iPhone 6: Sapphire screen 'tougher than concrete'
Scratch-proof sapphire crystal screen will push up price of iPhone 6, reports suggest
APPLE has spent more than half a billion dollars developing a sapphire crystal screen for the iPhone 6 that won't scratch even when rubbed against concrete, according to the latest reports.
Sapphire glass is around 2.5 times more durable than Corning Gorilla Glass which is utilised in several smartphones in the market today, reports International Business Times. "The sapphire glass can simply break pieces of concrete leaving no scratches on it," it says.
Sapphire crystal is already used on the iPhone 5S, launched two months ago, but only on the rear camera's protective lens and the cover of the fingerprint-reading Touch ID button.
The material has previously been used sparingly due to its relatively high cost and the low volumes produced. Now, Apple is spending heavily to bring it into the mainstream.
Apple paid a total of $578m to GT Advanced Technologies [a sapphire crystal manufacturer] to speed up the development of its next generation, large capacity furnaces to deliver low cost, high volume manufacturing of sapphire material, claims the IBT report.
A scratch-proof screen would give the iPhone 6 a clear marketing advantage over its rival smartphones – but it is likely to come at a cost. Even before news of Apple's investment in sapphire technology broke, analysts were predicting that the next model would be more expensive.
"We see the potential for the iPhone 6 price point to move higher, to avoid the profit margin erosion that occurred when iPhone 5 launched," Chris Caso of Susquehanna Financial Group told Investors.com last week.
"When iPhone 5 was launched, Apple's phone margins declined because the new features (most notably the display) added cost to the bill of materials, yet the price point of the phone remained unchanged. Since we're expecting a host of new features in the iPhone 6 (including a larger screen), we expect the bill of materials cost of the phone to increase as well."
More iPhone 6 rumours
There's no shortage of speculation about what will be included in the next iPhone, much of which seems to be based on wishful thinking:
- Studio flash: Apple is working on a way of letting iPhones control flashes built into a range of phones and tablets in order to light a scene from multiple angles, according to Apple Insider, which unearthed a patent for the system. There's no hint about when the system might make it into production
- Eye-tracking: Some rumours suggested that the iPhone 5S would be eye-controlled, allowing users to scroll through pages without touching the device. When the technology failed to materialise in the last model, hopeful observers shifted their attention to the iPhone 6.
- NFC: Another long-predicted feature, Near Field Communication or NFC would allow the phone to act as a payment system. Users would wave their handsets over a receiver to transfer money in shops and restaurants, or between friends. Several Android and Windows Phone devices already support NFC payments, but Apple has yet to make the leap.
iPhone 6: Wraparound concept unveiled – at a cost
iPhone fans unimpressed by the incremental changes of the 5S and 5C handsets released earlier this year are set to see the dramatic hardware upgrade they had hoped for.
Analysts and Apple-watchers alike are convinced that the iPhone 6, expected in the middle of next year, will sport a significantly larger screen - and one designer has laid down the gauntlet with a slick wraparound display.
Iskander Utebayev’s design (see video below) stretches the screen over three sides of the handset, replacing the aluminium volume controls on the side of the current iPhone with touchscreen buttons.
That raises some concern among YouTube commenters, who suggest that it would be impossible to hold the phone without unintentionally activating the side-buttons. Others worry that a glass-edged phone would be even more fragile than current models.
Even if the wraparound design proves too radical for Apple, industry analysts are confident that the next iPhone will have a bigger screen – and a bigger price-tag.
"We see the potential for the iPhone 6 price point to move higher, to avoid the profit margin erosion that occurred when iPhone 5 launched," said Christ Caso of Susquehanna Financial Group, according to Investors.com.
"When iPhone 5 was launched, Apple's phone margins declined because the new features (most notably the display) added cost to the bill of materials, yet the price point of the phone remained unchanged. Since we're expecting a host of new features in the iPhone 6 (including a larger screen), we expect the bill of materials cost of the phone to increase as well."
Apple has previously launched new products at the same price as the models they replaced, but last month it introduced a price rise with the new iPad Mini.
Forbes recently reported that the iPhone 6 may come with a “manmade sapphire crystal” screen, which would make the handset more resistant to scratches, but increase the cost.
“Imagine an Apple advertisement showing a user trying to scratch an iPhone screen with a key but unable to do so,” the publication says.” Such an advertisement will go a long ways towards countering those who claim that Apple is no longer innovating.
