We have seen plenty of rumors that suggest Apple will launch the iPhone 4s as a budget-friendly option alongside the iPhone 5, and now the device has reportedly been listed in one of AT&T’s internal systems. According to a screenshot published by Engadget, AT&T is gearing up to offer a white iPhone 4s, possibly alongside the existing iPhone 4. The iPhone 5 isn’t mentioned at all in the carrier’s system. Apple is largely expected to announce the iPhone 5, and perhaps the iPhone 4s, during a press event in October. Retail giant Best Buy is anticipating that the new iPhone will be offered by Sprint, and other rumors have suggested T-Mobile will carry the device as well. More →
A new series of emails were made public on Monday as a result of Skyhook Wireless’ lawsuit claiming Google interfered with a contract the LBS company had in place with cell phone maker Motorola Mobility. The emails, which were sent to and from numerous top executives at Google including CEO Larry Page and SVP of Mobile Andy Rubin, detail the company’s shock at losing out to Skyhook. The internal emails also reveal Google’s admission that Skyhook’s location product is better and more accurate than its solutions, and scratch the tip of the iceberg regarding how Google seemingly used its muscle to squash Motorola’s deal with Skyhook. Hit the break for screen shots of a few of the emails, and hit read link for a collection of what may be the most interesting emails of the bunch. More →
A device isn’t really released until the gang over at ifixit have torn it limb from limb, am I right? Today’s victim: the Motorola XOOM tablet. After several hours and 57 screws, the ifixit team have given the XOOM an 8 out of 10 rating on ease of repair (10 being the easiest). The site notes that the “LCD and front panel glass are not fused together” — making for easy glass-break repairs — and that “individual components are separately attached to the motherboard, allowing each component to be replaced on an individual basis.” Ifixit does caution that due to the fact that there are over fifty screws, repairs, while easy, do require quite a bit of labor. Hit the read link to have a look for yourself…and try not to drop your XOOM! More →
If images that reportedly reveal an internal Best Buy training document end up being real, it looks like the giant nationwide retailer will not be carrying Verizon Wireless’ new iPhone 4 at launch. The images supposedly show a section of Best Buy’s playbook intended to help guide sales reps’ interactions with shoppers. In this particular section, employees are given some fodder for customers inquiring about Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4. The first leaked page covers data speeds and the Verizon iPhone’s potential lack thereof:
Verizon’s entire presence at CES last week was focused on one thing and one thing alone: 4G. Its LTE network is now live in 38 markets and a flurry of 4G phones will launch in the coming months. But the iPhone… the smartphone millions of Verizon Wireless subscribers have been dying for… is a 3G device.
We knew Verizon’s iPhone 4 would be a CDMA phone for a number of reasons, but 3G is so 2010. Sprint launched its first 4G phone with minimal WiMAX coverage and it ended up being the fastest-selling phone in the carrier’s history. Now, we won’t see a 4G iPhone from Verizon until 2012. That means while millions of Android phones are surfing Verizon’s 4G airwaves later this year, iPhones will still be puttering along at EVDO speeds.
Sound familiar? That might be because Best Buy pulled this passage directly from our piece entitled Here’s where the Verizon iPhone falls short. It’s not the first time we’ve seen Best Buy use excerpts from BGR content though, so it actually lends a bit of credibility to the images. The next shot shows a passage that delves into Verizon Wireless’ recent policy changes, and we’re sure the document goes on to cover a few more key points. Hit the break for the pair of purported pics, and if you plan on visiting a Best Buy store to inquire about Verizon’s iPhone 4 in the coming weeks, get ready for a fight. More →
Apple has made changes to its internal screening process pertaining to iPod liquid damage, a source told BGR. Apple builds a series of Liquid Contact Indicators (LCI) into its iPod line of devices. When these LCIs come in contact with moisture, they become activated. In the event of a warranty claim or other repair, the LCIs indicate to Apple that the device in question may have been affected by a liquid. Employees of Apple Stores and AppleCare Repair Centers then have specific guidelines used in the event liquid damage is suspected. Previously, the presence of an activated LCI within the headphone jack was cause enough for employees to state that an iPod may have been damaged by water or another liquid. Now, employees must first inspect the iPod for other signs of liquid damage before reaching that conclusion. It is currently not known if the new policy applies to iPhone models as well.
Whether or not Apple has concerns internally regarding the reliability of its LCI devices is unclear at this time. Apple may have also discovered LCIs located within the headphone jack are overly sensitive and activate even when they come in contact with permissible amounts of moisture.
Apple’s internal policy on acceptable numbers of pixel anomalies was recently updated, a source told BGR. The policy is used as a guideline for Mac Geniuses addressing customer issues that involve Apple displays. It essentially allows them to quickly and easily determine whether or not to repair or replace products with display defects. Apple provides its employees with a table showing the acceptable number of pixel anomalies for each product range. For example, iPhones and iPods with just one pixel anomaly should be repaired or replaced. MacBook Air models, however, can have up to three light pixels, up to five dark pixels or up to seven combined anomalies before they should be repaired or replaced. The table also outlines the allowable numbers of pixel anomalies for Apple’s MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac and Cinema Display lines.
