Samsung Working on Apple Style Upgrade Lease System

TECH-SUPPLIES/SAMSUNG-APPLEVerizon and T-Mobile have already done away with contracted smartphone subsidizes and many other carriers are expected to follow suit eventually. That’s not necessarily good news for flagship manufacturers as consumers may find them harder to purchase. Samsung is now apparently working on an upgrade lease system, just like Apple’s recent model.

Yes, Apple already went there with its iPhone Upgrade Plan that was unveiled at the iPhones 6s launch event two weeks ago. The model lets consumers pay $32 per month to lease an iPhone and then upgrade it after one year for a new model. Wall Street analysts have praised this model as it gives Apple a new revenue stream, because the company can refurbish iPhones that are traded in and sell them on.

Samsung is now apparently now waiting to launch its own similar service, although it may not be launched until the Galaxy S7 arrives next year.

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Samsung Infringed Apple Software Patent

Apple and Samsung agree settlementApple’s courtroom battle with Samsung in the United States has been waged for years, but it is a battle Cupertino has largely won, although not necessarily in the ideal way. The latest victory for the company reveals that Samsung has been found guilty of infringing an Apple patent once again, this time for software stolen from the iPhone to be used in its Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

The result is those (admittedly older) products could be banned from sale unless Samsung removes the software in question. This comes as the latest in a string of victories that show in no uncertain terms that Samsung severely infringed on a myriad of patents Apple created for its own mobile technology. That has hardly ever been in question, the only real problem for Apple is that the company does not feel Samsung has been punished enough for this, with the Korean company receiving token fines.

Apple believes the rival should be fined for higher amounts and that sales bans should have been implemented.
However, even a sales ban would not help Apple now as the device Samsung would have to stop selling are not even on the market anymore. This case stems back so many years that the devices that infringed the patents are old and for the most part out of production. That means Apple will have to pursue a monetary punishment for Samsung again, although it is unlikely to impact the Korean company too greatly.

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Watch Apple’s Huge Launch Event Again

plus-header-TNDid you miss Apple’s massive launch event yesterday, or perhaps you are a fan of the company and want to relive the show all over again? Either way, you can still see the big press event that saw a myriad new products launch in Cupertino as Apple once again reasserted it dominance over the smartphone and tablet markets.

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus were revealed by the company, bringing with them vastly improved performance and 3D Touch screen technology. Also on the agenda was the new iPad Pro, a statement making product if ever we have seen one, and yeah even a new iPad Mini 4 sneaked in for a brief minute.

Lastly, Apple tried to delve deeper into TV, which the company still calls a hobby. The new Apple TV is expensive at $149, but is an improved experience over the last model, or at least that’s what we gather so far.

So a lot to get through then, and Tim Cook and friends sure took their merry time as the show stretched for a massive 2 hours and 20 minutes. However, there is no doubting that Apple knows how to hold the attention of the viewer and a slew of products certainly did that as the show zipped by really. Either way, bored rigid and watching out of curiosity or excited fanboy, you can now relive the event by heading HERE.

Streaming video requires Safari 4 or later on OS X v10.6 or later; Safari on iOS 4.2 or later; or QuickTime 7 on Windows. Streaming via Apple TV requires second- or third-generation Apple TV with software 5.0.2 or later.

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iPhone 6s: the Legacy is Fine

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Every year Apple managed to pull off what every other smartphone company can never do, makes its devices equally popular despite incremental updates.

The new iPhone 6s is not a radical departure from the iPhone 6 last year, in fact it looks identical, but will still sell in tens of millions over the coming months. Apple is the king at this kind of marketing, but beneath it all is the iPhone 6s, which is just a very good products.

Sure, nothing has changed aesthetically but it is hard to deny that the iPhone 6s is one of the best looking smartphones available. The device is a little heavier because it now has a stronger aluminum to avoid a repeat of 2014’s Bendgate, but aside from that there are no changes. The new iPhone devices get a rose gold colorway which is more like a kind of pink, and while that seems hideous it is actually stunning in person.

It reminds us of when Apple introduced the gold color and we thought it would suck, but it was actually classy and premium looking. The rose gold variant is the same.

We know that some people think it is a mystery that Apple has now upgraded to 1080p Full HD for its core flagship. Yes, the iPhone 6s Plus gets 1080p, but the iPhone 6s does not and on the surface that is indeed a mystery, especially considering Apple’s main Android rivals are already deep into the Quad HD cycle.

The iPhone 6s comes with a screen that on paper at least is two generations worse than other main flagships. However, the 4.7-inch IPS display on the iPhone 6s may only have 750 x 1334 resolution and a pixel density of 326ppi, but you know what it will be? It will be one of the best screens on the market, just like other iPhones have shown… we don’t know how Apple does it with limited specs but it does, don’t make the error of thinking this a subpar display, it simply is not.

Indeed, this screen actually comes with something new and unique. 3D Touch is the update of Force Touch that debuted alongside the Apple Watch. We will be making a full dedicated post on 3D Touch before the weekend, but essentially this display reads the pressure you place upon it and acts accordingly. This can be applied to myriad features and tools.