Apple gets more unsolicited advice from Design&Trend, which suggests that the next iPhone could be substantially bigger. That would pit it against hybrid phone-tablet devices, also known as “phablets”.
“While Apple has been hesitant to join rival Samsung in the ‘phablet’ sector of the smartphone market,” the site reports, “the company has apparently realised the vast untapped potential that lies there. One element of smartphone design Apple has repeatedly stated it will stick to, however, is the ability to hold any iPhone with one hand.”
Bloomberg reported earlier this month that the iPhone 6 would have a curved screen – which would increase the surface area without adding too much to the overall width of the handset.
The report suggested that the phone would be released in the second half of next year.
iPhone 6 'to be curved and launch next year'
APPLE'S next smartphone will have a larger, curved screen, following in the footsteps of Samsung and LG, an unnamed insider source has told Bloomberg.
The report suggests that two new iPhone models, planned for release next year, will have 4.7 and 5.5-inch glass displays - larger than the current model. The screens will curve down at the edges, the report suggested.
Apple has declined to comment on the report.
Samsung released its Galaxy Round, which has a curved screen, soon after Apple unveiled its newest iPhone models, the 5S and 5C. A few weeks later, LG also unveiled a curved handset, the G Flex.
Curved screens are said to be more durable, more comfortable to use, and better suited to watching videos and playing games, according to Sky News. They also help to reduce screen glare in bright conditions.
However, the technology is not without its doubters. "There's no proven market for a smartphone with a curved screen," reports ZDNet. "Both companies that have released a smartphone with a curved display have limited availability to South Korea."
The website adds that if Apple were to make a curved-screen handset it "would be gambling its iPhone cash cow on a fad."
Bloomberg's source said the phones were still being developed and would probably go on sale in the third quarter of 2014.
The report also suggested that future models would react differently to heavy or light touches. This pressure-sensitive technology, being developed with a supplier, is not likely to be ready for the next iPhone release, however.
iPhone 5C reviews: what the critics are saying
BEFORE the launch of the colourful new iPhone 5C, rumours of a cheaper handset had been circulating for months on technology websites.
When the new model finally arrived - alongside the higher-spec iPhone 5S - many reviewers were somewhat disappointed. We’ve trawled their reviews to find out what you need to know about Apple’s new handset.
The iPhone 5C is very similar to its predecessor. "We joked in the office that we should just take our old iPhone 5 review, do a find and replace, and present it as our iPhone 5C review," said Mashable. But the reviewer goes on to note that "everybody loved last year's phone", so continuity is not necessarily a bad thing.
The main difference is that it comes in several colours: a funky shade of green, blue, yellow, red or white.
Wired said the colourful 5C could be an "iPhone for someone who perhaps thought until now that they didn't need an iPhone", but TechRadar says “the bright colours make the iPhone 5C look a bit childish".
The site went on: "Our green review handset for example could be mistaken for a toy phone from a distance and it doesn't exactly ooze the Apple quality we're used to seeing when unboxing an iPhone."
The 5C's main camera is one of the many features that has remain unchanged following the upgrade, but the front-facing camera has been improved. "Although the resolution is the same, Apple gave the selfie-cam better pixels and an improved sensor to give clarity a boost in low light," Mashable reports. "It does make a difference".
The 5C has the same four-inch display as the iPhone 5, but that’s no bad thing. As PC Pro notes, "it remains superb".
"Such a high resolution stretched across such a small area ensures text is crisp and clean, with no sign of jagged edges or pixel structure anywhere," says the reviewer.
iPhone 5C prices:
If you thought the 'C' in 5C stood for cheap, think again; the new handset still carries a weighty price tag if you want an unlocked handset, unsubsidised by a mobile network. The 16GB model is £469, while the 32GB device costs £549.
Contracts start at just over £30 per month, but as PC Pro points out the "HTC One goes for around this amount with double the storage, and far more favourable contract prices".
Every new mobile Apple device comes with the iOS7 operating system, which gets a resounding thumbs up. "iOS 7's a looker," Gizmodo says, "and the parallax effect makes you feel like you're flying through space when you open folders and apps."
Although the battery is bigger and better, according to Gizmodo it’s still “impossible to make it through an entire day on a single charge” and “almost not even worth mentioning because it makes virtually no difference in your usage habits.”
