Apple iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S Go On Sale Today

Starting at 3:00am, 12:00am Pacific, this morning, Apple started online sales of the new iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S.  Apple Stores around the country open in just over 90 minutes to begin selling what I’m sure will be a blockbuster success for Apple.

2013 will be remembered as the first year that Apple released two iPhones simultaneously.  The iPhone 5C is a redesigned iPhone 5 that includes a new polycarbonate colored shell similar to the iPod touch.  The iPhone 5S, sporting it’s new Touch ID sensor, M7 motion co-processor, and all new, 64-bit A7 processor is a mobile power house sporting the same processing power as the Macintosh.

If you are looking for an iPhone 5C today, there is a good chance you will be able to find one in the color and capacity that you want.  The yellow iPhone 5C, however, might be a little more difficult to find as it appears to already be quantity constrained when ordered online.

People looking for the new flagship iPhone 5S should start today off by planning on being disappointed today.  If the media is anywhere near accurate, we should be prepared for SKU stock outs very quickly today.  Demand for new iPhones is up this year, however, the new Touch ID sensor has been widely reported as bedeviling Apple’s manufacturing partners and the yield rate on iPhone 5S models is much lower then Apple would have liked.  Reports around the Internet are also stating that the white and gold iPhone 5S models are being produced in a 3:1 ratio to the black/space grey model, meaning that white iPhones 5S will be harder to find, and reports from around the world where iPhone 5S is already on sale are stating that the gold iPhone 5S is virtually impossible to find.

So, what are we Apple fans suppose to do?  I’m preparing for not being able to get a new iPhone 5S today.  I’m going to attempt to go to a local Apple Store this afternoon when I get out of work.  Sure I’ll be taking a half day, but after being on sale for 5+ hours by the time I get there, I’m expecting stock outs on the 32GB space grey model.

If you can’t stand not getting a new iPhone as soon as possible, or can’t get to an Apple Store this morning, you might want to just order the unit online at Apple.com.  Shipping times for 32GB units are still showing as 1-3 days.

The iPhone 5S pricing starts at $199 for a 16GB model and goes up $100 successively for the 32GB and 64GB models.   The iPhone 5C pricing starts at $99 for the 16GB model and $199 for the 32GB model.  Apple is also keeping the iPhone 4S around in an 8GB model for free when you sign a 2-year contract with your wireless carrier.  Starting today, all four major US wireless carriers, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile will begin selling the new iPhones.

The iPhone 5 models released last year have entered retirement today, and have been replaced by the iPhone 5C in Apple’s three tier features model.

All three iPhone models will run Apple’s iOS 7.

Whatever you end up doing, I hope you are able to find the iPhone you are looking for today, if not very soon.

Happy iPhone Day!

The Use of Carrier SMS Texting Is In Decline

I generally don’t read USAToday, except while traveling, but a pair of articles on texting caught my attention.

The first, “Sore thumbs? Text messaging declines” (link) talks about the decline of SMS messaging by consumers.  People aren’t texting less, they are sending more messages then ever.  According to the article, Americans sent an estimated 2.2 trillion messages in 2012.  What is in decline is how many of those 2.2 trillion messages are sent and delivered by Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and other wireless carriers.

It place of SMS messaging is the rise in popularity of Internet-based short message service (SMS) applications such as Apple’s iMessage, Snap Chat, BlackBerry Messenger, and all the rest.  Unlike the SMS service you sign up for when you buy a new cell phone, these new texting apps use your phone’s Internet connection rather than the voice network on your cell phone.

So what does this mean?  Well, for one thing, it means that many of us can probably save some money on our monthly cell phone bills.  The days of thousands of dollar monthly bills due to uncontrolled text messaging is probably coming to an end.  My entire family has either an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and we all text each other with iMessages.  The number of pure SMS messages charged against my cell phone’s texting service plan in a month are virtually non-existant.

