In the latest of a string a reports regarding Apple’s plans for its upcoming wearable device, Re/code reports company executives have “discussed” a rough price of $400 for the device. That is merely a range, however, with cheaper models perhaps also in the works.
Apple executives have discussed charging around $400 for the company’s new wearable device.
Pricing has yet to be finalized for the forthcoming product, which is expected to begin shipping next year. Sources say consumers should expect a range of prices for different models including lower priced versions.
The report indicates that it is unclear whether Apple will have the pricing issue settled in time for its September 9 media event where it will reportedly show off the device, popularly referred to as the iWatch. If not, the company would remain silent on pricing for the time being and announce it a later date closer to launch, which may not occur until early next year.
Rumors regarding the wearable device have been inconsistent over time, making it unclear where on the spectrum of health and fitness band to true smart watch it will fall. Apple may, however, have altered its announcement schedule in order to better position the device as an iPhone accessory rather than as a standalone product.
(Image: iWatch concept from ifyoucouldseethefuture.com)
Yesterday, we shared a video and some photos from Feld & Volk [Instagram page] apparently showing a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 built from parts actually booting to the “Connect to iTunes” recovery mode screen.
A Tweet today from developer Steven Troughton-Smith points out that the graphics shown on the display during this booting process “*seem* to confirm” John Gruber’s arguments in favor of the device being equipped with a 1334 x 750 display at the same 326 pixels per inch density of previous Retina displays. More specifically, the evidence points toward an approximately 667 x 375 point display, which would presumably arrive in the form of a 2x Retina display at 1334 x 750 as Gruber suggests.
Sparked by Troughton-Smith’s observation, we have independently examined photos of the booting device provided to us by Feld & Volk and come to the same conclusion.
iPhone 6 (left) and iPhone 5s (right) shown booting to recovery mode. Letterboxing on iPhone 6 visible below Lightning cable.
The method relies on the fact that the “Connect to iTunes” image does not completely fill the display on the iPhone 6, with the Lightning cable ending above the bottom edge of the screen whereas on current iPhones it extends all the way to the edge. Assuming this “letterboxing” is due to the image not being optimized for the larger iPhone 6 display, it would correspond to the image filling an area equivalent to a 4-inch screen centered on the device’s 4.7-inch display.
This would account for the margin of black seen between the cable and the bottom of the display, and measuring the ratio of the space (plus a presumed equal one at the top) to the overall display size should yield an approximation of how much larger the viewable area is in points on the iPhone 6.
4.7-inch iPhone 6 display showing apparent letterboxed areas (red) with image optimized for 4-inch display (blue)
(Click for larger)
By our calculations, the border areas not covered by the image together suggest that the iPhone 6 display carries approximately 17.5% more points in the vertical dimension than a current 4-inch display. This would move the current 568-point height of the iPhone 6 (1136 pixels at 2x Retina) to 667 points (1334 pixels assuming 2x Retina) on the iPhone 6.
Assuming the aspect ratio of the screen remains the same as in the iPhone 5s, which by all indications it does, this would mean a 667 x 375 point (1334 x 750 pixels Retina) display for the iPhone 6. Performing the calculation in the horizontal dimension is more difficult due to nature of the recovery mode image, with no portion of the visible graphics extending to the side edge of the overall image to determine how much letterboxing space is on the sides.
This analysis obviously addresses only the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 that Feld & Volk has acquired parts for. Gruber suggests the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will likely contain a 2208 x 1242 display at a sharper 3x factor than the current 2x Retina. As pointed out by developer James Thomson and 9to5Mac, the current iOS 8 beta is indeed showing some behavior indicating a preference for displaying 3x images when available.
Whether you already have an AT&T account, or you’re choosing AT&T for the first time, it’s easy to receive a $100 bill credit:
Purchase a new smartphone on AT&T Next.
Activate a new qualified wireless line of service on your new smartphone.
Remain active and in good standing.
Receive your $100 bill credit within 3 bill cycles
AT&T’s Next upgrade program allows customers to purchase a smartphone or tablet with no money down and no contract, making monthly payments towards the retail cost of the device instead. Next also allows AT&T customers to upgrade their smartphone or tablet every 12 to 18 months after trading in their old devices.
AT&T offers both 20 and 24-month Next installment plans, which equate to a $32.50 or $27.09 monthly payment for an iPhone 5s, in addition to plan fees.
The Next promotion will end on 9/30/14, which means it will likely still be valid when Apple releases the iPhone 6. It is, however, limited to new lines and not available for upgrades.
Amid all of the leaks today based on photos and videos from luxury modified iPhone vendor Feld & Volk [Instagram page], one additional point worth mentioning is the device’s LTE modem. While photos posted to reveal the existence of an NFC chip from NXP has seen identifying marks on many of the other components blurred, a portion of the text printed on the LTE modem is visible, confirming the board does indeed contain Qualcomm’s MDM9625M as had been previously rumored.
