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Simon Poluter of What Would David Bowie Do takes a look at the future of Apple.

Ever since Steve Jobs' death - and even before it - clouds of disquiet have been cluttering the otherwise perfect blue skies above Silicon Valley.

The world's technology children have been growing increasingly restless and the tea parties to launch new Apple products have become somewhat more rambunctious. Technology's seemingly bullet-proof upstarts, who hooked a generation of consumers on their sugar-rich digital snacks, have left them addicted and in need of greater highs. However, to stretch this analogy painfully further, many Apple addicts have grown agitated and jittery, as the highs have worn off quicker each time something new has come along.

A desperate desire for rabbits from hats

It wasn't that long ago that Jobs launched the iPad and totally disrupted the PC, telecommunications and networking industries simply by performing the by-then time-honoured Apple trick of doing something someone else has already been doing, but doing it better and making it cool.

But that was early 2010. In tech terms, a lifetime ago. It's now the critical final third of 2013. This week's launch of the iPhone 5S may have been - in classic, 1990s technology 'arms race' terms - a step up in terms of horsepower, and the iPhone 5C may be smart tactical marketing - but, to be blunt, so what?

Financial markets have reacted in much the same way, but whereas the Apple fanbase has been disappointed by the lack of sexy new toys, investors have been disappointed by Apple's apparent reluctance to lower its prices to gain entry into the Asian markets they so desperately need to penetrate to beat Samsung and their Android brethren.

Herein, then, lies the frustrations of being a corporate player trying to balance sex appeal with good family finance management. It was only April 2012 that headlines declared Apple, once close to bankruptcy and dismissed as niche, to be the world's most valuable company, worth more than $600 billion.

This was, remember, little more than six months after Jobs' death, an event that brought the turtle-necked deity further adulation, but also sharp concerns about the company his successor, Tim Cook, would be taking over.

Share price worries

By September last year Apple's share price topped $700, but in the year since it has sunk as low as $385, with about $230bn wiped off the company's value, before recovering to the mid $500s. By Wednesday this week, it was at $467.

Working for a company whose share price is in single digits, to be into triple digits would be a luxury. But given Apple's metoric rise from computer manufacturer-of-choice for creatives, to today's consumer electronics behemoth, a stock price topography like that of the last year makes for uncomfortable viewing.

Welcome, then, to life at the very top. Such a scale of financial fortunes is the stuff of Greek gods chucking mountains at each other. Only a company like Apple can reveal successive quarters of eye-watering profits and telephone number-length revenues, and still have investors wiping large chunks off the company's value because of a lack of exciting new baubles for the Christmas tree, as they did last year.

The iPhone 5S and 5C are hardly revolutionary, despite what Tuesday's press event was at pains to point out. Fast phones exist, ranges of coloured phones exist. The 5S, with it's 64-bit capability will either appeal to the speed freaks who simply want the best, or to the gamers happily screwing their eyes on the iPhone's now relatively small screen. Perhaps the enhanced camera might prompt swapouts from existing iPhone 5 and older iPhone 4 owners, or maybe the fingerprint recognition will draw out paranoid urbanites.

There's no question that these new phones are intended to crowbar open Asia for Apple. But they are also Apple's 'new' phones for the rest of the world. How many iPhone 5 owners do you know, since Tuesday, to have said "meh" at the idea of queuing on September 20 to trade up?

In Asia they have a different job convincing people to get in line. Clearly Apple know where they need to plug gaps (it's no coincidence their "special event" on Tuesday was streamed live to journalists in Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo, as well as in Berlin). Apple's brand is notably weaker in Asia, where Samsung is more consistently appreciated. My suspicion has been that the weeks, even months of apparent leaks about iPhone 5 components have been also to whet Asian appetites, collectively the world's largest smartphone market (with China far and away the single biggest).

For those in Apple's strongest geographies (drop a pebble in the pond that is Silicon Valley and watch the ripples permeate outwards) the reaction to Tuesday's hardly-a-surprise announcements has been muted. This audience holds the highest expectations that, when the company stages a press event, it should actually rain gold, and not just gold-coloured phones.

Where next?

Call me greedy, like an unsatisfied child on Christmas morning, but what else? Where was the screen size variation to challenge Samsung? Where's the new iPad and iPad Mini? What else does Apple have in the innovation tank?

