Apple’s New iPhones Face Shipping Delays

Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s new iPhones will take as many as four weeks to ship, a sign that early demand for the smartphones is outstripping supply.

The iPhone 6 Plus, which has a larger display, will take three to four weeks for shoppers who pre-ordered online yesterday, according to Apple’s website, as people rushed to buy the handset hours after the company began taking pre-orders. Certain iPhone 6 models, which have a slightly smaller screen, will take seven to 10 business days to arrive, though some versions are still available for delivery on Sept. 19 when the devices are set to go on sale in stores. Pre-orders through some individual carriers’ websites indicate shipments could take even longer.

“Response to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been incredible, with a record number of pre-orders overnight,” said Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman with Cupertino, California-based Apple.

Apple this week unveiled the new smartphones with rounded edges, thinner frames and higher-resolution displays, and they became available for pre-order starting at 3 a.m. New York time yesterday. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is counting on the new devices to usher in demand for other products he introduced this week, from the iPhone-compatible Apple Watch to the credit card-substituting Apple Pay service.
Demand for the latest iPhone is the greatest AT&T Inc. has seen in two years, Ralph de la Vega, CEO of its mobile division, said yesterday at a Goldman Sachs media conference.

“Every time there is a change in design, and this is clearly a change in design for Apple, there is an uptake,” de la Vega said. “I think there’s going to be a great uptake, which is good for us.”

Familiar Pattern

This isn’t the first time Apple and phone carriers have seen iPhone models delayed well before they were available in stores. In 2012, the iPhone 5 was delayed for shipment by a week after a rush of orders, and in 2011 the iPhone 4S sold out at AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint Nextel Corp. only five days after pre-orders began.

“The iPhone 6 Plus experiences severe supply constraints,” Brian White, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, wrote in a note to investors.

The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch display and the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch one, while the previous iPhones have a 4-inch screen. The iPhone 6 costs $199 to $399 with a two-year contract, while the 6 Plus is priced at $299 to $499. The devices will come in silver, gold and space gray.

“It’s the biggest advancement ever in iPhone history,” Cook said yesterday in an interview with Charlie Rose at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. “We think that the upgrade cycle here and the number of people that will switch from other smartphones — it will be enormous.”

Twitter Gripes

Customers took to Twitter to complain of difficulties loading Apple’s website to place pre-orders. The website had problems loading at about 3:22 a.m. New York time yesterday, according to Isitdownrightnow.com, a site that tracks Internet issues.

Shares of Apple rose less than 1 percent to $101.66 at the close in New York yesterday. The stock is up 27 percent this year.

While the company normally doesn’t disclose figures for its production runs of new products, it typically has a supply of its new devices in stores on the first day.

Carriers, which often offer deals when a new iPhone comes out to lure more data-hungry smartphone users and bolster their market share, are again offering incentives that may be bolstering interest.

Carrier Incentives

Verizon is promoting a “Trade In & Trade Up” smartphone sale on its website, offering $100 to $300 for used devices. AT&T said earlier this week it will let customers swap in their old iPhone for a new iPhone 6 and as much as a $300 credit. Sprint is offering the “iPhone for Life” plan, which for $70 a month lets users rent the iPhone 6 and upgrade to a new version every two years, while T-Mobile US Inc. says it will top the best trade-in price with an added $50.

“Right now, we’re in an online, preorder phase, and will share info on in-store when it becomes available,” Debra Lewis, a Verizon spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

While AT&T is planning on having new iPhones in stores by Sept. 19, the company won’t comment on which specific models will be available, said Mark Siegel, a spokesman for the carrier.

Legere Apologizes

T-Mobile will have the iPhone 6 Plus in stock in stores when the device goes on sale next week, said Tolena Thorburn, a spokeswoman for the Bellevue, Washington-based company. The company’s website was unable to process orders part of yesterday, with its site carrying a message attributing the errors to “strong demand for preorder devices.”

T-Mobile CEO John Legere apologized to customers on Twitter, saying “demand has been huge but we are on it.”

Michelle Mermelstein, a spokeswoman for Sprint, declined to comment on whether the Overland Park, Kansas-based company would have the iPhone 6 Plus in stores on Sept. 19.

The iPhone remains the most important piece of Apple’s business.

The handset accounted for about half of Apple’s $171 billion in revenue in its last fiscal year, and with sales of the iPad slowing, the company needs to keep the iPhone a blockbuster to maintain growth.

