Archive of iPhone Rumors

Seeking to attract iPhone users to its new Passport smartphone, BlackBerry yesterday announced a new Blackberry Trade-Up Program offering customers up to $550 (CA$600) to trade in an iPhone 4s or higher towards the purchase of a BlackBerry Passport. The program begins December 1 and offers the full $550 only when trading in an excellent condition iPhone 6, or presumably an iPhone 6 Plus, as that device isn't explicitly mentioned in the program's terms and conditions.

Other iPhone models accepted include the iPhone 4s, 5, 5s, and 5c, with all eligible iPhones receiving a "BlackBerry Top-Up" amount of $150 (CA$200) added onto the usual valuations of the device for participating in the program to reach the $550 (CA$600) maximum payout. Like most trade-in programs, the memory size and condition also factor heavily in the actual amount of money offered.

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iPhone users wanting to take part in BlackBerry's offer have from December 1 through February 13, 2015 to order a Passport, and thirty days following that to mail in an eligible Trade-Up device. The special offer can be completed on BlackBerry's official online store or through Amazon, and is only available in North America.

The company has been attempting to gain favor with Apple customers since the Passport launched in September, with CEO John Chen stating, "I challenge you to bend the Passport" during the midst of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus bending controversy.

In addition to the Trade-Up program, BlackBerry is offering holiday deals on the Passport itself and the BlackBerry Z30 on its online store.
Interest in Apple's iPhone and iOS platform remains high with continued strong hardware sales driven by the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch pushing App Store downloads to record-setting levels in October, reports mobile marketing firm Fiksu.

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According to Fiksu's October App Store Competitive Index, app downloads reached a record-setting high of 7.8 million per day across the top 200 free iOS apps. This is a 42 percent jump from September and a 39 percent increase year-over-year, with the trend expected to continue into the holidays.

Fiksu also highlights a disparity between rising advertising costs and a drop in marketing costs per loyal user for app developers, pointing to how nurturing a loyal user base can ensure users immediately add their favorite existing apps to new devices.
Despite the marked rise in advertising costs particularly on iOS, the Cost Per Loyal User Index (CPLU) indicated a slight decline in October to $2.16 from September’s $2.25. This decrease is a result of the tendency of app users to quickly re-download their most-used “vital” apps during upgrades. The first set of apps users download on their new iPhone 6s are likely to be those they can’t live without, which makes them much more likely to become loyal users of those apps.
Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launched in September with a record-breaking 10 million units sold during the first weekend of retail availability. Apple sold a total of 39.3 million iPhones in fiscal Q4 2014 and 169.2 million iPhones for the year. This growth is expected to continue in the holiday quarter with predicted sales of 71.5 million units.
Shipments of Apple's iPhone are expected to surge to 71.5 million units in Q4 2014 before the company decreases shipments to an estimated 49.4 million units in Q1 2015, according to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The analyst estimates that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will account for nearly 57 million of the fourth-quarter number and that the iPhone 5c and iPhone 4S will experience quarter-over-quarter growth in Q1 2015 before Apple ceases production of both phones later in the year.

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Kuo notes that he expects shipments of the iPhone 6 to outnumber shipments of the iPhone 6 Plus by a 2:1 ratio:
We attribute the shortage of iPhone 6 Plus partly to less smooth production than iPhone 6. Moreover, while iPhone 6 Plus attracted greater attention when it was launched, we think more consumers will prefer iPhone 6 as they can operate the handset with one hand. Eventually, iPhone 6 shipments will outperform those of the iPhone 6 Plus model.
Sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus topped ten million during the launch weekend for both devices, with the larger model seeing supply constraints. However, shipping times for the iPhone 6 Plus improved last week, with the 16GB model showing a shipping estimate of 7 to 10 days and the 64GB model showing an estimate of 2 to 3 weeks. A survey of U.S. customers done by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) earlier this month also noted that U.S. customers are favoring the iPhone 6 over the iPhone 6 Plus by a 3:1 ratio.

Update: This article initially stated the 71.5 million estimate was for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales when it is actually for all iPhone models.
The dual-core A8 chip powering Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus appears to be capable of handling 4K video playback, despite the fact that the two iPhones have native resolutions of 1334 x 750 and 1920 x 1080 pixels, respectively.

4K video playback on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was first discovered by the developers behind WALTR, a Mac app that's designed to make it easy to upload and convert any music or video file to an iPad or iPhone for native playback, and reported by TUAW.

