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Radio Shack to offer $30 discount on iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 starting Sunday

From 9to5Toys.com:

RadioShack is offering a $30 discount on all of their AT&T high end smartphones which obviously includes the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, starting Sunday and running until December 17th. The sale will bring the iPhone 4S 16GB down to $170 0n contract and the iPhone 4 16GB to $70 on contract. Also, if you use Radioshack’s trade-in program you can get the phones for free and even have some extra credit left over. Head over to your local store to take advantage of this sale.

Update: Word on the street is that Target is going to give $25 back on an iPhone purchase. (Thanks commenter)



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Sprint posts new iPhone 4S ad, making its way to RadioShack this weekend, 16GB only

If you’re still trying to get your hands on the Sprint iPhone 4S, you’ve now got another outlet. According to internal documents we’ve obtained, RadioShack will be adding Apple’s latest handset to their Sprint lineup this weekend. Some stores should have stock now and many more will be getting it over the coming days. Unfortunately, if you want the 32 or 64 GB models, you may be out of luck, at least for now. According the documents we’ve seen, there is no indication that those models will be available at this time at Radio Shack.

The 16 GB model will be available in both black and white, and will be available at all stores that currently carry the iPhone, and stores that don’t typically carry the iPhone should be able to order it in. RadioShack has carried the iPhone 4 on Sprint since they started selling the 4S on Verizon and AT&T last month with a note that the Sprint 4S would be available at a later date, due to inventory issues.



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Another U.S. carrier gets set to sell iPhone 4S – for $99

In addition to the big three (AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint) as well as regional carrier C Spire which has begun selling iPhone 4S today, Apple’s new handset is now available from Claro Puerto Rico, the largest Puerto Rican telecommunications services company. The  Guaynabo, Puerto Rico-headquartered wireless operator hosts a million US customers in Puerto Rico (yes, it is a U.S. territory, U.S. dollars, U.S. citizenry) which makes it slightly bigger than C-Spire by subscribers.

Claro is the largest mobile phone network in the Americas. It is part of the Mexican telecom group América Móvil which is one of the four largest mobile phone network operators in the world, with more than 200 million customers.

What’s interesting about their offering is that Claro will be offering the 16GB iPhone 4S for just $99.99 with a standard two-year contact, quite possibly the lowest subsidized price in the United States. The 16GB/32GB version is a $199/$299 value with a two-year contract. Customers can choose between four plans costing $64.98, $74.98, $79.98 and $84.98 a month. All plans include unlimited minutes and text messages and 250MB/2GB/5GB/unlimited data.

They are also offering no-contract iPhone 4S for $669.99/$769.99/$869.99 for the 16/32/64GB version, which is a $20 premium from Apple’s online store, which began accepting orders for the unlocked iPhone 4S this morning. Claro is offering both the 16GB iPhone 4S subsidized and non-subsidized beginning today, with 32GB and 64GB capacities “coming soon”.

Claro is also offering the 8GB iPhone 4 for $49.99 ($569.99 contract-free).



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AT&T still commands a (shrinking) majority of U.S. iPhone base, says Localytics

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According to Localytics, AT&T continues to be the dominant iPhone carrier in the US, even with the Verizon entering the market strongly last year, grabbing 40% of the users in half the time.

As the 4S was launched on Sprint as well with truly unlimited data plans, one would have thought more of AT&T’s marketshare would have been diminished.  However, it appears that sprint is taking more away from Verizon.

Sprint’s share of the 4S market now stands at 12% according to the figures.  AT&T, though coverage is spotty in urban areas like New York and San Francisco, does have a significant speed advantage over Sprint and Verizon’s 3G as well as the ability to talk and use data at the same time.

Looking at iPhone 4 distribution as a comparison, Sprint seems to have eroded more of Verizon’s market share than AT&T’s – of the previous-generation handset, 60% are on AT&T versus 40% on Verizon.

A likely driver for these differences is the fact that AT&T can mine its existing base of iPhone users. Because all Verizon iPhone users are in the first year of their wireless contract, the cost of upgrading will be high. However, many longer-term AT&T users, especially those holding iPhone 3GS and earlier devices, are off-contract or nearing the end of their contract. AT&T has been aggressively leveraging the iPhone 4S to sign these customers to new two-year contracts, and the data in this study suggests that tactic may be working.

