Apple to Discontinue iPhone 5 Alongside Launch of 5S and Plastic Models?

Korean site is reporting [Google translation] that Apple will be discontinuing production of the iPhone 5 in the fall, instead putting all of its efforts towards the iPhone 5S and the rumored entry-level plastic iPhone. 

Apple has been presumed to be discontinuing the iPhone 4 and 4S in order to make way for an all-Lightning iPhone lineup, allowing Apple to standardize around its latest connection standard and phase out the older 30-pin connector standard with the possible exception of the iPod classic, which has not been updated in a number of years. The fate of the current iPhone 5 has, however, not been the subject of much discussion as it has remained unclear whether the new lineup of iPhone 5S and plastic iPhone would leave room for Apple to continue offering an iPhone 5 model. 

Today's report claims that the in-cell technology used on the iPhone 5’s touchscreen is "not suitable for low-volume production", contributing to Apple's decision to stop production on the phone and focus all of its efforts toward producing parts for newer products. The iPhone 5 and 5S are, however, expected to share nearly identical display technology although leaked photos have a shown a change to the orientation of the flex cable connectors on the display assemblies. 

The iPhone 5S is reportedly scheduled to begin production later this month, with both that device and the lower cost iPhone rumored for launch in the September-October timeframe. 

Source: Mac Rumours


Blockbuster releases On Demand video streaming app for iOS

Blockbuster announced its entrance back into the video streaming game in January after pledging to exit that market late last year. Today, Blockbuster's reincarnation as a video streaming service continues, as the company rolled out its On Demand app for iOS, bringing "thousands" of movies to iPads and iPhones running iOS 4.3 and up. By adding Apple devices to the fold, Blockbuster can now shoot movies to the majority of mobile devices -- previously it was only available for Android (plus Mac, PC, Roku and Samsung Smart TVs). So, if you're looking for 1080p video with 5.1 surround streaming to your Apple-fied mobile screen, your download awaits.

Source: Engadget


Apple Releases iOS 6.1.4 for iPhone 5 With New Speakerphone Audio Profile

Apple today released a minor iOS 6.1.4 update, bringing an updated audio profile for speakerphone. The new version, which arrives as Build 10B350, appears to only be for the iPhone 5. 

The update did not involve a beta testing period for developers and follows the release of iOS 6.1.3 in mid-March.

Source: Mac Rumours

Apple Slashes iPhone 5 Part Orders Due to Weak Demand

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has slashed component orders for the iPhone 5 this quarter, responding to weaker-than-expected demand.

Apple's orders for iPhone 5 screens for the January-March quarter, for example, have dropped to roughly half of what the company had previously planned to order, two of the people said. 

The Cupertino, Calif., company has also cut orders for components other than screens, according to one of the people. 

Apple notified the suppliers of the order cut last month, the people said.

There have been reports that Apple is looking to launch its next-generation iPhone in the middle of this year as part of a broader effort to shorten its product update cycles. Apple is reportedly also toying with other changes such as a cheaper version of the iPhone in order to help the company slow the momentum of Android and its leading manufacturers Samsung.

It is not unusual for demand, and thus Apple's component orders, to wane in the lead-up to hardware updates, but the iPhone 5 is just four months old, and the slashing of production at this stage of the device's lifecycle is sure to cause concern for the company, its investors, and others closely watching Apple's performance.

[Source: MacRumors]

Apple releases iOS 6.0.2 update for iPhone 5 and iPad mini, promises fix for WiFi bug

It doesn't look to bring with it any major changes, but Apple has just released its latest iOS update, which takes things up to version 6.0.2. According to the company, this one primarily addresses a bug that "could impact WiFi." An issue that, incidentally, has been at the center of a number of previous iOS updates. You should be able to find the update now or in the near future in either iTunes or Software Update on your iOS device.

Update: As MacStories notes, this particular update appears to only be for the iPhone 5 and iPad mini.

[Source: Engadget]

Google's Blogger for iOS adds iPhone 5 support, more save post options

Regardless of the mobile platform, Google's oftentimes keeping the majority of its apps up to date, and while the iPhone 5's been around for a few months now, it's still nice to see more and more software be optimized for the device. That being said, on-the-go typers will be glad to learn that Blogger for iOS has been on the receiving end of an update today, which, most notably, makes the application friendly with the 4-inch screen found on Apple's flagship handset. Additionally, Blogger now includes native support for the first three generations of the iPad, while other useful features were also added to the blogging app, including handy post options like "Save as Draft," Publish" and "Cancel." The new version is live in the App Store, so go on and tap the source link below if you're looking to improve your powered-by-Google blogging experience.

