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Apple Restricting NFC use in iPhone 6, 6 Plus

iPhone 6

It’s official: Apple will be restricting the use of NFC chips in the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch to the Apple Pay service. Among dashed dreams of finally getting NFC technology to unlock phones, change settings and share information, Apple fans can take solace in the fact that Apple once also limited the use of Touch ID when it was first launched. Now, with iOS 8, that capability has been opened to developers. It’s therefore safe to assume that the NFC chips will also be released for use eventually.

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Global MVNO to Carry iPhone 6, 6 Plus

Truphone_Logo

The MVNO Truphone has announced that it will offer the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on Sept. 26. While I am certain that all of the major MVNOs will carry the iPhone 6 eventually, Truphone’s announcement today is the first MVNO to confirm that they willl carry the new Apple product.

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4M iPhones Ordered in First 24 Hours

apple logo

Apple has reported record sales of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, with sales reaching four million within the first 24 hours of availability last Friday. Numbers for the weekend haven’t been released. In fact, so many people wanted the phone, some preorders aren’t expected until October as the number exceeded the pre-order supply. Apple’s site says that iPhone 6 preorders should ship in seven to ten business days while shipments of the iPhone 6 Plus won’t go out for three to four weeks.

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iPhone 6 and Apple Conference

iphone 6

Apple held their conference today to introduce the range of new products coming out in the next few months, and the internet is abuzz with all of the news. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the impending iOS 8 release, Apple Pay and, of course, the long-awaited Apple Watch were all showcased. Here’s a brief overview of today’s Apple news:

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iPhone 5 Battery Problem

iphone 5

If you own an iPhone 5 (or know someone who does) purchased between September 2012 and January 2013, then you may need to contact Apple to get a new battery. Recently, Apple announced that a ‘small percentage’ of their iPhone 5 devices have a faulty battery which may suddenly stop holding charge for as long as it should.

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Pay As You Go IPhone Plans

Overview of Pay As You Go IPhone Plans

If you own an iPhone, then it is possible to use it as a pay-as-you-go phone via the AT&T Go Phone program. While you may not think that the AT&T Go Phone program supports an iPhone, it can be done without having to jailbreak your phone.

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Prepaid Iphone Carrier Update Requirements

For years, the Apple iPhone remained only available on AT&T. After an extended contract, individuals were able to finally use the phone on other major networks including Verizon and Sprint.

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Prepaid Cell Plans With iPhone 5, and 5s

Prepaid cell plans with iPhone 5 and 5s

The iPhone 5 is the latest in the most popular smart phone series in the world, but you may not be willing to sign your life away on a contract plan just to get it. If you would rather have a prepaid plan without having to sacrifice the features that you would enjoy with your new iPhone, there are a few providers that can help you out. They are listed as ranked by price, plan, and reliability.

1. Virgin Mobile leads the way for carriers offering an iPhone 5. You will have to pay $404.99 upfront to buy the phone, but once you do you can activate one of several of their No Contract plans. Of all the carriers offering iPhone 5 they make it the easiest for the customer and offer the best value and reliability.

2. AT&T has made a splash in the market with its cheap and easy Go Phones, but recently expanded its prepaid plans to the iPhone 5 as well. They really try to sell you on a contract plan, offering a iPhone 5 for only 22 dollars down, but if you stick to your guns their monthly prepaid smart phone plan is only $65.00. Purchasing the phone, however, will be $549.99

3. Verizon Wireless, like AT&T, will work hard to get you to accept a contract for a reduced price on your iPhone 5. They will give it to you for only $199 if you sign a 2 year contract, but staying month to month will mean purchasing the iPhone 5 for $649.99. Although providing more reliable service in more places than AT&T, the prices of their equipment and their monthly plans downgrades them significantly.

4. Boost Mobile is also entering the iPhone 5 race, and they are doing so competitively. You can get an iPhone 5 for $449.99 and qualify for a $55 monthly unlimited plan. The knock on them is a shortfall in reliability and availability that makes them a most questionable choice than the other big 3 providers.

Whichever plan you chose, you are sure to enjoy the cutting edge technology and features of the iPhone 5 at a price that you can afford.

