There’s a fix for your iPhone 6s’ serious battery drain, but you might not like it

Nov 29, 2016 - 1:24 PM - by sparkyscott21

More and more reports emerged online detailing a new battery problem that’s affecting a variety of iOS devices running a variation of iOS 10.1, including the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, and iPhone 5s. What happens with these devices is that they turn off unexpectedly, even when battery life indicates there’s more than 30% left.

Upon connecting to a power source, they resume charging from around the same mark.

The good news is that you can have this problem fixed free of charge. The bad news is that not all these devices are covered.

Responding to increased pressure from China, were a consumer advocacy group announced that it will investigate the iPhone 6s’s unexpected shutdowns, Apple announced an official iPhone battery repair program.

The problem with the program is that it only covers a limited number of iPhone 6s units, those produced in September and October 2015. 9to5Mac has a quick guide that tells you how to verify whether you’re eligible for the free repair.

Go to the Settings app, then General and then About. In there, check for the serial number and look for the 4th and 5th characters. If any of the following combinations is in the serial – Q3, Q4, Q5, Q6, Q7, Q8, Q9, QC, QD, QF, QG, QH, and QJ – then you’re eligible for the free repair.

Everyone else will just have to wait for Apple to release an iOS update to fix potential issues. You could still bring in your iPhone to the nearest Apple store and try to have the battery replaced, but the procedure might not be offered to you free of charge.

We will point out that while this appears to be a widespread issue, battery problems with older iOS devices are only natural. It’s not Apple’s way of forcing you into an upgrade. It’s just what happens to iPhone batteries. They also age and may need replacing just like any other batteries out there.


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Man recovers working iPhone 4 from bottom of Pennsylvania lake

Nov 23, 2016 - 3:09 PM - by sparkyscott21

Thanks to an unusual set of circumstances, a Pennsylvania man is reportedly having a lost iPhone 4 returned to him in working condition, despite losing it at the bottom of a lake in March 2015.

Michael Guntrum dropped the iPhone into an ice fishing hole in Kyle Lake after it slipped off his lap, BuzzFeed News said. The lake was drained in Sept. 2015 because of structural issues with its dam –this October, however, Daniel Kalgren discovered the phone with his metal detector as he was hunting for objects people might have dropped out of boats.

The phone was said to be buried under 6 inches of mud and clay, but protected by a rugged Otterbox case. Kalgren took the unit home, where he cleaned it off and put it in rice. To his surprise, it successfully turned on two days later.

Kalgren contacted Guntrum using a number on the phone, and is currently arranging to mail it to him. Guntrum said he plans to get the phone repaired so his mother can have a smartphone.

An Apple spokesperson claimed that the company often hears customer stories about iPhones surviving unusual conditions.

The revival of Guntrum's iPhone 4 is all the more unusual because the iPhone 7, released just this September, is only Apple's first model to be marketed as water-resistant. That suggests that the Otterbox case was entirely responsible for safeguarding Guntrum's device.


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Apple, TSMC reportedly ramping up 10nm chip mass production for use in future iPhones

Nov 23, 2016 - 3:07 PM - by sparkyscott21

Reports from China suggest that the major chip fabricators are all readying mass production of 10nm process processors, including Apple's manufacturing partner TSMC for multiple companies.

According to supply chain reports from DigiTimes besides just for Apple's future A-series processors, TSMC will supply the Helio X30 and X35 for MediaTek, between the end of 2016 and 2017.

TSMC is also expected to provide chips for HiSilicon, which will ultimately find its way into Android-based Huawei flagship phones.

Apple's A10 Fusion chip as found in the iPhone 7 family utilizes TSMC's 16nm FinFET process. Apple's A9 in the iPhone 6S family and iPhone SE, and A9X processors found in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro use the same size die.

Two otherwise identical chips with different die sizes have less the current used on the chip manufactured with the smaller die. As a result, in most cases the generated heat is less, and the power demanded by the smaller die size chip is lower as well.

Qualcomm has also recently announced its 10nm mobile chips will be fabricated by Samsung, with shipment of the Snapdragon 835 in commercial devices in the first half of 2017. Samsung's as-yet unrevealed Exynos evolution is also expected in the first half of 2017.

Smaller die sizes are in development at this point. IBM has built the first functional chips with 7nm technology, with consumer products with the technology likely at some point in 2019.


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iPhone Generated Record-Breaking Share of Profits Last Quarter Despite Continued Sale

Nov 23, 2016 - 1:57 PM - by sparkyscott21

iPhone sales may have declined for three consecutive quarters, but the latest data from research firm Strategy Analytics suggests Apple is unsurprisingly still doing exceptionally well in the smartphone market.