The handsets will initially be available in a limited set of markets — including the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the U.K. – – for pre-order and shipping on Sept. 19, the company has said. China, one of Apple’s biggest markets, won’t get the new devices at first, though the company said it plans to have the phones in 115 countries by the end of the year.

Google Launches Android One In India

Android’s future lies not in expensive, feature-packed smartphones for the tech elite. Instead, it’s all about getting smartphones to the rest of the world.

Google today officially launched Android One, its initiative for cheap-yet-high quality smartphones for developing countries. The program is debuting in India with three cheap devices starting at around $105 off-contract, and the company is also planning to expand the program to Indonesia, the Philippines, and the rest of South Asia by the end of the year.

While high-end Android devices will be a mainstay among gadget geeks, there’s a much bigger opportunity for Google in focusing on the more than 5 billion people worldwide that currently don’t have smartphones. After getting its hooks into those potential consumers early, Google will likely be able to make them lifelong customers.

Cheap Android devices have already helped the platform dominate smartphone market share (85 percent of smartphones shipped in the second quarter ran Android, according to IDC), but with Android One, Google is aiming to bring some stability to the low-end market. It’s similar to Google’s Nexus line, which highlights what Android can do for higher-end phones (while still focusing on relatively inexpensive off-contract pricing).

Google says it’s working together with phone and component makers by sharing reference hardware designs, which could lead to cheaper devices with high-quality specs. Just like Nexus devices, Android One phones will get updates directly from Google, so users won’t be beholden to the whims of their carriers. The devices also include features that are particularly useful for the developing world, like dual SIM capabilities, expandable storage, FM radio, and removable batteries.

Android Wear is launching in India with phones from Micromax, Karbonn, and Spice. They all share similar specs: A 4.5-inch processor, 1 gigabyte of RAM, a quad-core processor, and a 5-megapixel camera.- the phones look fairly indistinguishable now. But you can expect phone makers to get more creative with their designs down the line. Google also revealed new partners for Android One, including Acer, Asus, HTC, Lenovo, and Qualcomm.

Google has also partnered with Airtel in India to offer free updates over cellular for the first six months. During that time, Airtel customers can also download up to 200 megabytes worth of apps for free every month.

Google also plans to launch an offline version of YouTube in India, which will let consumers rewatch videos without eating up their mobile data.

“Access for access’s sake is not enough,” wrote Google VP Sundar Pichai, who leads Android and Chrome, in a blog post today. “With Android One, we not only want to help people get online, we want to make sure that when they get there, they can tap into the wealth of information and knowledge the web holds for everyone.”

And of course, it also helps that all of those new web users will likely be dependent on Google’s services.

Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus sells out in less than a day (VB )

Apple has already sold out of its new iPhone 6 Plus device, not even a full day after the device became available for order.

Apple opened up preorders for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last night, and it appears that Apple and all the major U.S. wireless carriers have completely sold through their initial allotments of the Plus. That’s saying a lot, considering that the iPhone 6 Plus is $100 more expensive than the regular model and is available with three different storage options (16GB for $299, 64GB for $399, and 128GB for $499).

Those wishing to preorder the iPhone 6 Plus at this point can still do so but will need to wait longer before getting the actual device. While people who managed to pre-order the phone before it was out of stock should receive their devices by Sept. 19, Verizon is telling customers they’ll get their back-ordered phones by mid October, while AT&T warns it could take up to 45 days. T-Mobile and Sprint don’t have concrete shipping dates, but do notify customers that the phone is on back order.

Apple is expected to ship over 80 million iPhones this year, and if today’s preorder activity is any indication, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Prior to Release

Apple had run into a huge buying pause just ahead of the launch of the next iPhone. This shows that there are a lot of consumers who are holding off their purchases for the upcoming iPhone. According to analysts, Apple’s introduction of big-screen phones is likely to drive a massive iPhone 6 upgrade cycle. Banking on this possibility, shares of Apple have surged in recent months. Earlier this month, Apple’s shares have touched an all-time high and are hovering around $1

Plenty of reasons to upgrade to an iPhone 6

The biggest reason for someone to upgrade to a newer iPhone would definitely be its bigger screen. As opposed to its competition who were busy churning out phablets like the Galaxy Note 4 and Sony Xperia Z Ultra with screen sizes reaching as large as 6.4 inches, Apple has held itself restricted from releasing a smartphone with a bigger screen.

