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    Countdown to iPhone 5s contest: Follow @iMore and retweet for your chance to win $500!

    Countdown to iPhone 5s contest: Follow @iMore and retweet for your chance to win $500! #iMore5S3

    Apple will be announcing the next generation iPhone - call it iPhone 5s - on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 and iMore is going to be the absolute best place to keep up-to-date with all the news and views. Seriously, have you seen our iOS 7 preview? How about our OS X Mavericks preview? And, oh yeah, The Gold iPhone 5s? Yeah, STILL only the beginning! We don't want you to miss anything, so to help encourage you to follow us, be it on App Store, RSS, Twitter,, Facebook, Google+iMore, YouTube, or iTunes, we're going to hold a massive, mega countdown to iPhone 5s contest and give each and every one of you a chance to win one of four (4) $500 Gift Certificates to put towards Apple's next iPhone. That's $2000 in total prizes! Well, it's WEEK 2 now, and that means you have another set of chances to enter!

    First of all, huge congratulations to our week 2 winner...

    Want to win $500 like John? All you have to do for today's entry is follow us on Twitter, retweet the link to this post, and include the special hashtag so we can find it. Here's an example:

    • RT: Countdown to iPhone 5s mega-contest: Follow @iMore and retweet for your chance to win $500! #iMore5S3

    That's it! It couldn't be any easier! (And depending on your contract/subsidy status, you could end up getting that iPhone 5s absolutely free!)

    If you don't use Twitter, don't worry, there'll be lots of other ways to enter to win! But if you do use Twitter, make sure you're following @iMore so we can DM you if you win!.

    Usual iMore contest rules apply, contest ends Sunday August 25, 2013 at 11:59pm PDT.

    Ready? Set? TWEET TO ENTER!

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    History of iPhone: Apple re-invents the phone

    The story of the iPhone, beginning with the original in 2007, which wowed the world with multitouch... and locked the U.S. to AT&T

    On January 9, 2007 the late Steve Jobs put sneaker to Macworld stage to give one of the most incredible keynote presentations of his life - a life filled with incredible keynotes - and in the history of consumer electronics. There, he said he would be introducing a wide-screen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet device. But it wasn't three products. It was one product. We got it. It was the iPhone.

    After setting up and knocking down everything from the physical keyboard and stylus pens that dominated BlackBerry, Motorola, and Palm smartphones of the day, Jobs went over the multitouch interface that let the iPhone smoothly pinch-to-zoom, and the delightful interface that included touches like inertia and rubber banding in the scrolling, and the multitasking that let him move seamlessly from music to call to web to email and back. Apple:

    “iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We are all born with the ultimate pointing device—our fingers—and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse.”

    Technology alone isn't enough

    Mobile Safari

    The original iPhone, code named M68 and model number iPhone1,1, had a 3.5-inch screen at 320x480 and 163ppi, a quad-band 2G EDGE data radio, 802.11b.g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0 EDR, and a 2 megapixel camera. It was powered by an ARM-based Samsung 1176JZ(F)-S processor and PowerVR MBX Lite 3D graphics, with an 1400 mAh battery, and had 128MB of RAM on board, as well as 4GB or 8GB of NAND Flash storage. The iPhone could also be charged - and synced to iTunes - via the same 30-pin Dock connector as Apple's incredibly popular iPod.

    The iPhone did include several sensors to enhance the user experience, including an accelerometer that could automatically rotate the screen to match device orientation, a proximity sensor that could automatically turn off the screen when close to the face, and an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust brightness. It also had a remarkably good web browser and rendering engine, especially for its time, in Safari and WebKit.

    What the original iPhone didn't have was CDMA and EVDO rev A network compatibly. That meant it couldn't work on two of the U.S.' big four carriers, Verizon and Sprint. Not that it mattered; the original iPhone was exclusive to AT&T. It also lacked GPS, or support for faster 3G UTMS/HSPA data speeds. In addition to no hardware keyboard or stylus, the iPhone also didn't have a removable, user-replaceable battery. None of that pleased existing power users of the time. Nor did the absence of features like MMS (multi-media messaging), an exposed file system, copy and paste or any form of advanced text editing, and, critically to many, support for third party apps.

    The original iPhone's price was also high. It debuted at $499 for the 4GB and $599 for the 8GB model - on-contract. Those prices weren't unheard of at the time; early Motorola RAZR flip phones were pricey in their day as well. However, it meant Apple couldn't penetrate the mainstream market.

    Less for more

    On June 6, 2007 Steve Jobs again took the stage at Moscone West, this time for Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, again showed off the original iPhone, and announced the launch date: June 29, 2007.

    At Apple Stores, especially flagship stores like the glass cube in New York City, lineups formed and people waited for hours. It was an event. The novelty and experience were so good, many people simply didn't care about missing features or high price tags. Walt Mossberg and Katherine Boehret of The Wall Street Journal

    Our verdict is that, despite some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is, on balance, a beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer. Its software, especially, sets a new bar for the smart-phone industry, and its clever finger-touch interface, which dispenses with a stylus and most buttons, works well, though it sometimes adds steps to common functions.

