On Friday, the company
began offering a new trade-in program that gives customers store credit for
their old iPhones that can be used toward the purchase of a new phone.
Customers can expect between $120 and $250 for each non-water-damaged device
they turn in to an Apple store.
"iPhones hold great value.
So, Apple Retail Stores launched a new program to assist customers who wish to
bring in their previous-generation iPhone for reuse or recycling,"
according to Apple's statement e-mailed to the Monitor.
But the wording is important here: unlike other Apple trade-in
deals, where you mail in your old phone and receive a gift card in return, this
new program lets customers swap in their iPhone at an Apple store, but the gift
card must be used toward the purchase of a new iPhone. That means you can
continue with your old contract, get a new contract, or get an unlocked device.
All options turn a nice profit for Apple.
you're a devoted Apple user, this might be a good deal. The company is likely
to unveil two new iPhone models: the5S
and the 5Con Sept. 10th, and if
you want an upgrade, why not cut off some of the cost by trading in your old
you look at Apple's overall business model, it's not just about the devices but
the overall universe," Todd Day, a senior industry analyst for Frost &
Sullivan toldCNBC.Offering a competitive trade-in
program helps ensure those customers stick around, according to CNBC. Since new
iPhone upgrades usually run at $199 for customers, Apple's $120 trade-in
minimum could be a major incentive to keep customers in its ecosystem.
Google, oft rumored to
be working on a smartwatch, quietly
bought WIMM Labs last year to light a fire under the effort.
A Google spokeswoman
confirmed to CNET that Google has acquired smartwatch maker WIMM. The takeover
was first reported by GigaOm.
maker WIMM went dark last year, posting a cryptic thank-you message on its Web site citing "an exclusive, confidential
relationship" for its technology.
to previous reports of a coming Google smartwatch, the latest says the company
has the work on the product -- including WIMM's employees -- centered in the Android unit, rather than its X Lab. That could mean a
Google watch comes to market faster than the wearable Google has been
trumpeting all year, Google Glass, which was a product of X
upstart tech companies have already introduced a slew of watches, giants are
lumbering into the field too. Samsung is expected to unveil a smartwatch on
September 4 called Galaxy Gear, and Apple has been rumored
to be coming out with one.
It's been rumored for weeks and tested in some stores, but on
Friday Apple officially launched its in-store trade in program for used
iPhones. Under the program called "iPhone Reuse and Recycling
Program," Apple will offer an in-store credit for used iPhones good
towards the purchase of a new one.
CNBC broke the story, but Wiredreported that
Apple is working the program through BrightStar, a
services company specializing in the mobile market. Apple Store retail
employees will enter details about your iPhone into an Apple app on their
iPhones and get a real-time quote from BrightStar.
If you accept the deal, your iPhone will be wiped on the spot in
front of you. If you don't like the price, no harm and no foul, and you're free
to leave and take your iPhone with you.
9to5Macnoted that current prices—and realize that these prices will
fluctuate according to market conditions—are thus:
·$250-$253 value for a 16GB iPhone 5 in
·$120-$140 for a GSM 8GB iPhone 4
·$80 for the CDMA version of the same phone
Apple's program launches just a few weeks ahead of Apple's
rumored launch of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. This gives Apple's retail staff
time to get familiar with the program before being inundated with trade-in
demand for the new devices.
One note: I've seen several pieces questioning
whether or not Apple can be successful with this program considering the
crowded space—Gazelle, Amazon, Verizon, AT&T, Best
Buy, and many others offer similar services.
The problem is that those questions are idiotic. Apple is going
to quickly become the biggest player in this market for two reasons.
The first is that we're talking about Apple, but the biggest
reason is Apple's line of retail stores. Those retail stores see a ton of foot
traffic already. On average, those customers will be far, far more comfortable trading in their iPhones in
an Apple Store than they would be with any of the mail-centered operations.
No questions, no wondering, and no waiting. That's the makings
of a solid customer experience.
This isn't to say that Gazelle can't continue to do well or that Amazon will be chased away, but Apple is going to
do a very brisk business in these trade-in devices. More specifically, it will
dwarf these competitors in little or no time.
Embark currently has
transit apps for 10 different transit systems in the App Store. The startup has
received money from Y Combinator, SV Angel and BMW.
