Top iOS news of the week: No free Office iPad Pro, iPhones, iOS 9 updated

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple iPhone 6s, 6s Plus in Rose Gold prove popular; record sales expected!.

While the iPhone 6s, which is slighter smaller and lighter, can’t quite survive the epic ten-foot descent, it is still a pretty impressive piece of technology. Sam Shaikh, from Stratford, was the first to enter the Apple Store in Covent Garden, London, having been outside “since 8.30pm on Monday night” – while a woman in Australia even sent a robot to queue on her behalf. Eager buyers – joined by at least one robot – flocked to Apple stores from Sydney to New York and San Francisco, itching to get their hands on new models boasting an improved camera and a screen feature Apple calls ‘3D Touch’, which performs different functions depending on how hard a user presses. “It’s very intuitive. But if I were to lay the iPhone 6 beside a 6s and ask you to play around for a minute on each one, I doubt you’d be able to tell which is the new and improved version.

I’m really excited to see what developers do with it,” Leah Bentley, a 22-year-old software developer from Emeryville, California, said inside Apple’s San Francisco store after purchasing her phone. For all the sophisticated technology packed into the new iPhones, customers interviewed by Reuters were most excited by a more low-tech feature: the ‘rose gold’ finish, a new shade that Apple introduced with the current phone. Of course, we are nearly forced to cover up our smartphone jewelry with ugly cases, even more so with the last two models featuring rounded edges that undoubtedly lead to more floor impacts. The novel hue – essentially sparkling pink – accounted for more than a third of early in-store sales, according to FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives, citing conversations with buyers. One store at least was buzzing, as Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook made a surprise visit to company’s store in Georgetown, Washington, to raucous cheers from employees and shoppers.

Analysts expect 12 million to 13 million phones to fly off the shelves in the first weekend, up from more than 10 million last year when the launch of the hugely successful iPhone 6 was delayed in China, the world’s biggest smartphone market. Apple, whose shares were largely unchanged on Friday, has said pre-orders suggested sales were on pace to beat last year’s first-weekend performance. It usually announces first weekend sales on the following Monday. “I obviously have my work and other things to attend to and can’t spend two days lining up so my boss at work suggested I take one of the robots down and use it to stand in my place,” she said, via an iPad mounted on top of the wheeled robot. Still, Apple has only about 16 percent of the global smartphone market compared to 81 percent for devices running Google Inc’s Android system, according to tech research firm IDC’s projections for this year. For the following year’s model, designated with an “s” tacked on to the number, the Cupertino, California-based company makes more subtle improvements.

More important than customer appetite for upgrades is sales outside the United States, particularly in China, said Aaron Rakers, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. A few more little conveniences would have generated more good-will capital with fans who show up loyally each year to spend gobs of money on a product that is often just an incremental improvement.

Repair firm iFixit, which opened up an iPhone 6s and 6s Plus on Friday, said battery capacity was down “a bit”, probably to accommodate new features. The new models reached stores Friday in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, France, Germany, the U.K., Canada, the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

They will go on sale in more than 130 countries by year-end, according to Apple. “I never had an iPhone before,” said the 38-year-old truck driver from Corona, Queens. “I see all my friends playing with their iPhones and new devices, and I said, ‘You know what, maybe it’s time for me to upgrade,”’ said Gonzalez, who has been using an HTC handset. Shares of audio chipmaker Cirrus Logic Inc jumped 15 percent after iFixit’s tear-down revealed that Apple had used its chips, as it did in previous iPhones. The camera is slightly improved, with more vibrant photos, a nice front-facing upgrade for selfie fanatics and FaceTime, and of course the higher-resolution 4K video. Lacklustre offerings this year from Samsung Electronics Co Ltd will help Apple stand out in the marketplace, said analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy.

Stores in China — Apple’s largest market outside the U.S. — drew faithful buyers like Wu Kai, who picked up two phones from a packed Apple outlet at Beijing’s Xidan Joycity mall. “Apple products are becoming family members,” the 17-year-old student said, explaining how he and his parents rely on every Apple product from the Mac Pro to the iPad. “It’s just good product that’s shaping our everyday life.” Cook has said he expects the world’s second-largest economy to eventually become Apple’s largest market. Greater China accounted for 27 percent of revenue in the June quarter, more than all of Europe, and remains a swing factor for the company’s iPhone-reliant earnings. Freelance technology journalist Lindsay Handmer, 32, waited for 18 days in front of the shop to be the first, showering at a local gym and using the toilets at a McDonald’s.

The stock through Thursday was down 14 percent from its high in February, in part because of concerns that the device can’t sustain its run of unprecedented growth. Apple last week predicted it would top last year’s opening-weekend sales record of 10 million units, although that figure is boosted by availability this year in China, which wasn’t part of the initial rollout last year. A better gauge for how the device is selling will come in January, when the company reports sales for the holiday quarter. “The biggest area of interest for investors is the December quarter. Apple also introduced a program for paying in installments of at least $37 a month, similar to plans offered by wireless companies including AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc.

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