iNews Review

AppleCare+ for iPhone, iPhone 4S Slower than iPad 2, Worldwide BlackBerry Outage, 4S Cases, and More

This Week's iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Apple TV News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2011.10.17

Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review, and general Mac news is in Mac News Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

BlackBerry Outage

Electronics Trade-In

Apps & Services

Presentation & Protection

iPod Deals

These price trackers are updated every month.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

Apple Announces AppleCare+ for iPhone

PR: Every iPhone comes with one year of hardware repair coverage through its limited warranty and up to 90 days of complimentary support. AppleCare+ for iPhone extends your coverage to two years from the original purchase date of your iPhone and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a $49 service fee. Whether you use your iPhone with a Mac or a PC, just one phone call can help resolve most issues.

Extend your coverage to two years of service and expert telephone technical support

Because AppleDesigns the iPhone, iOS, and many applications, the iPhone is a truly integrated system. And only AppleCare+ provides one-stop service and support from Apple experts whether you use a Mac or a PC, so most issues can be resolved in a single call.

AppleCare+ provides repair or replacement coverage, both parts and labor, from Apple-authorized technicians.

What's covered:

  • Your iPhone
  • Battery
  • Included earphones and accessories
  • Coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage, each subject to a $49 service fee

With AppleCare+ for iPhone, Apple experts can help troubleshoot issues with your iPhone, Apple-branded iPhone applications, and interconnectivity between your iPhone and your Mac or PC.

AppleCare+ must be purchased together with new covered equipment. See AppleCare+ Terms and Conditions for complete product details.

iPhone 4S Benchmarks Slightly Slower than iPad 2

AnandTech's Anand Lal Shimpi and Brian Klug report that they've seen the first performance results from Apple's first A5-based smartphone and compiled these results from various sources, comparing them to their existing database of tests.

They say that results are pretty much as expected, with JavaScript performance finally catching up to Tegra 2-based Honeycomb devices, while general CPU performance is significantly higher than the iPhone 4.

Based on integer and fp tests of published Geekbench scores, Lal Shimpi and Klug conclude that Apple is shipping a lower clocked A5 in the iPhone 4S than it does in the iPad 2, which they say makes sense considering the iPhone 4S's much smaller 5.25 WHr battery. Based on the Geekbench results, they report that it looks like the iPad 2 is clocked around 25% higher than the iPhone 4S, which would peg the latter's clock speed in the neighborhood of 800 MHz.

How Tablets Have Changed Users' Lives

The Drum's Stephen Lepitak reports that a new study of 5,000 consumers by the media communications agency UM London finds that media tablets and e-readers have changed users lives, with almost a fifth of UK consumers now owning a tablet or e-reader, and over a quarter of respondents even copping to using the devices on the toilet.

The study, entitled "Will Tablet Computers Change Our Lives?", also discovered that 64% of those who don't own either device have no intention of buying one either, 23% of that cohort saying they were deterred by the price, but nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) said they did intend to buy a tablet computer and 19% said they would buy an e-reader.

Meanwhile, of those who already own tablet computers, more than a third said it had changed their lives, with 43% claiming they were addictive and over 60% saying they used it on a daily basis, 65% saying they find the tablet more useful than a laptop, and 43% suggest that it has improved their quality of life, because they are now "less bored."

iPads Delivered 97.2% of All US August Tablet Traffic

PR: Smartphones and tablets drive nearly 7% of total US digital traffic reports comScore, Inc. in a new report: "Digital Omnivores: How Tablets, Smartphones and Connected Devices are Changing US Digital Media Consumption Habits." The report analyzes how cross-platform consumption has created a vastly different commercial and social landscape, as consumers utilize a growing number of devices to consume digital content. The report also analyzes the impact these shifting consumption habits have on online visitation and engagement across the Internet.

"The popularization of smartphones and the introduction of tablets and other web-enabled devices collectively termed connected devices have contributed to an explosion in digital media consumption. As these devices gain adoption, we have also seen the rise of the digital omnivores consumers who access content through several touchpoints during the course of their daily digital lives." says comScore's senior vice president of mobile Mark Donovan. "In order to meet the needs of these consumers, advertisers and publishers must learn to navigate this new landscape so they develop cross-platform strategies to effectively engage their audiences."

Key findings highlighted in the report include:

  • Mobile phones drive digital traffic around the world, while tablets are gaining steam. The share of non-computer traffic for the US stood at 6.8% in August 2011, with approximately two-thirds of that traffic coming from mobile phones, and tablets accounting for much of the remainder.
  • Increased WiFi availability and mobile broadband adoption in the US are helping drive connectivity. In August 2011, more than one third (37.2%) of US digital traffic coming from mobile phones occurred via a WiFi connection.
  • This percentage grew nearly 3 points in just the past three months. On the other hand, tablets, which traditionally required a WiFi connection to access the Internet, are increasingly driving traffic using mobile broadband access. In August, nearly 10 percent of traffic from tablets occurred via a mobile network connection.
  • Today, half of the total US mobile population uses mobile media. The mobile media user population (those who browse the mobile web, access applications, or download content) grew 19% in the past year to more than 116 million people at the end of August 2011.
  • iPads dominate among tablets in driving digital traffic. In August 2011, iPads delivered 97.2% of all tablet traffic in the US. iPads have also begun to account for a higher share of Internet traffic than iPhones (46.8% vs. 42.6% of all iOS device traffic).
  • In the US, tablet users display the characteristics of early technology adopters: young males in upper income brackets. In August, 54.7% of all tablet owners were male and nearly 30% were age 25-34. Nearly half (45.9%) of tablet owners belonged to households earning $100K and more.
  • Nearly half of tablet owners made or completed a purchase on their tablet. Tablet owners exhibited significant use of their devices throughout the entire online shopping process from doing the initial planning, conducting product and store research, making price comparisons, to finally transacting. In the past month, more than half of tablet owners looked up product or price information for a specific store (56%) and read customer ratings and reviews while on a tablet (54%).
  • Nearly 3 out of 5 tablet owners consume news on their tablets. 58% of tablet owners consumed world, national or local news on their devices, with 1 in 4 consuming this content on a near-daily basis on their tablets.
  • Tablets facilitate real-time social networking. Nearly 3 in 5 tablet owners updated their social networking status or commented on others status on their device during September, while slightly less than half shared their location using a location-sharing site during.
  • The incremental reach through mobile and connected devices should not be underestimated. In the case of a publisher such as Pandora, the incremental reach of additional channels, such as connected devices, is significant. In August 2011, the additional mobile and connected device audience for Pandora accounted for more than half of their total cross-platform audience.

