As expected, Apple introduced not one but two new iPhones at its event on September 10th. The iPhone 5S replaces the iPhone 5 as the company's flagship smartphone, while the iPhone 5C brings a splash of color, plastic, and last-year's specs to the company's lineup. Will it be enough to keep up the battle against Google's Android juggernaut? Follow along here for all the news around Apple's new pair of smartphones, as well as our in-depth reviews.
Oct 23, 2013
Apple just briefly touched on the retail performance of the new iPhone 5S and 5C during its iPad event yesterday, and what little data it offered was old: the company once again touted the 9 million units sold during the first weekend before moving on to App Store stats and, shortly thereafter, OS X Mavericks. That was it. The iPhone wasn't mentioned again on stage.Read Article >
Critically, that brief mention offered no more insight into the breakdown between 5S and 5C sales. Apple rarely offers data on sales by model and may have been especially cautious about providing information during the quiet period before its earnings. But as Apple has switched up its iPhone strategy this year — offering two new models for the first time — interest in the success of that strategy has been extremely high, particularly since the 5C didn't live up to the rumors and expectations that Cupertino would deliver a low-cost phone for price-sensitive markets like China, India, and Brazil. Can Apple pull off an "unapologetically plastic" smartphone at a premium price, or is it still pigeonholed in the very high end of the market with its flagship 5S?
Sep 20, 2013
Silence isn’t very effective.Read Article >
That, more than anything, is the message of the iPhone 5C. In previous years, the arrival of a new iPhone was accompanied by the low-key repositioning of the previous model at a lower price tier — a strategy that allowed Apple to sell $99 iPhones, but didn’t allow the company to advertise them as new, interesting products. The old models sat with quiet pride in the corner of the Apple Store as people flocked in to see the latest magic from Cupertino, heralded by no banner except that of glories past.
Sep 20, 2013
The battle for mobile dominance between Apple and Samsung is as fierce as ever, but it looks like Apple is still reliant on its biggest rival. According to an inspection by Chipworks, the new A7 chip found inside the iPhone 5S is made by Samsung, just like last year's A6 processor. It's a bit of a surprise, as there were signs throughout the year that Apple was going to try to move away from relying on Samsung to get chips for its iOS hardware — most notably, Apple signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) earlier this year.Read Article >
At the time, TSMC was set to start producing chips for Apple in 2014, but noted Apple blogger John Gruber cited speculation that Apple's A7 was being produced by TSMC as a reason for cuts in Apple orders at Samsung's chip fab facility in Austin. While it's certainly possible that TSMC will take over production of the A7 at some point, it doesn't look like we're quite there yet. (Gruber posted a note this afternoon saying "so much for that speculation" while linking to Chipworks' A7 analysis.) As for the mysterious M7 "motion coprocessor" that Apple added to the iPhone 5S, Chipworks indicates that it's built by NXP Semiconductors, a chip fab company located in the Netherlands. If you want to see what else is inside the iPhone 5S, iFixit posted their typically in-depth breakdown late last night.
Sep 20, 2013
Apple has entered the spec wars.Read Article >
The iPhone 5S isn’t just supposed to be “the most amazing iPhone yet.” It’s not “the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever.” No, Apple says the 5S is “the most forward-thinking iPhone yet” and “the best smartphone in the world.”
Apple has gone out of its way to emphasize the secure, locked down nature of its Touch ID fingerprint scanning system, but Senator Al Franken still believes the technology "raises substantial privacy questions." As a result, he's written a letter to CEO Tim Cook requesting more specifics on Touch ID. Franken seems well versed on the information Apple has released thus far, acknowledging that fingerprint data is stored in a dedicated, secure enclave of the A7 chip. But the Minnesota lawmaker says "important questions remain about how this technology works" and Apple's future plans for Touch ID.Read Article >
Franken begins by asking whether it's possible to convert fingerprint data into a "digital or visual format" that could potentially be read by third parties. Apple has already answered this definitively on its Touch ID FAQ page: the technology "stores only a mathematical representation" of a user's fingerprint. Franken also requests clarification on whether Touch ID data can be extracted from an iPhone in the first place. (This would be virtually impossible, according to Apple.) He calls out the location tracking controversy Apple faced in 2011, apparently looking to ensure that Touch ID won't go down a similar path.