Ok, we know the Apple A9X is built by Samsung, and ha-ha we get the joke. However, once again Apple confounds the smartphone market by not discussing specs and actually using small amounts of RAM relative to other flagships. But yet the iPhone year on year is among the best smartphones in terms of performance, a testament to the smooth and quick iOS platform. Here the A9 is 80% faster than last year’s A8 in CPU tasks and a massive 90% faster in GPU tasks. That’s a bold claim, but if true it is spectacular on Apple’s part to have gotten such a performance hike in the space of one year. The silicon is also more power efficient, which means battery life is smoother and performance enhanced, which in turn allows Siri to always be on in standby mode.

Battery life will look something like this:

Talk time: Up to 14 hours on 3G
Internet use: Up to 10 hours on 3G, up to 10 hours on LTE, up to 11 hours on Wi‑Fi
HD video playback: Up to 11 hours
Audio playback: Up to 50 hours
Standby time: Up to 10 days

Those looking for a storage breakthrough at Cupertino will be disappointed, the iPhone 6s will come with a 16GB base model, 64GB model, and a 128GB model. Of course a micro SD card slot is out of the question, which only makes us wish even more that Apple would make the base storage variant 32GB.

Apple is a leading example at showing that megapixels are not the be all and end all of camera technology. Recent iPhones have come with an 8 megapixel lens in recent years while Android rivals went bigger and bigger, but yet the iPhone has consistently been one of the best “camera phones” on the market.

The 12 megapixel lens on the iPhone 6s should be really good then, and Apple is certainly suggesting that it indeed is. We will be posting a dedicated iPhone 6s camera post in the coming days.

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Apple iPhone 6s Plus: The Same but Better

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Last year Apple split its iPhone range to have two flagship models, with the iPhone 6 acting as the main sales driver while the iPhone 6 Plus served as the spec king and of course came with a larger screen. A year later and Apple just unveiled the iPhone 6s Plus and the device is pretty much what we expect; an incremental update over last year’s model.

That means the iPhone 6s Plus looks the same as the 6 Plus, which is not bad thing as it remains a stellar looking smartphone and considering Apple ushered in a bold new design last year, it still feels fresh. New innards do ensure that the iPhone 6s Plus is a little fatter than its predecessor though, 192g over 172g. You can grab the device in silver, grey, and gold, while rose gold is a pink like color making its debut this year and actually looks fabulous.

iOS 9 lands on this device and the iPhone 6s, and while it too looks virtually the same as iOS 8, there are plenty of new features to sink your teeth into. Rounding out the design is the now familiar Touch ID fingerprint sensor which takes its form as the Home button.

The iPhone 6s Plus retains the Full HD 1080p Retina IPS Display from last year and it still stretches 5.5-inches across the device for a pixel density of 401ppi. That is still below the curve in comparison to Android devices, but the iPhone has always managed to have a stellar screen despite its apparent hardware limitations.

The big news with the screen is the inclusion of the new 3D Touch technology that follows from the Force Touch screen the company introduced on the Apple Watch. Essentially this means the screen can sense pressure and offer an array of new features, something we will be elaborating on in a dedicated 3D Touch report coming tomorrow.

Apple rarely talks about specs outright, and the iPhone on paper always looks positively mid-range next to Android flagships, but yet the device always bests those rivals in terms of butter smooth performance. The A9X processor here is new and with iOS 9 is going to make the iPhone 6s Plus one of the best performing smartphones on the market.

Apple says the A9 is 70% faster at CPU tasks and 90% faster at GPU tasks compared to the A8 last here, a frankly staggering leap in performance over twelve months. That means battery life and efficiency is improved, allowing Siri to always be on in standby mode, although the battery life remains at Apple’s standard.

For some reason Cupertino is sticking blindly to 16GB as the base storage amount, when these days it really should be 32GB. Nevertheless there will also be a 64GB model and a 128GB model, while of course none of them feature storage expansion.

iPhone cameras have always flipped the bird at Android flagships and shown that megapixels mean little. While Android manufacturers back high MP resolutions Apple has been using a humble 8MP lens in recent years but has still managed to deliver on of the best smartphone camera experiences on the market. The bump to 12 megapixels on the iPhone 6s Plus promises to be even better and comes with some new goodies, such as 4K video recording. We will be delving into the camera in-depth in a future dedicated report.

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Apple iPad Pro: Stunning, Feature Packed, and Hugely Expensive

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Apple revealed the iPad Pro at a huge all-encompassing launch event, finally bringing the large screen tablet that has been rumored for years. While Apple says this is a game changer, it is actually just a competitor to the Microsoft Surface Pro, but that does not mean the Pro is not fantastic. It is, with plenty of unique tech and features and in some ways Apple may have redefined casual portable computing with this feature rich device.