iOS is Leading Connected Device Platform by Device Share and Traffic Share

Tablet OS Market Share by PlatformAlthough the Android platform accounts for the highest share of the smartphone market (43.7% in August), its total audience among mobile and connected devices in current use is eclipsed by the Apple iOS audience. The iOS platform had the highest share of connected devices and smartphones in use at 43.1%, fueled by the iPad's dominance in the tablet market, while Android accounted for 34.1% of the total mobile and connected device universe.

Mobile OS Market Share by Installed BaseThe iOS platform also accounts for the largest share of Internet traffic, measured in terms of browser-based page views, in the US at present. When measuring market share of Internet traffic by platform, iOS accounted for more than half (58.5%) of the share of total non-computer traffic in the US. Android OS ranked second, delivering 31.9% of overall non-computer traffic in August. With iOS having a significantly higher share of traffic (58.5%) compared to its share of devices (43.1%), it suggests that iOS users are heavier-than-average consumers of Internet content.

comScore, Inc. is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics.

Publisher's note: Our site analytics don't differentiate between tablets and other mobile devices, but over 85% of mobile traffic to Low End Mac in August came from iOS users, 12.45% from Android, 0.85% from BlackBerry, and everything else was far lower. In September, iOS fell to 83%, Android rose to 14%, and BlackBerry hit 0.94%. So far this month, 6.8% of site traffic comes from iOS users, which is 84% of mobile traffic. Android follows at 14.1% Android, and BlackBerry at 0.8%. dk

Tablet Owners Spend 48% More Time Online Daily

PR: Tablet technology is proving to be a game changer for Internet use, moving large quantities of time away from PCs and laptops and onto smartphones and iPads (or other tablets).

Being able to take device shares into account along with product and media use gives planners a new, increasingly relevant window on the media landscape.

New research by Knowledge Networks shows that tablet-owning consumers (ages 18 to 64) spend 4 hours, 19 minutes with the Internet daily, compared to 2 hours 55 minutes for all consumers 18-to-64 a difference of 84 minutes, or 48%.

Tablet owners spend, on average, 55 minutes daily accessing the Internet on their tablets; social networking, gaming, and search take up about half (24 minutes) of that time. Mobile devices (smartphones and/or tablets) account for 38% of tablet owners online use, compared to 14% for the general 18-to-64 population.

These are among the findings from the latest wave of research for KNs MultiMedia Mentor, which collects industry information about time spent with eight media, as well as deep information about respondents' product use and other characteristics. Clients access this data via proprietary, Internet-based software that facilitates efficient media planning and ad targeting.

The research also presents strong evidence that tablet ownership is a marker for other advanced tech characteristics; 92% of tablet owners also have a smartphone, and they are 40% more likely to have a DVR than the general population.

Mobile Internet time for the overall 18-to-64 population has tripled in just a year from 7 minutes in 2010 to 25 in the new measurement.

Being able to take device shares into account along with product and media use gives planners a new, increasingly relevant window on the media landscape, said Robert DeFelice, Vice President of Client Service (Media) at Knowledge Networks. To keep messaging effectively, marketers need an integrated view of their targets technology and media habits where they are in today's world of anytime-anywhere access to content.

For MultiMedia Mentor, Knowledge Networks conducts roughly 5,000 extensive interviews each year with members of KnowledgePanel about their use of media as well as their consumption of soda, their car purchasing plans, and hundreds of other key profile data points. Mentor is also the basis for Total TouchSM, a custom, scalable solution for assessing consumer exposure and reactions across dozens of media, including out-of-home. ESPN and NBCU are among the companies that have used Total TouchSM to measure media audiences for key events. The new data in this release is from the Fall 2010 data set, encompassing over 2,500 interviews.

Knowledge Networks is passionate about research in consumer goods, retail, media, health and social policy collaborating closely with client teams throughout the research process, while applying rigor in everything we do. We specialize in innovative online research that consistently gives leaders in business, government, and academia the confidence to make important decisions.

KN delivers affordable, statistically valid online research through KnowledgePanel and leverages a variety of other assets, such as world class advanced analytics, an industry-leading physician panel, an innovative platform for measuring online ad effectiveness, and a research-ready behavioral database of frequent supermarket and drug store shoppers.

iPod Turns 10: Did Steve Jobs Kill or Save Music?

CTV News' Josh Visser observes that ten years ago (on Oct. 23), the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced a little music player touted as "One thousand songs in your pocket," the estimated capacity of 5 GB device, with playback controlled by an innovative scroll wheel.

"The iPod transformed Apple into the behemoth it is today," says Visser, "and revolutionized the music industry in ways it's still coming to grips with."

When Jobs unveiled the iPod, it wasn't the first MP3 player to hit the market, Visser continues, "it was simply the best . . . [combining] aesthetics with function . . . and had a simplicity that put your technophobic grandmother at ease. It was everything we didn't know we wanted."

iPod to Account for Only 7% of Apple Revenues in 2011

DigiTimes' Erica Yen and Joseph Tsai, report that sales of iPods, which will celebrate their 10th anniversary on Oct. 23, will only account for 7% of Apple's total revenues in 2011, pushing Taiwan-based makers in the iPod supply chain to shift their focus to the production of parts and components for iPhones and iPads, according to sources from upstream component suppliers.

