Year old iPhone 6s destroys new Samsung Note 7 in speed test

A video posted Saturday by PhoneBuff shows the real-world speed differences between Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note 7 device and the (nearly) year old iPhone 6s. The difference is striking.

As John Gruber points out, it is difficult to tell whether or not the big difference in speed is due to the Operating Systems or hardware present in these devices.

There is another factor to consider, however…

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Nailing down the iOS 10 release date

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At WWDC this year Apple teased us with a preview of their dramatically redesigned 10th major update to iOS, iOS 10. Earlier I explored historical data to determine that the iPhone 7 would likely come out on Friday, September 23rd, 2016, and I use the same logic to figure out when we’ll see the release of iOS 10.

Apple is fairly consistent with the release cycles for their products and software. iOS releases have seen some changes, as has the iPhone, but after compiling all of the data I believe I have nailed down the actual release date for iOS 10.

With the exception of iOS 5, Apple has released new versions of iOS an average of 101 days after announcing them to the world. That date is usually 2 days prior to the release of new iPhone hardware. iPhone OS 1, 2, and iOS 5 are notable exceptions – launching alongside a new iPhone. Additionally, iOS 9 launched to the public a full 9 days prior to the release of the iPhone 6s.

Since I previously determined that the iPhone 7 will go on sale on September 23rd, it’s easy to guesstimate that iOS 10 will launch nine days prior, on Wednesday, September 14th, 2016. This should mirror the release of iOS 9, signaling Apple’s interest in getting iOS releases out to the public earlier and often. An earlier release date than most previous years, coupled with the ongoing iOS 10 public beta, allows Apple to identify and correct any major flaws in iOS 10 prior to the launch of the iPhone 7.

Now we just get to wait and see!

When will the iPhone 7 be announced and released?

iPhone6s-2Up-HeroFish-PR-PRINT copyThe official announcement of a new version of iOS – iOS 10 – at WWDC 2016 can be seen as the traditional precursor to the announcement of a new iPhone, and this year is no different. It is expected that Apple will follow its yearly cycle of announcing a new iPhone model to follow closely with the release of the latest version of iOS.

It is widely accepted that Apple will release an incremental update to the iPhone this year, while keeping with its current incremental naming scheme. Unlike other years, the iPhone 7 is not expected to introduce a dramatic external design change. Instead, the iPhone 7 is presumed to largely retain the external look of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s.

Apple began releasing iPhones in the fall starting with the iPhone 4S – released on October 11 in the US in 2011. Prior to that, new iPhone hardware was released in the summer. All previous versions – with the exception of the iPhone 3G – were released in June. Starting with the 4S, September and October have been the months of choice. The iPhone 5 was released on September 21, 2012 and the iPhone 5 S followed on September 20, 2013. Following the same pattern, Apple released the iPhone 6 on September 19, 2014 and the iPhone 6s on September 25, 2015 – the latest fall release yet. With the release of iOS 10 coming “this fall,” there’s no chance that we’d see new iPhone hardware launching before that.

Fall begins on September 22nd this year, and the iPhone release should follow the change of the seasons with a release only a few days later.

But when will the actual announcement for the iPhone 7 come?

New iPhone hardware was traditionally announced at WWDC on a Monday in early June. The iPhone 4S was the first iPhone to break the WWDC announcement tradition, and so has every model that followed. It seems as if the WWDC iPhone announcement tradition is officially dead.

Once announced, a new iPhone releases an average of 31.7 days later. More recent iPhones have become available for purchase just 10-16 days after their announcement. The iPhone 7 will likely hang toward the higher end of the range.

With the exception of the iPhone 3G and 4S, each new generation of iPhone has been announced at least 1 day prior to the announcement of the previous model, generally in the second week of the month. The iPhone 7 will likely follow this trend and be announced in early September.

I’m pegging Friday, September 9th, 2016 as the day of the iPhone 7 announcement. I expect that the iPhone 7 release date is September 23, 2016 – exactly two weeks after the announcement.

Nike+ Move App Review: A good substitute for wearable fitness trackers

Nike+ Move activity reports

Nike’s latest entry into the Nike+ family brings the Nike+ Move app for iPhone. Taking advantage of the iPhone 5s’s new M7 motion coprocessor, Nike+ Move will track your movement throughout the day and award you with NikeFuel based on your activity. There is no traditional step tracker. Your movement is displayed on a time-based graph that updates throughout the day and is overlaid on your graph from yesterday for a quick comparison.

Move also breaks down the type of activity you participated in for the current day and itemizes your NikeFuel earning for running, walking, and “other movement.” If you grant Move access to Location Services, it will also show where your activity occurred throughout the day and display NikeFuel earnings and time spent moving in each location. Separately, a long-term bar graph displays your activity for at least two weeks. The M7 in the iPhone does not store data for more than 7 days, and the Nike+ Move app has not been out long enough to test the history beyond that.