The iPad Pro may spell trouble for the humble old small laptop, including Apple’s own MacBook Air, especially for those who only do minimal casual computing. It will also help Apple’s aspirations in enterprise and with the deal with IBM in place expect Cupertino to really drive this product to companies around the world.

This is probably the most decked out product Apple has ever made, at least in the mobile space. The Pro comes with a massive (it really looks huge) 12.9-inch Retina Display packing screen that sports a higher resolution than the MacBook Air Retina. Under the hood there is an A9X processor that is 1.8 times faster than the A8 found in the iPad Air 2. Apple says the result is the iPad Pro being faster than 80% of the portable laptops on the market and graphically better than 90%.

You may remember back in the day that Steve Jobs was pretty adamant that Apple wouldn’t ever make a stylus, so what do we make of the Apple Pencil? Well, firstly it is not a stylus says Apple, much the same way as Samsung’s S Pen is not a stylus. Ok, we get it, the Apple Pencil is much more functional and in the coming days we will be doing an extensive post on the Pencil, which brings a host of functionality to the Pro that pushes it past any other tablet on the market.

The peripherals do not end with the Apple Pencil as the company also launched a SmartCover Keyboard that connects to the device via three magnetic dots. This further adds to the enterprise leanings of the iPad Pro for those who want to type physically.

As you can probably guess, the iPad Pro is very expensive, insanely so probably. The standard entry level Wi-Fi model with 32GB of storage will cost a huge $799, while a 128GB storage comes in at $949, and the flagship 128GB LTE version is a dizzying $1079. Factor in the $99 price of the Apple Pencil, and frankly crazy $169 you need to pay for the keyboard then you have a very expensive product indeed. Of course, Apple can get away with these kinds of margins, but this is certainly not a casual purchase.

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Android Users Flood to iOS in Europe


Reputed research company Kantar has revealed that Android users are jumping ship in Europe in huge numbers and are siding with iOS and the iPhone. The interesting thing is this exodus from Google’s operating system is happening during the summer, a time of year where Apple’s sales usually drop because consumers are awaiting a new iPhone to launch in September.

In the biggest economies in Europe (Spain, France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom) saw a combined 27% of all people who purchased a smartphone during the last quarter came from Android to iOS. Even in the United States the number was 9% showing Apple’s strategies are paying off.

This is especially the case in Europe though where Apple and the iPhone are enjoy even more success. Even Samsung is running scared on the Old Continent as the company decided not to launch the Galaxy Note 5 in Europe, allowing the iPhone 6 Plus to thrive.

The figures were supplied by Kantar:

As per Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar: “The U.S. market continued to be dominated by two players, Apple and Samsung, who together accounted for 64% of all smartphones sold. If share alone was not enough to demonstrate market dominance, our data also shows that these two vendors sold nine of the top ten best-selling smartphones in the three months ending July 2015 – with LG making a cameo appearance in the ranking.”

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Apple to Launch new iPhones September 11th

Apple Q3 2014 earnings
Apple first announced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in September 2014, matching its fall launch cycle adopted several years back. Cupertino is expected to use the same month to unveil the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus this year. September is the month set aside for the launch and a French carrier has today let slip that the launch will be on September 11th and the new smartphones will begin shipping on September 18th.

Thursday is the 11th and that makes plenty of sense as it is usually the day Apple uses to unveil new iPhones. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are going to be made available for pre-order in select nations that same day and will then begin shipping to consumers on the 18th. The rumored iPhone 6c is also expected to arrive during the event.

Last year Apple had its biggest launch cycle ever and the larger screened iPhone 6 range propelled the company to industry smashing records and sales of over 70 million.

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iPad Pro could Arrive in November

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The iPad Pro has been rumoured so much that we sometimes forget that it actually doesn’t’ exist and Apple has never made mention of it. However, the apparent leaks will not go away, and in a potential enterprise environment post Apple’s deal with IBM, 2015 could be the best year to launch the Pro. According to supply chain sources, November will be the month in which the tablet will make its debut.

The leaked information is coming out of Apple’s supply chain, namely the screen suppliers who say Japanese electronics company Sharp is building 12.9-inch screens for the iPad Pro. Apple is expected to reveal its new iPads in October, with the slates (including the iPad Pro maybe) will be available to buy in November.

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New iPhone to have 5-inch Screen?

A new report suggests that the guys at Apple are planning to up the screen size of at least one iPhone model again, following a similar strategy last year. An insider within Foxconn has tipped a 5-inch iPhone that will launch this year, and considering that is from Apple’s chief manufacturer then it is plenty interesting. However, a pinch of salt should be taken until something more concrete is released.

Last year Apple released the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, finally caving in on an old Steve Jobs ethos that smartphones with large screens were, well stupid. It was a wise move in the end as although Jobs was proved wrong the company won big with massive record sales, revenue, and profit.

So, which iPhone launching next month will the 5-inch display be on? The most likely is of course the flagship iPhone 6s, although there is the chance that the rumored iPhone 6c could get the panel. We will find out in September when Cupertino reveals its new smartphones.

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