With rumors as to the iPhone 5 release date once again offering nothing more concrete than a firm and frank ‘maybe’ we are once again left with the coin-toss as to whether to invest in an iPhone 4S or continue waiting for Apple to break their trademark silence.
For those who may not have heard the news, incredible sales of the iPhone 4S have recently assisted Apple share values clear through the $500 and growth looks set to continue, with the device itself still at the very top of the sales charts and on course to chalk up another staggering quarter.
Which of course leads to the conundrum itself as with such an unstoppable success story snowballing like nothing else on Earth, will Apple really be in any hurry to bring along an early iPhone 5 release date?
Unlikely it would indeed seem on the surface, but given the way in which the 4S is pretty much selling itself the world over at this stage, a new ad campaign by Apple could very well signal an intention to enjoy one final sales blitz and make room for the possible summer launch of its bigger brother.
Spec and prowess-wise there is of course zero doubting the way in which the iPhone 5 will steal the show when and where it does finally see the light of day, but the longer Apple chooses to wait, the heavier the competition they will undoubtedly face from key Android rivals.
Indeed, with new generation devices already in the pipeline from Samsung, HTC and the new Google/Motorola collaboration, the following quarters of 2012 may not in fact offer quite as much smooth-sailing for Apple.
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Even though the release of the Apple iPhone 5 is still some months away, with the possibility of a summer launch, rumors still flood in with just about every possibility mentioned. We’ve heard talk of a new design, a larger screen and even waterproofing but what many people really want to know about is whether the iPhone 5 will have 4G LTE connectivity.
One suggestion that LTE support could be on the way, although of course this is not proof, comes from news of a completely brand-new batch of micro-SIM cards headed to ATT. That may not sound very revealing but apparently these are LTE-enabled, which makes the story a whole lot more intriguing. By itself of course this doesn’t confirm an LTE iPhone 5 but this is interesting stuff nonetheless
An article on Phone Arena tells how an anonymous tipster gave the site the news on the new micro-SIM cards and of course a possibility could be that they are intended for the Nokia Lumia 900 which we already know will be released on ATT and is an LTE handset. Apart from the Lumia 900 though, unless Apple goes straight to using nano-SIM cards on the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5 seems to be the most likely candidate for these LTE-enabled micro-SIM cards. The implication then, although really sheer conjecture at this point, is that this whole new batch of micro-SIM cards could well be for iPhone 5 demand when the smartphone finally arrives.
This may seem a stretch too far but Phone Arena also points out that Morgan Stanley analysts already believe that the next iPhone will be equipped with an LTE radio. That said, the iPhone 5 release is still some way off and the Nokia Lumia 900 is looking set for a release on March 18th so maybe these micro-SIM cards really are intended mainly for that? A separate article here also speculates on this and makes the alternative suggestion that the LTE-enabled micro-SIM cards could be for the iPad 3, rumored to be coming in March and which could also feature LTE. Apparently an ATT spokesman has also pointed out that the Pantech Breeze and Element also currently use LTE-enabled micro-SIM cards.
One thing we do know for sure is that whether the iPhone 5 has LTE connectivity or not it is still bound to be a huge success, although LTE would be a much-desired addition for many consumers. We’re interested to hear your thoughts on this. Is LTE connectivity for the iPhone 5 a dealbreaker for you? What do you most want to see featured on the next iPhone? Let us have your comments on this.
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Text messages from an unknown number soliciting cooperation in beta testing the iPhone 5 have spread on the internet lately. However, the messages are totally false. The text claims that Apple is seeking 1,000 testers for text messaging on the iPhone 5. Unsolicited texts and posts on social-networking sites quickly spread on the net starting earlier this month. “Apple needs iPhone5 testers:The first 1000 users who visit http://celltestnkeep.com and enter code 1000 will get to test keep the new iPhone5,” the text read. Apparently, the messages are a hoax meant to generate traffic to websites that have no connection with the iPhone 5 or Apple. By accessing http://celltestnkeep.com, the user is redirected to onlinetechrewards.com where an iPhone 5 banner requests the email for the beta testing program. This way, personal information is sold to spammers and other criminal organizations. ATT is advising its users to contact Apple if they receive such a message. In addition, users can also report the spam at www.donotcall.gov.
Text messages from an unknown number soliciting cooperation in beta testing the iPhone 5 have spread on the internet lately. However, the messages are totally false.
The text claims that Apple is seeking 1,000 testers for text messaging on the iPhone 5.
Unsolicited texts and posts on social-networking sites quickly spread on the net starting earlier this month.
“Apple needs iPhone5 testers:The first 1000 users who visit http://celltestnkeep.com and enter code 1000 will get to test keep the new iPhone5,” the text read.
Apparently, the messages are a hoax meant to generate traffic to websites that have no connection with the iPhone 5 or Apple.
By accessing http://celltestnkeep.com, the user is redirected to onlinetechrewards.com where an iPhone 5 banner requests the email for the beta testing program.
This way, personal information is sold to spammers and other criminal organizations.
ATT is advising its users to contact Apple if they receive such a message. In addition, users can also report the spam at www.donotcall.gov.
