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Thumbnail image for man using iphone.jpgAre the young deserting Apple? Thats the question that's being posed by mobile phone comparison site, www.mobilephonechecker.co.uk. It has carried out a study aimed at uncovering the age of the average iPhone in the UK and found out that the average age of an iPhone owner has risen by a decade in the last two years.

The study polled a group of 2,083 adult iPhone owners aged 18-65 and asked them to state when they had purchased their first iPhone handset.

A surprisingly high 37% had purchased their first iPhone handset in the past 6 months; with the average age of respondents who'd purchased their phone in the past 6 months revealed to be '34.4 years.'

Contrast this with the 52% of respondents who had been an iPhone owner for two years or more, where the average age of making their purchase was '24.8 years.

Interestingly when asked if they were planning on extending their iPhone contracts after their existing ones had expired, 66% of people aged 35 and over said 'yes'; while just 42% of those aged 18-34 said the same.

Of the younger group 42% of respondents said they were going to swap the iPhone for a Samsung while 26%, claimed 'It's too expensive to keep up the payments on my iPhone contract.'

Adam Cable, Director of MobilePhoneChecker.co.uk, made the following comments on the results of the study:

"I am not particularly surprised at the rise in the average age of the iPhone owner over the past two years. I have even noticed that my parents and many of their friends are now proud iPhone owners, obsessed with downloading iTunes and apps, and engaging in social media more than ever."

"This, along with the expense of keeping an iPhone, may explain why many of the younger iPhone owners polled in our study are considering switching to another make of mobile phone once their current contracts run out, despite the recent announcements surrounding the release of the more economical upcoming iPhone 5C."

So what do you think?

I am guessing that this survey was undertaken before the launch of the Apple iPhone 5S and 5C, which will certainly attract some younger buyers. It will be interesting to monitor those iPhone sales figures in the next few months.

Originally published on Shiny Shiny

apple_tv.jpegLacking one of Steve Jobs' trademark "one more thing" announcements at last night's iPhone 5S reveal, Apple may still have one more goody tucked up its sleeve. AllThingsD is reporting that the Apple TV set-top box will be getting a software refresh next week, adding some useful extra functionality in the process.

Set to land on September 18 alongside the iOS 7 mobile update for iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S, AllThingsD's Peter Kafka highlights new streaming features coming to the Apple TV.

"The one new feature I'm aware of is a tweak to Apple's Airplay system," writes Kafka.

"The new software will allow people who have purchased content from Apple's iTunes store to play that stuff on other people's TVs, via its Airplay system. The key part is that they will be able to tell an Apple TV box they don't own to stream the media they do own, directly from the cloud."

Free streaming of your iTunes content to a pal's Apple TV? Sounds like a worthy update to us. The current method for beaming your iTunes movies to another person's Apple TV box requires you first download the movie to an iPhone or iPad, and then beam it from the mobile device to the box. This new cloud-based method would save plenty of hassle, adding flexibility to a user's iTunes catalogue, while still offering Apple some DRM protection through cloud-based streaming.

No official word on this from Apple yet, but we'll keep you posted if it does eventually prove to be true.

iphone-5s-camera.jpg"It's much more efficient to teach iPhone to take great photos than it is to teach millions of people to be expert photographers," reads the Apple iPhone 5S press blurb, conjuring an image of a terrifying future in which a sentient iPhone insists on taking the perfect selfie of you against your will.

While we haven't quite reached that photographic dystopia just yet, Apple is certainly waxing lyrical on the quality of the snaps that can be taken with the new iPhone 5S. And even if the rest of the iPhone 5S refresh underwhelms, there's no denying that the iSight camera improvements sound worthy.
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While sticking with an 8MP sensor, Apple has instead chosen to boost the size of the sensor itself rather than up the megapixel count. Each sensor node now measures 1.5 microns, allowing for enhanced detail in colour depth and range.
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Using a new f/2.2 lens rather than the iPhone 5's f/2.4 lens, images will be able to retain more detail and contrast in bright lighting conditions too, while a dual flash with both a warm amber light and cool white light will allow for balanced snaps when images require a more graded light range. If you're shooting action-packed photos, a new auto image stabilisation system (taking multiple shots at once and combining them to deliver the sharpest, most vivid final shot) should ensure subjects moving at high speed still look their best.

