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Dissecting the Apple iPhone 5C

Published on September 2, 2013 by in Apple, News

Dissecting the iPhone 5C

As previously reported here on AppleApproved, Apple’s September 10th media event is expected to see the launch of the next generation of iPhones, including the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.  Ahead of the launch, several Apple followers have made predictions about what we might expect from the iPhone 5C, the lower-cost model that is expected to be offered alongside the iPhone 5S.  In order to get a better grasp on the expectations swirling around the iPhone 5C, I’ve gathered rumors and predictions from some of the more trusted Apple gossip sources.

Judging the Book by its Cover

There has been much gossip regarding the possible case construction of the iPhone 5C.  It is looking more and more like we’ll see a case made of plastic and impregnated with glass fibers to impart greater durability and scratch resistance.  The case will come in a variety of colors and the most widely-acknowledged array includes blue, yellow, green, white and red.  It is important to note that alleged photos of the iPhone 5C have been cropping up that feature pink cases; this photo has not yet been proven to be authentic.  The general consensus is that the brightly-colored cases will help differentiate the iPhone 5C from its counterpart, the iPhone 5S, that will be offered in black, white and (possibly) champagne.

The super-thin, very light plastic case will not be as heavy as the current crop of plastic smartphones that are offered by other companies.  It will be slightly larger than the traditional iPhone design, but this extra size is negligible, less than a millimeter in every dimension.  Its back is also more reminiscent of the iPad, with more curvature along the edges than is found in the current iPhone construction.  Some iPhone case manufacturers have already been designing products that take the new size and shape into account.

Specification Speculation

There haven’t been a lot of leaks regarding the internal components that will be included in the iPhone 5C.  It is widely believed that the 5C will essentially be a repackaged iPhone 5 with a snappy new shell.  If that’s the case, we’ll be seeing an A6 processor with a four inch Retina display, as well as a front 1.2-megapixel camera and an 8-megapixel camera for the rear.  There is some disagreement among Apple followers regarding these specifications; including the rumor that has been circulating that Apple will employ a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip in the 5C.  If this is the case, the iPhone 5C will likely only support a 3G connection.  However, the majority of those “in the know” believe that the iPhone 5 specs are the most likely for the iPhone 5C.

Lower-Cost Doesn’t Mean “Cheap”

Apple followers have been hashing it out over the anticipated price tag that the iPhone 5C will carry.  The best guesses range between $300 and $500, with a few leaning more toward a $400 to $500 price point when sold without a contract.  Currently, if you were to purchase an iPhone with no service agreement, you would pay between $649 and $849.  The iPhone 5C’s price does fall below this range, but it is, by no means, a cheap version of the company’s popular smartphone device.

The Unveiling

The iPhone 5C is a much-anticipated addition to Apple’s smartphone lineup.  For those who wish they had an iPhone but just can’t afford one, the 5C could be a dream come true.

 
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Samsung Releases Galaxy Gear Prototype to Select Developers

Published on September 2, 2013 by in Apple, News

Samsung Releases Galaxy Gear Prototype to Select Developers

With only a few days left before Samsung’s Unpacked Episode 2, the electronics giant has given select developers access to its anticipated Galaxy Gear wearable computing device.  Images of the prototype device have popped up on the internet in the last few days, prompting speculation about its form and function.  The Galaxy Gear device is Samsung’s third foray into wearable computing technology and will be unveiled on September 4th.

Initial Results from Developers

The Galaxy Gear was provided to developers and specific partners ahead of its unveiling at the upcoming IFA technology convention.  Samsung has not been particularly secretive about the Galaxy Gear’s planned introduction, but rumors have been swirling constantly regarding its possible design and functions.  There is no guarantee that the current incarnation of the device will be its final form.  It could be looking at a redesign as some developers have found it to be a little clunky and decidedly masculine in appearance.  This may result in fewer sales to female buyers and could persuade Samsung to tweak the design of the device to be more acceptable to a larger segment of the population.

On the upside, the device packs a lot of tech into a comparatively small space and the Galaxy Gear is not too much heavier than a good conventional watch.  It features a 4 megapixel camera along with integrated wristband speakers and sports a 3 inch square organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display.  It has a large range of options for connecting to other devices and it can likely be paired with other Galaxy devices like smartphones or tablets.  It may also connect with other types of Android devices.  This will probably be accomplished through near-field communication and making the connection might be as simple as tapping the Galaxy Gear against the device with which connection is desired.  The Galaxy Gear also boasts Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity.  This is one of the lower-power pairing options that provide interaction with paired devices.

