Apple will launch the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 several months after the 4.7-inch version to avoid competition between the two models, according to a new report from DigiTimes citing supply chain sources.
The different timetables have been set as Apple does not want to repeat the mistake it made in 2013 when it launched the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c simultaneously, said the sources.
Prior rumors have pointed out that production issues with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 would cause Apple to delay its release a few months after 4.7-inch version, however this newest report claims that isn’t the case for the launch delay. A report from Bloomberg last month suggested that Apple would be launching both versions of the iPhone 6 simultaneously, noting that the company had begun preparing the 4.7-inch model and 5.5-inch for manufacturing.
4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 mockups compared to iPhone 5s
Apple is expected to unveil the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 at a September event, although a report yesterday noted that the company is unsure as to whether it will show off the 5.5-inch version at the same time. The company is said to be preparing between 70 and 80 million iPhone 6 units to meet anticipated customer demand, as the larger screen could cause a massive spike in upgrades from both iPhone upgraders and those switching from Android.
There’s soon going to be a glut of custom keyboards for iOS 8, many of which will have word suggestions in multiple languages. However, they might not be as well-versed as KeyPoint Technologies’ upcoming Adaptxt for iOS. Besides supporting over 100 languages, the keyboard touts 30 dictionaries targeted at specific industries; it shouldn’t be flummoxed when you’re chatting with your accountant or lawyer. It will also be aware of both your location and the apps you’re running, so word predictions should change when you go on vacation or check out a favorite social network. KeyPoint is only taking sign-ups for a beta test at this stage — not surprising, since iOS 8 isn’t out yet — but it’s already promising that Adaptxt will be free on iPads and iPhones alike.
Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is set to begin mass production on the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 this month, according to local media cited by Reuters. The larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will begin production a month later, in August.
Mass production of a 4.7-inch successor to the wildly popular iPhone 5 series of smartphones will begin during the third week of July, Taiwan’s Economic Daily News said, without citing sources. Production of a 5.5-inch version will begin during the second week of August, it said.
Foxconn is also set to hire around 100,000 additional workers to help meet future demand for the device, according to a Chinese state-run news agency. Fellow Apple manufacturing partner Pegatron is also ramping up hiring, recruiting over 10,000 for its own facilities to help manufacture the iPhone. Additionally, it was reported last week that Foxconn was planning on deploying 10,000 robots to help employees with less intensive tasks like tightening screws.
Apple is widely expected to announce the iPhone 6 in early September, with a release coming a couple weeks later in late September. While it’s unclear whether both the 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 models will launch at the same time, the one-month delay in mass production could mean that the 5.5-inch is either available in lower quantities at first or will be announced at the same time as the 4.7-inch model and launch shortly after. Previously, it’s been rumored the 5.5-inch model had been experiencing production issues.
Other than larger displays, the iPhone 6 is expected to include a thinner, iPod touch-like design, an A8 processor, and an improved camera, potentially measuring 13 megapixels. The larger model is expected to come with a $100 price increase, optical image stabilization and greater storage capability.
Months before Apple is expected to release its next-generation iPhone, functional iPhone 6 clones already are starting to appear in China’s mobile phone marketplace. One of the first clones, the Wico i6, is profiled by 86DIGI (via Nowhereelse.fr) in a two-part hands-on video.
(Note: Contains fairly loud soundtrack of The Carpenters’ “Top of the World”)
Like most clones, the Wico i6 is quite detailed for a fake, with authentic-looking FCC labeling and the characteristic Apple branding. The phone also closely mimics the rumored styling of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 with a thin chassis that houses a side-mounted power button and elongated volume buttons.
Wico isn’t the only clone maker ready to enter the mobile phone black market, however. Chinese clone maker Goophone has also announced (via GizChina.com) that it is preparing the Goophone i6 for release in August, ahead of Apple’s expected September iPhone launch.
The GooPhone also borrows its styling from the rumored schematics of the iPhone 6 and pairs it with a quad-core Mediatek MT6582 chipset, 1GB RAM and 13 megapixel rear camera. Similar to previous Goophone clones, the i6 model is powered by the Android operating system.
Back in May, Logitech announced its new Case+ product for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5, which contained a metal case and multiple magnetic attachments for different uses. Today, the company unveiled two new products inspired by the line: the new Protection+ case for iPhone 5s/5 and the +Trip accessory for mounting an iPhone to a car’s air vents for easy viewing.