But let the photos speak for themselves. Scroll down for a handful more images from the iPhone 5S camera. They're straight from Apple, so may be touched up a tad, but they give a good impression of what to expect.

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21 iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C cases and covers

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You've just shelled out a couple of hundred quid on an iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C pre-order and the thought of your shiny new smartphone slipping through your buttery fingers sends a chill through your heart. But not to worry! Smartphone case retailers are already clamouring to get your new Apple wonder-phone kitted out, with Proporta already offering 21 iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C cases and covers.

"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," said Proporta's Lynnette Prigmore.

Click below to check out designs from the likes of Ted Baker and the V&A Museum.

iPhone-5-official-02.pngSay goodbye to the iPhone 5, with last year's flagship smartphone from Apple set to be discontinued in the wake of the newly-unveiled iPhone 5S.

To my memory, that's the shortest shelf-life of any iPhone to date. But it's hardly surprising; not only did Apple reveal a new flagship handset tonight, but also a cheaper smartphone in the form of the iPhone 5C. Occupying the cheaper price point that the iPhone 5 would have slipped down into, it also sports similar specs to last year's model, while giving Apple an all-new colourful product to promote at the same time. The iPhone 4 will now also be discontinued, unsurprisingly.

However, the iPhone 4S lives on! For those looking to get in on the Apple-action super cheap, the 8GB iPhone 4S will now become the free option on contracts.

iphone-5s-r-3.jpgApple have lifted the covers off the iPhone 5S, the successor to the iPhone 5 and the premium option over the newly-revealed cheaper iPhone 5C.

The headlining feature is the smartphone's new (and long-rumoured) fingerprint scanner, which Apple calls Touch ID. It's 170 microns thin and sits within the Home button, scanning your sub-epidermal skin layers with a definition up to 500ppi.

Reading in any orientation, it can be used to unlock your phone or used instead of an iTunes password when making purchases. Made from sapphire, it should be safe from scratches which could otherwise affect its readings. All fingerprint scans are encrypted, and "secured inside a secure enclave", for tinfoil-hat wearers worried about the prints falling into the wrong hands.
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Sporting the brand new A7 processor, Apple claim the chipset inside the iPhone 5S is the first 64-bit chip available in a smartphone, with the new iOS 7 operating system and all native apps now optimised for 64-bit performance. It boasts over 1 billion transistors.

Overall, the A7 chip will give a 40x boost to CPU performance, with a 56x leap in graphics performance. Apple showed off the graphically demanding Infinity Blade 3 to hammer home the point. OpenGL ES 3.0 will also be supported by the chip.

The iPhone 5S will also sport the M7 chip, a new addition to the iPhone line that continuously measures motion data through the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass, and will enable all-new experiences in health and fitness apps.
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In terms of camera specs, the iPhone 5S will sport an 8MP sensor, with redesigned five-element Apple-designed lens with an F2.2 aperture. The sensor has a 15% larger active area, packing in pixel 1.5 microns, going for the "bigger pixels is better than more pixels" approach that HTC took in the HTC One's Ultrapixel camera system. A dual LED flash system (one LED being cool white, the other a warm amber), also features. When combined in over 1,000 variations, the flash can dish out just the right colour balance straight off the bat. Auto image stabilisation will also feature, as will a new 10 fps burst shooting mode. Slow motion shooting at 720p / 120fps will also be supported for the first time.

Though looking almost identical to the iPhone 5, it will be available in three different colours - silver, "space grey" and gold, just as was rumoured. The chassis will be made of a high-grade aluminium - far more durable than the glass-backed days of the iPhone 4 and 4S.

Battery life for the iPhone 5S is said to be 10 hours of 3G talk time, 8 hours of 3G web browsing, 10 hours of LTE or Wi-FI browsing, and a whopping 250 hours of standby.
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In terms of pricing, you're looking at $199 for the 16GB version, $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB daddy. UK pricing is £549 for the 16GB model, £629 for the 32GB model and £709 for the 64GB version. New cases will also be available at $39 a go, £35 in the UK.