Apple iPhone 5S reviews: what the critics are saying 18/10/13
EACH new iPhone launch provokes a deluge of reviews and commentary - and we've read all of it so you don't have to. Here are the highlights from the best iPhone 5S reviews, with all the crucial details on the new phone's design, specs and performance.
The iPhone 5S ticks all the usability boxes and, as you'd expect with Apple, it remains effortlessly smart.
"If you want a phone that just works, then the iPhone 5S is a very good place to start," says Pocket Lint. "Apple has made it look effortless which is no simple task."
Compared to the iPhone 5, the new iSight camera is a vast improvement and it's "not hard to literally see why," says Wired.
"Without increasing the number of megapixels (eight) for this new model, Apple has dramatically improved image quality to the extent that it makes some photographs taken on the iPhone 5 look comparatively poor," the reviewer says.
Another first for Apple is slow-motion video mode - and reviewers love it.
"This isn't the first time we've seen slow-mo capabilities," says Mashable. "But as you would expect, Apple's version is smart and easy to use."
A beefed-up camera is nothing without a flawless screen on which to view your works of art. The iPhone 5S has broken no new ground here - it features the same display as its predecessor - but, says TechRadar it's "still impressive".
The four-inch screen, smaller than that of most of its competitors, makes it "a great phone for people that hate the idea of being forced to live with a bigger screen they don't want," the review says.
Those who do want a bigger screen are directed towards the Galaxy S4 or the HTC One.
"Let's face it: there's nothing really new here that's going to help you work out if the person sitting opposite you on the train is rocking an all-new phone," says TechRadar.
"That's not necessarily a bad thing," the reviewer says. "Just because it's not an 'exclusive' design, it doesn't make the iPhone 5S any less premium."
Expert Reviews is more enthusiastic. "In our opinion, the iPhone 5S is still the best looking smart-phone out there. Its neat bevelled edges are perfectly formed and the 7.3mm thick phone feels incredibly comfortable in the hand."
Tip: if you do decide to take the plunge with the 5S, make buying a case your top priority as, like the 5, it's easily scratched.
The 5S comes with a choice of three storage capacities: 16GB (£549), 32GB (£629) and 64GB (£709).
Unlike many of its competitors, the new iPhone models don't come with a slot for external memory, making it essential to think about which is the right handset for you.
Forbes argues that "consumers should always buy the model with the maximum memory they can afford as Apple "charge an obscene amount for additional storage."
Whether you're getting an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, all Apple's latest mobile devices come with iOS7, the most recent software update.
The operating system is logical and easy to navigate, according to Wired, but those who know Apple will be unsurprised to find that it can be restrictive when it comes to personalisation.
"Apple has chosen simplicity over customisability, and whether that's a good thing is down to the individual user," Wired says. "But we're a fan."
Expert Reviews ran a power test on the 5S and found that "running at half brightness with wi-fi turned off, [the] iPhone 5S lasted 14h 31m".
They found that the 5S lasts a lot longer than the 5 on a single charge and that towards the end of the day the phone wasn't "gasping for power in quite the same way."
An improvement that'll definitely be welcomed those looking to upgrade to the 5S from a previous iPhone model.
Out of all the features of the new iPhone to get press coverage, it's the Touch iD fingerprint sensor that has received the most - good and bad.
After registering a print during the set-up, you can use that digit to unlock the phone and authorise iTunes purchases.
"If that sounds like a gimmick, it's not: it's actually a brilliant time saver and something that helps enforce security," says ExpertReviews.
Reports suggest that several other body parts will unlock the iPhone too. Nipples, noses, toes and cat paws have all been used to crack the software.
Fear not, though - you can set a pass code if you prefer a more traditional approach.
The all important verdicts
Mashable: "The iPhone 5S is, without a doubt, the best phone Apple has ever made. It's the top choice for anyone who wants a smaller phone with a high-resolution screen, formidable power and an unmatched mobile operating system.
Expert Reviews: "At first, Apple's decision to stick with the same case and screen size may have seemed like it wasn't moving forwards, but after using the phone extensively we couldn't disagree more. It's incredibly fast, beating its quad-core rivals hands down."
PC PRO: "No two ways about it, the iPhone 5S is an excellent smart-phone. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise... However, in comparison with the rest of the smart-phone market, the flagship iPhone's high ticket price is becoming increasingly tough to justify."
