Archive of iPhone Rumors

As the Christmas holiday approaches, Apple Store shipping estimates for both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus from all carriers in all colors and in 16 and 64GB capacities have now improved to just 1 business day in the United States, bringing the company close to reaching a supply/demand balance on those devices.

The larger-capacity 128GB devices remain somewhat more constrained than the lower-capacity models, and ship in 3 to 5 business days.

Shipping estimates are similarly improved in many other countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Thailand, Philippines, and more.

Throughout the month of December, shipping estimates have been slowly improving as Apple has catches up with demand, and in early December, estimates had improved to 3 to 5 days for 16/64GB models and 7 to 10 days for 128GB models. Last week, estimates for the 16and 64GB models improved further, reaching 1 to 3 day estimates before jumping up again this week to just 1 day.

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The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been severely constrained since their September debut, but Apple has worked hard to improve available supply, going so far as to reportedly delay mass production on the rumored iPad Pro to focus on producing more iPhone 6 Plus units.

In store supply of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus has also seen major improvement over the course of the last few weeks, and in many stores around the country, it's now possible to walk in and purchase an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. According to tracking tool iStockNow, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units from all carriers and in all colors and capacities are widely available at most stores.

Back in October, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was "far outstripping" supply, but based on the continually improving shipping times, Apple appears to be on track to meet its supply goals before the end of the year.
In a newly published Apple patent application credited to Dale Setlak, co-founder of AuthenTec, the company reveals its interest in enhanced security capabilities for the iPhone home button and Touch ID. The patent application describes how the Touch ID sensor could be paired with an on-screen combination lock or other secondary security feature, requiring the user to move his or her finger in certain directions to fully unlock a device.

As noted by Patently Apple, the June 2013 application shows off a few possibilities for the new technology, including a traditional combination lock-style system that has the user rotating his or her finger on the Touch ID sensor to input a security code.

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Another potential implementation would require the user to swipe through a collection of circles by subtly shifting his or her finger in a specific pattern to unlock the phone. Both rely on the same technology created by AuthenTec that uses simultaneous security of a user's unique fingerprint and secure combinations to gain access to a device. AuthenTec has of course played an important role since its acquisition by Apple back in 2012, with the company's "Smart Sensor" technology serving as the basis for Touch ID.

While Touch ID was implemented for security reasons, the addition of a simple-to-enter secondary security code would increase security even further as a form of two-factor authentication combining physical authentication (fingerprint) with knowledge-based authentication (lock combination or swipe pattern). Implementation of such a system would address concerns over court rulings indicating that users could be compelled by police to unlock fingerprint-protected devices, unlike with passcode-protected devices.

The evolution of Touch ID from solely a fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 5s to the expanded "Reachability" features of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus provides a hint at the possibilities of Touch ID in the future. And while inventions disclosed in Apple patent applications frequently do not ever appear in products, they can still offer some insight into Apple's areas of interest.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are both seeing improved inventory availability at Apple's retail stores across the United States, according to a new report from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who has been tracking in-store availability of various models across 80 different stores since the devices' launch in September.

According to the report, checks of Apple's online store for in-store pickup at the location found that 56 percent of "core SKUs" (AT&T and Verizon) of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were in stock as of last Friday, December 12, which was "up from almost no inventory in mid-November." Munster's previous tracking saw 6 percent availability as of October 14 and 0.4 percent as of November 14.

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We believe that this tracking suggests that availability has improved, but we also note that we would have expected availability to be 100%. Previously, we believed that Apple would likely reach 100% availability by the end of the quarter. We now expect it to be closer to 80% by the end of the quarter.
Shipping estimates for online orders through Apple in the U.S. and other countries also began improving in late November and moved to 3-5 business days earlier this month. Munster noted, however, that "typically at this time in the cycle, we would expect online leads times to be same business day."

Looking back at the iPhone 5s, which was also considered constrained for quite some time after launch last year, Munster found in-store availability in the United States was essentially at 100 percent as of December 9, 2013, with online orders achieving "within 24 hours" balance just a day later.

With a little over a week until Christmas, it appears that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are continuing to face far more shortages than any of their predecessors have in the past, despite the boost in online and retail availability over the past month.
Canada's Competition Bureau confirmed on Thursday that it is investigating Apple's contracts with wireless carriers to determine whether they violate the country's anti-trust laws, reports CNET. The investigation is in the early stages, with the Bureau filing a court order to compel Apple to supply documents that will assist with its investigation.

