We told you sometime last week that Foxconn and Apple achieved a key step towards building more iOS products out of Brazil through the government tax cuts. Now it looks like Foxconn is looking to open specifically FIVE new factories. For iPad 3 and iPhone 5 for sure?
“Apple relies on electronics assembly firm Foxconn to build iPads and iPhones in China. Now Foxconn is reportedly planning to build five new factories in Brazil to help meet the demand for Apple products.”
These factories are planned to house about 1000 workers. Since these factories aren’t built yet, it’s hard to say if even the iPhone 5 will be produced out of this country. For future iOS products though, the demand increases every year and Apple will need every Foxconn factory there is to meet these demands.
February 7, 2012 by Bill Palmer
by Bill Palmer
Apple’s new iPhone 5 will mark the company’s entrance into 4G LTE networking when it reaches its release date this summer, and it’ll serve as a report card for not only the tower-building efforts of Verizon and ATT but also the future of Sprint in general. Sprint essentially bet the company late last year on a deal with Apple which allowed it to get in on the iPhone juggernaut but placed the carrier in the position of having to eat a massive dollar amount in upgrade subsidies up front in the hope that it would be able to lure enough new customers away from ATT and Verizon that it can make up the revenue in monthly increments going forward. And with Sprint currently dead last in the LTE wars among the three remaining carriers (T-Mobile’s adrift status leaves it unclassifiable for now), the carrier faces a turning point when Apple releases the iPhone 5 this year and officially kicks off the 4G LTE era…
The only clear winner thus far in the iPhone 4S era is Apple itself. By launching a new iPhone on all three major carriers for the first time, Apple finally gave consumers what they’d been asking for – iPhone carrier choice – and has benefited greatly from it. The iPhone gained nearly twenty marketshare points in the fourth quarter of last year, taking customers away from the rival Android and BlackBerry platforms which both lost significant marketshare in that same timeframe. But which of the three U.S. iPhone carriers is “winning” is another matter. The iPhone 4S is the most popular smartphone on each of the three carriers, but the battle between those carriers may not be decided until the iPhone 5 era. The twelve to twenty month upgrade eligibility cycle means that most Verizon and especially Sprint customers haven’t yet even been eligible to buy an iPhone at standard pricing; the real payoff for Apple’s carrier expansion will come as of the iPhone 5 release date, when those who’ve been forced to wait to buy their first iPhone will finally make their move. And with 4G LTE shaping up to be the defining feature of the iPhone 5 (along with its increased screen size), the three carriers are in a race to meet Apple at the starting block…
Despite heavy promotion from Verizon and ATT, the 4G LTE era has thus far been a failure. Verizon’s LTE towers only cover a fraction of its users, ATT’s towers cover a much smaller fraction of its users, and buyers of 4G LTE phones have found that their battery life is stunningly short thanks to the oversized, power hungry first generation LTE antennas built in. Moreover consumers have favored the iPhone 4S, which shuns 4G LTE altogether, even as marketshare of the LTE-heavy Android platform drops severely. In other words, the 4G LTE era won’t begin until Apple says so, and that’ll be with the launch of the iPhone 5 with its presumed second-generation low power LTE antenna. By that time Verizon may or may not have finished its LTE nationwide network, while ATT almost certainly won’t. Sprint is caught in the tricky position of having built a 4G nationwide network based on a slower protocol that’s about one-fifth as fast as that of 4G LTE (Sprint’s 4G is often derided as “fake 4G” or “pseudo 4G”) and must now replace the entire network with 4G LTE if it wants to be on board with the iPhone 5 – unless it can convince Apple to build a separate Sprint iPhone 5 which uses Sprint’s slower alternate 4G network, which is possible but unlikely. Here’s more on the iPhone 5.
* Q4 adj shr Loss $0.35 vs street view shr Loss $0.37
* Q4 adj shr Loss $0.35 vs street view shr Loss $0.37
* Q4 OIBDA margin 9.5 pct VS analyst view 8.6 pct
* Q4 net subs 161,000 vs analyst view 272,000
* Shares rise 5 pct to $2.57
Feb 8 (Reuters) – Sprint Nextel posted a bigger
loss, reflecting the higher costs of selling Apple Inc’s
iPhone. But the loss was smaller than expected because
its signed up fewer subscribers than expected.
Since Sprint subsidizes the cost of some of its phone sales,
its costs rise and profit dwindles the more customers it wins.
But since subscriptions fell short of expectations, its loss was
smaller than expected.