Pocket Lint: "In many ways Apple has released a phone for tomorrow rather than today. That's a hard sell, but it's also the exciting part."
Is iPhone 5C a 'flop'? Rumours fly as Apple cuts production 16/10/13
THE idea that Apple's budget-priced iPhone 5C is a "flop" is gathering momentum after reports the company is slashing manufacturing orders.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Pegatron and Hon Hai (the two firms that assemble the colourful smartphones) have been told to cut back on production for the final three months of the year. Pegatron was told orders would be reduced by "less than 20 per cent" and Hon Hai was informed orders would be cut by a third, the paper says.
A Hon Hai executive reportedly told the WSJ that the firm has stopped hiring additional workers to produce the iPhone 5C.
The Daily Telegraph says demand for the 5C was strong at first, particularly for the gold-coloured version. But now it has tapered off, possibly due to the fact that the 5C sells at just £62 less than the premium iPhone 5S which has a faster processor and an inbuilt fingerprint sensor.
Last week the Chinese website C Technology reported that Apple had halved production of the 5C from 300,000 devices a day to 150,000. The MacRumours website says the 5S has been outselling the 5C by a factor of "two to one" since they were launched last month.
But does all this add up to a flop? ZDNet says it's probably premature to write-off the 5C or speculate that Apple has "got its pricing policy wrong". ZDNet points out that weaker demand for the 5C is a "mixed blessing" because it confirms the iPhone 5S is a hit and the more expensive phone "packs better profits".
"Bottom line: The more Apple's iPhone mix skews to the iPhone 5S over iPhone 5C, the more money it makes with better profit margins."
ZDNet's conclusion is that it's too early to call the 5C a flop. It points out that a deal with a major carrier such as China Mobile could "change the iPhone 5C's fortunes and demand picture in a hurry".
Apple leap-frogs Coke as world's most valuable brand 30/09/13
APPLE has leap-frogged Coca-Cola to become the world's most valuable brand, according to an annual survey of leading trademarks.
The 14th annual Interbrand study named the iPhone manufacturer as best global brand, knocking Coke off the top spot it has occupied since the report was first published in 2000.
Apple's brand is now worth $98.3bn (£60bn), according to the study, an increase of 28 per cent since last year. Coca-Cola, with a value of $79.2bn (£49bn) was relegated to third place by Google, which was valued at $93.3bn (£57.8bn)
Interbrand calculates the value of each company's brand "based on a combination of the company's financial performance, its role influencing consumer choices, and how well the brand lets a company charge premium prices and deliver profits," according to CNET News.
The total value of brands in the top 100 was put at $1.5 trillion (£930bn). Technology firms, which now dominate the top end of the list, accounted for $444bn (£247.8bn) of that value.
Notable risers this year included Amazon, worth $23.6bn (£14.6bn), a rise of 27 per cent compared with last year, and Facebook, worth $7.7bn (£4.8bn), a rise of 43 per cent.
The top 10 brands:
6. General Electric
Apple's iOS7: five features you won't complain about. 25/09/2013
SINCE the launch last week of iOS7, Apple's new operating system for iPhones and iPads has been criticised for ugly wallpapers and a too-bright screen, while the new fingerprint security system has already been cracked by hackers. These snagging problems have overshadowed some of the real benefits of iOS7, says Time. Here are five of its best new features:
Change Siri's accent: She'll tell you a short story; she'll even have a go at summing up the meaning of life. In fact there's little Siri - the iPhone's digital assistant - won't do for her owner. Now with iOS7 it gets even better - you can change Siri's settings to give her a Canadian, Australian or even a United Kingdom accent, whatever that may be.
Built-in spirit-level: Apple has added a spirit level feature to iOS7, making it the most DIY-friendly update yet. Coming as part of the compass app already installed on the iPhone, it's ideal for those who like to orienteer and hang doors simultaneously.
Flashlight: You should never fall up or down the stairs again. The flashlight has often been a feature of the iPhone's competitors in the past – now it has one too.
Unwanted numbers: iOS7 carries a feature that enables you to block unwanted numbers from calling or texting you and it doesn't involve spending hours on the phone to your network provider. So whether it's your ex-partner or those PPI pests ruining your day, iOS7 can help.
Better weather: Apple has revamped the way iPhone users receive information about the weather. The updated app carries new functionality, allowing the user to study more detailed meteorological data such as humidity, chance of rain and what the temperature 'feels like', as well as a 12-hour forecast.