Nike did build in some social features to Move that utilizes Game Center and Location Services to compare your activity to your friends and others in your geographical area (categorized by your nearest major city). The Game Center integration is extremely poor at best and should have been left out until complete. I could not find a way to find any friends using the app, which probably just means that none are using Move. A tantalizing “Add Friends” button is there, but tapping it takes you to a Mail pop-over where you can email your friends and ask them to connect with you – completely foregoing the Game Center friends list that Nike touts as a feature.

Nike+ Move is a fairly simple motion tracker than can substitute for a physical fitness tracker if you don’t already own a Fitbit or Nike FuelBand. Accuracy is hard to gauge since it is quantified in proprietary NikeFuel points that seem to have no discernible reason for when you get rewarded. My activity graphs from wearing a Fitbit while keeping my iPhone with me at the same time result in nearly identical activity graphs, so Move seems accurate enough.

This latest (and arguably greatest) app to make use of the iPhone 5s’s M7 motion coprocessor is definitely a strong contender in the space and likely won’t be overshadowed soon. Once Nike better integrates the Game Center experience, Nike+ Move should dominate the M7-based motion tracking space. Move sports a beautiful simple interface and is incredibly easy to use – two things sorely lacking in the first M7 motion tracker, Argus. If you already own a wearable fitness tracker, it’s best to stick with that though. I notice that I wear my Fitbit Flex much more often than I have my iPhone on me, and my activity reports reflect this activity tracking gap. Nike’s goal is to use the Move app as gateway to the Nike+ ecosystem, hoping to tempt users to upgrade by purchasing a new FuelBand. I have to admit that I now kind of want one.

You can download Nike+ Move for iPhone now, free on the App Store.

Apple’s Fourth Quarter 2013 Results: Revenue up, profit down

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Apple’s fourth quarter 2013 financial results were discussed on their earnings call yesterday, and the numbers were hardly surprising. Analysts closely predicted most everything that was reported. Apple revealed revenue of $37.5 billion – up from $36 billion last year-, and a profit of $7.5 billion – down sharply from $8.2 billion last year. This quarter’s gross margin was 37%, down from 40% in the year-ago quarter. International sales made up 60% of the revenue this quarter.

Unsurprisingly, iPhones and iPads are still selling like crazy. 33.8 million iPhones were sold in the September quarter, a new record, up from 26.9 million in the year-ago quarter. iPad sales were mostly flat at  14.1 million, up from 14 million in the year-ago quarter. Mac sales are continuing their downward slide with just 4.6 million sold, down from 4.9 in the year-ago quarter.

Though iPhone sales are up, the ASP (Average Selling Price) of each unit is down to $577. Customers appear to be buying mostly lower-end iPhones, enough so that iPhone ASP dropped $4 per handset from the third quarter this year. It’s unclear if the iPhone 5C had anything to do with the drop, considering analysts claim that 5C sales are far below Apple’s expectations. Tim Cook addressed this on the call, urging people to look at the bigger picture instead of the change of product flow through one supply chain. Cook also claimed that the 5C was not Apple’s attempt at a entry-level iPhone, instead positioning it between the extremely inexpensive 4S and the new 5s.

Strong iPad sales were likely tapered by the anticipation of a new model this Fall, which Apple did provide. Sales going into 2014 should be robust as we enter the holiday shopping season with two huge iPad upgrades hitting store shelves. iPad ASP rose slightly to $439 compared to this quarter last year, but are down overall on strong sales of the cheaper iPad mini. The new iPad mini with Retina display being priced at $399 should keep ASP relatively flat in the future.

Cook attributed the steady decline in Mac sales to the release of the new iMac last year, with a delayed availability date and constrained supplies after that. Guidance for Mac sales in the next year demonstrate a belief that this fall in sales will be reversed somewhat with better availability of upgraded models.

Apple’s guidance for the first quarter of 2014 are strong, estimating revenues to be between $55 and $58 billion – both above the $54.5 billion of the year-ago quarter –  with a gross margin between 36.5% and 37.5% – both below the 38.6% of the year-ago quarter.

Live on Apple’s fourth quarter 2013 earnings call

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We’re on the line and listening in as Apple delivers their fourth fiscal quarter earnings call for 2013. Revenue is expected to climb slightly while net profits take a small slide this quarter. The generally slow quarter for iPhones is expected to reverse the trend and shoot up a whopping 5.8 million units sold to come in at 32.7 million iPhones sold that quarter. iPads should climb slightly, and Macs are expected to continue their slow fall.

The call is over and we’re working on summing everything up in a more friendly format. We’ll have that post available shortly.