Of note, Apple’s policy allows Mac Geniuses to offer exchange services even if pixel anomalies are within acceptable ranges. If the customer receives a replacement product with even more anomalies, but it is still within the acceptable range, further exchanges are not permitted.
We just received a shot of an internal AT&T memo detailing the carrier’s intention to start transitioning to LTE-capable SIM cards. AT&T has started preparing employees for a new SIM card that will be used for LTE handsets and devices, all except the iPhone 4 since that uses a microSIM card. AT&T tells employees to verify the SIM card is correct by checking the SKU on the card even though the new LTE cards are visibly different, just to be safe we’re assuming. It also appears there will be up to “eight different SIMs” during the transition, so verifying the SKU might be the only way to go. Well, it’s a start, no?
Any Apple fans out there waiting to grab the brand new iPod touch hotness? If so, you’re going to be pleased to learn that Apple’s newest iToy has hit the FCC for certification and has been mercilessly torn down. You’ll find that Apple A4 CPU, an internal antenna, 802.11 b/g/n, and a 3.44 watt-hour battery. Not to mention the Retina Display, front-facing camera for FaceTime, and rear-facing HD-capable shooter. Delicious.
[Via iClarified] More →
The red-headed step child of the BlackBerry device family is launching relatively soon on Sprint (and probably Verizon), and we have got our hands on a nice overview of the product in case you had any unanswered questions. Quick recap? It’s a clamshell QWERTY flip device with a CDMA radio, Wi-Fi, GPS, 5 megapixel camera, 240×320 external display, 360×400 internal display, and optical trackpad for navigation. If you loved the Pearl Flip but hated the SureType keyboard, this might be a nice compromise, though it’s going to have to sit pretty low on the price scale for it to fly.
You’d think that RIM would be replacing highest-end product with a brand new device, right? Well, previous rumors suggested that the BlackBerry Bold 9700 would get nothing more than a simple refresh, and we’re able to confirm those rumors. We have a leaked internal document detailing all sorts of fun stuff. Market positioning, technical overviews, and a bunch more. The big picture view? The BlackBerry Bold R020 (9020? 9750? 9780? We’re just guessing) will be practically identical to the 9700 visually. Internal changes include a 5 megapixel camera sensor, and 512MB of RAM up from 256MB. It will also launch with BlackBerry 6 — obviously. We’d love to say there is more, but there isn’t, so check out the leaked document and let us know your thoughts, ok?
Verizon Wireless, Sam’s Club, TARGET: gearing up to launch Motorola Droid, BlackBerry Storm 2, BlackBerry Curve 2, more
If you’ve been wondering whether the Motorola Droid (or Tao, or Sholes — whatever), BlackBerry Storm 2, BlackBerry Curve 2 or LG Chocolate Touch would be hitting Sam’s Club stores or even TARGET, you’re in luck. We just scored an internal document outlining merchandising, training, locations, and pretty much everything else you’d need to know. While Sam’s Club appears to be set up to carry the Motorola Android handset, TARGET seems to be left out. We won’t bore you with some of the more technical stuff, though. Here’s a shot of the Motorola Droid looking pretty fly in an all black everything outfit. There actually looks to possibly be a front-facing camera on the phone. It seems to corroborate our earlier report of some cool face recognition action, or it could just simply be the European variant. There’s placeholders for the LG Chocolate Touch, BlackBerry Storm 2 and Curve 2 in here, and we might have a little bit of copyright infringement on our hands, folks. That’s our BlackBerry Tour image nestled in between some other Verizon handsets. One more slide after the break.
Thanks, J Bird!
One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind (well, almost everyone) is: when the hell is the Bold coming to the U.S.? Well, we got our hands on this image showing a release date of October 26, 2008 in Best Buy’s system. That means it will likely be out a week or two before it hits this authorized AT&T retailer (early October, anyone?) So, for everyone who’s been harassing AT&T reps and customer service, you can relax a little knowing it’s going to be coming out much sooner than later. Perhaps it will follow the HTC Touch Diamond when they released it a week earlier than it was scheduled. Only time will tell, but we’re feeling the force is strong with this one. We were told to expect pricing “around $600.” Hit the break for a larger shot!
We just got our hands on an internal draft of the press release AT&T is going to run with to announce availability of the BlackBerry Bold. There’s an October XX release date (wtf?) and the usual corporate spin saying how this phone, not all the other phones that came before it is the best and most exciting. Add in a quote from RIM, and you’ve got yourself a press release! It’s dated for release today, but for some reason, we don’t see that happening. They’ll most likely wait until Jim’s keynote to announce this along with the other goodies at CTIA. Catch it in all its glory after the break, fellas!