One slide during Tuesday's presentation said it all: it was meant to show off the speed evolution of the iPhone, but in the process simply showed how the iPhone evolution cycle has slowed down. Whereas Apple were quick to refresh and update the first iPhone, intervals between later models have grown larger. At the same time, Samsung and the Android fraternity have busied themselves with all manner of devices.

Tuesday's launch may well have been a tactical affair, but the company shouldn't forget - even if it appears to be doing so alarmingly quickly - what built their phenomenal financial position: it was the sprinkling of fairy dust that its former CEO - together with the influence of Sir Jony Ive - applied every time he walked out on stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and elicited genuine gasps of surprise, time after time, of something new, something different and something desirable.

Article originally published here.

baby-apps-main.jpgGillian who writes A Baby on Board, a blog all about London life as a new mum, shares her five favourite iPhone apps that might prove lifesavers to parents of young children

Congratulations, you're going to be a parent! The good news for modern mums and dads is that there are mobile apps to cover every conceivable stage of the childhood journey: from fertility calendars through to baby monitors and school activity planners. And while they can't get up in the middle of the night for you to change a nappy, apps can be helpful, entertaining and just really useful when you have a baby.

So what are the best iPhone phone apps for parents? Here's our top five:

YouTube - free
It seems like a simple option, but YouTube is an absolute parenting savour. You can guarantee that you will be able to find clips of most children's cartoons and programmes that will keep them entertained on long car journeys or when they wake up for the day at 5am. As well as the usual kids TV suspects, there's also a whole host of weirdness that little ones seem to love: from Kinder Surprise opening clips, to the annoyingly catchy Gummi Bear song, and Susan Boyle's first TV audition (my daughter's interesting current favourite).

The Wonder Weeks - £1.49
Not a fan of parenting books in general, and run screaming at the mere mention of Gina Ford? Well, The Wonder Weeks app might be for you. It's a baby development calendar that is
is almost spookily accurate at predicting which weeks your baby is likely to be upset, along with some gentle suggestions as to how you can help them. The app is the handy form of the bestselling book, and includes a progress chart that will tell you at a glance if your child is under a dark cloud (bad) or a sun (good!). No naughty steps are involved.

GoBaby London - £1.49
Described as a 'map app for parents on the go' GoBaby helps London mums and dads find the nearest accessible tube stops and friendly baby-change facilities. Designed and developed by a new mum after she found it difficult to get around the city with a pram, the app lists over 1,000 places including cafes, restaurants, libraries, museums and shops to help you find the nearest baby changing places when you're out and about. There's also a comprehensive guide to step-free London transport stations as well as live transport updates, to help make your journey as tear-free as it can be when you have a baby on board.

BBC iPlayer - free
Parents, what are the chances that you'll actually get to sit down to watch TV in the evening, exactly when you want to? In all probability you will plan to watch a programme, then the baby will wake up and you will miss it. The mobile version of BBC's iPlayer means you will be able to play TV catch-up, in your own time. wherever you are - in bed, walking round the house, or trapped on the sofa under a sleeping child.

Twitter - free
Again, a simple and seemingly obvious app suggestion. But parenting can be confusing, amusingly frustrating, and at times, lonely. And Twitter is a fantastic source of advice, solace and entertainment. It's a simple and instant way of reaching out and talking to other parents, asking for opinions and first-hand recommendations on everything from nappy cream to the best white noise app. If you're up in the night at 2am you can guarantee that someone else will be too, and right there to chat to.

What's been your must-have parenting app? Leave a comment and let us know.

touchid_hero.jpgSo there you have it - a pair of new iPhones. What do you think? Did they float your boat? Are you going to be ready to upgrade in a week or so's time?

Here then is what some industry figures have had to say about the products..

Tony Cripps, principal device analyst at Ovum think that overall it was pretty good day for Apple. He is especially taken with the iPhone 5S.

"Clearly there's little need for gimmicks in the flagship 5S, in a launch replete with significant spec upgrades over and beyond the usual screen improvements. Apple, is certainly offering meaningful innovation here. Moving to a 64-bit architecture means Apple can genuinely claim to have brought something new to the smartphone party. It should certainly help the company further cement its lead as a mobile gaming platform and will give the Android fraternity something to think about in a space whose significance is sometimes downplayed beyond the gaming world."