Today's a big day for Apple, and the company's top executives are out in force to mark the launch of two new iPhones. CEO Tim Cook has paid a visit to the company's Palo Alto retail store, while vice presidents Eddy Cue and Phil Schiller have been spotted at Apple's Stanford location. Reports of Cook's surprise visit began popping up on Twitter and Instagram moments ago. The chief executive is said to be chatting with customers lined up for the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S. One report claims that Cook made a point of shaking hands with every person waiting in line. It's not his first visit to the store; Cook previously visited Apple's Palo Alto location during its re-opening in October of last year. The late Steve Jobs also enjoyed sharing in public excitement over Apple's new products; he visited the same Apple Store in 2007 for the iPhone's launch, and returned for the iPad's release in 2010.Read Article >
Sep 20, 2013
Apple's latest iPhones are now on sale online worldwide and at retail stores across Europe and Asia, with a US retail launch scheduled for 8:00AM local time. If you're looking for a gold iPhone 5S, however, you may leave the Apple Store disappointed. Despite being the star of Apple's flagship lineup, multiple sources tell The Verge that the new gold model is in short supply for launch day.Read Article >
Confirming our sources' reports, the gold iPhone 5S is now listed with an "October" shipping date in the US, UK, and Australia online stores, while all the other colors currently have one-to-three and seven-to-ten day delivery estimates. It took less than 30 minutes for the gold 5S to slip to an October wait in the US. Several earlier reports also suggested that the iPhone 5S will be hard to come by in general, as Apple may be focusing on the lower-cost iPhone 5C, which could be in higher demand and easier to produce in large numbers right now.
Sep 20, 2013
Apple’s next generation of iPhones are upon us and iFixit has wasted no time tearing apart the new gold 5S. Cosmetically, there might not be a whole lot to separate the new device from last year’s model, but Apple’s packing a whole host of changes under the hood, from the new A7 system on a chip to the M7 coprocessor to the Touch ID fingerprint authentication hardware, all of which are making their big debut.Read Article >
Right off the bat iFixit notes that there's a new design wrinkle: a cable connects the Touch ID sensor on the phone's home button to the Lightning connecter assembly, a tweak that will force do-it-yourselfers to exercise a little extra caution when taking apart their own devices. Digging into the phone's internals, it also becomes clear why Apple is able to boast 10 hours of talk time: the iPhone 5S has a larger battery than its predecessor. The teardown reveals a 1560mAh battery, an improvement over the 1440mAh battery in the iPhone 5. As iFixit points out, Samsung's Galaxy S4 features a significantly larger 2600mAh battery, but that's rated at just 7 hours of talk time.
Sep 19, 2013
Like iOS 6.1 before it, the latest version of iOS has shipped with a security loophole. The iOS 7 update, rolled out yesterday, allows users to bypass an iPhone or iPad lock screen with a tricky maneuver that offers access to a user's photos, email, text messages, Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter accounts. The bug, first reported by Forbes, isn't easy to reproduce, however The Verge was able to confirm the problem on both an iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S. Apple has told All Things D that it's aware of the security flaw and plans to deliver a fix in a future iOS update.Read Article >
Forbes was tipped off to the lockscreen bypass thanks to Jose Rodriguez, who goes on YouTube by the name Barraquito. Roqriguez also found a security hole in iOS 6 — and both iOS 5 and iOS 4 had similar issues that Apple eventually fixed.