I once read an article online that spoke about text messaging fees from the big four wireless providers here in the U.S.  I didn’t save a copy of that article, but it essentially said that text messages are sent of the voice portion of the cell phone and that it only costs the phone company a few pennies to send a message.  We, the consumer, are paying anywhere from $0.10 – $0.25 for each message we send and receive.  To illustrate, if I send a text message to a friend on the same wireless service as me, the phone company will make $0.40 – $1.00 on what is really just to messages.  They make money when I send the original message twice (they charge me to send and my friend to receive) and when my friend replies.  Talk about price gouging.

The second article, “Fewer drivers nabbed by texting bans” (link) has to do with texting while driving, a very stupid thing to do, and the efforts of law enforcement to reduce the habit.  That piece, I think will be a different rant altogether.

Rumor: Sprint, T-Mobile iPhone 4S This Fall

Well, well, well, maybe I spoke too soon about Sprint not getting the iPhone.

Take the following with a heaping helping of salt, Morton’s is my favorite brand, but Peter Misek, an analyst for investment firm Jeffries Co. has released a research note indicating that the next iPhone will be called “iPhone 4S” and will be released for both Sprint and T-Mobile here in the United States.

“Citing industry checks, he said the fifth-generation iPhone will arrive in September with “minor cosmetic changes, better cameras, A5 dual-core processor, and HSPA+ support.” New carriers are expected to include Sprint, T-Mobile, and China Mobile.”

The research note also points to comments made by Apple COO Tim Cook, that Apple won’t release an LTE 4G version of the iPhone until the LTE chip set technology evolves to a point that does not cause the company to have to make compromises that could negatively impact the customer experience.

[Via AppleInsider.com…]

Rumor: White iPhone 4 Lands on April 27th, T-Mobile Prototype Spotted

Just because it was a long Easter holiday weekend didn’t mean that there was a shortage of new white iPhone rumors.

The first is that the white iPhone 4 will finally go on sale here in the United States this week.  Since this is a rumor, it is unclear if the near mythical iPhone will go on sale simultaneously for AT&T and Verizon Wireless or not.  After all of the delays, I personally hope that Apple rolls out the white iPhone 4 in both the GSM and CDMA flavors at the same time.  If the rumor is true, white iPhone 4’s are already being shipped in advance of the debut of their retail sales date.

[Via AppleInside.com…]

As a side note, BGR seems to have gotten their hands on what appears to be a prototype iPhone 4, yes, it’s white, running on the T-Mobile network.  The T-Mobile iPhone seems to have all signs pointing to test device, so don’t expect any T-Mobile/Apple product announcements anytime soon.

[Via BGR.com…]

Samsung Nexus S Unveiled

The new Nexus smartphone is being launched by Samsung and is headed for T-Mobile here in the United States.

Samsung and Google deliver Nexus S, the world’s first handset to feature the latest version of Google’s Android™ platform. Powered by Android 2.3, Gingerbread, this smartphone is packed with powerful technology and the latest in hardware features.

Form Meets Functionality

Featuring both superior functionality and a stunning user-experience, the Nexus S has a brilliant Super AMOLED touch screen that provides a premium viewing experience. The 4-inch Contour Display has a curved design for a more ergonomic style and feel when held to the user’s face.

Powered by a 1 GHz Hummingbird processor, Nexus S produces rich 3D graphics, faster upload and download times and supports HD-like multimedia content. In addition, Nexus S features a gyroscope sensor to provide a smooth, fluid gaming experience when the user is tilting the device up or down or panning the phone to the left or right. It also comes with 16 GB of internal memory.

Impressive Features

Nexus S features Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which allows users to read information off of everyday objects like stickers and posters that are embedded with NFC chips. It’s also equipped with a 5 megapixel rear facing camera and camcorder, as well as a VGA front facing camera, and features a new and improved keyboard with multi-touch support, Internet calling (VoIP/SIP support) and a clean new user interface.

Get Access to Apps

This powerful smartphone also includes popular Android features such as portable Wi-Fi hotspot, true multitasking and access to Google mobile services such as Google Search™, Gmail™, Google Maps™ with Navigation, Voice Actions, Google Voice™ and YouTube™, and access to over 100,000 apps and widgets on Android Market™.