Cripps highlights the new sensors which work even when the main processor isn't activated is a very clever move

"Ingratiating itself to the burgeoning community of health and fitness application developers with new sensors is also a good move by Apple at a time when consumer and professional interest in those categories are booming."

As for the iPhone 5C he suggested that

"Anyone expecting Apple to come truly down market with the iPhone 5C was fooling themselves. "It does though indicate an acceptance that the consumers in the upper reaches of the smartphone mid-market are increasingly looking to distinctive devices of their own, and are not happy to accept cast offs or dumbed-down versions of former flagships. Colour variations and a clear design of its own is a good way to do this and clearly Apple isn't too proud to follow its smartphone rivals in using this tactic."

Scott Hooton, Chief Commercial Officer at Phones 4u is, as you would expect pretty excited by the new releases:

"We're expecting some very happy customers after today's Apple announcement that a more affordable version of the new iPhone, the iPhone 5c, will be available alongside the iPhone 5s. Our research has shown that there is a strong appetite for both options - with 27 per cent of people indicating an interest in getting their hands on a lower cost iPhone and 33 per cent more inclined to buy a premium version."

Hooton believes that Apple has hit the two main drivers which encourage people to upgrade.

"Our research has also shown that the two main drivers for customers considering purchasing the new iPhone are the highly-anticipated new operating system (59 per cent) and a brand new design (38 per cent) so the fact that both of these have been confirmed today, is sure to excite those who have been waiting eagerly for the newest addition to the iPhone range".

Lynnette Prigmore, Head of Product at accessory specialist Proporta also welcomes the new phones.

"We're delighted to meet the iPhone 5C and its many colours, as well as giving a nod to Apple for recognising its customers' need for personalisation with an array of silicone cases. We're pleased to offer even more in the way of accessories, including a clear Hard Shell to show of those lovely colours, which will be available tomorrow morning from proporta.co.uk"

She adds

"With any new Apple model, it's a race against the clock for accessories manufactures such as ourselves, and the timing of these new iPhone models will definitely see us wanting to have cases and screen protectors in stores as soon as possible. Our new collections from Proporta and our branded partners such as Ted Baker, Barbour, Joules, Quiksilver, Naf Naf, Roxy and the newly signed, V&A Museum, will be available to pre-order from our website first thing, with more designs to follow in the coming weeks."

Serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis was quick to offer his opinions. He is impressed by the iPhone 5C but thinks Apple has left it late to launch it

"Apple released a cutting-edge $99 smartphone today (under 2-year contract, of course) to compete with the cornucopia of Android phones in that price range. Why? Two words: Market. Share. Android is crushing iOS on activations (i.e. new devices being turned on), and it's because all the affluent folks out there have already bought smartphones. The only market left is the bottom half, and they're not going to pay Apple's $200-300 premium over an Android phone. Marketshare has a cascading effect, because the person with the most market share is the one who gets the App first. That running order was Apple then Android and maybe Windows 8 or Blackberry. Last year advice started to come out from VCs to start on Android and get a lot of users, then release an iOS version. That scared Apple into doing this. However, they should have never let it come to this. All the revenue in the bank they have from only selling up market products isn't worth losing their marketshare lead. Now they are playing catch up--a huge blunder. They should have had the 5C option out two years ago. Then they would have 75% of the market."

Calacanis adds that the key announcement of the day was the fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5S - TouchID.

"TouchID is a huge step for Apple because it is a major piece of two huge businesses: identity and payments. Today's announcement is a shot across the bow of Facebook's authentication as well as PayPal/Visa/American Express. In the future you will not authenticate into a new game or SaaS product with your Google or Facebook IDs, you'll authenticate with the more powerful TouchID from Apple. When that software or App wants to bill you, it will hit your credit card on file with Apple. So, imagine you use Fandango to buy movie tickets, well, you'll just put your thumb on the scanner and the tickets are bought. Same with Fab or Groupon flash sales. This is the top of the iceberg for Apple, and it's the announcement of the day."

The Apple iPhone 5C UK pricing and availability

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The iPhone 5c comes in blue, green, pink, yellow and white and will be available in the UK for a suggested retail price of £469 (£390.83 ex VAT) for the 16GB model and £549 (£457.50 ex VAT) for the 32GB model.

