The arrival of the Galaxy S4 helped Samsung outsell Apple in the U.S. for the first time since the iPhone 5 launched more than eight months ago. Michael Walkley of Canaccord Genuity notes that Samsung’s flagship device was the top-selling smartphone in May on Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, and second best-selling handset on AT&T, behind the iPhone 5. The Galaxy S4 wasn’t the only reason Samsung outsold its rivals, however. Lower prices for the Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III gave Samsung the extra boost it needed to become the top-selling vendor in the U.S. last month. More →
Apple hasn’t been getting much love on Wall Street in recent months, but new research suggests Apple’s iPhone line is holding up nicely against recent challengers from Samsung and HTC. Mark Gerber of Boston-based brokerage Detweiler Fenton did some digging and found that sales of Apple’s iPhone in the U.S. are still strong despite the recent launches of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. What’s more, Gerber says that iPhone 5 sales continue to make up a healthy portion of total iPhone sales, which will certainly come as good news for investors keeping a close watch on Apple’s margins. More →
The European Commission is reportedly investigating whether Apple is using “anti-competitive iPhone sales tactics and technical restrictions” to edge out rivals in the European market, according the Financial Times. The probe is said to be focused on Apple’s distribution terms, which may prevent rival smartphone vendors like Samsung from securing a better sales deal. The investigation is the result of an influx of private complaints from mobile operators, however it is still in its preliminary stages. More →
A French firm that specializes in camera optics and image sensor analysis has found the camera on Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone outperforms the iPhone 5 and Nokia’s Lumia 920. DxO Labs ranked the Galaxy S4′s camera as the second highest rating among smartphones it tested. The firm praised the 13-megapixel camera for its fast and accurate autofocus, good auto-exposure, rich colors in different lighting conditions and impressive detail preservation in bright light. The Galaxy S4 scored a total of 79 points out of a possible 100, ahead of both the iPhone 5 and Lumia 920, which scored 74 points and 64 points, respectively. More →
Take your iPhone 5 to Apple with a broken display and the company will charge as much as $229 to swap it out. As MarketWatch notes, that’s a pretty steep price to fix a phone that starts at $199 on contract. This is pretty bad news for iPhone owners; according to third-party gadget insurer SquareTrade, almost one out of every three iPhone owners damaged their phones last year. Why is it so expensive to fix iPhones? The simplest explanation is often the correct one: iPhone 5 parts are much more expensive than typical smartphone parts. Apple’s restrictions on components are making parts so expensive, in fact, that some popular repair companies are refusing to service the iPhone 5. In the end, AppleCare is unfortunately still the best way to save money on iPhone 5 repairs.
When T-Mobile finally began offering Apple’s iPhone 5 last month it did so in dramatic fashion, undercutting AT&T by $70. The iPhone 5 could be had for a down payment of $99 with monthly payments of $20 for 24 months, totaling a competitive $579.99. The launch price was only part of a one-month promotional offer, however. According to a leaked document obtained by TmoNews, a 16GB iPhone 5 will now require a down payment of $149, totaling $629 after 24 months. T-Mobile would later confirm the report. Both the 32GB and 64GB models are also set to see down payment increases to $249 and $349, respectively, and monthly payments for all three models will remain unchanged at $20 per month.
Apple issued a software update last month to help bring unlocked iPhones to T-Mobile’s network. The update allowed unlocked GSM iPhone 5 handsets to access the carrier’s service, however some users reported experiencing slower than normal speeds on T-Mobile’s 1900MHz band. TmoNews reports that developers Joseph Brown and Sky Zangas were able to hack the carrier update and increase HSPA+ speeds to their normal levels. The update can be done to both unlocked AT&T iPhone 5 units and T-Mobile’s own iPhone 5, and it doesn’t require the device to be jailbroken. TmoNews put together step-by-step instructions that can be viewed at the link below.
Apple on Thursday released a minor software update for the iPhone 5 only. The change log for iOS 6.1.4 includes just one entry — “updated audio profile for speakerphone” — and it is unclear if the new iOS build includes any additional bug fixes or enhancements. IOS 6.1.4 is available from Apple immediately as an over the air (OTA) update, and it should also be available for download through iTunes shortly.
The iPhone 5 has certainly been a hit but it doesn’t seem to have been the record-breaking, world-conquering hit that previous iPhone models have been. Part of this has been because many customers are still picking up older iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S models at reduced prices. And per Barron’s, UBS analyst Steve Milunovich thinks that part of the reason iPhone 5 sales have been “disappointing” is because an iPhone with a larger 4-inch display simply isn’t enough to get people excited in an era when Samsung is releasing phablets whose displays top 6 inches. More →
If iPhone sales volumes fall as low as some Wall Street analysts now expect during the spring quarter, the decline would actually be worse than the biggest disasters in mobile phone history, including Motorola’s post-RAZR crash in 2007 and Nokia’s collapse in 2012. Can it really be this bad or are analysts simply locked in a race to outpace the possible upcoming share price plunge? More →
We have seen luxury phones encrusted with diamonds before, and some of them are worth more than $1 million. But a British designer named Stuart Hughes is now raising the bar with an iPhone 5 that costs £10 million, or more than $15 million USD. The gimmick of this particular Apple piece is that its home button is made of a 26-carat black diamond. The marketing babble on the website is satisfyingly nutty: “Diamond is distinctive in the way it reflects light. It has a unique brilliance and also breaks the light up into spectral colours, which reflect within the stone as it is moved.” It is also pretty cool that a product description page for a £10 million device manages to misspell the word “chassis.”
Good things have come to T-Mobile customers who have had to wait for the iPhone to finally arrive at their favorite carrier. Per AllThingsD, T-Mobile CMO Mike Sievert claims that the carrier had a “gangbusters” first day of iPhone 5 sales with “lines out the door… at nearly all of our almost 3,000 stores nationwide.” Sievert went on to say that the lines outside T-Mobile stores show that consumers “want the iPhone 5, and they are voting with their feet that they want it from T-Mobile.” T-Mobile is expected to get a boost from finally getting the iPhone on its network this year, with one analyst projecting that the carrier will sell around 3.4 million iPhones in 2013.
It might have taken six years to get there, but Apple’s (AAPL) wildly popular iPhone lineup is now available from T-Mobile USA. The world’s top-selling smartphone and its two predecessors can now be purchased off-contract from the “UNcarrier,” which recently gave its business model a big overhaul and did away with traditional contracts and subsidies. Under T-Mobile’s new model, the iPhone 5 can be had for just $99 down and 24 monthly payments of $20 — or, for users defecting from another carrier, the latest iPhone is available for no money down by trading in an older iPhone model. Apple’s iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 are also both available at T-Mobile stores and online beginning Friday.