The discovery was made by the developers of WALTR, a great Mac app that allows users to quickly upload video files to their iPhone which aren't supported by iTunes, such as FLAC and MKV files. While testing the app developers found it is possible to playback 4K videos on the iPhone 6. Even if Apple hasn't announced it, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are ready to play 4K videos.
With resolutions of 1334 x 750 and 1920 x 1080, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus won't be able to reproduce the detail in a 3840 x 2160 4K video, but the A8's ability to play 4K content means 4K videos side-loaded onto one of Apple's two devices will still be watchable.

It's highly unlikely many users will load 4K videos on their iPhones due to the massive file size of 4K content and the fact that there's little practical use for it, but it has the potential to be a somewhat useful feature for some users who want to play 4K video recorded on their devices as there are apps available that advertise 4K video recording on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, Apple Store shipping estimates for the iPhone 6 Plus have improved slightly, with the 16GB iPhone 6 Plus in all colors and from all carriers now carrying a shipping estimate of 7 to 10 days in the United States. Shipping estimates for the 64GB iPhone 6 Plus in all colors and from all carriers have also seen improvement, going from 3 to 4 weeks to 2 to 3 weeks.

While shipping estimates for the 16GB and 64GB iPhone 6 Plus have improved, shipping estimates for the harder-to-find 128GB iPhone 6 Plus remain at 3 to 4 weeks, suggesting the higher-capacity model is the most constrained.

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Apple is also seeing improved supply of the iPhone 6, and the 16GB device now has a shipping estimate of 5 to 7 days, down from 7 to 10 days. Higher-capacity 64 and 128GB iPhone 6 models continue to ship in 7 to 10 days.

Many other countries in Europe and Asia are also seeing the same improved shipping estimates from the online Apple Store, as are Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

In store supply of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus also appears to be improving somewhat, as many stores across the country list availability of both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 16 and 64GB configurations. Apple Stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments on a regular basis, but stock can go quickly because many retail locations are still seeing lines more than two months after the phones first went on sale. 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 balance between supply and demand at that time. Apple has, however, been working hard to improve iPhone 6 and 6 Plus supply, reportedly delaying mass production of the rumored iPad Pro in order to focus its resources on higher iPhone 6 Plus output.

Early analysis has suggested that consumers in the U.S. are favoring the iPhone 6 over the 6 Plus by 3:1, but as supply of both models remains constrained, it is impossible to determine the true ratio of iPhone 6 demand vs. iPhone 6 Plus demand at this time.
Apple's iPhone 6 continues to outsell the iPhone 6 Plus around the world, but the larger-sized phone is proving to be a significant hit in some markets, reports AppLovin in its latest November 2014 report.

According to AppLovin's analytics data, the iPhone 6 outsold the 6 Plus in an 80/20 ratio overall in the first 45 days of availability. While Europe, North America and Australia roughly follow this global sales distribution or lean slightly more heavily toward the iPhone 6, the trend changes in Asia, where the iPhone 6 Plus typically accounts for 35 percent or more of iPhone sales.

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South Korea, home to rivals Samsung and LG, is the only Asian country studied with an iPhone 6 Plus adoption rate below 35 percent. The country has a lower 71/29 split, perhaps related to competition from Samsung's Galaxy Series and LG's G3 phone in the large-screen market or simply due to customer preference for other reasons.

The split between iPhone 6 and 6 Plus may still be artificially constrained due to continuing shortages of the larger iPhone 6 Plus, but AppLovin's data offers an interesting glimpse of screen size preferences around the world. The ratio also varies significantly by data source, with a recent survey putting the U.S. ratio at 3:1 in favor of the iPhone 6 over the first four weeks of availability while AppLovin's data points to a 4:1 split.

As discussed by Apple's iPhone marketing chief Greg Joswiak at the Code Conference last month, the true ratio of demand won't be known until supply shortages are alleviated, but he did acknowledge that the ratio varies from country to country with Asian customers typically proving more likely to prefer larger screens, an observation supported by AppLovin's data.
Foxconn Technology Group has plans to spend NT$80 Billion, or $2.6 billion, over the course of the next two years on a new factory in Taiwan to produce displays exclusively for Apple, according to Bloomberg.

In a conversation with Sophia Chang, a public relations representative for Foxconn's display unit Innolux Corp., Chang stated that equipment installation will begin next month, although she would not confirm that Apple is the client for the facility. Following an urgent request for exclusive capacity, the mass production of panels is expected to begin by the end of 2015.

Chang also mentioned that the advanced sixth-generation display plant will be built at Innolux's Kaohsiung Science Park campus in Southern Taiwan. The forecast details that the funds for the plant will be spent over a two-year building period with the company planning to hire 2,300 employees to operate the facility.

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Foxconn has been a longtime manufacturer of Apple's products, primarily handling final assembly of the devices. After attempting to partner with Sharp in 2012 to focus on advancing LCD technologies, Foxconn was rumored to be in talks to utilize the Japanese display manufacturer's technology in order to start producing iPhone and iPad displays.

