Apple Unlikely to Release New 4-Inch iPhone This Year, New Low-End Model Expected in 2016

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a note to investors on Wednesday, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors, reiterating that Apple is unlikely to launch a new 4-inch iPhone this year. Kuo, who has a respectable track record at reporting on Apple’s upcoming product plans, added that Apple will instead likely release a new 4-inch iPhone with Apple Pay compatibility in 2016.

iPhone 5S still going strong; next 4-inch likely in 2016. Shipments of 5S are still going strong at 5-7mn units every quarter, an impressive level at such a mature stage of the product cycle. Momentum is being sustained by a more affordable price and the product’s outstanding design. But we still believe it’s necessary for Apple to have a new 4-inch iPhone because: (1) it will be key to extending momentum in the 4-inch category; and (2) it could complete the Apple Pay ecosystem, assuming it is equipped with NFC. We predict a launch in 2016.“

The well-informed analyst claims that the iPhone 5c will likely reach the end of its product cycle later this year, with the iPhone 5s becoming the new entry-level device in Apple’s smartphone lineup once the so-called „iPhone 6s“ and „iPhone 6s Plus“ are released this September. For now, the oft-rumored „iPhone 6c,“ speculated to be an iPhone 5s with plastic casing, is not planned.

Kuo first expressed doubt that Apple will release a new 4-inch iPhone this year in a note to investors obtained by MacRumors earlier this month, in which he claimed that Apple is still targeting 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models for its next-generation iPhones. Sketchy rumors and leaked images of the purported „iPhone 6c“ began picking up in March, but few specific details about the rumored smartphone have surfaced.

Foxconn is expected to be the primary manufacturer of the 4-inch iPhone in 2016.




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Apple Unlikely to Release New 4-Inch iPhone This Year, New Low-End Model Expected in 2016

Apple Grabs Record US PC Market Share On Strong Mac Sales in Q3 2014

As forecasted, the third calendar quarter of 2014 was a stellar quarter for Mac shipments, with Apple gaining ground on its competitors in the US. According to IDC’s quarterly PC tracker (via Re/code), Apple reached its highest PC market share ever reported, a metric that accounts only for Mac shipments and does not include the iPad.

The company gained ground with 13.4 percent of the US PC market, edging out Lenovo (10.7 percent) to grab the number three spot behind HP (27.7 percent) and Dell (24 percent). Shipments in the US climbed to more than 2.26 million in the third calendar quarter of 2014.

Globally, Apple’s market share climbed 5.7 percent year over year, with the company selling a record-breaking 5.5 million units in the just ending quarter. Apple now sits in the number five spot when it comes to global Mac shipments, behind Lenovo, HP, Dell and Acer.

Apple refreshed its MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro earlier this year with updated processors and other minor improvements. The company also dropped prices on some models and heavily promoted the desktops during the back-to-school season with a $100 gift card along with a discounted purchase price for both students and educators.

Next year may see even stronger Mac sales as Apple prepares to update its Mac lineup with Intel’s Broadwell processors. A 12-inch MacBook with an ultra thin chassis, a Retina display, and an Intel Core M chip may be one of the first Broadwell machines to ship in the new year.




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Apple Grabs Record US PC Market Share On Strong Mac Sales in Q3 2014

Foxconn Starting 4.7" iPhone 6 Production in July, Pricier 5.5" Model to Follow in August

According to a new report from Digitimes, Foxconn will again be the primary manufacturer for the iPhone 6, supplying 70 percent of the expected shipments of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model in 2015. Shipments could begin as soon as July for the 4.7-inch model, with the 5.5-inch following shortly afterwards.

The 4- and 4.7-inch iPhones will be the main sales force of Apple for 2014. Foxconn’s plants in Zhengzhou, China are expected to start supplying the 4.7-inch model in July and start manufacturing the 5.5-inch one in August.

