing thin. Apple may not want to delay that introduction, learning a lesson from the slump of iPhone 4 handsets we saw as consumers waited for the “iPhone 5.”
Apple will be able to continue selling the iPhone 4S in France unimpeded, according to a court decision on Thursday. The Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris has denied a request by Samsung to secure a preliminary injunction against the sale of the 4S.
The ruling was reported by Le Figaro‘s Benjamin Ferran (hat tip to FOSS Patents), who tweeted the results while in attendance at the hearing. Ferran said that the court had rejected Samsung’s request because it seemed a “disproportionate” measure, given the facts of the case. In addition to rejecting the ban, the court also ordered Samsung to pay Apple’s legal fees, in the amount of 100,000€ (around $134,090).
This is definitely a setback for Samsung, which has recently racked up a number of small victories in its ongoing legal battles with Apple, including the rejection of an Apple motion for a U.S. ban on some of its products last week and the reversal of an injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. Next up in Europe, Samsung and Apple will participate in a second hearing on Dec. 16 to determine the validity of an iPhone 4S injunction request in Italy.
Samsung and Apple are also both being looked into by the European Commission to determine whether or not they are using their held patents in a way that might constitute anticompetitive behavior. No doubt both the case in France and the one in Italy will be looked at closely as part of that investigation.
Following its debut on the iPhone 4S back in October, it seems every iOS user wants to get their hands on Siri. A number of developers have attempted to port the feature to older devices, but because it needs to talk to Apple’s servers to function properly, they’ve had little success. Until now!
A fully functional (and possibly illegal) version of Siri has made its way to the jailbroken iPhone 4 via Cydia.
The package, called “H1Siri,” weighs in at over 100MB and is available now via the “Cydia.be” and “iphone3gsystem.fr/cydia” repositories. It claims to provide full Siri functionality on both the CDMA and GSM iPhone 4, running either iOS 5 or iOS 5.0.1.
Although the demo above shows the feature in action on the iPhone 4, you may not be able to get it working yourself just yet.
Those who have downloaded and installed the package already are experiencing mixed results. While some have it working, like the user in the video above, others report little success. It’s believed that the tweak uses a proxy server to function, which is currently being crippled by a huge influx of users desperate to get Siri on their iPhone 4.
Before you rush off to download the package, however, iDownloadBlog warns that installing H1Siri may not be a great idea:
… we were very skeptical of mentioning the package for several reasons. First off, it comes from an unknown developer and an unknown source, which should always send up a red flag. Second, the only way we’ve heard that an actual Siri port is possible is by using illegal code.
Their report also notes, however, that they’ve spoken to a number of users who have gotten the feature working “in short bursts.” Right now it seems very erratic, so you may want to wait until it’s working properly, and confirmed to be legal.
UPDATE: iDownloadBlog has confirmed that this feature does indeed use copyrighted binaries from the iPhone 4S which does make it illegal. What’s more, the group of Chinese hackers who developed the feature have confirmed that it uses their servers to function, and that they could now be down for weeks. When it is working, bear in mind that all your personal data is being passed through these servers, and that it could be recording along the way.
If you ask me, this hack just isn’t worth the effort.
How much do you love your iPhone 4S? Chances are the answer is “a lot.” New ChangeWave research data shows owner satisfaction with the iPhone 4S is much higher than that of the iPhone 4, with 96 percent approval ratings and only 2 percent reporting dissatisfaction with their devices.
The iPhone 4S is more beloved than its predecessor, the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4 also scored highly shortly after its introduction back in July 2010, but it fell short of the 4S’ lofty heights. The iPhone 4 satisfied 93 percent of respondents, with 72 percent reporting being “very satisfied” and 21 percent saying they were “somewhat satisfied.” The 4S had 77 percent of users report being “very satisfied” and 19 percent say they were “somewhat satisfied.”
The deciding factor that propelled this iPhone to higher heights may have been Siri, which topped the list of users’ favorite features, with 49 percent of respondents saying they liked it best of any aspect of their device. “Ease of use” came in second with 39 percent, and the much-improved 8 megapixel camera was no slouch either, at third place, with 33 percent of respondents ranking it highly.
Things that people didn’t like about the iPhone 4S are probably less of a surprise to those who have been following it in the news. No. 1 is that battery life is too short; 38 percent of respondents complained about this. Apple has been dealing with reports of compromised battery life on the 4S since its release, and it has issued one update already to attempt to address the problem. Despite the update, complaints persist, though ChangeWave found that it was a “very big problem” for only 8 percent of its survey respondents.