Sprint’s loss was 35 cents per share excluding unusual items
compared with Wall Street expectations for a loss of 37 cents
per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Its profit margin based on operating earnings before
interest, depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) fell to 9.5
percent from 16 percent a year earlier but beat expectations for
8.6 percent, according to eight analyst estimates Reuters
“It’s still unbelievably depressed and subscribers were
below expectations,” said Roe Equity Research analyst Kevin Roe
who also noted that Sprint’s targets for the full year were not
The margin decline was hurt by the hefty cost of selling the
Sprint’s rivals Verizon Wireless and ATT Inc also
struggled in the fourth quarter with rising costs.
Sprint added 161,000 total net subscribers in the quarter
compared with the average expectation for 272,000 additions from
eight analyst estimates compiled by Reuters.
But it sold 1.8 million iPhones in the quarter, 40 percent
of which to new customers.
Sprint’s loss widened to $1.3 billion, or 43 cents per
share, from $929 million, or 31 cents per share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose to $8.72 billion from $8.3 billion and was
slightly ahead of Wall Street expectations for $8.69 billion,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sprint forecast full-year net service revenue growth of 4
percent to 6 percent and forecast 2012 adjusted OIBDA between
$3.7 billion and $3.9 billion.
Apple’s stock skyrocketed in 2011, following the company’s record Q4 performance. Many reports claimed this was solely the iPhone 4S’s doing, which has already outsold its predecessor by over 70 per cent. It’s an interesting theory – but it misses the point.
What’s more likely is that it’s a combination of everything – the iPhone, the iPad, the iPod and the Apple PC – and, of course, the unprecedented power of company’s global brand. Looking back over the past couple of years it would seem that Apple has now settled into something of a rhythm, releasing a new iPhone and a new iPad once a year as well as a couple of iOS updates.
We don’t think 2012 will be any different, and Tim Cook will no doubt be eager to keep this dizzying momentum going for as long as possible. And while nothing lasts forever, 2012 is still shaping up to be quite a year for technology – especially in the world of Apple.
Here is a list of everything we expect to see from Apple this year and how we think it will rate.
iOS 5.1 (February/March)
What will come first, the iPad 3 or the launch of iOS5.1? At this point in time no one really knows. One school of thought claims that Apple will do two separate events – one in February for the launch of iOS 5.1 and another in March for the iPad 3. The other says Apple will host a single event, most likely in late February or early March, and launch both the iPad 3 and iOS5.1 simultaneously.
According to reports there will be additional functionality added to Siri in iOS5.1, such as the ability to interact with device Settings and other ‘select’ applications, as well a fix for that battery bug that has been plaguing iPhone 4S users the globe over, as well as a new keyboard for email with an easy to access ‘@’ symbol.
We’ve also heard reports of that Apple has made some minor improvements to PhotoStream and has also added the ability to use iTunes Match over 3G. That’s just about all we know about iOS5.1 at present – but you can expect to hear lots more about it as we approach the end of the month.
On a personal note, we’d also like to see Siri-powered UK-based Maps integration in place inside iOS5.1. Siri-led navigation would be a big USP for Apple too, competing with Nokia’s excellent Drive application that’s present inside ithe Finnish manufacturer’s Lumia handsets.
There’ll no doubt be plenty of additional extras inside iOS5.1 that has not yet leaked online, such as tweaks to the camera application and the usual security updates. But as usual Apple is keeping things very hush-hush. It doesn’t really matter though – there’s not long to wait now anyway.
iPad 3 (March)
Despite the absolute plethora of Android-powered tablet devices currently on the market, Apple was, at the end of Q4 2011, still the number one tablet manufacturer on the planet – albeit by a smaller margin than in 2010.
According to Strategy Analytics, Apple sold 15.4 million iPad devices in Q4 of 2011, securing itself 57.6 per cent of the market. Google’s Android platform secured second place with 39.1 per cent, according to the same report, illustrating rapid year-on-year growth.
But is this really that surprising with literally hundreds of tablet devices now using Google’s Android operating system? No. It’s an inevitable fact of life. Android powers more products than Apple’s iOS platform does. Of course it’s going to be bigger.
The screen resolution shared by the first three iPhones and
iPod Touches is expected to be phased out eventually, but in a new note to developers, the company appears to want to move that process along–at least on its digital storefront.
In an e-mail to developers today, republished by The Next Web, Apple notes that it now requires developers to include high-resolution screenshots of their applications when submitting them for approval, something that was previously optional:
When you create or update your apps in iTunes Connect, you must upload screenshots that are high-resolution. We require your screenshots as high-resolution images so that your app is optimized for the Retina display.