MDM9625M boxed in red
The MDM9625 is a Category 4 LTE modem, supporting speeds of up to 150 Mbps, compared to the MDM9615 Category 3 modem at up to 100 Mbps, which is found in the iPhone 5s, 5c, and 5. Some observers had been holding out hope that Apple might use Qualcomm’s even faster MDM9635 Category 6 modem as is reportedly lined up for Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Alpha handset, but with Apple’s history of conservatism in choosing its cellular technology and questions about production ramp-up for the MDM9635 make it unsurprising that Apple has opted for the MDM9625.
Likely WTR1625L boxed in red and WFR1620 boxed in blue
Part of the speed benefits of the MDM9625 and new LTE-Advanced technology compared to earlier generations of modems comes from the use of carrier aggregation to combine channels for greater bandwidth. With the MDM9625, this carrier aggregation requires a pair of companion chips, a WTR1625L transceiver chip and a WFR1620 chip. These chips appear to be located on the opposite of the iPhone 6 logic board from the LTE modem itself.
On the whole, the use of the MDM9625 in the iPhone 6 sets the stage for faster cellular data connectivity as networks are built out to support its capabilities, and Apple will likely tout some of these improvements during its media event scheduled for September 9.
Our iPhone 6 roundup has been updated with the latest information, including several details about the 4.7-inch model divined from a completed logic board, and an official September 9 unveiling date.
Check our our full roundup for details.
There are quite a few deals on Apple products, apps, and accessories this week due to the upcoming Labor Day holiday in the United States. Retailers have discounted the iPad Air, Retina iPad mini, and more, and several app developers are cutting app prices.
While there are few deals on Apple’s lineup of Mac products, Apple’s own back to school program is still ongoing until September 9, offering EDU customers a gift card with the purchase of a Mac, iPad, or iPhone. Best Buy is also continuing to offer EDU customers $100 off all MacBooks and the iMac.
Staples is offering $30 off all models of the iPad Air for Labor Day weekend, dropping the price of the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only model to $469, for example. The company is also offering $100 off select computers that are regularly priced at $499 or more with the coupon code 11605, which applies to all iPads priced over $499, for a total discount of up to $130 on some iPad Air models.
Retina iPad mini
Best Buy is offering $50 off most models of the Retina iPad mini, dropping the price on the Space Gray entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only version to $349. The discount applies to both Wi-Fi and Cellular models across the board, with almost all versions getting the price cut. Entry-level Cellular models, such as the 16GB Silver version from AT&T, are priced at $480 with the discount.
In addition to iPad Air discounts, Staples is offering $30 off all models of the Retina iPad mini for Labor Day weekend, dropping the price of the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only model to $399, for example. The company is also offering $100 off select computers that are regularly priced at $499 or more with the coupon code 11605, which applies to all iPads priced over $499, for a total discount of up to $130 on some Retina iPad mini models.
The Labor Day holiday is often a popular time for app discounts, and this year is no exception. Many app developers are already offering their apps at reduced prices, and additional discounts are expected before Monday. Our sister site TouchArcade has made a list of games already discounted, which includes Another World, Impossible Road, Pathogen, LEGO The Lord of the Rings, Strata Super Lemonade Factory, VVVVVV and more. Other apps on sale include Instacast 4 GoodReader 4, and Clone Magic.
Woot is selling Sennheiser’s MM—50-IP In-Ear Headphones with Apple Control for $24.99, a $25 discount. Woot is also offering a refurbished Jawbone Big Jambox Bluetooth speaker for $159, down from $299 new.
Groupon has the Logitech Folio case for the iPad Air for $19.99, a discount of $30. Groupon is also offering the Beats By Dre Tour In-Ear Headphones for $109.00, a discount of $40 off the regular price.
MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.
Following its leak of photos showing the iPhone 6 logic board that have revealed the device’s NFC chip and 16 GB of storage, luxury modified iPhone vendor Feld & Volk [Instagram page] has now shared some photos and a video showing the device in operation and booting to a black screen requesting the user to connect the device to iTunes.
Feld & Volk says it has been able to piece together this iPhone from various components it has obtained as part of its effort to build its own luxury version of the iPhone 6 for its customers, and remarkably enough, the device is at least capable of turning on.
While it seems surprising that a functional iPhone 6 could be built from individual components, Feld & Volk has demonstrated that it has been able to get its on rare parts, and thus it is possible they may have acquired everything necessary to build the device.
In a lengthy 9 part exposé, 9to5Mac‘s Mark Gurman delves into the inner workings of Apple’s PR team. While much of what Gurman covers is already fairly well known, his coverage provides an expansive look at the way Apple’s PR team operates, from its organizational structure to its efforts to control Apple’s perception through media manipulation.
Despite Apple’s size and its position as one of the most profitable companies in the world, its PR team is relatively small, comprised of approximately 30 employees in Cupertino along with a few dozen scattered around the world. In Cupertino, Apple PR is divided into seven teams: Momentum, Mac, Corporate Communications, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, and Events.