When asked about a possibility of an iPhone with a bigger screen, Tim Cook said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, “What we’ve said is that until the technology is ready, we don’t want to cross that line. That doesn’t say we’ll never do it. We want to give our customers what’s right in all respects – not just the size but in the resolution, in the clarity, in the contrast, in the reliability. There are many different parameters to measure a display and we care about all those, because we know that’s the window to the software.”

Read more: http://www.dazeinfo.com/2014/09/08/apple-inc-aapl-iphone-sales-replacement-upgrade-offer-price/#ixzz3D7KlZMnd

Apple Shakes Doubters as Stock Surge Greets IPhones Blackberry To Benefit

AAPL:US98.36-0.61 -0.62%
98.36
09/08/2014

Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s prospects seem a lot brighter than they were the last time Tim Cook introduced an iPhone.

When Chief Executive Officer Cook unveiled two new smartphone models 12 months ago, Apple’s stock was slumping and the company was losing market share to Samsung Electronics Co. and low-cost manufacturers such as Xiaomi Corp. Questions abounded about whether Apple could keep innovating without co-founder Steve Jobs.

Fast forward to a year later and the company’s stock is flirting with a record high. Anticipation is building for the bigger-screen iPhones, a wearable device and a mobile-payments system that people with knowledge of the matter have said Apple is set to announce today. Even the recent stolen pictures of naked celebrities such as Kate Upton from Apple’s iCloud service have done little to derail investor enthusiasm.

Driving the change are shifts in the smartphone industry and how investors have come to accept that Cook is firmly in charge of Apple. Rival Samsung (005930) is losing momentum as its multiple-device strategy to please all people at all prices is stalling, making Apple’s decision to stick just with high-end phones look smart. Cook is also set to give investors what they’ve been seeking: a new category of products, and larger-screen devices that consumers have been craving.

 

They’re on top of the world,” said Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies Inc. “The No. 1 difference between last year and this year is the fact that Wall Street and even the customers have embraced the fact that this is Tim’s company — he’s proven that he not only can pick up the mantle of Steve Jobs but advance it.”

Even Cook’s venue choice for tomorrow’s event is symbolic, Bajarin said. Apple will reveal its latest gadgets near its Cupertino, California-based headquarters at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts. That’s where Jobs introduced the Macintosh computer in 1984 and the iMac in 1998, both of which triggered growth spurts at the company.

Cook still has a lot to do to maintain Apple’s growth streak. The wearable device, which may include features for tracking health and fitness activity, along with a push into mobile payments, will test Apple’s ability to integrate hardware and software to make the products easy to use. Competition against deep-pocketed Samsung remains stiff in smartphones and other mobile devices.

Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman at Apple, declined to comment.

Bigger IPhones

Apart from investors, software developers are also optimistic about Apple’s prospects. Mark Kawano, CEO and co-founder of Storehouse Media Inc., said he’s looking forward to iPhones with larger screens, a better camera and an operating system that will likely let his company’s storytelling application be better utilized.

“More and more, the iPhone is just getting better and better at things that a traditional computer used to be good at,” he said. “Those things are what we are really well positioned for.”

Apple’s perceived renaissance dates back to earlier this year. At the end of 2013, Samsung, with its panoply of multipriced Galaxy devices running on Google Inc.’s Android operating systems, loomed large. The Suwon, South Korea-based company’s share of the global smartphone market had surged to 31 percent, while Apple held about 15 percent, according to researcher IDC.

Facing Critics

Apple, meanwhile, faced criticism from analysts and investors for holding to a single phone style and high prices. Its then-new iPhone 5s started at $199 with a wireless contract and the less-expensive iPhone 5c was offered at $99 with a contract. The unsubsidized iPhone 5c was priced at $549 in the U.S. and 4,488 yuan ($733) in China while Xiaomi’s handset cost 1,999 yuan and Lenovo Group Ltd.’s flagship K900 IdeaPhone sold for 3,299 yuan.

“There was speculation in the tech media that the 5cs were going to be the low-price phones, so when they came out and the pricing didn’t really address the broader emerging markets that wanted cheaper phones, that obviously led to some level of disappointment and sell off,” Walter Piecyk, an analyst at BTIG LLC in New York, said.