The requirements for high-resolution images are 960 x 640, 960 x 600, 640 x 960, or 640 x 920 pixels. Images must be at least 72 dpi, in the RGB color space, and the file must be .jpeg, .jpg, .tif, .tiff, or .png. You can update your screenshot files at any time in iTunes Connect.
While seemingly a minor detail, it’s of special note given that Apple continues to sell only one
iPhone-sized device with the non-Retina (480 by 320 pixel) display: the
iPhone 3GS. It’s expected that Apple will continue to sell that device up until it releases a new iPhone model, which if the company’s track record is any indication, will be later this year. The same goes for developers, which continue to offer lower resolution versions of apps and games given a large base of potential users with older devices.
So does that mean developers can’t produce apps and games for these lower resolution devices? Not quite. Developers can still make versions that work on older devices. It’s just that under this new guideline they need to upload the spiffy looking, high-resolution screens when uploading their work for its presence on App Store listings.
One reason for the change, besides nudging developers to optimize their apps for newer devices, could be upcoming changes to App Store listings. As it stands, viewing screenshots on an iPhone or iPod Touch is a limited affair compared with viewing them on an iPad in iTunes on a computer. Perhaps this is a pre-emptive move on Apple’s part to give buyers a way to view full-sized screenshots from their device.
The Next Web offers up that another reason could simply be a pre-emptive move by Apple to dress up iPhone-sized screenshots ahead of announcing an iPad 3 that packs a Retina Display of its own. A handful of rumors and reports have suggested just such a device will be unveiled sometime next month, leading to new and first-time iPad buyers eyeballing (and potentially buying) iPhone apps that may not be universal.
Whether it is this summer or late fall, we can bet that the Apple iPhone 5 will hit stores before Christmas. However just like how the iPhone 4S manage to shatter sales records despite its predecessors (iPhone 4 and 3GS) already selling like hotcakes, Apple will need to come up with a new iPhone to top the just-released iPhone 4S.
So where exactly can Apple improve on the already well-designed iPhone 4S? Here are 5 areas.
iPhone 5 and 5 ways it can trump the iPhone 4S
New Design: Despite selling well, one of the biggest disappointments when the iPhone 4S debuted was that it shared the same design as the iPhone 4. So it’s about time Apple gives the next-gen iPhone a major refresh.
Larger Display: With the current trend of smartphones being big displays, a 4-inch display for the iPhone 5 will no doubt attract fans from other platforms. However the argument here is that the iPhone 4S is rightly sized now for easy one-handed usage. For that reason, reducing the bezel around the corners of the iPhone 5 like in the concept render below should allow for a larger display but same overall proportions.
Quad-core processor: The biggest rival to the iPhone 5 would no doubt be the Android platform, with the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S3 expected to be the most prominent of the army. The latest Android rumors hint that the next flagship Android smartphones from all the various manufacturers may all come with quad-core chips e.g. Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC Edge, Motorola Bullet, LG X3. iPhone games have been known to push the boundaries in terms of graphics so sticking in a quad-core processor will certainly help in future innovation.
4G LTE: With Verizon, ATT and Sprint all working on their own 4G LTE networks, the current 3 networks that offer the iPhone 4S are already getting prepped for LTE devices. So it only makes sense that Apple should too.
Slimmer Design: Just like in the case of the evolution of the original iPad to the iPad 2, the iPhone 5 could be slimmed down over its predecessor. Starting with the Motorola DROID RAZR which launched with a 7mm thick body, future high-end smartphones like the HTC Ville and Samsung Galaxy S3 are all expected to be around the 7mm-8mm range. The key here is to deliver a slim iPhone 5 yet still allow space for the additional LTE radio and an appropriate sized battery. One such solution would be a cheese-wedge design like the MacBook Air (see below).
Whether Apple decides to integrate just one or all of these features, we’re sure the iPhone 5 will once again change everything.
The iPhone 5 rumors rule the tech world. With Apple highly anticipated to rollout its next iPhone as early as possible, rumor mills are running amok. Various sources emerge with fresh gossips over the upcoming iPhone, possibly the biggest upgrade ever. Many analysts are of the view that Apple has been too late to bring up many necessary features to its flagship iPhone smartphone. Even if iPhone reigns over the global smartphone market today, many more things are to land on the device now.
Generally, there is a belief that iPhone 5 will come with a renovated design, large display and lots of fresh features such as a new CPU, better RAM, advanced camera, speed transfer technologies and much more. Apple management is as tight lipped as ever in exposing any of its upcoming iPhone version’s possible features and specs.