The company struggled to meet high demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus when the two phones launched earlier this fall, sparking a large-scale hiring effort by Foxconn to meet production demands. Demand has been so high that Apple has reportedly tapped secondary manufacturer Pegatron to boost production on the iPhone 6, and perhaps even the iPhone 6 Plus, to help meet demand.

The new Taiwan plant announcement comes as Foxconn has reportedly been in discussions for a $5.7 billion display factory in Zhengzhou, China. Foxconn has been angling to become a larger player in the display market, seeking to win orders for iPhone and iPad displays and avoiding the sourcing of those parts from vendors like Samsung, LG Display, Sharp, and Japan Display.
Launched on the App Store this week, Sync Solver allows Fitbit wearers to track all of the important information the wearable device calculates on a daily basis directly inside Apple's own Health app without needing to use the dedicated Fitbit app.

The $0.99 app provides a daily sync of eleven different pieces of data from the Fitbit into the Health app. The points of data accrued include: active calories, resting calories, dietary calories, body fat percentage, body mass index, flights of stairs climbed, sleep analysis, walking and running distances, weight, and steps taken.

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To get the app working the first sync needs to be done manually inside of the app, but after that it will automatically sync data from the Fitbit device into the Health app every twenty-four hours. The app's release notes also mention that because there is no way to disable step counting by the iPhone itself, the "steps taken" figure is likely to be doubled as both the iPhone and Fitbit track the statistic.

The release of Sync Solver comes after rumors that Apple would cease offering Fitbit in its retail stores, and the company subsequently doing just that. Apple has not shared the reason for its discontinuation of Fitbit's products, but a combination of Apple's impending launch of Apple Watch and Fitbit's announcement that it has no plans to support HealthKit likely contributed to the move.

Sync Solver can be downloaded from the App Store for $0.99. [Direct Link]
The previously announced SteelSeries Stratus XL has officially launched today on the Apple Store. Following in the footsteps of the original Stratus controller, the beefed-up Stratus XL provides a larger frame that gives it some parity to console controllers in terms of relative size and button layout.

The Stratus XL connects to an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch using a wireless Bluetooth connection, and the large design fits all of the expected control inputs: two joysticks, a pressure-sensitive directional pad, four action buttons, and four shoulder buttons that include two analog trigger buttons.

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Our sister site TouchArcade got a hands-on with the controller at E3 this past summer, and found the new device favorable over the diminutive size of the original Stratus. They noted, "Instead of curling your hands around the tiny SteelSeries Stratus, holding the SteelSeries Stratus XL is more similar to having an Xbox 360 or Xbox One controller in your hands."

The Stratus XL uses AA batteries instead of a rechargeable battery pack. SteelSeries says the batteries should last for 40+ hours of playtime, and a switch on the back of the device should help users prevent heavy drainage of the batteries when not in use.


The SteelSeries Stratus XL can be purchased now from the Apple Store for $69.95, which is about $10 over the price tag of the PS4 DualShock 4 and the Xbox One Wireless Controller. The Stratus XL will be available for direct purchase from the SteelSeries official website, and for hands-on demos at select Apple Stores, on December 6.
Apple may introduce its "biggest camera jump ever" in the next-generation iPhone, according to Daring Fireball's John Gruber (via The Tech Block). In a recent episode of his podcast The Talk Show, Gruber said that he heard "from a birdie of a birdie" that Apple is working on major camera improvements.
The specific thing I heard is that next years camera might be the biggest camera jump ever. I don't even know what sense this makes, but I've heard that it's some kind of weird two-lens system where the back camera uses two lenses and it somehow takes it up into DSLR quality imagery.
Gruber says that he's heard that Apple's rear camera could incorporate a two-lens system, which sounds somewhat similar to the Duo Lens camera that was introduced with the HTC One M8. In the One M8, a standard sensor is combined with an "Ultrapixel" sensor that lets in much more light to improve image quality. The secondary lens in the M8 is used to provide additional image information to the first lens, which also lets the focus be shifted.

Another two lens system that hints at what a two-lens setup in the iPhone might be capable of is being developed by Corephotonics. Corephotonics' system takes advantage of two lenses with separate focal lengths, switching between lenses to magnify distant subjects without the need for a traditional zoom.


With two lenses, the Corephotonics system compares images taken from both, choosing the clearest pixels for the best overall photo. It also utilizes a lens that only snaps black and white images, improving fidelity and allowing in additional light.

Given the fact that there's little information on what Apple's actually working on for its next-generation iPhone, it's hard to say whether a potential two-lens system would work in the same way as the above examples, but two-lens cameras are a new frontier that manufacturers are exploring in order to improve image quality while keeping devices slim.