Samsung Slowdown

Yet Samsung — instead of ratcheting up its revenue at Apple’s expense — began facing slowing sales growth as it got squeezed by competitors such as Xiaomi on the low end and Apple on the high end. Samsung’s global smartphone market share slid to 25 percent in the second quarter from 32 percent a year earlier, according to IDC. In July, Samsung reported sales and profit that missed analysts’ estimates.

“The loss of momentum at Samsung creates an unforeseen buffer globally — and is timed perfectly into a launch of larger screened phones with the potential to even get customers to switch back to Apple,” Ben Reitzes, an analyst at Barclays, wrote in a July note to investors.

By contrast, Apple steadily reported increasing year-over-year iPhone sales that topped analysts’ estimates. The new handsets “primarily” fueled Apple’s 12 percent sales gain by unit during the first three quarters of the company’s 2014 fiscal year, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Best Ever

At the same time, Apple executives began a drumbeat to raise anticipation for new products. In May, Eddy Cue, head of iTunes, said products to be introduced later this year are the the best pipeline Apple has had in 25 years. In July, Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri echoed that by saying he was “expecting a very busy fall.” Cook chimed in and said the company has an “incredible pipeline” that “we can’t wait to show you.”

Cook has appealed to investors in other ways as well. In April, Apple said it would expand its shareholder payout program, increasing its share repurchase authorization to $90 billion from $60 billion and announcing a 7-for-1 stock split, as well as a bigger dividend. The company’s stock surged in the aftermath of the announcements.

The CEO has also shown he’s serious this year about boosting growth through acquisitions. In May, Apple agreed to pay $3 billion to buy headphones and streaming-music service Beats Electronics LLC, the company’s biggest-ever purchase.

By the end of trading yesterday, Apple’s stock was up 38 percent from a year ago, ending the day at $98.36. Shares are up 23 percent so far this year, exceeding the 8.3 percent gain of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

There’s a new willingness by investors to see “the glass as half full rather than half empty,” Piecyk said. “They’ve earned more investor trust.”

Seeking Alpha says Blackberry To Benefit

  

Summary

  • Apple’s iPhone 6 is about to make the phablet form factor the dominant one for consumers.
  • While Apple’s first iPhone destroyed BlackBerry, this release will catalyze BlackBerry.
  • The BlackBerry Passport could become the dominant business phablet in the marketplace.
    • The BlackBerry Passport could become the dominant business phablet in the marketplace.Apple will have validated for the masses the value of a bigger screen, and BlackBerry will have the biggest screen around. And this time, BlackBerry won’t be competing with Apple for the consumer market. It will be re-entering familiar territory with familiar customers in mind: working professionals for whom productivity is paramount,

Ranking the Top Smartphones

from Business Insider
RANKED: The Best Smartphones In The World

#14 BlackBerry Q10
Up five spots from last month

 

Link to full rankings http://www.businessinsider.com/                 RE Best-smartphones-2014

China’s Biggest Carriers Might Have Revealed A Ton Of Details About The iPhone 6

China Telecom’s pre-order page for the iPhone 6.

We’re only days away from seeing the iPhone 6, but a few Chinese carriers may have already spilled a handful of details about the phone.

China Telecom is already allowing customers to pre-order the iPhone 6 ahead of its unveiling on Tuesday, as ZDNet first reported. This comes just days after China Mobile, the country’s largest mobile carrier, also revealed it would be accepting pre-orders for the iPhone 6.

More interestingly, China Telecom’s pre-order page reveals a few key details about what to expect from the iPhone 6. First, images of the phone appear to be consistent with all the leaks we’ve seen so far. The same curved edges, redesigned buttons, and larger design that we’ve seen circulate the web for months are present here.

The phone also seems to be available in black, silver, and gold color options, just like the iPhone 5s. Those who try to pre-order the phone will have the option of choosing between a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch model, hinting that Apple could unveil both size options on Tuesday.

The pre-order page also says the iPhone 6 will come with a “better” Touch ID home button, a 3-megapixel front-facing camera, and a sharper display packing 416 pixels per inch. Naturally, it also lists Apple’s coming A8 processor along with these other details.

China Telecom didn’t list a price, but ZDNet also spotted a leaked photo from another major Chinese carrier that reveals how much the iPhone 6 could cost. The reportedly leaked photo from China Unicom suggests the smaller iPhone could cost about $861, while the bigger, 5.5-inch iPhone may sell for $1,024. It’s important to note that these are unsubsidized prices. If you’re buying the phone on a two-year carrier contract, it will be much cheaper.