    Ryan Block, former Editor-in-Chief of Engadget:

    It's easy to see the device is extraordinarily simple to use for such a full-featured phone and media player. Apple makes creating the spartan, simplified UI look oh so easy -- but we know it's not, and the devil's always in the details when it comes to portables. To date no one's made a phone that does so much with so little, and despite the numerous foibles of the iPhone's gesture-based touchscreen interface, the learning curve is surprisingly low. It's totally clear that with the iPhone, Apple raised the bar not only for the cellphone, but for portable media players and multifunction convergence devices in general.

    iPhone back

    On September 5, 2007, at Apple's "The Beat Goes On" music event, Steve Jobs announced they were dropping the 4GB model entirely, and dropping the price of the 8GB model to $399. Apple:

    “The surveys are in and iPhone customer satisfaction scores are higher than we’ve ever seen for any Apple product,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve clearly got a breakthrough product and we want to make it affordable for even more customers as we enter this holiday season.”

    On February 5, 2008, at the they introduced a 16GB model. Apple:

    “For some users, there’s never enough memory,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide iPod and iPhone Product Marketing. “Now people can enjoy even more of their music, photos and videos on the most revolutionary mobile phone and best Wi-Fi mobile device in the world.”

    There was still no subsidized price, even on contract, but there was movement.

    Competitive contempt

    While the iPhone certainly wasn't universally adored, the entrenched incumbents in the smartphone space were, as was absolutely expected, some of its harshest critics. Ed Coligan, former CEO of Palm:

    We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in.

    But they did, and precisely because they weren't making a phone that was smart, they were making a PC that could make calls. Palm figured that out too late, struggled to launch the excellent webOS, ended up being sold to another set of PC guys - HP - and then discontinued and licensed to LG for use in TV sets. Maybe.

    Steve Ballmer, now retiring CEO of Microsoft:

    You can get a Motorola Q for $99. [...] [Apple] will have the most expensive phone, by far, in the marketplace. There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.

    Apple reduced price, first total and then, thanks to the subsidy model, up front as well, making it competitively priced, and its market share grew steadily. Ballmer was correct, at the time, but failed to foresee the future. Now he's leaving Microsoft as their mobile phone platform has become a distant third place.

    Mike Lazaridis, former CEO of RIM (now BlackBerry):

    Talk -- all I'm [hearing] is talk about [the iPhone's chances in Enterprise]. I think it's important that we put this thing in perspective. [...] Apple's design-centric approach [will] ultimately limit its appeal by sacrificing needed enterprise functionality. I think over-focus on one blinds you to the value of the other. [...] Apple's approach produced devices that inevitably sacrificed advanced features for aesthetics.

    Yet it turned out consumers valued design and experience so much, they eventually forced iPhones into enterprise, beginning the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement. It was Lazaridis' insistence on hardware keyboards and data compression as primary consumer demands that lacked perspective. And now he's gone and BlackBerry remains years behind, struggling to catch up.

    None of them realized the game had changed, and none of them would respond for years to come. Ironically, the only company that did realize what had happened, and was able to spin on a dime, wasn't a competitor at all. At least not yet...

    One year later

    By June of 2008, when Apple discontinued the original iPhone - later to be nicknamed the iPhone 2G - total sales had reached over 6 million units. That was on four carriers in four countries. But its impact was felt far beyond those numbers or borders. And it was just beginning...

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    iPhone said to be coming to NTT DoCoMo this fall

    NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile carrier, will reportedly carry the iPhone starting this fall. While talks between Apple and NTT DoCoMo have been reported for awhile, it now seems that the deal is done. NTT DoCoMo has struggled against rivals that do carry the iPhone, according to Nikkei:

    It was expected to NTT DoCoMo to launch smartphone of Apple (smartphone) "iPhone (iPhone)" on. I start the sales of new models this fall. The two companies entered the packed compromise, detail in the terms and conditions, such as a sales quota. Had been struggling in the contract acquired by KDDI offensive dealing with iPhone (au), Softbank DoCoMo. Competition of three companies mobile giant is likely more intense on the iPhone released by the largest.

    It was reported that NTT DoCoMo was resisting the iPhone over Apple's demands that the iPhone be treated like it is on other carriers. That mean no carrier logo and no carrier apps pre-installed on the device. No doubt when the iPhone launches on the carrier this fall, it will be to Apple's conditions. Earlier reports stated that the new iPhones would release in Japan on September 20.

    Anyone in Japan itching to get the iPhone on NTT DoCoMo?

    Source: Nikkei, via MacRumors

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    History of iPhone

    The definitive guide to Apple's reinvention of the phone: From the original iPhone to iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5

    Apple introduced the original iPhone back in 2007, instantly obsoleting every other smartphone on the planet in every way that mattered. Over the next two years, with the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, Apple increased functionality while simultaneously lowering price, taking the smartphone fully out of the niche and making it mainstream. The iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S continued that evolution, bringing support for broader carriers and faster speeds, better displays and new, natural language interfaces. The iPhone 5 took manufacturing to new levels and the screen to new heights, but most importantly it set the stage for what's coming next - iOS 7, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, and more. Before we embark on that brave new future, however, we're going to take a look back. This is the story of Apple's revolutionary phone. Of Steve Jobs' phone. Of the iPhone. And for many of us, our phone.