Sep 19, 2013
Not to be outdone by big-box competitor Walmart, Target has announced plans to sell the 16GB iPhone 5C for $20 less than Apple's suggested price. The phone is available for pre-order today (or in stores tomorrow) for $79.99 with a two-year contract. The retailer isn't discounting the iPhone 5S, which Walmart is offering for $189 instead of the usual $199 price point. Both retailers are charging a full $199 for the 32GB iPhone 5C.Read Article >
Sep 18, 2013
Apple may deserve more credit than anyone for the way our smartphones look and work, but six years after our first glimpse of the iPhone a lot has changed. Google continued to design and re-design Android; Windows Phone introduced a colorful, vibrant operating system; yet iOS stood mostly still. Until this June, that is, when CEO Tim Cook announced Apple had been working on “the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone.”Read Article >
That change is iOS 7, a complete aesthetic overhaul of the interface millions of iPhone owners have known for years. From the moment you turn on an iPhone running iOS 7 through nearly every interaction you have with it, it’s different. This free update changes every menu, every option, every app. Even Siri has become an entirely new person, with new thoughts and a new voice.
Sep 17, 2013
Apple broke with tradition when it declined to make the iPhone 5s available for pre-order after its announcement, and now it's looking like low stock might be the reason. According to All Things D, sources at the wireless carriers are claiming that launch inventory will be significantly less than expected. "We will have grotesquely unavailable inventory," said one carrier source, while another claimed that shipments from Apple were extremely disappointing. However, that same second source also said that demand for Apple's flagship iPhone might be less than anticipated, as well. Despite Apple's silence on iPhone 5c pre-sales, it seems that the company's new colored device is proving popular with customers so far, at least according to All Things D's sources. While there's no word on how the iPhone 5c may be selling so far, it appears Apple has enough devices to meet demand — you can still order one from Apple's site and get it delivered on launch day.Read Article >
It's also looking like these availability issues might extend beyond the carrier stores: 9to5Mac is reporting that the iPhone 5s will be hard to come by at Apple's retail stores, as well. Out of all the shipments of new iPhones going to Apple stores, between 70 and 80 percent of the stock will be the iPhone 5c. Of course, there's also a chance that this report will just help to fuel the launch day mania for the iPhone 5s and build up those famous launch-day lines that have greeted all previous iPhone launches. We'll find out this Friday when both the iPhone 5s and 5c officially become available.
As if Apple's gold trim around the new iPhone 5s wasn't enough to show off its intended class, the company has also teamed up with the luxury fashion house Burberry to help promote it. As teased last week, Burberry has posted a 15-minute video taken exclusively on the iPhone 5s at its London, Spring/Summer 2014 fashion show. The colors and details shown in the footage look great for a smartphone — though the shooting conditions were highly controlled. According to Pocket-lint, 14 iPhones were used to capture the footage: nine on the runway, three on a mount that moved and swiveled, and one attached to the ceiling.Read Article >
While that doesn't make the footage less genuine, it does mean the cameras were likely in well-lit areas and kept free from the average-user's shaky hands. Neither Apple nor Burberry are hiding the setup though — Pocket-lint has posted behind-the-scenes photos, and it'd be hard not to notice the camera's gliding movements as both companies try to make their products look good. For Apple, selling the camera improvements on the iPhones 5s may be a big deal too. Though its Touch ID fingerprint sensor is perhaps the most tangible selling point, the camera's improved quality is an obvious second.
Apple is releasing its first TV commercial for the iPhone 5c, a simple, colorful spot that finds the smartphone's unapologetic plastic melting into place while Sleigh Bell's "Rill Rill" croons gently in the background. It's not one of the company's most exciting or energetic ads, focusing instead on highlighting the new phones' bright, glossy colors. If you followed along with Apple's keynote last Tuesday, the imagery should look familiar: it's the exact 30-second spot that was used to introduce the phone in the first place, but with a more energetic song over top of it this time around.Read Article >
Unlike Apple's recent ads, the iPhone 5c's first spot doesn't mention features or apps at all. The ad centers entirely on highlighting how color options have come to the iPhone, with the commercial wrapping with the tagline, "For the colorful." Of course, outside of the operating system and color, there's little on the iPhone 5c that could be featured as new — it's nearly the same device as last year's iPhone 5 on the inside. Apple seems to be betting big on the iPhone 5c, though. Its homepage features the less-expensive phone front-and-center, it's the focus of the company's first ad, and it's the only device up for pre-orders right now — even if Apple won't say how well they're going.
