Sprint Wants $1 a Month for a New 16GB iPhone 6S

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple fan sends robot to hold place in line for new iPhone.

Wells Fargo’s Jennifer Fritzsche, who has been bearish on prospects for T-Mobile US (TMUS), nonetheless thinks it could get a lift from Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 6s, which goes on sale tomorrow, as could and Sprint (S), which she rates Outperform, helped by new leasing plans the two carriers unveiled yesterday and today. Fritzsche, who has a Market Perform rating on T-Mobile, notes that T-Mobile yesterday said it will lease the iPhone to customers for $5 a month, for the plain 6s, and $9 per month for the more expensive 6s “Plus.” Fritzsche writes that the offers imply an effective subsidy, but that both carriers are requiring people to turn in an iPhone 6 that is in working condition, which the carreirs can then resell, recouping money.

The iPhone 6S arrives tomorrow morning, and Reuters says the fever-pitch demand for the latest iPhone in China is spurring a boom in phony stores that look a lot like official Apple stores–right down to the bags.Amid all the benchmark-testing and feature-dissecting surrounding Apple’s new iPhones going on sale Friday, I’ve come to a conclusion: The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are the company’s most millennial phones to date.This Australian woman sure knows how to take advantage of the latest technology — by outsourcing her wait in line to a robot outside a local Apple store. The devices they sell are mostly genuine, though many have been smuggled in. (Reuters) On a bustling street in China’s southern boomtown of Shenzhen, more than 30 stores carrying Apple Inc’s iconic white logos peddle pre-orders for the new iPhone, a gadget that has become a status symbol among many better-off Chinese.

When it comes to technology, surveys show that millennials tend to be heavily dependent on mobile devices, use social media far more than other age groups and have short fuses for gadgets that don’t work smoothly. In particular, booming demand for Apple products in China, coupled with the relative dearth of actual Apple stores in the country, has spurred dozens of businesses selling iPhones, both real and knockoff, in stores that are made to look very much like Apple’s (very much trademarked) stores.

The robot is made of an iPad attached to a remote-controlled Segway-type stand and was welcomed by others waiting in line and even posed for selfies and pictures with curious and amazed bystanders. According to Reuters, these stores are proliferating across Shenzhen (which has only one Apple store and five authorized dealers) ahead of the iPhone 6S’s release.

The researchers described them as “distinctive in how they place themselves at the center of self-created digital networks.” No other generation is inclined to do this, Pew said. Kelly said that she is connected to the robot consistently through an app where she can see through the iPad camera and talk to others in line with the iPad speakers and microphone.

Unlike the fairly obvious Apple-like stores we’ve seen before, like the ones seen above in 2011 and below—in Johannesburg—in 2009, Reuters says these stores have employees dressed in Genius-style uniforms, Apple shopping bags, and furniture that looks like real thing. Shenzhen’s unauthorized Apple stores are taking advantage, banking on quick-hit gains from re-selling devices bought via authorized sales channels for as much as double the official price to consumers unwilling to wait weeks for stock to arrive. Several workers at the stores said they were buying iPhone models in China and in overseas markets such as the United States and Hong Kong, from where they would be smuggled across the border into the mainland.

Well, in addition to the faux-Apple stores themselves, there are also plenty of stores that sell the trappings they need to fake it, as Yimou Lee explains: Just a stone’s throw from the street of copycat stores, tucked away in a giant tech mall, two shops offer the logos, uniforms, display shelves and shopping bags needed to make an unauthorized outlet feel like a genuine Apple store. But judging by the time I’ve gotten to spend with the devices ahead of their official release, I see a lot in these devices that fit well with the under-35, always-connected, social-media obsessed smartphone user. (Full disclosure: Born in 1986, I’m one of them.) Posting photos to social media is far easier. Some shops have blocked signs that read “authorized Apple seller” with promotional banners and covered Apple logos on staff uniforms with stickers, although several vendors said business had not been affected. Others in the industry said the fake Apple store had become so popular that it was just a matter of time before some shops would be forced to close as the market becomes saturated.

So without further ado, let me point out several features that should make the millennial crowd especially pleased with what Apple has done with its latest phones. Not all stores are totally unauthorized, in some cases an authorized dealer strives to give its store that Apple-style aura to boost customer experience. As you probably could guess from the name, 3D Touch adds some depth to the old swipe-and-tap routine, by way of a screen that can tell how hard you’re pressing. Priced at 580 yuan ($121 Cdn), a tenth of the price of a real phone at 6088 yuan ($1,271), the gold phone appears authentic, complete with the letter S engraved on the back. You can “peek” into certain parts of the phone with a gentle push, most often to call up a menu of quick-launch options or a preview of what you want to read.

Not every implementation is perfect; for instance, pressing on the App Store icon brought up a search bar that I don’t feel is hard to get to without 3D Touch. It feels like we shouldn’t be impressed with the megapixel wars anymore, particularly since Apple’s 12 MP camera doesn’t even boast the most on the market. Jumping into the camera to start a video took me 5 seconds — I had to tap the camera icon, move the slider at the bottom over to video and then hit record. That’s great for scenic landscapes and family photos on the rear-facing camera, especially if you have kids or pets that don’t properly time their adorableness for your shutter click. Live Photos can be shared in their full glory with anyone who has iOS 9, as well as Mac users; Apple’s also launched an API for the feature, which means we could see it supported on other services down the line.

With more finishes and customization options — you can even have Live Photo wallpapers — the company’s also offering up more ways to make your phone more personal. It is not on the level of something like Motorola’s build-your-own-phone designs, but it is still a good and welcome fit for what’s been called the “me me me” generation. Then again, since Americans spend a reported 4.7 hours per day on their smartphones, it makes some sense that everyone would want their iPhone to reflect their personalities.

Chief executive Tim Cook has made no secret of the fact that wrapping the iPhone in gold — and now a new and very pink rose-gold — was a way to appeal to middle-class and wealthy customers in China. But it also fits into Apple’s broader push to establish itself as the luxury brand of hardware devices — an effort that was seen in the marketing around the Apple Watch, too (recall that one model was priced at $17,000!).

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