Archive of iPhone Rumors

Thomas Davidson of Pennsylvania, Todd Cleary of California, and Jun Bai of Delaware have filed a class action lawsuit against Apple over an alleged defect that causes iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus touchscreens to become unresponsive and fail, according to court documents filed electronically this week.

The class action complaint, filed with the U.S. District Court for Northern California, accuses Apple of violating California's consumer fraud statutes, through fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of implied warranty, unjust enrichment, and for violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.
Apple has long been aware of the defective iPhones. Yet, notwithstanding its longstanding knowledge of this design defect, Apple routinely has refused to repair the iPhones without charge when the defect manifests. Many other iPhone owners have communicated with Apple's employees and agents to request that Apple remedy and/or address the Touchscreen Defect and/or resultant damage at no expense. Apple has failed and/or refused to do so.

As a result of Apple’s unfair, deceptive and/or fraudulent business practices, owners of the iPhones, including Plaintiffs, have suffered an ascertainable loss of money and/or property and/or value. The unfair and deceptive trade practices committed by Apple were conducted in a manner giving rise to substantial aggravating circumstances.
The complaint, lodged by California law firm McCuneWright, LLP, seeks an order that requires Apple to repair, recall, and/or replace affected iPhones and to extend the warranties of those devices for a reasonable period of time. The plaintiffs also seek unspecified damages. A jury trial has been demanded.

The lawsuit cites repair website iFixit, which last week shared a blog post and video about the defect, nicknamed "touch disease." The defect presents as a gray flickering bar at the top of the screen and a display that's unresponsive or less responsive to touch. The problem is said to be caused by the touchscreen controller chips soldered to the iPhone's logic board losing contact after a period of normal usage.


The complaint specifically claims that Apple's failure to incorporate a "metal shield" or "underfill" over the logic board, as it did with the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c respectively, makes the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus "substantially less durable to foreseeable and reasonable use by consumers and ultimately causes the touchscreen defect."

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iFixit said the defect has affected a growing number of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners, citing its own repair shop colleagues and dozens of complaints on the Apple Support Communities. Multiple customers who brought their iPhones to Apple Stores were told that Apple doesn't recognize it as an issue and nothing could be done as their iPhones were no longer covered by warranty.
As the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus approach their second birthday, a growing number of users are suffering from what appears to be a latent manufacturing issue that presents as a gray flickering bar at the top of the screen and a display that's unresponsive or less responsive to touch.

In a new blog post and video, repair site iFixit says a number of third-party repair outlets have seen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models affected by the bug, which appears to be very common. STS Telecom owner Jason Villmer says he sees faulty iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models multiple times a week, while another repair tech in Louisiana sees up to 100 iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices that don't respond well to touch.

"This issue is widespread enough that I feel like almost every iPhone 6/6+ has a touch of it (no pun intended) and are like ticking bombs just waiting to act up," says Jason Villmer, owner of STS Telecom--a board repair shop in Missouri. [...]
iFixit is calling the problem "Touch Disease," and says Apple appears to be aware of the issue based on dozens of complaints on Apple's support forum, but isn't "doing anything about it." Multiple people who brought their iPhones to Apple Stores were told that Apple doesn't recognize it as an issue and nothing could be done as their iPhones were out of warranty.

Putting pressure on the display of an affected iPhone or twisting the device appears to reverse the issue for a short period, but the gray bar returns and touch functionality grows worse and worse until the touchscreen stops functioning entirely.

Replacing the display doesn't work as the problem is said to be caused by the touchscreen controller chips soldered to the logic board of the phone, and it's possible the damage is caused by the same structural design flaw that caused the major "Bendgate" controversy.
In both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the Touch IC chips connect to the logic board via an array of itty-bitty solder balls--"like a plate resting on marbles," Jessa explains. Over time, as the phone flexes or twists slightly during normal use, those solder balls crack and start to lose contact with the board.

"At first, there may be no defect at all. Later you might notice that the screen is sometimes unresponsive, but it is quick to come back with a hard reset," Jessa explains. "As the crack deepens into a full separation of the chip-board bond, the periods of no touch function become more frequent."
According to iFixit, the only way to fix the problem is to replace the iPhone, replace the logic board, or replace the Touch ICs on the logic board, something Apple's in-house repair staff is not able to do. iFixit recommends users who are experiencing early symptoms of Touch Disease -- an intermittently non-functional touch screen or hints of a gray bar -- get their iPhones replaced outright if they're still under warranty.

For those without a warranty, iFixit suggests taking an affected iPhone 6 or 6 Plus to an electronics repair shop able to replace the chips. Apple doesn't approve of third-party repairs, but it may be the only solution until the problem is officially acknowledged by the company.

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are not affected by the same issue as Apple strengthened the body and changed the position of the Touch IC chips in those devices.
Earlier this month, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Note 7, its newest smartphone with a 14-nanometer Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core 64-bit processor, 4GB RAM, a 12-megapixel camera, waterproofing, and wireless charging.