That data strongly lines up with our poll which we’ve been tracking since before the iPhone 4S launch…



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Apple confirms Siri isn’t coming to any other devices as of now

Confirming what we already told you yesterday, Apple has said the company has no current plans to implement Siri into any other iOS devices besides the iPhone 4S. Apple confirmed the news in an email (seen after the break) to developer Michael Steeber.

Engineering has provided the following feedback regarding this issue:Siri only works on iPhone 4S and we currently have no plans to support older devices.

That doesn’t mean however that developers won’t continue to work on building Siri for later iOS device — like the iPhone 4 and 3GS. Curious to see how it works on an iPhone 4? Check it out after the break, along with a screenshot of the email:



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Launch delay hurt industry, but not Apple: The older the iPhone, the better the margin

A delayed launch of Apple’s iPhone, which had been pushed back from the usual summer time frame to mid-October, affected slightly Apple’s earnings, but the effects were felt in the entire smartphone industry which experienced a lower-than-expected growth in the third quarter, research firm IDC reported yesterday. Vendors shipped 118.1 million smartphones during the September quarter, a 42.6 percent growth from the  82.8 million units a year ago. However, IDC’s forecast for the quarter was 49.1 percent and they attribute the difference to the iPhone launch delay:

Smartphone growth came in lower than expected due to the delayed launch of the updated Apple iPhone. In previous years, the introduction of a new iPhone resulted in a spike in shipment volumes during the third quarter. Western Europe and the United States, two key regions for the iPhone launch each year, still posted sizable year-over-year gains, but lower than anticipated.

“Broad and deep product portfolio” and “a welcome reception” of Bada-branded smartphones helped Samsung overtake Apple as the world’s leading smartphone maker in the third quarter, IDC said. But i’s bound to be a short-lived victory as “Apple’s fourth quarter launch of the iPhone 4S and lower pricing of older models will certainly boost volumes”, the research firm explained. But it’s when you drill Apple’s biz deeper when it really starts to come together. Read on…

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Monster Cable and 9to5Mac are sponsoring free iPhone 4S/ Accessory Pack giveaway

This week, we are co-sponsoring iPhone 4S + Monster Accessory Pack giveaways with Monster Cable. You can win the iPhone 4S + Accessory Pack from Monster Cable by liking their Facebook page and entering their contest here: https://www.facebook.com/monstercable. Enter once for a chance to win every week until December 23rd.

Additionally, this week only, we at 9to5Mac are offering you guys the Monster Accessory Pack which can be won by liking our page https://www.facebook.com/9to5mac.

Monster’s 8x iPhone 4S Sweepstakes: What better way to fully enjoy Monster Cable’s lineup of mobile-friendly accessories than on the supreme gadget of today – the iPhone 4S! Monster is giving its fans the chance to win an iPhone 4S & Monster Accessory Pack every week for eight straight weeks! In addition to the iPhone 4S, the Monster Accessory Pack includes our sleek ($300) Turbine In-Ear Monitors, the static-free Monster iCable 800, the convenient Monster Mobile PowerPlug Dual USB 700, and the practical CleanTouch Pen! So go ahead, click the button… and remember, you only have to enter once and you’re then eligible to win each of the 8 weeks! (sorry this is for US residents only).

Review: Lifeproof case is like a dry suit for your iPhone

I had a chance this week to demo a iPhone 4 and 4S case from a company called LifeProof that purports to offer 100% waterproof and military graded shockproof protection to iPhone 4 and 4S.  There are other cases that offer this type of protection, but this one is relatively thin and also allows you to hear the speakers and use the mic thanks to micro-holed that are so small that water can’t get through but sound can.  It also allows easy plugging in of a charging cable (forget docks) or headphone set with a convenient little O-ring adapter.

Well, it is certainly waterproof (even if it is really hard to let your iPhone go into the water the first time – what if you forgot to snap even one bit and it leaks?!  There goes $600!).  But it does work as advertised.  At the showstoppers event, LifeProof were throwing them on the carpeted floor which didn’t seem all that harrowing.  At home, I dropped it on hardwood from waist high (accidentally, incidentally) and the phone didn’t even see a scratch.  The underwater images below were taken after the drop so the case appears to have weathered the storm as well.

