Apple iPhone SE: Can it really be luring in more Android switchers?

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The new four-inch-screen iPhone SE might not have thrilled smartphone fans, but data on Apple’s online sales suggests it is reaching a new group of consumers.

Online sales of the iPhone SE on the first weekend of availability were muted compared with those following the iPhone 6’s launch, and to a lesser extent with those of the iPhone 6s, according to market research firm Slice Intelligence.

The firm produces figures for Apple’s online sales based on electronic receipts in the inboxes of its panel of four million online shoppers in the US. According to its opening weekend data on the new iPhone, sales amounted to about three percent of the iPhone 6’s figures in the equivalent period.

But as Slice Intelligence points out, iPhone SE buyers look different to the typical Apple fanboy — and are more likely to be switching from Android devices than iPhone 6 buyers were.

About half of iPhone 6s buyers had bought an earlier iPhone online in the past two years, while 10 percent bought an Android handset in the period. The equivalent figures for iPhone SE buyers are 35 percent and 16 percent respectively, which means more Android switchers for that device.

Also, 48 percent of iPhone SE buyers hadn’t bought a phone in the past two years, compared with 40 percent for iPhone 6s buyers. In other words, the new four-inch phone from Apple appears to be attracting more consumers who don’t conform to the usual two-year upgrade cycle.

A larger proportion of iPhone SE launch buyers are also older and male, compared with the average for all iPhone buyers.

“More than one fifth [21 percent] of SE buyers are in the 45-to-54 age demographic, versus 18 percent for all iPhone buyers; and 77 percent of SE buyers are men, versus 69 percent,” Slice Intelligence said.

Additionally, 15 percent of iPhone SE buyers were aged 65 and over compared with 12.8 percent in that age group for all iPhone buyers.

Slice Intelligence argues that this statistic shows the iPhone SE is attracting new consumers to the iPhone. It also highlights that 38 percent of iPhone SE buyers have a college degree, compared with 46 percent who pre-ordered an iPhone 6 or 6s.

The iPhone SE’s lower starting price may also be appealing to Chinese consumers. According to a report from CNBC on Tuesday, iPhone SE pre-orders at Chinese retailers have reached 3.4 million.

A JP Morgan analyst last week estimated iPhone SE sales would reach 17 million in 2016, giving Apple an additional $6.9bn in revenue.

This is the best use of 3D Touch on the iPhone yet

Six months after the release of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, I’ve yet to find a consistent use for 3D Touch. Sometimes I remember to press light enough to preview an email, or view a photo in Instagram. But the bulk of the time I tap on the screen and use my phone as I always have.

That might change, however, as I accidentally discovered the best 3D Touch use ever. As you likely know, you can press on an app’s icon to bring up a series of shortcuts to actions within the app. For example, pressing on the Messages icon will bring up three contacts you talk to frequently, along with a shortcut to composing a new message.

The next time the App Store icon has a red badge on it, which indicates multiple apps have an update, lightly press on the App Store icon, then select Update All. The App Store will launch and begin downloading all available app updates. It’s such a small shortcut, but one that I will use almost daily, and I love it.

iOS 9.3 most stable release from Apple, more stable than Android 6.0

According to a new report by app analytics firm Apteligent, Apple’s latest iOS 9.3 build is the most stable new release by the Cupertino-based company in years. The report revealed a 2.2% crash rate for iOS 9.3 in the past eight days.

Other major releases, including iOS 8, 9, and 9.2, had their crash rate cross the 3.2% mark in the same time-period. In addition, the report revealed that iOS 9.3’s rate of crash was also better than that of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which saw a crash rate of 2.6%.

It’s worth mentioning that iOS 9.3 has also had its own share of problems – it’s roll-out wastemporarily put on hold for some older models due to an issue with the update procedure.

Suppliers say iPhone SE sales probably won’t be enough to offset expected Q2 revenue drop

Apple’s new reboot of the 4-inch iPhone factor is doing pretty well. The pocket-friendly device has reportedly received 3.4 million registrations in China and is expected to sell between four and five million units in the second fiscal quarter. Its more affordable price point is also serving great in attracting Android converts, so, in a nutshell, the little handset can be considered an overall success.

However, industry supply chain sources have warned that the iPhone SE won’t manage to overcome the already expected 11% or so decrease in Apple’s revenue in Q2 this year. To quote the source itself:

Shipments for the new iPhone SE will be unable to offset the fall in shipments for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus devices in the second quarter … The shipment target for the SE in the second quarter is four to five million units

So why is this happening? Well, one possible reason has to do with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Back in 2014, Apple had some trouble in keeping up with demands after their release and a lot of sales were inadvertently put off for January. This has resulted in an inflated year-over-year figure to beat. Also, an endlessly increasing market value isn’t really possible and Apple has already over-exceeded market predictions in this respect.

