Archive for the ‘iphone 5’ tag
While analysts, Wall Street, former Apple employees, and yes — journalists — have been raking Apple over the coals for its agonizingly slow product release cycle and lack of response to the growing market for larger screens, Tim no-new-products-until-this-fall Cook has held his fire.
That’s probably at least partly due to the fact that that “growing” market might indeed be growing, but not all that quickly. In fact, according to mobile advertising company Tapjoy, fablets only make up a tiny four percent of the market.
“Fablets don’t fill a market need that is most valuable to end users,” Brian Sapp, a director at Tapjoy, told me yesterday. “They fall in a grey area … the device manufacturers want to make larger screens, but most users just don’t care.”
Tapjoy is a pretty credibly source of mobile market data — the company’s monetization solutions live in tens of thousands of apps, and thereby on over a billion devices globally, the company told me. That’s a big sample size from which to draw conclusions.
“Users,” Sapp concludes, “want a phone that fits in their pocket.”
There is very likely some regional lumpiness to that data, with fablets being more popular in some areas (I suspect Asia, for one). But four percent is not a big number, and it’s not the kind of massive market that Apple typically looks for.
In addition, Apple is much more concerned with making great products than flip-flopping in the wind of what’s popular du jour, and usability experts point out that already on iPhone-sized screens, some areas are hard to manage one-handed, and to both access virtual controls and initiate standard on-screen gesture motions.
Which, of course, makes fablets two-handed beasts.
One caveat, however.
While fablets may be a small slice of the market, phones that are bigger than iPhone are not. The super-successful Galaxy S III and Galaxy S4 are both bigger than iPhone 5. And Samsung, which shipped 400 million phones in 2012 and 82.2 million smartphones, tablets, and notebooks in the first quarter of 2013, knows something about what customers want too.
“Market share is important and unit share is important,” Cook said on the company’s last earnings call. “But we’re all about customer experience and enriching lives.”
Which means it is very likely that a larger iPhone will be coming at some point in 2013, closer to fall. Just not as big as some pundits might like.
And … it probably will still fit in your pocket.
Manufacturer and Apple supplier Pegatron is increasing its China-based workforce by 40 percent over the second half of 2013, according to a Reuters report.
Since the company already employs 100,000 workers to manufacture components and devices for customers like Apple, Dell, and HP, that translates to 40,000 new workers. And since Apple is widely expected to be releasing not only an updated iPhone 5 but also a cheaper, plastic-bodied iPhone in the fall-to-winter time frame, that translates to speculation that Pegatron is gearing up for big orders.
This fits both with Apple CEO Tim Cook’s announcement during the company’s recent earnings call that Apple would not bring out any new products until the fall and with recent rampant rumors of new iPhone models.
And, says Reuters, Pegatron’s CFO Charles Lin indicated that 60 percent of the company’s 2013 revenue would come from the second half of the year.
Apple needs new products, badly.
Canalys’ numbers for smartphone, tablet, and laptop sales for the first quarter of 2013 show that Apple’s growing only 7.6 percent in smartphone sales, while the industry is growing at a 64.3 percent pace. And while Apple sold 37 million iPhones, Samsung shipped is growing its smartphone shipments by 64.3 percent.
Apple’s not interesting in market share for the sake of market share, but at some point market share has to impact the overall health of an ecosystem. And without a strong app, media, and device ecosystem, smartphone manufacturers are in deep, deep trouble.
Sharp, Japan Display, and Samsung rival LG Electronics are tooling up for Apple iPhone 5S production runs which will begin in earnest in June, according to a report out of Japan.
Ramping up production in June and July will stock Apple’s shelves for a late summer or early fall launch, when Apple typically sells millions of devices in just a few days. That timetable is in line with Tim Cook’s statements during Apple’s last earnings call, in which Cook warned investors not to expect any major new product launches this summer:
“Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software and services we can’t wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014,” he said at the time.
Japan Display and LG have long made screens for Apple’s smartphones, while Sharp was added just late last year as Apple continues to diversify its list of manufacturers in an attempt to ensure adequate production capacity — and to limit reliance on any one particular partner.
