Apple today expanded its "Trade Up with Installments" program for iPhone to France, Italy, and Spain, enabling customers to trade in an eligible older-generation iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone smartphone and put the value of that device towards a new iPhone based on a 24-month payment plan.
When a customer in Italy trades in a used 16GB iPhone 5s for a new 16GB iPhone SE, for example, an amount of €16.98 must be paid each month for the duration of the two-year installment plan. A total of €425.52 would be owed after interest rates are applied to the price. Exact prices vary depending on the combination.
The program is effectively a loan handled by Apple as an intermediary, so customers will need approved credit to qualify. The exact amounts paid may vary depending on the condition of the smartphone traded in. Apple's financing partners include Sofinco in France, Agos Ducato in Italy, and Cetelem in Spain.
"Trade Up with Installments" was heretofore exclusive to the U.S., where the program is financed by Citizens Bank with a 0% interest rate.
Apple recommends that customers speak to a Specialist at an Apple Retail Store for more details. The offer is not available online and is set to end on August 31, 2016 in France, Italy, and Spain. Apple's similar iPhone Upgrade Program remains exclusive to the U.S., so this program is a viable alternative for financing a new iPhone.
Apple has shared a new television commercial called "Thank You Speech" starring actor Neil Patrick Harris. The new 30-second spot promotes hands-free Siri on iPhone 6s in a humorous tone.
Harris asks Siri to read him his "thank you speech" while he stands in front of a mirror practicing with a hairbrush. The How I Met Your Mother star previously had a quick cameo in Apple's recent "Onions" ad.
Apple previously promoted hands-free Siri with its acclaimed "Timer" ad starring Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, with was accompanied by a humorous behind the scenes video. It also shared an ad called "Hey Siri" in December that specifically shows off the hands-free feature.
In line with Apple CEO Tim Cook's recent comments about "very strong" iPhone SE demand exceeding supply, the company has reportedly increased orders for the low-priced 4-inch smartphone in the second quarter of 2016.
DigiTimes claims that the second-quarter outlook for iPhone SE-related chip orders has been revised to more than 5 million units, up from 3.5-4 million, and the upward trend is expected to continue through the third quarter.
In a related report, the Taiwanese website notes that Apple has conversely lowered orders for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus due to declining sales of the flagship handsets. Last week, Apple announced its first-ever year-over-year decline in iPhone sales, which dropped to 51.2 million from 61.2 million in the year-ago quarter, and provided third quarter guidance that suggests the decline will continue.
While the lower-priced iPhone SE could help Apple combat its overall decline in smartphone sales, Apple analyst Neil Cybart of Above Avalon notes that the device has a lower average selling price (ASP) and smaller profit margins. Those pressures, alongside other warning signs, leads him to believe that Apple "has a significant iPhone growth problem on its hands" right now.
When looking at all of these iPhone warning signs, it is becoming clear that Apple has a significant iPhone growth problem on its hands. The combination of a slowing iPhone upgrade rate and declining number of growth catalysts for expanding the iPhone's addressable market will make it very difficult for management to report unit sales growth going forward given its current strategy. In addition, the iPhone SE highlights how any strategy to fix some of these issues will likely end up jeopardizing iPhone ASP and margin trends.
One of Cybart's warning signs is that "India is not the next China," despite being positioned as one of the next big growth markets for iPhone. India has reportedly rejected Apple's request to import and sell refurbished iPhones in the country, following a similar proposal rejected in 2015, and its regular-priced iPhones are too expensive to attract significant market share in the region.
Nevertheless, the analyst ensures that the iPhone business is "not imploding," citing industry-leading customer satisfaction rates and loyalty trends. He believes that Apple can pull through this declining iPhone environment with a strategy that involves ditching the "S" model nomenclature, focusing on features that customers truly want, and recognizing the iPhone SE's effect on its broader smartphone lineup.
Sunday May 1, 2016 12:49 pm PDT by Mitchel Broussard
A week ahead of Mother's Day, Apple has launched a new commercial centering around a collection of images and video of mothers interacting with their children. The spot continues Apple's "Shot on iPhone" advertising campaign, with each piece captioned by the amateur iPhone user who captured the moment.
Apple began its "Shot on iPhone" campaign early in 2015, showcasing images collected from both professional and amateur photographers around the world. More recently, Apple's iPhone campaign has focused on portraying the features of the device, like Touch ID and Siri.