Grand new design, screen and battery
Well, the iPhone 5 is highly projected to have some drastic design changes from all its predecessors. The display size may increase from the current 3.5-inch to at least 3.7 or 4 inch with an edge-to-edge screen. The reports that the iPhone 5 will feature a new curved surface with metal back may come true. Moreover, Apple may introduce a new OLED screen with better ppi from the existing 330 to 360+. A Facial Recognition technology, which Apple recently filed for patent and a 3D Motion Sensor technology may also be some of new capabilities of the upcoming iPhone 5. The present battery may likely be replaced with a long lasting one.
Quad Core CPU with 1GHz clock rate and 1GB of RAM
Of course, the new iPhone will be far smarter in processing. The device will replace its predecessor’s dual core processor with a 1GHz quad core processor with Apple A6 chipset. The much required RAM improvement to 1GB will add strength to these changes. NVIDIA’s high power Tegra 3 quad core processor is to come on several Android handsets this year.
New iOS 5.1 and 3D support for iMAPS
Many guessed that iPhone 5 would come with iOS 6. But Apple has recently released an iOS 5.1 update, which will support quad core processors. What does it mean? Apple may be bringing out its next iPhone and iPad versions with the new update to the current iOS 5. In addition, there are better chances that Apple will integrate 3D map support on iPhone 5 for a new App, dubbed iMAPS, a 3D-based map from Apple in rivalry to Google Maps.
Thunderbolt Port and NFC
Thunderbolt port and NFC are two reliable data transfer standards, which gained momentum after the latest major iPhone upgrade in 2010. Thunderbolt port is a high speed cable-bound data transfer system, which was developed by Intel in association with Apple. The Cupertino tech maker first introduced Thunderbolt on its notebooks and desktops last year. Now it is hoped that iPhone 5 will also get a port, which can transfer data in a blazing speed than USBs (three times faster than USB 3.0).
Near Field Communication, or NFC is an advanced wireless data transfer and payment system. Some recent Android phones like Galaxy Nexus and others boast of NFC. Indeed, iPhone 5 is also expected to feature NFC for instant payments at checkouts and many other usages.
A 13-megapixel rear camera with CMOS Sensor
Apple is reportedly associating with Sony for an improved 13-megapixel camera with CMOS sensor for its iPhone 5. The Japanese camera giant recently released a low light CMOS sensor, which will evidently land in the next iPhone. The current version of iPhone has an 8-megapixel rear camera with 1080p Full HD recording capability. Of course, a 13-megapixel rear camera with better features will tempt many more customers not to leave iPhone for another cameraphone.
4G and Wi-Fi 802.11ac support
Some reports state that iPhone 5 is all set to get the new Wi-Fi 802.11ac to take its network speed to the range of Gigabits/Sec. Moreover, the iPhone 5 may be the first iPhone version with 4G network. Better internet connectivity will improve the entire performance of iPhone, a much-loved gadget of bulky internet consumers. Users can download apps, stream videos and read contents quite faster on the new iPhone.
The two online petitions asking Apple to improve conditions in overseas manufacturing plants ahead of the next
iPhone will be hand delivered to a number of Apple’s retail stores tomorrow, its creators say.
In a statement today, watchdog group SumOfUs said that it plans to deliver its own petition, along with one from Change.org, to a number of Apple’s retail stores around the world. That includes New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, London, Sydney, and Bangalore.
Combined, the two petitions have amassed more than 250,000 signatures, the group said.
The petition from SumOfUs garnered 55,000 signatures, with 20,000 of those who signed telling the group that they were iPhone users, with another 35,000 saying they purchase products from Apple. A separate survey posted to Change.org, which asks Apple to “protect workers making iPhones in Chinese factories,” has received more than 194,000 signatures.
Both petitions were created late last month, following a pair of investigative stories published by The New York Times that lambasted Apple for poor labor and safety issues in its supplier facilities, as well as using cut-throat business practices that prohibited those manufacturers from making improvements. The one from SumOfUs asks Apple to “overhaul the way its suppliers treat their workers,” ahead of the release of its next smartphone, which is expected later this year.
“Can Apple do this? Absolutely,” the SumOfUs petition reads. “According to an anonymous Apple executive quoted in The New York Times, all Apple has to do is demand it, and it’ll happen.”
The one from Change.org credits the segment on overseas working conditions profiled in NPR’s This American Life as its spark. It urges Apple to “release a worker protection strategy for new product releases,” as well as to publish the results of any investigations done by the Fair Labor Association of manufacturers it uses. Apple joined the FLA last month, the same day it released its annual supplier responsibility report.