    Note: For length reasons we've broken this piece into separate articles and sections. You can jump to a section via the links below, or read through for an overview and individual links below.

    History of iPhone at a glance

    History of iPhone at a glance

    History of iPhone: Apple reinvents the phone

    History of iPhone: Apple re-invents the phone

    On January 9, 2007 the late Steve Jobs put sneaker to Macworld stage to give one of the most incredible keynote presentations of his life - a life filled with incredible keynotes - and in the history of consumer electronics. There, he said he would be introducing a wide-screen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet device. But it wasn't three products. It was one product. We got it. It was the iPhone.

    History of iPhone 3G: Twice as fast, half the price

    History of iPhone 3G: Twice as fast, for half the price

    At WWDC 2008 on June 9, after finalizing the details of the upcoming App Store, and summing up the original iPhone's achievements, the late Steve Jobs dove into the next challenges Apple had to face, the next mountain they had to climb. On the surface, they were obvious even before Jobs bulleted them on stage - 3G, Enterprise, third-party apps, more countries, and more affordable. The software changes came as part of iPhone OS 2.0. The hardware, iPhone 3G.

    History of iPhone 3GS: Faster and more powerful

    History of iPhone 3GS: Faster and more powerful

    Steve Jobs didn't give the WWDC keynote on June 8, 2009. He was away on medical leave. So, a team of Apple executives soldiered on without him. That included Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, who's task was to fill the biggest New Balances in the business, for what was becoming Apple's biggest business. Schiller started off quoting Time Magazine's praise for the last generation, "the phone that has changed phones forever." He'd go on to make that phone more affordable forever, while also introducing its successor. It boasted twice the speed, both for processing and data networking. It was the iPhone 3GS.

    History of iPhone 4: Changing everything - again

    History of iPhone 4: Changing everything - again

    Steve Jobs returned to the WWDC keynote stage on June 7, 2010. He'd introduced the iPad earlier in the year, and kicked things off with an update on how it, and the App Store had been doing. Then he turned his attention to iPhone, and after recapping Apple had done to date, he began on what would come next. It had over 100 new features. It has an all-new design, an all-new camera, and an all new screen resolution. It was hot. It was the iPhone 4

    History of iPhone 4S: The most amazing iPhone yet

    History of iPhone 4S: The most amazing iPhone yet

    Nothing about 2011 was normal for Apple. Tim Cook had introduced the Verizon iPhone 4 at the beginning of the year and Apple had finally shipped the white iPhone 4 by spring. But unlike previous years, WWDC 2011 came and went with nary a mention nor a glimpse of a new iPhone. Steve Jobs went on medical leave again, and in August resigned as CEO. He passed away on October 5, 2011. Just the day before Apple's new CEO, Tim Cook, SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller, and other executives valiantly took the stage at a special media called "Let's Talk iPhone". There, under tremendous emotional strain, they introduced the most amazing iPhone yet. The iPhone 4S.

    History of iPhone 5: The biggest thing to happen to iPhone

    History of iPhone 5: The biggest thing to happen to iPhone

    WWDC once again came and went without any new iPhone announcements, re-affirming that that 2011 hadn't be a fluke. Fall was the new summer. So it was that Apple announced another iPhone event for September 12, 2012. There Apple SVP of worldwide marketing announced the biggest thing to happen to the iPhone since the original iPhone. Big as in in thinner and lighter. Big as in screaming fast LTE. Big as in a taller screen. Big as in the iPhone 5.

    Imagining iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c: The next generations

    Imagining iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c: The next generations

    Apple will be holding its annual fall event - now an iPhone event - on September 10 in Cupertino, California. There, it's widely anticipated they'll announce their next generation high-end iPhone 5s and their first less-expensive iPhone 5c. The former might look familiar on the outside, but sport all new features inside. The latter might have some snazzy new, plastic color casings, but the same guts as last year. Yet the finer points of both design and components, and despite a steady stream of rumors and leaks, nothing is official until an Apple executive holds it up on the keynote stage. With that in mind, we have reason to believe some of the rumors and leaks have been accurate. We've gone over some of this previously in separate articles, but now we're rounding them all up and adding some new stuff. That way we can start setting reasonable expectations, even while we wait to be wowed!

    To be continued...

    As far as Apple's come over the course of the last six years, there's still years more to go. We're likely getting the first less-expensive iPhone this year, the first time Apple's introduced a second new iPhone in one year. Who knows what they could introduce next year, or the year after that, or the year after that? Bigger screens, new technologies, the future is wide open. The best is still to come.

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    iPhone vs. Android vs. BlackBerry vs. Windows Phone: Which phone should you get?

    2013 iPhone buyers guide: How to choose between the iPhone and other phones, including Samsung Galaxy, HTC One, Moto X, Nexus, Nokia Lumia, BlackBerry, and more!