China Unicom also says the 4.7-inch iPhone will be the iPhone 6, while the larger version will be called the iPhone 6 Pro.

It seems unusual that a pre-order page would highlight smaller additions like the front-facing camera rather than emphasizing new features coming with iOS 8, such as HealthKit integration. There’s also no mention of the much-rumored NFC functionality that we’ve heard so much about within the past few days.

We won’t really know for sure until Apple officially takes the wraps off its next iPhone next week.

 

BlackBerry’s ‘cloud’ difficult to hack, analyst say – could have saved Jennifer Lawrence from “Bimbo ” status

Businesses using BlackBerry’s cloud-based services should not be spooked by hackers who stole nude photographs of celebrities out of the Apple iCloud, says an independent technology analyst.

London, Ont.-based Carmi Levy said Apple’s iCloud was built for consumers and BlackBerry’s suite of cloud services are for the corporate and enterprise world.

“That has significant implications for the kinds of security features built into the service,” Levy said. “They are two very different animals.”

On Sunday, hackers posted hundreds of nude photos of celebrities stolen from their personal Apple accounts. Apple says the hackers made targeted attacks against select celebrities.

“This incident uncovered a fundamental weakness in Apple’s security infrastructure for the iCloud that it has since resolved,” Levy said.

Apple users have a security code that is four digits by default. Such codes can be cracked by regular computers using programs that run all possible combinations in a short period of time.

This is known as a bruteforce attack.

In addition, the iPhone app called Find My Phone had no limits on how many times a user tries an incorrect password. Users or hackers are locked out of most other systems after three incorrect attempts.

That made the Find My Phone app easy pickings for a brute-force attack.

“It was all too easy for hackers using a certain piece of software known as iBrute to bypass the alarm that would advise a user that someone is repeatedly trying to break into their account,” Levy said. The security standards in the enterprise sector are far more stringent, and information technology professionals there would respond differently, he said.

“An IT decision maker would know full well to implement two-factor authentication on all devices, right out of the gate,” Levy said. “Whereas in Apple’s case, consumers don’t necessarily think or act that way.”

The cloud became a popular term in the digital world around 2010. It is marketing jargon for third-party data centres where information is stored, rather than on individual phones, laptops and tablets. Earlier this year, BlackBerry made it clear it would expand its offerings of cloud-based services for enterprise customers as a key part of its turnaround strategy.

“You cannot shut down investments in technology, including mobility, including the cloud, every time someone suffers a breach,” Levy said. “The Apple iCloud experience gives us an opportunity to learn some very important lessons about mobile security, but it is not a reason to write off the entire space.”

Nobody should be too hard on Apple for being hacked, he said.

“It is somewhat unfair to single out Apple, given the fact that any technology company can be victimized on any given day,” Levy said.

“It is almost impossible to find a major vendor that has not been compromised in some way, or whose name has not been dragged through the mud by hackers.”

DISCLOSURE:  BBRY is the largest long position held by Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts

 

Apple is wholly unoriginal … and that’s okay ? Here Comes Sam(sung)

Apple is set to announce a handful of new products next week that you’ve already seen elsewhere. But when it comes to Apple, that’s not a problem.

Whether it’s larger phones, a smartwatch or a new mobile payments system — all of which are rumored to be announced next week — Apple will be following the lead of other companies that already have products on the market. That’s prompting renewed criticism that the company has lost its ability to innovate following the death of former CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs.

But even if Apple isn’t the first company to make these products, its track record indicates that it still has the opportunity to reap gains by executing them better than the competition.
“Apple is not usually first to market — they typically make an existing product much better and more usable,” said Amit Daryanani, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets.