Yen and Tsai note that although Apple will continue to push its iPod series products, including the Shuffle (still priced at $49), an updated Nano, and the iPod touch - which has been reduced $30 to $199 - their sources point out that their current orders are much weaker than those in past years as Apple gradually shifts focus to products such as iPhone and iPad.

7G iPod nano Teardown

iFixit's Director of Technical Communication Miroslav Djuric says:

"We had a lovely writeup in store for you, but given the recent event, we thought it in poor taste. No need to critique a product on the day of the creator's passing. We'll miss you dearly, Mr. Jobs."

The iPod nano 7th generation teardown notes that the new nano has some fun features packed inside.

  • 1.54" multitouch display
  • 240 x 240 pixel resolution
  • Built-in Accelerometer
  • Stock Nike+ Compatibility
  • Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery with up to 24 hours of music playback
  • 8 GB or 16 GB internal storage

"Fun fact: This newly released Nano is not any cooler than the last Nano. Actually, it's pretty much exactly the same."

Apple Switches iPad 2 Battery Suppliers Due to Defective Battery Packs

DigiTimes' Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report that some Lithium-polymer battery packs used in the iPad 2 have been found to be defective, and Apple in late September shifted some battery orders from Simplo Technology, which produced the defective products at its factory in eastern China, to Dynapack International Technology.

Lee and Tsai cite unnamed industry sources who told then the defective batteries may have leakage problems, which can cause a short circuit, but since iPad 2 have Li-polymer batteries, which use stable chemical materials, leakage will not create an explosion or fire hazard. However, they suggest it could cause problems with recharging. Cold comfort for those of us with iPad 2s built prior to September.

The reporters note that Simplo has been a long-term, major battery supplier for Apple, and in addition to the iPad, the company is also the battery supplier for Apple's MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

'Taking Stock With Teens' Survey Finds Portable Device Spending Up, iOS Rules

PR: Piper Jaffray has completed its 22nd semiannual "Taking Stock With Teens" national study of teen shopping behavior and brand preferences, which indicates improving spending at the upper-income level and continued weakness for average-income teens. Also, the survey results reflect a preference by teens for value-priced merchandise at all levels of household income, but not necessarily the lowest cost, as teens report a willingness to spend on higher-priced, differentiated merchandise.

The Piper Jaffray retail research team conducted mall research field trips in 11 cities in the United States and Canada surveying approximately 600 students. The team surveyed teens on their favorite places to shop and their spending habits. Based on their responses, Hollister, a concept of Abercrombie & Fitch, took the top spot as the most frequent overall destination for the fifth consecutive survey followed by American Eagle Outfitters and West Coast Brands, which includes Pacific Sunwear of California, Volcom, Hurley, Quiksilver, Billabong, Sun Diego, Roxy, and Element in third. Abercrombie & Fitch was fourth followed by Forever 21 in fifth place.

"Our Fall 2011 survey provides further evidence of a bifurcated recovery: upper-income teens are feeling more confident and willing to spend on fashion, while average-income teens continue to rationalize budgets," says Jeff Klinefelter, director of research and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray. "With macroeconomic uncertainty likely to continue to weigh on consumer spending, we believe fashion and overall product 'newness' can drive sales growth for select retailers and brands."

Key findings from the survey in fashion, beauty and personal care, restaurants, digital media and video game categories include the following:

  • Fashion spending reflects improving trends at the upper-income level and continuing weakness for average-income teens. Among upper-income teens, the fashion category accounted for 38% of budgets, up from 37% in the spring of 2011. Of upper-income females, 40% plan to spend more on apparel this year than last year, down modestly from 41% in the spring of 2011. 31% of upper-income males plan to spend more on apparel compared to 33% in the spring. Of average-income teens, 34% expect to spend more compared to 35% in the prior two teen surveys. Fashion "newness" and the potential emergence of a new fashion cycle point to continued spending on fashion. Upper-income teens continue to be drawn further online for spending, with 13% of purchases coming from this channel, which is two percentage points higher than for average-income teens. Friends remain the dominate influence on both upper-income and average-income teen groups, but the Internet displaced television as the No. 2 influence.
  • Beauty spending among upper-income teens increased six percent year-over-year, but down 2% sequentially from the spring of 2011. Skin care and cosmetics represented a bigger share of overall beauty spending. MAC is the No. 1 cosmetics brand for upper-income teens, but the brand fell to No. 3 among average-income teens (compared to No. 2 in the spring and the same as the fall of 2010). Victoria's Secret remains the preferred fragrance, consistent with the past seven surveys. The combined share of the top ten cosmetics brands continues to decline, favoring multi-brand specialty retailers such as Ulta and Sephora.
  • Teen spending on food and restaurants is reported to be near the highest level since early 2000. Upper-income survey respondents increased weekly restaurant spending by approximately 2% compared to the spring of this year. Average-income teens decreased weekly spending by approximately 2% - although declines appear to be slowing. For selecting food and restaurants, taste continues to be the strongest influence among teens and nutrition ranked lowest. Value is less of an influence among upper-income teens but remains a more important consideration among average-income teens.
  • Portable device spending continues to accelerate with 83% of teens reporting that they are likely to purchase a smartphone for their next device, up from 75% last fall and 81% in the spring. iOS gained market share on Android and it is the most desired operating system, with 36% of teens reporting that they are likely to buy an iOS device. 38% of teens plan on buying an iPhone in the next six months, up from 33% one year ago. In the last year, iPhone market share among teens has risen from 14% to 23%. In total, 84% of the students had heard of Apple's iPhone and 25% said they would pay $500 for the iPhone. 29% of respondents own a tablet or have one in their household, and 22% expect to buy an iPad in next six months, which should benefit Apple given iPad's dominant market position. Of those students who own a MP3 player, 82% indicated that they also own some form of iPod, which is up from 79% in fall 2006. For online music services, 89% of students indicated that they use iTunes, slightly down from 91% in fall 2006.