[Source: Engadget]

iPhone 5 Launches in 33 New Countries Including China

Unlike the chaos that reigned at the iPhone 4S launch earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reports that the iPhone 5 appears to have been quite subdued. It is unclear, however, how much of the change may be due to lack of interest and how much may have been related to snowy weather and changes in Apple's sales policies designed to reduce scalping and other factors that have led to problems at previous launches.

Friday’s iPhone 5 launch was notable for a different kind of white: a rare accumulation of fresh snow that blanketed the nearly empty plaza outside the Sanlitun store. 

At 8 am on Friday, when the store opened to hurrahs from employees, only two consumers stood inside a cordon set up by Apple, though they were joined by a desultory snow man someone had made on a bench near the entrance.

Apple's new sales policies require customers to enter a lottery for the right to purchase an iPhone in the store, with winners being given specific windows of time in which to pick up their devices.

[Source: Engadget]

Griffin's take on charge and sync Lightning cables now up for grabs

Sure, Belkin and Scosche have already offered up Lightning accessories, but now Griffin has its own solutions up for sale: Lightning charge and sync cables, which it says are the first of their kind from a third party (authorized by Apple). Ringing up at $25, the four-foot coiled USB to Lightning cable aims to put the kibosh on kinks and tangles. Those who prefer a more straightforward solution, however, can pick up a two-foot cable without the curls for $17, or a three-foot flavor for two additional greenbacks. There's also mention of a 9.8-foot-long version, but it doesn't appear to be available on Griffin's site just yet. To snag the wires, give the neighboring source link a jab.

[Source: Engadget]

Xbox SmartGlass app updated with iPhone 5 optimization

You've got your fancy new iPhone 5, and you've got the Xbox SmartGlass app, but who wants those silly black bars on the sides? Certainly not you, aesthetic savant, which is why you'll be glad to hear that Microsoft's latest update to the SmartGlass app optimizes it for use with the iPhone 5's taller, 16x9 screen. Aside from device support expansion, the update also includes the ambiguous "bug fixes." No broken bugs for you, only fixed ones! The Xbox SmartGlass app launched earlier this year for Windows Phone 8, Android and iOS, with a staggered rollout across the various mobile ecosystems. Beyond just allowing for basic Xbox 360 control via mobile, SmartGlass propagates rich content to your second screen in-tandem with some software, from games to streaming video.

[Source: Engadget]

YouTube app updated for iOS: now optimized for iPad and iPhone 5, complete with AirPlay streaming

Good news for people who love downloading iOS updates -- just hours after Google refaced its Gmail for iOS app, here comes another heavyweight in YouTube. The standalone app is now fully optimized for use with iPad and the iPhone 5, and perhaps the biggest gift of all is the addition of AirPlay streaming for videos. Other updates include the ability to tap a logo to open one's Guide of channels, the ability to add / remove videos from your playlists, clickable links in video descriptions and improved accessibility with VoiceOver. Feel free to hit the source link to dive in, and let us know how it turns out in comments below.

[Source: Engadget]

Apple begins selling unlocked iPhone 5 in the US, starting from $649 (update: LTE bands)

It's that special time of the year... that is, when Apple decides to unfetter the iPhone for US shoppers. The Cupertino crew has quietly started selling the iPhone 5 in an unlocked, off-contract form that will work on GSM, HSPA+ and (if you're in the right countries) LTE networks. There's few surprises versus what we've seen in years past, or in other regions: the unlocked iPhone 5 ships in the same capacities and colors as the carrier-bound model, and starts from $649. That's still expensive for those still used to buying on an agreement, and it won't represent as much bang-for-the-buck as a $350 Nexus 4. If you're yearning for the LTE the Nexus 4 lacks and don't mind living in an iOS universe, however, Apple is ready and waiting.

[Source: Engadget]

iPhone 5 ship times improve from online Apple Store

If the three- to four-week wait time for a new iPhone 5 has kept you from placing your order, you'll be happy to know that some progress is being made. TechCrunch noticed that as of today, the wait time has been cut down to two to three weeks. OK, it's not much, but at least it's something!

Just last week, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou spoke about the manufacturer's struggle to meet the massive demand for Apple's new smartphone. In fact, he made it sound like producing the allegedly difficult-to-assemble iPhone 5 was a losing battle. Though now it appears that supplies are beginning to meet demand a tad quicker, the day when Apple can boast the new iPhone as "in stock" is likely still a ways off.

[Source: TUAW]