AT&T Debuts New Unlimited Plan for Phone Customers With DIRECTV or U-Verse

AT&T today announced the first new unlimited data plan possibility for its customers since the company removed the option over five years ago. Officially starting tomorrow, AT&T users who already have or decide to add AT&T DIRECTV or AT&T U-Verse onto their plan can choose to opt-in to an Unlimited Plan, „offering customers more data to use for watching video, playing games and surfing the web on their mobile devices.“

„Our new unlimited plan is our best offer yet. It’s the perfect reward for our valued customers who like to take advantage of our integrated offers of TV and wireless services,” said Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions. “Video traffic continues to grow on our network as fast as ever because people enjoy viewing their favorite video content on their favorite devices.”

As it does for current grandfathered customers, the new Unlimited Plan offers unlimited data, talk, and text to its users instead of a month-by-month data allotment. The pricing for the plan begins at $100 per month for the first smartphone, with additional devices costing $40 per month, although the fourth phone can be added at no additional cost. The company noted that today’s announcement is the „first of many integrated video and mobility offers“ coming to AT&T customers in 2016.

AT&T also noted that DIRECTV and U-Verse customers who don’t yet have an AT&T wireless subscription can get $500 in credit when beginning the new Unlimited Plan, with one of the company’s eligible trade-ins that would go towards the purchase of a new phone on AT&T Next. The alternative is also an option, with AT&T wireless subscribers able to add a new TV package starting at $19.99 per month for a full year after signing a 24-month agreement.

Read More: AT&T to Raise Price of Grandfathered Unlimited Plans From $30 to $35

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Apple Now Selling ‘Made for Apple Watch’ Lugs for Third-Party Bands

Apple has begun selling official Apple Watch lugs through authorized distributor Avnet that may only be used in third-party bands that adhere to the company’s Band Design Guidelines for Apple Watch. Apple-designed stainless steel lugs are each marked with „Made for Apple Watch“ laser etching to verify their authenticity.

The stainless steel lugs are available in 38mm and 42mm sizes and are compatible with all Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition models. However, at the time of publication, Space Gray, Space Black, Yellow Gold and Rose Gold lugs are not listed for sale.

Apple has published Apple Watch Lug Assembly Guidelines that provide accessory makers with step-by-step instructions and a list of required tools for assembly, including a Pentalobe 1.1 screwdriver bit and clamping device. The document also outlines proper screw installation for the lugs.

Avnet is selling Apple Watch lugs in sets of 25 or 200 in both 38mm and 42mm, with prices ranging between $278.75 and $1,866.00 per package and between $9.18 and $11.33 per individual set. The distributor is also selling the Pentalobe 1.1 screwdriver bit required for lug assembly for $12.65. All prices are listed in U.S. dollars.

Apple Watch Lugs – 38mm (25 sets)
Price Per Unit: $11.15 USD
Package Price: $278.75 USD

Apple Watch Lugs – 38mm (200 sets)
Price Per Unit: $9.18 USD
Package Price: $1,836.00 USD

Apple Watch Lugs – 42mm (25 sets)
Price Per Unit: $11.33 USD
Package Price: $283.25 USD

Apple Watch Lugs – 42mm (200 sets)
Price Per Unit: $9.33 USD
Package Price: $1,866.00 USD

Avnet currently estimates a shipping lead time of 2 weeks for all lug sets and pentalobe screwdriver bits. Opening a commercial account with Avnet is required to complete the ordering process. Avnet’s customer service team will contact customers within 24-48 business hours to complete the ordering process.



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‘Hey Siri’ Event Roundup: iPhone 6s, iPad Pro, New Apple TV and More

Apple was on stage at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco today to announce several new products, including the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro, iPad mini 4, fourth-generation Apple TV and new Apple Watch bands and finishes. It also announced that iOS 9 and watchOS 2 will be released on September 16.

MacRumors provided coverage of the September 2015 event with a live blog and articles, in addition to sending out updates through our real-time Twitter account MacRumorsLive. For those that missed out on the action, or need a refresher, this roundup provides a closer look at today’s announcements.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Design: iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus look the same as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes respectively, although Apple did make the switch to stronger ion-strengthened glass and slightly thicker Series 7000 aluminum. A new Rose Gold color option was introduced to the iPhone 6s lineup alongside existing Space Gray, Silver and Gold models.