Wednesday April 27, 2016 7:16 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
The latest data from research firm IDC reveals that Apple's smartphone market share dropped to 15.3 percent in the March quarter as the worldwide smartphone market fell nearly flat during the first three months of 2016.
Apple yesterday reported iPhone sales of 51.2 million during the three-month period ending March 26, compared to 61.2 million units and 18.3 percent market share in the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, overall smartphone shipments totaled 334.9 million during the quarter, a year-over-year increase of only 500,000 units.
Despite the plethora of new features found on the newer "S" models, current iPhone 6/6 Plus owners may feel that a 6S upgrade may not be warranted at the moment. Apple also announced the new iPhone SE, which looks to challenge similarly priced Android options in numerous emerging markets where Apple has traditionally been seen as too expensive.
Samsung continued to lead the market with 81.9 million smartphones shipped for 24.5 percent market share, down only slightly from 24.6 percent in the year-ago quarter. Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo rounded off the top five smartphone makers in the quarter as Chinese vendors continue to churn the top of the charts.
Huawei, which manufactures Google's popular Android-based Nexus 6P smartphone, shipped 27.5 million handsets during the quarter for 8.2 percent market share as it attempts to compete with Apple and Samsung in the U.S. market and other regions beyond China. Its market share was 5.2 percent one year ago.
OPPO and Vivo, meanwhile, pushed out Lenovo and Xiaomi respectively for the fourth and fifth spots on the top smartphone vendors list.
With the launch of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Apple introduced an iPhone Upgrade Program in the U.S. designed to let Apple customers pay a monthly installment fee for a new iPhone and trade it in after 12 months of payments to get the next-generation iPhone.
When it debuted, the iPhone Upgrade Program required customers to purchase their iPhones within an Apple retail store to take advantage of the service, but as of today, the iPhone Upgrade Program is also available as an option when purchasing an iPhone from Apple's online store.
Apple's iPhone purchasing pages have been updated to reflect the change, with Apple's own pricing listed as a payment plan option instead of the carrier pricing options that were previously listed when purchasing an iPhone.
With the iPhone Upgrade Program, installment pricing on the entry-level iPhone 6s begins at $32.41 per month while pricing on the larger-screened entry-level iPhone 6s Plus begins at $36.58 per month. Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program is unique compared to carrier installment plans because it includes AppleCare+ in the monthly price.
The iPhone Upgrade Program is available for devices purchased with AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint service.
Apple today uploaded two new iPhone 6s ads to its YouTube channel, highlighting built-in features including Touch ID and the video taking capabilities of the iPhone 6s, including 4K video capture.
The first video, "Fingerprint," focuses on all of the things that can be done with Touch ID beyond unlocking a device, including opening passcode protected apps, checking into flights, signing documents, making purchases with Apple Pay, and starting cars.
With Touch ID on iPhone 6s, your fingerprint does way more than just unlock your phone.
The second video, "Onions," features the 4K video capturing functionality included in the iPhone 6s. In the hyperbolic and humorous video, a child captures her mother cutting onions, which goes viral because of its impressive quality.
4K video on iPhone 6s makes whatever you shoot look amazing. Even onions.
A video surfaced online yesterday purporting to show a vulnerability in iOS 9.3.1 that allows anyone to access photos and contacts on a locked iPhone without having to enter a passcode.
The YouTube video, uploaded by Jose Rodriguez and first spotted by The Daily Dot, depicts a user performing a Siri search followed by a series of relatively simple steps, one of which involves 3D Touch, limiting the exploit to iPhone 6s and 6s Plus devices.
The procedure starts by invoking Siri on the locked phone by holding the home button or using the "Hey, Siri" function, and then asking the personal assistant to initiate a Twitter search. When the returned results include contact details such as an email address, a 3D Touch gesture is used on the contact information to bring up a Quick Actions menu. Tapping "Add to Existing Contact" then brings up the iPhone's Contacts list. By selecting a contact and opting to add a photo to the entry, the phone's photo library can also be freely accessed.
The flaw is only applicable if the iPhone owner has previously granted Siri permission to access Twitter account information as well as to Contacts or Photos, operations which require establishing ownership of the device with the passcode or Touch ID. Additionally, if the iPhone has exited a Touch ID grace period, a passcode is still required before using Siri.
Users worried about the vulnerability can protect themselves by ensuring Siri's access to Twitter and Photos is disabled. On your device, go to Settings -> Privacy -> Twitter and if Siri is listed, turn off its access. Likewise, in Privacy -> Photos, turn any listing of Siri access to the Off position. Revoking Siri's access to your Contacts requires the more drastic action of disabling Siri lock screen activation. To do so, go to Settings -> Touch ID & Passcode and turn off the Siri switch.