The most critical point in the report?
The liquid crystal panel of the next model “iPhone (iPhone) 5″ Apple, specification is close to the current and the “iPhone 5″.
In other words, the 5S is the same size and shape as the 5, which means that this particular product is not the iPhone mini or iPhone maxi that have recently been rumored. Which doesn’t, of course, mean that Apple is not sourcing components for those potential products from other manufacturers.
According to the report, the factory Sharp will be using has a production capacity of 600 million units a month. Apple will not even need even a reasonable fraction of that, and the factory has been chronically under-utilized.
This is good news for Sharp, Japan Display, and Japan in general. Electronics manufacturers in Japan have seen Korean companies like Samsung take their lunch and eat it too, and have had to cut staff, offload underperforming business units, and cut back expenses.
It’s also good news for Apple fans who are looking forward to some juicy new iTech.
Image credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat
In spite of all those big moves, however, the company’s most important news is that it’s finally started selling the iPhone, which, unsurprisingly, lots of people have been interested in buying. In fact, T-Mobile said it’s sold 500,000 of the Apple phones since they went on sale last month.
While commendable, T-Mobile’s numbers are far behind, say, the 4 and 4 .8 million iPhones Verizon and AT&T respectively sold last quarter. Still, T-Mobile’s iPhone has been on sale for less than a month, so we’ll wait until the device is around for at least a whole quarter before we judge how well T-Mobile is actually doing.
As for the rest of the company’s earnings, well, we got a good look at them a few weeks ago. It’s customer numbers are increasing (though most of those customers didn’t sign up for actual T-Mobile branded services), it’s losing fewer branded post-paid customers, and it’s revenue slid seven percent.
So is the new T-Mobile also the improved T-Mobile? We’ll have to wait a few more quarters before we can say for sure.
Filed under: Mobile
Starting today, iPhone and iPad owners can finally get their hands on Google Now.
Think of it like an evolved form of Apple’s Siri personal assistant baked within Google’s iOS search app. In addition to receiving voice commands (a feature that’s already been present on on Google’s search app for some time), Google Now also presents useful information without your prompting.
It could, for example, tell you the estimate commute time to your office or the status of your package deliveries.
In my brief testing with Google Now on my iPhone 5 and iPad Mini, I found it to be just as easy to use as on Android. Google Now’s Cards (little boxes which it uses to deliver different types of information) are all located on the bottom of Google’s search app. Typically, the software presents the most relevant cards to you — so since I tested it in the morning, it displayed cards for my work commute and weather.
You can tap a card for more information (typically retrieved through a Google search), or swipe to remove them. At first glance, the biggest difference between the iOS and Android versions of Google Now is the available screen space. It’s a bit different juggling Google Now’s cards on the iPhone 5′s 4-inch screen, when most Android phones are approaching 5-inch screens. I also noticed that the Package Card doesn’t show any images for shipments on iOS — but that’s a fairly minor complaint.
Check out my hands-on video below:
In a global smartphone market that Android has been expanding at a breakneck pace, a bright spot for Apple has been increasing market share in the lucrative U.S. domestic market. A new report from the Yankee Group says that’s going to continue, and that Apple is winning the slow way, via customer loyalty.
The difference, according to analyst Carl Howe, is Apple’s ecosystem.
“Apple’s “black hole” ecosystem captures subscribers who never leave, while Android smartphones are losing one out of every six customers to other manufacturers,” Howe wrote when publishing the study.
That’s iTunes, the App Store, iBooks, iCloud, and the entire physical ecosystem of iPhone-compatible speakers, peripherals, and even cars, which sync and integrate an iPhone with users’ devices.
It seems difficult to believe, given the avalanche of sales Android has captured — led by Samsung. But Kantar Worldpanel data from January supports the Yankee Group’s thesis: Apple briefly captured a majority of U.S. smartphone market share in late 2012. And earlier this month, ComScore said that Apple is growing overall iPhone sales and iOS market share, while Android share is dropping.
Interestingly, Tim Cook said in Apple’s quarterly earnings call earlier this week that a lot of that was due to Apple’ old phones.