Apple is clearly positioning the upcoming iPhone 5c as its next smartphone for the masses. The colored, plastic device is the first thing you see when visiting Apple.com or the company's iPhone page. But just days ahead of launch, Apple is today breaking a trend; it's not providing any indication of how well iPhone 5c pre-orders are going.Read Article >
For three years running, Apple has been quick to boast about early consumer interest in the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5. It started small. In 2010, Apple announced that the iPhone 4 had seen 600,000 pre-orders in 24 hours — the most the company had ever received in a single day. Things only grew from there. The iPhone 4S surpassed one million pre-orders in 24 hours, with the iPhone 5 doubling that success one year ago. Last year, Apple's update came on the Monday after pre-orders began, but the company's PR team has been mum today. And Wall Street may have noticed the silence.
Sprint is making an aggressive play to attract new iPhone users. When Apple's latest handsets launch September 20th, the carrier will cut $100 from the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s for new customers porting a number over from one of its rivals. The $100 off deal applies to any phone in the carrier's lineup, but is surprisingly also valid for the new iPhones. That means you'd be able to secure a 16GB iPhone 5c in any color you'd like for free on-contract. And the flagship iPhone 5s comes to just $99.99. It's a better deal than any we've seen from other US carriers — or Walmart, for that matter.Read Article >
T-Mobile will offer the 5c for $0 down and the iPhone 5s for a similar $99 downpayment, but only for customers that sign up for its Jump upgrade program. Sprint's savings are instant if you're willing to sign a two-year wireless agreement. Like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, the company is reportedly prepping an upgrade plan of its own for launch September 20th.
Apple’s new rainbow-hued iPhone 5c is available to pre-order across the US from Apple, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The iPhone 5's polycarbonate successor is going for $99.00 on contract with 16GB of storage or $199 ($99) for the 32GB alternative. (You can also knock $20 off that price if you do your pre-ordering at a Walmart store today rather than online.) Opting to go off-contract, either directly through Apple or on T-Mobile, will cost you $549 for the 16GB 5c, or $100 more for the 32GB version. You also have the option of a T-Mobile installment plan, which will get you a 16GB phone for $0 up front and $22 a month for the next two years, for a total of $528.Read Article >
From the Gucci iPad cases to top executive hires, Apple’s relationship with luxury fashion brands has been gathering steam over the past few years. Now it’s getting even cozier with the announcement that Burberry will be using the as-yet-unreleased iPhone 5s to capture photos and video of its upcoming runway show. In a joint press release, Burberry chief creative officer Christopher Bailey said that "this collaboration celebrates our relationship and shared foundation in design and craftsmanship."Read Article >
People have been shooting music videos and documentaries on Apple devices for years, so we aren’t surprised that Burberry is putting out promotional videos (teaser above) taken with the 5s, especially given its touted advancements. (Not to mention the luxurious gold option.) But it is interesting that Apple is overtly partnering with a brand like Burberry, going so far as to provide early access to its new devices. Those of us without top fashion brands will have to wait until September 20th for the actual release.
Sep 12, 2013
In the wake of Tuesday's iPhone event, you've likely heard the news that iOS 7 and its core apps have been ported to 64-bit, and Apple's new iPhone 5s now has a 64-bit "A7" system-on-chip (SoC) inside. You might have also heard that it's just a marketing stunt; a cynical attempt to wow consumers into buying Apple's latest and greatest iPhone. You heard wrong.Read Article >
"This is the first ever [64-bit processor] in a phone of any kind," a triumphant Phil Schiller said on stage Tuesday, "I don't think the other guys are even talking about it yet." Yes, it’s the first, but Schiller is wrong about the competition. ARMv8, the architecture that Apple's new processor is undoubtedly based upon, has been out in the open for a year now, and Qualcomm, Samsung, Nvidia, Intel, and the rest are all hard at work developing 64-bit mobile processors. To hammer that point home, less than 48 hours after Apple's presentation Samsung announced that its upcoming high-end smartphones would include 64-bit SoCs, and Intel said its new processors will support a 64-bit Android kernel. Apple’s 64-bit boast may be short-lived: Nathan Brookwood, research fellow at the consultancy firm Insight 64, agrees that Apple "has seized 64-bit leadership in mobile devices," but notes that it’s only "nine to twelve months ahead of any Android competition." So why is Apple — and everybody else — pushing for this change?