    Apple has released the brand new, top-of-the-line, flagship iPhone 5s and less-expensive, colorfully fun iPhone 5c. But is either of them the right phone for you? While everyone here at iMore certainly believes the iPhone is still the best phone for most people, most of the time, we're lucky that every major platform now has one or more great phones for us to choose from as well. The iPhone may have the best overall user experience, the highest quality apps and games, the widest range of services, the biggest selection of accessories, and the best customer support, but there are also things the iPhone doesn't offer that other phones do, like much larger screens, physical keyboards, high power cameras, greater hardware options, or simply no Apple about them. How do you know which one is for you? Keep reading!

    Most delightful interface and experience

    Apple prioritized iPhone user experience from the get-go. It didn't have as many features as other phones of the time, but it had an interface that made every other phone look obsolete by comparison. From slide to unlock to pinch and zoom, it became a mainstream sensation. Over time, Apple's built on that with everything from FaceTime for incredibly easy video calls to Siri for incredibly engaging voice control. A lot of other companies throw a lot more features at the wall, hoping something sticks. Apple's focus on the best, more coherent, most usable features. iOS 7 makes it even better. They re-built the entire interface on top of a game-style physics and particle engine, so it's even more discoverable, playful, and powerful than ever before.

    Plus, with the new iPhone 5s, you get Touch ID, a breakthrough fingerprint scanner that lets you unlock your iPhone and buy from the App Store and iTunes Store without having to enter any long, difficult passwords. Simply touch your finger to the Home button and you're in. And it can recognize up to 5 distinct fingerprints!

    Highest quality apps and games

    Best selection of apps and games

    Apple is neck-in-neck when it comes to sheer number of items in the App Store, but they're still way ahead when it comes to the quality of items in the App Store. Sure, every platform has more than its fair share of junk, but the best of the App Store is still unmatched. There's a simple reason for that: Early iOS developers came from the very design-centric, experience-centric Mac developer community. That set the bar very high. Likewise, some of the biggest and best gaming franchises came to the iPhone early, and still come to the iPhone first. While you can get a lot of name brand apps on multiple platforms now, many of the boutique apps are still iOS exclusive, including Tweetbot, Fantastical, Drafts, Screens, Twitterrific, Vesper, Launch Center Pro, Infinity Blade, Tiny Wings, Letterpress, and more. That's not even including Apple's own apps, some of the best in mobile, like GarageBand, and iMovie. Other platforms are attaining breadth. iOS has kept ahead on depth.

    Widest range of services

     Best selection of services

    When you get an iPhone, not only do you get instant access to all of Apple's great services, like iCloud backups, and iTunes in the Cloud re-downloads, but you also get access to pretty much all of Google and Microsoft/Nokia's best services - like Gmail, Google Maps, Chrome, Google Drive, Google+, Hangouts, Outlook, SkyDrive, Bing, Skype, Here Maps, and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) coming soon, and to the best third party services like Dropbox, Box, Spotify, Songza, Pandora, Netflix, Amazon Kindle and video, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, and many more. Apple doesn't offer their stuff on any other phones, but almost everybody offers everything on iPhone.

    Biggest selection of accessories

    Best selection of accessories

    From protective to decorative cases, to macro and wide-angle camera lenses, the choice of iPhone accessories remains the best of any phone on the market. Part of that is due to the iPhones popularity. Part of that is due to Apple releasing new designs only once every couple years, and keeping designs on the shelf for 3-4 years. That means accessory makers can sell the same accessory for a lot of phones, for a long time, which is the best thing in the world for them - and for iPhone owners. Instead of worrying about making something for a wide range of phones, they can concentrate on making a wide range of things for the iPhone. No matter what kind of case you want, what capacity battery charger, what kind of photo mount or lens, what type of Bluetooth accessory, chances are you won't only find it, you'll find several different options to choose from.

    Best customer support

    iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C buyers guide

    If you have an Apple Retail Store near you, there's no point choosing any other phone. Apple will not only sell you an iPhone, but they'll help you set it up and show you how to use it, give you free lessons on all the main features. More importantly, if anything goes wrong, they'll fix it for you or swap it for a new phone, usually while you wait. You can make a Genius Bar appointment, walk in with a broken iPhone, and thanks to Apple customer service and iCloud, walk out half and hour later with a replacement phone containing all of your stuff, that's essentially a clone of the one you walked in with. No one else comes close to matching Apple's level of customer service. Appallingly, no one else even tries.


    iMore for iOS 7 app coming soon!

    Even though the iPhone's user experience is unmatched, the app, accessory, and services unequaled, and the customer service the best in the business, there's still more you may need. That's where iMore comes in. We'll help you get used to your new iPhone, help you figure out which are the best apps, accessories, and services for you, and help show you all the things you can do with it, like photography, music, and more. And when you're ready, we'll help you upgrade to your next phone. Whether you keep up with us on the web, with our iPhone app, or via RSS, Twitter,, Facebook, Google+iMore, YouTube, or iTunes, or some other way, you'll quickly find out the iPhone doesn't only come with great stuff, it comes with a great community!