“Market share is important, and unit share is important,” he said, adding that the company had reduced prices on the previous-generation iPhone 4 in order to make the phone more affordable to a wider range of people.
The iOS ecosystem is one reason, the Yankee Group report says, that 91 percent of iPhone users plan to buy another iPhone with their next phone purchase, compared to a still-high but clearly lower 76 percent of Android users who plan to switch away from the Android platform. And, in fact, 18 percent of Android owners plan to switch to Apple’s phones.
What that adds up to is the “black hole ecosystem,” as Howe puts it, that grows Apple’s market share slowly but surely.
The question for Apple is whether it can translate that stateside advantage into an international one, where it’s having a much more difficult time capturing huge swaths of market share.
My weekly Mediapost innovation column focuses on the supply chain brainfart lag with Apple's new iPhone 5 between product announcement, release and the resulting accessory time lapse to supply the stores with protective cases.
Here's the link to the article on Mediapost and a sample of the text is below:
I have a love-hate relationship with Apple. I’d like to describe myself as a Pragmatic Advocate (as opposed to a Zealot Fanboy prepared to sleep outside for 5 days to get a phone that everyone else will have within days or weeks).
I personally have switched almost entirely to Apple products (Phone, Pad, Air) based on the unbeatable form and function combination that truly is superior to anything else on the market. I don’t do this blindly. I feel like it’s been a logical and natural process. I love the tangible product family, however I really love the intangible service and experience excellence (Blue shirts, Genius, 1-to-1) that truly separates them from their competition.
With a bar set so high, one would think it’s OK to slip up once in a while. Perhaps they’ve earned a Mulligan or two in the marketplace. Only that they actually slip up more often than one would think (the antenna fiasco, battery issues, cracked screen, overheating – the list goes on.) My problem with the company is their detached closedness, secretive opacity and perceived arrogance associated with how they go to market.
This is a company that projects aloofness and a superiority complex, which does not behoove a humble leader. I say that intentionally, because I don’t think they want to be humble. They absolutely believe they know better than their consumers and aren’t influenced by the market.
I don’t even have a problem with that. I just wish the company would — occasionally — admit when they’ve made a mistake.
Here’s the most recent one: My new iPhone 5 arrived on Friday, Sept. 28. Today (as I write this), it’s October 12.
I still don’t have a case for my iPhone.
The Apple store has nothing in stock. In fact, they’ve never received a single case. They also have “no idea” when they’ll receive cases. They are, however, very happy to sell you Applecare for $100 and a $49 replacement fee for when (not if) you drop your caseless phone and crack the screen.
Can you see what’s wrong with this picture?
Read the rest of the article here: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/185162/the-occasional-rotten-apple.html#ixzz29StZtSnh
We’ve seen a lot of leaked iPhone 5 parts, including a new battery and longer cases, but so far we’ve had to imagine how they would all fit together. Thankfully, a new diagram from the folks at iFixYouri makes sense of the madness.
Using what’s supposedly a leaked version of the next iPhone’s motherboard, the repair firm was able to make educated guesses of where many of the other leaked components would fit in, 9to5Mac reports. While it’s far from conclusive evidence that any of these parts are legitimate (especially since it’s not scaled for size), the diagram certainly hints at some interesting connections.
Or maybe we’re just reading way too much into images of mystery hardware.
Don’t expect the iPhone 5 rumors to slow down anytime soon. The closer we get to the phone’s announcement, currently expected for September 12, the more gadget geeks will scoop up any crumb of new information. And the potential for juicy revelations will be huge, since the next iPhone will likely be a major revamp on the iPhone 4′s design.
The next iPhone (which will likely just go by “iPhone,” like the new iPad) will likely sport a longer screen around 4 inches (compared to the standard 3.5-inch screen), as well as a thinner body. Sharp has said that it will begin shipping displays to Apple this month, which should be enough time for Apple to make a September launch. Sprint has also lowered the price of its iPhone 4S models, which is a sign that it needs to clear out stock to make room for something new.
Industrial designer Don Lehman has posed a detailed analysis of shell components thought to be the final design or a late prototype of the coming iPhone 5, particularly examining changes to the back plate.