I worked briefly with Microsoft UK in 2006 but no longer have any connection with the company. Regardless, I remain impartial and unbiased in my views.
I don’t hold any stock or shares, investments or industrial secrets in any company, but have signed confidentiality agreements with a number of UK and U.S. organisations, whose names I am not at liberty to disclose.
I was involved with Kent Union, the University of Kent’s student union, undertaking voluntary, non-salaried, elected positions between early 2009 and mid-2010.
No other company, body, government department, non-governmental organisation or third sector organisation employs me or pays me a salary in any capacity whatsoever.
As a freelance journalist, whenever expenses are given and taken by a company that is not CBS Interactive, these will be disclosed in each relevant post to ensure transparency.
I currently work with a UK law enforcement unit, but this is an entirely separate position which bears no connection to other work.
(Updated: 23rd October 2011)
Oh Apple, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Valentine’s Day or not, it’s easy to gush about Apple’s (AAPL) $500 a share price, 90% “buy” rating from analysts, $100 billion cash on the balance sheet, and a stable of iProducts that dominate their markets and command a premium too.
Shares of Apple have gained over $100, or close to 25%, just in 2012 alone. Impressive, without a doubt, yet only good enough to rank it 45th in the SP 500.
Consumers and investors may be salivating over the anticipated launch of Apple’s next gadget, but long before that sure-to-be-hyped media moment arrives, a small army of inspectors in China from the Fair Labor Association (FLA) is preparing to go through the Foxconn factories and employee dorms where more than 200,000 people live and work, building electronics for a chic California company that is 5,000 miles and a lifetime away.
It should be noted that Apple is paying for the FLA probe, but even so, tales of long days, militant practices, and unsafe conditions that have allegedly led to some suicides cannot be expected to just disappear, and thus it falls into the risk category.
“It never stuck to (Steve) Jobs. Now, they’re not getting a pass. This wasn’t headline news a year ago,” Macke says in the attached video. “But this is a real problem that this company is going to have to address.”
Another Chinese stumbling point is that Apple currently doesn’t own the trademark for the name iPad, which is owned – and being aggressively protected – on behalf of a firm called Proview. Needless to say, an export ban, if it can’t be settled quickly, is an enormous risk.
Another area of potential Apple discomfort and decline could be attempts to restore a dividend for the first time since 1995 and return some of an estimated $100 billion cash to investors. Generally speaking, the after-market results gained from one-time dividend are unimpressive.
In a note to clients, a Barclays analyst goes as far as pegging a potential Apple yield at 2%, which would work out to roughly $10 share. The point here is, when lots and lots of people want and expect a company to do something, there’s a good chance for some remorse if and when they actually do it.
And finally, there’s the competitive landscape and the looming launch of things like the i-TV that would give Apple unprecedented access to user homes. This is not only a crowded marketplace, but a complicated one too, particularly when it comes to acquiring the content to put on TV. Apple, undeniably, makes cool gadgets, but they’re not cheap and any foray into uncharted territory carries risks.
What do you think could trip Apple Up? Give us your comments below or reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter.
Google’s $US12.5 billion acquisition of cellphone maker Motorola Mobility has won approval of European antitrust regulators, moving Google one step closer to completing the biggest deal in its 13-year history.
EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement that regulators didn’t believe the transaction itself raised any competitive problems.
The EU action means Google now only needs government approval in the US, China, Taiwan and Israel before it can close a deal announced six months ago.
Google has indicated it expects the other regulatory reviews to be completed soon, saying it hopes to take control of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. early this year.
“This is an important milestone in the approval process and it moves us closer to closing the deal,” Don Harrison, Google’s deputy general counsel wrote in a blog post.
Google is counting on Motorola’s more than 17,000 patents to help shield its Android operating system from lawsuits alleging intellectual theft.
In granting its approval, the European Union raised concerns about Motorola’s aggressive enforcement of its patents.
“The Commission will continue to keep a close eye on the behavior of all market players in the sector, particularly the increasingly strategic use of patents,” Almunia said.
Earlier this month, the Commission launched an investigation into whether Samsung is using some of its key patents to hinder competitors. Like Motorola, Google is also locked in a globe-spanning legal battle with Apple, claiming the maker of the iPad and iPhone is using some of its patents without permission. At the time, Almunia’s office indicated that similar investigations against over companies may follow.
But the commission decided to treat its examination of the merger separately from potential concerns it may have over Motorola’s patent enforcement.
It said it sees no danger that Google Inc. will prevent other device makers from using its popular Android operating system after the takeover.
“Android helps to drive the spread of Google’s other services,” the Commission said. “Given that Google’s core business model is to push its online and mobile services and software to the widest possible audience, it is unlikely that Google would restrict the use of Android solely to Motorola,” which only has a small market share in Europe.
It said it also sees no competition problems in Google owning Motorola’s patents for 3G and other wireless technology that other device makers will need for their products to function properly on modern networks.
“Access to such ‘standard essential’ patents is … crucial for players on the smartphone market,” the Commission said, but it added that the “would not significantly change the existing market situation in this respect.”