Fake ad plunges iPhone users into deep water 24/09/13
HARDCORE Apple fans believe the company is capable of just about anything. So when an advertisement appeared on social media sites suggesting the latest version of Apple's mobile software made iPhones waterproof, several people put the claim to the test.
Now, after a clutch of expensive smartphones were "rendered useless" by immersion in water, Sky News reports that the ad was a clever fake.
The ad claims that the installation of iOS 7 - a software upgrade released by Apple last week - installs a "smart switch" that cuts off the iPhone's power supply when it detects water. "This prevents any damage to your iPhone's delicate circuitry," the fake ad says.
Sky News points out that the bogus ad "looks remarkably similar to an authentic Apple advertisement, with the same plain white background and minimalist font and style".
It certainly fooled more than one iPhone owner. Several posted angry messages on social media today claiming they had been duped into dousing their handset.
Someone told me to download ios7 so my iphone becomes waterproof.
I am now tweeting from my pc.
— Mr Mosh (@in_a_mosh) September 24, 2013
Others found it hard to believe that anyone would mistake the ad for the real thing.
Waterproof iPhone Advert: 'Owners Fooled' haha how stupid can you be http://t.co/0JKU2V0BDC
— lew (@lewisbrown93) September 24, 2013
Apple has made no comment on the matter.
Apple iPhone 5S: how hackers ‘cracked’ fingerprint sensor
GERMAN hackers claim to have bypassed the fingerprint sensor on Apple's new iPhone 5S.
The new security feature was billed by Apple as a "convenient and highly secure way to access your phone". But just days after the iPhone 5S was released, the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), a group of hackers in Germany, claims it has cracked the security feature using "easy everyday means" - a camera, a laser printer and some wood glue.
On a blog post, they explain how they photographed the user's fingerprint from a glass surface, cleaned up the image using computer software, inverted the colours and then printed it onto a transparent sheet using a laser printer with a thick toner setting. They then smeared white wood glue into the pattern created by the toner.
Once it had set, the layer of glue was lifted from the sheet and placed onto the sensor to unlock the phone.
Frank Rieger, a spokesman for the CCC, said: "The public should no longer be fooled by the biometrics industry with false security claims."
Apple claims the sensor is better than less secure sensors because it uses a "deep-skin fingerprint". But CCC says the new technology works in the same way as any others, just at a higher resolution, and can therefore be fooled in the same way.
Security expert Graham Cluley agrees. He tells the Daily Telegraph that fingerprints are not secrets, and can easily be picked up and copied by others. "Relying on your fingerprints to secure a device may be okay for casual security - but you shouldn't depend upon it if you have sensitive data you wish to protect," he says.
Meanwhile, Forbes says it is at least more secure than a short passcode and infinitely more protective than having no passcode at all. It adds: "The public should take advantage of additional security wherever it can get it."
Two new iPhones: how California tech giant hopes to win back fans it has lost to rivals
APPLE fans queued up overnight outside the company's flagship stores in around the world - in fact some got in line outside the New York shop as long ago as Tuesday - for the tech giant's latest product release.
In the UK, the new iPhone 5S and 5C handsets went on sale at 8am this morning, though it should be noted that the some dealers are reporting a "frustrating" lack of stock of the 5S.
Apple has released a new iPhone every year since 2007, says The Independent. This year, for the first time, it's launching two...
Why are there two models? It's "a recognition that Apple needed to win back customers" from its main rivals, Samsung and HTC, says the Independent. The two models are designed to appeal to two different groups: high-end smartphone
addicts and customers happy with something "funkier, brighter and cheaper".
How much do they cost? The iPhone 5C is on sale in the UK at £469 for the 16GB model and £549 for the 32GB model, says the Daily Telegraph while the "main event" is the 5S, yours for £549 for the 16GB model, £629 for the 32GB model
and £709 for the 64GB.
What are the 5S's new features? The 5S uses the same chassis as last year's iPhone 5 but "crams a lot more" into it. It has a new,
super-fast A7 processor. The camera has a larger sensor and larger, more effective pixels. And for the first time the phone has a
fingerprint scanner, integral to the main button, which will unlock the phone only for its owner - though some alarmists have speculated, with tongue firmly in cheek, that this could lead to muggers cutting off fingers.