Whenever my toddler gets the iPhone 4, he also gets the LifeProof case.  You can pick up the LifeProof Cases at Best Buy for $79 in Black or White

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More details concerning iPhone 4S availability and reservations

Today Apple debuted their iPhone 4S retail availability reservation system via www.apple.com/retail/iphone/ and the Apple Store iOS app. 9to5Mac has received a bit more clarification concerning the reservation process and walk-in availability from the Apple Store Daily Download. Each evening from 9 p.m. to Midnight, hopeful iPhone 4S buyers can log on to apple.com or the Apple Store app to check model availability and reserve their iPhone 4S for the next business day. When an individual successfully creates a reservation they will have from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. the next day to pick up their reservation. Apple stores will cease all iPhone 4S sales at 8:30 p.m. to allow ample time to prepare for the nightly reservation process.

Contrary to previous reports, the iPhone 4S will be available for walk-in traffic as well as reserved at Apple retail stores. After 6 p.m. all unclaimed reservations will be forfeited and available for walk-in purchasers to buy. Select stores will also be making unclaimed inventory from the night before available from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. each day. We hope everybody who wants to get their hands on Apple’s fastest iPhone yet are able to soon!



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It won’t survive a waist high drop, but yet iPhone 4S lands safely from the outer space

Alright, calling it outer space is a little over the top as weather balloons may typically reach altitudes of 40km (25 miles) or more, which is still in the atmosphere, but still…

So these guys paid an eye-brow raising tribute to Steve Jobs in their own unique way, by launching two iPhone 4Ss into space by attaching them to a weather balloon. Yeah, I know, it’s an old trick, but the phones are new and do 1080P video. One of the phones had an interval photo timer app running while the other captured video. They explained:

We launched 2 iPhone 4S phones with a weather balloon to go up to 100,000. We put one of the iPhone 4S’s on an interval photo timer app and the other on video mode. We used s Spot GPS tracker (though I would not recommend it because it only tracks in 15 minutes increments.

The result of their undertaking is impressive: Check out the included clip depicting Earth’s atmosphere in full HD quality. The weather balloon eventually deflated and the iPhones landed safely, courtesy of a parachute and OtterBox cases for the iPhone 4S. Yeah, I know it’s a paradox that the iPhone 4S can safely land unscratched from the outer space and yet won’t survive a waist high drop.

And if the attached GPS failed, the amateur balloonists could use Find My Friends to get their rig. See? It isn’t just for finding cheating spouses.



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Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon iPhone 4S network speeds compared (video)

If you’re trying to make your iPhone 4S buying decision based on network speeds, here’s a helpful comparison video (above). The test shows the loading of websites and also runs the speed test application on all three networks.

Remember, this was done at one fixed location so you’re mileage most certainly will vary.



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The iPhone payoff: Sprint reports best sales day ever – by 1PM ET

Sprint took a big risk on the iPhone, paying a rumored $20B up front to get the iPhone over the next four years (that is some pipeline!).

Mr. Hesse told the board the carrier would have to agree to purchase at least 30.5 million iPhones over the next four years—a commitment of $20 billion at current rates—whether or not it could find people to buy them, according to people familiar with the matter. In order to keep the price people pay for the phone low and competitive with rivals, Sprint would be subsidizing the cost of each phone to the tune of about $500, which would take a long time to recoup even at the high monthly fees iPhone users pay.

Directors debated what they had just heard. Some worried the payoff would be too long in coming. One member questioned whether the multiyear deal might outlast the iPhone’s popularity. To sell that many iPhones, Sprint would have to double its rolls of contract customers, convert all of them to the Apple device or a combination of the two.

It appears that the risk is already starting to pay off.

Today, spokeswoman Michelle Mermelstein told us:

Fared Adib, Sprint Product Chief, issued the following statement: “Sprint today reported its best ever day of sales in retail, web and telesales for a device family in Sprint history with the launch of iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. We reached this milestone at approximately noon CT/1pm ET. The response to this device by current and new customers has surpassed our expectations and validates our customers’ desire for a truly unlimited data pricing plan.”

Unlimited is a good thing.



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It looks like Apple may have made enough iPhones this time

We are getting a lot of reports that those big lines are clearing and Apple Stores actually have some stock of iPhone 4S left over (the shot above is from Naples, Florida). While the lines are much larger than iPhone 4 lines were during the Verizon launch, they aren’t as big as the iPhone 4 launch lines according to a few reports.

Why? Apple now has more points of sale (+Verizon and Sprint Stores, Sam’s Club, etc). Plus, online pre-orders have been popular with 1 million being sold this year in the first 24 hours on 100 carriers (vs. 5 countries last year). Some analysts are predicting up to 4 million unit sales in the first weekend alone.