The Galaxy Gear also has a Wi-Fi antenna and purportedly has a battery life of ten hours or more.  With the Wi-Fi antenna, the device will have the option of being connected via Wi-Fi to the internet without being paired to another device.

Functionality and Features

As with many of Samsung’s devices, Galaxy Gear comes with the S Voice feature, allowing the user to operate the device through voice commands.  There are several apps for the Galaxy Gear that track various health-related metrics.  Social media is not left out, either.  Android apps for Twitter, Facebook and other social media sharing sites will be functional on the Galaxy Gear.  The device can also (allegedly) control paired devices by remote, meaning that users might be able to carry out such actions as initiating calls and viewing the call logs on a smartphone that is paired to the Galaxy Gear.

Samsung may be preparing to position the Galaxy Gear as a type of fitness companion; there have been rumors that the company has been working with a Palo Alto health-based startup company to develop and improve fitness apps.  The device apparently has several integrated health-related sensors.  These may prove to be useful in monitoring heart rate or other heath metrics.  There is also a pedometer function that keeps track of the number of steps you take every day.

Galaxy Gear Faces Stiff Competition

While Samsung has tested the waters with wearable technology in the past, none of their devices have experienced wide acceptance or popularity.  This is likely to change with the introduction of the Galaxy Gear device, but competition will probably be stiff in the wearable technology arena.  Many other companies are rumored to be getting ready to introduce their own versions of a smart watch device, so Samsung will be up against innovative giants like Apple and Microsoft.

Google is widely believed to be making a foray into the new domain of wearable tech after buying an Android-powered watch maker last year.  Apple has filed paperwork to trademark the name iWatch.  Microsoft is possibly working on a smart watch device right now.  While most of these likely won’t see the light of day until 2014 or later, Samsung has its work cut out for it in acquiring and defending market share in the wearable technology revolution.

 
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Apple’s September Media Event Will Be Sans iPads

Published on August 30, 2013 by in Apple, News

Apple’s September Media Event Will Be Sans iPads

Eager iPad enthusiasts are going to be disappointed to hear that they’ll have to wait a little longer for a new device.  Rumors had been circulating that Apple might introduce the next generation of iPad devices at their upcoming media event, scheduled for September 10th.  These rumors have been debunked by Jim Dalrymple of The Loop.  Dalrymple is generally recognized as an authority on Apple’s near-future plans.  As is now widely known, the company will be unveiling the next generation of iPhones to the public.  The iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C are expected to be the showcased items during the much-anticipated event.

Sticking to the Schedule

Apple will likely follow its previous schedule in unveiling new products.  Last year saw the iPhone 5 introduced in September, with new iPads debuting about a month later.  We’ll probably see the same pattern this year.  Apple employs the staggered unveilings in order to get both devices out to the public in time for the holiday season, while allowing each to have its own spotlighted period of introduction.

Next-Generation Devices Coming Soon

Apple followers are predicting that a second-generation iPad mini and a fifth-generation iPad will be introduced approximately a month after the September 10th iPhone event.  The newest generation of iPad is reportedly redesigned.  It is said to incorporate many popular features from the iPad mini including its thinner body, smaller bezels and decreased weight.

The next-generation iPad mini is going to remain at 7.9 inches and is rumored to employ the Retina display, a higher-resolution screen.  Some insiders speculate that a non-Retina display version may be offered, allowing Apple to have a lower-cost iPad mini that may come in under the current $329 price tag.

Mac Book Pro and iMac May Get Updates

Even though no iPad devices will be unveiled at the upcoming September event, there is still the possibility of seeing new Mac computers being introduced.  Most of the company’s line of personal computers, including the iMac and Mac Book Pro, are currently awaiting upgrades.  These will probably include Intel’s latest generation of Haswell processors.

iOS 7 Announcement Expected

Apple is expected to make some announcement about the release date for iOS 7 during the event, as well.  The latest version of Apple’s popular mobile operating system is currently being beta tested by developers and it will likely be released to the public the week following the announcement.  The iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C are expected to be available to the public about ten days after their introduction at the September 10th media event.

