Apple may need Samsung to make enough chips for iPhone 6

Apple may have to rely on arch-rival Samsung for a hefty percentage of processors to power the next iPhone.

Samsung has been Apple’s go-to manufacturer for the past several chip generations, most recently producing the A5, the A6, and this year’s A7. Apple has sought to reduce that dependence by reportedly cutting a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to take on production of future A series processors. But Samsung is far from out of the picture, according to a story from The Korea Economic Daily.. Click here to See More

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iPhone 5S: New leaked photos, purported full specs point to biggest ‘S’ upgrade ever

See on Scoop.itTechnology News & Updates

As Apple’s next-generation iPhone 5S enters mass production, we’re seeing all of the puzzle pieces fall into place. Photos are leaking, new details are trickling out, and rumors of production issues and possible delays are spreading like wildfire, just like they do every year. Now, a new report from Weibo user and claimed insider C Technology may reveal full specs for the iPhone 5S alongside new images of the device’s case assembly seemingly taken inside Foxconn’s factory.

 

Techno Geek silhoutte‘s insight:

Where specs are concerned, the upcoming new flagship iPhone will be the biggest hardware upgrade ever for an “S” device if the report’s claims pan out. Highlights include a 4-inch IGZO display with the same Retina resolution as the iPhone 5, an A6 processor clocked a bit faster than the current model, quad-core SGX 554MP4 graphics, 2GB of RAM and an upgraded LTE radio.

Where new hardware is concerned, the report claims Apple’s iPhone 5S will include an upgraded 12-megapixel camera, a dual-LED flash, NFC and a fingerprint scanner. Skeptics dismissed early rumors suggesting a fingerprint scanner would be included in the new iPhone, however numerous subsequent reports including one from Reuters suggest Apple will finally make use of its AuthenTec acquisition in the iPhone 5S.

The new hardware upgrades in Apple’s iPhone 5S are unconfirmed for the time being, of course, but an earlier exclusive report from BGR revealing a complete internal overhaul suggested Apple was indeed making room for new components in its next-generation flagship iPhone.

See on bgr.com

Apple looking at bigger iPhone screens, multiple colors: sources

Apple Inc is exploring launching iPhones with bigger screens, as well as cheaper models in a range of colors, over the next year, said four people with knowledge of the matter, as it takes a cue from rival Samsung Electronics.

Apple looking at bigger iPhone screens, multiple colors

Apple looking at bigger iPhone screens, multiple colors

The moves, which are still under discussion, underscore how the California-based firm that once ruled the smartphone market is increasingly under threat from its aggressive South Korean competitor. Samsung has overtaken Apple in market share through the popularity of its bigger-screen Galaxy “phablets” and by flooding the market with a range of products at different prices.

Apple is looking at introducing at least two bigger iPhones next year – one with a 4.7-inch screen and one with a 5.7-inch screen – said the sources, including those in the supply chain in Asia. They said suppliers have been approached with plans for the larger screens, but noted it is still unclear whether Apple will actually launch its flagship product in the larger sizes.

“They constantly change product specifications almost to the final moment, so you’re not really sure whether this is the final prototype,” said one person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Apple declined to comment.

UNDER PRESSURE

Apple’s possible shift to offer what is often referred to as “phablets” – chunkier smartphones not quite big enough to qualify as tablets – comes as the long-time consumer and investor darling faces pressure to deliver more than one new handset model a year. Critics say its pace of innovation has slowed since the death of legendary co-founder Steve Jobs.

The iPhone 5 launched last September was the first to veer away from the Apple phone’s 3.5-inch screen, which Jobs famously deemed “the perfect size for consumers” and had been used in every iPhone since the iconic device was unveiled in 2007.

The current iPhone 5 has one of the smaller screens among the best-selling smartphones in the mobile market, where consumers spend more time browsing the web and streaming content. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 2 have 5-inch and 5.5-inch screens, respectively.

For this year, Apple is expected to launch two new models, widely referred to as the iPhone 5S, with new fingerprint technology, and a cheaper version in plastic casing, supply chain sources have said. Apple plans to dress up the cheaper phone in a range of 5-6 colors to differentiate it from the more expensive model that has traditionally come only in black and white.

The U.S. firm has discussed a price of $99 for the cheaper phone, the timing of which could slip to next year, one of the people said. It’s not yet clear what the final price would be.

Apple – whose revenue growth has decelerated from the heady days of 2010 when it introduced the iPad and when the iPhone was the world’s top selling smartphone – has sought ways to re-energize its flagship line.

BROADER PRODUCT RANGE

Analysts say the company needs a cheaper gadget to push on in growth markets in China and India, and to counter Samsung’s edge in having phones priced up and down the spectrum. China, the world’s biggest smartphone market, is set to grow 48 percent this year, outpacing the global increase of 31 percent, according to industry forecasts.

While Apple only offers a single phone model across all markets, it has successfully marketed the iPod music player and its iPad in different sizes and at varying prices. Asked at last month’s AllThingsD industry conference why Apple hasn’t launched different sized iPhones, CEO Tim Cook said: “We haven’t so far. That doesn’t shut off the future.”

He explained that the range of iPods serve different audiences and needs. “On the phone, that’s the question. Are we now at a point to serve enough people that we need to do that?”

Cook noted a larger screen comes with trade-offs on features such as battery life, resolution and brightness.

Test production for both the standard and cheaper iPhone models aims to start next month, with mass production ramping up in August to meet a September launch target, two people said.