Teens represent approximately 35% of video game players, with games representing 6% of teen spending. Teens tend to play games online, on mobile phones, and on Facebook. 21% paid to play games online, reporting an annual spend of $75. Buying intentions remain low for the purchase of new game systems and software during this fall. Despite declining interest in consoles and handhelds, teens remain receptive to new game experiences.

Parents were also surveyed in a separate study. Parent spending on apparel for their teen was up 7% year over year and up 21% from the fall 2006 survey. Parent spending on themselves is down 4% from fall 2006 and down 22% year over year. The results suggest that parents may be spending more money on their teen at the expense of themselves.

The "Taking Stock With Teens" survey is a research project comprised of gathering input from approximately 5,700 students with an average age of 16.2 years. Teen spending patterns, fashion trends, and brand and media preferences were assessed through visits to geographically diverse high schools in 11 states, and through an online survey of a wider group of teens from 32 states. The survey is conducted in partnership with DECA (an international association of high school students).

How the iPad and Other Tablets Impact the Future of Computing

PR: Multitouch on the iPad and other media tablets has liberated users from the hardware keyboard and pointing device (a.k.a. the mouse), and as media tablets become more commonplace, users will expect the convenience and simplicity of multitouch user interfaces when they interact with other computing devices, according to a new Gartner, Inc. report.

In the Gartner Special Report "iPad and Beyond: What the Future of Computing Holds," Gartner analysts examine how the iPad has impacted the hardware industry, and how media tablets are changing what users will expect out of their computing devices.

"During the next five to 10 years, media tablets will instigate change in computing form factors; modular designs will enable tablets to take on new functions, becoming the cross-platform controller and brain for hybrid consumer electronics and computers," says Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner. "Tablets will be substitutes for several of the consumer electronics consumers often carry with them. Thin-and-light mobile PCs with tablet-like features will become mainstream, pushing out some bulkier PC styles that have been the norm."

Makers of PCs and consumer electronics are noticing the shift in consumer expectations and are incorporating features popularized by the iPad into the new products they are developing. Multitouch technology has become the de facto interface of high-end smartphones and media tablets, and will extend to additional consumer electronic devices and to PCs.

"Other hybrid designs leverage the flexibility of tablets to become the brains of consumer electronic devices," Ms. McIntyre said. "One tablet can replace multiple dedicated electronics devices by connecting with different peripherals. Tablets docked in the dashboards of cars can replace dedicated navigation devices and in-car entertainment, and environmental controls. Wirelessly connect a blood pressure cuff, a bathroom scale and an oximeter to a tablet to create a home health monitor that can plot personal health trends and send the data to a doctor. Mount a tablet into a projector, and it becomes digital signage in a retail store or a device for streaming media via the Internet."

Interface technologies can be clustered around five basic modalities. They include state of mind (of the user), human-computer hybrids, action detection, speech and biosensing. Of the interface modalities, action detection has been extensively used to this point because touch for example, pressing a key, clicking a mouse or touching a screen is the standard way to interact with computing endpoint devices, such as tablets, PCs and smartphones.

Gartner analysts say the iPad has created a transformational change in how people interact with computers.

"Alternative user interfaces, such as multitouch, are essential for extending the deployment of computing devices into new markets," Ms. McIntyre said. "Smartphones, tablets and tablet hybrids will become the first pathway to the Internet for many. The keyboard on PCs is a major barrier for those who have had no reason or opportunity to become facile with QWERTY."

The Special Report includes links to nearly 20 research documents that examine how tablets are changing how people interact with computers.

Ms. McIntyre and David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, will host the webinar "iPad and Beyond: What the Future of Computing Holds" at 10 a.m. EDT and 1 p.m. EDT on October 27. To register for this complementary webinar, visit http://bit.ly/rdqMBW

BlackBerry Outage

Last Week's Worldwide BlackBerry Blackout

Geekosystem's Eric Limer reports:

"BlackBerry's have been experiencing an outage of sorts in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America for the past few days. Now, the trouble has started moving to users in the US. and Canada. The problems include questionable email service and no access to Internet browsing. The issues started at the beginning of this week....

"...with the iPhone 4S, a huge competitor for everyone, but specifically the flailing, increasingly aimless BlackBerry, this outage could hardly come at a worse time, especially when more and more businesses are abandoning RIM's proprietary, secure email for alternatives that let employees use phones like the iPhone for work."

3 Day BlackBerry Outage Caused by Faulty Router or Something More?

The Guardian's Charles Arthur and Matthew Baxter-Reynolds report:

"The problems for BlackBerry's 70 million users around the world began mid-morning on Monday at Research In Motion's network operations centre, or NOC, off Bath Road in Slough.

"In the hours after the initial failure RIM experienced its worst-ever outage - lasting three days - which eventually affected almost every one of its users and forced its founder Mike Lazaridis into an embarrassing public apology.

"Something broke down in the internal systems. It is still unclear quite what, though it has been blamed on a router (a piece of equipment which directs internet data in or across a network). RIM later called it a 'core switch failure'.

"Even a momentary lapse in the flow of RIM's data could be calamitous: the Guardian understands the Slough NOC servers normally deal with 8 gigabytes of data every second....

"Industry insiders and former RIM staff who have spoken to the Guardian say the company has been storing up problems for years through its approach to its system - and the outage was only to be expected."

"The reason why the amount of data passing through Slough is so colossal is that it is one of just four NOCs maintained by RIM to route data between all its global users - and it serves almost everyone in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India. It also handles all of the GPRS 'packets' - data sent worldwide via low-speed phone networks - to BlackBerry devices.

"There is another centre in Ontario, where RIM was founded, that serves the US, Canada and South America, and two more elsewhere that serve Asia and the Pacific regions.