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Report indicates that iPhone coming to AT&T GoPhone

Finally, it appears that we’ll get a true AT&T GoPhone version of the iPhone. Last month we heard that Apple was considering a lower-priced iPhone that would fit with AT&T’s prepaid lineup, and now we’ve heard even stronger word. Boy Genius Report reports that when Apple announces the next version of the iPhone, it will also announce a mid-tier model for prepaid. In fact, that mid-tier model might be the iPhone 3GS. It would cost “no more than $350″ and would obviously not require a contract. The only drawback is that GoPhone offers terribly restrictive data plan tiers: $5 for 10MB, $15 for 100MB, and $25 for 500MB. Maybe they’ll announce better data plans along with the iPhone. In any case, it should be here in time for the fall. Will you get one, or willy you stick with cheaper prepaid options?

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Again pondering a prepaid iPhone

When Apple and AT&T released the iPhone in 2007, they offered it without a carrier subsidy. That is, you had to pay the full retail price for the phone, which is something that we don’t normally see. Usually carriers offer a heavily discounted handset and get you to sign a two-year agreement in exchange. Without a subsidy, though, it appeared there was no incentive to sign a contract. At that point AT&T had a very popular $20 unlimited prepaid data plan, and there was a way to exploit the iTunes activation process. Things changed in time, though, and eventually AT&T decided to nix the iPhone on prepaid completely (though there were still ways around it). According to recent reports, compiled by Phil Goldstein at FierceWireless, Apple might have a prepaid iPhone plan of its own.

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Prepaid iPhone available on March 26

We’ll lead off with the good news: AT&T will begin No-Commit pricing on the iPhone starting March 26. Yes, that means you can activate it on an AT&T GoPhone account. So finally you can get an iPhone 3G without signing a new contract. Of course, that’s about the only bit of good news that comes along with this plan. From here it’s all downhill. First up is the pricing: $599 for the 8GB and $699 for the 16GB. After the jump, more downsides, and a (supposedly) good reason not to take advantage of this offer.

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Waiting for a prepaid iPhone? Don’t hold your breath

Back when we launched the Prepaid Reviews blog in June of 2007, the iPhone was a massively popular topic. Apple was set to release the device at month’s end, and much hype surrounded the product. There were a number of rumors about using the iPhone on prepaid, but there was nothing definitive. The device was never officially offered on prepaid, though many figured out workarounds. Rumors surfaced again this year that AT&T would offer an iPhone with prepaid plans. MacBlogz has some information about this, though it’s not looking particularly pretty.

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AT&T selling refurbished iPhones, not for prepaid

When I first read this headline of this InformationWeek article, I immediately thought, “oh, prepaid!” After reading the few paragraphs, though, I found that this is not the case. In fact, I don’t like this idea on two levels. Yes, it’s nice that AT&T will sell refurbished iPhones. It’s a great way for customers to save money, and in times like these that’s always a plus. However, it still has that nasty two-year contract attached, making a refurbished iPhone 3G, at a $50 discount, much less palatable.

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Can the iPhone Go Phone?

Ever since the inception of the iPhone last year, we have been following the trends in using it on a prepaid basis. While AT&T GoPhone prepaid service leaves a bit to be desired, it still beats signing a two year contract. The first time around, it seemed fairly straightforward to activate an iPhone on prepaid. Since you were paying full price for the device, all you had to do was get a little creative. As in, enter in a fake social security number so your credit is rejected. This time around, though, with the subsidy, things haven’t been so easy. So can you get the iPhone 3G on prepaid?

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Review of the Virgin Mobile Arc (by UTStarcom)

We’re back today with our second handset review. A few weeks ago, we reviewed the Samsung Slash. Sticking with Virgin Mobile, today we’ll take a look at the Arc by UTStarcom. The phone launched in July, and has since come out in various colors. One poster on Howard Forums noted that a gold version is available at Target. I got the red one.

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iPhone 3G works with Go Phone out of box

When the iPhone 3G was first released, we went over a way to use it on prepaid. This was all just theoretical, though. As far as I understood, no one had really tried it yet — or at least hadn’t tried it and then written about it on the Internet. Thankfully, someone has finally publicized their experience. This comes from Erica at The Unofficial Apple Weblog. She popped a Go Phone SIM card into an iPhone 3G, and voila! No unsightly mess. No big clean-up. In her words:

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Apple readying iPhone Nano…for prepaid?