“Trial production was originally planned to start in June, but the mixing of colors is taking longer than expected as Apple has very high and idealistic standards,” said one source in Asia, adding 20 million plastic iPhones are expected to ship in the October-December quarter.

Japan’s Sharp Corp and Japan Display and South Korea’s LG Display will supply the panels for the aluminum iPhone 5S and the plastic iPhone, while Hon Hai Precision Industry will assemble the higher-end phone and Pegatron will put together the cheaper model.

See On: http://www.reuters.com

It’s time for Apple to treat us like adults

See on Scoop.itTechnoculture

The company revolutionized the smartphone with iOS, no doubt. But as iOS gets older, its users are, too, and fewer and fewer of them are first-time smartphone owners. It made sense to hold everybody’s hands when this whole idea of a computer in your pocket was new. But just as Apple will probably move from skeuomorphic design to a more abstract flat design in iOS 7, it should also trust its users a bit more and give them more control over how they want to use the operating system.

See on techcrunch.com

Samsung Beats Apple in U.S. Smartphone Market, For Now

The winner in the U.S. smartphone market is no longer Apple. Instead, Samsung is the apple of American smartphone buyers’ eyes. At least in between Apple new product announcements.

That’s the word from Canaccord Genuity, an investment research firm, that surveyed the retail stores of carriers AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA and Sprint — but excluded Apple stores in its survey. Canaccord’s conclusion is that Samsung’s Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III sold more combined in the U.S. than did Apple’s iPhone in May.

For those Apple enthusiasts, there is a shred of good news. Canaccord’s report found that AT&T stores sold more iPhone 5 units than Galaxy S4 ones — there the Samsung phone came in second.

Of course, not all surveys came to the same conclusion. For instance, ComScore’s June 4 report on all models of iPhones and Samsung phones sold in the U.S. found that Apple beat Samsung in smartphone subscribers by 39.2% to 22% in the first quarter of 2013.

Is it all over for Apple’s iPhone? The answer is not at all clear. For example, the results of this report suggest that Samsung is good at flooding the market with products in between Apple’s predictable new product introductions each fall.

Bits suggests that Samsung may be luring buyers who lose patience before the leaves change color. As it reported, “the South Korean manufacturer has figured out how to make good use of the months between iPhone upgrades, when the current iPhone is getting old and its sales are slowing. Samsung is releasing its new phones during these months. And some Apple customers who are waiting for the next iPhone may be caving in and buying Samsung phones instead.”

In the past, Apple has predictably introduced a real upgrade prior to each holiday shopping season. But the smartphone market is maturing and if Apple hopes to generate a big sales increase that will enable it to recover market leadership, it will need to go after a big market in which it currently does not compete.

That’s because the growth opportunities in smartphones are for selling lower-priced models in emerging markets like China and India. To be sure, Apple could sell stripped down versions of the iPhone at lower prices.

Morgan Stanley’s Kate Huberty believes that Apple will do just that. But a lower price means lower margins. Huberty believes that at the low-end, for example, the difference between charging $399 and $449 ”would be worth as much as $2 billion in profit for Apple.”

But selling a low-priced product is not what made Apple great. Apple’s greatness came from making products that were better designed than those of competitors and selling those products with great content and apps through superior retailing — and getting entranced consumers to pay a huge price premium.

If Apple ever gets that winning formula back, then it will be able to repel Samsung’s rising tide. If not, Samsung will continue to prevail in America’s smartphone market.

 

See on:http://www.forbes.com

World’s Top 10 Tech Billionaires

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple are not just engines of technological innovation in America — they’re also the path to Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list, which was just updated. But there is a little catch.

You gotta be a man.

Eleven of the world’s richest billionaires are wealthy primarily because they founded a technology company or own a significant stake in a technology company. That includes people like Bill Gates, who founded Microsoft and is worth $67 billion (and would probably still be the world’s richest man if he had not given away so much of his wealth). And CEOs like Larry Ellison, who founded Oracle and is currently the owner of not just a small Hawaiian island but also a fortune valued at $43 billion.

One problem?

Not a single woman is on the top 10 billionaires list, and just one woman is in the top 1. And that is due to inheritance more than founding a company:

  1. Bill Gates: $67 billion
  2. Larry Ellison: $43 billion
  3. Jeff Bezos: $25 billion
  4. Larry Page: $23 billion
  5. Sergey Brin: $22.8 billion
  6. Michael Dell: $15.3 billion
  7. Steve Ballmer: $15.2 billion
  8. Paul Allen: $15 billion
  9. Mark Zuckerberg: $13.3 billion
  10. Azim Premji: $11.2 billion
  11. Laurene Powell Jobs and family: $10.7 billion

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest top tech billionaire, at just 28, followed not all that closely by Google’s Page and Brin, both of whom are still thirtysomething but will only be able to say that for one more year.

An interesting question: Who will be the first woman to make it on the list due to her standing as a tech founder or CEO?

Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer might be a top candidate, but her potentially $60 million compensation first-year package at Yahoo is only a drop in the billionaire’s bucket. She’s only like to make it if she gets a lot more stock-based compensation and Yahoo’s value goes through the roof.

That’s something that women like Change.org president and COO (and former Google exec) Jennifer Dulski is trying to change, as we reported a month ago. But given the 10-15 years it takes a company to attain the kind of scale that supports multibillion-dollar valuations, it may take us some time to see who successful they will be.