In any case, we won’t know any market figures for certain before the official report becomes available on April 25.

Apple releases iOS 9.3.1 to fix crashes caused by tapping links

iOS 9.3 was released to the public on March 21, the same day as Apple’s big event where it unveiled the iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7 (both of which are now available, by the way). Yet here we are just 10 days later and the company has deemed it necessary to already issue an emergency update for its mobile operating system.

iOS 9.3.1 is now rolling out to supported iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch units across the world. Its only function is to fix a very nasty bug that somehow made the cut to the final version of iOS 9.3. This bug will render your Apple device useless after tapping on links in Safari and other apps.

Thankfully, after you update your device to iOS 9.3.1, the crashing and unresponsiveness associated with tapping on links in certain circumstances will happen no more. So clearly this is one update that you should apply as soon as possible, especially if you have been affected by this bug.

Nothing else is included in this iOS release, so you don’t get any new features or anything like that. Then again, iOS 9.3 itself comes with plenty of those, and it’s only been out for everyone since last week, so that makes perfect sense.

Apple iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7 now shipping worldwide

Apple iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7 went official a few days ago and were made available on pre-order shortly after. While just a few markets participated in the first week of pre-orders, two days ago Apple extended the list by adding many more countries.

The first batch of pre-orders was supposed to begin shipping today, and indeed it did. The new iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7 are now shipping as promised. Both devices are also available for purchase in Apple Retail Stores while other retailers should be offering them in few days, if not already.

The iPhone SE launch, as suggested by the worldwide traffic data, was a huge hit in China and India, while the rest of the key markets seemed a lot less excited. Naturally, China and India are not only the biggest markets in the world but also the ones where the affordable smartphones usually sell the most.

Bearing top-notch Apple hardware within a smaller chassis and with more attractive pricing, the new iPhone SE is also reported to attract more Android users than any other iPhone to date.

Anyway, there are millions of pre-orders worldwide, and some of the latest iPhone SE orders are being pushed from a week up to 4 or 6 weeks depending on the configuration. So, whatever the data is suggesting right now, it seems the iPhone SE will be selling well no matter what.

iOS 9.3 problems: Here’s how to fix the most common issues

iOS 9.3 problems: Here's how to fix the most common issues

Some people are experiencing a problem with iOS 9.3 that bricks their iPad 2, and we’ve got a solution to help bring it back to life.

Apple has now launched iOS 9.3, its latest update to the iOS 9 software that runs on most of the world’s iPhones and iPads. While the free update should go smoothly, you may find you’re encountering some problems with iOS 9.3 after (or even during) the update.

We’ve put together this guide covering the most common issues with iOS 9.3, and how to fix them, so if your iPhone or iPad isn’t behaving properly after the iOS 9.3 update, check out our list of issues below to see if there’s a solution.

If you’re experiencing a problem in iOS 9.3 that we haven’t solved, let us know in the comments and we’ll look into it.

iOS 9.3 problems: Here's how to fix the most common issues

No iOS 9.3 update is available

Apple has made iOS 9.3 available for free for devices running iOS 9, and the update should be waiting for you when you go to Settings > General > Software Update.

However, what can you do if the iOS 9.3 update isn’t showing on your device? The first thing is try updating it via iTunes on your Mac or PC.

Begin by making sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed, then connect your device to your Windows PC or Mac. Next, open up iTunes, select your device and click ‘Summary’ then ‘Check for Update’. The iOS 9.3 update should then display, enabling you to update through iTunes.

If you can’t get to a computer with iTunes you could visit an Apple Store and ask someone there to connect your device. It may also be worth waiting a few days for Apple’s servers to calm down after the initial rush of people downloading the update.

Also make sure your device has plenty of charge left in its battery, and that you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network before you attempt to download and install the iOS 9.3 update wirelessly.

Device freezes while updating

If your device stops responding while you’re updating to iOS 9.3, try resetting your device by holding the power and home buttons down at the same time for around 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo.

If that doesn’t work, plug your device into a power socket and let it charge for around 15 minutes. After it’s charged, reset the device again and hopefully it’ll return to a working state.

If that doesn’t work, plug your device into a PC or Mac running iTunes, click the iPhone or iPad icon and select either Restore iPhone or Restore iPad in the Summary section.

You’ll be given the option to back up your settings before restoring, which is advisable. Then, click Restore and iTunes will restore your device to a previous backup that you’ve saved either in iTunes or in iCloud.

Cannot install iOS 9.3

If you encounter problems while trying to install iOS 9.3 try the following. First make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your PC or Mac. Also make sure that whichever operating system you’re using is up to date.

Antivirus software running in the background may be causing problems, so temporarily pause or disable your security software – if you do this, make sure you remember to turn it back on once you’ve successfully updated to iOS 9.3.