Pricing and Availability

The Samsung Nexus S will be going on sale at T-Mobile on December 16 for $199 with a new 2-year service agreement.  You can also purchase the Nexus S from Best Buy as an unlocked phone for $529 according to AndroidCentral.com.

To learn more about the Nexus S, visit the Samsung or Google Nexus S websites.

Briefly Noted: eWeek T-Mobile G2 Review

I recently came across eWeek.com’s review of the new T-Mobile G2 smartphone running Google Android.

“Overall, the T-Mobile G2 by HTC, which is priced at $199 with a two-year contract, is quite a good Android phone. It doesn’t have every feature that can be found with the competition, but it has a few features the others don’t have, most notably the very fast 3G access. If you want an Android choice, this is right at the top of the list.”

You can read the full review on the eWeek website.

T-Mobile To Sell Black iPhone/iPod/iPad Cable

Despite all the shenanigans caused by a recent post at TMoNews.com about T-Mobile selling Apple’s iPhone 4G, does anyone else think that a black Apple sync/charge cable is cool?  A white cable looks good with a white iPod or with the mythical white iPhone 4G.  But a white cable with a black iPod Classic, iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad just doesn’t seem right.

The T-Mobile cable is intended for European T-Mobile customers who are traveling State side and is expected to sell for $14.99.  (In Germany, T-Mobile is a non-exclusive carrier of the iPhone.)  I can’t say that if I happened pass a T-Mobile store that has this cable that I won’t pick one up.

The bottom line: So far, AT&T is still the only game in town for an iPhone.  Verizon has all but been confirmed to start selling the iPhone 4G in early 2011.  No word at this time if T-Mobile or Sprint will ever end up ironing out a deal with Apple to sell the iPhone.

RIM Introduces the New BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

Following closely on the heels of their BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry OS 6 announcements, Research In Motion introduced the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 today.  The new BlackBerry Curve has a GSM/HSDPA radio in it so I would expect it to appear on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks here in the United States before long.

Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced the new BlackBerry® Curve™ 3G, an exciting addition to the globally popular BlackBerry Curve series of smartphones. Designed to provide the growing mass of smartphone purchasers with a distinctly powerful, approachable and affordable choice, the BlackBerry Curve 3G supports high-speed 3G (HSDPA) networks around the world  and gives users the exceptional communications features they need to accomplish more than ever, when they’re at home, at work and everywhere in-between.

“The majority of people in the worldwide mobile phone market have yet to buy their first smartphone and the BlackBerry Curve 3G is designed to provide an extremely attractive and accessible choice that will help convince many of them to make the leap,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “The new BlackBerry Curve 3G is a perfect choice for happily busy people who are looking for a user-friendly 3G smartphone to help them make the most of their day and to stay connected with their friends, family and co-workers.”

The BlackBerry Curve 3G smartphone features a comfortable full-QWERTY keyboard for fast, accurate typing, optical trackpad for fluid navigation, built-in GPS and Wi-Fi®, as well as dedicated media keys, so music lovers can easily access their tunes while on the go. The new smartphone also features a camera that can record video and a microSD/SDHC slot that supports up to 32 GB memory cards for media storage. Support for 3G networks makes browsing faster, streaming music smoother, and gives users the ability to talk on the phone while they browse the web, instant message with BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™) or share their location with friends on popular social networking sites.

The BlackBerry Curve 3G ships with BlackBerry® 5 and is BlackBerry® 6 ready. BlackBerry 6 is a new operating system for BlackBerry® smartphones that was announced last week. It retains the trusted features that distinguish the BlackBerry brand while delivering a fresh and engaging experience that is both powerful and easy to use. BlackBerry 6 is expected to be available for the BlackBerry Curve 3G, subject to carrier certifications, in the coming months.

The new BlackBerry Curve 3G smartphone (model 9300) will be available from various carriers and distribution partners around the world beginning in August. Check with local carriers for details about availability and pricing.