Sep 12, 2013
Walmart wants you to purchase your new iPhone through its stores. The company has confirmed to The Verge that it will sell the both the 16GB iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s for $79 and $189, respectively. That's $20 to $10 off the launch day price set by Apple, and while it isn't a massive discount, it is unusual for retailers to undercut the MSRP on launch day when so many are looking to upgrade. Of course, you'll need to sign a two-year agreement with either AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint to get the deal. (Plans for T-Mobile, which doesn't sell devices on contract, are unclear.) Additionally, you'll be able to pre-order the iPhone 5c through Walmart; you'll need to go to a store location starting tomorrow, the 13th, to reserve a device, and you'll have until the 25th to pick it up. Both the iPhone 5c and 5s are launching on the 20th, but the latter isn't being offered for pre-order from any retailer.Read Article >
Outgoing iPhone models are also getting a discount: the 16GB iPhone 5 will be sold for $79 with a two year contract starting today, putting it interesting head-to-head with the new (and very similar) iPhone 5c. The iPhone 4S will be sold at 97 cents on contract, and the ancient iPhone 4 will cost 10 cents on contract and it will come with a $100 Walmart gift card. Neither of the two older phones are a good deal considering you'll be locked into a costly two-year agreement with an outdated phone that lacks LTE connectivity.
Sep 11, 2013
Apple showed off its newest iPhones yesterday and the market did not like what it saw. Analysts at UBS, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, and Bank of America all downgraded their ratings on Apple's stock, which is down more than 5 percent this morning.Read Article >
Sep 11, 2013Read Article >
As flashy as the iPhone 5s fingerprint scanner was, it was announced at a particularly bad time, with recent national security links eroding trust in Apple and other tech companies. Was Apple creating a de facto national fingerprint database? Would fingerprint security on a phone even make sense? To Bruce Schneier, the security world's public intellectual, it could be a fairly reasonable decision. "Fingerprint authentication is a good balance between convenience and security for a mobile device," he says in a piece for Wired written before the announcement. Which, of course, doesn't mean it couldn't be hacked — through possible methods he lays out. And as for the database, how worried you are will have to depend on how much you trust Apple.
Sep 11, 2013
Yesterday, many expected Apple CEO Tim Cook to announce that the company had finally partnered with China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile provider, to sell its devices into its previously untapped market of 700 million subscribers. But even though plans for the deal haven’t been publicly announced, things do apppear to be coming together: the Wall Street Journal writes that a Chinese regulator has approved Apple’s new iPhones to run on China Mobile’s network. What’s more, certain models of the newly announced phones support the TD-LTE bands (38, 39, and 40) in use on the carrier’s fourth-generation hardware.Read Article >
While neither fact proves that a deal is imminent, it certainly looks like things are moving in that direction. Rumors have been swirling about the possibility of the iPhone coming to China Mobile since its chairman Wang Jianzhou claimed he was in discussions with Apple two years ago.
Sep 10, 2013Read Article >
Apple’s iPhone event on Tuesday brought us the two new devices we expected — and not much else. At a comparatively subdued and small event, the company replaced last year’s iPhone 5 with two models: the iPhone 5c, a colorful plastic phone that starts at $99, and the iPhone 5s, a high-end device that includes a 64-bit A7 chip, an enhanced camera, and a fingerprint sensor called Touch ID. Not seen today: iPad, iPod, or the mythical iWatch. The new phones arrive September 20th. Here’s what you can expect in the new models.