The phone will be hitting stores on September 20. No pre-order available this time around, so better dust off your queuing shoes.

iphone-5c-official-top.jpgApple have finally confirmed the long-rumoured iPhone 5C handset. It's set to be the cheap option in the iPhone tonight, sitting below the new top-tier iPhone 5S handset.

Following months of rumours and analyst speculation, the new entry to the iPhone line has been confirmed to come in a number of colours, looking almost identical to the many leaks that have hit the web over the past few weeks.

The back and sides of the iPhone 5C are made from a single piece of hard-coated polycarbonate plastic, with white, blue, green, red, and yellow colored cases available. Apple's Phil Shiller claims you "won't see seams, or part lines, or joins." Despite being Apple's "budget" offering, the handset looked very neat, similar in style to Nokia's Lumia line-up.
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Very similar also to the iPhone 5, the handset features a 4-inch Retina display, and is powered by the A6 processor. It also shares the iPhone 5's 8MP camera, with an improved FaceTime HD camera around the front. The handset will also support "more LTE bands" than any rival smartphone. It will come running the new iOS 7 operating system

Custom cases made from a "soft-feel" silicone rubber will also be available, offering an additional colour option to mix-and-match on the handset, and priced at $29 a pop.

The iPhone 5C will start at $99 for the 16GB model, rising to $199 for the 32GB model, both based on two-year contracts. SIM-free and off contract in the UK, that'll be £469 for the 16GB model and £549 for the 32GB version, which, sadly, will unlikely be the sort of saving that British consumers were hoping for.

Pre-orders for the handset open on September 13, with the phone hitting stores on September 20.

apple-ios-7-apps.jpgApple have announced that the iOS 7 mobile operating system update will be landing on September 18 2013, hitting the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S as well as the latest handsets set to be revealed tonight.

First announced back in June, iOS 7 is a major re-working for the operating system, visually looking cleaner and more "flat", in line with the new software head Jony Ive's design ethos.

Features include redesigned native apps and icons, tile-based multi-tasking, iTunes radio and AirDrop for local file sharing over Wi-Fi.

New additions revealed today include a new male voice for Siri in the US and other select territories, as well as remixed ringtones alongside brand new tones.

apple-ios-7-apps-2.jpgApple's iPhone 5S keynote kicked off in traditional fashion, with CEO Tim Cook speaking about the companies current business and retail details.

And Cook had a big stat to drop at the start of the event - by the end of September 2013, Apple will have sold their 700 millionth iOS device.

In terms of retail, Cook said the company would be "turning [the] focus back home", revealing a new architecturally astonishing store in Stanford, California, with an attractive glass-fronted design.

Cook also spoke of the iTunes Festival currently taking place in London, with 30 world-class acts playing over 30 nights in the capital. Streaming to over 100 countries, over 20 million entered the lottery for free tickets.

We'll have more from tonight's launch event as the evening progresses, so keep checking back for more.

Could this be the cheap and cheerful iPhone 5C, breaking cover on video ahead of tonight's expected official unvieling?

Spotted by Phone Arena over on the Youku Chinese video hosting site, the 15 second clip shows a handset seemingly running Apple's iOS 7 operating system, in an iPhone-sized handset that looks to be cased in baby-blue plastic.

The user swipes through some iPhone homescreens before opening up the Safari browser, and then that's your lot. No multi-angle view, no close-ups.

Sure, it looks like the real-deal - the cheap handset is said to be cased in colourful plastic, teased by Apple itself with tonight's event invite tagline stating to expect something to "brighten everyone's day".

But then, when you've got the latest, most keenly anticipated Apple product of the last 12 months sitting opposite you, in full working order, you manage only to grab a fifteen second clip? Fishy, right? It's almost as if the poster didn't want us to get a good look at the device. Like it's a fake or something, a modified iPhone 5 perhaps?.

Hmm. Well, with only a few hours to go until Apple open their toybox themselves, we'll soon know for sure what's hitting their stores. Check back at 6pm BST for all the launch day details.

TouchID.jpgWe're just hours away now from the expected launch of the iPhone 5S (and possibly the cheaper iPhone 5C), and the leaks keep coming. Now the long-rumoured fingerprint scanner has been leaked yet again, and this time we have a name for it.