3D Touch: 3D Touch builds upon both Apple’s patented Multi-Touch and pressure-sensitive Force Touch technologies, enabling users to make „peek and pop“ gestures on the screen with their fingers to access actionable shortcuts or preview content, such as text messages, flight information, calendar appointments and more.

A9 Chip: iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are powered by a 64-bit Apple A9 chip and embedded M9 motion coprocessor that deliver up to 70% faster CPU performance and up to 90% faster graphics compared to the A8 chip inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Improved Cameras: iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight cameras with 4K video recording (3840×2160) and 5-megapixel front-facing FaceTime cameras with display-based Retina Flash. Optical image stabilization is now available for both photos and videos, but remains limited to the iPhone 6s Plus.

Faster Touch ID: iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have a second-generation Touch ID fingerprint scanner that is up to two times faster compared to Touch ID on previous iPhones.

Pricing and Availability:

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus start at $199 and $299 with a new two-year contract respectively. Alternatively, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will start at $649 and $749 respectively when purchased outright.

Financing and lease programs that break the full price down into monthly installments are available from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and many other carriers. Apple also introduced a new iPhone Upgrade Program aimed at customers who upgrade their iPhone each year.

The prices listed below are in U.S. dollars.

iPhone 6s
16GB: $199 (On Contract), $649 (Full Price)
64GB: $299 (On Contract), $749 (Full Price)
128GB: $399 (On Contract), $849 (Full Price)

iPhone 6s Plus
16GB: $299 (On Contract), $749 (Full Price)
64GB: $399 (On Contract), $849 (Full Price)
128GB: $499 (On Contract), $949 (Full Price)

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus pre-orders begin on Saturday, September 12 at 12:01 AM Pacific ahead of a Friday, September 25 launch in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the United Kingdom. The new iPhones will be available in over 130 countries by the end of the year.

MacRumors Coverage:

Apple Announces iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus With A9 Chip, 12MP Camera & 3D Touch
New Docks and Cases Confirmed for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
Apple Announces iPhone Upgrade Program for Annual iPhone Purchasers
Apple Introduces Moving ‘Live Photos’ for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
Apple Discontinues Gold Color Options for Older iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and 5s

New Apple TV
The fourth-generation Apple TV is a significant overhaul of the set-top box that aims to greatly improve the current TV experience. The new Apple TV features a redesigned user interface centered upon apps, gaming and universal search, with an all-new Siri Remote in tow.

Design: The new Apple TV has a similar appearance compared to the previous model, retaining its black hockey puck design, but it is somewhat thicker and heavier to accommodate the set-top box’s complete internal overhaul. The device’s exact dimensions are 1.3 inches x 3.9 inches x 3.9 inches and it weighs just under 1 pound (425 grams).

New User Interface: Apple TV has a new iOS 9-style user interface that is flatter and simpler. You can double-click the Home button on the Siri Remote to view apps that you’ve recently used, customize the Home screen, set new cinematic screen savers, search from virtually anywhere and more.

Siri and Touch Remote: Siri integration is a key part of the new Apple TV interface, as it lets users ask Siri to bring up content. It’s possible to search through multiple apps to find a TV show or movie, and at launch, supported apps include Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, HBO, and Showtime.

Siri can answer questions about who’s starring in a movie, bring up extraneous information like the weather outside, and ask Siri to replay parts of a movie that were missed or fast forward through content. For example, asking Siri „What did she say?“ will rewind a movie 15 seconds and temporarily bring up subtitles.

The new Apple TV is bundled with a redesigned remote control that includes a glass touch surface for swiping through content as you would on an iPhone. There’s also a built-in button and dual microphones for activating and speaking to Siri.

The remote control also has Bluetooth 4.0, an IR transmitter, accelerometer and gyroscope, Lightning connector for charging and a rechargeable battery lasting months on a single charge.

