Feature Article

September 20, 2014

Mobility TechZone Week in Review: Smartphones Galore

Today is the big day – the iPhone6 launched in stores all around the world, and consumers are rushing the stores to purchase their own or claim their pre-ordered device from Apple. With over 4 million pre-orders in the first 24 hours of availability, today's sales are expected to be record-breaking. But of course, that is not the only news that happened this week in the world of Smartphones, even if it is the largest story. Here's a look at some of the rest of the developments in the mobile tech world, focusing on the iPhone 6 and other smartphones.

Last week, Sprint introduced something called the “iPhone for Life” plan, which allows users to pay for their phones by the month instead of all at once, with a guaranteed upgrade every two years. However, T-Mobile's CEO John Legere warns that customers may not be as satisfied as they think they could be. “When your network isn't up to par, you have to compete on price,” said Legere, noting that the iPhone for Life plan offers extremely aggressive pricing. “If you could, you would do that later. If customers come in because of price and see that Sprint's network is not right, they're going to leave.”

Smartphones of all types, not just iPhones, are also rapidly becoming more popular: so much so that a recent report from Juniper Research predicts that by the end of the year, a total of 1.2 billion smartphone shipments will have been made in 2014. While the iPhone 6 is expected to make up a large portion of these sales, the Android One is also expected to drive another large portion, as well as several other devices that use the latest in smartphone technology. Instead of simply being sold to first-time buyers, a majority of these shipments will be device upgrades.

However, Apple appears to be controlling a tight leash over the iPhone 6 and the Apps developed for it. Despite the fact that one of the most talked about features of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus is that both models support near field communications (NFC), there are no plans for making this technology available to developers. Apple plans to utilize this program with Apple Pay, which will allow users to use their iPhone as a mobile wallet that automatically makes transactions. But for the forseeable future, developers will not be able to access these services – likely to protect the way that such data is transmitted since the iPhone's NFC capabilities are tied to the user's finances.

Holdouts like this and other fears however have some keeping a careful eye on Apple, vigilant for another slip-up like the iCloud leak of celebrity pictures. Especially, considering that Apple Pay is also vulnerable to the same man-in-the-middle attacks that led to this leak, some analysts are waiting to see if Apple will have any major problems before putting too much faith in the new device.

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