Another big complaint from users was the lack of 4G capability. I suppose that’s also to be expected, as carriers continue to ramp up their 4G networks and Android devices heavily market their LTE network compatibility. Still the issue doesn’t seem to have had much of an impact on users’ overall impression of their devices, and rumors suggest we will see 4G support added next year with Apple’s next iPhone.
Dropped call rates seem to be down with the iPhone 4S versus the iPhone 4, which could be another reason for its higher satisfaction versus the iPhone 4. Users reported less than half the dropped call rate of the iPhone 4 for the 4S. That rate changed depending on carrier, however; Verizon users reported only a 1.3 percent dropped call rate, while AT&T device owners reported a 4.1 percent drop rate.
The iPhone 4S is clearly a hit with those who bought one, which is great news for Apple’s future device loyalty. Since Apple already has one of the most loyal user bases out there, is high satisfaction with its latest-generation device surprising to anyone?
Despite early grumbling about how it was unveiled, users of Apple’s iPhone 4S are overwhelmingly satisfied with the smartphone, ranking the Siri voice-recognition system as their favorite feature. At 96 percent satisfaction, the iPhone 4S is Apple’s most popular handset, besting even the iPhone 4.
According to a ChangeWave Research survey, 77 percent of owners say they are “very satisfied” and 19 percent are “somewhat satisfied” with the iPhone 4S. Only 2 percent of the 215 iPhone 4S owners said they were “unsatisfied” with the Apple device. This compares with 72 percent of iPhone 4 users that were “very satisfied” in a June 2010 survey.
The top three iPhone 4S features most liked were Siri, ease of use and the 8-megapixel camera with LED flash, garnering 49 percent, 39 percent and 33 percent respectively. Apple’s highly-touted iCloud service ranked as the sixth most-liked feature of the new iPhone, capturing 19 percent of consumers’ attention. Faster Web browsing and the iPhone 4S screen resolution were listed as more popular than the cloud-based storage option, according to researchers.
A battery life seen as “too short” was listed as the top gripe of iPhone 4S owners, registered by 38 percent of survey participants. The lack of 4G capability ranked as the second most common complaint, followed by screen size. Researchers said just 8 percent of iPhone 4S owners view the battery issue as a “very big problem,” while 20 percent see a short battery life as “somewhat of a problem.” The ChangeWave survey, conducted between Nov. 2-9, was completed shortly before Apple updated iOS 5 to address the iPhone 4S battery problem, among other issues.
The iPhone 4S noted marked improvement in the number of dropped calls, compared to the iPhone 4. Only 2.5 percent of iPhone 4S owners reported frequent dropped connections versus 5.2 percent of iPhone 4 users in July 2010. Digging into the numbers, ChangeWave found iPhone 4S owners using Verizon experienced just 1.3 percent dropped calls compared to 4.1 percent of iPhone 4S users on AT&T.
An Australian airline revealed in a press release last week that one of its cabin crew was forced to extinguish an iPhone 4 that very nearly burst into flames shortly after the plane touched down in Sydney. As it turns out, that certainly won’t be the last iPhone to self combust.
An iPhone 4 user in Brazil has experienced a similar scenario with his own handset. While charging just inches away from his face, the device began emitting plumes of smoke and caught fire.
As you can see from the photo above, his iPhone is now in pretty bad shape. It’s a very similar scenario to the one reported by the Australian airline, but in this case it would appear to have been more dangerous, with the device allegedly just a foot from its owners face when it went up in flames. As Redmond Pie reports:
The iPhone in question was on charge just a foot from its owner’s face when it apparently began to smoulder, a sure sign that something isn’t right if you ask us!
While all we can do is speculate at this point, it seems that the iPhone’s battery is almost always at fault when these devices combust. As I mentioned in my previous report, except for the device that started smoking on a plane, this issue appears to happen when the iPhone is plugged in and charging.
What’s worrying is that millions of us stick our iPhones on charge before we get into bed at night — often right next to the bed — and with no idea what causes this issue, we have no idea how to prevent it.
Apple is yet to respond to any of these reports, and to be honest, we don’t expect a response from the company at this point. While the issue is indeed a serious one, it has only affected a handful of people since the iPhone launched back in 2007. It’ll need to be far more widespread before Apple decides to comment.