Apple has launched a worldwide "Shot on iPhone 6" advertising campaign involving 77 photographers, 70 cities and 24 countries, with iPhone 6 photography to be featured in magazines, newspapers, billboards, transit posters and more. The large-scale marketing initiative has started rolling out in several countries across the world this week, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Thailand, Malaysia, Tokyo and United Arab Emirates.
"Shot on iPhone 6" photo on billboard in Los Angeles (via Twitter)
A number of "Shot on iPhone 6" advertisements have begun surfacing on Twitter and Instagram over the past few days, with spots appearing on the back cover of The New Yorker magazine, horizontal posters in London's Euston Square subway station and in the Malaysian city of Bangsar, billboards in Los Angeles and Toronto, the side of a tall skyscraper in Dubai and more.
"Shot on iPhone 6" photo on back cover of The New Yorker (via Twitter)
The so-called "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" will reportedly adopt Force Touch, a feature that debuted on the Apple Watch in September, according to sources for AppleInsider. The next-generation iPhones are expected to retain the same physical design as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, including 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models. The report adds that the return of a 4-inch model appears unlikely for this refresh.
Force Touch uses tiny electrodes to distinguish between a light tap or deep press on the screen, prompting the software to perform a different action depending on how much pressure is exerted on the display. Apple would likely have to use a flexible OLED display on a future iPhone model in order for Force Touch to be possible on the smartphone. Apple calls Force Touch its most significant new sensing capability since Multi-Touch on its Apple Watch microsite.
"In addition to recognizing touch, Apple Watch senses force, adding a new dimension to the user interface. Force Touch uses tiny electrodes around the flexible Retina display to distinguish between a light tap and a deep press, and trigger instant access to a range of contextually specific controls — such as an action menu in Messages, or a mode that allows you to select different watch faces — whenever you want. It’s the most significant new sensing capability since Multi‑Touch."
Apple reportedly experimented with adding Force Touch to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last year, although calibration issues resulted in removal of the feature prior to the smartphones being released. The issues appear to have been resolved at this point, however, and Force Touch is now on Apple's upcoming roadmap. The so-called "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" will presumably be announced next September.
The report also dismisses the rumor about next-generation iPhones gaining a DSLR-like dual-lens camera system, as implementing this feature would require redesigning the iPhone and moving away from the current chassis found on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Last month, it was reported that the iPhone 6s will retain an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera sensor, although that does not limit other improvements from being made.
Sunday March 1, 2015 11:39 am PST by Joe Rossignol
Apple has refreshed its homepage to showcase a gallery of photos taken with iPhone 6 across the world, unsurprisingly coinciding with today's announcements of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The gallery shows photos taken by iPhone 6 users in several countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Iceland, South Korea, China, Scotland, Indonesia, Thailand and New Zealand.
Some of the photos have been filtered, enhanced or shared with apps such as Instagram, Snapseed, VSCO Cam, Mextures, Filterstorm Neue, Camera+ and Adobe Photoshop Express. "People take incredible photos and videos on iPhone 6 every day," writes Apple. "And here are some of our favorites. Explore the gallery, learn a few tips, and see what’s possible with the world’s most popular camera."
Update 2:00 PM PT: Rene Ritchie at iMore reports that this is just the beginning of an iPhone 6 photography campaign involving 77 photographers, 70 cities and 24 countries. Apple will be featuring photos taken with an iPhone 6 in print media, transit posters and billboards across the world.
"From Sydney to Beijing to San Francisco to New York City to London and more, Apple will feature the iPhone photographers and their work on posters at transit stops and stations and in newspaper ads and on billboards. Not the iPhone 6. Not its camera. Not product shots. But shots taken by the product — by the iPhone 6 camera."
Tuesday February 10, 2015 7:19 am PST by Joe Rossignol
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has provided reliable information about Apple's upcoming product plans in the past, claims that Apple's next-generation iPhone will feature an upgraded Touch ID module with reduced reading errors for an improved and safer Apple Pay experience.
