Best Buy is introducing another special deal this weekend, offering a minimum of $150 for trade-ins of working iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 smartphones. Customers must buy a new smartphone with two-year contract on AT&T, Sprint or Verizon, however. The offer is good through the end of the day tomorrow, March 1. The chain has also reduced the price of the base 16GB iPhone 5s to $150 to match the buyback.
With a number of carriers moving away from two-year contracts for its customers — instead focusing on non-subsidized, but cheaper, monthly plans — it may be affecting the bottom line of retailers like Best Buy because plans like AT&T Next do not, in many cases, require customers to pay money up front.
For upgrade-eligible iPhone-owners looking to move to the iPhone 5s, this promotion could be an inexpensive way to do that.
This is pretty ridiculous guys. I mean, if I would’ve known this whole Flappy Bird situation was going to lead people into making staggering profit from it, I would’ve bought myself an iPhone. Seems some clever entrepreneurs out there decided to take it upon themselves to help those who weren’t able to grab a Flappy Bird download by throwing iPhones on ebay with the game pre-installed. Hey why not? Could make a couple hundred bucks or so…OR SO!
The image above shows an actual ebay bidding for one of these iPhones with Flappy Bird installed on it. The bid is almost at $89,000! Are you kidding me? I want to believe this is fake, but looking on the actual page it does seem to be legit. I even saw someone else post a screenshot of another iPhone with Flappy Bird installed on it going for $42,000. Us Android enthusiasts are laughing our asses off, because we can obviously side load the apk with ease.
I can’t even think someone would actually pay that amount of money, and that very may be the case. It’s not like they are putting actual money on the table. Could be just idiots making fun of other idiots for putting the iPhone on Ebay. But we really will never know. Let us know your thoughts about this craziness. Maybe its the developer posting these iPhones to rake up more dough from his game, and all this drama surrounding it was just a clever marketing scheme.
Apple’s usually pretty quick when it comes to fixing issues with its software, and today is no exception. The iPhone maker has begun delivering iOS 7.0.5 to 5s and 5c models that are available in China, an update that is expected to solve “network provisioning” for some affected handsets there. This comes shortly after Apple finally announced a deal to bring the iPhone to China Mobile, which put an end to a long, long period of negotiations and landed its shiny new devices on the carrier. As such, and even though the changelog doesn’t single the network out, iOS 7.0.5 would appear to be tailored for China Mobile subscribers who recently bought an iPhone. Either way, for those of you outside of China, no need to be hunting for this particular version — it’s only for those who actually need it.
The mobile payments arena may not seem so big right now, but make no mistake: we’re just seeing the beginning of an exponentially growing trend. Some estimates we’ve seen from market research firms put the future mobile payment market in the US alone at around $90 billion spent in 2017. Compared to that, the $12 billion spent in 2012 is just pocket change underneath the couch cushions. Apple’s very much aware of the revenue potential in this category, and it’s taking the possibility seriously.
“Mobile payments in general is one [area] that we’ve been intrigued with, and that was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID.”
On today’s quarterly earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that people love to buy content using Touch ID, the fingerprint reader featured on the iPhone 5s. “Mobile payments in general is one [area] that we’ve been intrigued with, and that was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID,” Cook said. “We’re not limiting ourselves just to that.” This is the first direct confirmation that mobile payments were at least on the table in some form when Apple began developing Touch ID. This wasn’t a promise from Cook that anything will happen in the near future, but it seems as though Apple would be leaving a lot of money on the table if it sat on the opportunity.
As soon as smartphone makers began adopting Near-Field Communication (NFC), the concept of using the tech to facilitate wireless payments began to bloom. Not coincidentally, Apple found itself receiving criticism for not adding the standard into the iPhone. Because of this, mobile payment tech has become a hot-button issue for critics who argue that Apple isn’t keeping up with the rest of the smartphone industry.
Two days ago, however, The Wall Street Journal reported that iTunes and App Store chief Eddy Cue personally met with unnamed industry executives to talk about getting involved with handling payments for goods and services. Whether or not this directly involves NFC remains to be seen, but it at least indicates that Apple is working on moving forward with mobile payments in some shape or form. The publication also reported that the company is shifting some of its executives into roles that will help build some sort of payment business; this isn’t the first time we’ve heard whispers that Apple was looking into the industry, and it’s much more likely to rapidly expand going forward.
Tie these rumors in with Cook’s declaration that mobile payments were a driving force behind Touch ID (Cook didn’t specify how much of a force, but the topic was at least a part of the discussion), and then consider Apple’s inclusion of services like Passbook and iBeacon location sensors, and everything starts to make sense. The company has been hard at work providing a foundation for a possible mobile payment option, and Touch ID is just another logical part of the framework.
The company has been hard at work providing a foundation for a possible mobile payment option, and Touch ID is just another logical part of the framework.
Combining biometrics with wireless payments seems like a natural match, but security and privacy are still significant hurdles that the company needs to jump over before it can become accepted by the masses. Apple is convinced that Touch ID is more secure than any other method of identity verification. Much of the public, however, was not as easily persuaded when the iPhone 5s was announced. The response from the public was mixed, varying anywhere from praise to skepticism and in some cases, to anger; Senator Al Franken even got involved in the discussion, sending Cook a letter addressing the potential privacy concerns involved.