Besides Foxconn, Apple also may be turning to Pegatron and Wistron to supply iPhone handsets for its next product cycle. Pegatron is believed to be a secondary supplier for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, while Wistron may step in to supply Apple with the existing 4-inch iPhone model. Wistron is a new production partner that Apple added last year to help produce the iPhone 5c.

Rumors on the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 model have suggested that it may arrive as a premium model in lower quantities with perhaps exclusive features such as a sapphire crystal display. A new report from Nomura Securities shared by G 4 Games suggests that the larger model is likely to carry a $100 price premium over the 4.7-inch model. Apple had previously been reported to be negotiating with carriers for a $100 price increase on the iPhone 6, but it would make more sense for that increase to arrive in the form of a higher-end model such as the rumored 5.5-inch iPhone.

Digitimes has a fairly spotty track record with regard to Apple rumors, but it does occasionally offer accurate insight when sourcing information from within Apple’s supply chain. Digitimes‘ latest report is one of several recent communications that unsurprisingly suggest mass production of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will begin this summer in advance of a fall launch. Apple is expected to follow the 4.7-inch model with a larger 5.5-inch version that will debut in late 2014 or early 2015. Both models may ship with Apple’s A8 processor, an improved camera, and iOS 8.




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Foxconn Starting 4.7" iPhone 6 Production in July, Pricier 5.5" Model to Follow in August

Drobo Announces New 4-Bay Gen3 with USB 3.0, Enhanced Time Machine Support [Mac Blog]

Connected Data today announced the Drobo Gen3, the next generation of its popular 4-bay storage array. The Gen3 is faster and cheaper than previous Drobo models. It also features enhanced support for Apple’s Time Machine backups.

This third generation Drobo is more affordable, three times faster than the previous release and includes new features such as USB 3.0, significantly faster rebuild times and enhanced support for Apple’s Time Machine®.

Mac owners will be interested in the improved Time Machine support now available in the Drobo Gen3. Instead of using an entire drive for Time Machine, users can maximize their data storage space by allocating a fixed amount of capacity for their Time Machine-derived backups.

Drobo is accepting pre-orders for the Drobo Gen3, which is priced at $349 for the base model without pre-installed hard drives. Through June 9th, select existing Drobo customers are eligible for a $50 discount on the Gen3 when they purchase the new Drobo through the company’s online store. Shipments of the Gen3 are expected to begin in late April.




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Drobo Announces New 4-Bay Gen3 with USB 3.0, Enhanced Time Machine Support [Mac Blog]

Worldwide Tablet Shipments Could Slow To Single Digit Growth By 2017 [Report]

International Data Corporation (IDC) released it’s quarterly report on worldwide tablet shipments Tuesday. The report states that the data tracking agency has lowered its expected forecast for growth in the tablet sector, which includes Android, iOS, and Windows tablets. Tablet…Read more ›



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Worldwide Tablet Shipments Could Slow To Single Digit Growth By 2017 [Report]

Apple Stores Receiving Large Quantities of iPad Air Stock Ahead of Friday’s Launch

Both Apple Retail Stores and Apple resellers have begun receiving iPad Air stock to prepare for Friday’s launch, reports 9to5Mac. Shipments have begun showing up at Apple Stores and third party locations such as Walmart.

According to the site, major Apple retail locations across the United States are getting more than 500 units of the iPad Air, suggesting that supplies of the tablet will be plentiful, as we initially reported earlier this week. International stores are also receiving decent quantities of the iPad Air.

We’ve heard similar from resellers of iPads internationally with some chains indicating that they will have a solid number of iPad Airs on tap for Friday. These stores say even more supply is promised for the next couple of weeks…

Due to seemingly adequate supplies of the iPad Air, Apple will reportedly accept requests for Personal Pickup, allowing prospective buyers to reserve an iPad Air online beginning at 12:01 AM Pacific Time and pick it up at an Apple Store later that same day, avoiding lines.

