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iPhone-5s-r-1.jpgIt's only been on sale for three days, but the Apple iPhone 5S's headlining security feature, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, has already been hacked.

It took just a weekend for German security group Chaos Computer Club (CCC) to break the new Apple security measure.

"A fingerprint of the phone user, photographed from a glass surface, was enough to create a fake finger that could unlock an iPhone 5s secured with Touch ID," the group wrote on their blog.

It wasn't exactly a straightforward process though. Anyone trying to replicate the group's process would first have to find a full and clean fingerprint belonging to the iPhone's owner, then photograph it at 2,400 dpi resolution. After that, the image would then need to be inverted and laser printed on a transparent sheet in 1,200 dpi using a thick toner setting. Next, the would-be hacker would have to use latex milk or white wood-glue to create a mould, spreading it onto the transparent sheet, breathing onto the mould to add moisture before pulling off the completed fake fingerprint.

It's all a bit like something out Mission Impossible, but according to the CCC, it was a relatively easy process to pull, especially considering the potential criminal rewards that could be acquired by hacking an iPhone 5S.

"We hope that this finally puts to rest the illusions people have about fingerprint biometrics," said Chaos Computer Club's Frank Rieger.

"It is plain stupid to use something that you can´t change and that you leave everywhere every day as a security token,"

Scroll down to check out the hack being carried out.

jolla-smartphone.jpgForget iOS 7 - if you're looking for a truly new mobile operating experience, you should be turning your attention to Sailfish OS, the mobile OS born from the ashes of Nokia's abandoned MeeGo project. The open-source Linux-based software, available for all would-be developers to tinker with, was passed up by initial developers Nokia after they sealed their Windows Phone deal with Microsoft. But it has now (in its Sailfish form) found its way into its very first handset, the Jolla smartphone. And, unlike other would-be pretenders to the Android and iOS throne, Sailfish has an app-based trump card in that it should be compatible with all existing Android apps.

Sailfish may live or die based on the reception it receives on the first smartphone it arrives on, so what's the Jolla smartphone hardware that it will make its debut on like? By the numbers, it doesn't sound half-bad, in a mid-range sort of way.

Measuring 4.5-inches with a display running at a near-Retina sharpness of 960x540, it'll be powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.4GHz, backed by 1GB of RAM.

An 8MP camera sits on the rear propped up by auto-focus features and an LED flash, with a 2MP video calling unit up front. Storage size listed is 16GB, which can be expanded by microSD cards. A two-tone black and aqua-blue chassis looks to feature, though there's been no word on other shades being available yet, nor the thickness of the handset.

Not a startling spec-sheet then, but that should be more than enough to see the low-power OS run smoothly we'd say. Again, due out before the end of 2013, it's being priced at €400 (£337).

Would you give this new kid on the smartphone-OS block a spin? Let us know in the comments below.

ios-7-logo.pngiOS 7 finally finished downloading to your Apple device of choice? Great, then you'll be delighted to hear that Apple already have iOS 7.0.1 ready to download and update your device too!

The update's a fair bit smaller than the sizeable iOS 7 overhaul that launched this week and was masterminded by Apple's Jony Ive, weighing in at just 13.8MB. Hopefully that'll go some way towards easing the server strain that saw many iOS users wait hours to complete their initial iOS 7 upgrades.

Seemingly only rolling out to iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C owners initially (our iPad Mini still hasn't got the iOS 7.0.1 download prompt), the upgrade promises a number of "bug fixes and improvements", top of the list of which is better support for the Touch ID fingerprint scanner in the App Store.

We'll keep you posted as to any new findings the update brings, and when to expect to see it roll out to older devices.

ifixit-5s.jpgIf you fancy yourself as a bit of a whizz with a screwdriver, you may have your work cut out for you with the newly-released iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C smartphones from Apple. According to DIY gadget repair experts over at iFixit, the latest phones from the Cupertino firm are even more difficult to fix at home than their predecessor the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5S seems to be the trickier of the two to fix, thanks in part to its new integrated Touch ID fingerprint scanner. A weak connection between the sensor and the phone's Lightning port area adds a "small element of danger" to the repair process, according to iFixit.