Spec wise, the Galaxy Note 7 seems to best the dual-core A9 processor and the 2GB RAM of the iPhone 6s, but based on a new speed test, it's clear raw hardware can't quite match superior hardware and software integration when it comes to real world usage.

In the performance comparison in which the two phones simultaneously launched the same apps, Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 was thoroughly defeated by the iPhone 6s, despite the Note 7's cutting edge hardware and the fact that it's a year newer than Apple's latest iPhone.


The iPhone was able to launch apps in succession at a much faster rate than the Galaxy Note 7, launching 14 apps (including rendering a video) in one minute and 21 seconds and eventually lapping the Galaxy Note 7, which took two minutes and four seconds to complete the same tasks. The iPhone was able to cycle through two laps of the app test in one minute and 51 seconds, while the Note 7 took two minutes and 49 seconds, almost a full minute longer.

This is just a single test that compares an unusual usage scenario, but it does suggest Apple's efforts to deeply integrate hardware and software give the iPhone some significant benefits compared to even the latest Android devices.

Apple will be announcing a new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in the near future with improved hardware that includes a faster, more efficient A10 processor and perhaps more RAM, at least in the larger device. The new phones are expected to debut in early September with a launch coming later in the month.
In China, low-cost smartphones have brought an overall uptick in sales in the second quarter of 2016, while high-end devices -- from companies like Apple and Samsung -- continue to face declining sales numbers in the country (via DigiTimes). Local vendors in China are said to be "focused on promoting entry-level and mid-range 4G models," instead of trying to convince the Chinese public that Apple or Samsung's smartphones are worth the higher price points.

Specifically, smartphone shipments totaled 149 million units in Q2 2016, increasing 2.7 percent from Q1 2016 and 14.3 percent from the year-ago quarter. This surge comes from China's top-selling smartphone companies (in order of smartphone market share in China): Huawei (14 percent), Oppo (12.7 percent), Vivo (11.2 percent), and Xiaomi (10.4 percent). Apple comes in fifth place, "with its market share falling into a single-digit range," although the specific number wasn't disclosed.

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Sales of high-end models from Apple and Samsung Electronics continued to suffer declines in the second quarter as local smartphone vendors focused on promoting entry-level and mid-range 4G models capitalizing on subsidies offered by the top-three telecom operators, Digitimes Research noted.

The double-digit shipment growth rates enjoyed by China-based smartphone vendors in the first two quarters of 2016 were higher than the growth rates of smartphones shipped to consumers from retail channel operators, resulting in an increasing pile-up of inventories at channels.
As it was reported earlier in the summer, low-cost devices that are available to a wide range of users who have yet to purchase a smartphone are helping to contribute to an overall growth in the worldwide market. Apple still faces some issues in the Greater China market, reporting an 11 percent revenue drop in mainland China in April, in the same earnings call that confirmed the company's first year-over-year revenue decline since 2003.

In the same call, CEO Tim Cook remained "optimistic" about Apple's presence in China, saying that "China is not as weak as has been talked about. We may not have the wind at our backs that we once did, but it's more stable than the common view of it." Despite some hindrances placed on Apple services like iTunes and iBooks in the country, not to mention Apple's occasional scuffle with Chinese regulators, China remains Apple's third-most profitable market behind the United States and Europe.
The U.S. Army Special Operations Command is looking to switch from Android smartphones for its Tactical Assault Kits to iPhones, according to Military.com's DoDBuzz. The switch away from Android, and specifically Samsung devices, is largely because the devices aren't reliable enough.

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The iPhone is “faster; smoother. Android freezes up” and has to be restarted too often, the source said. The problem with the Android is particularly noticeable when viewing live feed from an unmanned aerial system such as Instant Eye, the source said.
Specifically, Android will freeze up and apps will fail to refresh properly when viewing split screens with information on them. This forces the user to restart the phone, wasting valuable minutes. The source tells DoDBuzz that the same process is "seamless" on the iPhone and that the graphics are "clear" and "unbelievable."

The Tactical Assault Kits are made up of a system that links a smartphone to a connected network radio, allowing unit leaders to keep track of their own locations and the locations of their troops on a digital map. It's unclear which version of Android or which Samsung device the Army was using in the Tactical Assault Kit. In 2013, the Department of Defense approved the use of iOS devices for military networks.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
Somaltus, LLC has filed a complaint against Apple today in an Eastern Texas district court, accusing the iPhone maker of infringing upon its 2010 patent related to complex battery technologies. The small Frisco, Texas-based firm also filed lawsuits against Asus, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba over the same patent.

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The lawsuit claims that the iPhone 6s and any similar devices sold by Apple infringe upon U.S. Patent No. 7,657,386, titled "Integrated Battery Service System," and seeks unspecified monetary damages or, alternatively, a running royalty on sales of infringing devices from the time of judgment going forward.
Defendant sells, offers to sell, and/or uses telephones including, without limitation, the iPhone 6s (the "Product"), for example, and any similar devices, which infringe at least Claim 1 of the ‘386 Patent.

