Apple to sell cheaper, 8GB iphone 4 within weeks

August 23, 2011

(Reuters) – Apple Inc will release a cheaper iPhone 4 within weeks, jeopardizing profit margins to win lower-end customers from rivals such as Nokia in China and other emerging markets.

Asian suppliers have begun making a lower-cost version of the hot-selling smartphone with a smaller 8-gigabyte flash drive that will arrive around the same time Apple unveils its much-anticipated iPhone 5, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The world’s most valuable technology company has long stuck to the higher end of a booming mobile device arena, but is now seeking out new markets to sustain the rip-roaring pace of growth that has enthralled Wall Street.

It is in talks with leading Chinese carriers China Mobile Ltd and China Telecom Corp Ltd, both of which are eager to carry the device that defined the smartphone market when Apple launched it in 2007.

“A lower-priced version of iPhone 4 seems to be a necessary evil at this point in the iPhone adoption cycle, especially in emerging markets where the average income of individuals is much lower,” said Channing Smith, co-manager of the Capital Advisors Growth Fund, which owns Apple shares.

Pat Becker, portfolio manager at Becker Capital Management, said Apple is looking to take a chunk of the market that is currently dominated by Finnish rival Nokia Oyj, which is widely expected to release a new phone running on Microsoft Corp’s Windows software as early as end of the year.

Nokia dominates the lower end, while Apple has so far focused only on the premium market.

“Your best defense is sometimes your offense,” he said.

A cheaper phone risks cannibalizing Apple’s premium iPhone model and pressuring margins, but the California company needs one to expand its emerging market share, analysts say.

The flash drive for the 8-GB iPhone 4 is being manufactured by a South Korean company, one of the sources said on Tuesday, declining to name the company. Apple currently sources its flash drives from Japan’s Toshiba Corp and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

Apple, which demands high levels of secrecy and security from suppliers and employees, would not comment. Samsung also declined comment.


The iPhone 4 was launched June 2010 in black 16-GB and 32-GB versions, with white versions added to the lineup in April. The 8-GB version is expected within weeks, the sources said.

“Apple may want to push into the emerging market segment, where customers want to switch to low- to mid-end smartphones from high-end feature phones, which usually cost $150 to $200,” said Yuanta Securities analyst Bonnie Chang.

“But I think for an 8-GB iPhone 4, the price is hard to go below $200, so Apple will still need a completely new phone with low specifications for the emerging markets.” An iPhone 4 without contract commitments now costs over $600.

In addition to the launch of the smaller iPhone 4, Apple is targeting an end-September launch for the next-generation iPhone 5, one source said, confirming earlier reports on Apple follower blogsites and industry websites.

The new iPhone — which some call the iPhone 4S because of its largely identical appearance to the existing iPhone 4 — will have a bigger touch screen, better antenna and an 8-megapixel camera, one source said.

The iPhone 5’s two manufacturers have been told to prepare production capacity for up to 45 million units altogether, the source said. The phone will be made by Hon Hai Precision Industries Co Ltd and Pegatron Corp, the person added.

Apple sold 20.34 million iPhones in the second quarter versus an expected 17 million to 18 million, and is increasingly looking to Asia to boost future results.

Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said in July the company is particularly optimistic about Greater China, in which Apple includes mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

“I firmly believe that we are just scratching the surface right now,” Cook said about China. “I think there is an incredible opportunity for China there.”

Asia-Pacific — which accounts for about one-fifth of Apple’s total revenue — and Greater China in particular helped Apple’s revenue surge 82 percent to $28.6 billion in April-June.

Overall, Asia-Pacific revenue more than tripled to $6.3 billion in the quarter.

This article orginally appeared on Reuters.

New iPhone dating app for fun-loving singles

August 23, 2011

A new social networking app for singles was launched earlier this week. The app LocalSin is a free GPS-based mobile phone app that promises to boost your odds of locating romance. This app uses GPS technology and has already proved to be a great hit in the US and Australia. The app is aimed at singles looking for fun and achieves this by  allowing you to check how many single people are in a given place – such as a local bar, nightclub, or city centre to help you decide where you are most likely to strike lucky.

The app LocalSin boasts that it can increase your odds of getting lucky on any night out by up to 90 per cent!  Since its launch elsewhere, it has attracted tens of thousands of users internationally, with a further 50,000 expected in the UK in the coming weeks.