Both petitions are being delivered to stores tomorrow, with a delivery to Apple’s recently opened Grand Central Terminal store happening at 10 a.m. Eastern. The group said it’s producing “large iPhone posters” and printed handouts to coincide with its delivery.
This is the latest group to take to Apple’s retail stores when attempting to make a point about the company’s business behaviors. Last June a group called US Uncut targeted Apple’s retail stores, protesting the company’s support of the Win America Campaign, a lobbying group it claimed was working to get Apple and other businesses a $4 billion tax cut.
Updated at 10 a.m. PT with additional background.
A trademark application from Apple for the word “Macroscalar” was published by the US Patent Trademark Office last week. Apparently, the Cupertino tech giant is getting ready to implement the technology on its upcoming products, which many assume to be the highly-anticipated iPhone 5 and iPad 3. Macroscalar provide better support for the performance of a processor, while consuming less power. Last year in July, ZDNet wrote an article in which they detailed Apple’s macroscalar architecture, explaining how the technology could help to improve the processor efficiency. “The macroscalar processor addresses this problem in a new way: at compile-time it generates contingent secondary instructions so when a data-dependent loop completes the next set of instructions are ready to execute. In effect, it loads another pipeline for, say, completing a loop, so the pipeline remains full whether the loop continues or completes. It can also load a set of sequential instructions that run within or between loops, speeding execution as well.” The patent summary describes an example of where “a processor receives instructions of a program loop having a vector block and a sequence block intended to be executed after the vector block, where the processor includes multiple slices and each of the slices is capable of executing an instruction of an iteration of the program loop substantially in parallel. For each iteration of the program loop, the processor executes an instruction of the sequence block using one of the slices while executing instructions of the vector block using a remainder of the slices substantially in parallel.” Here are some examples of software that Apple believes this processor might be featured on in the future: “Computer software for personal information management; database management software; database synchronization software; character recognition software; voice recognition software; speech to text conversion software; voice-enabled software applications.” Apple is likely to develop this type of architecture since the company designs its own processors, software and hardware.
A trademark application from Apple for the word “Macroscalar” was published by the US Patent Trademark Office last week.
Apparently, the Cupertino tech giant is getting ready to implement the technology on its upcoming products, which many assume to be the highly-anticipated iPhone 5 and iPad 3.
Macroscalar provide better support for the performance of a processor, while consuming less power.
Last year in July, ZDNet wrote an article in which they detailed Apple’s macroscalar architecture, explaining how the technology could help to improve the processor efficiency.
“The macroscalar processor addresses this problem in a new way: at compile-time it generates contingent secondary instructions so when a data-dependent loop completes the next set of instructions are ready to execute. In effect, it loads another pipeline for, say, completing a loop, so the pipeline remains full whether the loop continues or completes. It can also load a set of sequential instructions that run within or between loops, speeding execution as well.”
The patent summary describes an example of where “a processor receives instructions of a program loop having a vector block and a sequence block intended to be executed after the vector block, where the processor includes multiple slices and each of the slices is capable of executing an instruction of an iteration of the program loop substantially in parallel. For each iteration of the program loop, the processor executes an instruction of the sequence block using one of the slices while executing instructions of the vector block using a remainder of the slices substantially in parallel.”
Here are some examples of software that Apple believes this processor might be featured on in the future:
“Computer software for personal information management; database management software; database synchronization software; character recognition software; voice recognition software; speech to text conversion software; voice-enabled software applications.”
Apple is likely to develop this type of architecture since the company designs its own processors, software and hardware.
Sprint has said it will offer more detailed 2012 financial forecasts based on iPhone sales along with fourth-quarter results.
Sprint Nextel Corp.
’s financial report Wednesday morning should shed some much-anticipated light on the rewards of finally getting its hands on the iPhone.
The results will represent nearly a full quarter of offering Apple Inc.
’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) popular iPhone. Overland Park-based Sprint (NYSE: S) began selling the smartphone Oct. 14, joining larger competitors ATT Inc.
(NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless, which already had been in the iPhone game.
Sprint has said it will offer more detailed 2012 financial forecasts based on iPhone sales along with fourth-quarter results.
The company has said new iPhone customers probably will bring 50 percent more value than typical smartphone users, reaping as much as $8 billion for the company during the next four years. But that’s probably how long it will take for iPhone customer value to offset what Sprint is paying to provide the iconic device.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters
predict a 5 percent revenue boost for Sprint in the fourth quarter, nearing $8.69 billion. But they expect a larger loss of 37 cents a share.
For the year, analysts predict a 3 percent jump in revenue to $33.67 billion and a smaller loss of 87 cents a share.
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