From our knowledge of the situation, we’ve heard that Apple has thought ahead this time and ramped up production well ahead of the release. In fact, Apple could have released the iPhone 4S hardware much earlier if the iOS 5 software had been ready.

But that’s good news for those who are trying to get in early on the iPhone 4S but didn’t want to camp out or pre-order.

The bad news? AT&T activation servers seem to be taking some time to activate phones with some users reporting 5-15 minute wait times.

What’s the word on the street out there?

800MHz iPhone 4S browser powers past the 1.5GHz Samsung Galaxy S II

[vodpod id=Video.15538873&w=650&h=420&fv=config%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fasset.slashgear.tv%2Fsgtv.php%3Fvkey%3Dd1b237565d8813a34d8a]

Slashgear ran the browser on the dual-core 800MHz A5 iPhone 4S against the latest and greatest Galaxy S II with dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor (skip ahead 4:30). From the video it looks like the iPhone 4S was faster (as expected). However, in their words…

…from initial results the iPhone 4S performs quite well, I’m sure everyone expected that as the original held its own pretty well too. One of the fastest processors around currently, the 1.5 GHz Qualcomm in the Galaxy S II performs very well but is just barely by a hair beat by the new A5 dual-core iPhone 4S in most tests. We could argue about this all day, or try other sites but when it really comes down to it iOS is highly efficient — not to mention many many websites are designed with iOS in mind.

Damn that is a huge screen.



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We’ve got the internal docs that Apple employees use to explain iCloud and iOS 5

Last week, we detailed the internal docs Apple uses to tell its employees how to sell the iPhone 4S, the new iPods and the new Cards app. Today a tipster added to the trove two more internal docs. iCloud and iOS 5 First looks. These are the cheat sheets that Apple employees use to sell customers these products. Both below:



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AT&T plans a “4G upgrade” for the iPhone in name only

Perhaps looking to differentiate its service from the other two US carriers, AT&T is working with Apple to get a “4G” icon on the iPhone 4S when it hits its HSPA+ network according to The Verge.

The move would seem to try to further differentiate AT&T’s network which is already significantly faster than Sprint or Verizon’s (and theoretically double the iPhone 4 speed).

If you are in the US, which network will you be getting an iPhone 4S on?

How to upgrade your AT&T unlimited iPhone 4 plan to unlimited iPhone 4S plan

We are hearing numerous reports that AT&T unlimited data users aren’t able to upgrade their unlimited plans when they order the iPhone 4S. They are automatically changed to a different data tier (in the above case, the $30 data).

Update: It appears the upgrade is just a bit more complicated. You have to remove the “unlimited data for iphone” plan and then they’ll let you add an “unlimited data for iphone 4S” plan. Yes, unnecessarily complicated and is causing some users to lose their unlimited status.

Update 2: AT&T has chimed in: All current AT&T smartphone customers with an unlimited plan can upgrade and keep their unlimited plan. We’re working on making the online page more clear, but if a customer keeps clicking continue, they will see their unlimited plan.



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iPhone 4S will be faster only on AT&T, unlimited on Sprint, but maybe not interchangeable

Today’s iPhone 4S launch, while bringing a consolidated single phone to three US carriers, also presents some complexities. Some observations:

  1. Probably obvious to some: The 14.4 speed increase is only on AT&T where that speed is actually available. Verizon and Sprint will continue to be at their same 3G speeds. They will also continue to have other CDMA limitations like being cut off of data when talking.
  2. If you buy a Verizon iPhone 4S, you may not be able to head across the street to Sprint with your phone. And vice versa. Phone companies lock their devices so that you can’t move carriers as easy and it appears at first glance that the iPhone 4S won’t be an exception.
  3. IF you have a Verizon or Sprint iPhone 4S, you likely will still be able to stick an international SIM card in your phone while travelling. However, will AT&T work in a VZ or Sprint iPhone? Unlikely.
  4. Sprint is also getting the iPhone 4 but AT&T still has an exclusive on the iPhone 3GS in the US. If you factor in the costs of owning a phone for two years, the $100-200 saved up front is a drop in the bucket.
  5. Sprint is the only US carrier offering truly unlimited data plans. From personal experience, Sprint offers great data connectivity, especially in big cities. It will be interesting to see how that network holds up as 30 million iPhones get onto Sprint’s network over the next four years.