Logitech’s Protection+ case
The Protection+ case for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 features a slim design with a protective outer shell and internal impact-resistant materials. The case’s corners each hold impact resistant polymers to minimize forces of impact, while the accessory’s insides feature a thermoplastic rubber (TPR) layer to absorb energy from drops. Logitech’s Protection+ case also comes with a raised bezel edge to protect the iPhone’s touch screen and is tested for drops from up to 1.8 meters (about 6 feet) in height.
Logitech’s +Trip car mount
Logitech’s +Trip car mount is also being sold alongside the original +Drive accessory that attaches to a car’s dashboard or windshield and came with the original Case+ system. The Protection+ case as well as the +Trip and +Drive mounts also all contain magnetic mounts to support the other Case+ attachments.
The Protection+ case will launch next month for $34.99, and will come in colors of Winter White, Gunmetal Black, Scarlett Plum, and Pacific Blue. The +Trip and +Drive accessories will also be released next month and sell for $29.99 and $49.99, respectively. Interested customers can pre-order all three now on Logitech’s official website.
If you had any lingering notions that Apple and IBM were still bitter arch-rivals, they just got swept away. The two companies have just launched a partnership that could give iPads and iPhones a much larger presence in the workaday world. IBM has agreed to develop over 100 enterprise-grade apps solely for iOS, along with iOS-focused cloud services; it will also sell Apple’s mobile gear as part of its larger solutions, and it’s even handling on-site support. Apple, meanwhile, is offering a special business-friendly support plan.
IBM doesn’t have as much clout as it did when it was a direct competitor to Apple in 1984, or even as much as when it was putting PowerPC chips in computers like the Power Mac G5. However, this deal is still huge. While Apple has been spending a lot of energy making iOS suitable for work, it’s still primarily focused on personal devices — the IBM pact gives it an important ally who can court the less exciting (but clearly important) corporate crowd. Google is making big strides toward improving Android’s business credentials, and Microsoft has a longstanding advantage of its own, but the new agreement could give them significantly tougher competition. Don’t be surprised if you end up getting a company-issued iOS device where you didn’t have one before, or suddenly get the all-clear to bring one into the office.
Google recently implemented a feature that warns iPhone users when search results include websites that use Adobe Flash, as Flash is not supported by the iPhone.
When searching for a site, pages that primarily use Flash are clearly marked by Google with a warning that the site may not work on a particular device.
A common annoyance for web users is when websites require browser technologies that are not supported by their device. When users access such pages, they may see nothing but a blank space or miss out a large portion of the page’s contents.
Starting today, we will indicate to searchers when our algorithms detect pages that may not work on their devices.
Apple received a good bit of criticism when the iPhone was first released for not supporting Flash as it was used often back then, but interest in Flash has since been dying out in favor of mobile-friendly solutions.
The most downloaded calendar app, Week Calendar for iPhone will be totally free for two days! This will be between July 15, 2014 and July 16, 2014. Why? As a Dutch company we are very proud our Dutch national team reached the third place at the Football World Cup 2014 and we want to celebrate this with the entire world!
“As a Company based in the Netherlands, we are very proud of what our guys achieved in Brazil. With their courage, strength and cleverness they strive to reach their goal just like us, to be the best! They fought like lions and never gave up. We want to celebrate this extraordinary achievement not only in the Netherlands, but with the entire world!” says David van Brakel, CEO Week Calendar.
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Week Calendar for iPhone is available for download in the App Store. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Google’s Niantic Labs grew the potential audience for Ingress in a big way late last year, when it put out the finished Android version of its augmented reality game. Today, the studio is taking the next (if fairly obvious) step toward grabbing more players: it’s releasing the long-promised iOS edition. Both iPad and iPhone owners can now capture territory (“portals” in Ingress-speak) and build up their virtual skills by visiting real locations. The experience will be very familiar if you’ve played before; missions give you an incentive to keep coming back, while faction chats let you coordinate turf battles and meet fellow players. There aren’t any major tweaks or upgrades that we’ve seen. The game ultimately remains an excuse to explore new places, but that’s not a bad thing if you’re tired of visiting the same old haunts — hit the App Store if you’re willing to give it a spin.
Sapphire is the birthstone of September, the traditional gift on your 45th wedding anniversary and a material associated with both luxury and ruggedness. It can be found in opulent products like jewelry, camera lenses and fancy watches. Given that, it’s also one of the toughest materials in the world, which makes it ideal for military-grade items like aviation displays and even missiles. So when rumors emerged that a sapphire display may be featured on the next iPhone, a chorus of excitement followed. However, many phone manufacturers don’t share the same sense of optimism that Apple might hold toward this different kind of next-gen display.