According to Lessin,
Apple will integrate some of Embark's subway mapping technology into the next
version of Apple Maps. Direct transit map integration is a feature Apple
declined to add to the initial version of Apple Maps that launched last fall.
Instead, Apple made it possible for users to open third-party apps (including
HopStop and Embark) from the main mapping interface.
As someone who uses
public transit every day, I can say that the de-coupling of built-in transit
directions is one reason I almost always use Google Maps for iOS.
Apple has had a busy
summer on the location acquisition front. In addition to HopStop and Embark,
the company also acquired location data company Locationary.
When reached for comment,
Apple gave Mashable its boiler-plate statement about
"Apple buys smaller
technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our
purpose or plans."
It's interesting that
Apple would acquire Embark in addition to HopStop, given the similarity in
purpose (and considering HopStop has a much larger user base and supports more
transit systems). We look forward to seeing how this will impact Apple's future
What do you think of
Apple's Embark acquisition? Let us know in the comments.
on Thursday that the site's two-step app permission process has been fully
integrated with users worldwide. The feature, which was first announced in
April, allows users to have more control over the content they share to
Facebook through third-party applications.
When users sign in to an
app like Lyft or Words With Friends using their Facebook login credentials,
they can now specify exactly what they would like to share with Facebook in a
two-step process. The first step asks for "read permisasions," which
dictate the information from the app accessible to Facebook. The second step
presents "write permissions," which if accepted, allow the user to
post directly back to his news feed through the app.
Previously, the two
permissions were a package deal, meaning you couldn't agree to one without also
green-lighting the other. The update in April granted users more control and
enabled them to accept just one or the other if they weren't comfortable accepting
both, according to Chris Daniels, director of business development at Facebook.
The update is now fully available to all users, and a recent study of certain
"high quality" apps by the social network found that
Facebook benefits from
users logging in to third-party apps using their Facebook profile. Those who
log in with Facebook count as "active" users for the platform — more
logins mean more content shared back to the site. Facebook has more than 850
million login events per month, and 81 of the 100 top-grossing iOS apps support
Facebook login features, according to the company's blog post. On Android, 62
of the 100 top-grossing apps support Facebook logins.
The new permission option
was based on feedback from users and developers who felt they needed more
control, Daniels said. Often, users timid about sharing back to Facebook saw
the permissions page and simply elected to bypass logging in altogether.
people’s concerns about apps posting on their Timeline or to their
friends," Facebook posted on its blog. "The recent changes to Login
are just the beginning of more improvements you'll see as we continue working
to provide useful services for developers that are easy for users to
Have you ever skipped
logging into an app because of Facebook permissions? Tell us in the comments
I have been very happy with myNokia Lumia 1020and the 4.5 inch 1280x768 resolution
display. Nokia recently released their largest display in a Windows Phone
device, 4.7 inches, on theNokia Lumia 625. However, the affordable cost means most
of the internals were cut down to support the large display strategy.
Nokia Lumia 625's primary focus is the large display. It comes in at 4.7 inches
with a resolution of 800x480 pixels (201 ppi), which is the resolution of the
first generation of Windows Phone devices. It is an IPS LCD with super
sensitive touch technology. Windows Phone displays have always looked great,
even at this resolution. I've been spoiled lately by higher res displays and we
expect that even higher resolution displays are around the corner for Nokia and
Windows Phone. While the large display doesn't have very high resolution, it is
still well designed with glass that curves down all the edges to give it a
great look and feel.
sent an orange Lumia 625 to check out and note that you can also buy them in
black, white, yellow, and green. The color is only on the back shell piece that
also wraps around all the edges. Starting from the bottom front you can pop off
the back and see that you can exchange the one that comes with the device with
another color if you want to change out the look of your device. The plastic
shell feels quite durable and gives the device a rather rugged appeal.
When you pull off the back you will see that there is an
interesting SIM card and microSD card slot arrangement where they are stacked
on top of each other on the right side. The battery is not removable, but I see
a few screws on the back and imagine you may be able to take it apart to
replace the battery down the road.