That's not the only concern with the Touch ID module, with the team worried about its overall durability.

"We worry about how well the sapphire crystal covering can protect it from degrading over time, like most CMOS fingerprint sensors. It could become a ticking time bomb."

Lastly, the battery unit in the 5S is glued into the casing, unlike the pull-out battery buried under the iPhone 5 chassis, adding yet another difficult element to the repair process.

Similar problems were found with the iPhone 5C, which also suffered from a glued-in battery, a screen that could be damaged if a removal was attempted, and a finicky antenna.

Interestingly, iFixit's teardown saw the team unable to identify the new M7 co-motion processor (the newly-added feature which will help lead to improved fitness and motion-tracking apps),leading them to speculate that it is part of the new A7 processor rather than a discrete chip.

Overall, the new iPhones both got a repairability score of six out of 10. While not a shocking result, it does see both drop a point to predecessor the iPhone 5 which scored a seven out of 10, while competitor Samsung's flagship the Samsung Galaxy S4 managed a very respectable eight out of 10.

android-4.4-kitkat-1-big.jpgThe launch window for Google's next Android operating system upgrade has been revealed by a somewhat unlikely source - chocolatiers Nestle.

Following the reveal that Android 4.4's desert-themed nickname would be KitKat in homage to the Nestle treat, tech fans have flooded the company's Facebook page in order to try to glean information on the reworked OS's launch. And Nestle Germany have obliged; responding to one users request for KitKat launch info, a Nestle representative replied "Kit Kat Hi Tim, Android 4.4 KIT KAT ist ab Oktober verfügbar," or "Android 4.4 KitKat is available from October" in English.

The post rings well with rumours of an October 14 launch date for the operating system.

Do Nestle have the inside track on the launch date, or is this merely a company rep speculating based on the same rumours we've heard? Who knows. One thing is for certain though - October is increasingly looking like the month we'll get full confirmation of the KitKat release and likely the Nexus 4 successor it will lead with.

Thumbnail image for steve ballmer.jpgIt's taken years for him to come out and say it, but Steve Ballmer, the outgoing Microsoft CEO, has admitted that the company missed the boat when it came to getting ahead in the smartphone race under his leadership.

Speaking at an analysts meeting in Washington, Ballmer stated that Microsoft has almost "no share" in the smartphone market thanks to his decision to focus the company's efforts on Windows computers.

"I regret that there was a period in the early 2000s when we were so focused on what we had to do around Windows that we weren't able to redeploy talent to the new device called the phone," said Ballmer.

"That is thing I regret the most. It would have been better for Windows and our success in other foreign factors."

As a result, Microsoft sit in a distant third place behind Google's Android and Apple's iPhone in the smartphone market, with the Windows Phone platform accounting for just 3.7% of the global smartphone market according to IDC figures. Google's Android and Apple's iPhone enjoy a 79.3% and 13.2% share respectively.

However, Microsoft's smartphone star is rising, with the Windows Phone OS's adoption growing 77% of the last year to overtake rivals BlackBerry and (now Microsoft-owned) Nokia's Symbian. As a result, Ballmer sees "upside opportunities" for further growth among smartphone fans.

"We have the tools. There's economic upside here. In the long run, we are almost uniquely poised to seize the opportunity," he said.

"Today I'm speaking as an investor. You all own Microsoft stock, cheer for it, for God's sake."

apple-ios-7-apps-2.jpgApple's lead designer Sir Jony Ive has given a rare interview with USA Today, in which he revealed the speedy turnaround of the company's latest mobile operating system revamp, iOS 7.

Work began on iOS 7 just back in November 2012, said Ive, an incredibly quick development cycle considering it was ready to show to the world by June 2013, and the fact that it is a considerable revamp for the OS.

