Does Apple’s design team need some fresh blood? [Friday Night Fights]

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fnf1
Or is its best yet to come?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

You can’t think about Apple without thinking about great design. The two go hand-in-hand, thanks to the company’s incredible ability to churn out hit products that make billions of dollars one after the other, year after year.

FNF-bugBut Apple’s design team isn’t perfect. There have been some missteps over the years, and it seems like they’ve become more common under Tim Cook. Its design has also become predictable; even before we get a new product, we have a good idea what it will look like.

Are we worrying about nothing, or is it time Apple invited some fresh blood into Jony Ive’s lair? Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight between Cult of Android and Cult of Mac as we fight it out over this and more!

Steve Jobs actor still uses a broken iPhone 4

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Michael Fassbender
Even his Ancient Greek character in 300 had a 5s.
Photo: Warner Bros.

Michael Fassbender is a lot of things: actor, producer, Magneto … but one thing he isn’t is on the cutting edge of technology.

The man playing Steve Jobs in the upcoming biopic from director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) confessed in a recent interview that he is a little behind the times, phone-wise.

Nearly half of UK BlackBerry owners dream of upgrading to… iPhone 4

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BlackBerry's biggest threat: the iPhone 4?
BlackBerry's biggest threat: the iPhone 4?

Although BlackBerry hasn’t been a serious competitor to the iPhone in years, the UK phone trade-in website “Cash for phones comparison” has published some pretty damning statistics, showing just how massive the gulf is between the two “competitors.”

Only 8 percent of customers who traded in an old BlackBerry phone claimed any kind of loyalty to the brand, while an overwhelming majority of 66 percent decided to switch to an iPhone. However, it seems that these people weren’t looking so much to get a new iPhone as they were to get any iPhone — since 42.1 percent of respondees decided to ditch their trustworthy BlackBerry for an iPhone 4: a phone which was introduced all the way back in 2010.

Apple withdraws iPhone 4 from India. Again.

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india
Apple is doing all it can to grown in India.
Illustration: Cult of Mac

Less than four months after relaunching the iPhone 4 in India, Apple has decided to ditch the strategy and take the phone off the market again.

The January move had made the iPhone 4 one of the cheapest unsubsidized iPhones in the world, with the aim of growing market share by appealing to a percentage of the population who would not usually be able to afford iPhones.

By Resurrecting The iPad 4, Apple Moves Closer To A Lightning-Only World

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(image credit: Ars Technica)
(image credit: Ars Technica)

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who would argue that Apple’s Lightning connector isn’t superior to the old 30-pin connector in every way. That’s why it’s surprising that it has taken Apple so long to phase 30-pin out of its product lineup.

Today Apple brought back the fourth-gen iPad to replace the non-Retina iPad 2. While the press release focuses on the obvious display upgrade, discontinuing the iPad 2 means something else that’s important: another nail in the coffin for 30-pin.

iOS 7.1 Makes The iPhone 4 Usable Again

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Up until now, iOS 7 on the iPhone 4 has been painful to use. The New York Times calls it “planned obsolescence,” but it’s really just old hardware having a difficult time powering new software.

The good news is that the newly released iOS 7.1 has noticeably sped up animations on the iPhone 4, reports Ars Technica. “iOS 7.1 solves the problem for people who don’t tweak their devices’ settings or for people who like the way the animations look but not how they feel,” according to Ars. “Animation durations have been shortened noticeably throughout iOS 7.1, and toggling “reduce motion” is now purely cosmetic.”

Apps open generally faster, and opening interfaces like Control Center feels smoother. Since iOS 7.1 will likely be the last major update that’s available on the iPhone 4, there is no reason to not download it.

Source: Ars Technica

Apple Never Stopped Manufacturing The iPhone 4

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iphone4india

A recent report suggested that Apple was restarting manufacture of the iPhone 4 to target India, Indonesia and Brazil as developing markets. In fact, sources say that Apple never stopped making the phone.

A news story for BGR India claims that — while the volumes might not have been so high as that of the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, or even the iPhone 4s — Apple continued manufacturing the iPhone 4 ever since its introduction, since the phone serves as a key component of Apple’s sales strategy in countries outside of the U.S. and Western Europe.

Apple Hopes To Increase Market Share In India By Relaunching The iPhone 4

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For some time now, a number of pundits have been calling on Apple to release a cheaper version of the iPhone to grow market share in developing countries.

To some extent Apple has apparently listened — since it is reportedly planning to sell the discontinued iPhone 4 in India for the reduced price of around RS 15,000 ($250) — making it among the cheapest unsubsidized iPhones in the world.