The iPhone 5c will be available from the Apple Online Store, Apple's retail stores, select carriers and select Apple Authorised Resellers.

iPhone 5c cases will be available in blue, green, pink, yellow, black and white for a suggested retail price of £25 (£20.83 ex VAT) through the Apple Online Store, Apple's retail stores and select Apple Authorised Resellers.

The iPhone 5c will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK on Friday, September 20, and customers can pre-order their iPhone 5c beginning Friday, September 13.

Apple iPhone 5S UK pricing and availability

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Just in from Apple

The iPhone 5s comes in gold, silver or Space Grey, and will be available in the UK for a suggested retail price of £549 (£457.50 ex VAT) for the 16GB model and £629 (£524.17 ex VAT) for the 32GB model and £709 (£590.83 ex VAT) for the 64GB model.

iPhone 5s cases will be available in beige, black, blue, brown, yellow and (RED) for a suggested retail price of £35 (£29.17 ex VAT) through the Apple Online Store, Apple's retail stores and select Authorised Apple Resellers.

The iPhone 5s will be available in the UK on Friday, September 20.

A new iPhone 4S 8GB model will also be available for £349 (£290.83 ex VAT). iOS 7 will be available as a free software update starting on Wednesday, September 18 for iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and iPod touch (fifth generation). Some features may not be available on all products.

iPhone5c-first.jpgThe new iPhone 5C will launch in blue, white, pink, yellow, and green with colour throughout the product. The back and sides is made from a single part, and the front is one glass multitouch surface and seams, or part lines, or joins are not visible.

It has a 4-inch Retina display, integrated touch, full sRGB standard, and widescreen.

Buyers can also add a silicone case for $29 to give the phone a two tone effect.

According to Tim Cook it is

Made of a hard-coated polycarbonate. Inside it's build with a steel-reinforced structure, provides incredible rigidity and works as part of the antenna.

The front side has a new FaceTime HD camera that's even better in low-light, bigger pixels, better backside illumination.

The phone is powered by an A6 chip and console-level graphics. It has a slightly larger battery than the iPhone 5 and features an 8MP iSight camera, backside illumination, and IR filter.

iPhone 5C supports more network bands than any phone Apple has made and has up to 100Mbps download and Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0.

The 16GB configuration retails at $99 or 32GB at $199 (with two-year contract).

The six colors of cases are $29 each.

iPhone5s-firstpic.jpgJony Ive has called the iPhone 5S the most refined phone, not just rampant technology for technology's sake.

Well here then are the basics

Casing - It is available in 3 metal finishes: "silver, gold and "space grey".

Screen - Four inch Full HD - no suprises there. Apple was hardly going to increase the size.

Processor - Dual-core A7 64 bit chip (primed to make the most out of processor hungry games like Infinity Blade III) Apple is promising "A level of graphics performance that you've never before seen on a mobile device." Plus a new part called the M7 that is a Motion coprocessor. It akes advantage of all the sensors and continuously measures the data coming from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass without having to wake up the A7. Could enable a new generation of fitness apps.

Camera - New five-element Apple-designed lens, larger f/2.2 aperture plus a new sensor with a 15% larger active area. New flash that features two LEDs, one a cooler white one and another a warmer one. Also enhanced automatic optimisation of white balance, auto exposure etc. There's also a smart burst mode that means you can in 2 seconds take 20 photos. It also captures HD video at 720p at 120fps and has a slow mo option too.

Fingerprint scanner - Touch ID, so no more need for a password, you just use your finger or even fingers.The system is incoporated into the Home button. You can use your finger to authenticate into your Apple ID.

Battery - It will offer 10 hours of 3G talk time, 10 hours of LTE browsing, 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, up to 250 hours of standby.

iOS7 - Big improvements to Siri, it can also now draw on information from wikipedia, inline web search, and great photo search as well. New ringtones and alert options, enhancements to the camera app too. Instead of a flat Camera Roll, your photos can be automatically grouped by moments based on time and location. Moments are grouped by collections, and collections become years, and you can see them all as thumbnails. iTunes Radio now incoporated into the OS. iOS7 is coming on September 18th

Prices - 16GB at $199; 32GB at $299; and 64GB at $399, all with two-year contract.

When Apple appointed Tim Cook s CEO they were giving the job to someone who was seen as a safe pair of hands. A man who could steer the company through the choppy water post the sad death of Steve Jobs and look to the future.