Along with organizing events and controlling product placement, Apple’s PR teams keep a close eye on the media, despite its apparent indifference, and take steps to correct negative perceptions when deemed necessary.
So it’s a surprise that Apple actually isn’t that detached from the media: it’s more like a teenage girl obsessively keeping her fingers on the pulse of coverage. Members of Apple PR seek tabloid photos of celebrities holding iPhones, while others read Apple-focused blogs actively, and keep tabs on prominent Apple beat writers using anonymized social media accounts. [...]
This oversight is so important to Apple that a few times a week, top executives are sent a document detailing the company’s latest press coverage. When Apple is not pleased with coverage, it sometimes works to shift the narrative, even attempting to undermine giant news organizations.
For example, Gurman claims that Apple recently attempted to discredit Reuters over a story about Apple’s accessibility practices that the company was not happy with. Gurman also points Apple’s penchant for discrediting competitors, pointing towards an email Apple PR sent to 9to5Mac on an anti-Android story.
Along with giving tidbits of information to various reliable media outlets, Apple also gives review units and review guides to columnists and journalists who Gurman claims have a largely positive view of the company and its products.
Also likely contributing to which publications get early access to products is the nature of pre-coverage — angles taken by writers during the product rumors cycle. As Brian Lam put it, “Apple can already tell what a review is going to say from [a publication's] pre-coverage, and they’re not going to give you a review unit if you’re not going to play ball.” In other words, Apple feeds the writers who will do its bidding, and starves the ones who won’t follow its messaging.
In addition to delving into details about Apple’s apparent media manipulation, Gurman also covers the shift in attitude as the company has transitioned from Steve Jobs’ leadership to Tim Cook’s. This has included the retirement of Katie Cotton, who was reportedly seen as a “tyrant” by her employees. Cotton, who was close to Steve Jobs, apparently did not mesh well with Tim Cook’s desire to portray Apple as a “friendlier” company, leading to her departure.
Apple is said to be searching for a new head of PR to replace Cotton, and in the meantime, Apple’s PR teams are run by two longtime employees who report directly to Cook. Under Cook, Apple’s internal policies have shifted somewhat, from his direct apology for the Apple Maps app to his efforts to discredit Yukari Iwatani Kane’s anti-Apple narrative Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs.
Gurman’s full examination of Apple’s PR team is well worth a read and covers a large range of topics. A list of links to the 9-part series is below:
– Apple Events and Shredded White Booklets
– Introducing the Teams: How PR is Organized at 3 Infinite Loop
– Strategies: The “Art of Deep Background” and Controlling the Press
– The Departure of a “Tyrant”
– Two Heads in Place of One
– Controversies: From Maps to Beats to Haunted Empires
– Product Reviews, Briefings, & Reviewer’s Guides
– Steve Jobs and the Process Behind Press Releases
– A Friendlier, More Transparent Future?
Last week, a wiring schematic said to be for the iPhone 6 was initially interpreted to be referring to the device’s RAM, showing the same 1 GB of memory for the A8 as found in the current A7 chip. That was quickly determined to be an incorrect interpretation of component being shown in the schematic, however, and Apple’s plans for RAM in the iPhone 6 have remained uncertain.
A new photo leak from Feld & Volk [Instagram page] and Sonny Dickson showing an assembled logic board from the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 has revealed a number of pieces of information already, and it appears from one of the photos that the A8 chip on the board does indeed include 1 GB of LPDDR3 RAM.
As pointed out by MacRumors forum member commander.data, a silk-screened part number on the A8 reveals that the package-on-package contains Hynix RAM. Based on Hynix’s part number format, the character in the eighth position reveals the amount of RAM in the package, with an “8″ denoting 8 Gb (1 GB) and a “B” denoting 16 Gb (2 GB). While it is a bit difficult to read the part number clearly given the distance and angle in the photo, our staff and several posters in our forum agree that the character very much appears to be an “8″, indicating 1 GB of RAM.
With event invites floating around and a whopper of a structure apparently in the works, Apple seems intent on making sure September 9 is a doozy of a day. Alas, it seems like one of the most anticipated parts of the show won’t actually hit our doorsteps for a while — according to a new report from Re/code (who, you’ll remember was right about the event’s date way in advance), Apple’s long-rumored wearable won’t actually start shipping until some time next year. It’s not exactly a surprise for Apple to put months between a device’s unveiling its and first appearance on store shelves, but just think of how the already buzzy wearable space will shift and swell before then. After all, IFA will assuredly bring a slew of smartwatches and fitness trackers with it (we’ve already seen a few), and a better sense of what Apple is up to only means competitors will have more time to try and steal Cupertino’s thunder. Will they succeed? That’s a completely different story, but one thing seems clear — the next few months are going to be a hell of a ride.
Filed under: Mobile