Keep in mind that we’re still in the realm of rumor here, but it’s looking more and more like there might be truth to those reports of a plastic iPhone aimed at emerging markets after all. We’ve yet to get any kind of confirmation on this issue from Apple itself, but according to Japanese blog Macotakara, we might be seeing a limited test run of 1,000 units in June, and in a plethora of colors to boot. If that goes well, we might start seeing them in stores later this year.
According to various unnamed sources that spoke with Macotakara, the budget iPhone will come in a wide variety of colors. What those colors are isn’t exactly clear due to conflicting reports from the sources, but taken together, the rumors suggest that the phones will come in navy blue, gold, gray, pink, green, blue, yellow, and orange. What’s notable about this list is the absence of a black option, which we at Mac|Life suspect Apple will retain for the higher-end versions available now.
Allegedly the so-called iPhone 5S will also come in green and gold variations, with the possibility of additional variations modeled after the current offerings for the iPod Touch. Aside from the color changes, though, the new iPhone will supposedly look similar to the existing iPhone 5, with the addition of a dual-LED flash and alterations to the rear microphone. Macotakara also passed along the rumor that the iPad 5 will have a new rear microphone as well.
Considering the wide assortment of colors available for the entire iPod line, the idea of multiple color variations for the iPhone doesn’t sound inconceivable (although the concept art Macotakara supplied doesn’t make them look too appealing). In addition, the news is well in line with other recent rumors, such as BGR’s allegedly leaked photos of multicolored SIM trays for the next iPhone.
Follow this article’s author, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.
Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He’s also chilling out and having a sandwich.
iMore compares the best pre-paid iPhone plans available on ATT, T-Mobile, H2O, Cricket, Straight Talk, and more!
Taking your iPhone to a prepaid plan can save you quite a bit of cash and if you live in the United States, there are quite a few options these days. Whether you’re a talker, texter, or web surfer, there’s something to be had for everyone when it comes to moving to a prepaid plan. Some may require tweaking a few settings to get things like picture messaging fully up and running, but if you need to save some cash or just don’t fancy signing contracts, prepaid is a great option.
Let’s take a closer look at some options across all the major iPhone compatible prepaid carriers in the United States.
The most important aspect of choosing a carrier, prepaid or not, is whether or not there’s good coverage in your area. We’d suggest checking coverage maps for each respective carrier so you can eliminate ones that are sub-par or non-existent where you spend most of your time. That’ll ultimately make the decision a lot easier.
Once you’ve decided which carriers actually have good coverage in your area and which ones you can immediately rule out, you can start looking at what plans are actually available to you.
If you’re looking for a completely unlimited plan on prepaid, there are actually quite a few options out there. T-Mobile is the most expensive option for unlimited everything but is the only one that comes with WiFi hotspot functionality. If you plan on using your iPhone to tether other devices such as your iPad or computer where WiFi isn’t available, T-Mobile is the only unlimited option.
Straight Talk is the cheapest option available and runs off ATT’s network, so if your area is known to have good coverage with ATT, Straight Talk is the best option if you don’t need tethering functionality. Straight Talk also offers an unlimited plus international plan that allows you to call and text to outside the United States. It’ll cost you a little more but is probably worth it if you intend on calling out of the country. This obviously doesn’t mean you can travel internationally, and only includes calls and texts outside the country made from within the United States.
Net 10 and Cricket Wireless also have international plans available that are about on par with Straight Talk. However, Cricket only offers the feature up for text, not voice.
For most people, choosing a carrier, even prepaid, should always depend on what coverage is like in your area. Coverage aside, T-Mobile is the best deal and the only option if you want tethering while Straight Talk offers the most value and makes the most sense for people who need international options.
If you don’t need unlimited data and/or talk and text, you can get off a little cheaper yet. If Net 10 is available in your area, you can get dirt cheap unlimited data for $25 a month. You’ll also get unlimited text and 720 minutes. It’s a pretty good deal and if you aren’t a big talker, it’s a nice option. Just be aware that your data will be slowed down after a meer 1.5GB according to Net 10′s terms of service.
H2O doesn’t have any unlimited data plans that we could find with their plans topping out at 2GB. We also couldn’t find any information on whether or not they will cap speeds after using a certain amount. However, if you talk and text more than anything, H2O has some good options if you don’t plan on using a lot of data.
For heavy data users who don’t really care about minutes at all, Virgin Mobile offers unlimited data and text on every plan they have. For as little as $35 a month you can get unlimited data and text with the tradeoff being only 300 minutes. If you’re okay with watching your minutes, it’s a good option.
If you talk and text a lot, but don’t need a ton of data, either H2O or T-Mobile are your best bets. If you’re the opposite, Virgin Mobile is worth a hard look since all their plans come with unlimited data and text.