"We think the new iPhone,expected to launch in 3Q15, will be equipped with an upgraded Touch ID module, with which Apple (US) intends to offer a better and safer Apple Pay user experience with reduced reading errors. We therefore raise our 2015F shipments of Touch ID module by 12.4% to 262mn sets, boosted by Apple Pay and new iPhone models."
Kuo told investors that he expects suppliers to ramp up for production of the improved Touch ID module shipments, which are expected to rise by 77% to over 260 million units, in the second quarter. The oft-accurate analyst added that the upgraded fingerprint scanner will "require more advanced precision for the module’s laser welding process."
Sunnic and ASE Kuo are expected to be two of the main suppliers of components for Apple's new Touch ID alongside TSMC. Kuo predicts that Apple will release the next-generation iPhone in the third quarter of this year, lining up historically with past iPhone releases in September.
Kuo also points out that Touch ID embedded into a display is unlikely in the near term, despite several published patent applications from Apple on the topic. With a need for a sapphire display cover to minimize scratching and the complex algorithms needed for handling Touch ID within a display, it will be some time before such technology is ready for market.
Monday February 9, 2015 5:26 am PST by Joe Rossignol
iPhone camera module supplier Largan Precision is expected to face limited earnings growth this year amid rumors that Apple's next-generation smartphone will retain an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera sensor, according to Taipei Times (via GforGames).
The report cites Taipei-based analyst Jeff Pu, who claims the iPhone 6s will have the same camera hardware specifications as previous models. Apple first introduced an 8-megapixel rear camera on the iPhone 4s in 2011 and used similar modules for the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s.
Pu said that the camera specifications of the next-generation iPhone, dubbed iPhone 6S, will stay the same as the current iPhone 6 at 8-megapixels, limiting potential catalysts to push Largan’s stock price higher in the second half of the year. [...] Pu said that although the migration to 8-megapixel and 13-megapixel lenses would remain strong among Chinese vendors of mid-tier and low-end phones, upgrades to 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel lenses for flagship phones would be slow given the limited supply of CMOS sensors — used to convert light into electrons.
Wednesday February 4, 2015 2:13 am PST by Richard Padilla
For the first time since 2012, sales of Apple's iPhone overtook sales of Android devices by a slight margin during the October to December 2014 period in the United States, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel (via TechCrunch). Apple's iPhone took a 47.7% sales share of the U.S. smartphone market while Android accounted for 47.6%, with Windows Phone accounting for 3.8% of sales.
In the US, Apple iOS overtook Android for the first time since this time in 2012, albeit by the slimmest 0.1% margin," reported Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “While the success of the iPhone 6 and 6Plus is unprecedented, this quarter’s performance also points to Apple having its strongest portfolio ever. With a range of devices available at different price points in both contract and pre-pay Apple was able to take advantage of a weaker Android offering at the premium end of the market.
Kantar also notes that the iPhone 6 was the best selling smartphone in the United States, and that the iPhone's market share rose 6.2% in Europe during the holiday quarter. By comparison, Android's share declined 3.8% overall in Europe, as Italy was the only country to experience market share growth. In China, Apple grew 2.2% to claim a 21.5% market share, with the growth attributed to the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
During the company's earnings call last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus brought more Android switchers and new customers than prior models. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold a record 74.5 million units during the holiday quarter, with a 46% growth when compared to last year and Apple's launch of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
Tuesday January 27, 2015 2:15 pm PST by Juli Clover
During today's earnings call covering the first fiscal quarter of 2015, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about the sales split between the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. He declined to provide specific numbers on the split, but he did confirm that the iPhone 6 was the most popular device.
"Obviously to sell 74.5 million devices, they were all popular," Cook said. "Both did incredibly well. We're really proud of them, along with the iPhone 5s and 5c."
According to Cook, there was some clear geographical preference for the iPhone 6 vs the iPhone 6 Plus. Some locations skewed higher to iPhone 6 Plus preference, while others preferred the iPhone 6. He didn't specify which regions preferred which devices, but data has suggested Asian countries favored the iPhone 6 Plus.