Apple is widely expected to unveil a pair of larger iPhones next week measuring 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, up from four inches on the iPhone 5S.
Those larger phones will finally give Apple (AAPL, Tech30) some entries into the “phablet” market. That product category has been led in recent years by rival Samsung.
For Apple, the larger phones are low-hanging fruit. Customers spent over $10 billion in the company’s App Store last year, the bulk of that going to gaming apps. Bigger screens and faster processors on the new iPhones will make those games even more compelling.
As for smartwatches, Apple will be following on the heels of devices from companies like Samsung, LG and Motorola that sync with smartphones and offer features like directions and fitness tracking.
But the recent crop of smartwatches have underwhelmed reviewers and failed to present a compelling reason why they’re more convenient than simply taking your phone out of your pocket. If Apple can find a way to improve on those models — perhaps with more sophisticated health tracking or location awareness — consumers may finally have a reason to ditch their old Timexes en masse.
The opportunity is even bigger in mobile payments, where smartphone-based systems like Isis and Google (GOOGL, Tech30) Wallet have been around for years without catching on.

Apple has reportedly been working with major credit-card companies on an iPhone-based payment system. The company already has more than 800 million credit cards on file thanks to iTunes and App Store accounts, according to some estimates, giving it a massive ready customer base.
Add to that the security of the iPhone’s fingerprint identification system and Apple could finally push merchants and consumers to ditch plastic and move to smartphone-based transactions.
“To say that Apple is coming out with a product that already exists ignores the fact that there were MP3 players before the iPod and smartphones before the iPhone,” said Walter Piecyk, an analyst with BTIG. “Those products defined their categories

Having trouble with your iPhone 5 battery? You might be eligible for a free replacement.
Apple (AAPL, Tech30) said “a very small percentage” of iPhone 5 smartphones may “suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently.”

Don’t get too excited just yet. After a year or two, everyone’s iPhone battery seems to carry less juice than it once did. But Apple’s repair program is limited to certain customers in the United States and China.
Only iPhone 5 smartphones sold between September 2012 and January 2013 are eligible, and only those that fall within a certain range of serial numbers. Apple has opened a website that allows people to determine whether their phones are eligible. (To access your serial number, tap Settings > General > About > Serial Number).

Investors curbed their bets on Apple on Wednesday.

One possible reason: They got a reminder that the company won’t have a free run at the market this fall even with the release of the hotly anticipated iPhone 6 and supposed iWatch.

Apple’s shares fell 4.2%, having hit an all-time closing high of $103.30 on Tuesday. The drop coincided with rival Samsung’s event at the IFA show in Germany, where it previewed new versions of its Galaxy

Apple Inc. (AAPL)-Nasdaq
Prev Close: 103.30
Open: 103.20
Bid: 98.79 x 100
Ask: 98.82 x 100
1y Target Est: 106.83
Beta: 0.83
Earnings Date: Oct 27 – Oct 31 (Est.)
Day’s Range: 98.58 – 103.20
52wk Range: 63.89 – 103.74
Volume: 125,424,577
Avg Vol (3m): 49,884,300
Market Cap: 592.44B
P/E (ttm): 16.60
EPS (ttm): 5.96
Div & Yield: 1.88 (2.00%

iShares SouthKorea ETF (EWY : NYSE : US$65.27), Net Change: -0.13, % Change: -0.20%, Volume: 1,332,424
Arms race?

Samsung unveiled new versions of its Galaxy Note smartphone on Wednesday, featuring a crisper, 5.7-inch display edition version of the Note with a curved edge screen on one of the phone’s sides, helping users to stay focused on their main screen without having to respond to calendar reminders or incoming emails.

It also demonstrated a Virtual Reality headset that on version of the Note with a curved edge screen on one of the phone’s sides, helping users to stay focused on their main screen without having to respond to calendar reminders or incoming emails.

. The launch comes just less than a week before Apple’s September 9 event where Apple is expected to roll out a 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 as well as a possible iWatch device. Last week, Samsung said it would begin selling a stand-alone wristwatch, the Samsung Gear S, which will be able to make and receive calls without having to be tethered to a smartphone. Apple is also expected to join forces with credit card companies to provide a mobile payment option for the iPhone 6 and iOS 8.

A Passport To Success For BlackBerry?

BlackBerry has sent out invites to three simultaneous events to be held in London, Toronto and Dubai on September 24 where it is expected to unveil the Passport, potentially its most innovative smartphone in the best part of a decade.

What makes it special is that BlackBerry has decided that the rectangular screen that is a standard feature on essentially all smartphones made by everyone from Apple to Samsung and beyond is actually a bad idea. It limits productivity and forces you to keep rotating a handset from portrait to landscape in order to accommodate different content

According to BlackBerry, academic research shows that the optimal number of characters on a line in a book is 66 characters. Because rectangular smartphones lack screen width, they can only manage 40 characters.