App Store and Gaming: Apple TV has moved from a „hobby“ product to a viable Nintendo, Xbox and PlayStation competitor in the living room with the addition of an App Store and native tvOS SDK and Metal for developers to create apps and games for the television.

The new Siri Remote doubles as a game controller for the Apple TV, with the glass touch surface serving as a virtual directional pad, while the fourth-generation set-top box also supports MFi-certified third-party Bluetooth controllers and joysticks.

Pricing and Availability:
The new Apple TV will be available at the end of October for $149 (32GB) and $199 (64GB). Developers can request an Apple TV Developer Kit by September 11 at 12 PM Pacific.

MacRumors Coverage:
Apple Announces New Apple TV With Siri, App Store, New User Interface and Remote
Apple Introduces Cooperative Play for ‘Crossy Road’ Among Other Games for Apple TV
Apple Seeds First iOS 9.1 and Apple tvOS Betas to Developers

iPad Pro

The iPad Pro is a 12.9-inch tablet with a resolution of 2732×2048 at 264 PPI, which is 5.6 million pixels – more than any iOS device and even the MacBook Pro with Retina display. The tablet has a fully laminated display with both fingerprint-resistant oleophobic and antireflective coatings.

The iPad Pro has a 64-bit A9X processor that delivers up to 1.6 times faster performance over the iPad Air 2, with up to twice as fast graphics. Apple also says the tablet has 80% faster performance and 90% faster graphics over portable PCs, allowing users to run apps such as iMovie with desktop-class performance.

The iPad Pro measures 6.9mm thick and weighs 1.57 pounds. The tablet features a four-speaker audio system – two stereo speakers on each side – that balance frequencies and put out up to three times the audio level of the iPad Air 2. It is also equipped with an 8-megapixel iSight camera, Touch ID, Smart and Lightning connectors, dual microphones and 3.5mm headphone jack.

Apple introduced two accessories for the iPad Pro. The first is a Microsoft Surface-like Smart Keyboard, which is built into a Smart Cover accessory and connects magnetically to the iPad Pro’s new three-dot Smart Connector. The second is Apple Pencil, a stylus built using technology that can detect position, tilt and force.

Apple Pencil also calculates angle and orientation to produce both broad or shaded strokes. The Pencil also enables precision that allows artists to touch a single pixel. Apple says the Pencil’s battery lasts for hours and that it can charge by connecting to the iPad Pro’s Lightning charger.

Pricing and Availability:

iPad Pro launches in November in Silver, Space Gray and Gold, starting at $799 for a 32GB Wi-Fi only model. A 128GB Wi-Fi only model will also be available for $949 and a Wi-Fi + LTE 128GB model will retail for $1,079.

Apple Pencil will retail for $99 while the Smart Keyboard will retail for $169. Both will be available alongside the iPad Pro.

MacRumors Coverage:

Apple Launching A9X-Based 12.9″ iPad Pro in November for $799+
Apple Announces Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil for New iPad Pro

Other Announcements

iPad mini 4
New Apple Watch Bands and Finishes
iOS 9 Launches September 16
watchOS 2 Launches September 16



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How to Get the Best Resale Price for Your iPhone 6, 6 Plus or 5s

With the „iPhone 6s“ and „iPhone 6s Plus“ expected to be announced at Apple’s September 9th media event, and released a few weeks later, now is the time for prospective upgraders to begin exploring trade-in and resale options for their current iPhone or Android-based smartphone.

Getting the best value for your iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s or other current smartphone can help offset a significant portion of your next iPhone purchase, but resale and trade-in prices will drop significantly between now and the launch of new iPhones, so it is best to move fast.

MacRumors compared iPhone trade-in prices from various services using a 16GB iPhone 6 from AT&T as a baseline.

Trade-In Programs

Gazelle announced today that it is offering a Best Price Guarantee on iPhone 6, 6 Plus and 5s trade-ins until September 9th, promising to beat the trade-in values offered by Apple and carriers AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Gazelle’s Best Price Guarantee covers all storage sizes and colors and includes a 30-day grace period, meaning that you can lock in your trade-in price now and wait until you have your new iPhone before sending in your current one.