Tonight I think will be all about consolidation and the real beginning of Tim Cook's Apple. The company hasn't had the best 2013 with the debacle over the maps and the rumours of delayed launches. Yet here we are in September and the company has clearly got some big and possibly good news for us tonight.

Expectations have been managed too.No one is predicting anything amazing this evening, Instead what we will get is a consolidation of the main iPhone brand in the 5S and a new option for emerging markets and those with lower spending power in the 5C.

Apple tonight will walk a tightrope. It will do just enough to convince everyone that it is keeping pace with Samsung and Sony while at the same time introducing a new range that will significantly widen its appeal.

I think the financial institutions in the US have already made their call on this one. If the evening pans out pretty much as we expect with the prices and specs for both phones still pegged pretty high not to sully the brand - but for the 5C cheap enough to grow its range (especially with young women!) the US stocks will remain steady.

It is interesting that Apple's stock has slowly risen in the last few weeks.Obviously nowhere near its peak of around a year ago, but enough to steady the ship. No one is expecting any fireworks tonight or even a lacklustre parade of new products. So the jury has already made its mind up.

The 5S will keep a few more of the faithful on board while the 5C will encourage a few Android owners to swap brands.

And if that one last thing appears then who knows what might happen.

For Tim Cook and his team the future of Apple is all about 2014. Fail to innovate then and they will pay the price. But for tonight it is steady as she goes.

1 We know you love the iPhone 5, but we know you want it with a much bigger screen so the 5S now has a whopping five inch display.

2 The iPhone 5C will retail for much less than other iPhones, and won't in any way cost the same as an iPhone 4

3 One more thing - here's the Apple iWatch

4 And the new iPhone 5S now touts the best smartphone camera available

5 With the 5S's Full HD screen and faster processor we are playing catch up

And a bonus depending on how the evening goes

6 Our share price has once again hit new heights

It seems as if we know what is coming tomorrow from Apple - an enhanced version of the iPhone (the 5S?) and a budget version of the iPhone (5C). So we are now hearing from industry analysts as they try to highlight what the key issues facing the brand are.

Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at Ovum, has just published his thoughts and they make very interesting reading.

Dawson mainly focuses on where Apple should position the budget 5C. He says that the trick is to make it cheap enough so that it can attract non-Apple buyers, especially in emerging markets like China, but not to make it too cheap to tarnish the premium reputation of the brand. Also that the new 5C needs to be nowhere near as exciting as the 5S.

He says

"The cheaper iPhone is critical for expanding the addressable market, because many people in China and elsewhere simply can't afford to buy a current generation iPhone, especially when it's not subsidized. However, the key risk for Apple in launching a cheaper iPhone is that it may cannibalize sales of the high-end phone. That would exacerbate a problem Apple's had for the last few quarters, as average selling prices for iPhones have fallen from $608 to $581 in the past year. That in turn squeezes margins, and it's only likely to get worse with a cheaper iPhone. The trick is for Apple to position a cheaper device so that it's attractive for those that haven't been able to afford an iPhone before, but is missing enough key features for the new flagship iPhone to remain compelling."

Dawson also believes that Apple needs "demonstrate that it can maintain momentum in overall sales of iPhones, and to do so in a way which won't drive down margins significantly."

He points to the way in which the iPhone growth rate as slowed year on year, largely because of Apple's increased market penetration.

He concludes by saying

"All of this, along with similar trends in the iPad space driven by the launch of the iPad Mini, increase the pressure on Apple to launch a new line of products to keep overall growth going. We're not going to see such a product at the iPhone event, but Apple needs to demonstrate in the coming months that it has other product lines which can start to make up for slowing growth and falling margins in iPhone and iPad. That's a tall order, because both the iPhone and iPad generate $400-600 in revenue per unit, and sell tens of millions per quarter. A smart watch or even a revamped Apple TV are unlikely to generate anything close to those sorts of numbers, and that's a problem Apple will have to work hard to overcome."

timcook.jpg roy-hodgson.jpgIn the oddest of coincidences tomorrow night is a very big one for two high profile, and mildly controversial individuals, for while Roy Hodgson will be delivering his team talk to an England squad in a make or break World Cup game against the Ukrainians, Tim Cook will be overseeing the launch of two very important new Apple products.

The parallels between the position of the two men are pretty scary - here's why.