The Brit-born knight of the realm's decision to remove elements of skeuomorphism from the iOS look has been widely praised. Ive explained that, in a world now accustomed to touchscreens, references back to real-world objects in the design now seemed anachronistic.

"When we sat down last November [to work on iOS 7], we understood that people had already become comfortable with touching glass, they didn't need physical buttons, they understood the benefits," said Ive.

"So there was an incredible liberty in not having to reference the physical world so literally. We were trying to create an environment that was less specific. It got design out of the way."

"I think a lot of people see simplicity as the lack of clutter. And that's not the case at all," continued Ive.

"True simplicity is, well, you just keep on going and going until you get to the point where you go, 'Yeah, well, of course.' Where there's no rational alternative."

While Ive gave no indication as to what was coming next from Apple ("I'd lose my job" claimed Ive, should he momentarily become loose-lipped) he did state the new iPhone 5S Touch ID fingerprint scanner was exactly what he loved about working for the Cupertino company; the way they can integrate complicated features in a way consumers will see as seamless.

"This right here is what I love about Apple, this incredibly sophisticated powerful technology that you're almost not aware of, it absolutely blows me away," said Ive.

"You can't get this without working cross-functionally."

iPhone 5S UK launch tainted by stock shortages

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iphone-5s-r-3.jpgThis morning's launch of Apple's latest flagship smartphone, the iPhone 5S, has been marred by stock shortages, with both Apple's own retail stores and those of the UK networks struggling to meet demand.

iPhone hunters took to Twitter to state that many of Apple's brick and mortar stores sold out of the handset within an hour of going on sale, including the Regent's Street, Cambridge and Cardiff stores. Those hoping to pick up the gold-coloured version of the handset were likely to have even less luck, with the variant said to be available in extremely limited numbers from the offset, selling out first.

O2 customers however seem the unluckiest of all. Speaking to Tech Radar, a spokesperson for the network stated that there was no in-store stock of the 5S, and that a pre-order wait could last as long as a month and a half

"We won't have iPhone 5S stock in stores to sell but customers will be able to place their order with us in-store. They can also order online or over the phone," said the O2 spokesperson. "If customers are in store they'll be able to get a demo of the phone and place their order with the help of one of our store advisors.

A similar situation was found at EE, with limited numbers of handsets being held back to primarily satisfy 4G customers, while those on the Orange and T-Mobile networks (under the EE umbrella) were straight out of luck.

Vodafone stock levels were said to be slightly better with some stock in stores available on a "first come, first served basis", while Three also confirmed that their customers could "go in store or buy online" if they were on the prowl for the 5S.

While the fingerprint-scanning 5S is in short supply then (and will likely fly onto eBay at extortionate prices any minute now), there are still plenty of the iPhone 5C handsets to go around, which appear to have performed very badly at the pre-order stage.

iphone-5c-official-top.jpgThe annual hysteria that surrounds Apple's mobile phone launches seems to be waning, if the latest iPhone 5C pre-order figures from UK network sources are to be believed.

Speaking to The Guardian, an anonymous network source said that the iPhone 5C had managed just a tenth of pre-order numbers previous generations had hit:

"It's been a big disappointment. We are seeing a decline in the number of pre-orders. They are 60% to 70% less than we were expecting, and we didn't expect them to be massively high given it's not the flagship model."

Given that the most successful iPhone launches have racked up between 75,000 and 100,000 pre-orders, it's a very slow start for the new handset. "This is one tenth of those numbers," said the source.

So what's caused the pre-order decline? A number of factors - for starters, this is the first time in iPhone history that two new models have launched simultaneously, so there will inevitably be cannibalization of sales. Keep in mind that the iPhone 5S, not the 5C is the premium device, and yet the price difference is less than £100. With Apple not opening pre-orders for the 5S, and the 5C landing at such an unexpectedly high price, it's likely many would-be iPhone buyers are holding out until this Friday, when the 5S makes its debut in stores.

Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 11.17.06.jpgName three things the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Sony Xperia Z1 have in common. Both have sizable 5-inch displays, for starters, both use quad-core processors (the S4's rare octo-variant notwithstanding) and both will cost you a fair bit more than £150. Which is what makes the new Kogan Agora 5 so appealing - it's packing in a 5-inch display and quad-core processor and, at £149, will give you change back from three crisp £50 notes.

Of course, some concessions must be made to hit that price. For starters, you're getting a 720p display rather than a Full HD one, and at 14.4 x 7.4 x 1.1cm it's hardly the slimmest phone on the market. But those facts aside it seems (on paper) a decent blower.
Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 11.17.14.jpgRunning Android 4.2.2, the quad-core processor is clocked at 1.2GHz backed by 1GB of RAM. 4GB of internal storage is onboard while a decently-sized 2000mAh battery is also included.

Even the camera, an 8MP number, doesn't sound too shabby, while those trying to mix work and play will enjoy the dual-sim functionality onboard.

"Some big tech companies think they can launch a phone for the budget-conscious consumer and still price it at over £450. At Kogan, we know better," said Ruslan Kogan, founder and CEO of Kogan.

"We think everyone should be able to afford a great smartphone that has all the main features that you want, without paying for features you don't need. Thousands of customers said they want a phone that looks stylish, but is also powerful and feature-packed - and that's exactly what the Kogan Agora Quad-core Smartphone delivers."

Available for presale now and shipping on October 9, you can grab the Agora 5 direct from the Kogan online store.


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Samsung Electronics and London-based shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood have announced a range of exclusive accessories for Samsung's latest mobile devices, the GALAXY Gear and GALAXY Note 3, at London Fashion Week (LFW).

The accessories feature Nicholas Kirkwood's signature Chevron Pattern and are available in two colours: White and Black, and, wait for it, Black and White. These exclusive accessories will be available to buy around the world from various online and high street retail channels. They will be the first in a series of accessories to be launched by Samsung and Nicholas Kirkwood, featuring the same chevron design, with other GALAXY products to follow.

As well as a range of premium accessories, Nicholas Kirkwood, the Creative Director of London Fashion Week this year, has also designed the Samsung Galaxy VIP Lounge at Somerset House. This lounge incorporates a geometric graphic carpet, mirrored bars and diamond back lit optical displays, housing a number of brand new products from Samsung, including the GALAXY Gear and GALAXY Note 3, which visitors have a chance to play with before they even hit the shops. 

Samsung, which has teamed up with the British Fashion Council (BFC) for the second year running, is an Official Sponsor at London Fashion Week (LFW) from Friday 13th - Tuesday 17th September 2013. Samsung's premium mobile devices - including the GALAXY Note 8.0 and GALAXY S4 Zoom - have been integrated throughout the showcase, used by key London Fashion Week staff on-site and at the concierge desks, as well as being made available for use in the press lounges and information points.

Says Nicholas Kirkwood: "I am excited to partner with Samsung for the second time to create an exclusive accessory for the Samsung GALAXY Note 3. When designing the case, I looked to create something that reflected both the quality and creativity of Samsung whilst also mirroring the artwork seen in my creative for London Fashion Week."

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Pre-order opens this morning for iPhone 5c sales online, in Vodafone's shops and telesales. The 4-G ready devices will be available from launch on Vodafone's 4G network - with a choice of either Sky Sports Mobile TV or Spotify Premium included. See below. 


For a limited time, Vodafone is also offering a £20 bill credit to customers who pre-order iPhone 5c online.  This effectively makes the iPhone 5c 16GB free on a £42 price plan, which offers 6GB of data (that's the standard 2GB you get with Vodafone Red 4G-ready plus the '4GB bonus' which is an extra 4GB per month for the duration of your contract for anyone who signs up before the end of October), unlimited calls and texts and a choice of either Sky Sports Mobile TV or Spotify Premium on a 24 month price plan.

 

Vodafone is also offering both 4G-ready SIM Only plans (from £26) and 12 month plans.