Average Price (16GB/AT&T): $301 (iPhone 6), $326 (iPhone 6 Plus), $166 (iPhone 5s)
Payment Method: Check by Mail, Amazon Gift Card, PayPal or Charitable Donation
Resale Method: Ship iPhone to Gazelle (Free)

NextWorth offers a similar trade-in service as Gazelle for the iPhone 4 through iPhone 6 Plus. NextWorth quotes are valid for 30 days, allowing you to lock in a trade-in price on your current iPhone and ship it after receiving your new iPhone.

NextWorth offers higher prices on average for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus than Gazelle, with trade-in values up to $480, although it depends on the specific model and condition of the smartphone. Completing a checklist about the condition of the smartphone is required.

Average Price (16GB/AT&T): $320 (iPhone 6), $360 (iPhone 6 Plus), $160 (iPhone 5s)
Payment Method: Check by Mail, Discover Prepaid Card, PayPal or Target Gift Card
Payment Process: Ship iPhone to NextWorth (Free)

Amazon runs a trade-in store where you can search for the iPhone model that you want to trade in and receive a price quote. After answering a few questions about the condition of the smartphone and entering your shipping address, you can print off a shipping label to mail the iPhone for free in exchange for an Amazon Gift Card.

Average Price (16GB/AT&T): $360 (iPhone 6), $389 (iPhone 6 Plus), $175 (iPhone 5s)
Payment Method: Amazon Gift Card
Payment Process: Ship iPhone to Amazon (Free)

Carriers

Unless you are paying off your current iPhone on a monthly installment plan, and have few other resale options, it is usually best to avoid trade-in programs from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile.

These carriers typically offer lower prices than other trade-in services such as Amazon, NextWorth and Gazelle, and can have confusing terms and conditions. Additionally, none provide a cash payout option and instead offer a carrier gift card or account credit within 1-3 billing cycles.

A side-by-side comparison of average trade-in prices for iPhones (each 16GB/AT&T):

AT&T: $300 (iPhone 6), $325 (iPhone 6 Plus), $135 (iPhone 5s)
Sprint: $335 (iPhone 6), $340 (iPhone 6 Plus), $115 (iPhone 5s)
T-Mobile: $351 (iPhone 6), $361 (iPhone 6 Plus), $136 (iPhone 5s)
Verizon: Prices not available at this time.

Retail Stores

Apple‘s Reuse and Recycling Program in partnership with Brightstar is another option for trading in your old iPhone at an Apple Store or online, although the website does not currently accept the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

Brightstar offers a $165 Apple Store gift card for a good condition 16GB iPhone 5s on AT&T, and less for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s. It is best to look past Apple for your trade in at this time.

Best Buy offers a trade-in program for iPhones and other electronics in stores and online. Simply complete the checklist to confirm your iPhone model and its condition to receive an estimate, at which point you can visit a Best Buy store or begin the free mail-in process online.

Average Price (16GB/AT&T): $335 (iPhone 6), $385 (iPhone 6 Plus), $155 (iPhone 5s)
Payment Method: Best Buy Gift Card
Payment Process: In-Store or Ship iPhone to Best Buy (Free)

Target also has a NextWorth partnership and Walmart and Staples have trade-in programs.

Sell It Yourself

Craigslist is a free classifieds website where you can sell your iPhone within your local area by posting an advertisement. You can set any price you want for your iPhone, and those interested can contact you through the website to inquire about purchasing the device. Be sure to take necessary measures to ensure your personal safety, such as meeting in a public place if you decide to sell your iPhone in person.

eBay is another option for selling your iPhone yourself. You can set up an eBay listing for your iPhone in just a few minutes and choose your desired price and shipping details. eBay users are backed by seller protection in the event that something goes wrong, although this can usually be avoided by only dealing with eBay users that have a high number of positive ratings and feedback.

Consensus

Amazon is the best option for its combined convenience and trade-in value, so long as you are okay with an Amazon Gift Card. But, selling your used iPhone on Craigslist or eBay will almost always fetch you a higher return.

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and Apple trade-in programs should be avoided if possible, while NextWorth and Gazelle are middle-of-the-pack options that do provide attractive payment options such as cash and PayPal.

Prices are subject to change.



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