During the call, Cook also mentioned that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus brought the highest Android switcher rate over the course of the last three years and that there's still a lot of opportunity to see growth as only a "small fraction" of existing iPhone users (in the low teens) have upgraded to a new device. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have brought the highest number of customers new to iPhone than in any prior iPhone launch. "We saw more new customers to iPhone than we've ever seen before," said Cook.
Cook said the company is getting "great feedback" about the quality of the products that they're shipping, and that in emerging markets, iPhone growth was "absolutely stunning." The company is very bullish on the iPhone going forward, expecting to see a lot of new adopters in Q2 2015 as well.
"We believe that it's the best smartphone in the world," said Cook.
Apple managed to reach supply/demand balance on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in January, when shipping dates finally hit 24 hours. Before that, iPhone supplies remained somewhat constrained throughout the holiday season.
Today's earnings report revealed record iPhone sales, at 74.5 million, or 46 percent growth year over year. The iPhone makes up an impressive 69 percent of Apple's revenue, which hit $74.6B during the quarter.
Monday January 26, 2015 5:53 am PST by Mitchel Broussard
A day before the company is set to announce earnings for its first fiscal quarter of 2015, Financial Times highlights a recent report suggesting Apple may report it sold more iPhones in China than in the U.S. for the first time ever.
According to analysts from financial firm UBS, China accounted for 36 percent of iPhone shipments in the most recent quarter, compared to 24 percent for the U.S. The analysts also compared the numbers to 2013, noting that a year before China accounted for only 22 percent of shipments with the U.S. at 29 percent.
Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin concurs with the UBS report, believing around 2 million more iPhones were sold in China than in the U.S. during the quarter. With the upcoming launch of the Apple Watch, he also believes it's just the beginning of the country's fiscal dominance over Apple sales.
“It’s already been a good year, building up to the climax of this quarter,” said Bajarin, referring to Apple’s momentum in the world’s largest smartphone market. “It leads to a lot more optimism for China . . . Their potential headroom in China is higher than it is here [in the US].
They will likely do more in China than US from here on out,” he said. “It certainly shows how important the China market is to Apple’s upside.”
Apple has been emphasizing the importance of China for the company for some time, most recently meeting with the Chinese government to discuss data privacy and security, partnering with popular mobile payment service Alipay, and planning multiple Apple Store openings like the one in Chongqing opening this week.
On the distribution front, 2014 most notably saw a partnership between Apple and the world's largest carrier, China Mobile. The partnership allowed iPhones to be sold in 3,000 more cities where Apple previously had very little presence, undoubtedly aiding the Cupertino-based company rising Chinese in recent quarters.
Sunday January 25, 2015 9:46 pm PST by Richard Padilla
Samsung will be the main supplier of Apple's upcoming A9 chip that will power the next-generation iPhone, reports South Korean newspaper Maeil Business (via Reuters). The newspaper notes that Samsung will supply around 75% of chips for the next iPhone, and that the processors will be produced at the company's factory in Austin, Texas.
Apple's A8 chip
Last month, a report from Korea's ET News said that Samsung had begun work on the processor in Texas. Previous reports noted that Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) would be producing the A9 chip, although Samsung was chosen to be the primary supplier in a deal that was said to be worth billions. BusinessKorea reported last month that Apple would be relying more heavily on Samsung for iPhone 6 and Apple Watch components including RAM, NAND flash storage, and batteries.
Apple's A9 chip is expected to power the iPhone 6s and presumably the next-generation iPad Air and iPad mini. Apple is also expected to launch a larger-screened iPad Pro at some point this year, although that device has been rumored to utilize Apple's A8X processor.
Friday January 23, 2015 7:07 am PST by Kelly Hodgkins
Both analysts and metrics are suggesting Apple will report record-breaking iPhone sales for the just-ended December 2014 calendar quarter, and new data released today by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners reveals the Cupertino company may have set a high bar against its competitors, grabbing half of all phone activations in the United States.