    Who should get the iPhone?

    If you want a phone that just works, and that has all the great user experience, app and game, accessory and services, customer support and iMore community benefits, then the iPhone is for you. It's smaller than many competitors these days, doesn't have a hardware keyboard, and there's no giant camera bolted on, but it remains the single best phone in the world at what it does, and what it does it does very, very well.

    Unless you have a very specific set of requirements or use cases that make something else a better option for you - see below - get an iPhone. You'll be glad you did.

    Who should get Android instead?

    Who should get Android instead?

    If you absolutely need a bigger screen, anything from 4.3-inches all the way up to 6-inch "phablets", you should get Android instead. Apple probably won't make any iPhone that size until 2014 at the earliest, so if you need something between a phone and a tablet, and can't afford both, or if you need something that emphasizes the computing device more than the mobile phone aspect, you'll have to go elsewhere. Both the 4.7-inch HTC One and the ironically named 4.3-inch HTC Mini are great phones with excellent build quality. Samsung isn't quite as well made, but the 5-inch Galaxy S4 and the 6-inch Galaxy Mega are extremely popular and very large respectively. Google's Moto X provides a big screen in a small package and includes highly customizable back plates. LG's Nexus is the best option for those who want a big screen and a stock Android experience.

    Who should get BlackBerry instead?

    Who should get BlackBerry instead?

    If a physical keyboard and a focus on communications above everything else are a deal-breaker for you, then Apple's iPhone will never fit your needs. BlackBerry, however, is phenomenal at hardware keyboards. They also rebooted their operating system, bringing them fully into the era of modern smartphone. The BlackBerry Q10 is currently the latest, greatest high-end keyboard BlackBerry. The BlackBerry Q5 is lower-end but still terrifically tactile. If you simply insist on being old school, a few BlackBerry 7 devices remain on the market as well.

    Who should get Windows Phone instead?

    Who should get Windows Phone instead?

    Windows Phones come in a variety of screen sizes and price points, and all run Microsoft's elegant Metro (sticking with it!) interface and experience. The biggest reason to go with Windows Phone - literally - is the amazing camera available on the Lumia 1020. It's almost like they grafted a dedicated point-and-shoot onto the body of a phone. It's also got a big screen and some of the best build quality in the business.

    Still undecided?

    If you're still not sure about the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c - or even the still-on-the-market iPhone 4S! - jump into our iPhone discussion forums and the best community in mobile will happily help you out. If you're not sure in general, head on over to your local big box or carrier show and ask to try them out. Don't settle for dummy phones, ask to use demo units, and ask a lot of questions. Then dive into Android Central, Windows Phone Central, and CrackBerry and the experts there will help you make a final, fantastic decision.

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    We learned during yesterday's iPhone event at Apple HQ that for the first time the new iPhone would be landing in China on launch day. Apple has thrown a separate event in Beijing this morning to officially launch the iPhone 5s and 5c there, and according to the Wall Street Journal, regulators have signed off on a licence to run the iPhone on China Mobile:

    A Chinese regulator has given the final license necessary for Apple Inc.'s iPhone to run on China Mobile Ltd.'s mobile network, another indication China's largest carrier will soon be releasing an iPhone for the first time.

    The regulator also announced licenses for the iPhone on technology supported by China's other two major carriers, China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. and China Telecom Corp., marking the first time in China that all three major carriers will be able to offer the iPhone on their disparate networks.

    This is huge news, since China Mobile is the largest carrier in the world, and China also represents the largest mobile market, too. China Mobile has been so far unable to sell the iPhone due to their network infrastructure being incompatible, but those difficulties appear to have been overcome. Apple will begin selling the iPhone 5s and 5c in China on September 20, as with the other launch markets, but it may be little longer than that for the carriers to begin offering it directly.

    Source: WSJ

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    While Apple reports record first weekend sales after launching the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, Microsoft it seems is running around trying convince folks to ditch their iPhone and jump to a Windows Phone. No, really. After a similar promotion where Microsoft stores would accept an iPad in trade in against a Windows 8 tablet, Forbes reports the folks from Redmond are to begin accepting iPhones as well:

    According to an inside source at Microsoft, Microsoft Stores will begin giving a minimum $200 in-store credit for iPhones on Friday as part of its “#timetoswitch” campaign, obviously hoping consumers will use the cash to buy a Windows Phone.

    On the one hand, you can't blame them for trying. There's a bunch of iPhone 4 and 4s owners out there who might be eying up something newer, shinier and with a little more junk in the trunk, that might not feel they can stretch to a new iPhone 5s. But, it reeks quite a lot of Microsoft trying to buy customers, rather than concentrating more on selling the value of Windows Phone as a platform.

    The in-store credit could also be used towards another Microsoft device – perhaps a Surface 2 – but the iPhone trade-in program will reportedly be called "#timetoswitch," so it's clear where the true intentions lie. I just can't help but feel it's a shallow attempt at wooing customers who may ultimately end up disappointed. There's plenty to like about Windows Phone – I'm quite fond of my own Lumia 920 – so surely Microsoft would be better served marketing the heck out of it and advertising its strengths, than simply blindly buying customers?