1 Both were appointed to be a safe pair of hands - Cook, while not a total surprise, wasn't exactly seen as a bold or innovative appointment, but rather a safe-ish pair of hands. The same is true for Roy Hodgson. Remember the whole country seemed to want the England job to go to Harry Redknapp. I think it is fair to say that neither man has enjoyed the full support of the media either.

I also think that expectations of what both men will achieve is pretty low. No one expects Cook to be another Steve Jobs, while you can get very good odds on Hodgson's England winning the World Cup.

2 Both have been accused of lacking vision
- Some pundits think that the lack of innovation has slowed for Apple since Cook took the reins, while Hodgson's England have been accused of being a tad workmanlike.

3 Tomorrow night is a make or break moment - If the smartphones fail to impress the critics and Apple's share prices plummet, the knives could be out for Cook. Meanwhile if England lose in the Ukraine World Cup qualification will look unlikely and Hodgson's tenure as England manager could be entering the home straight.

4 But both could pull it out of the fire - If things go OK for Cook tomorrow and the press aren't too dismissive of the new handsets he might be able to pull it out of the fire by launching a revolutionary iPhone 6 and iWatch next year. Similarly a draw or even a win for Woy and he will get his shot at greatness as England take on the best of the World in Brazil next summer.

Personally I think both men will get through tomorrow ok-ish (some OK stuff from Apple with the odd negative murmur and a draw for England) - the real pressure will be then on them delivering next year.

Any more parallels you can think of? And no there's no way you can compare Fabio Capello with Steve Jobs!

iphone-5s-marketing.jpg

Tomorrow is of course the big day when England take on the Ukraine for a place in the World Cup next year. Oh,and a small US company called Apple also happens to be hosting an event in Berlin too.

As we all know the event will see Apple unveil a pair of new phones- the iPhone 5S and the budget iPhone 5C.

So what can we expect from the 5S. Well here's yet another leak which I think might just be not too far from the actual specs.

The big changes are that the button's squared marking has been replaced by a circular one. So does this mean the inclusion of the long-rumoured fingerprint scanner? It would seem so.

And what about the camera - surely Apple will respond to recent innovations from Samsung and Sony by bumping up its camera specs and maybe offering a snapper with with a dual LED flash and f/2.0 aperture that's also capable of recording 120fps 1080p video.

Maybe too we will get improved battery life and a faster processor. But the big questions is will Apple follow its rivals and deliver a bigger screen or stick with a four inch display.

Excited about that heavily rumoured gold/champagne iPhone 5? Well if you are one issue that you are probably mulling over is 'whether your new shiny case will scratch. After all the black iPhone 5 is notorious for showing marks.

Best check out this video then where Jailbreak Nation has got hold of a gold prototype case and smeared it with cat food and left at the mercy of a groups of kittens tried to mark it with a knife.

If that is the real case it doesn't seem to have come out too badly does it. Shame they couldn't afford the kittens though.

Will our obsession with LEGO ever end? Probably not, and to prove the point Belkin has announced the availability of the first officially licensed LEGO® Builder Case that is a certified LEGO® brick that you can use to create a case for your iPhone 5 or fifth gen iPod. Basically there is an integrated LEGO® baseplate, you and your imagination do the rest. The baseplate is made by LEGO and is integrated into the case in way that is durable and tough.

There's also a semi-flexible outer frame for shock-absorption, button protection, and unobstructed access to audio ports and speaker

"At LEGO® we strive to build imagination into everyday life and the partnership with Belkin allows us to do that: offering a functional product that also serves as a stage for expression for anyone embracing a mobile lifestyle," said Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, Chief Executive Officer of the LEGO® Group.

The kit starts at £24.99 for the iPhone 5 and £19.99 for the iPod.

lego-belkin.jpg

There are shed loads of rumours now about the potential launch of a budget iPhone - which has become known among bloggers as the iPhone 5C.

Now however an analyst has stuck his neck out and not only given the 5C a price but also a launch date.

KGI analyst Ming-chi Kuo says that the iPhone will cost between £230 and £320 for the SIM free model. It is at the upper end of that scale then it doesn't really qualify for a mid range handset. It would still be a pretty much a premium phone.

