In a bid to compete with its smartphone rivals in the largest mobile market in the world, Apple has started offering instalment plans for its products in China, the first OEM in the country to do so when selling its own products directly. According to reports, the company has taken this step because it has been struggling to shift its products, which are typically more expensive than those of its competitors. Regardless of the near-term competitive environment Apple faces in China the instalment plans are a bold and innovative way for Apple to make the iPhone more attractive to consumers who are used to buying smartphones from local rivals such as ZTE for much less.
Apple will next week add another 36 networks to the selection of carriers that are permitted to offer the iPhone 5 with LTE support enabled. Tim Cook, CEO of the handset vendor, made the revelation as part of the company’s earnings call earlier this week. However, the expanded list does not extend to carriers in parts of Asia and Russia.
Despite posting another quarter of sustained growth in sales, Apple’s profit remained flat in the first quarter of 2013 highlighting competitive pressure and concerns over innovation.
UK fixed line incumbent BT is looking to take a slice of mobile operators’ revenues with an app that it has launched today. The BT SmartTalk app allows customers to make calls over a data connection from their iPhones,in a similar way to over-the-top solutions providers such as Skype and Viber, billed at the same rates that they are charged for calls from their BT landlines.
They sold out of wifi-enabled iPad mini tablets at 8.30am this morning at the flagship Apple store in Regent Street, London. It has been a similar story every day this week. The nice Apple lady in the shop told me that the queues were now starting at around 6.00am.
It’s a lament often made by those at the heady heights of their careers, but who is it tougher on: the bright stars or the team they work with?
The revelation that Apple is vetting operators’ LTE networks focused the industry once more on the power struggle between carriers and leading device vendors.
China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator will launch LTE in Hong Kong on 18 December, according to reports. Hong Kong is already well served for LTE with all four other operators, Hutchison, PCCW and CSL and CMHK, offering 4G services. The move however, has larger significance in that it indicates that China Mobile is readying a wider TD-LTE–based launch in mainland China.
Apple’s decision to vet operators’ networks for LTE performance before allowing the iPhone 5 to function as an LTE device is likely to hit smaller, unaffiliated operators hardest, according to Dimitris Mavrakis, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.
Back in October a chum of the Informer’s from one of the big infrastructure vendors told him that Apple was auditing LTE networks before allowing operators to offer the iPhone 5 as an LTE device. The Informer made a few calls to people in the know and was told the story was true, although Apple maintained a stony silence and nobody else, operator or vendor, would go on the record. Until now.
Apple is not allowing mobile operators to offer the iPhone 5 as an LTE device unless they pass the Californian vendor’s own, independent tests for LTE network performance, Swisscom has confirmed.
Californian vendor Apple on Monday announced an executive reshuffle, which will see the departure of Scott Forstall, one of the original architects of the Mac OS X operating system and head of the team responsible for the software platform at the heart of the iconic iPhone device.
The industry’s big hitters have finished their doing their sums and counting their cash for another quarter and revealed just how they have performed over the quarter gone by. Apple, as per usual, posted a strong growth in profit, and was joined by America Movil, which did the same. Ericsson and NTT DoCoMo, had bad news to report.
The ongoing war between Apple and Google continues to rage on, as it has surfaced that Particle, the web design and creative consultancy firm that the former has reportedly acquired has, until now, been a key supplier to Google.
Capitalising on an opportunity to trump its fiercest rival in the smartphone space, Google is launching what it claims is its “biggest ever update” to its Street View application.
More flaws have appeared in Apple’s iPhone 5 as the device has been failing to connect some US users to their wifi network and instead forcing them to use their monthly allowance of cellular data. Users have been unknowingly surpassing their data limits due to the fault.
When the Informer saw the news this week that a Californian artist had created a model of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs out of his own waste he naturally jumped to the wrong conclusion; namely that an art school flunky had made some sort of jobbie-Jobs. Of course we cannot rule out the possibility that, at this very moment, somebody, somewhere is meticulously bent on just such a project, in the middle of their living room, with all the manic concentration of Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters. But the story centred in fact on an artist that had created a Jobs figurine from Jobs’ own domestic rubbish, gathered over a period of months from his bins, before he passed away.
As is usual on the morning of the launch of an iPhone, there were queues outside Apple retail stores so long that even the Parisian paparazzi struggled to capture the scenes with their hi-tech lenses. But although the majority of those sleeping rough for several nights to be among the first to own the slightly thinner, slightly taller and slightly faster version of last year’s phone were hardcore Apple fans, an increasing proportion were opportunists, lining up to be caught on camera in their promotional t-shirts or selling their space in line for four figure sums.
US carrier AT&T is coming under fire for its decision to block Apple’s FaceTime application over mobile networks for users on unlimited data plans. In previous incarnations of the video chat application, it only functioned via wifi connections. However, for the iOS6 platform – due to be released this week on the iPhone 5 handset – FaceTime has been modified so that it can be used over cellular networks. Nonetheless, AT&T has said that it would only provide this feature for customers who subscribe to its Mobile Share tariff, which imposes data limits on users.
This week it was announced that a new species of monkey had been discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo. To the untrained eye – and even to the trained eye – this new monkey bears a striking resemblance to species already in circulation. Nevertheless, close inspection revealed it to be distinct from its peers. The fact that the differences are less in evidence than the similarities has not dampened the sense of jubilation in the monkey-studying community, because new monkeys don’t come along all that often.