Unplug any additional USB devices that are connected to your computer, leaving just your iOS device, and keyboard and mouse, attached.

Reboot both your computer and your iOS device. Now try updating to iOS 9.3 through iTunes.

Cannot activate iPhone or iPad

If you’re having trouble activating your device after upgrading to iOS 9.3, you’re not alone. Owners of older iPads, specifically the iPad 2, have reported iOS 9.3 authentication problems.

First, restart your device by pressing and holding the power and home buttons for 10 seconds, until the screen displays the Apple logo.

If after your device has restarted you still can’t activate, connect your device to a PC or Mac running iTunes and try updating.

Another way to activate your device is to first turn it off, then log in to the iCloud websitewith your Apple ID and password. Click on Find iPhone, then All Devices. Select the device you’re having trouble activating and click Remove.

Do not click Erase or Mark as ‘Lost’. Now turn on your device and try to activate it again. Hopefully that should work, and if it does, go into Settings and turn on Find My iPhone.

If you then see the ‘Cannot activate because the activation server is temporarily not available’ message, try again later, as it might be that Apple’s activation server has shut down due to high demand.

Reduced battery life

If you find that the battery life of your iPhone or iPad has noticeably reduced since upgrading to iOS 9.3, try resetting the device by pressing and holding the power and home buttons for around 10 seconds, until the Apple logo appears.

For more advice on improving the battery life of your phone, check out our comprehensive guide on how to improve iPhone battery life.

My iPad 2 has stopped working after updating to iOS 9.3

Many people with the iPad 2 have been complaining that their devices have stopped working after updating to iOS 9.3.

The issues have been serious – and numerous – enough for Apple to release a brand new build for iOS 9.3, known as 13E236.

This update should be rolling out to iPad 2 owners now, so check for the new update. If your iPad 2 is unresponsive – also known as bricked – then you can download the new build of iOS 9.3 by plugging your device into a PC and updating via iTunes.

iPhone SE release date, news and features

iPhone SE release date, news and features

Apple’s new 4-inch iPhone SE is now on sale. Will you be splashing the cash on this palm friendly smartphone?

The iPhone SE is here, and we’ve got all the details you need to know about Apple’s new 4-inch iPhone.

It lines up alongside the 4.7-inch iPhone 6S and 5.5-inch iPhone 6S Plus, giving customers a trio of handset sizes to choose from – and three different price tiers as well.

None are particularly cheap, but at least there’s a more affordable option thanks to the iPhone SE.

It measures 123.8mm x 58.6mm x 7.6mm, the same as the iPhone 5S, and tips the scales at 113g (3.99 ounces). The 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector port and speaker are all housed on the bottom, while volume is up top and the circular volume keys and slide switch are on the left.

The camera lens on the rear is also flush with the body, rather than protruding out like on its bigger brothers. The iPhone SE is a little thicker than the 6S and 6S Plus, which means Apple has had a bit more space to play with when it comes to squeezing in the 12MP iSight snapper.

In terms of colors, you’ve got four to pick from for the iPhone SE: silver, gold, space grey and rose gold.

iPhone SE display

The iPhone SE has a 4-inch Retina display, making it perfect for one handed use. The resolution remains at 1136 x 640, which is the same as the iPhone 5S, with a pixel density of 326ppi.

There’s no 3D Touch however, which is only available on the 6S and 6S Plus.

iPhone SE

iPhone SE power

You’ll find an Apple A9 processor and M9 motion coprocessor inside the iPhone SE – those are the same chips you’ll find in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

It makes the iPhone SE 30% faster than the handset it’s replacing, so if you’re looking to jump from an old 4-inch iPhone to the new one, you’ll certainly notice the difference.

Apple never reveals how much RAM it handsets pack, but according to early Antutu benchmarks it looks like the iPhone SE has 2GB of RAM inside – putting it on par with the 6S and 6S Plus.

iPhone SE operating system

No surprises here, the iPhone SE runs iOS 9.3 – the latest operating system from Apple which it launched at the same time at the phone.

It’s not the most scintillating of software updates, but it does bring improvements to Notes, News, Music and Apple Health, plus the introduction of a new feature in Night Shift.

Night Shift automatically adjusts the screen temperature in the evening, making the display warmer which Apple says could help you sleep better if looking at your iPhone (or iPad) is the last thing you do before turning in.

iPhone SE

iPhone SE camera

Again, bringing the iPhone SE in line with Apple’s two current flagships, you’ll find the 12MP iSight camera on this new iPhone which includes the firm’s Live Photos, Focus Pixels, 4K video recording and true tone flash.

