Mobile Phone News

Apple resorts to disabling repaired iPhones

iPhone 6s Force TouchPeople who get their iPhones repaired and refurbished by third party outlets could find that an error is getting in the way of their normal user experience, according to the Guardian.

This is because Apple has apparently integrated a capability with iOS 9 which effectively disables a handset if it detects that unofficial repair work has been carried out on the Home Button.

The so called ‘error 53’ issue only impacts iPhones which have TouchID capabilities, although there are reports of people with common issues, such as cracked screens, seeing similar problems after repair.

Apple released a statement in which it explained that the TouchID-related shutdown of repaired iPhones is occurring because it wants to prevent people tampering with the fingerprint scanner, to bypass handset security. It also confirmed that installing any unofficial components could also be a trigger for this fault.

The reason that many people choose to use a third party firm to repair their iPhone is that Apple’s own repair services may be too expensive or there may not be a nearby Apple Store. So it seems a shame that owners are being discouraged from taking the most affordable route available to them.

Galaxy S7 Edge release details leaked

Samsung has erroneously added some information about its upcoming Galaxy S7 Edge handset to one of its official websites, providing an insight into what to expect when this device launches later in the month.

Following on from the S6 Edge, this device will sport a display which is curved at both edges. And Samsung seems to be working on a new type of interface, which makes more of this hardware feature, with widgets that allow users to explore new functions.

The good news is that these edge-leveraging software capabilities are also going to be rolled out to existing members of the Edge family, including the original S6 Edge and the larger S6 Edge Plus.

Much more should be known about the S7 Edge when it is announced alongside the standard S7 on the 21st of February at an event that Samsung has already been promoting to media attendees.

A report from Juniper Research published this week, showed that smartphone sales were slowing across the board, with Apple and Samsung suffering from less than single digit growth in the final quarter of 2015. So the S7 Edge and the iPhone 7 need new innovations to revitalise the marketplace.

BlackBerry plans more Android phones

Blackberry Priv VeniceAlthough it was once a powerful part of the smartphone market, BlackBerry has fallen out of favour in recent years, just as Apple and Google have risen to prominence. And while its first Android phone came out last autumn, the Canadian manufacturer now looks set to launch more devices running this platform in the future.

Earlier, BlackBerry handsets were powered by own-brand operating systems, including the most recent version, BB10. But company spokesperson, Damian Tay, explained that Android was likely to be embraced wholeheartedly as his team works to make it more secure, according to an interview he gave to the Economic Times.

That does not mean that BB10 is being resigned from service immediately, but rather that the long term plan is to make all BlackBerry handsets with Android rather than any other OS.

The BlackBerry Priv was the firm’s fledgling Android mobile device and received positive reviews, especially as a result of its privacy-focused software features. And while, for the time being, there are no specific details on any future Android phones from this firm, it does seem that it has entirely given up on the idea of sustaining its own-brand OS going forwards.

LG has two top tier smartphones in development

The old LG G4

LG has confirmed that it will be launching not one but two flagship handsets over the course of 2016, giving it a better chance of becoming competitive at a time when its rivals are working harder than ever to outdo each other.

The first of the two to arrive is likely to be the G5, which is set to make its debut next month at MWC 2016. Not much is known about this handset so far, although rumours suggest that it will come with benefits such as a removable battery, which is mounted in its own slide-out tray, mirroring the way SIM cards are accessed on some devices.

The second flagship is thought to be the LG V11, which will follow on from last year’s V10. This is likely to feature the same dual-display setup on the front as its predecessor, along with a pair of cameras integrated above the panels, to provide impressive photographic capabilities.

LG has been playing catch-up to companies like Samsung and Apple with its recent flagship arrivals, so 2016 will be another year in which its attempts to claw back some market share are especially critical to its long term success.

iPhone 6C may actually be upgraded iPhone 5S

Apple 3D TouchIn the past few weeks there have been a multitude of rumours about Apple’s alleged intentions to launch a new, affordable iPhone in the first half of 2016. But new information given to 9to5Mac suggests that this device will not be known as the iPhone 6C, instead taking the title of the iPhone 5SE, in recognition of its links to the older iPhone 5S.

In fact, the handset will likely be an amalgamation of the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 6, borrowing the four inch display from the former and the higher end processor, camera and NFC capabilities from the latter.

This will mean that it should be compatible with the Apple Pay service, while benefitting from an updated chassis, which makes it look a little closer to the iPhone 6S in terms of aesthetics.

Industry observers are predicting that the iPhone 5SE will likely sell for around £379 when it is launched in April, meaning that it will step in to fill the slot in Apple’s smartphone range currently occupied by the original iPhone 5S.

All signs are pointing to the impending arrival of a new iPhone and its affordability should help to open up Apple’s mobile handsets to a wider audience.