Online orders for the iPad Air will begin at 12:01 AM Pacific Time in the United States, and at varying times in other countries. Apple retail locations will open at 8 AM local time in the U.S. and other countries in order to begin in-store sales. Third party outlets, such as Walmart, Best Buy, and Target, will also offer the iPad Air beginning on Friday.

Apple’s iPad Air, which features a Retina display, an A7 processor, and an all new thin-and-light design, will be available in white/silver and black/space gray and begins at $499 for the entry-level 16 GB Wi-Fi only model with a $100 price increase for additional storage options up to 128 GB and an extra $129 for comparable cellular models.




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Apple Stores Receiving Large Quantities of iPad Air Stock Ahead of Friday’s Launch

Android Dominates Nearly 80% of Smartphone Market, iOS Drops to 13% Share

Apple’s iOS is losing ground to Android when it comes to smartphone operating system market share, according to a new report from research firm IDC. Apple’s share of worldwide smartphone shipments dropped to 13.2% during the second quarter of 2013, while Android climbed to 79.3%.

During the same quarter last year, Apple held 16.6% of the market, while Android held 69.1%. Despite its slight loss of share, iOS remains the number two operating system, with Android and iOS combined making up 92.5% of shipments.

„The iOS decline in the second quarter aligns with the cyclicality of iPhone,“ says Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. „Without a new product launch since the debut of the iPhone 5 nearly a year ago, Apple’s market share was vulnerable to product launches from the competition. But with a new iPhone and revamped iOS coming out later this year, Apple is well-positioned to re-capture market share.“

Worldwide Smartphone Shipments in 2Q13 in Millions of Units (Source: IDC)
Windows Phone continues to gain market share as well, coming in at 3.7% during the second quarter of 2013, up 77.6% from its 3.1% share during Q2 2012.

Other operating systems are consistently losing ground to the top three operating systems with BlackBerry OS representing 2.9% of shipments, Linux at 0.8%, and Symbian at 0.2%.

Last week, IDC released its estimates on worldwide mobile phone sales, showing slowing growth for Apple’s iPhone. Apple shipped 31.2 million iPhones during the second quarter of 2013, representing 13.1% of the market. Samsung shipped 72.4 million, for a market share of 30.4%.

Those numbers may shift in the coming quarters as Apple gears up to launch its next generation iPhone and a new low-cost iPhone, possibly as early as September.


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Android Dominates Nearly 80% of Smartphone Market, iOS Drops to 13% Share

Apple’s Smartphone Growth Slows as Mobile Phone Market Accelerates in 2Q 2013

Research firm IDC has released its estimates on worldwide mobile phone sales for the second quarter of 2013, showing Apple’s iPhone growth slowing as it posted its second-lowest iPhone growth rate in four years with only 20% year-over-year growth compared to 52.3% growth for the entire market. However, Apple maintained a hold on the number two spot for smartphone makers behind Samsung, as other competitors LG, Lenovo, and ZTE failed to hit the 6% mark during the quarter.

Worldwide Smartphone Shipments in 2Q13 in Millions of Units (Source: IDC)

Apple posted its second-lowest year-over-year iPhone growth rate in almost four years as some buyers presumably held off on iPhone purchases in advance of an expected next-generation device launch this fall. Nonetheless, the 31.2 million iPhones Apple shipped last quarter was impressive as its flagship iPhone 5 model, which has been in the market for three quarters, was faced with additional global competition in the form of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and HTC’s critically-acclaimed One models. Apple’s growth is likely to accelerate globally assuming it launches a lower-cost iPhone and continues to penetrate prepaid markets in the quarters to come.

Apple continues to benefit from the growth of smartphones, as it held onto its spot as the number three manufacturer in the world in looking at total mobile phone shipments. Apple’s overall unit shipments were up 5.2% from previous quarter, while overall market share rose 0.8% allowing the company to grab an overall 7.2% market share for the quarter.

Worldwide Mobile Phone Shipments in 2Q13 in Millions of Units (Source: IDC)


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Apple’s Smartphone Growth Slows as Mobile Phone Market Accelerates in 2Q 2013