Samsung vs. Apple is looking more and more like a horrible mismatch. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Thanks to Apple’s continued success in Japan, and Tim Cook’s big push to expand into China, everyone forgets about one of the most revealing markets the iPhone 6 has scored big in: South Korea. Why is South Korea so revealing? Because it’s none other than the stomping ground of longtime Apple rival, Samsung.
According to a report published Wednesday by Counterpoint Research, Apple is now firmly challenging Samsung in its home ground — with market share in the country rising to 33 percent, from less than 15 percent, based on the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Samsung’s market share meanwhile plummeted from 60 percent to 46 percent.
We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.
We've coming out of our winter hibernation to an avalanche of new iPhone 6S rumors claiming Apple's next smartphone will have the biggest camera upgrade ever. There's also whispers of a 12-inch MacBook Air on the horizon, and a possible ARM-powered Mac in the next year.
Step up to the crystal ball and find out which of these rumors is most likely to come true in 2015.
The Rumor: Your iMacs and MacBooks will be powered by ARM processors in 1 - 2 years/
The Verdict Not likely to happen yet. Ming Chi Kuo, aka “the world’s most accurate Apple analyst” has been wrong a time or two, and I think this is time he’s way off. Ditching Intel chips has been rumored forever. It still doesn’t make sense, as Apple would be sacrificing a lot of processing power for modest battery gains. It could happen in the next five years, but Kuo’s prediction that we’ll see an ARM powered MacBook in the next year sounds too soon to be true.
The Verdict: Sounds almost too good to be true, but we’ve heard this year’s camera upgrade will be the biggest ever. The iPhone is now the 2nd most popular camera brand in the world. Adding optical zoom and better image quality might be enough convince most users to never buy a regular camera again.
The Verdict Apple is not making a wearable camera. Not because it couldn’t make a kickass wearable camera that’s even better than GoPro, but because there’s just not enough money in the wearable cameras market. If Apple can’t sell tens of millions of units of a product every quarter there’s no point in making it. GoPro investors can rest easy for another year.
The Verdict Probably not going to happen. There are so many more parts that could break and need repair if Apple moved to a spring loaded joystick/home button. We still haven’t seen any iPhone gaming cases take off, and this is certainly an intriguing idea, but this patent is mostly likely a glimpse into an alternative Apple universe we’ll never see.
The Rumor: Apple already lined up a new a sapphire supplier.
The Verdict Too early to tell. Ever since GTAT went belly up Apple’s been hunting for a new sapphire supplier. Previous rumors have claimed Foxconn will step in, while a recent Wall Street Journal report points to Apple supplier Desay as the possible GTAT replacement. The company already makes sapphire displays for its smartphones. Maybe the S in iPhone 6S will stand for “sapphire.”
The Rumor:2GB of RAM will be the new standard on the iPhone 6S.
The Verdict The odds of the iPhone 6S getting 2GB of RAM is incredibly likely. We’re not expecting a design overall on the 6S, but there should be plenty of big internal upgrades. The iPhone 6 only has 1GB of RAM. Doubling it will certainly make it wicked fast, and all those new Metal-coded games will look better than ever.
The Verdict Count on it, but not until 2016. Foxconn is reportedly dedicating an entire factory to pumping out OLED displays for iPhones and Apple wearables. Mass production probably won’t start until 2016, which will come just in time for Apple to swap out the iPhone 6s’ LCD display with a thinner, brighter OLED beauty.
The whole Bendgate incident prompted Apple to release some details about its own internal stress-testing policies for new iPhones. It’s unlikely that anyone at Cupertino carries out iPhone stress-testing quite to the degree of YouTube user TechRax, however.
Masquerading as a tech channel, Ukrainian YouTuber TechRax is really just using that an excuse to destroy the latest must-have gadgets. This week, he turned his attention to the iPhone 6 — a device that has previously had its endurance tested by him in boiling Coca-Cola, deep snow, under the treads of a tank — and a variety of other scenarios that, frankly, are unlikely to befall your precious smartphone.
In TechRax’s latest “experiment” he sets on the gold iPhone 6 with a DeWalt angle grinder. The results are… well, largely what you’d expect. You can check out the video after the jump.
The iPhone 6 is big in India. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
As Apple continues it global expansion, India marks one of the company’s big next frontiers — with 1.2 billion citizens and a fast-growing smartphone market.
Today, the company gets some good news, in the shape of some great reports about the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the country. Since it launched the two next-gen smartphone handsets there in October, Apple has reportedly sold a massive half a million units in the country: twice what it managed during the same timeframe in 2013.
But Tim Cook’s not done yet. He wants to get more iPhones into the country, and that means… cutting Apple’s profits?
Apple is finally on the “same planet” as iPhone 6 demand. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
During Apple’s earnings call in October, Tim Cook described Apple supply as not being “on the same planet” when it came to matching demand for the iPhone 6. “It’s very difficult to gauge demand without first finding the balance,” he noted.
Well, jump forward a few months and it seems that balance has finally been achieved — since Apple’s online store in the U.S. is now showing all capacities, colors and carriers as in-stock for both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Getting your hands on an iPhone 6 in China isn’t always easy. Finding a nearby Apple Store can be tough, and once you get there you must deal with the long lines and the hassle of shelling out cash to Apple. So a group of Chinese men came up with a different solution: They dug their way to the iPhone 6.
Beijing police said Wednesday that they’ve detained three men suspected of tunneling into a warehouse to steal 240 iPhone 6 handsets. The heist netted the thieves about $228,496 worth of devices but authorities still haven’t found a single stolen iPhone 6 unit, after the crew blew all their money on cars, gold and gambling.
In the month of November, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus represented 47.4 percent of all smartphones sold in the United States. For those keeping track at home, that’s a 4.3 percent increase from the same time in 2013, when the iPhone 5s and 5c were the latest iPhone models on the market.
The iPhone 6 was also the best-selling smartphone three months in a row in the U.S., with an overall market share of 19 percent. Verizon and AT&T made up 57 percent of all iOS sales during this time.
And it’s not just the U.S. where the iPhone’s taking over, either.
Throughout December, we heard a lot of rumors that said Apple might be bringing back the 4-inch iPhone form factor. My colleague Luke categorized these rumors as “unlikely,” and yet they continued, perhaps buoyed by the crossed-fingers of women and the tiny-handed. But now a new report says they were unlikely after all.
Unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models are finally on sale! Photo: Cult of Mac
Want to buy an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus without a SIM card, or locked to a specific carrier? You finally have your chance: unlocked iPhones have just gone on sale through Apple’s brick-and-mortar and online stores for the very first time.
AAPL shares have been tanking the last few weeks after reaching a record high in 2014, but Apple is looking to stop the bleeding later this month by announcing what’s expected to be another record breaking earnings report for Q1 2015 on January 27th.