    The question remains; Anyone out there interested in trading in their iPhone for a Windows Phone? Anybody?

    Source: Forbes via Windows Phone Central

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    When you watch Samsung's first ad for its new Galaxy Gear smartwatch, it might look a little familiar. Samsung has spliced together clips of characters from several movies and TV shows, including Dick Tracy, Knight Rider, and the Power Rangers, using communication devices worn on their wrists. This is very similar to Apple's "Hello" advertisement for the iPhone back in 2007:

    So what do you think? Is this a tasteful tip of the hat, or a shameless ripoff? Let us know below in the comments.

    Source: Samsung USA YouTube page

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    iPhone aces JD Power satisfaction survey

    Once again, the iPhone has come out on top in J.D. Power's U.S. Wireless Smartphone Satisfaction Study. Verizon and AT&T customers favor the iPhone the most, with Samsung favored by T-Mobile and Sprint users.

    T-Mobile just began selling the iPhone 5 in April of this year; JD Power's poll took place from February to August, so it's probable that their lack of love for the iPhone is based on relative unfamiliarity. It'll be interesting to see how these figure compare in a year, now that the iPhone is squarely part of T-Mobile's product offerings.

    Some bright news for beleaguered BlackBerry - the Z10 faired well in the poll. Nokia's Lumia 920 and Samsung's Galaxy Note II were also strong performers. JD Power's poll shows that Sprint users are more likely to factor features into their smartphone buying decisions, while T-Mobile customers are more price-driven.

    What's your experience? Are you happy with the performance of your iPhone? Who's your carrier? Sound off in the comments!

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    MOGA already makes some pretty fantastic game controller add-ons for gamers on other mobile platforms, but what we see here is purported to be the company's first specifically for iPhone. Posted by notorious leaker, @evleaks, this is claimed to be the MOGA Ace Power complete with 1800mAh on-board battery.

    As is so often the way with @evleaks, we get the picture but not much in the way of details. When iOS 7 initially launched back at WWDC 2013, MFI game controller integration was one of the many new features we were looking forward to.

    So, what else are we looking at. A dual analog stick setup with a d-pad and the traditional 4 buttons seen on game controllers for generations. So, it looks at least like a serious tool for serious gaming. Better yet, as we see from this second image, the Ace Power appears to close up once you're done gaming and want to pack it away. Clever, portable, and something we're hoping appears sooner rather than later. What do you think?

    Source: @evleaks

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    Quarterly earnings season continues, and this time it's the turn of Sprint with their Q3 2013 results. All-in-all it isn't a great quarter for the carrier, though operating losses may have shrunk, it's the declining subscriber numbers that will potentially sound the most alarm bells. On a positive note for Sprint, and for Apple, it seems iPhone sales are doing OK.

    Sprint sold nearly 1.4 million iPhones® during the quarter of which 40 percent were to new customers.

    Perhaps the full effect of the iPhone 5s launch is yet to be felt, but the iPhone does at least continue to attract a healthy number of new customers to Sprint. And for Apple, that's 1.4 million units to throw into their own figures.

    Did you pick up a new iPhone on Sprint this quarter? How's your experience been with both phone and carrier?

    Source: Sprint

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    The coolest remote controlled toys for your iPhone and iPad

    We're approaching the holidays, and soon you may be looking for cool things to get for that iPhone, iPod touch or iPad owner on your gift list. Remote controlled toys have long been a popular gift for kids and adults alike, and they've gotten cooler than ever now that toy makers have caught on to the idea of using iOS devices as a control system. Here's a roundup of some of my favorites.


    Desk Pets makes inexpensive remote controlled toys for iOS and Android. BattleTank is a $30 desktop toy that works in conjunction with a downloadable app - the app sports two play modes, "battle mode," and will slow your tank down as it's hit by an enemy. Best if you buy two so you can play against a friend; buy three and you can put one of them in "drone mode" so both of you can chase down an enemy together.

    A flip-down USB connector on the tank's back end lets you plug it into your Mac to charge up when it's not in use. BattleTank comes in three different colors; like Desk Pets' other offerings, this uses a remote control dongle that plugs into your iOS device's headphone jack.

    iLaunch Thunder

    "If I Had a Rocket Launcher" isn't just a great Bruce Cockburn song, it's a mantra for generations of office dwellers who have fantasized about bombarding their annoying coworkers with artillery. Now you can, with Dream Cheeky's iLaunch Thunder. This foam missile launcher rotates 270 degrees and rises 40 degrees up and down, lobbing missiles up to 25 feet away.

    The foam darts are launched on air-powered pistons, and the whole apparatus uses a recharagable lithium battery, so you can put it where you want. It talks to your iOS device using Bluetooth and a free app you can download through the App Store.

    • $59.99 ($48.99 at Amazon) - Buy now

    Rover 2.0 Spy Tank

    The coolest remote controlled toys for your iPhone and iPad

    Make like the NSA with this remote-controlled spy drone that works over Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth. It sports built-in night vision imaging so you can see in the dark, and it streams video you can record. You can upload videos to Facebook and other social networking services directly from the app.