Apple released iOS 9.3.1 to the public last week, marking the first update to iOS 9 since iOS 9.3 launched on March 21. iOS 9.3.1 came just over a week after the launch of iOS 9.3 and brought a fix for a significant web link crashing issue that affected many iOS users.
At today's "Let Us Loop You In" event, Apple debuted the the 4-inch iPhone SE, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and new Apple Watch bands, plus released new software updates for iOS, OS X, tvOS, and watchOS 2.2.
We've covered all of the main product announcements, but some smaller tidbits of information went largely unnoticed, including the launch of a new 256GB 12.9-inch iPad Pro, new iPhone and iPad cases, and details on iPhone and iPad sales. We've rounded up all of these lesser-known details below.
Find something new that should be included on the list? Send us Tips email and we'll add it.
256GB 12.9-inch iPad Pro - With the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, Apple introduced a new 256GB storage capacity, which has also been extended to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Apple is selling a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 256GB of storage for $1,079 for Wi-Fi only or $1,229 for Wi-Fi + Cellular.
9.7-inch iPad Pro USB 2 Transfer Speeds - According to the product description for the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter, while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is able to transfer data at USB 3 speeds, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro can only transfer data at USB 2 speeds. That implies the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is not using the same Lightning port as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which has a Lightning port able to support USB 3.0 transfer speeds.
At USB 2 speeds, iPads and iPhones can transfer data at around 25 to 35 MB/s, while USB 3.0 transfer speeds are much faster –- up to 625MB/s.
New iPhone and iPad case colors - Apple has introduced new spring colors for iPhone and iPad cases. New Silicone case colors for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus include Yellow, Apricot, Light Pink, Lilac, Royal Blue, and Mint. Apple has dropped the following colors: Blue, Turquoise, and Pink.
There are also new Leather Case colors for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, including Marigold, Storm Gray, and Marine Blue. For the iPhone SE, Apple has a Leather Case available in Black and Midnight Blue. Third-party cases available for the iPhone 5/5s also fit the iPhone SE, and Apple has updated product descriptions to note that its collection of third-party cases will fit both devices.
The Silicone Case for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is available for $69, while the Smart Cover is available for $49. Both are available in White, Stone, Yellow, Apricot, Light Pink, Midnight Blue, Lavender, Lilac, Royal Blue, Mint, Charcoal Gray, and Red. Spring colors – Yellow, Apricot, Light Pink, Lilac, Royal Blue, and Mint – are also new for the iPad mini Silicone Case and Smart Cover.
Smart Keyboard for 9.7-inch iPad Pro - Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad Pro includes a Smart Connector, allowing it to connect to accessories like a new Smart Keyboard. Smart Keyboards are now available in 12.9 and 9.7-inch sizes, with the new 9.7-inch Smart Keyboard priced at $149, $20 less than the $169 price tag of the 12.9-inch Smart Keyboard. The 9.7-inch Smart Keyboard is identical to its larger sibling, available only in charcoal.
Classroom app - For teachers and students, there’s a new Classroom app [Direct Link] that’s available for download today. Classroom is designed to allow teachers to guide students through lessons, watch their progress, and make sure they’re on track. When used in conjunction with Apple’s educational tools, Classroom lets teachers launch the same app or website on every student device at the same time. It also includes options for locking screens into a single app, AirPlaying content to an Apple TV, reset student Apple ID passwords, and more.
Sales numbers - During the event keynote, Apple exec Greg Joswiak announced Apple sold 30 million 4-inch iPhones in 2015, which encompasses the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c. In total, Apple sold 231.5 million iPhones during the year. Apple also announced that it has sold 200 million 9.7-inch iPads since 2010.
True Tone display - Apple has introduced a True Tone display in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which uses built-in sensors to detect the ambient lighting in the room and adjust the display accordingly. The feature is unique to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and can be turned off in the Settings app for those who want a display temperature that does not fluctuate.
iPhone 5s - Apple is no longer selling the iPhone 5s in the United States, having discontinued it in favor of the iPhone SE.
iPhone SE Touch ID - The iPhone SE adopts many features from the iPhone 6s, but it does not include the next-generation Touch ID sensor. The iPhone SE continues to use the Touch ID sensor from earlier iPhone models.
Embedded Apple SIM: The 9.7-inch iPad Pro includes an Embedded Apple SIM along with a regular Nano-SIM slot.
