iPhone 5c Was Always Planned as Mid-Tier, Not Low-End, Says Cook

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Is the price of Apple’s new iPhone 5c too high for the market for which it was intended?

Not according to CEO Tim Cook, who said the device isn’t intended for the unsubsidized prepaid customers that many observers thought it might be. During a Monday earnings call, Cook said the 5c isn’t the long-rumored “budget iPhone,” nor was it conceived as that.

“If you look at what we’ve done with our iPhone line, we’re selling the iPhone 4s as our entry-level offer,” Cook said. “We’re selling the iPhone 5c as sort of a mid-tier offer and then we have the iPhone 5s. Our goal is to have overall growth for the total iPhone [line], but also growth within each of those categories. … I realize that some people were reading rumors that the entry phone would be the 5c, but that was never our intent. Our entry iPhone is the iPhone 4s.”

In other words, Apple’s plan all along was to use a legacy device as its entry-level iPhone, just as it has done for years. And, as I’ve written before, the 5c was a move to establish a new mainstream price band between the smartphone market’s high end and its low end: “Historically, Apple has done quite well for itself using mid-tier products with lots of aspirational appeal to draw budget-conscious consumers into a higher price range. It did it with the iPod nano, and again with the iPad mini.”

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iOS 7 reveals iPhone 5S’ A7 Chip will include Samsung components

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Developer, Nick Frey (via 9to5Mac) has discovered code references in the latest iOS 7 beta, which suggests that Apple is developing the next generation A-series chip, most likely to be called A7, that could be used in iPhone 5S.

Frey has discovered a reference to an S5L8960x application processor, which appears to be a new version of the A-series chip. The A6 chip which powers the iPhone 5 is codenamed s5l8950x and the A6X chip which powers the iPad 4 is codenamed S5l8955x.

9to5Mac reports that Apple’s new system-on-chip will include some Samsung components:

Interestingly, it appears that Apple will again work with Samsung for this new chip. The main system-on-a-chip will include some Samsung components- at least to power the display, according to analysis of the above code by a person familiar with Apple’s chip design process. This contrasts with a rumor from earlier this year (like every year) claiming that Apple will switch to TSMC on the A7 processor.

This source also says that over the past couple of years, Apple has hit roadblocks (in relation to processing speed) with both the upcoming A7 and A8 chip, but it appears those that issues have been resolved.

a7-samsung

Back in June, leaked photos of iPhone 5S revealed the new iPhone chip has a K1A0062 identifier, which indicated the chip may be made by TSMC instead of Samsung, as chips manufactured by Samsung typically start with an “N”.

There have been rumors and speculations that Apple is working on reducing its reliance on Samsung by shifting its chip manufacturing business to TSMC, but it doesn’t look like it is happening anytime soon.

It is also possible that Apple will use both Samsung and TSMC to produce the A7 chip, to reduce the risk of depending on just one company to manufacture its chips.

So what do we know about the A7 chip? So far not much, but the leaked iPhone 5S photo revealed it may come with only 1GB RAM (same as the iPhone 5 and iPad 4).

[Nick Frey via 9to5Mac]

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Decorative silver ring around iPhone 5S home button may be fingerprint sensor

iphone-circle9613

It’s the week before Apple’s big press event, and speculation about the iPhone 5S and its fingerprint sensor are running rampant on the Internet. The latest theory comes from AppleInsider, which claims the rumored silver ring around the iPhone 5′s home button is more than a decoration, it’s an integral part of the fingerprint sensor.

AppleInsider reviews the claims of Clayton Morris, who described the iPhone 5′s home button as an “innie with a silver ring” on a recent TWiT TV appearance. The blog then couples this observation with their own patent sleuthing.

AppleInsider combed through some of AuthenTec’s patents, which are now assigned to Apple, and claims it found evidence that the silver ring may actually be part of the fingerprint sensor. The technology may allow users to authenticate their fingerprint while they tap the home button and wake up their phone.

This theory sounds reasonable, but it doesn’t necessarily jibe with Morris’ statement that the iPhone woouldn’t incorporate any AuthenTec technology. It’s possible Morris’ sources were incorrect or AppleInsider may be reading too much into the patents. Regardless, we will find out all that we need to know about the iPhone next week during Apple’s September 10th event.

[Via AppleInsider]

Apple to release two 4-inch iPhones featuring in-cell touch in 2013, say sources

“Apple is planning the release of two iPhones in 2013 that are likely to be sized 4-inch and feature in-cell technology, according to industry sources,” Siu Han and Alex Wolfgram report for DigiTimes.

“Previously it was said that Apple would release a lower-cost version of its iPhone with a bigger screen in 2013,” Han and Wolfgram report. “But the sources claimed that Apple is indeed developing an iPhone with a bigger screen, but that will not be among the models to be lancuhed this year.”

Han and Wolfgram report, “However, the sources noted it is still yet to be determined if Apple will have adequate supply of in-cell touch panels in 2013 for a lower-cost version of the iPhone due to mass production issues…”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
4.8-inch ‘iPhone Math’ may be one of three new Apple smartphones to launch along with ‘iTV’ this year – January 21, 2013