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Apple is being accused of including clauses in its contracts with wireless carriers that would hinder competition. No official charges have been filed against Apple, and the Bureau has yet to find evidence supporting the initial anti-competitive allegations raised by unnamed sources.
"There is no conclusion of wrongdoing by Apple Canada Inc. at this time, and no application has been filed with the Competition Tribunal or any other court to seek remedies for any alleged anticompetitive conduct," [Competition Bureau Gregg] Scott said, without identifying how the contract allegations came to the bureau's attention. "Should evidence indicate that the Competition Act has been contravened, the Commissioner will take appropriate action."
If the Competition Bureau finds evidence that Apple violated Canada's Competition Act, the Cupertino company will be asked to change its practices or face sanctions by the Competition Tribunal. In the past several years, Apple has faced similar anti-trust allegations over its iPhone distribution terms from both the European Commission and France's DGCCR.
The Iowa Department of Transportation will begin allowing customers the option of receiving their newly issued driver's licenses via a mobile app on their smartphones, reports The Des Moines Register.

The app, set to launch next year, will be available to customers at no additional cost and will include all of the necessary information a traditional plastic license includes.

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During a state agency budget hearing this past Monday, DOT Director Paul Trombino reassured Iowa Governor Terry Branstad about the upcoming launch of the pioneering digital ID system.
"We are really moving forward on this," Trombino said. "The way things are going, we may be the first in the nation."
Trombino assured that those wanting to stick with a traditional plastic ID will have the option to do so, but that the new digital license will be widely supported throughout the state, including "Iowa law enforcement officers during traffic stops and by security officers screening travelers at Iowa's airports." The new smartphone app was called "an Identity Vault app" and is promised to be highly secure, with customers using a PIN number for verification.

More than thirty states, including Iowa, already accept digital copies of proof of insurance during traffic stops, so a driver's license as a smartphone app is the next logical step.
Following a partnership announced over the summer, Apple and IBM have today introduced the first in a line of mobile business apps that target a wide range of industries and businesses. Dubbed "IBM MobileFirst for iOS", the suite of ten apps hopes to "bring IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone and iPad users."

With the initial batch including apps focused on the finance, air-travel, and banking industries, IBM also confirmed a few clients including Citi, Air Canada, Sprint, and Banorte will support the MobileFirst program starting today.
“What we’re delivering aims directly at the new quest of business—smart technologies that unlock new value at the intersection of big data and individual engagement,” said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Business Services. “Our collaboration combines IBM’s industry expertise and unmatched position in enterprise computing, with Apple’s legendary user experience and excellence in product design to lift the performance of a new generation of business professionals.”
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One of the ten apps, Sales Assist, is retail-focused and, for example, allows workers to view customer profiles with extensive back-history on previous purchases to help make informed suggestions tailored to specific users. It can also check a store's inventory, find missing in-store items, and ship items unavailable in-store to customers at home. There's one app that grants pilots easier control over flight manifests and schedules, another that provides personalized in-flight services for passengers, and multiple apps focused on banking and case advisers.

The apps, built exclusively for iPhone and iPad, "are delivered in a secure environment, embedded with analytics and linked to core enterprise processes." The two companies ensure that the apps can be developed and adjusted to fit any company, and once out in the wild are easily managed and upgraded thanks to cloud services provided by IBM. All apps are highly secure as well, and the partners promise that more apps are "being continuously designed and developed" for release in the future.
“This is a big step for iPhone and iPad in the enterprise, and we can’t wait to see the exciting new ways organizations will put iOS devices to work,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The business world has gone mobile, and Apple and IBM are bringing together the world’s best technology with the smartest data and analytics to help businesses redefine how work gets done.”
The official websites of both Apple and IBM provide a deeper dive into the program with extensive looks into each of the ten apps announced today.
Ryan Seacrest-backed Typo has recently begun shipping a new keyboard case for the iPhone 6 that the company says is designed to avoid the legal pitfalls of its first foray into the iOS keyboard market, reports Re/code.