"Normally, any issue at the Slough NOC would cause backup systems to kick in automatically, shifting the data transfer to a 'failover' location in Egham, Surrey. But the Guardian understands that work on making Egham a full backup centre had not been completed - although it was meant to have been finished two months ago."

"RIM is a victim of its own success, say former staff and industry insiders. It maintains its own private network, which in effect runs alongside the 'public' internet and carries all its data. That means it is so secure that the BlackBerry is the only device approved for sensitive government work, because messages are encrypted between the sender's device, the RIM servers, and the destination device."

"Messages are still being delivered, but RIM users may need to wait until Monday for the gigantic backlog to clear."

BlackBerry Outage: $350 Million Hit - Plus Losing Enterprise

ZDNet's Larry Dignan reports:

"Research in Motion's costs related to its outage last week don't amount to much, but the longer-term sales hit is likely to be much higher.

RIM is offering free apps to customers due to its outage, but that doesn't go all that far. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek estimated that the explicit costs due to the outage will be limited to $350 million. That amount assumes that RIM refunds one month of subscriber fees to its 70 million subscribers. The average fee a month is about $5.

But here's where things get dicey for RIM. The outage comes at the worst time for RIM and hurts its reputation with the one audience keeping the company alive - CTOs, CIOs and IT departments. The contrast between RIM and Apple, which sold 4 million iPhone 4S devices over a weekend, couldn't be more stark."

Electronics Trade-In

Target Offers iPhone Trade-Ins Nationwide

PR: Target stores nationwide are now offering a price lock guarantee for iPhone trade-ins through its partnership with NextWorth, a leader in consumer electronics upgrades and trade-ins.

Target is expanding its trade-in program to offer a price lock guarantee for iPhone trade-ins to 1,470 retail locations nationwide. Customers can go to a nearby Target store to lock in a trade-in value for their old iPhone model and receive the quoted value when they pick up their new iPhone 4S.

This is the first time Target has locked in trade-in values prior to product availability. Trade-in values are based on used iPhones in good working order, rather than phones in excellent or flawless condition, so the vast majority of people will qualify for the values quoted below:

  • iPhone 4 (16 GB & 32 GB): $200
  • iPhone 3GS (32 GB): $120
  • iPhone 3GS (16 GB): $110
  • iPhone 3GS (8 GB): $101

"We're excited to expand the opportunity to lock in a great trade-in value to Target shoppers across the country," says Jeff Trachsel, CMO at NextWorth. "For customers trading in an iPhone 4, the trade-in value will be equivalent to a free upgrade to the iPhone 4S."

In addition to essentially providing a free iPhone 4S upgrade, in-store trade-ins provide instant gratification to those looking to trade up to the new iPhone. Rather than mailing their old phone and waiting for a check, customers can keep their phone until they pick up the new iPhone 4S and still receive the value they were previously quoted.

Play N Trade: Trade In Your Apple Products

PR: Play N Trade Franchise, Inc., a franchisor of retail video games stores throughout North America, has announced a new trade-in program for Apple products that include iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches, in exchange for store credit or cash. With this program, Play N Trade intends to offer immediate gratification to customers, as well as provide a more convenient alternative to eBay. With the trade-in program, customers avoid having to deal with shipping their items and waiting for payment to arrive at a later date. Since the holiday season of gift buying is quickly approaching, the trade-in of Apple products offers another way for their customers to purchase games. Since most iPod, iPhone and iPad trade-in values are significantly higher than typical game trade-ins, customers will be able to build store credit very quickly.

Play N Trade plans to refurbish the Apple devices for resell, but currently has no plans to enter the business of selling phone plans. All trade-in products undergo Play N Trades stringent refurbishment process to insure it passes proper quality standards prior to resell. If products do not qualify for the refurbish program, Play N Trade will properly and responsibly recycle it at no extra cost.

"We are excited to offer this new service to our customers. As the gaming market moves forward, we are committed to evolving our services to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our customers and our stores," says Play N Trade President Sean Finnigan. "If customers have an old iPhone, iPad, or other Apple product, they may now visit their local Play N Trade retail store and exchange it for something brand new. Bring or send your old technology to a Play N Trade store and well determine if it qualifies for our refurbishment program. If the device meets our refurbishment standards we will assess the monetary value of the device and in exchange offer store credit or cash."

For customers interested in having their Apple devices repaired instead of being used as a trade-in for credit, Play N Trade is also announcing an Apple Repair Program to complement their Video Game Console Repair Program. Customers can bring or send damaged or broken devices to Play N Trade for analysis, repair and return as quickly as possible.

Apps & Services

BerryMover App Transfers Contacts and More from BlackBerry to iPhone

PR: BlackBerry to iPhone switchers can now transfer contacts, calendars, text messages, email messages, and more with BerryMover, a new app.

The need for this app seems huge. In a 2011 United Sample survey, over 66% of Verizon-based BlackBerry users said they would switch to an iPhone when it became available. Therefore, the numbers are staggering.

"Until this app, these folks couldn't properly transfer contacts from BlackBerry to iPhone," says Tim Goggin, Co-owner Of PocketMac. "They were stuck. But now, all you need is a recent BlackBerry backup, iTunes and BerryMover. And you're all set to transfer all your data."

BerryMover works by reading backup files. It then gives the user the option of choosing which data they want to import.

Goggin added, "Our 7 years working with the BlackBerry gives us the know-how to import this data and work with backup files. In fact, for many years, Research In Motion licensed our Mac-BlackBerry sync software."

Every copy of BerryMover comes with a complete video tutorial on how to import BlackBerry data to your iPhone. The app also includes the ability to import data from more than one backup file.

"Our customers ask us every day how they can get data from their old device to their new iPhone," says Goggin. "It's holding them back and costing them money. Some customers have told us they have that one crucial text message or those dozen emails they need salvaged."