According to marketing materials leaked to French site Nowhereese.fr (the same site that revealed a picture of the Apple Lightening connector ahead of time last year), the fingerprint scanner is here called the "Touch ID sensor".

Embedded in the Home button, it's now identified by a pure white circle around the button rather than the square marking that has been present on other Apple product home buttons.

The leak backs up yesterday's similar leak, revealing the scanner, as well as chiming in well with a report by the Wall Street Journal, claiming that a slew of business apps will use the scanner for security purposes.

Anything that makes it safer to send money over an iPhone is a great move, considering how many purchases we now make with our mobiles. Could an Apple-specific payment system launch alongside the iPhone 5S? We'll know for certain in a few hours time - tonight's launch action kicks off at 6pm BST. Check back then for all the details.

iphone-5s-marketing.jpgWe're just a day away from the expected launch of Apple's new iPhone line, with both the premium iPhone 5S and cheaper iPhone 5C set to be revealed, and the leaks keep coming. Ahead of the September 10 launch a comparative marketing release showing the new iPhone 5S alongside previous iPhone models has hit the web.

So does it give anything new away? Not much, and our Mandarin isn't up to scratch to glean too much more from the leak's text. But we can see that the Home button's squared marking has been replaced by a circular one, perhaps indicating the inclusion of the long-rumoured fingerprint scanner?

The camera is also highlighted in the image above, and is expected to land with a dual LED flash and f/2.0 aperture, capable of recording 120fps 1080p video.

Other expected features are 250-hour standby battery life, the inclusion of the latest A7 processor (said to be 25% faster than its predecessor), a 4-inch 326ppi display and 5GHz Wi-Fi.

Apple's hosting a major press event in Berlin tomorrow night. We'll be bringing you all the news from the launch as it happens, so keep your eyes fixed on Tech Digest for all the details.

Landing pages for top-secret unreleased product pre-orders should come with a Dr Strangelove-style giant red button that has to be pushed before publishing - perhaps then they wouldn't "accidentally" hit the web ahead of schedule.

As was with this week's Kindle Paperwhite 2, and now today with the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, courtesy of China Telekom.

A verified China Telekom account on microblogging network Weibo posted what looks like an advert for advanced orders on the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C last night before being hastily pulled.

The Wall Street Journal however managed to nab a revealing screengrab before the listing disappeared for good. Though the image is of a low resolution, it seems to show the iPhone 5S as having an optional block of colour on its back, rather than a fully coloured casing. The image shows the handset's camera sensor embedded in a white strip, while the rest of the body is forest green colour.

The listing also suggests that China will be among the first markets to get the phones, a rumour backed up by a China-specific launch event being planned, and coming as quite a departure for Apple as that market tends to usually have to wait a while before shipping begins.

iphone-5s-invite.pngDiaries at the ready! You can go over that pencilled-in September 10 iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C launch date in ink, as Apple have now sent out official invites for a press event launch on September 10.

As ever, there are clues as to what to expect hidden in the invite itself, and its series of coloured bubbles hints at the multi-coloured iPhone casings that have long been rumoured for inclusion in this iPhone generation.

If the long line of leaks is to be believed, we'll be getting a fingerprint-scanner-packing iPhone 5S (in an optional blinging "champagne" gold colour), and cheaper plastic-cased iPhone 5C handsets in almost every colour of the rainbow. Each will undoubtedly be running the latest iOS 7 software too.

We'll be covering the launch extensively of course, so head back to Tech Digest next Tuesday for the full details.

ios-7-apple-top-thumb.pngMusic to the ears of Apple fans (and likely the beginnings of a month of major headaches for Apple store employees), rumour has it that the Cupertino company's retail staff have been told to expect two separate deliveries of brand new hardware in the coming weeks.

That's according to unnamed "sources" quoted by the Telegraph, who claim staff are being prepped to start advertising three mobile phones in stores for three different price points. That's likely putting the as-yet-unrevealed iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C at the top and low end of the pricing scales respectively, while last year's iPhone 5 would sit in between for Johnny-Come-Latelies.