We’ve talked a bit about manipulating the system to get a prepaid iPhone 3G, and there seems to be at least a fledgling demand for such a device and service. A recent rumor might satisfy some of you, then. This comes from an anonymous “industry source,” so take it with a grain of kosher salt. This comes from All Headline News, citing the London Daily Mail. They not only repeat the old rumor that Apple could be producing an iPhone Nano in time for the holidays, but it could be targeted to prepaid users.

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Do you really want an iPhone on prepaid?

I’m wondering if this would work. PhoneNews.com last week posted a guide on how to get the iPhone 3G for $199, without a contract (emphasis on that last part). There’s some strange math there, including buying a phone on the cheap, and then selling it on eBay for a profit. However, if you’re willing to drop an extra $170, for the early termination fee, you can have the iPhone 3G for $369. At least we think that’s how it works.

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You don’t mess with the iPhone

I’d like to think that if something happens in the prepaid wireless world, we’re pretty quick to it on Prepaid Reviews. After all, that’s the sole point of our existence: to keep you informed on what’s going on with your service. Thing is, many companies like to plan their announcements with regard to what other, bigger companies are doing. And what’s going on today? Even if you’re not a cell junkie, and hell, even if you don’t own a cell phone at all, you certainly know that the iPhone 3G debuts…well, debuted not so long ago. Yes, competitors like BlackBerry aren’t staying as quiet. But for the most part, silence is the word in the industry today.

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Firmware affects unlocked iPhones…again

Apple is at it again, releasing firmware update 1.1.3. And guess what? It’s breaking some unlocks. For example, the highly-touted AnySim won’t unlock the current update, meaning anyone who has used this is stuck. Yeah, they can activate using iTunes and an AT&T account, but they wouldn’t have unlocked it in the first place if that was what they wanted. Oh, and your third party apps are bye-bye for the moment, and according to Gizmodo, have “no possibility of return for now.”

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Australian hackers take to the iPhone

Something we did not know: There is a vast hacker community in Australia. They’ve apparently worked wonders with the Internet, Unix, and TiVo, making them more accessible to the masses. So it only makes sense that they’d make the iPhone one of their projects. Never mind that it’s not available in the country — Apple won’t even ship it there via Internet orders. That hasn’t stopped them. And so Australia is seeing a growing number of iPhones running on their prepaid networks.

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Want five iPhones? You’re in luck

Early in the iPhone’s life, Apple made the decision to limit purchase to two per-person, and excluded all forms of non-trackable payment (i.e., cash). At the time, it was thought that this was to deter mass-unlockers, but Apple maintained that it was to ensure that sufficient stock would be available for the holidays. Now that they’re pretty sure they’ll be fine, the limit jumps by 150 percent. There’s no confirmation of correlation, since Apple representatives didn’t give specific reasons for the increase. But in any case, it’s not bad news.

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T-Mo back to selling iPhones in Germany

It was a good effort on the part of Vodafone, but in the end, T-Mobile is allowed to conduct business as usual with the iPhone. The German court ruled that T-Mobile can attach a contract to the phone, as well as lock the SIM to their network. This likely does away with T-Mobile’s sales of unlocked iPhones, which cost more than double their locked brethren — 399 euros vs. 999 euros.

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Apple, AT&T sued over iPhone feature

Uh oh. You mean someone already invented that? It seems someone already invented everything, including visual voicemail, a major feature of the iPhone — and one that doesn’t work if you unlock it and use it on, say, T-Mobile. Inventor Judah Klausner, though his patent-holding company Klausner Technologies Inc., is claiming patent on the innovation, and is now seeking damages from AT&T and Apple. The estimate: $360 million.

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3G iPhone available in 2008

We figured this would happen, but now AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has made it official: The company, along with Apple, will release a new, faster iPhone next year. This one will function on AT&T’s 3G network, which seems to be growing by the day. This is good news for those who decided to play the waiting game with the iPhone rather than rush out and get one of the first generation models. We wonder, though, how first generation buys will react, though, seeing an upgrade offered a year after the original device was released.