Is the 5S faster? Yes - it has a new chip, the A7, which makes navigating around apps and other screens quicker. The 5S also comes with a clever motion sensor which works out when the phone is not being carried around and saves power at those times by checking online for updates less often. All these features make the iPhone 5S "the best smartphone Apple, or anyone, has yet made" says the Independent.
What about the 5C? The cheaper model is still an improvement on the iPhone 5. It has a better front-facing camera and enjoys longer battery life. Most eye-catchingly, it comes in a choice of five bright colours - while the 5S comes only in grey or black.
What about the operating system? Both phones come with Apple's new software under the bonnet - iOS7. Released for use on previous handsets on Tuesday, the new operating system caused shared internet connections across the globe to crash as millions of eager users downloaded it.
Apple iOS 7 goes live: 'make no mistake, there will be panic' 18/09/2013
APPLE customers can finally upgrade to iOS 7 from today but technology critics have warned they might face confusion at first.
The new operating system has been hailed by the company's bosses as "the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone". Its initial announcement in June came amid accusations that Apple had failed to innovate after the death of founder Steve Jobs. But with a platform used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, radical changes are a gamble.
"Make no mistake, there will be panic," warns Zach Epstein, technology writer for Fox News. "But it will subside quickly as users see that there's really nothing new to learn in order to use iOS 7. It looks different, very different in fact, but at the same time it's quite familiar."
While some of the iOS 7 features will only be available on the new iPhones 5S and 5C, such as the fingerprint scanner function, there are also new features for older devices.
"It's a little as if someone re-modelled a house and replaced everything from the front door to the silverware," says Harry McCracken in Time. It is so different that McCracken recommends users hold off on updating their phones until they have some free time to aclimatise themselves to "the new experience".
Users are likely to feel disorientated, agrees Darrell Etherington in TechCrunch, but many of the changes "are definitely for the best".
The new control centre feature is "incredibly useful", he says, providing quick access to commonly-used settings such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and media player controls.
There are more than 200 changes and the new display will make the iPhone appear bigger, with features filling the entire screen.
Siri has been upgraded, a torch has been added and, in the US, Apple customers will be able to use iTunes Radio, a free internet service featuring over 200 stations. Apps can now update automatically and the camera has a new filter feature and the ability to take Instagram-style square photographs.
It is a complete design makeover, says Stuart Miles on Pocket Lint. "A thinner font, a wider use of a colour, and a layering approach are just some of the tricks being used to give you a sense of the new."
When you first install it, you might feel like you don't have a clue what is going on any more, he says. "The colours will dazzle you, the apps will pow and pop at you, and you'll wonder why you pressed the upgrade button so quickly. But after a brief moment, the panic subsides and you'll realise that you've got an OS that makes your phone seem shiny, new and enjoyable."
Apple shares drop 5% despite launch of new iPhones 12/09/13
DESPITE launching two new phones this week, Apple's shares fell more than 5 per cent yesterday amid growing fears that the firm is unable to increase its share in emerging markets.
Analysts expected the cheaper of the two models revealed on Tuesday to target customers in developing economies, such as China and India. However, the basic 5C, which has been priced at £469, is still considered too expensive for these markets.
On Wednesday Apple shares were down by 5.4 per cent, closing at $467.7. According to The Guardian, more than $30bn was wiped off the value of the company.
Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott, told the BBC that investors were put off by the 5C's comparatively high price. "It doesn't have the same range in price that Apple's competitors have," he said.
The company has found itself unable to replicate the success it has in developed markets in the world's emerging economies, as it struggles to compete against firms such as Samsung and Huawei.
A big problem for Apple is that mobile phone providers in emerging markets tend not to subsidise handsets with contracts, making iPhones far too expensive for many. It was thought that the firm's new low-end phone would target these consumers but analysts say the 5C is still not cheap enough to entice pay as you go customers.
Alongside the 'low-end' 5C, Apple revealed the 5S – its new 'high-end' iPhone. However, the 5S's prices start at £549, making the difference between the two handsets just £80.
Apple was also criticised for failing to come to a distribution deal with China Mobile, the world's biggest phone company with nearly 700 million subscribers.
Walter Piecyk, an analyst with BTIG Research, said: "We believe Apple is foregoing a valuable and relatively easy way to return to earnings growth."
"The real question is whether Apple plans to ever go after these markets," he added, "or rather just remain a high-end phone maker."