Though Apple's outgoing generation of products always retain a fair chunk of their premium price tags when the new stuff hits stores, it's still interesting to see the 5C potentially positioned at the entry level tier. What this means for surplus iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S stock remains to be seen - could the 5C undercut their current price points too?

ios-7-apple-top.pngNothing sparks mass gadget-nerd hysteria like a new iPhone launch, inspiring snaking queues and overnight camping sessions from those hoping to be among the first to pick up Apple's latest wares. As a result, it's a hectic day in mobile shops across the world on iPhone launch day, with stores expected to be fully manned to meet feverish demand.

Which has led to this latest iPhone 5S release date rumour. According to sources speaking to TmoNews, T-Mobile employees have been forbidden from going on holiday between 20 and 22 September. It suggests the Friday 20 September date as the iPhone launch day, with T-Mobile anticipating a busy weekend necessitating a full roster of employees.

With the iPhone 5S and its rumoured cheaper counterpart the iPhone 5C both expected to be revealed on 10 September, that would put the release date one week following the grand unveiling. That's a pattern that fits with previous iPhone launches, with last year's iPhone 5 instore sales date coming a week after its initial reveal too.

Of course, until official confirmation comes in from the notoriously tight-lipped Apple teams themselves, treat this with a pinch of salt. But it's a legitimate sounding date to our ears.

We'll have full, blow-by-blow coverage of the iPhone 5 launch come the handset's launch, so keep checking back to Tech Digest for all the latest details.

Belkin unveils iPhone 5 and iPod LEGO cases

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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.

iphone-5-students.jpgApple look as though they'll be taking a leaf out of Noel Edmonds' Swap Shop book by offering a trade-in upgrade option for the iPhone 5S.

So say "sources with knowledge of the initiative" speaking to 9to5Mac. The program will see retail Apple stores accepting older iPhone models, including the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, in exchange for a new, significantly discounted iPhone 5S.

What's in it for Apple? If priced aggressively, it'll help hold onto iPhone owners whose loyalty may be wavering in the face of increasingly impressive Android competition, and in lieu (according to the rumoured specs at least) of any must-have iPhone 5S features.

It'd also give customers a reason to come into an Apple store and buy a handset direct from the Cupertino firm, rather than through a profit-pinching third-party network or high street retailer. Many networks and exchange stores already offer similar schemes, and Apple are missing a trick by not offering one of their own.

The iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C are tipped to launch on September 10. If the trade in program is in the works, expect the full details to be revealed around that time too.

Apple's Siri scoffs at Google Glass

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siri-glass-2.pngApple's voice activated iOS personal assistant, Siri, isn't all that good at doing the things it's supposed to, like searching the web for local amenities, or understanding anyone that doesn't speak with plums in their mouth. What it has got very good at though is trash talking the competition.

The latest update to the iPhone butler has seen it become able to distinguish between "glass", the stuff that your windows are made of, and "Glass", the Google-built augmented reality headset. And boy, does it have some choice words to share on the tech-savvy spectacles.

Give Siri the Google Glass activation phrase "Okay Glass", and it'll fire back with one liners like "I think that Glass is half empty" and "Stop trying to strap me to your forehead - it won't work". It's no fluke either, with at least a dozen responses dissing the Google product.

Try it out for yourself - it'll be the most use you've got out of Siri in months.

apple-ios-7-apps.jpgJust because you can't afford to rush out and buy a new iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C after they've been officially revealed (supposedly on September 10) doesn't mean you can't enjoy some fresh Apple goodies all the same. According to an email sent to a developer from Siri developers Nuance, all older compatible iOS devices will be making the jump to iOS 7 on September 10 too, despite the fact it'll likely be a few days after that that the new Apple handsets will be going on sale.

Developer Owen Williams received the email from Nuance, which stated that "iOS 7 GA will be released on 10 September." A screengrab of the email can be found immediately below:
nuance0ios7.jpg"GA" here refers to General Avaialbliltiy, or the roll out of iOS 7 to previous generation iPhones, iPod touch models and iPads. The new OS landing alongside new iPhones isn't all that surprising, but to see it apparently confirmed for older devices before a Gold Master release (giving developers some time to work with the new SDK prior to release) is unusual, as is the case here.

If it all turns out to be accurate though, some of the most exciting new iPhone features will be available to existing iPhone owners sometime before even the latest models hit store shelves.

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