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German MVNO jumping on unlocked iPhones

Something tells us this isn’t going to fly. But for now, German MVNO Debitel is offering a 600 euro rebate to anyone who buys an iPhone from T-Mobile in Germany, but activates it on the Debitel network. Debitel purchases wholesale airtime from T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2, and E-Plus, and resells it as a retailer. This would presumably skyrocket their numbers, since customers would be getting an iPhone for the normal, locked price, but will have the freedom to use it on a different, cheaper network.

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T-Mobile to make iPhone unlocking easier for the rest of us?

So you know how T-Mobile is now selling unlocked iPhones for 999 euros — roughly $1,500? Yeah, well they’re not exactly sitting down and soldering the devices themselves. They’re offering an unlock via iTunes. Apparently, once the customer buys the phone, T-Mobile sends the IMEI to Apple, which within 24 hours will set the phone to unlock when connected to iTunes. Anyone else think that hackers will exploit this to the fullest extent?

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Vodafone exec “could have” halted iPhone sales, didn’t

Today’s development in the T-Mobile/Vodafone/iPhone in Germany case thickens the plot. Apparently, the reason for Vodafone filing suit because they feel that customers should not have to sign two-year contracts in order to purchase the iPhone. Once again, file this under things that would never happen in America. This seems a bit too altruistic. We’re thinking that Vodafone has ulterior motives. Do you?

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Vodafone blocks T-Mobile from selling iPhone in Germany

Pretty big news to start the day if you’re a fan of European telecommunications, or at least of Apple. European carrier Vodafone, partners with Verizon on Verizon Wireless, have obtained a restraining order against Deutche Telekom, which owns T-Mobile. This bars T-Mobile from selling the iPhone in Germany. This is after, as we learned last week, T-Mobile sold 10,000 iPhones on the first day.

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T-Mobile sells 10,000 iPhones in Germany

Just one day into the iPhone’s life in Europe, T-Mobile, the exclusive iPhone supplier in Germany, has announced that they have unloaded 10,000 of the devices. And while they maintain a high supply, the company acknowledges that there is a possibility that they can’t keep up with the impending Christmas demand. Carphone Warehouse was expected to sell a similar number of devices last Friday, the first day of sale in the U.K.

[Market Watch]

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Apple won’t accept your cold, hard cash for an iPhone

Looking to act like a high roller, dropping four hundos (plus a few other bills to cover tax) on an iPhone? You’ll have no such luck. Apple enacted a policy on Thursday — though there are reports that it was enforced prior to that — prohibiting a cash-for-iPhone exchange. The policy also limited iPhone purchases to two per person, down from five previously. And now that there is a credit-only policy, they can enforce the per-person limit. The reason they’re giving: limiting unauthorized resellers. As you know if you’re a regular reader of this site, that’s nothing new.

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One in six iPhones not activated on AT&T

Whoa! This is the first iPhone post all week! Imagine that. We almost went five whole days without mentioning something iPhone related. Oh, it’ll happen some day, we promise. Anyway, the news today is that roughly 250,000 out of the 1.4 million iPhones sold aren’t connected to the AT&T network. Yeah, we knew that there would be some degree of defection from the “exclusive” AT&T deal, but one in six is rather significant. The news comes right from Apple COO Tim Cook. We’re not sure if this means the figure is totally accurate, or if they’re spinning it for some reason or other.

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Is collusion keeping the iPhone out of Canada?

Oh my, we’ve written our fair share about the iPhone. More than our share, even. That’s because it’s more than a phone. It’s a cultural phenomenon. And now that phenomenon is spreading overseas, with the iPhone becoming available in many European countries. Notably absent from that list (though clearly not European) is our neighbor to the north. No, Canada won’t be getting the iPhone any time soon, and no, this is not a vast conspiracy by Apple. It might be, though, the result of collusion between Bell and Rogers, Canada’s foremost telecommunications companies. How can two companies keep such a hyped device out of the country? Simple. By blocking the lifeline on which it feeds: the Internet.

