Accessories, iPhone, News/Rumors

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus accessories sales turned to be very profitable

The succesful start of iPhone 6/6 Plus sales affected not only Apple profit.

The succes of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus accessories sales is not less.

According to NPD Group information manufacturers of cases managed to earn $249 million.

In 2013 after iPhone 5S and iPhone 5С were released, sales of accessories were $195 million, what is only 17% higher than in 2012 (after iPhone 5 presentation).

iPhone 6 has made 43% jump in this market segment.

Such a dynamics can be explained easily by new design of the device.

One more reason for the increase in sales are constant leaks, preceding iPhone 6 release.

The manufacturers knew the approximate sizes of the smartphone. Those who had relied on rumors went great guns as a result.

Right after official start of sales they were ready to offer great amount of cases. So if the buyer didn’t like original Apple cases, he had a great choice to choose from.

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Nevertheless, many retailers weren’t in a hurry to buy Phone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases as previously when they had bought iPhone 5 cases before the official release, many of them didn’t fit.

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NPD Group also published the figures of sales in comparison with the lat year:

– cases +78%;
– protective films +120%;
– portable accumulators +5%;
– headset (ear-phones) +10%;
– Bluetooth speakers +5%.

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Accessories, News/Rumors

NFL fines 49ers quarterback $10,000 for wearing Beats headphones at press conference

The National Football League fined San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick $10,000 for wearing a pair of pink Beats by Dre headphones during a post-game press conference on Sunday.

The matter is the National Football League has recently signed an agreement with Bose that bans its players and staff from wearing any other brand of headphones while on camera.

Kaepernick, who like a lot of other NFL players has an endorsement deal with Beats, wore the pink Beats by Dre headphones during a press conference last Sunday. The player is sponsored by Apple’s Beats product and has been spotted in different ads promoting its wares.

Comcast SportsNet Bay Area announced, players are prohibited to wear headsets made by NFL sponsor Bose when participating in interviews. The rule is applied to 90 minutes following the end of a game.

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Kaepernick commented on the situation, posting to Instagram a screenshot of an article about the fine, saying “I support breast cancer awareness! My grandma is a survivor!……. *shrugs* some things are now important!”He likely wore the pink headphones in support of this month’s breast cancer awareness.

It is unclear if Apple’s Beats are going to pay the fine. The brand has several pro athlete promoters, including NBA star LeBron James, tennis player Serena Williams and Brazilian soccer star Neymar da Silva Santos, Jr, well known as Neymar Jr.

iPhone, Jailbreak, News/Rumors

Add your contacts to the Home screen with CallShortcut!

The updated version of CallBar on iOS 7 was released recently.

This is the app which helps you to manage your incoming calls.

CallShortcut is a jailbreak allowing you to get faster to your contacts by putting them to the Home screen.

The jailbreak was developed by Gertab and David Glinski.

The icons of the contacs will appear on your Home screen for your comfort.

When you tipe on the icon the call will start automatically.

To start using the app, open your Contacts and choose the one you need. There will be Add to Home Screen option, tap on it and your contact will appear on the Home Screen.

You can gather all your favorite contacts in the single folder for you to be easier to work with.

That jailbreak is really useful and can simplify your life greatly.

CallShortcut-tweak

Accessories, News/Rumors

Logitech’s K480 keyboard connects to three devices

 Taking multitasking to new levels, Logitech announced a new keyboard, called Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480.

It is a unique Bluetooth keyboard that can connect to three devices simultaneously and gives you the ability to switch between them. The accessory combines a passive tablet and phone stand with a Bluetooth keyboard that can switch between different products. The Multi-Device Keyboard K480 also has a magical Bluetooth protocol to deliver a keyboard that will sync with.

The Logitech’s new product is made of plastic and has a layout and size similar to the Apple Wireless Keyboard. However, it offers a number of additional features. The K480 Primary is equipped with the dial on the left, giving users the ability to switch between three devices. All you need to do is select a device number (1, 2, or 3), and push either PC or “i” sync buttons depending upon which you’re using. The keyboard is compatible with a Windows PC, a Mac, an Android device, or an iPhone/iPad. What you must do then is type for the desired device.

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The Keyboard K480 has a slot across the back that will allow you to settle a tablet at landscape into it, or even a phone and a tablet at portrait orientation. The rubber feet on the underside prevent from slipping down.

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With a new keyboard, consumers will receive a USB cable and a bunch of instructions inside. Additionally, K480 has a little pull-off plastic tab on its bottom that activates two included AAA batteries it uses for power.  The company promises two years of battery life from those batteries, which is much longer than Apple’s Wireless Keyboard. You can also download PC/Mac/Android-specific driver software that will provide additional functionality on each, such as customizing the function keys and enabling on-screen notifications for the caps-lock.

The Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480 retails for $49.99, and is available on Amazon. The keyboard is expected to come within this month in white or black. 

iPhone, News/Rumors

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus available for pre-order through Apple and several carriers

As expected, Apple has begun accepting online pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus in a number of countries around the world, including the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and the UK.

The Online Apple Store was previously showing a new “We’ll be back” message, meaning there is a maintenance associated with new products launch.

Now the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are available for pre-order on Apple’s online store. A few U.S. carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint are also accepting pre-orders for the smartphones. Several retail stores like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart are also expected to start accepting iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders soon.

The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is available for pre-order starting at $199 for the 16 GB model. The company doesn’t offer 32 GB option this year, replacing it by a larger 64 GB model available at $299 and a new 128 GB version for $399.

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The iPhone 6 Plus featuring a 5.5-inch display and a camera with optical image stabilization is priced at $299 for 16 GB model, $399 for 64 GB and $499 for 128 GB with a 2 year plan.

The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus were announced at a special media event on Tuesday. Both models are equipped with Retina HD displays and more powerful components like an A8 SoC, M8 motion coprocessor. The new devices are available in three colors: space gray, silver, and gold.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be available in stores beginning on Friday, September 19.

iPhone, News/Rumors

Apple announced iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

The iPhone 6 event has finally come and the company has unveiled all the much rumored products.

Apple has kicked the new iPhone lineup: the 4.7-inch device is called iPhone 6, while the larger 5.5-inch model is dubbed “iPhone 6 Plus”.

The both models feature new “Retina HD” displays with cover glass that, according to the company, is ion-strengthened. Additionally, the displays have a full sRGB wide color gamut and that “dual-domain pixels on the photo-aligned IPS display give you a wider angle of view.” The iPhone 6 features display at 1334 by 750 with 326 pixels per inch, while the iPhone 6 Plus offers full 1080p HD with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 at 401 pixels per inch.

The new devices also run Apple’s in-house designed 64-bit A8 processor built on the 20-nanometer process technology, which is expected to provide up to 20 percent faster CPU performance and 50 precent faster graphics. The company also mentioned, that the new models of iPhones offer better battery life metric, than the iPhone 5s do.

Also an important feature in the iPhone 6 is a barometer, which is tasked to “senses air pressure to measure relative elevation.”

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As for camera specs, there is an 8MP iSight camera, 1.5µ pixels, ƒ/2.2 aperture, including a new sensor and plenty of improvements for such capabilities, like focus, face detection, image stabilization and more. The iPhone 6 Plus also features an “optical image stabilization” option that can not be found in the iPhone 6. Both smartphones are capable of shooting 1080p at 60fps or 30 and slo-mo video at 120 fps or 240 fps.

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In addition to the aforementioned characteristics, Apple unveiled NFC as well as the new Apple Pay service. Apple Pay uses a combination of NFC, Touch ID and other technologies to make payments with your iPhone, online and in stores. 

Both new devices also come in with 3x faster 802.11ac WiFi and Voice over LTE feature through a number of supported carriers including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and others. Apple also added a new WiFi calling mode, which can be use only via T-Mobile in the US.

The iPhone 6 measures in at 6.9mm thin, while iPhone 6 Plus comes in a 7.1mm.

The both smartphones will be available in the United States on Friday, September 19, with pre-orders starting this Friday. The iPhone 6 will be available at $199/$299/$399 for the 16/64/128GB models. The iPhone 6 Plus is priced at $299/$399/$499 for models with 16/64/128GB, respectively. 

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Accessories, News/Rumors

Apple and Disney upgrading iBeacons and NFC scanners

Ahead of Apple’s big reveal on Tuesday, the company and Disney stores in the United States have been upgrading versions of iBeacon sensors and NFC readers.

Apple reportedly plans to integrate new sensors, which have the new Gimbal Series 20 Proximity Beacons, and provide more accurate iBeacon location tracking in its own stores. The Gimbal Series 20 Proximity Beacons are made by chip maker Qualcomm and are said to include proprietary features to support its payment platform in a secure manner.

In addition to providing relevant information for the Apple Store app, iBeacons can be useful for new payment systems to support the NFC capabilities on the iPhone 6 and its highly-anticipated wearable device.  Both the iPhone 6 and iWatch are much rumored to be equipped with a Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip to support mobile payments. According to some reports this past week, Apple will cooperate with several other retailers for the service, including Walgreens, CVS, Nordstrom and more. 