BlackBerry's lawsuit against the original Typo iPhone Keyboard Case hit a week before the case was publicly unveiled at CES this past January, claiming the Typo keyboard was nearly identical the iconic BlackBerry keyboard. The lawsuit remains pending, but in the interim, BlackBerry was granted an injunction to block sales of the original Typo keyboard.

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Typo2 for iPhone 6 functions similarly to its predecessor in that it acts as a tangible keyboard alternative for users not comfortable with Apple's touch-screen QWERTY keys, and Typo notes the new keyboard is modeled after the iPhone's own software keyboard.

One major drawback, however, is that it blocks the iPhone 6's Touch ID capabilities. CEO Laurence Hallier (who co-created the Typo keyboard with Ryan Seacrest) didn't express worry over the issue, claiming that most of Typo's core fanbase wouldn't mind omitting Touch ID in favor of using a physical keyboard.


Hallier also told Re/code that the company is working on "a completely different take on a keyboard for the iPad." Hoping to launch sometime next year, the company has reportedly been working on the product for over two years and invested over $2 million on its design. Typo designed an iPhone 6 Plus keyboard, but as described by Hallier, it was "so big" it was "top heavy." The company is working on a new design for Apple's larger-screened iPhone, but it won't ship until the middle of 2015.

The Typo2 for iPhone 6 can be purchased from Typo's official website for $99, with an iPhone 5/5s version also available for $79. Initial pre-orders of the iPhone 6 version sold out quickly, but the company promises new pre-orders will ship by December 15.
Apple is reportedly planning to expand its 2015 iPhone lineup to include a new 4-inch model, according to Asian sources [Google Translate] cited by G for Games. The smaller form factor would bring back the ease of one-hand usage that was lost when Apple introduced its larger iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets. The supply chain sources suggest the new phone may debut in the second half 2015 with female users as the targeted audience for the smaller phone.

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Even without a new 4-inch model, Apple's history of product lineups suggests the 4-inch iPhone 5s would remain in the lineup in 2015 as the low-end offering once the current models slide down and the iPhone 5c is presumably discontinued. But if Apple wants to maintain a 4-inch option beyond the 2015 lineup, it would make sense to invest in an updated version of that size as the iPhone 5s ages.

Still, the sourcing on today's rumor is not entirely clear and a track record is unknown, so it is difficult to assess the potential validity of the claim. As a result, we would not put too much stock in it for the time being until or unless additional information surfaces in the coming months.

Even without a new 4-inch model this year, iPhone sales have been strong for the new 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, with Apple setting a new sales record in the first weekend of availability. While the iPhone 6 is outselling the 6 Plus, the larger handset is holding its own in the phablet market, accounting for 41 percent of large-screened smartphone sales in the past three months.
Following the Thanksgiving holiday, Apple Store shipping estimates for both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus have seen significant improvement, with many models in the online Apple Store now carrying a shipping estimate of 3 to 5 days in the United States.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models in all colors and from all carriers in 16 and 64GB configurations now ship within 3 to 5 days, while the more constrained 128GB versions ship within 7 to 10 days.

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Though the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus have been severely constrained since their September debut, Apple has been working hard to improve supplies. The company has reportedly delayed mass production on the iPad Pro to focus on producing more iPhone 6 Plus units, a move that's bolstered available supply.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus stock first began improving in late November, with 16GB iPhone 6 Plus supplies jumping to a 7 to 10 day shipping estimate after sitting at three to four week shipping estimates for several weeks. 64GB and 128GB iPhone 6 Plus devices have seen the biggest increase in supply, because as of late November, 64GB devices carried a shipping estimate of 2 to 3 weeks while 128GB devices carried a shipping estimate of 3 to 4 weeks. iPhone 6 supply has also been steadily improving, going from 7 to 10 days in November to 3 to 5 days today.

In store supply of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus has also seen significant improvement, and many stores across the country list availability of both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 16, 64, and 128GB configurations. Tracking tool iStockNow can be used to find where iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices are available.

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During Apple's fourth quarter earnings call on October 20, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was "far outstripping" supply and that the company was "not close" to having a supply/demand balance at that time, but based on the improved shipping times, the company could come close to meeting its supply goals before the end of the year.
Long-time Apple supply partner Pegatron could be lined up to handle more than 50 percent of the production load for 2015's next-generation iPhone, according to a foreign brokerage report (via Focus Taiwan).