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Sprint launches it’s version of the iPhone

Here’s the thinking of wireless carriers right now: Apple didn’t just create a product everyone wants when they produced the iPhone. They created a type of product that everyone wants. And they’re basing this thinking on the relevant past. Once Apple created the iPod, for example, everyone wanted one. Thing is, the damned iPod was expensive. So other companies, thinking that people just wanted an MP3 player, created similar devices that sold at a cheaper price. And they found moderate success. So this is where Sprint’s new offering comes from.

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Survey says: Alltel, T-Mobile, Palm biggest iPhone victims

When one company gains customers, it’s usually at the cost of others, right? True, there are always new entrants, but when you’re seeing a significant number of new customers — as AT&T did with the iPhone — they’re bound to be coming from other service providers. After all, the iPhone isn’t exactly what most people get as their first cell phone. A recent survey shows that the rich continued to get richer, as T-Mobile and Alltel saw the greatest customer loss to the iPhone. Smart phone maker Palm, predictably, also saw losses in the face of iPhone competition.

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Third party apps for the iPhone?

So it looks like Apple might be succumbing to pressure bought on by the media and consumers, allowing third party application development for the iPhone. It’s just a rumor at this point, but it would make sense. They’re coming under a lot of fire for crippling unlocked phones, so one way to appease that crowd is to allow them their user-developed applications. Of course, there’s a catch — there’s always a catch.

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Bricked iPhones up and running…for now

First we hear that a class action suit is being filed over Apple bricking hacked iPhones. Now we’re hearing that those lovable hackers are back at it, and have found a way to restore bricked iPhones. So now you can go back to running your third-party applications and — maybe — using it on T-Mobile’s network (or overseas). We’re sure this will have little effect on the lawsuit; people still had to spend valuable time to restore the phones that they spent good money on. However, it is a victory for hacked iPhone users everywhere, as they can go back to using their phones as normal. Too bad it doesn’t come without a catch.

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Apple sued over inoperable iPhones

What do you do when a company infringes on your rights? You sue them, of course! So when Apple went and basically disabled unlocked iPhones with a security update, it was inevitable that a suit would be brought against them. After all, people are fully within their legal rights to unlock the phone, and Apple shouldn’t be able to deter people from their rights. The suit was filed out in California, which has the best consumer laws in the nation.

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Griping about third party iPhone apps (or lack thereof)

You know the company line by now: Third party applications will not be allowed on iPhones at this time, because of security fears. To the unread mind, this might seem like an acceptable excuse. As Steve Jobs himself said back in January: “You don’t want your phone to be an open platform. You need it to work when you need it to work. Cingular doesn’t want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up.” Some people still fought and griped, while others contentedly took Jobs’s statement to heart and didn’t think much about how limited their iPhones really are. A post we read in the New York Times Bits blog, however, allowed us to form a better understanding of what’s going on here. The gist: Third party apps exist elsewhere in the mobile world — even AT&T’s mobile world.

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Apple renders unlocked iPhones useless

Don’t say they didn’t warn you. A week ago, Apple released a statement saying that the newest iPhone security update, to be released this past Thursday, might make hacked iPhones completely inoperable. A $600 (or $400, whatever) paperweight, in other words. In one sense, this makes sense: Apple has a relationship with AT&T to protect, and nothing upsets cell carriers more than unlocked phones. In another sense, it was, well, nonsensical. Unlockers were and are fully within their rights to do so, so why would Apple punish them for a perfectly legal act?

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T-Mobile pushing the unlocked iPhone

So you’re walking through your local mall, and you stumble upon a sign that looks something like the image to your right. “We unlock iPhones!” it proclaims — and then you notice that it’s a T-Mobile booth. Well, it’s a T-Mobile authorized reseller, but it’s just as bit as good a T-Mobile owned store. You look down the hallway, and you see an Apple Store. Lightbulb! For $400, you can have an iPhone and not have to deal with the crappiness that is AT&T. But how are they getting away with this?

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iPhone sales increase, but they’re not stealing Verizon customers

“We have the better network.”
“But we have the better phone.”
If you want the gist of AT&T and Verizon’s little battle since the release of the iPhone, there you have it. The companies have continued to release information — sometimes contradictory to each other — that states their service is doing just fine, iPhone or no iPhone. It’s a silly ordeal, really, almost like a bunch of 5th graders competing over who has the better tree house (we totally had the best one when we were in 5th grade). Yesterday, Vodaphone, co-owners of the Verizon network, and AT&T released separate statements regarding the price cut of the iPhone.

