This week’s big Apple news brings us the retrial of Apple vs. Samsung and more rumors of a bigger iPad in 2014. On the iPhone front we could see iPhone prices spike come iPhone 6 time next year.
Top Apple News and Rumors This Week
Apple now offers iPhone 5S unlocked through online store
Are you looking to buy a new iPhone 5S without that leash of a 2 year contract? Then look no further than the Apple store. Starting today Apple has made the unlocked version of their flagship smartphone available for purchase through their online store. This device will work on GSM networks only (AT&T and T-Mobile) and will ship without a pre-installed SIM card. The device starts at $649 for the 16GB model, $749 for the 32GB and caps out at $849 for the 64GB model.
The verdict is in on the Apple vs. Samsung retrial
The never ending battle between Apple and Samsung continued in a California courtroom in California but Apple emerged on top in the end. The jury decide that Samsung will have to pay Apple $290 million in damages for recent patent infringements. This new $290 million payout, combined with last years $600 million case, brings the total to just under $900 million, which Samsung has to pay Apple. Hopefully after all the smoke clears, we start to see a variety of new and innovative products from both brands that do not end up creating another “People’s Court”.
iPhone prices set to spike in 2014
The latest iPhone rumor comes from Investor’s Business Daily. It says the iPhone 6, arriving in mid-2014, will have better specs but also a higher price tag. Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Chris Caso said, “We see the potential for the iPhone 6 price point to move higher, to avoid the (profit) margin erosion that occurred when iPhone 5 launched.” This higher price point would most likely hit the majority of American consumers with an increase in the 2-year contract price, but in most emerging markets where the iPhone already cost over $1000, this would make a new iPhone an almost untouchable product.
Larger 13-inch iPad set for next year?
The latest iPad rumors this week are circulating with information about 12.9-inch iPad with a Retina display in early 2014. This rumor comes from Korean Times, and says Apple’s display suppliers are already at work on a bigger display for Apple’s 6th generation tablet that could arrive early next year. The Korean blog, which does have a bit of a sketchy track record when it comes to reporting legitimate Apple rumors, has said the reason for the size increase is to keep up with US demand for larger screen devices as PC sales continue to slow. With Apple pushing towards a larger screen iPad, Samsung has also been rumored to be doing the same with their Galaxy Tab series of tablets. Next year could bring a slew of gigantic tablets across a variety of manufacturers.
iPhone thefts heat up across the country
Recent reports from police departments in New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco have suggested an alarming rise in iPhone and iPad theft, enough to prompt both police departments and muggers to refer to it as “Apple picking.” In an incident last week, two teenage girls in Seattle attacked a 9 months old pregnant woman to steal her phone, according to Q13FOX.com. Handset manufacturers and network providers thus far have not made significant efforts to discourage this increase in thefts. The recent launch of iOS 7, and pressure from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) on network providers may offer new hope for iOS owners whose phones are stolen.
Stopping smartphone theft may call for a broader global approach, and that will take time. Until then, consumers should be cautious when using their devices in public spaces and should activate the available security features on their smartphones to help protect themselves from thieves and “Apple Pickers” everywhere.