Apple's iPhone has long been the most popular camera choice on image sharing site Flickr, and over the years, Apple has embraced iPhone photography. Each new iPhone iteration includes significant camera improvements, with its "S" upgrades often bringing the biggest improvements. With the iPhone 4s, for example, Apple introduced an improved 8-megapixel camera that marked a large jump in quality over the iPhone 4 camera, and with the iPhone 5s, Apple included an improved sensor, an aperture of f/2.2, a True-Tone flash feature, better autofocus, and a new "Slo-Mo" mode.

Apple introduced some impressive camera improvements with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, including a new Apple-designed image signal processor with Focus Pixels, but it's possible even better camera improvements are being saved for the introduction of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in 2015.

Just yesterday longtime Apple supplier Sony unveiled a new 21-megapixel "stacked" sensor with ultra fast autofocus and 4K HDR video. While the 21-megapixel version is unlikely to make its way into iOS devices, it's possible that Apple's next iPhone could incorporate an upcoming Sony 16-megapixel sensor that includes the same impressive features.
464704_largerVainglory, showcased as one of the examples of the capabilities of the iPhone 6 back in September, is now available for download. Developer Super Evil Megacorp announced today that the game can be downloaded on the App Store in North America, South America, the Middle East, and Africa, with a European launch coming this Thursday. Japan, China, and Korea are promised to closely follow. The game actually launched unexpectedly early, with some users able to download the app yesterday afternoon.

Vainglory is a MOBA (Massively Online Battle Arena) that puts players in teams of three, each team fighting to destroy a crystal at the opponent's home base in "fast-paced, 20 minute online multiplayer matches." Mobile MOBAs are nothing new, with games like Fates Forever and a handful of others finding success in taking the PC-centric sub-genre and grafting it onto a mobile phone touchscreen.

“Vainglory is not about casualizing a core genre or making a direct port of an existing game,” said Stephan Sherman, Chief Creative Officer of Super Evil Megacorp. “To make Vainglory, we started from scratch to create that core MOBA experience — the highs and the lows, the build-up of anticipation, the sweet victory or bitter defeat. We want you to feel how it feels to play a core game — with the immediacy of touch.

“Vainglory opens up a whole new world of experiences in touch-screen gaming by playing together with friends in the same room, as a LAN party. While queuing up solo for online multiplayer games is fun and rewarding, the intensity of team play with friends around the table is incredible. Plus, trash talk. It’s like the LAN parties of old — except no heavy PC equipment required.”
The game is free-to-play, with certain characters available to everyone at specific time intervals. Users can use in-game cash accrued through gameplay to unlock new classes, or opt to pay real-world money for those classes if impatient. Notably, however, users can't use real money to purchase character perks and upgrades or one-time-use in-game bonuses.

Vainglory's biggest advantage is its positioning as the killer app of the moment for Apple's newest iPhone, much like Infinity Blade III was for the iPhone 5s and even the original Infinity Blade was for the iPhone 4. Though it's touted for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the game can be played on the iPhone 5s as well. iPad options include the iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina Display, iPad with Retina Display, and iPad Air 2.

Vainglory is available to download for free on the App Store for the iPhone [Direct Link] and iPad [Direct Link].
Following early rumors last week that the popular car-hailing service Uber would be partnering with music streaming giant Spotify, the companies today confirmed the upcoming launch of integration between the two services.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Spotify CEO Daniel Ek today confirmed that the two app-based services will be partnering to allow Uber customers to prepare a specifically selected queue of songs while waiting on an Uber car. When the car picks its passengers up, the selected song will already be playing. Users will have to connect their Spotify Premium accounts with the car service inside the Uber app, but once that is done the app will allow them to not only pick their music beforehand, but adjust and control it for the duration of the trip.


The partnership is set to launch on November 21 in London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Stockholm, Toronto and Sydney. A widespread rollout to more locations is expected to follow shortly thereafter.

The Uber driver will also have to connect their phone to the car's stereo for the service to function, but Uber says widespread adoption of the new collaboration is eagerly accepted by its employees. But until it's universally installed in every Uber car, the option to select music for your trip won't show up in the Uber app if your area doesn't have the service yet.

A new report from TechCrunch also claims that Spotify soon plans to announce yet another collaboration, this time with BMW's ConnectedDrive platform. After making deals with companies like Ford and Volvo, it would be Spotify's third major car company integration announcement. Following an update just last month, the service now also supports Apple CarPlay.

Spotify's app code also hints additional service expansions in the works, with TechCrunch pointing to podcasts and an undetermined feature codenamed "Magic"

Both Uber [Direct Link] and Spotify [Direct Link] can be downloaded from the App Store for free.