    The app also lets you adjust the comer angle, listen to audio through a microphone built in to the rover, and turn headlights on or off (so you can give your victims some warning that you're coming). The downside to this one is that it'll only work where you have Wi-Fi signal.

    Sphero 2.0

    For the uninitiated, Sphero is a rolling ball of fun, controlled remotely using an iOS or Android device. But that's only scratching the surface. Developer Orbotix and other companies have produced software to play with Sphero - everything from "augmented reality" games to party games, so you get plenty of playability with the little rolling ball of fun beyond just zooming it around the house or in the backyard.

    Sphero 2.0 is faster and better than before, with a new engine that goes up to twice as fast, is three times brighter to see (it uses internal multicolor LEDs to change color), and more accurate controls. Sphero 2.0 also ships with ramps so you can make your happy fun ball do tricks. "Nubby covers," available separately, add colorful textures to the outside of the Sphero to make it gripper, like an off-road tire.

    Silverlit Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

    The SLS AMG is Mercedes-Benz's two-seat sports car - the spiritual successor to the legendary 300SL, complete with "gull-wing" doors. It's also almost a quarter of million dollars to buy one. So Silverlit's $129 SLS AMG seems like a bargain by comparison.

    The level of detail in this little RC is astonishing, right down to turn signals that light up when you move the steering wheel. When you pop open the gullwing doors and look inside, you'll see a beautifully detailed dash, as well. The app is exceptional - it gives you a virtual cockpit view that puts you behind the wheel of your car, and even lets you pipe music from iTunes directly from the car as well (the doors can bounce up and down in time with the music).

    Anki Drive

    This cool kit made a splash at WWDC earlier this year, and now it's available for purchase. Anki Drive isn't a proper remote control toy as much as it is the next generation of slot racing with a healthy dose of Super Mario Kart built in, all coordinated through your iOS device. Anki Drive includes a mat you lay out on your floor that has a race track on it; you get two cars (two more are available for separate purchase). Your goal is to take out your opponents and win the race.

    Each car has a different "personality" and uses different offensive and defensive techniques. What's more, the artificial intelligence in the app keeps track of what you're doing and adapts. You can also play against a friend if you prefer challenges in meatspace.

    AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition

    No discussion of iOS-compatible remote controlled devices would be complete without mentioning Parrot's AR.Drone, the quad copter that got a lot of people interested in this technology to begin with. The AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition is the latest iteration, and it features a built-in 720p HD camera with a 92 degree wide-angle lens and storage capabilities, a more robust design sporting carbon fiber that's more repairable, if you do get into bad situations, better stabilization and better motors. Also comes with two swappable 1500mAh batteries, four sets of colored propellers so you can customize your look.

    This is a healthy sample of what's available but is by no means complete - what are some of your favorites, or what do you have your eye on? Post here in the comments and let me know.

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    Previously rumored, the Moga Ace Power game controller for iPhone is now official. The $99 accessory is now available to reserve online, and offers compatibility with iOS 7 on the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5 and 5th generation iPod touch.

    The controller is expandable and your iPhone sits in the centre, connected by the Lightning connector which also means your phone will charge as you're playing. Control wise we're looking at dual analog sticks, a d-pad, 4 action buttons and two triggers on each side. There's also a headphone jack so you can still listen to your game sounds through a headset. Pretty sweet.

    It isn't going to suit everyone, but Moga makes some pretty impressive game controllers already for Android devices, so it's at least worth consideration should you be in the market for something like this. Head on over to the source link below to reserve. Anyone buying?

    Source: Moga

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    The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c may have launched in China, but there's still one notable absence; a China Mobile iPhone. The worlds largest cellular carrier has long been rumored to begin carrying the iPhone, and as the Wall Street Journal reports, things may begin to progress on December 18:

    China Mobile Ltd. said it plans to introduce a new brand for mobile services on Dec. 18, raising expectations of an imminent start to its iPhone sales in the country.

    There's nothing specifically linking the iPhone to this announcement, but many reports have suggested in the past that China Mobile won't announce the iPhone until after its 4G services had been announced, but as yet no licenses have been issued. Apple has been licensed to run on China Mobile's network with the iPhone, so it seems to be a question of when rather than if.

    Finally securing a deal to work with China Mobile would help Apple's chances of expanding in China greatly. The recent device launches have proved that the worlds most populated country is important to Apple, so it'll be interesting to see what may pan out on December 18.

    Source: Wall Street Journal

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    Ben Bajarin of Techpinions talks to Rene about the growth of smartphones, the segments that are emerging, what marketshare really means, and what comes next with wearables, automotive, and more.

    Show notes




    Yell at us via the Twitter accounts above (or the same names on ADN). Loudly.

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    Obama says he can't use an iPhone because of security

    US President Barack Obama told a group of young people at the White House that he can't use an Apple iPhone for security reasons, according to a recent Associated Press report (as published by SecurityWeek).