For more details on the products and updates Apple announced today, make sure to check out our recap post, which has links to all of today's event coverage.
Amid rumors a dual-lens camera will be introduced in the iPhone 7, Apple recently submitted a patent application published in January which gives us rare insight into what Apple thinks a dual-lens camera interface could look like on future iOS devices.
The patent outlines a dual-camera system that consists of one standard wide-angle lens similar to what's in the iPhone today and a second telephoto lens capable of capturing zoomed-in video and photos.
Both lenses can be used simultaneously to take separate photos or videos, with Apple's software able to merge the images together in unique ways. As described by Apple, images from both lenses can be displayed on the same screen in the Camera app through a split-screen view that shows a standard wide-angle image on one side and the zoomed image on the other side.
When capturing a video or a photo, users are able to transition between both lenses seamlessly, tapping on a spot in the photo to zoom in with a second lens. Apple's system would work similarly to digital zoom does today, but because it's using a lens with a longer focal length instead of zooming in through software, there's no loss of detail and the zoomed in image is much more crisp and clear.
Using the information obtained from the patent as a guideline, MacRumors videographer Matt Gonzalez created this video depicting how Apple might utilize multiple cameras to add impressive new features to the iPhone's picture taking capabilities.
As a specific example in the patent, Apple outlines a photo-taking opportunity at a child's birthday party. A parent could capture a video of the moments before the candles on the cake are blown out using the standard wide-angle iPhone camera, and then tap on the screen to open a split-screen view and activate the telephoto lens for a close-up portrait shot of the exact moment the candles are blown out.
According to the patent, both cameras are able to be used separately, with each one capturing video (even slo-mo video) or one capturing video and another taking photographs. The resulting files can be saved independently or artfully merged together using Apple's software.
We can't be sure that the patent is representative of an actual dual-camera implementation we might see in a future iPhone, but it's certainly a possibility and it gives us a solid look at some of the ideas Apple is working on. We're still several months away from the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, but multiple rumors suggest a dual-lens camera will be a feature for the larger-screened device.
Friday March 4, 2016 5:59 am PST by Mitchel Broussard
Apple is gearing up to launch a refurbished iPhone market in India, according to a new report from The Times of India. The company is seeking permission from the Indian government to import pre-owned iPhones into the country, and has submitted a formal request to the ministry of environment and forests to begin doing so.
"An application from Apple regarding import of certified pre-owned iPhones for sale in India and manufacturing certified pre-owned iPhones for sale in India has been received in the ministry of environment and forests," telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Parliament of India's Rajya Sabha.
Apple's attempts to set up a used iPhone program in India come after a series of recent reports that point to the company's doubling down on the smartphone market in the country. Earlier in February, Apple was said to be close to opening its own retail locations within India, after having to rely on an "Authorized Mobility Resellers" program due to the country's strict real estate and zoning laws.
Around the same time, Apple confirmed its plans to open a $25 million technology development site in Hyderabad, India that will focus on maps development and house over 150 employees. The Indian government has yet to respond to Apple's newest attempt at bolstering its market share in the country, but if approved it would be the first territory with used iPhones to be sold directly from Apple.
Tuesday February 23, 2016 9:36 am PST by Juli Clover
There's an adage that says the best camera is the one you have with you, and for most MacRumors readers, that's an iPhone. On popular photography site Flickr, the iPhone has long been the most popular camera, responsible for a significant portion of the photos uploaded to the site.
Apple has fully embraced the iPhone's position as a serious photography device, and over the years, the camera has steadily improved, but getting a great picture is about more than just the camera it's shot with -- factors like lighting and positioning can have a huge impact on the outcome.
With that in mind, our videographer, Mattdgonzalez, has created a basic introduction video on how to take better photos using your iPhone and the stock camera app.
Following the rule of thirds and working with the ambient light around you are two of the most important factors when it comes to good photography, but there are a few built-in iPhone tools that can help you get the perfect shot, like tap to focus, exposure control, and HDR.
There are two iPhone tools you'll want to use sparingly or not at all -- digital zoom and flash. Digital zoom is just going to make your photos look grainy, and it's rare photos using the flash will look halfway decent. Simple tips like additional light sources or moving closer to your subject instead of zooming digitally can make a world of difference when it comes to quality.
Matt's also been producing our iOS Beta walkthroughs and regularly publishing videos on our YouTube channel which don't all make their way to the main site. Other recent videos include:
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