While CIRP's survey included only 500 users and thus may include a significant margin of uncertainty, the data shows Apple's U.S. activation market share increasing from 28 percent in the July-September 2014 quarter to 50 percent in the October-December quarter. The significant jump was clearly fueled by strong consumer interest in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
"The strength of the September 2014 launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus fueled Apple’s dominance in US mobile phone sales this quarter," said Josh Lowitz, Partner and CoFounder of CIRP. "Apple had virtually double the sales of Samsung, and five times that of LG. No other brand accounted for as much as 5% of US sales."
CIRP's survey also found that most of the quarter's iPhone purchases (86 percent) came from loyal Apple customers who upgraded from older iPhones. While Apple retained its customer base, Samsung and LG lost customers, with 25% of Samsung owners and 18% of LG owners who activated a new phone switching to an iPhone.
Sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus may continue to be strong in early 2015, with a high numbers of consumers intending to buy an iPhone in the next three months. According to 451 Research’s ChangeWave December survey, more than half of early adopters plan to buy an iPhone when they purchase a new phone in the next 90 days. While the number is down significantly from the previous quarter, it remains high considering the new iPhones have been available for several months already.
"This is the highest level of Apple demand ever recorded in our smartphone survey three months after a major new release," said Andy Golub of 451 Research.
The ongoing demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus reflects growing consumer interest in larger phones with 60 percent of future buyers looking to purchase a 5-inch or larger smartphone. This 2014 figure is a significant jump from the 40 percent ChangeWave recorded in the same quarter of 2013.
Apple released the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in September 2014 with long lines for the phone and delayed ship times shortly after the phones went on sale, and Apple announced record-breaking sales of 10 million units in the first weekend of availability. Apple will announce the results for its first fiscal quarter of 2015 (fourth calendar quarter of 2014) on Tuesday, January 27. The quarterly earnings statement will be released around 1:30 PM Pacific/4:30 PM Eastern, with a conference call to discuss the report following at 2:00 PM Pacific/5:00 PM Eastern.
Tuesday January 20, 2015 10:59 pm PST by Richard Padilla
Apple's share of the smartphone market in Asia has risen significantly since the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in September, according to market research firm Counterpoint (via The Wall Street Journal). The biggest market share gains for the iPhone came in Japan, China, and South Korea, with the iPhone seeing a 33% market share during November in the latter country. This only trailed rival and South Korean company Samsung, which had a 46% market share after holding a 60% market share.
“No foreign brand has gone beyond the 20% market share mark in the history of Korea’s smartphone industry,” said Tom Kang, research director for mobile devices at Counterpoint. “It has always been dominated by the global smartphone leader, Samsung. But iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have made a difference here, denting the competition’s phablet sales.”
Apple's market share in Japan grew to 51% in November, holding a commanding lead over second place Sony which holds 17% market share. In China, Apple held a 12% market share in the smartphone market, which is third place behind Lenovo's 13% market share and upstart manufacturer Xiaomi, which commanded a 18% market share.
In November, data from AppLovin showed that the iPhone 6 Plus was popular with Asian customers, as Japan, Vietnam, China, and the Philippines showed an adoption rate of over 35% for the larger device. Overall, strong sales for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus led to smartphone market share growth for Apple across the world, with analysts attributing the growth to the redesigned bodies and larger screens of both devices.
According to supply chain sources, the LPDDR4 RAM modules for the iPhone 6s will be supplied primarily by Hynix, Samsung, and Micron-Elpida. Elpida reportedly was behind schedule, but the company allegedly improved its manufacturing process to a level that will meet Apple's demand. Micron-Elpida and Hynix were identified in iFixit teardown analyses as the RAM suppliers for Apple's current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models.
Apple's next-generation iPhone also is rumored to sport the same design as the iPhone 6 with internal improvements such as an A9 processor and a dual-lens DSLR quality camera. Today's report also hints at the adoption of "Force Touch" technology as seen on the Apple Watch to differentiate between quick taps and more forceful presses.
It is not clear, however, how Apple would implement such a system on the iPhone as it would appear to require a major shift in display technology for the device given that the Apple Watch uses a flexible OLED display paired with electrode sensors to support the Force Touch feature.
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