 

On Vodafone's 3G plans, customers will be able to get iPhone 5c from £25 a month on a 24 month contract with a £199 upfront contribution. It will be available from £37 on Vodafone Red (3G) with a £19 upfront contribution and from free on the Vodafone Red L (3G) plan at £42. Both Red plans come with unlimited calls, unlimited texts and 1GB and 2GB data respectively. Again, customers pre-ordering online will get a one off £20 credit for a limited time, effectively making iPhone free on £37 Vodafone Red (3G) plans.   

 

Consumer 24 month Vodafone Red 4G-ready plans (including VAT)

 

 

Vodafone Red 4G-ready

Vodafone Red 4G-ready L

Vodafone Red 4G-ready XL

Monthly line rental

£42

£47

£52

Data (until end October)

6GB

8GB

12GB

Minutes

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Texts

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Sky Sports or Spotify Premium

6 months

24 months

24 months

iPhone 5c 16GB

£19

Free

Free

iPhone 5c 32GB

£129

£79

£19

 

12 month Vodafone Red 4G-ready plans (including VAT)

 

 

Vodafone Red 4G-ready

Vodafone Red 4G-ready L

Vodafone Red 4G-ready XL

Monthly line rental

£52

£57

£62

Data (until end October)

6GB

8GB

12GB

Minutes

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Texts

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Sky Sports or Spotify Premium

6 months

12 months

12 months

iPhone 5c 16GB

£229

£169

£109

iPhone 5c 32GB

£249

£199

£149

 

 As the iPhone 5s is not being offered on pre-order, Vodafone will publishing prices for the device ahead of its launch on 20 September.

 

You can find more at http://www.vodafone.co.uk/iphone/pay-monthly-iphone/index.htm



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mobile-phone-theft-pickpocket.jpgReading this post in Cardiff, Edinburgh or Hull? Then keep your smartphone closely guarded - they're the UK cities you're most likely to have your mobile phone stolen.

That's according to gadget insurer Protect Your Bubble and, being based solely on claims data gathered from their customer base, can't be treated as wholly representative. It does however, give a general indication as to some of the more dangerous places to go around flaunting your gadgetry.

Protect Your Bubble state that more than a third (36%) of claims they receive from mobile phone owners in Cardiff and 32% of claims from Edinburgh are for theft, giving the cities some unwelcome notoriety at the top of the list. In third place is Hull, where three in ten (30%) of claims are for theft.

Protect Your Bubble's data also shows that 21-25 year olds are most likely to be victims of mobile theft. Stephen Ebbett, director of Protect Your Bubble, notes that it may be university campuses being targeted:

"Cardiff and Edinburgh's big student populations could explain why these are hotspots for theft claims, as we know those in their early twenties are most likely to be victims of mobile theft.

"Gadget owners can never be too cautious when it comes to safeguarding their gadgets. If you're the sort of person who regularly carries around a smartphone and a tablet or laptop, you're carting around circa £1,000 worth of high-tech gear."

iphone-5c-official-mid.jpgO2 staff may have a headache on their hands come the launch of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C handsets. Despite both phones supporting 4G bands, and O2's 4G network launching late last month, it appears the latest smartphone hardware coming out of Cupertino will not work on O2's 4G network, at least not at first.

"The iPhone 5C and 5S will ultimately work on O2′s 4G network, but we are currently waiting for Apple to enable the carrier bundle for our network. We've been advised this will be in the coming weeks," said O2.

Essentially, this looks to mean that, though you'll be able to buy the new iPhones on a 4G contract from O2, you won't actually benefit from the superfast speed.

It's all sounding like a bit of a kerfuffle then, and to slow the tide of complaints sure to flood its way, O2 will be offering £5 off the first month of new iPhone 4G contracts.

"We want to be transparent about this with customers, so we are giving £5 off, and clearly they'll still have 3G connectivity until the carrier bundle is enabled to allow 4G on our network," it states.

O2 will also be offering the new iPhones through their O2 Refresh deals, letting current contract customers upgrade to the new handsets before their current contracts run out. A £120 upfront fee using O2 Refresh would bag you the iPhone 5S on a £37 a month tariff, with 1GB of data and more minutes and texts than any human would/should be able to get through.