Earlier this week, YouTube vlogger Marques Brownlee showed what appears to be a sapphire display for the next iPhone. While the use of sapphire won’t be confirmed (or denied) by Apple until the product is released, the idea that it would want to use the material in its next flagship smartphone isn’t too hard to believe: The company announced late last year that it partnered with leading sapphire producer GT Advanced Technologies to build a manufacturing facility in Arizona. And according to a report from 9to5mac, the deal included enough new equipment to make around 100 million to 200 million iPhone-sized displays per year.
There’s one major reason why manufacturers are looking into using sapphire displays: The material is strong. Very strong. Sapphire is about four times as tough as glass. Gorilla Glass, regularly found protecting current smartphone screens, fares pretty well against hard objects too, but in order to scratch sapphire, you’d need to find something higher than nine on the Mohs scale — a system of measurement used to rate mineral hardness from one to 10, with 10 being the highest. (For comparison, Gorilla Glass rates a seven; sandpaper is a nine; and diamond is a 10)
It’s no coincidence that existing sapphire display phones are incredibly expensive.
Using sapphire instead of glass for a smartphone display isn’t a groundbreaking concept. The material is already used in the (admittedly far smaller) protective glass covering the iPhone camera, as well as the 5s home button (for Touch ID); and luxury brands like Vertu, Savelli and TAG Heuer use sapphire displays in their existing phones. However, it’s no coincidence that existing sapphire display phones are incredibly expensive — manufacturing sapphire is time-intensive, limited by available quantity and very costly. The price of sapphire camera lens covers is 2.6 times higher than glass. On a large phone display, the difference in cost is even higher; last year, GT Advanced reps estimated the cost for a pane of Gorilla Glass at $3, while sapphire was around $30.
I reached out to multiple representatives from major smartphone players and while most companies I talked to had already researched and analyzed the possibility of using sapphire, their impressions were much more lukewarm than I expected. “The cost and supply aren’t where we’d like them to be for sapphire to be practical just yet,” said Ken Hong, Global Communications Director for LG. “Sapphire’s durability and scratch-resistance are certainly attractive, but Gorilla Glass isn’t going to be displaced anytime soon.”
“Right now, the cost doesn’t justify the nominal benefit of sapphire over Gorilla Glass”
There are plenty of other issues associated with sapphire. It’s heavier than Gorilla Glass and the material remains less transparent than glass, meaning it would be more difficult to see the screen unless manufacturers add a special coating to increase transparency. (Even then, it still wouldn’t be as good as glass.) Additionally, each representative I talked to confirmed that while sapphire is durable, it certainly isn’t unbreakable. In fact, the larger the display is, the more brittle it becomes; “The sapphire is too hard to withstand bending,” said a representative of a top-tier phone maker who also asked to remain anonymous. “It’s easier to break during drop tests when the size of sapphire increases.”
Another representative replied, “In a cost-benefit analysis, I doubt [using sapphire] makes sense, unless there is some perceived marketing advantage.” Despite the potential downfalls of using such a material, that’s exactly what Apple would be gunning for by using the display in the iPhone: marketing power. Sapphire’s got a solid reputation; if the new iPhone features the same material used in premium watches, necklaces and earrings, and the company can throw it in without raising the price to consumers, Apple has a great new way to distinguish itself from the competition.
Only large companies with enough resources and bargaining power will be able to secure enough sapphire for mass production.
Even if other phone makers wanted to use sapphire displays, it would be difficult for them to secure enough inventory due to a very limited supply — a problem that the iPhone maker has avoided. “Apple uses its massive cash hoard to fund big upfront commitments for key components,” said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research. “[It's] something that almost every other OEM but Samsung will struggle to do.” In other words, only large companies with enough resources and bargaining power will be able to secure enough sapphire for mass production.
This doesn’t mean that sapphire displays won’t be embraced in the future; they might just come in a different form. We wouldn’t be too surprised if multiple hardware manufacturers decided to use the material on smartwatches for now, since the screens — and the number of devices to build — would be much smaller and thus more affordable than smartphones. (The Moto 360, for example, is rumored to have a sapphire screen.) Then, as supply goes up and production becomes more cost-efficient, more doors may open for phone makers who want to give sapphire a shot.