Meanwhile on the front there’s a 1.2MP snapper for your selfies and Facetime calls. That’s a slight disappointment consider the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus both sport 5MP front cameras.

iPhone SE

iPhone SE more specs

There’s NFC in the iPhone SE, allowing you to use Apple Pay for contactless payments, something the iPhone 5S cannot do.

iPhone SE release date

iPhone SE is now on sale. If you fancy getting Apple’s latest iPhone, check out our selection of the best iPhone SE deals.

iPhone SE

iPhone SE price

The iPhone SE starts at $399 (£359, AU$679) for the 16GB model, while the 64GB variant will set you back $499 (£439, AU$829). That makes it cheaper than the 6S and 6 handsets Apple will continue to sell.

Will Apple ever release a Mac hybrid?

9.7-inch iPad Pro

Apple now claims two “ultimate” Windows PC replacements, iPad Pro tablets and MacBooks, but the company should look to bridge the gap between those two hardware lines, some analysts say.

As device usage and applications evolve, it will be harder for Apple to distinguish between the iPad Pro and products like the MacBook Air, analysts say.

Apple has aimed the iPad Pro line at users interested in Web browsing and productivity applications and MacBooks at power users. But as more applications are likely to use touchscreens, Apple may need to develop products that merge features like touch with advanced computing capabilities.

That sort of transition would mirror developments already happening on Windows PCs, where tablets and laptops are merging into hybrid devices like Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4.

Apple’s iPads feature iOS and screen sizes under 12.9 inches and are targeted at users comfortable with mobile computing. Apple has pitched its new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, announced this week, as a tablet that can function as a laptop when needed, but it lacks features such as an SD card slot, USB port, and display ports that make it a true PC replacement.

MacBooks have screen sizes starting at 11 inches and run Mac OS X, an operating system aimed at users needing a more full-featured computer.

The merging of features from these products, in theory, could result in a product like a MacBook Air with a touchscreen and more port options than an iPad Pro. Those features could make Apple a closer competitor to Microsoft and its Surface, which can serve both mobile and power users. But any change in Apple’s products won’t come for years, analysts said.

Apple risks confusing customers if it positions two products as PC replacements, said Bob O’Donnell, principal analyst at Technalysis Research.

For now, Apple isn’t yet ready to pit MacBooks against iPads, but over time may need to bring iPad Pro features to MacBooks, or vice versa, to meet the computing needs of customers, O’Donnell said.

“Apple clearly believes that Mac OS, Mac apps and MacBooks should be touch-free, while touch-based apps belong on iPads and iOS,” he added. “Over time, this seems to be more arbitrary and not well-suited to current demands.”

With the iPad Pro and MacBook Air, Apple is trying to reach the broadest number of users and applications, said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

“Apple’s difficulty is in managing two completely different hardware and software platforms,” McGregor said. “If I was to bet on the future, I would bet on an Apple hardware-based platform with a single OS within the next few years.”

But there’s a challenge in merging the two operating systems, said Kevin Krewell, McGregor’s colleague at Tirias Research.

Keeping the two OSes separated allows Apple to manage complexity in a way that Microsoft cannot when trying to merge three operating systems, for PCs, smartphones and the Xbox, into one core Windows 10 OS, Krewell said.

There are additional hardware challenges. Apple’s devices with iOS run on homegrown ARM-based chips, and Macs run on Intel chips. To merge OSes, Apple may have to move its Mac OS over to ARM-based chips, which is no small task because the company is already pushing performance boundaries with its own chips.

“Apple had significant help from Intel in porting to the x86 architecture,” McGregor said. “However, it is in Apple’s interest to keep pursuing its own [chips] and to use them as widely as possible.”

Apple will ultimately figure out where to draw the lines in the Mac-iPad divide. The market will tell the company how to position each product, McGregor said.

Apple’s iPad shipments have been declining. The company shipped 16 million iPads in the first financial quarter of 2016, a decline from the 21.4 million units shipped in the same quarter a year earlier.

Tablet shipments totaled 206.8 million in 2015, declining by 10.1 percent from 2014,according to IDC. But shipments of hybrids like the Surface and iPad Pro are growing, IDC said.

What to Expect at Apple’s March Event

What-to-Expect-at-Apples-March-Event

The invites for Apple’s big March 21 event finally went out today, and we already have a good idea of what to expect. According to the rumor mill, there are two new products that will be revealed: a 4-inch iPhone SE and an 9.7-inch iPad Pro .

The new iPhone, which will probably be called “SE” for reasons still unknown , will reportedly be a throwback to the 5s with its manageable, 4.7-inch screen. But also expect some lighter specs. Unlike the iPhone 6s, we don’t think it will have a camera that supports 4K , and doubt it will have 3D Touch .

As for the upcoming iPad, we’re expecting a smaller iPad Pro that could be pretty cool. It’s supposedly similar to last year’s iPad Pro and sport the same Smart Connector to support Smart Keyboard . It might even work with the Apple Pencil.

Those are the broad strokes of what we know so far. But we’ll continue to post updates as we get closer to the March 21 event.