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Verizon has iPhone envy

Verizon wireless will not be outdone. So what if their biggest rival has the “it” phone? Verizon will cherry pick figures and pass them off as proof that they’re better, iPhone or not. The latest in this tactic comes from the LG Chocolate’s sales numbers. Verizon claims to have sold 3.4 million of the phones over the past year, which is just shy of Apple’s goal of one million iPhones per quarter. Apple met that goal earlier this month for the third quarter of 2007.

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Apple sells millionth iPhone, readies for spectrum bid

Gadgetry is running rampant. Just 74 days following its June 29th release, the iPhone is now a million strong. Apple says it sold the millionth device this past Sunday, exceeding many expectations of sales. This is especially significant because of the time it took to sell one million iPods, which is a far more universal device than the iPhone. It took nearly two years to get a million of the MP3 players off the shelves, though they probably do that monthly now. Even though this is a weighty accomplishment for Apple, the news from the company doesn’t start there. It appears, though it is completely unconfirmed, that Apple is mulling a bid in the impending 700 MHz spectrum auction to be held this January.

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Speculation: Apple tires of wireless industry

File this under unfounded rumors that we found on a site we enjoy. Tech blog CrunchGear has a piece up that puts a spin on Apple’s announcement of a new line of iPods. They’re thinking that Steve Jobs doesn’t care much for the mobile industry, even though he joined its ranks just over two months ago with the inception of the iPhone. The honeymoon seems over…that is, if you think CrunchGear is correctly reading between the lines.

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iPhone users offered a refund at some point

In the wake of the sudden an unexpected $200 shaving of the iPhone’s price, Apple has announced that it will do right by those who purchased the device prior to the cut. Unfortunately, they’re not going the entire distance, which would be offering the full $200 — in cash — to these loyal customers. Instead, they’re offering a $100 store credit to anyone who purchased an iPhone since it was released on June 29. For those who purchased one within the 14 days prior to the price cut, a full $200 refund will be issued. Our question: Why is Apple differentiating between those who bought the device in early July and those who bought it in late August?

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That was quick: iPhone price cut

The iPhone is barely two months old, and it has already dropped in price. Hooray! No longer will you have to shell out $600 just to get a phone — a phone that has slow as snails Internet access. And it wasn’t a token price drop, either: $200 came off the price tag. They also announced a few other items, including the discontinuation of the 4 GB iPhone. Good move, we say. However, these moves do not come without a catch. They never do.

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Shiny object! iPhone top smart phone of July

We’re filing this one under: “Yeah, that makes total sense.” It appears that the iPhone — get this — outsold all other smart phones in the month of July. Which, incidentally, was essentially the month it was released. Beyond being the top smart phone, it also accounted for 1.8 percent of all mobile phone sales during the month. iSuppli, the company that conducted the survey, claims that this is “a remarkable accomplishment for Apple, considering that July marked the first full month of sales for the iPhone.” We kind of think the opposite — it’s expected to sell the best right after release, with sales gradually waning as the novelty wears off. But that’s just us.

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The legal issues behind unlocking the iPhone

So the iPhone has been unlocked, and there was much rejoicing. However, that feeling of glee has subsided in the days subsequent to George Hotz’s act. You see, telecoms don’t like unlocked phones; they subsidize them, and if they’re unlocked and used on another network, the original telecom loses out — so they say. With both Apple and AT&T fearing a loss of profits from service, they’ve send their legal teams out to quash any other potential iPhone hackers. The question is, do they have any ground to stand on?

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Surely you’ve heard this already: iPhone unlocked

The big news over the weekend was that a college-bound student from Glen Rock, NJ, has managed to unlock the iPhone. Of course, that really only opens it up to T-Mobile, the other major GSM carrier in the US. But it’s still a sign of progress. Many in the industry speculated that it would take far longer for hackers to figure out the unlocking process. But it took George Hotz just two months to figure it out. It requires degrees of both software and hardware prowess to work — though there are reports of a software-only lock being delayed for legal reasons.

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