Looks like the CDMA iPhone, that was built by Apple in partnership with Verizon, is not limited to the American market alone. A new report on the Taiwanese publication – Digitimes – claims that Apple could soon be launching the CDMA variant of the iPhone 4 to Asian countries like China, Japan and South Korea.
Apple is reported to have partnered with Foxconn and Pegatron technologies for the manufacture of these CDMA handsets. While the Foxconn shipments are expected to be sold solely in the United States, those from Pegatron are expected to be shipped to China and other countries.
While the Digitimes article does not explicitly mention India as one of the countries where the CDMA variant could be headed to, there are chances given that a WSJ report late last year had indicated that Apple was in talks with Indian CDMA carriers – Reliance and Tata – to launch the CDMA iPhones in the market.
But given the lukewarm response to earlier iPhone models in the country, it is likely that Apple may defer their India CDMA launch to sometime later.
As you must have heard by now, Apple has seeded a beta version of iOS 4.3 with developers. Among the several enhancements this new iOS update offers, one interesting inclusion is that of several new multitouch gestures that let users to “pinch to home screen“, “swipe up to reveal multitasking tray“, “swipe left/right to switch apps“, etc.
Now according to a new rumor, Apple could be working on such gestures in order to eventually build an iPhone without any physical buttons. The new design in fact is expected to be made available on the iPad first and then make its way to the iPhone at a later stage.
In that case, we wonder if this would mean that the next generation iPad, that is speculated to launch in just a few weeks from now could be the first iDevice to launch without a home button. Do you think it’s a good idea?
As expected, Verizon announced the new CDMA variant of the iPhone at their media event yesterday. The device is expected to go on pre-0rders in the United States starting February 3 and will launch on Apple and Verizon stores on February 10th.
So what is changing with the new launch? Here is a roundup
New iOS Update :
Apple is expected to roll out iOS 4.2.5 shortly. The Verizon iPhone will run on this new iOS platform that will also bring some new features.
Mobile Hotspot :
The Verizon iPhone will let users set their device as a wireless internet router that can be connected from up to five devices. This feature will require a software update that the new iOS 4.2.5 is supposed to provide. It is not clear if the feature will also simultaneously make its way to the GSM variant of the iPhone.
Modified Antenna :
The iPhone 4 antenna design that had invited severe criticism now stands slightly modified with the new launch. The antenna break points are now no longer on the top and are instead on the sides – something that will reduce the death grip issue. However, Apple claims this new design change is to accommodate the CDMA communication frequency that is different from GSM’s.
Simultaneous Voice & Data :
The EVDO Rev-A CDMA network that Verizon operates on does not support simultaneous usage of voice and data. This means Verizon iPhone users cannot talk and surf the web in the same way as AT&T users do. Verizon however maintains that this will be a pretty small compromise in comparison to the other things on offer with Verizon
No SIM Card Slot :
There is no SIM card slot – as it is with a CDMA phone. What this also means is that international travelers will find it difficult to use their iPhones when they travel abroad since CDMA network penetration is not high in many parts of the world.
The Verizon iPhone is not exclusive which means Apple could soon be offering CDMA variants of its iPhone across other carriers around the world. The Verizon iPhone shall be priced at $199 and $299 for the 16GB and 32GB variants respectively.
Apple typically charges a 10% fee on products returned by customers back to the Apple Store. Starting January 11, this restocking fee may be waived. According to a report, customers now returning an old device while upgrading to a new product or because they are unsatisfied no longer have to forego this amount while returning the product. Of course, the 14 day return period still holds – just that you do not have to pay the restocking fee.
The possible announcement date of January 11 looks interesting. You may recall that Verizon is expected to announce their CDMA iPhone on this day. Considering that there are a lot of customers who prefer Verizon over AT&T, this policy announcement on January 11 is likely to help those recent Apple product buyers who may want to rethink their purchase after Verizon’ s announcement.
Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg.com, has been the source of a number of Apple related rumors in the past – most notably, during the iPod 2008 media event. Rose’s latest revelation could however be his biggest crack if it turns out to be true. In a recent post, Rose has noted that the next generation of iPad could launch as early as in the next 3-4 weeks. Citing sources “on good authority“, Rose says that an Apple announcement in this regard is most likely on Tuesday, February 1.