When it comes to choosing a prepaid carrier, all of the above have their advantages and disadvantages. For the most part, T-Mobile and Straight Talk will have the best nationwide coverage. Cricket, H2O, and Virgin have spottier coverage but if it’s strong in the areas you’ll spend the most time, it doesn’t mean you should rule it out if money is an issue.
Net 10 also has its advantages since they own spectrum on both GSM and CDMA. This means they can take advantage of both networks which gives them pretty good coverage nationwide as well. Considering the price points they offer, it’s worth a hard look if they have options available in your area.
If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck with the best coverage, we’d recommend Straight Talk. Not only are their plans reasonable, there are international options to be had as well. And since you can take advantage of the ATT network, traveling within the United States with a Straight Talk phone shouldn’t be an issue.
If you use your iPhone with prepaid, what carrier do you use and which ones would you recommend?
Like predecessors Anomaly: Warzone Earth and Anomaly Korea, 11 Bit Studios’ Anomaly 2 turns classic tower defense upside down. Instead of fortifying a base with turrets, cannons, and soldiers, Anomaly 2 places you in command of the incoming horde. Armed with a combat suit capable of setting up decoys, detonating EMP pulses, and healing units, you’ll be tasked with leading a convoy of tanks, armored mechs, drones, and mobile labs through hostile territory, blasting through metallic alien defenses to clear roads or liberate important objectives.
As the third entry in the series, Anomaly 2 has firm command of the game’s basic conceits: Missions, friendly units, and enemy types are varied and work well together, and the large maps are flexible enough to support multiple play styles. For example, enemy Chargers are vulnerable to missile attacks, and if your squad isn’t equipped to handle them, you can call in new units on the fly or avoid the fight altogether by changing the convoy’s route.
With new waves of enemies spawning and objectives changing mid-battle, playing Anomaly 2 often feels like putting out multiple fires at once. Quick hands and good timing are often as important as critical thinking and sound tactics, and Anomaly 2 addresses our biggest gripe about its forebears: Lieutenant Simon Lynx has never been easier to control. Getting through Anomaly’s long, arduous missions is satisfying, but suffering a loss – or worse, a game crash – after 20 minutes of chipping away is frustrating, especially since the difficulty ramps up significantly toward the end of the campaign.
Anomaly 2’s story mode is a prelude to its new, intricate multiplayer mode, which pits a convoy (a “Squad”) against a player-controlled alien installation (the “Towers”). The defense-oriented aliens play more like traditional tower defense or real-time strategy games, as you must gather resources, create chokepoints, and unlock new towers to succeed. While multiplayer matches can be difficult to find, dedicated players will find a fast-paced affair with the nuances expected from the genre. The campaign mode is great training for Squad players, however the complex Tower mechanics suffer from a lack of tutorials or a single-player component.
The bottom line. Anomaly 2 improves on earlier games in the series and puts enough spin on the tower defense genre to attract new players and veterans alike.
1 of 5
Abilities can be used to stun or distract enemies, but there’s a limited supply. Use them wisely!
From the tactical map, you can plan your attack, as well as configure and upgrade your convoy.
The ruins of New York City set the stage for some of Anomaly 2’s best firefights.
Plan your defenses in the new multiplayer mode.
Some units are better suited for close-range combat than others.
Mac OS X 10.6, 2.8 Ghz processor, 2 GB RAM, 512 MB VRAM
On-the-fly tactics keep things fresh and fast-paced throughout. Improved controls. New multiplayer modes push the series forward.
Brutal difficulty spikes and technical issues combine to make some sections frustrating.
Other tablets might be making inroads into Apple’s dominance of the tablet market, but if the Ecommerce Quarterly released by Monetate this morning serves as any indication, they have a heck of a long way to go. As reported by Apple Insider, iPads account for a staggering nine out of 10 tablets used to access e-commerce sites in 2013′s first quarter. That’s down a mere 2.4 percent from last year during the same quarter.
All total, Monetate’s findings revealed that Apple’s iPad currently accounts for 89.28 percent of all tablet traffic to e-commerce sites. According to the report, during the same period Android tablet usage grew by 4.75 percent to grab an 8.20 percent share of the traffic, while the Amazon Kindle fell from 3.58 percent to 2.51 percent.
Image source: Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly report for Q1 2013/Apple Insider
In addition, the report revealed that iPad users are more likely to spend more online than users of others tablets, according to Monetate’s sampling of 500 million shopping experiences drawn from sites like Best Buy, Frontier Airlines, Aeropostale, The Sports Authority and PETCO. On average, individual Apple tablet users spent $99.05 while users of the Kindle and Android tablets averaged out at $95.48 and $83.58 respectively.