    Obama's a prolific BlackBerry user, and has often been seen in public with his - which is specially encrypted to prevent the sort of eavesdropping that the NSA reportedly had done on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    While the President may not be allowed to use an iPhone, his daughters do, apparently: he said that Sasha and Malia spend a lot of time on their iPhones.

    Source: SecurityWeek

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    So, Ryan Seacrest wants a keyboard on his phone, but he also wants to use an iPhone. Ultimate first world problem? Well for most – including our buddies over at CrackBerry– wanting a hardware keyboard means one thing, and one thing only. Get a BlackBerry. Not Seacrest though, no, no, no. Instead, he's stumping up $1 million to build one. Kara Swisher at AllThingsD:

    The Typo Keyboard will makes its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas at the beginning of 2014. While the company declined to discuss funding, sources said that Seacrest and his co-founder have invested over $1 million, and expect to invest more than $5 million, with future keyboard products in development.

    What the Typo Keyboard is in effect, is a BlackBerry Q10 attachment for the bottom of your iPhone – Because lets face it, slide out landscape QWERTY's are so 2010. It even looks almost identical to the Q10 keyboard, and will to avoid making your iPhone/case combination extremely long, the keyboard seems to cover up the home button. So you won't be using Touch ID with it, then.

    The Typo is set to cost $99 when it launches in January, and of course the iMore and Mobile Nations team will be live from Las Vegas with #CESLIVE, so we'll be getting our hands on it as soon as we possibly can. But what do you think; is there a market for a Keyboard like this for the iPhone? Or should Seacrest just be done with it and go get a BlackBerry for that sort of thing? Sound off in the comments!

    Source: AllThingsD via CrackBerry

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    The much storied arrival of the iPhone on the worlds largest carrier, China Mobile, looks set to reach its conclusion as soon as this week according to a new report. According to the Wall Street Journal, pre-orders of the iPhone will be going live in Shanghai this coming Thursday:

    China Mobile Shanghai’s website, running the “4G is here!” slogan, invited potential customers to preorder the iPhone 5S and other smartphones from Samsung Electronics Co. and Sony Corp that support the company’s new 4G mobile network.

    It's already known that China Mobile is to launch what now clearly is its 4G LTE network on December 18, and the speculation was that the iPhone launch may coincide with this. The stars certainly seem to be aligning on that one. The website wouldn't accept pre-orders right now, but the WSJ confirmed with a China Mobile representative the additional details:

    Customers can begin to preorder for our new 4G services from Dec. 12 through the company’s website and some dedicated branches in Shanghai. But we will only start providing commercial 4G services after Dec. 18,

    So, the coming together of two giants in the mobile world is all set to go down in the next couple of weeks. It's been a long, drawn out affair, but there's no doubt plenty of folks on both sides of the agreement that will sleep easy now it's done.

    Source: Wall Street Journal

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    What you see here is the latest music video from LeAnn Rimes featuring Rob Thomas and Jeff Beck, and what makes it more remarkable is that the entire thing was shot using the iPhone. The process behind it all was explained by one of the producers in an article on The Loop:

    “Using the iPhone camera for the stop motion video made it easy, affordable and portable for us—because of time factors,” said Darrell Brown, the Co-Producer of the record and video. “I had to get Ian to Dublin to film LeAnn while she was there. I had to get Ian to New York State to film Rob. It was so easy to lug around three iPhones instead of other heavy gear. iPhone to film, IPhone for playback of song and iPhone to document the fun.”

    No-one said which iPhone was used, but the combination of video and the over 8000 photos used to create the stop motion elements were all shot on one of them, quite possibly the iPhone 5s.

    Rimes herself was delighted with the way the project turned out, but what do you think? Sound off in the comments below!

    Source: The Loop

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    Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. Those were the words spoken as Steve Jobs hit the stage and introduced the very first iPhone to the world after having spent two and a half years working on the device. Looking back at that keynote, I'm not so sure everyone at that time felt the same way about it but if they didn't then, the chances are good that they do now.

    The iPhone as a product has arguably gone on to reshape not only the smartphone industry but the wireless industry as a whole and while the very first iPhone takes much of that credit for a lot of people, a recent thread in the iMore Forums asks which iPhone do you think broke the most ground for Apple? Was it really the very first iPhone that took it mainstream popularity or was it another iteration?

    I'm still of the opinion that the 3GS was what pushed the iPhone into the much bigger area of mainstream popularity.Speedygi, iMore Forums Member

    By production count, the iPhone 3GS is reportedly the most popular iPhone having a production run of 1181 days; followed by the iPhone 4, produced for 1174 days and for a lot of folks, that seems to be the device that really sparked their interest in Apple's iPhone offerings.

    The iPhone 4. With the new body and retina display people took it seriously. AT&T exclusivity ended.sting7k, iMore Forums Member

    For others, it's the iPhone 4 which brought about a whole new design at the time and marked the end of AT&T's exclusivity on the device. At that point, the device became more accessible than ever before and the masses wasted no time grabbing them. If you really think about how many iPhone 4's you still see out there today, I bet it's a lot.

    So let's hear it. Which iPhone do you think broke the most ground for Apple? You drop your in the iMore Forums or let us know below in the comments section.

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