New Apple iPhones 5S and 5C 'shift axis of the mobile world' 11/09/13
APPLE has unveiled its two new iPhones - the 5S and the 5C - and so far technology critics seem to be impressed.
The 5C, which is available in pink, blue, white, yellow or green, has been described as the "budget" model, although with a starting price of £470 it is still expensive.
The 5S costs more and has a significantly faster processor than previous iPhones, improved camera functions and a new fingerprint sensor that allows users to unlock the device and access the iTunes store without entering a password. It looks very similar to the iPhone 5 but comes in gold, silver or 'space grey'.
The 5S is "way speedy" says Greg Kumparak, mobile editor at TechCrunch. "We only poked around the operating system a little, but everything we saw was buttery smooth."
Kumparak also praises the new slow-motion feature on the camera. "We didn't have any extreme sports stars handy to bust a kickflip or two for us," he says, "but it did do a really good job of catching us waving our hands around like dweebs at 120 frames per second."
The Guardian's technology editor Charles Arthur says slow motion videos are likely to be all over Instagram and Vine in the coming years. The camera also allows for 'burst shooting', he says, taking up to 10 frames per second so the best image can be chosen.
Arthur says the fingerprint sensor is a key selling point for the 5S but he thinks the 5C will attract more buyers.
Mic Wright, the Daily Telegraph's chief tech blogger, says the two phones will "shift the axis of the mobile world and provoke even cooler products from all the big players".
Wright predicts that the 5C will be the "most popular coloured item outside of Breaking Bad's blue meth, and just as addictive", while the gold 5S will be "popular in Essex with a huge proportion of sales going to drunken The Only Way Is Essex cast members".
Will Findlater, from gadget magazine Stuff, says the 5C is "drop-dead gorgeous", proving that "plastic needn't be synonymous with cheapo".
The vibrant colours on offer will probably give the 5C a popularity boost, says Findlater, but there's no getting away from the fact it also looks a little toy-like.
"These curvy handsets are not designed to be taken into power meetings with execs wielding BlackBerry Q10s and HTC Ones," he says. "Slamming a pink iPhone 5C on the table will have you labelled a creative, a communist, a child, or all three. Make sure you prepare some withering retorts before you shell out."
Both phones go on sale on 20 September.
Tech giant set to launch budget smartphone today, but it needs a 'category-defining' device 10/09/13
APPLE will include a fingerprint scanner in the iPhone 5S, a new version of its best-selling smartphone due to be unveiled in California today.
The Wall Street Journal says placing a finger on a scanner has "long been proposed as a way to avoid the need for passwords to authenticate users of computers and other devices". If Apple offers such technology in its iPhone, others are sure to follow, the paper says.
Today's launch, scheduled to begin at 10am local time (6pm in the UK) at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, is also widely expected to include a budget version of the iPhone aimed at emerging markets. The iPhone 5C, which will be available in a range of colours, is designed to "beat back rivals like Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technologies in markets like India and China where it is fast losing ground," reports Reuters.
While Apple stands to broaden the market for its smartphone, it also risks "diluting margins and potentially tarnishing a brand that has been linked to premium users since its 2007 inception", Reuters says.
Experts point out that Apple has not introduced a "category-defining" product since Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad in 2010. There's a chance the company may introduce a smartwatch or a "TV product" today, but it's unlikely that either product will generate the massive sales of the iPhone.
"Apple needs to demonstrate in the coming months that it has other product lines which can start to make up for slowing growth and falling margins in (the) iPhone and iPad," said Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst for Ovum Research. "That's a tall order."
Tech giant sends out invitations to event expected to be launch of iPhone 5C and 5S as well as iOS7 04/09/13
APPLE has sent out invitations to a 10 September product launch that most analysts expect to be the debut of two new iPhones and the latest version of its mobile operating system iOS 7.
The event, at the tech giant's headquarters in Cupertino, California next Tuesday, "should brighten everyone's day" according to the text printed on the invitation.
Apple is believed to be readying a low-cost version of its smartphone called the iPhone 5C, which will come in a range of colours, The Guardian reports.
The budget phone was originally dubbed the iPhone Mini, then the iPhone Lite, before Apple settled on 5C (C stands for colour). Estimates of the new phone's price tag in the UK have ranged from about £60 to £260.
The Guardian believes the Cupertino launch will also lift the wraps on Apple's new "flagship" handset, the iPhone 5S. It is expected to feature a fingerprint scanner, a dual-flash camera that takes better pictures and a faster processor.