Part of the solution is simply waiting for the right time to dive in. As more Touch ID-enabled iPhones are sold, the feature will continue to become more used and accepted, and most concerns will be soothed. More and more people will start using Touch ID to pay for iTunes purchases as they get comfortable with the feature. Given that iTunes made more than $2 billion this past quarter, it’s not too hard to visualize the benefits of Touch ID progressing into other money-making ventures for Apple.
Even though today’s statement by Tim Cook wasn’t an official guarantee that his company is diving into mobile payments, it’d be silly to expect Apple to just sit idly by in the coming years. With features like Touch ID, Passbook and iBeacons laying the groundwork for a future service, it’s pretty clear that this is an area of intense interest for the company. The next step is to determine when and how to slice up its piece of the pie.
Apple’s earnings are in, and as expected the company got a nice boost in sales over the holidays. We’re talking 51 million iPhones sold — an all-time quarterly record — up from 47.8 million during the same quarter last year. It’s unclear just how the iPhone sales break down between the iPhone 5c and 5s models, as Apple didn’t offer those numbers. iPad sales reached a record quarterly high as well, at 26 million up from 22.9 million during the same year-ago quarter. Profit, meanwhile, comes in at $13.1 billion, showing no change year-over-year.
Mac sales are also up; with a jump to 4.8 million from 4.1 million in the year-ago quarter. Also record-setting was Cupertino’s reported quarterly revenue of $57.6 billion. Apple’s board of directors has also announced that shareholders will receive a $3.05 cash dividend per share early next month.
If Apple took a huge hit anywhere, though, it’s with iPods. Year-over-year sales are down a whopping 52 percent, with revenue down 55 percent. Those figures suggest that the more expensive iPod models took the hardest hit. That ugly stat aside, there are plenty of positive numbers this time around. As always, we’ll be listening in on Apple’s earnings conference call, so stay tuned.
Filed under: Apple
Fitbit updated its iOS app today, bringing, perhaps most significantly, the ability to track “basic” activity on an iPhone 5s, without the company’s proprietary wearable. Using Apple’s motion-sensing M7 chip, the app’ll track your steps, distance and the number of calories you’ve burned. You can also utilize features like food and weight tracking, fitness goals and add friends on the app by downloading it in the source link below and tapping on the “No Fitbit Yet? iPhone 5s tracks the basics” text. So you can start those New Year’s resolutions now — and, the company no doubt hopes, get in on the FitBit experience before picking up the wearable.
Filed under: Wearables
Apple and China Mobile have officially announced today that the iPhone 5s and 5c will be available at the carrier’s stores as well as Apple retail stores across mainland China beginning January 17, 2014, with pre-registration for both devices beginning on December 25, 2013.
“Apple’s iPhone is very much loved by millions of customers around the world. We know there are many China Mobile customers and potential new customers who are anxiously awaiting the incredible combination of iPhone on China Mobile’s leading network. We are delighted that iPhone on China Mobile will support our 4G/TD-LTE and 3G/TD-SCDMA networks, providing customers with high-speed mobile service,” said Xi Guohua, China Mobile Chairman.
“Apple has enormous respect for China Mobile and we are excited to begin working together. China is an extremely important market for Apple and our partnership with China Mobile presents us the opportunity to bring iPhone to the customers of the world’s largest network,” said Tim Cook, Apple CEO. “iPhone customers in China are an enthusiastic and rapidly growing group, and we can’t think of a better way to welcome in the Chinese New Year than getting an iPhone into the hands of every China Mobile customer who wants one.”
China Mobile is currently the world’s largest carrier with over 760 million subscribers and is expected to bring many new customers to Apple, significantly increasing the company’s presence in China. Multiple signs of an approaching deal between the two companies have popped up during the final months of 2013, with Apple receiving licensing needed to operate on China Mobile’s TD-LTE standard in September and releasing the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c with TD-LTE support.
The iPhone was the top-selling smartphone at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile for September, October and November of this year, according to Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley (via AppleInsider). We previously covered Walkley’s September numbers.
Before the iPhone 5s and 5c’s release, Apple, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, Sony, and Motorola all had handsets enjoying top-three sales at at least one of America’s big four carriers. Apple’s September announcement pushed all but Samsung out of the picture and relegated the South Korean conglomerate’s Galaxy S4 to the runner-up position across the board.
Apple has maintained a significant edge outside of the U.S. as well, even before the long-anticipated launch of the company’s devices on China Mobile, the world’s largest wireless carrier. The iPhone 5s was “by far the top selling smartphone…at most channels where the smartphone launched globally,” Walkley notes.
Samsung’s Galaxy S 4, the iPhone’s chief competitor, now holds second place across all carriers with the iPhone 5c coming in third. Closer to the launch of the 5c and 5s, the 5c held second place at AT&T and Sprint.
Last year, the numbers were similar, although with different phone models. NPD claimed the iPhone 5 was the best-selling model of Q4 2012, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S III, and then the iPhone 4s and iPhone 4 models.
T-Mobile is running another promotion where allows qualified customers to skip out on the up-front cost, requiring $0 down at time of purchase. The promotion begins on December 11, and is limited to Samsung and Apple devices. It covers the 16 GB variants of the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, Samsung…
Tracfone today announced that the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will be launching on its Straight Talk and Net10 carrier brands on Friday, December 13. Devices for the two carrier brands, which offer contract-free phones at unsubsidized prices, will be available exclusively through Walmart. Available…