Another poll for US iPhone users…



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iPhone 4S with iPhone 4 design, dual-mode capability leaked by iTunes

While we have independently been expecting the new iPhone to feature little exterior differences from the iPhone 4, there still has been some debate over the new iPhone’s design. Today, rumors of a re-design can essentially be put to rest. Inside the latest iTunes beta is a specific mention of the “iPhone 4S.” Along with the new iPhone name of “iPhone 4S” comes an image, and it is of a CDMA iPhone 4.

Unless Apple still has the CDMA iPhone 4 as a placeholder image until the new iPhone is announced, we’re fairly confident that the iPhone 4S will pack the CDMA iPhone design. iTunes only holds two iPhone 4S references: black and white versus the four iPhone 4 references of black/GSM, black/CDMA, white/GSM, and white/CDMA. This may also confirm the rumors of the new iPhone being a dual-mode/CDMA + GSM handset.

iPhone 4S confirmed as N94 (iPhone 4,1) that showed up in Apple’s inventory system:

The new iPhone will likely feature the dual-core A5 processor from the iPad 2, and eight megapixel camera, 1GB of RAM, Nuance-based speech-to-text Dictation, and the breakthrough Assistant feature based on Apple’s purchase of Siri. Everything you need to know can be read here.

Thanks, Ron!



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Next iPhone to likely come in 64GB, 32GB, and 16GB capacities

Following the news that Apple’s new iPhone N94 device has appeared in the Apple internal inventory system, we are now hearing that this new iPhone will come in three storage capacities. Given that we’ve also heard from manufacturing sources that Apple has at least been prototyping 64GB versions of the new iPhone, we would say it’s fairly likely that Apple’s new iPhone will come in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities; just like the iPad.

In all fairness, it is also plausible that the new iPhone will come in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities, but the appearance of a tweaked iPhone 4 (N90A) seems to refute that. Provided that the 8GB iPhone 4 rumor is correct, it would make little sense for Apple to produce both an 8GB iPhone 4 and an 8GB iPhone 4S. For those who have been wondering – and who isn’t? – each of these capacities will come in both black and white. Thanks, Mr. X!



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iPhone 4S cases showing up in retail channels?

Adding some validity to the possibility of a new iPhone branded “4S”, @chronicwire has just posted the images below showing the iPhone 4S branding on what looks like legit packaging for a new Otter Box iPhone case.

Another couple if you head down south. Notice the changed volume buttons that may or may not be indicative of a volume button to camera shutter feature.

LEAK: Photo of the back of the package showing the iPhone 4S case, depicting new volume buttons, and on the right side. New soft-looking volume buttons being on right side of iPhone 4S can probably be attributed to the “volume button to take pic” iOS5 feature

Update (Sept 23rd): TUAW talked to Otterbox who clarified:

She explained that the ad reflected the current conversations going on in the blogosphere. “Like many, we are watching the rumor sites and using information to plan ahead as much as we can.” Otterbox promises support for whatever iPhone debuts, but they’re emphatically not stating or leaking anything further. “We do not have any confidentiality agreements with Apple,” Richardson told TUAW.

As for those iPhone 4S Otterbox packaging photos that leaked yesterday, she explained, “What was circulating yesterday was not a case image for the iPhone 4S but a packaging design.” Otterbox has not identified the source of the photos.


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Will the iPhone 4S be the only iPhone launched at Apple’s Fall event?


image via Walyou

Last week, we heard that iPhone 4S devices, ones identical in appearance to current iPhone 4s, were rolling of the assembly lines in big numbers. The only differences in this model are the 8 Megapixel camera and A5 Processor. Everything else is the exact same. In fact, Apple employees could be carrying these around without anyone knowing. The ‘iPhone 5′ lost in a bar might have looked like an iPhone 4.

The bad news is that we reported that there were design and production delays that could have pushed the iPhone 5 launch back.

It appears that the tear-drop shaped iPhone 5 with larger screen and thinner, rounder body is seeing continued design and production delays, at least on one assembly line (Apple has multiple production sources – Pegatron, Foxconn, etc). We therefore think that iPhone 5 will be delayed slightly at the very least and may see shortages all the way into 2012.

Since then, we’ve also heard that those iPhone 5 delays might push the teardrop iPhone 5 out until 2012. This is from two separate, additional sources who have ties to Apple and its manufacturing partners. We don’t want to believe this but we’re hearing it more and more…

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