Apple might also provide a glimpse of iTunes Radio, its rival to the Spotify music-streaming service, during a demonstration of iOS7, the first "major overhaul" of its mobile operating system, the Daily Mail says.
Leaked photographs purporting to show the iPhone 5C suggest it will come in yellow, blue, white and pink.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 5S will come in just two shades: a grey called 'graphite' and a pale golden colour dubbed 'Champagne'. If that's the case, Apple may find itself falling foul of the Champagne region's generic body, the Comité Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), which jealously protects the name, Decanter.com suggests.
The website points out that CIVIC has successfully secured bans on the sale of a range of products seeking to use 'Champagne' in their name, including bubble bath, underwear and shoes.
Apple: why a 'naff' gold iPhone could work in India and China
WHEN the successor to the iPhone 5 is launched next month it is expected to come in three colours – black, white and gold. Although the rumour has yet to be confirmed by Apple, tech website Gizmondo believes it must be true. "Gold iPhone reports have reached that saturation point... where they can't be ignored anymore," it said.
Tech Crunch is equally confident. "Yes, there will be a gold iPhone," it said at the weekend, pointing out that gold is already the most popular "after-market" colour change (above) for people who have an iPhone and that the colour is easy to anodize onto a handset. On top of that, the colour gold is "in the midst of a renaissance".
There is also a precedent. Apple did briefly sell a gold iPod Mini, which came in a muted shade of gold that most observers described as "champagne".
Tech Crunch points out, rather desperately, that if the gold rumours turn out to be true and plans for a fingerprint scanner also come to fruition, the new iPhone could be nicknamed Goldfinger.
But most observers are agreed that the key reason for the introduction of gold phones would be to cash in on the Chinese and Indian markets.
Analyst Tim Bajarin says that a gold iPhone would be "huge" in China. "The market is driven by colours, and gold means prosperity," he told USA Today.
Quartz agrees that a gold model could score in India and China - but will it seen 'naff' in the West? "Whether or not a gold iPhone will juice Apple's numbers in emerging markets more than it alienates them in rich countries remains to be seen."
Gizmondo does not think Apple will care too much about the phone's reception in the West - because the company is desperate to gain a bigger market share in the East. "The gold iPhone, if it exists, is Apple's love letter to China."
New Apple iPhone 'to feature biometric fingerprint scanner'
THE APPLE rumour-mill has sprung into action ahead of the anticipated launch of a new iPhone later this year, with talk that it could feature a fingerprint scanner. The suggestion comes after an app developer spotted a string of code in the new operating system iOS7, which is currently in beta testing. It mentions "a fingerprint that changes colour during the setup process" while the line above that talks about a "photo of a person holding an iPhone with their left hand while touching the Home button with their thumb". The developer, who is called Hamza Sood and comes from London, posted a picture of the code on Twitter along with an image of the folder in which it was found, entitled 'BiometricKitUI'. Apple has been linked to fingerprint technology in the past but has so far failed to come up with a device that uses it. "If the rumours are true, the latest iPhone will be the first Apple product to feature such a sensor, which could be used for unlocking the homescreen or confirming identity for payment from the App Store or other outlets," reports the Daily Telegraph. "Any sensor would likely be embedded into the physical home button." The development comes a year after Apple paid $356m to buy security company AuthenTec, which specialises in biometric technologies. Earlier this year there were reports from Taiwan that the company was trying to develop a coating material that was compatible with a fingerprint reader. It was claimed that it could even delay the launch of a new iPhone model. The Daily Mail points out that other manufacturers already use biometrics. Motorola and Lenovo use it on some of their products while Samsung has incorporated face-recognition technology. However, Apple's entry into the market could be a game changer. "PayPal's chief information security officer Michael Barrett claimed fingerprint scanners could spell the end of modern-day passwords and the technology would become more popular once Apple introduces it to one of its products," reported the paper. Website ZDNet reports: "A biometric fingerprint sensor would definitely give the iPhone a leg up on the competition, at least initially." But it adds that Samsung took out a patent on a similar feature in 2012, and suggests Apple's move could "initiate another patent war". But don't hold your breath, warns tech site Cnet. "Details inside unreleased versions of Apple's code do not always come to fruition immediately," it says. "In this case, Apple's next iPhones are expected to be a few months away, making this discovery more curious." ·