Talk-show prankster Jimmy Kimmel is at it again. This time he's taken his crew to Hollywood Boulevard, where he's pulling the wool over the eyes of shoppers, leading them to believe that last year's iPad Mini is in fact the new iPhone 5S, revealed last night.

As a fellow gullible prank victim (long story, my brother once convinced me he was going to be the Foo Fighter's new guitarist) I can't be one to point fingers. But when you've got people licking tablets as you've tricked them into thinking they each come in a different flavour, that's a whole new level of stupid.

Following Jimmy Kimmel's "Twerkgate" prank scandal however, there's a good chance that everyone in this video is a paid actor, so grab that pinch of salt you were saving for tonight's chips.

three-logo-thumb.jpgThree have today shed light on a few more details of the UK network's 4G rollout, revealing the first four cities set to get the superfast data speeds come its launch in December.

London, Birmingham, Manchester and Reading will be the first cities to get access to Three's 4G service, as the network looks to compete with recently launched rival services from O2 and Vodafone, as well as the UK's 4G stalwart EE.

That initial rollout will also see Oldham, Dudley, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton covered, with a further 42 cities to be added next year.

The cherry on top? Three promise that the 4G service will be provided for free to all its users.

"We think everyone should enjoy the wonders of 4G, with no catches," reads a statement from Three.

"So when we start rolling out 4G, we'll nudge up our customers who have a 4G Ready device at no extra cost. No hefty price tag. No extra charges. No expensive new phones or contracts. And no fuss."

There may be one slight catch though - according to the Three website, the network suggests its 4G speeds will hit around the 14Mbps mark. Compare that to EE's 30Mbps speeds, and it looks as though concessions have been made to deliver 4G for free. Of course, that may simply be Three covering their own backs - better to undersell speeds than face a backlash if they can't consistently hit adventurously high claimed speeds. Indeed, our experiences with Three's DC-HSDPA network sees our connection consistently out-perform the network's own listed average speeds. We'll reserve judgement until it's all gone live and we've put it through its paces then.

Check your cupboards and drawers - as a loyal Tech Digest reader we're guessing you'll uncover at least one or two unloved gadgets or phones. Perhaps the device in question was relegated to the cupboard because of a fault, or an upgrade when one of the lesser gadget's components was no longer up to scratch.

But what if you didn't have to swap out the whole gadget or smartphone just because one or two components have passed their sell by date? That's the idea behind the Phoneblok smartphone concept.

It's based on a modular design, where each component can be added or removed, and works a little bit like LEGO. A base circuit board (with peg-like cutouts) connects each component, with little cubes containing, for instance, the battery or processor, clipping in and all working seamlessly together. Should a faster processor become available, you then simply purchase that part, and swap out the older cube.

It's looking specifically at a smartphone design at the moment, but there's no reason this concept couldn't be applied to other gadgets, such as tablets or laptops, too.

It's a novel idea, and certainly an ecologically and economically friendly approach to gadget design. Still very much in the concept stage, check out the video above for more info.

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.

Job cuts hit struggling BlackBerry

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thorsten-heins-blackberry-w1.jpgIt's still very much a rough time to be at mobile phone manufacturer BlackBerry. According to a new report by the Wall Street Journal, the Canadian smartphone makers this week laid off dozens of staff in a whole new round of job cuts.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal claim that it was predominantly members of the US sales team that will now be standing on the breadline.

"I can confirm a small number of employees were laid off today," a company spokesman told the newspaper, also confirming that these were just the latest layoffs in a series that has continued over several weeks now.

Despite this year's BlackBerry 10 reboot for the company and the launch of a number of critically well-received handsets, BlackBerry has still struggled to make up the ground lost to smartphone rivals Apple and Google with Android.

As such, the company have now begun farming out key software properties (including the popular BBM messaging system) to rival mobile platforms, while also potentially considering an outright sale of the company.

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