His revelation is also replete with a number of rumored features that the iPad 2 could come equipped with. These include a possible retina display and two cameras – one on the front and another on the rear side of the iPad. These revelations are quite interesting considering a retina display could spike the manufacturing cost by a huge margin. Rose has however clarified that the iPad display resolution may not be as high as that on the iPhone 4.
It will be interesting to see what comes of this latest rumor.
A number of sources have confirmed to major Apple enthusiast websites that a Verizon iPhone announcement could be coming in less than a week from now. According to these sources, Verizon has issued invitations to major media outlets for an event that is scheduled for January 11th. Not just this, the sources also point out that Apple has been blocking vacation requests from its retail store staff for the duration between February 3 and February 6.
What this could probably mean is that a Verizon iPhone could be announced next week on January 11 and could starting being made available over Verizon Stores, Apple Stores and other retail channels starting February 3rd. Despite rumors about Verizon iPhone making its rounds on and off over the past couple of years, this is the first time we hear credible news as far as launch dates are concerned. And we hope that it’s true this time around.
Keeping up with their earlier announcement to launch the Apple Mac Store on January 6, Apple has announced that this new App Store for the Mac platform is now available for use on any computer running Mac OS X Snow Leopard. The App Store currently holds close to a 1000 different applications – free and paid. With the new Mac App Store, users can surf and buy new applications using their iTunes account.
The apps currently available on the Mac App Store platform include those from third parties like Ancestry and Boinx as well as in-house apps like iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand – from the iLife ’11 suite. Productivity tools like Pages, Keynote and Numbers will also be available at a price of $19.99 each. Unlike earlier speculations, Apple has not announced anything on the iWork ’11 front. You can check out the Mac App Store via the software update or by clicking here.
If you are in the UK, you may be aware of the increased VAT rates that consumers now have to pay for their goods. Electronic items like the iPhone and iPad has attract VAT charges of 20% – up from 17.5% that was levied last year. One may have expected Apple to absorb the hike to maintain their original price points. However, Apple has now announced that the prices of their devices will now be priced higher in order to keep up with the new VAT charges.
Consequently, a 16GB iPhone 4 will now cost £510 instead of the earlier £499. Also, the entry level iPad – the 16GB Wi-Fi only model – will now cost £439 instead £429. Prices of Apple’s iPod devices too will see an increase. The new starting prices for iPod Touch, iPod Classic, iPod nano and iPod Shuffle will now be £193, £197, £131 and £40 respectively.
How much money does Apple make from the App Store? This is a question that gets asked pretty often. Cupertino has said in the past that they do not make significant profit from the App Store and most of the revenues only help in keeping the servers running.
But according to a new report from Citibank, Apple should be expecting revenues close to $2 billion in 2011. This is for a period that is expected to see terrific growth in app usage. Citibank estimates the total value of the app market to grow from $4 billion in 2010 to $27 billion in 2012.
What this means is that Apple could be expecting a significant profit line from the App Store for the first time this year. While the company does not reveal its revenues from particular properties, we do expect Steve Jobs to make an announcement about the App Store becoming cash positive in one of the media events next year.
Over the past couple of weeks, a number of revelations have been made with respect to the next generation iPad. These include the possible inclusion of a wide-range speaker on the rear bottom of the device, tapered sides and flatter rear and camera slots on the front and rear of the device.
These speculations have come through third party accessory pictures that were posted on Chinese eCommerce website Alibaba.com. In addition to this, folks at 9to5Mac too had published iPad 2 case mold drawings that gave us a much more complete picture of the forthcoming device. Until now these remained just rumors that carried little or no credibility.
However, it now appears these feature speculations were indeed correct. Apple or one of their partners seemed to have contacted all websites that had taken a lead in publishing these photos and demanded these images be pulled. Subsequently, 9to5Mac and Alibaba among others have pulled the images that they had posted on their websites. 9to5Mac have updated their earlier post with a message that reads,
“we’ve been told (not so nicely) to remove those mold drawings because they are the property of someone else. We’ve complied.”
Meanwhile, FullChance Industrial Co., who reportedly have partnered with Hon Hai for the manufacture of the accessories have revealed that the published images are “extremely accurate“. So there you go. In case you had any doubt about what the next generation iPad would look like, you just had your answer.