BerryMover will import all of the following data:

  • Contacts
  • Calendar
  • Tasks
  • Notes
  • Text Messages
  • Email Messages

Goggin concludes, "BerryMover makes the switch from BlackBerry to iPhone painless. Now switchers can transfer all their data over."

BerryMover is available now on the iTunes App Store for $9.99.

Drive Safe - No Sleep for iPhone Ends Sleep Deprivation

PR: MobileAppsHQ, the developers of Drive Safe - No Sleep, has released a helpful product for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users. Newly launched in the App Store, Drive Safe - No Sleep helps drivers stay awake and alert behind the wheel by providing audio and visual stimulus. A section of the application also assists with power napping via the use of brain entrainment frequencies that help users to sleep for a short period of time enter deep sleep and awake refreshed. This application helps users to overcome sleep deprivation for improved safety and health.

Drive Safe - No Sleep is a new product launch that aids not only in the reduction of accidents due to falling asleep at the wheel but also helps end sleep deprivation for a better quality of life. The application offers two different types of stimuli. There is visual stimulus that is a strobe placed at the periphery of a user's vision. Although very effective for increasing alertness, it is not to be used by anyone who is prone to seizures.

Another option is the audio stimulus, which can be used with headphones or speakers. Users choose from four preset ambient sounds to listen to, or mix one with iPod music. Both the audio and visual method work with brain frequencies, raising them to levels associated with alertness, active concentration and perception. This means that users stay awake, aware and focused while driving or engaged in some other task that requires full attention.

Rest is also a critical tool in this app's arsenal of helpful features. Drive Safe - No Sleep provides a three-stage brain entrainment that puts users into a 15 - 30 minute power nap cycle that refreshes, improves alertness, boosts mood and increases productivity. Users do not suffer the disorientation, grogginess or sleepiness typically associated with cat napping and are able to configure an alarm sound, to be sure they're going to wake up when the power nap cycle ends. if they want to wake at a specific time.

Drive Safe - No Sleep is also good for those with insomnia. The app helps users enter a normal sleep cycle via entraining brainwaves that lower delta frequencies. This allows for restorative sleep, which not only makes for a safer driving experience but also improves health and mood.

Some of the life-improving features offered in Drive Safe - No Sleep include:

  • Easy to use and understand interface
  • Can improve driving safety, sleep patterns, health and happiness
  • Visual 'no sleep' option (strobe)
  • Audio 'no sleep' option
  • Power nap rest program
  • Deep sleep rest program
  • All audio modes can work in the background
  • Audio is mixed with the iPod tunes

The Drive Safe - No Sleep is safe and effective for everyone, regardless of occupation or age. The only caution is with the strobing visual stimulus, which should not be used by people with epilepsy, or anyone else prone to seizures or sensitive to flashing lights.

Device Requirements:

  • iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
  • Requires iOS 4.0 or later
  • 2.2 MB

Drive Safe - No Sleep 1.0 is $1.99 and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Productivity category. Promo codes are available for qualified reviewers. Please specify the website or blog you represent when making your request.

SRS Labs Launches Advanced Music Media Player for iPhone and iPod touch

MyTunesPR: SRS MyTunes is a fully customizable, high performance app designed to deliver HD-Quality Sound tailored to users personality and lifestyle. claimed to be the most advanced, feature-rich, audio enhancing media player application ever developed for the iPhone and iPod touch. MyTunes is available now on the iTunes App Store.

SRS notes that MyTunes is designed to redefine the expectations and capabilities associated with mobile media players. In addition to being a powerful, full function music player app, it features a robust mix of advanced SRS audio processing technologies, as well as a generous selection of innovative features that allow users to fully customize their listening experience to match their mood or activities.

MyTunesMyTunes seamlessly pulls music files from the iTunes music library stored on the device, but what the app does with those music files is what makes it remarkably different from anything else on the App Store today.

Features of the MyTunes app include:

  • SRS WOW HD processing restores the natural tonality and spatial characteristics of recorded audio, making music sound as if the listener is in the same room as the artist
  • Fully adjustable 10-band EQ with presets and a simple 3-knob tone control system offer further personalization of audio playback
  • Deeper, booming bass from any headphones and speakers system with patented SRS bass sculpting technology
  • Automatic tuning of the app settings to deliver optimal clarity and detail based on user selected headphones or speakers type

MyTunesContent normalization maintains a consistent listening volume regardless of the music played

  • Advanced drilldown search provides a simple way to navigate through substantial music collections allowing users to find songs with ease
  • Special driving mode optimizes the GUI for ease of use and minimal distraction
  • DJ-style transitions offer the full experience of having a live DJ mix the users playlist

MyTunes"With more than a decade of conditioning the general public to accept poor-quality audio as the norm, the MP3 and other compressed audio formats have successfully sucked the life and the fun out of recorded music," says Allen H. Gharapetian, Senior Vice President of Marketing for SRS Labs. "However, we have worked tirelessly to create a cure for this widespread epidemic of anemic sound by creating an app specifically designed to restore the lost sound that results from compressing audio, while at the same time giving listeners full control over the playback qualities of their audio. The app also allows users to tailor it to their preferred style and listening environment, providing a completely personalized experience. We are confident that MyTunes will ignite the senses like never before and let users to fall in love with their music collection all over again."

The base version of MyTunes is free to download and provides access to all of the premium features for 10-minutes a day. To completely unlock the premium features, users can upgrade the app by paying a one-time fee of $4.99.

To commemorate the launch of MyTunes, SRS is running a sweepstakes where five winners will receive iPod touch samples preloaded with the MyTunes app.

To enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win, visit http://bit.ly/MyTunesSweeps

The sweepstakes is running now through October 28, 2011.

Business Wire Launches iPad News App

Business WirePR: Business Wire has announced the launch of the Business Wire iPad app, now available for free download from the App Store. The Business Wire iPad app allows news viewers worldwide access to full text, breaking news from leading companies, including accompanying multimedia from Business Wire clients in English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese.