And business is apparently booming. The use of tablets to access ecommerce sites shot up from 5.95 percent to 10.58 percent in the year between the first quarters of 2012 and 2013, with tablets remaining slightly more popular than cell phones for browsing ecommerce sites. (Desktop computers unsurprisingly retain the edge here, with a 78.13 percent hold on the market in first quarter of 2013.)
Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.
App and Photography Editor at iMore. Mother, wife, and math instructor. Follow her on Twitter @llofte and send her apps to consider for review at email@example.com
Apple seems to be the target of government and media criticism, once again, for operating the same way every other company in the industry operates. Why does Apple get held to a higher standard in the headlines and in the Senate than its competition? And isn’t there anyone willing to suggest that perhaps this treatment is not entirely fair? Of course there is.
On Monday, the New York Times published a report detailing Apple’s off-shore tax practices, just in time to stir up public opinion for scheduled testimony from Apple to the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on Tuesday. The article detailed the amount of money Apple allegedly avoided paying in taxes, and included several flamboyant comments from Senators and law professors who had plenty of snarky things to say about Cupertino. Also included in the article was a brief mention that Apple’s tax practices are basically the exact same things being done by others in the tech industry, including Google, Amazon, and Yahoo, but the focus of the piece was to paint Apple as a legal-yet-problematic tax avoider.
In preparation for the hearing, Apple published a pair of documents featuring the opening statements of Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook (PDF) and Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer (PDF). The statements focus on Apple’s significant contributions to the US economy and defend overseas business practices. Oppenheimer’s statement even details how close Apple came to disappearing forever in the late ’90s by reminding the committee “I can tell you firsthand, we were facing the very real possibility of a world without Apple.”
The Senators present at the hearing, however, picked up right where the NYT article left off, and blistered Apple with what the Washington Post called “righteous indignation.” All of the Senators, that is, except for one: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky).
Don’t make me filibuster up in here.
“Frankly, I’m offended by the tone and tenor of this hearing,” Sen. Paul stated. “I’m offended by a $4 trillion government bullying, berating and badgering one of America’s greatest success stories.”
Sen. Paul went on to point the finger at his colleagues, stating that Apple was operating as best it could inside of a severely flawed tax system that Congress has done nothing to fix. ”If anyone should be on trial here, it should be Congress,” Sen. Paul continued. “I frankly think the committee should apologize to Apple. The Congress should be on trial here for creating a Byzantine and bizarre tax code.”
In a long prepared testimony, though not as long as others he has provided, Sen. Paul made clear that Apple was not being accused of violating any laws whatsoever, and implied that the entire hearing, much like the NYT piece that preceded it, was being done for hype and publicity.
“This committee will admit: Apple has not broken any laws,” Paul said. “Yet they are forced into a show trial at the whims of politicians, when in fact; Congress should be on trial for chasing the profits of great American companies overseas.”
Sen. Paul went on to pose the rhetorical question, “You haul before this committee one of America’s greatest success stories, and you want applause?”
Clearly Apple could not have originated or prospered without the talent and infrastructure that exists in the U.S., and the shell-game accounting methods that Cupertino uses to shelter taxes feel somewhat ungrateful. But singling out Apple as a problem while glossing over the fact that this is what many U.S. tech companies do, and ignoring the fact that the bigger problem lies in the tax code itself, seems disingenuous and self-serving.
In this situation, if anyone deserves applause for calling out the hypocrisy and speaking the truth, it is Sen. Rand Paul.
Follow the writer, Adrian Hoppel, on Facebook.
A U.S. Senate subcommittee may have spent the better part of Tuesday grilling Apple executives over untaxed offshore fortunes, but Cupertino isn’t the only tech company taking advantage of the same loophole.
Bloomberg reported Wednesday that search giant Google Inc. is among a long list of companies who, like Apple, have set up corporations in Ireland as a way to avoid paying U.S. corporate taxes on income made offshore.
Even as the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations puts pressure on Apple to pay income tax on $74 billion made overseas during the last four years, it turns out that Google and Yahoo! are both guilty of the same tactics.
In Google’s case, Mountain View established a pair of tax shelters in Ireland and the Netherlands, referred to as “Double Irish” and “Dutch Sandwich” by tax attorneys. According to the company’s own filings, Google avoids $2 billion in income tax payments to the U.S. each year by shifting profits to Bermuda — a country with no corporate income tax.
Yahoo! also has an Irish subsidiary where its overseas profits are deposited, but claims to be a tax resident of the Cayman Islands rather than Ireland. The report notes that profits totaling “hundreds of million of dollars” have been funneled through the suburban home of the company’s Dutch bookkeeper, where it eventually lands with subsidiaries based on Mauritius and Switzerland.
Apple executives were quick to note that the company does not hold money in the Caribbean as Google and Yahoo! have done, and current U.S. tax laws are based on where a company is incorporated, not where it is actually managed.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of Intuit)