However, because the Passport has a perfectly square 4.5-inch high definition display, it can display 60 characters per line, making it great not just for reading e-books but for using spreadsheets and Instagram, and all without having to rotate the handset in order to fit elements on the screen.

As well as a square screen, the Passport has a physical keyboard so that the user’s fingers don’t obscure the display. But as well as being good for typing emails and messages, the keyboard is touch-sensitive, meaning that it can respond to swipes and taps too. So it becomes like a trackpad on a notebook allowing you to navigate around the screen without touching it.

Although the phone isn’t going to be officially revealed until the special September event, BlackBerry has been very open about the device and has been publishing new snippets of information about its capabilities over the past two months.

So as well as screen size and resolution, we know it is going to have a best-in-class battery life and offer sufficient security for use in finance and healthcare. In fact, all that still isn’t clear about the device is when exactly it will be in the shops and how much it will cost. Expect that to be revealed, along with the device, on September 24.

As such September is going to be a very busy month for premium smartphone launches. Sony, Samsung, Motorola and, of course, Apple will all be announcing new flagship handsets in the coming days.

DISCLOSURE : BBRY is the largest position in Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts

Shares of iPhone maker Apple fall after rival Samsung unveils new phones

by Irene Kuan

NEW YORK – Apple shares are getting bit by a rival.

The iPhone maker’s stock fell more than 3 per cent Wednesday after Samsung unveiled two new smartphones at a trade show in Berlin.

Samsung announced the Galaxy Note Edge phone, which has a side display for quicker access to Twitter, the flashlight, news and other apps. It also showed off a new Galaxy Note 4 phone and a virtual-reality headset for the phone called Gear VR to watch concerts or play games.

The Samsung unveiling comes less than a week before Apple is expected to reveal its new products, next Tuesday in Cuppertino, California. A larger iPhone, and possibly a computerized watch, are expected.

Apple’s stock drop comes a day after its shares hit an all-time high of $103.74. That same day, Apple said that the theft of private photos from celebrities was not because of a security breach of its iCloud system. Instead, hackers took user names and passwords for the accounts, Apple said Tuesday.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Shares of Apple Inc. fell $3.55 to $99.75 in afternoon trading, erasing more than $20 billion of its market value. The stock is still up more than 24 per cent so far this year

 

Google To Release Two New Smartphones – One Giant

Google is reportedly planning to release two new smartphones this year, one with a 5.9-inch screen and another with a 5.2-inch display, according to Phone Arena’s Michael Heller.
Rumors about Google’s next smartphone have been circulating the Web for months.

We first heard that Google is planning to launch a giant phablet-sized Nexus phone back in July, when Android Police said the device would debut in November. The phone was believed to be a joint effort between Google and Motorola, but Android Police’s report suggests it will launch under Google’s Nexus brand.

At the same time, Motorola has been rumored to be working on two new smartphones — its flagship successor to the Moto X known as the Moto X+1, and a separate device called the Moto S.

Motorola is believed to be testing two different model sizes for this Moto S — a 5.2-inch version and a 5.9-inch variant. This isn’t to be confused with Google’s alleged Nexus X, since Phone Arena says a 5.9-inch Nexus X is already scheduled to go to market. From what we understand, it sounds like the Moto S is a separate device and Motorola is testing it in two different sizes.

Which size makes it to market will depend on the success of the Moto X+1, which is said to be slightly larger than the 4.7-inch Moto X.

So how does this relate to Google’s new Nexus smartphones?

If Motorola decides to bring its 5.9-inch version of the Moto S to market instead of the 5.2-inch model, Google may repurpose that smaller Moto S and brand it as a second Nexus device. So, depending on Motorola’s choices, Google could launch a 5.9-inch Nexus phablet and a smaller 5.2-inch Nexus phone.

A 5.9-inch screen is unusually large for a smartphone. In fact, it’s just about one inch shy of a tablet. The Samsung Galaxy Mega, which comes in both 5.8- and 6.3-inch sizes, is the only other phablet that would compare in size to Google’s upcoming giant smartphone.

There’s no word on when we should expect these phones to debut, but last year Google quietly unveiled its Nexus 5 smartphone and Android 4.4 KitKat at the end of October. It’s also important to note that Google hasn’t confirmed any plans to release new smartphones in its Nexus line just yet.

Question: How do you get the giant in your pocket?

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