The app caters to men and women of all sexual preferences giving users access to a real-time ‘passion map’, a list showing the location of ‘compatibles’ – other users with similar interests or profiles – in the area.

The software provides users with a list of ‘willing’ singles in their immediate area and enables enables them to contact other singles directly and propose a meeting. Recipients must approve an ‘interaction request’ first, and can also choose to hide their real location.

The Daily Mail reports that a spokesman for the firm says the LocalSin mobile app has the potential of significantly increasing the chances of  meeting and dating compatible people.

This is going to revolutionise the dating game. It allows men and women of all sexual preferences to locate and link-up with other willing users in the vicinity and by doing so it minimises the hassle of moving from one bar to another in search of single people and could easily increase pulling success by at least 90 per cent.”

Recent research indicates that there are some 8.6 million UK adults actively dating, roughly half the total number of singletons. The national average is currently four dates each per year. The introduction of free location-aware dating apps similar to LocalSin could change the face of the dating scene forever because of their simplicity.

If it is really  as simple as it sounds, and the number of downloads in America, Australia and other parts of the world is anything to go by, LocalSin is set to become a phenomenon here in in Britain, too.’

For more information go to the Daily Mail online.

New aluminum iPhone cases improve damage protection

August 22, 2011

Inventive Metals Introduces Solid Aluminum iPhone Cases

With nearly 50 million iPhones sold to date, there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of  iPhone cases that have been created. However, we think the latest solid aluminum cases have raised the bar for safety and elegence combined.

Inventive Metals a US company recenntly announced a line of iPhone cases constructed from solid aluminum. These durable cases are being sold in six different powder-coated finishes with styles ranging from elegant to wacky; they are specifically designed to protect the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3G/GS models.

While inside the case, the iPhone is completely functional with easy access provided to the screen, all buttons, speaker, microphone, and headphone jack. Most importantly, the cases do not interfere with mobile phone reception.

Inventive Metal’s  product manager explains that the light aluminum case provide the iPhone with great drop protection; however, enclosing a phone in a metal jacket while maintaining its technical flexibility was  extremely challenging.

“Most of our competitors who have tried this really haven’t put enough engineering into the signal-loss problem. We’ve studied this extensively and have tested and refined many prototypes before we were satisfied that our cases would out-perform our competitors and provide a good user-experience to our customers. Our iPhone cases are unmatched in terms of durability and signal strength.”

Inventive Metal’s iPhone cases can be purchased online at inventive and cost approximately $69 each.

There are already a limited number of aluminum and leather cases suitable for iPhone 4 and 3G for sale from (visit the Amazon UK website) selling from £25. However, the latest offer from Inventive Metals would appear to offer a marked improvement re design and signal clarity.For a real alternative, try our sponsored link on your right, Ion’s Stealth Predator, for a luxury iPhone case designed only for iPhone 4. The Predator Zero uniquely built from carbon fibre promises not only zero signal interruption but also zero flashlight interference – it is an exquisite accessory selling at $69.99.

Apple will buy or recycle your old iPhone

August 15, 2011

 Apple goes green

Apple offers a number of different recycling programs and has recently enhanced their service. Apple will now pay you a fair market value for your old iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC desktop or notebook computer. Payment is in the form of an Apple gift card or a discount on an iPad. The market value is calculated by a third party company called PowerOn and they run the recycling program for Apple.

AppleInsider confirm that if you own an iOS device or a computer from any manufacturer you can obtain credit calculated by PowerOn. Apple’s new recycling program website claims that:

“If your product qualifies for reuse – meaning it has monetary value – you’ll receive an Apple Gift Card equivalent to its fair market value as determined by PowerOn”

Recycling old mobile phones and computer components harvests metal, plastic and glass as well as extending the life of products that have value in the second hand market. You can take your old Mac laptop or desktop, old iPhones and iPads into an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Premium Reseller to get it recycled in exchange for an Apple Gift Card. If  your old phone or computer is suitable for resale, all your data will be securely erased. You can use the Apple gift card for purchases on the Apple Online Store or in any Apple Retail Store. If your old phone or computer is not considered to have monetary value, Apple will recycle it free of charge (in the past you would have been charged £25 for recycling such items) and offer you a ten percent discount on a new iPod.

However, if you are considering selling your old mobile phone or you want to buy a reconditioned smartphone you would be wise to check out our comparison sites. Follow our guide to a reconditioned iPhone by clicking on the sidebar on our homepage.