Kuo said that the "iPhone 5C to replace iPhone 5, while iPhone 4S goes on. We've learned that the iPhone 5 line will be terminated from 4Q13, while the iPhone 4S line will carry on. From this, we infer that iPhone 5C is launched to replace iPhone 5. In other words, the 5C model will be positioned as midrange. We forecast its retail price to be US$400-$500 (£230-£320).

Kuo also thinks that the new mobile will debut in China first with the rest of the world following later in the year. He suggest that China will get the handset in October and that the rest of the world including the UK will see it later in Q4 - which in theory means late October/early November.

Meanwhile 9to5 Mac which broke the Kuo story is also saying that some sources think that the new Apple iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C will be ion the stores in late September.

It says

Both of Apple's next-generation iPhones will rollout in Japan on Friday, September 20th, according to a report from Nikkei. With the "iPhone 5S" and plastic iPhone scheduled to be introduced at a September 10th media event, a September 20th launch is not a bit surprising based on past history.

More here.


September 10th - get that in your diary now, for it seems pretty certain that it will be the day that Apple unveils its next iPhone.

It has been rumoured as the big day and now US blog All Things D is saying that a very reliable source has confirmed it.

The day will be a huge one in Apple's history with the iPhone under attack not just from Samsung, but also increasingly from Sony too, the company will need to pull something pretty special out of the bag.

The rumours are that it will debut the iPhone 5S which may or may not feature a fingerprint sensor and an enhanced camera. There are even rumours that Apple will increase the size of the screen to keep up with the current Phablet trends.

Also heavily rumoured is a budget version of the iPhone which may or may not be called the iPhone 5C, it is expected to offer fewer features than the iPhone 5 and come with a plastic casing and a cheaper price tag.

Longer shots include the unveiling of an Apple smartwatch, some news about a TV, and maybe even the Apple iPhone 6.

We'll just have to wait and see.

We have seen shed loads of Apple iPhone 6 - for want of a better word - imaginations, but these from artists Michael Shanks, Ali Rahmoun and Sebastian Scheer are among the best we have ever seen.

They have all been posted on new-ish art/image site Dribbble which is attracting a lot of attention at the moment.

The big difference here, in addition to the wrap round screen, is the complete lack of a physcial buttons on the front - which may or many not work.

Pretty ain't they?

iPhone5offer.jpgOne key market sector where Apple is quite possibly facing tough competition recently is in the student market. Lots of youngsters quite possibly can't afford both a tablet and phone so you can see the appeal of Phablet models like the Samsung Galaxy Note.

The more cash-strapped students are probably just opting for cheaper smartphones.

Anyhow in a bid to tempt more students into buying the iPhone 5 (and cynics might say reducing the backlog before the 5S lands in the autumn) Apple is offering £35 of apps free with each purchase.

And you don't have to spend it on boring educational stuff too it covers games, music, books and more. You get a similar coupon if you buy an iPad and £70 worth of stuff if you invest in a Mac.

To qualify you must be a university student, a student accepted to a university, a parent buying for a university student or a faculty or staff member at any level.

More details here.

iPhone5sback.jpgSo you are Apple and are working on the iPhone 5S. Yet that screen that you lined up - the four inch one that was also on the iPhone 5 - now looks a little undernourished compared with the huge screen mobiles churned out by Samsung and Sony?

What can you do?

Well according to Cnet this morning Apple may be about to do something radical and offer a larger screen size - 4.3inches - on the 5s than the four inch one on the five.

Cnet quotes a variety of sources which say that this is the main reason why the release of the iPhone looks like it might be delayed.

"[Apple] halted processor production for [the] iPhone 5S in May," according to BrightWire news. That initial iPhone 5S design had a 4-inch screen.

The 5S was expected to hit the market in September or October but has been pushed back to the end of the year, both reports said.

The report also says that the budget iPhones will be issued in October.

So what do you think? Would it not be more sensible to speed up the release of the iPhone 6 with a larger (approaching five inch) screen?

colourful iPhones.jpgSo, what might be cunning plan for the launch of the budget iPhone. How about offer the mobile in five colours with vintage iMac style plastic cases? These look great and kind of remind me of the original coloured iPod minis too.

Well, there's no evidence that this is what Apple is planning, but that hasn't stopped images like this landing on Twitter and websites. This was created by @sonnydickson and looks great (give him a job Cupertino).

What do you think? Is it time for Apple to splash the colour on the iPhone?

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