Apple captured a record 91% of profits in the worldwide smartphone market in the third quarter, or $8.5 billion of the overall $9 billion in profits recorded by all vendors combined, according to Strategy Analytics.

Apple's biggest competitor Samsung was nowhere to be found on the list, as Chinese smartphone makers Huawei, Vivo, and OPPO took the second, third, and fourth spots respectively with between 2.2% and 2.4% of profits.

"Apple’s ability to maximize pricing and minimize production cost is hugely impressive and the iPhone continues to generate monster profits," said Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics. "Huawei, Vivo and OPPO are the next three most profitable smartphone vendors globally this quarter, but they are still a long way behind Apple."

Apple's profit margin is impressive given no other smartphone maker generated more than $200 million in profits during the quarter, according to Strategy Analytics. Apple's share of profits was some 40× larger than its closest competitor.

iPhone sales declined on a year-over-year basis in the second, third, and fourth quarters of the 2016 fiscal year, after rising only marginally during the first quarter, which makes Apple's record-breaking smartphone profits even more impressive.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Tim Long previously estimated Apple captured 103.6% of smartphone industry profits in the third quarter. Long's estimate factors in companies that lost money during the quarter, placing Apple above 100%.


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Donald Trump Tells Tim Cook He'll Offer Apple 'Very Large Tax Cut'

Nov 23, 2016 - 1:54 PM - by sparkyscott21

In a recent interview with The New York Times, President-elect Donald Trump said he received phone calls from Apple CEO Tim Cook and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates after winning the presidential election earlier this month.

Trump told Cook it will be a "real achievement" for him when he gets Apple to make its products in the United States, as opposed to countries like China and Vietnam where many of its current manufacturing partners operate.

I got a call from Tim Cook at Apple, and I said, ‘Tim, you know one of the things that will be a real achievement for me is when I get Apple to build a big plant in the United States, or many big plants in the United States, where instead of going to China, and going to Vietnam, and going to the places that you go to, you’re making your product right here.’

Cook acknowledged the proposition by nondescriptly saying "I understand that," according to Trump.

Trump said he is confident Apple will turn to U.S. manufacturing based on the incentives he plans to offer the iPhone maker, including a "very large tax cut" and "substantial regulation cuts" for corporations.

I said: ‘I think we’ll create the incentives for you, and I think you’re going to do it. We’re going for a very large tax cut for corporations, which you’ll be happy about.’ But we’re going for big tax cuts, we have to get rid of regulations, regulations are making it impossible. Whether you’re liberal or conservative, I mean I could sit down and show you regulations that anybody would agree are ridiculous. It’s gotten to be a free-for-all. And companies can’t, they can’t even start up, they can’t expand, they’re choking.

A recent report said Apple asked its Taiwanese manufacturing partner Foxconn to study the possibility of moving iPhone production to the United States, although Foxconn chairman Terry Gou is said to be less enthusiastic about the idea due to inevitably higher production costs compared to China.

While campaigning at Liberty University in Virginia earlier this year, Trump said "we're going to get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries," while he has also threatened to introduce a 45% tax on products imported from China.

Cook previously said Apple manufactures iPhones in China because the country has put an "enormous focus on manufacturing," while noting the U.S. workforce has a smaller number of individuals with the "vocational kind of skills" needed.

China put an enormous focus on manufacturing. In what we would call, you and I would call vocational kind of skills. The U.S., over time, began to stop having as many vocational kind of skills. I mean, you can take every tool and die maker in the United States and probably put them in a room that we're currently sitting in. In China, you would have to have
... [Read More]
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Circulating five-second video causes Apple iPhones to freeze

Nov 22, 2016 - 2:03 PM - by sparkyscott21

iPhone owners are cautioned to be careful about tapping unsolicited links as a new five-second MP4 video, currently being shared online, is causing devices to freeze not long after it's played.

The video is corrupt, and appears to be generating a loop which causes iOS 10 to crash, according to The Verge, which tested the glitch on several iPhones running versions of iOS 10.1.x or the iOS 10.2 beta. The issue first came to light on Reddit.

Notably the crash takes about 10 seconds, during which people can do other things on their iPhone as the device gradually slows down. Once an iPhone freezes the only option is to reboot it, though it should work as normal once it recovers.

Apple has yet to announce a fix for the issue.

The company has had to deal with similar issues in the past, such as in 2015, when a text string sent through Messages was able to prevent people from reopening the app, or would crash an iPhone entirely.


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