Business Wire app for iPadBusiness Wire's mobile initiatives continue to expand after an earlier launch of the BW App for iPhone and iPod touch users, enabling mobile users to read news from Business Wire clients using the devices of their choice. Photos and the company logo included with the news release display with links to all multimedia content available with the story. Viewers can browse 21 industry categories and three subject classifications for the latest news within the application.

"These enhancements to our mobile news display demonstrate Business Wire's ongoing commitment to providing direct, real-time access to our clients press releases in every available format," says Business Wire's CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz.

"There are now over 25 million iPads owners most of whom view news on their iPad. It is Business Wire's intention to optimize and continually improve the display and the availability of our clients news worldwide in all the leading platforms and channels," says Laura Sturaitis, Executive Vice President, Media Services and Product Strategy.

In addition to its own mobile-rendered site and Blackberry/Windows Mobile app, Business Wire content is available via the mobile channels of many leading news services and financial information providers, in addition to such popular services as Yahoo! Finance and Viigo. Business Wire content is available on every major platform, including Blackberry, Droid, iPhone, Palm and Windows Mobile.

Free iBank Investor App

iBank InvestorPR: IGG Software has announced the release of iBank Investor, a mobile app that aggregates all of a user's investments in one easy-to-access interface. iBank Investor can be used to edit or update individual securities in its stand-alone configuration, or, in conjunction with iBank 4, syncs to all of the user's holdings grouped by account. Available for free from the App Store, the universal app runs on all iOS devices including iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

"For busy investors on the go," says IGG president Ian Gillespie, "enhanced mobility adds value to their data and their devices. Because markets move quickly, we came up with an easy way to watch your investments at a glance and put your portfolio at your fingertips."

iBank Investor lets users see key information about each holding: market value, today's gain or loss, and total gain or loss. Users can track positions and review performance of individual lots, see recent news headlines for securities, drill down for security details, download current quotes and statistics in the background, or edit securities which don't automatically get quotes.

  • Users who sync iBank Investor with iBank 4 for Mac can see current holdings grouped by account, with price and value information for each security (free IGG Customer Account required). They can also view holdings data as read-only on any number of devices.
  • Employing iBank Investor in stand-alone mode, users can sync data across multiple devices (free IGG Customer Account required) and edit those holdings from any device.

To ensure privacy for their personal financial data, users can set passcode protection from within iBank Investor. Users can also set up or manage an IGG Customer Account in order to sync with their desktop copy of iBank for Mac, or to enable syncing across multiple iOS devices. For additional flexibility and security, sync may be disabled, or synced data can be deleted. The app is now available as a free download from the iTunes App Store, and requires iOS 4.3 or higher.

iBank 4 is the leading Mac-only personal finance application. To integrate with iBank Investor, iBank 4.3 adds a new section to its iTunes-style Source List, from which users can configure sync settings for the popular iBank Mobile app, as well as iBank Investor.

IGG offers an unlimited 30-day free trial download, free support and a 90-day unconditional guarantee on direct purchases of iBank from the IGG web store. The retail price of iBank 4 is $59.99; licensed users of iBank 3 can upgrade for $29.99. iBank 4.3 requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or higher, and will run on Macs using either Intel or PowerPC processors. The latest version can be downloaded at the IGG website, where there is access to an extensive library of iBank 4 video tutorials.

iBank 4 is also available from the Mac App Store, where it has been a number-one selling finance app, as well as the top-grossing finance app, since the launch of the Mac App Store in January.

Device Requirements:

  • iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
  • Requires iOS 4.0 or later
  • 2.8 MB

iBank Investor 1.0 is free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Finance category.

Presentation & Protection

Zagg Introduces Protective Accessories for iPhone 4S

PR: Zagg Inc. has made available new designs of its award-winning InvisibleShield and ZaggSkins accessories developed specifically for the Apple iPhone 4S. The new InvisibleShield and ZaggSkins will be offered at Zagg.com as well as in partner consumer retail locations and wireless carrier stores nationwide on October 14th, the day Apple releases the iPhone 4S to the public.

Zagg InvisibleShield for iPhone 4Zagg's InvisibleShield and ZaggSkins will provide iPhone 4S consumers screen and full body protection from scratches and dings, enabling consumers to enjoy the devices functionality and design without worrying about wear and tear

Zagg's InvisibleShield and ZaggSkins will provide iPhone 4S consumers screen and full body protection from scratches and dings, enabling consumers to enjoy the devices functionality and design without worrying about wear and tear, said Robert G. Pedersen II, president and CEO of Zagg. The Zagg brand is recognized as an essential solution for protecting and personalizing Apple's mobile devices.

The InvisibleShield is a patented military-grade mobile device protection system. It is a virtually invisible and indestructible film made to extend the life of smartphones and tablets, such as the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. The InvisibleShield for the iPhone 4S will protect the device against scuffs, scratches, smudges and fingerprints. It includes a lifetime replacement warranty and retails for $14.99 for a screen cover or $24.99 for a full body cover.

ZaggSkins are high-resolution images printed on high quality vinyl, and fused with the military-grade protection of the InvisibleShield to compliment individual consumer interests. Customers can select designs from the ZaggSkins library of professional photos or upload personal images to create their own unique cover. ZaggSkins for the Apple iPhone 4S can be found online at the ZaggSkins design page for $19.99.

A recent survey by the NPD Group found Zagg is the number one mobile device accessory brand in the US. The company's complete line of mobile device accessories can be found at retail locations throughout North America and Europe.

Additional Zagg cases and accessories for the iPhone 4S will be available later this year.