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Disney’s retail stores are also said to be getting new credit card hardware that supports NFC, which will also likely integrate with Apple’s new mobile payment service. According to the sources at Disney, the entire chain of stores is being provided this week with new credit card machines. There are no confirmation on whether the Disney NFC installations are related to the upcoming iPhone 6 launch or not. Disney and Apple has a long relationships, with its CEO Bob Iger as a member of the Apple board and the Mickey Mouse house as the first major content owner, who has allowed to sell movies digitally through iTunes. In addition to Disney, major fast food chain McDonalds has started installing NFC-based credit card machines in many franchises.

Earlier this year, an FCC filing announced that Apple was working on its own first-party iBeacon hardware.  The iPhone maker has also established deals with big credit companies such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and credit card issuers to support its mobile payments service.

iPhone, News/Rumors

U2 rumored to be involved in Apple’s ‘iPhone 6′ event

Multiple rumors have suggested that popular Irish rock band U2 might be involved in Apple’s big media event next week devoted to the launch of the iPhone 6.

According to some local journalists, U2’s latest video shoot in Dublin last week  ties in with a possible next-gen iPhone. They also claim the device will come preloaded with the new U2 album.

There’s also been a blurry-cam photo of the scene taken by music promoter Stephen Browne and posted on Twitter with the following comments: “Looks like @U2 new album maybe preloaded on to iPhone6. The focus of the ‘video’ on the bridge last week was a phone.”

Another rumor from Twitter came from CNET reporter Shara Tibken, who suggested that Bono might be a “special musical guest” at Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6 event on September 9.

That could explain the massive 2-story structure Apple is constructing next to the Flint Center, which could serve as a stage for such a show.

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Obviously, all of this is rumors at this point, however it wouldn’t surprise anyone if U2 participated in next Tuesday’s event.  Apple and U2 have had a long partnership, and presented several special edition U2 iPods, which included the band’s signatures and U2’s tracks. Apple has also been a partner of (Product) RED, a charity founded by Bono. In addition, there have been some talks in the U2 fan blog world about the band recently shooting an add for the iPhone maker. 

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It is still unclear if these rumors and hints of a U2 iPhone 6 tie-in and the band’s performance are accurate, but we can’t exclude, that the debut of the first single for U2’s newest album may be the same day that Apple is expected to introduce its iPhone 6. 

Accessories, News/Rumors

Elgato announces new Eve connected smart home accessories

Elgato has unveiled its new lineup of smart accessories at this year’s IFA 2014 trade event in Berlin.

“Eve” connected home sensors features full integration with Apple’s HomeKit home automation platform and enables users to monitor various home conditions, including  air quality, smoke, air pressure, energy, humidity and water consumption. To collect this information, Eve uses several sensors and then reports back to the iPhone or iPad via the Elgato Eve app.

There are no details on pricing and availability of the product, but the company says it will announce availability soon.

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In addition to Eve, Elgato has also announced its own $49.95 Avea smart lightbulb, that connects to your Apple device directly via Bluetooth and allows you to change color and set the lighting mood in any room. Plus, the new product offers an alarm feature that wakes you with the gentle light of a 7W LED bulb pumping out 430 lumens. The notable thing is Avea does not need a hub like the Philips’ line of Hue smart bulbs, and can utilize multiple bulbs to coordinate lighting patterns. 

Aside from its new Eve and Avea smart home accessories, Elgato has also introduced its upcoming Smart Power intelligent battery. The high-end Smart Power is a 6,000 mAh external power bank that features self-monitoring capabilities, integrated with the Elgato Smart Power app. It’s available now for $99.95.

Additionally, the company is planning to announce its offerings based on the HomeKit smart home platform, which is believed to be presented by Apple at its special media event on Tuesday, Sept. 9. 

iPhone, News/Rumors

Apple announces Sept. 9 event for iPhone 6 and iWatch

Apple on Thursday confirmed that it will hold a media event on Sept. 9, with invitations sent to the press.

The teaser sent to members of the media features a single, tantalizing tagline, “Wish we could say more.” hinting, that the new devices with larger displays Apple will finally unveil.

The iPhone manufacturer typically holds its annual iPhone event at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, but this year’s event will take place at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, Calif., the same place where Steve Jobs showed the Mac to the public 30 years ago.

The Tuesday event will start at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. 

According to reports from Re/code, Apple is not only planning to introduce its next-hen iPhone models on Sept. 9, but its first wearable device known as the “iWatch” as well. Apple had previously been rumored to introduce its wearable product at an October event separate from its September iPhone event, but then changed its plans. The iWatch is believed to sync with the HealthKit framework that the company has built into its iOS 8 mobile operating system and will focus on health and fitness with an array of health-related sensors that measure metrics like steps taken, sleep quality and more.apple

As for the new iPhone, it is rumored to come in two screen sizes of 4.7 and 5.5 inches with a faster next-generation “A8″ processor. If Apple follows its usual release schedule, it will be shipped starting the following Friday, Sept. 19.