Nokia has a focus on imaging, but the camera is pretty basic on
the Lumia 625. It comes with a 5 megapixel camera without Carl Zeiss optics or
anything too fancy. The front facing camera is also a measly VGA quality
camera. Photos from the rear camera don't look bad though and are perfectly
acceptable for social networks and digital sharing.
All the traditional Windows Phone buttons are on the right side,
the headphone jack is on the top, and the microUSB port is on the bottom. There
is nothing on the left side. The small flash is found just to the left of the
camera lens centered on the upper back.
Like original Windows Phone devices, the Lumia 625 is responsive
and I did not notice any lag or performance issues. With just 512 MB of RAM
though, I wouldn't count on being able to play lots of high end games. You are
limited by the integrated storage of only 8GB, but you can store media on a
The Nokia Lumia 625 ships with Windows Phone 8 and the latest
Nokia Amber update. This includes software such as Nokia Smart Camera, HERE
Maps suite, Nokia Music, FM radio, Nokia Video Trimmer, and Nokia Video Upload
The device is currently not available in the US, but is being
sold as an international unlocked device. With the evaluation AT&T SIM card
in the device, AT&T featured apps appear in the Windows Phone Store so you
can install them if you desire. There are no AT&T apps installed by default
I have covered Windows Phone quite a bit over the past three
years and there is nothing particularly new or unique in the Nokia Lumia 625.
Pros and Cons
To summarize my experiences and the specifications of the Lumia
625, here are my pros and cons.
·MicroSD memory card expansion slot
·Latest Windows Phone 8 software
·Excellent Nokia apps and services
·Durable and colorful shell
·Low resolution display
·Low internal storage memory
·No wireless charging
The Nokia Lumia 625 is
not being sold in the US by any carrier. However, you can find it from
importers, including for just $342.50 at Negri Electronics. It is
not yet available in other countries, but is coming soon.
Most Windows Phones are 4.3 or 4.5 inches in size and the Lumia
625 is the largest display device so far. There are plenty of large screen
Android devices, but few that are as affordable as the Lumia 625. If you need a
large display for viewing content then the Lumia 625 is a good low-priced
As you can see in the raw specifications, there were several
trade-offs made to lower the price of the Nokia Lumia 625.
·Dimensions of 133.2 x 72.2 x 9.2 mm and 159 grams
The Nokia Lumia 625 isn't going to blow you away and isn't going
to compete for the best Windows Phone title. However, it is designed to be a
low cost Windows Phone with a large display and it succeeds in that regard. I
am giving it a rating based in large part on the low price that goes along with
the device. If we look at the Lumia 625 across the entire Windows Phone
spectrum, not considering price, then I would give it a 5 out of 10.
Redmond, Wash., and
Mountain View, Calif., are at it again, leavingWindows Phoneusers inconvenienced.
two days after a new YouTube app for the Windows Phonedebuted, Google has blocked the app —
again.Google, which ownsYouTube, confirmed toMashablein a statement that it has disabled
the app over grievances with a terms of service violation:
We’re committed to
providing users and creators with a great and consistent YouTube experience
across devices, and we’ve been working with Microsoft to build a fully featured
YouTube for Windows Phone app, based on HTML5. Unfortunately, Microsoft has not
made the browser upgrades necessary to enable a fully-featured YouTube
experience, and has instead re-released a YouTube app that violates our Terms
of Service. It has been disabled. We value our broad developer community and
therefore ask everyone to adhere to the same guidelines.
AMicrosoftspokesperson also toldMashablethe app has been blocked but did not
elaborate: “Google is blocking our updated YouTube app for Windows Phone. We
are working with them to resolve the issue.”
is not the first time this has happened. Earlier this year, Google and
Microsoftbickeredover Microsoft failing to include
advertising on the YouTube app for Windows Phones. Google then demanded that
Microsoft take YouTube off the Windows Phone OS because of its lack of ads. The
tech giants eventuallymade
amendsin May, and Microsoft
released its latest app Tuesday.
new inconvenience appeared to baffle and irritate some Windows Phone users:
customerreviewson the app's page in the Windows Phone
store clearly showed customer frustrations. "Pathetic," said user
Matthew. "Not working after last update," user Sara said.
"Waited ages for this app and it doesn't work ... Thanks Microsoft. It
just says 'something went wrong ... We don't know what,'" said user