Marware Announces New Case Lineup for iPhone 4S

PR: Marware, Inc. has announced five new cases for the Apple iPhone 4S: the Membrane, the DoubleTake, the DoubleTake Nocturnal, the Eclipse and the CEO Prestige. These cases will come in a variety of colors and are now available for preorder at Marware.com. Marware's new iPhone 4S cases arrive at the perfect time for Q4, and as retailers gear up for the holiday season, Marware has already gotten positive response from it's partners.

Marware Cases for iPhone 4SMarware's Director of Product Development, Stephen Heaven, spoke about the new iPhone 4S line: "Our vision for these cases was to explore new processes and technologies that would provide superior protection for your iPhone 4S, while offering a distinct style and essence that would turn heads. Utilizing a dual-layered fusion of materials, cases such as the DoubleTake family and the Eclipse push the limits of stylish protection. We pride ourselves on our innovation, as evidenced by the world's thinnest iPhone 4S case, the Membrane; or, the trendsetting glow-in-the-dark DoubleTake Nocturnal."

Marware's new iPhone 4S cases arrive at the perfect time for Q4, and as retailers gear up for the holiday season, the positive response Marware has already gotten from it's partners proves that this new lineup of iPhone 4S cases will continue to position Marware as the Leading Wave of the Mobile Community.

Features:

  • The Marware Lifetime Warranty
  • Five new cases for the Apple iPhone 4S: the Membrane, the DoubleTake, the DoubleTake Nocturnal, the Eclipse and the CEO Prestige.
  • The Membrane case includes one Anti-Glare Screen Protector at no extra cost
  • All iPhone 4S cases are now available for preorder in a variety of colors at Marware.com

iPhone 4S cases now available for preorder at Marware.com: the Membrane ($14.99), the DoubleTake ($24.99), the DoubleTake Nocturnal ($29.99), the Eclipse ($24.99) and the CEO Prestige ($29.99). For more information about Marware's new iPhone 4S cases, please visit Marware.com.

TunePrism Case for iPhone 4S/4

TunePrism Case for iPhone 4S/4PR: The Prism case for iPhone 4/4S features a truly unique prism pattern on the back. This is a rubberized case with artistic glasslike patterns which offers a stylish way to customize the iPhone 4/iPhone 4S.

With the case on, all iPhone 4/4S ports, buttons and camera remain open and accessible so there is no need to remove case once it has been attached. Prism gives a good secure feeling when gripped in your hand and protects iPhone 4/4S from light bumps.

This rubberized Prism case for iPhone 4/4S is available in Smoke, Pink, Turquoise, Red colors.

This accessory is suitable for:

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 4

Specifications:

  • Size: 117(H) x 61(W) x 11(D)mm
  • Weight: approximately 16g
  • Material: TPU

TunePrism Case for iPhone 4S/4Colors Available:

  • Smoke
  • Pink
  • Turquoise
  • Red

Package Contents:

  • TunePrism for iPhone 4S/4 case
  • TuneFilm protective film
  • Cable winder stand
  • Home button cover
  • Dock connector cover
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Squeegee

$19.99

Twine Leather (Carbon Look) Case for iPhone 4/4S

PR: The Carbon Look for iPhone 4/iPhone 4S is an ultrathin case with a beautiful carbon pattern. It is light and thin and adds a layer of protection to iPhone without adding additional weight or bulk. Made from tough polycarbonate with a carbon pattern synthetic leather exterior and microfiber lining interior, Carbon Look protects iPhone from light bumps and scratches and protective film covers the iPhone touch screen.

With the case on, all iPhone ports, buttons and camera remain open and accessible so there is no need to remove Carbon Look once it has been attached. Carbon Look gives a good secure feeling when gripped in your hand.

Twine Leather (Carbon Look) Case for iPhone 4/4SCarbon Look is available in Black or White colors.

This accessory is also suitable for:

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 4

Specifications:

  • Size: 114(H) x 10(W) x 10(D)mm
  • Weight: approximately 12g
  • Material: Aluminum body

Colors Available:

  • Black
  • White

Package Contents:

  • Carbon Look for iPhone 4 / 4S
  • TuneFilm protective film
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Squeegee

$22.99

Caze Announces New Swarovski Cases for iPhone 4S

Swarovski Cases for iPhone 4SPR: Caze has introduced its Floral Bling and Bling RR Swarovski cases for iPhone 4S. Caze is the authorized partner of Swarovski AG, Austria and teams up with talented designers to create unique and stylish Swarovski cases. Caze is combining Swarovski crystals and the world's thinnest case to create simple but luxury protective cases in fashionable floral and strip patterns. Caze uses Zero 5, the World's slimmest and stylish case for crystal embellishment. The new Swarovski cases have the thinnest possible wall-thickness and can fully protect the chrome edges and corners of an iPhone 4/4S. To ensure the iPhone 4/4S is fully protected from everyday bumps & scratches, a screen protection film and a microfiber pouch are provided.

Swarovski Cases for iPhone 4SSwarovski case is a great way to add some glitz and glamour to your iPhone 4/4S without spending a bundle of money to buy a real diamond case. Caze makes use of Swarovski crystals to enhance the beauty of a case by handcrafting each case with more than 200 genuine crystals; making each case truly a work of art. Designed as the ultimate balance between case-minimalism and chic protection, the Swarovski cases can wrap the edges and corners to protect and keep the front and back of the iPhone 4/4S from coming into direct contact with flat surfaces when laid down. It's sleek, slim and formfitting.

Floral Bling and Bling RR Swarovski cases are easy to install. Easy access to all phone functions without having to remove the case. It has complete access to all the main ports and buttons of the device. Charging has also never been easy since you do not have to remove the case. To ensure all-around protection, each Swarovski case comes with a free screen protection film for added shield.

Swarovski is well known as the finest manufacturer of superior quality of crystals that are being used around the world. It brings credibility, style and design to all the crystalline products created by Caze. Customers who buy any Swarovski crystal cases from Caze will get a Certificate of Authenticity, a screen protection film and a Microfiber Pouch for free.

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