 

 
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Samsung Confirms Galaxy Gear Rumors

Published on August 29, 2013 by in Apple, News, Rumors

Samsung Confirms Galaxy Gear Rumors

All the rumors swirling around Samsung’s anticipated Galaxy Gear device appear to have had their basis in fact.  September 4th will see Samsung’s Unpacked Episode 2 and the definite unveiling of the company’s latest foray into the smart watch market.

According to The Korea Times, Samsung’s executive vice president of its mobile business, Lee Young-hee confirmed the existence of the wearable computing device dubbed Galaxy Gear.  The Korea Times reported that he referred to the Galaxy Gear as a “concept device,” meaning that it is likely not ready for release to the public at large.  It was also revealed that the display on the device will not be flexible.  Previously, it had been speculated that the device could possibly incorporate a flexible screen.

Unpacked Episode 2 will take place at the IFA consumer electronics show.  The show will happen in Berlin next week and is expected to showcase some of the most cutting-edge products in the consumer electronics industry.  Samsung plays a big part with the unveiling of the new Galaxy Gear smart watch device, as well as the anticipated introduction of the Galaxy Note 3.  It is the latest addition to Samsung’s family of large smartphones.

In comments to The Korea Time, Samsung’s Lee stated that the new Galaxy Gear device would “enhance and enrich” users’ experiences with existing smart mobile technology.  The company seems to be confident in the impact that its new device will have on the mobile industry.

The Galaxy Gear represents a third attempt at entry into the smart watch field for the electronics giant, Samsung.  Two previous incarnations of a wearable smart watch-type device met with defeat.  This third stab at smart watch technology, Lee says, will “add meaningful momentum” in the mobile technology arena.

It’s important to note that Samsung has applied for a U.S. trademark for the Galaxy Gear name.  Though it looks like we won’t be seeing a mass release for the device on September 4th, we can rest assured that it’s not too far over the horizon.  With the new Galaxy Gear, the limits of mobile technology just expanded past what we see in today’s smart phones.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Apple’s Trade-In Plan for iPhone is Moving Forward

Published on August 26, 2013 by in Apple, iPhone, News

Apple’s Trade-In Plan for iPhone is Moving Forward

Rumors that have been circulating regarding a trade-in program for iPhones were confirmed Monday, as Apple began training its store employees to handle the new program prior to its launch.  The training sessions are intended to teach retail employees how to evaluate used iPhones.  This round of training will apply to store trainers; they’re expected to start instruction with the next round of employees next week.

The company has already begun a pilot program for iPhone trade-ins at a select few of its Apple Stores.  In these locations, customers can trade their old iPhone in and receive a gift card in return.  The value given for the trade-in is dependent on the condition of the phone.  Employees inspect the trade-in models for various types of damage, including damage from liquid or impact.  The customer must complete an in-store form prior to a value being offered for their old phone.  Restrictions apply as to how the gift card for your trade can be used.  A few of the stipulations include that the gift card’s value must be applied to a new iPhone and that the offer is only valid when the customer has phone upgrade eligibility from their cellular provider.  If any gift card value is available following the new iPhone purchase, it may be applied to additional costs incurred in the retail store.

Details Scarce on Training

Concrete details concerning the actual training being undertaken are few and far between.  Mutterings have surfaced that the program has been implemented, and it is suspected that it concerns the anticipated iPhone trade-in program, but Apple is as famously reticent as ever.  There have been some independent confirmations that Apple is training and preparing employees to handle the ins and outs of a program for trading iPhone models, but Apple isn’t inclined to confirm (or deny) the program’s existence.

Apple observers think that the company may be preparing to launch the program during the September 10th media event where they are also expected to showcase the new generation of iPhones – the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.  Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Executive, has remained closed-mouthed on the subject.  Rumors about the program have been in circulation since June of this year.

The General Consensus

This new trade-in program may well boost Apple’s retail sales of the iPhone.  The broad reach of Apple’s 253 retail outlets will likely help the company make gains in its campaign to be responsible for half of all U.S. retail iPhone sales.  The iPhone retains its value very well, making a trade-in program the next logical step in Apple’s plan to increase its retail market share for iPhone.

 

 

 
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