Apple stepped up efforts to diversify its supply chain to reduce risk when Tim Cook took over as CEO in 2011, bringing on more supply partners to keep up with the increasing demand for each iteration of the iPhone. According to the new report, Pegatron could be receiving the bulk of the so-called iPhone 6s 2015 supply orders from Apple after gradually ramping its role with the iPhone 5c and iPhone 6.

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"For the next product cycle, iPhone 6S, likely out in September 2015, we believe for the first time in the iPhone history, Pegatron will become the main source for assembly, with more than 50 percent of the 4.7-inch allocation," the European brokerage said in a note to clients on Monday.
The note also stated that most of Apple's partners actually tend to lose money in the first few years of their iPhone business, due to the complexity involved in manufacturing the iPhone.

Pegatron handled the majority of assembly for the iPhone 5c in 2013, and recently assisted Apple in boosting production on both the iPhone 6 and perhaps even the iPhone 6 Plus in response to strong demand following the two devices' launch.

According to the new report, Pegatron received 30 percent of Apple's iPhone 6 orders this year, with Foxconn handling the remaining 70 percent. The brokerage also states that Foxconn has received all of the iPhone 6 Plus orders this year, though previous reports claim Apple asked Pegatron to begin supplementing production on the 5.5-inch iPhone as Foxconn has struggled to meet demand.

Looking ahead to 2015, the report also claims that in addition to the next 4.7-inch iPhone model "there is also a small possibility that Pegatron will win the 5.5-inch model as well, but this remains to be seen."
As a longtime key retail partner for Apple, RadioShack is once again offering the iPhone this holiday season, but finding the phone on the retailer's shelves may be difficult, reports Mitch Nolen for Seeking Alpha. According to Nolen, RadioShack stores nationwide are reporting massive shortages in iPhone units with most models not available in stores during the important holiday shopping season.

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RadioShack currently advertises the iPhone on its website with no ability to purchase the phone online. Users instead are directed to find a RadioShack store to purchase a unit, but many stores do not stock the iPhone, offering only a "Ship To Store" option that takes several days to fulfill. This method of inventory is markedly different from competitors like Best Buy, which sell the iPhone online, in-store and via an in-store pickup option.

RadioShack franchise owner Gary Mahan claims his sales have plummeted 30 percent year-over-year due to declining stock, with a major lost opportunity this Black Friday.
Mahan believes that if he had received the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, his one store on the Oregon coast could have made an extra $1,000 in profit over the Black Friday weekend, which would have been a happy holiday gift for him, he says. He couldn't speculate how that $1,000 in lost profit opportunity might extrapolate to other stores in RadioShack's chain of 5,387 corporate-owned and franchised locations.
The reasons for low inventories aren't clear, as Apple and other partners have managed to maintain some store supplies even amid high demand, but RadioShack's shortages may be due to the retailer's tenuous financial position. The company is close to being delisted from the New York Stock exchange and may be forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to protect it from its creditors.

RadioShack's cash on hand at the end of last quarter had fallen to just $30 million, down from $440 million a year earlier and leaving the company unable to afford shutdown costs involved in a planned closure of 1,000 stores.

To minimize risk as its cash dwindles, the retailer may be reducing standing inventory and changing to an on-demand model that supplies devices when customers order them in store. Apple also may be withholding inventory, opting to ship its popular iPhone models to retailers with higher-volume sales.
T-Mobile is offering a significant discount on its iPhone lineup for Cyber Monday, most notably taking $100 off the 64GB model of the new iPhone 6. Instead of just a straight cash discount, the carrier is offering a memory upgrade that boosts the storage of the smartphone without additional cost to the customer.

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The carrier's upgrade offer allows you to buy a 16GB model iPhone 6 and receive a free upgrade to the 64GB model, a $100 savings. The promotion also extends to the iPhone 5s and 5c, with T-Mobile upgrading the 32GB iPhone 5s to the 64GB version and the 8GB iPhone 5c to the 32GB model.

T-Mobile's promotion runs until midnight Pacific Time tonight. This offer is one of several promotional pushes by the carrier designed to attract new customers to its cellular network. Earlier this year, T-Mobile introduced a generous $350 per line termination fee bonus and phone buyback program to customers who switch carriers. It also recently launched an iPhone "test drive" program that allows customers to try an iPhone on T-Mobile for seven days without cost.