On information and belief, the Product includes a battery service system including a processor (e.g., the A9 chip), which is configured to receive signals from connectors coupled to a battery (e.g., the Product's rechargeable lithium-ion battery).
Specifically, it appears that the infringement claim at least partially relates to the iPhone's process of charging in fast-charge mode until the battery reaches 80% capacity, and then adjusting to trickle-charge mode above 80% capacity.
On information and belief, the processor executes the control codes to continually adjust a charge level to the battery. The Product has a charging system according to which the system operates in fast-charge mode until the battery reaches 80% capacity and then adjusts to trickle-charge mode when the capacity exceeds 80%. When the capacity drops below 80%, the system gain adjusts to fast-charge operation. The purpose of the system is to reduce the charging level applied to the battery at high capacity in order to extend the battery lifespan. Thus, the system adjusts the charging level applied to the battery and does so continuously as the battery charge capacity repeatedly exceeds and drops below 80%.
Somaltus, LLC generally fits the description of a "patent troll," as it does not appear to provide any obvious products or services and lacks an easily identifiable online presence. Nevertheless, it has successfully reached out-of-court settlements with automakers like Ford and Nissan in the past in relation to the same particular patent.

The legal complaint's case number is 2:16-cv-00758 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Apple analyst Brian White of Wall Street brokerage firm Drexel Hamilton has issued a research note to investors in which he estimates that Apple will reach a bottom in iPhone sales, and overall revenue and profit, in the third quarter of the 2016 fiscal year, a three-month period that ends in late June.

White claimed that all of Apple's supply chain partners that his firm tracks reported May sales that were "softer than historical averages" due to the slowdown, but he forecasted that the much-rumored iPhone 7 series will help Apple's smartphone business return to growth by the second quarter of fiscal 2017.

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Until then, the bleeding isn't over. The firm estimated Apple will sell 38.5 million iPhones in the June quarter, down from 47.5 million in the year-ago quarter, followed by an estimated 41 million and 72.3 million sales in the September and December quarters respectively, both of which would also mark year-over-year declines.

White predicted that iPhone sales will then rebound to an estimated 56 million, 45.4 million, and 47.3 million in the subsequent three quarters, signaling a return to modest year-over-year growth throughout 2017. iPhone sales are estimated to reach 76.3 million by the first quarter of fiscal 2018, which would be a record breaker.

It was initially reported that Apple suppliers projected weak demand for the iPhone 7 series due to a "lack of innovation," with other market conditions to blame, but a subsequent report said Apple has asked suppliers prepare for the highest iPhone production target in "about two years."

Apple also reportedly increased iPhone SE orders last month due to strong sales, and the lower-priced 4-inch smartphone should help boost overall iPhone sales.

Mac sales are also expected to bottom out, but not until the second quarter of the 2017 fiscal year, when sales drop to an estimated 3.7 million compared to 4 million in the year-ago quarter. Mac sales are then estimated to reach 3.9 million, 4.4 million, and 4.44 million in the subsequent three quarters.

Given the current "gloom and doom" sentiment surrounding Apple reaching "extreme levels" this year, Drexel Hamilton believes the company's stock represents an "exceptional value." AAPL is currently trading in around the $98 to $100 range, while the firm has set a "buy" status with a price target of $185.

In April, Apple reported its first year-over-year decline in iPhone sales and quarterly revenue since 2003, and its third quarter guidance of between $41 billion and $43 billion in revenue, which would be up to 18 percent lower than the year-ago quarter, suggests that trend will continue through the first half of 2016.

Brian White is a longtime but somewhat infamous Apple analyst that currently serves as Global Head of Technology Hardware and Software at institutional brokerage firm Drexel Hamilton. He previously worked at investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald, where he held the same title, and Topeka Capital Markets.
Apple today uploaded eight new "Shot on iPhone" videos to its YouTube channel, showcasing the video capturing capabilities of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus through videos taken by actual iPhone users around the world.

Each video clip lasts for 16 seconds and is accompanied by music. Video content ranges from a rain storm in Los Angeles to penguins in Antarctica to a hippopotamus in Botswana.


Several of the videos showcase iPhone 6s video features like Slo-Mo, while others are played in reverse or are sped up.


Apple's "Shot on iPhone" campaign began in early 2015 following the launch of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, sharing photos of iPhone 6 images in ads and on billboards across the globe. Later in 2015, Shot on iPhone expanded to encompass video imagery collected in a World Gallery. Apple re-launched the "Shot on iPhone" campaign in early 2016 to focus on the camera improvements in the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus.
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.

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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.

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"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.

(Thanks, setteBIT!)
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.
iphonesearrayIn 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.
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.