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New Reversible USB Type-C Standard Gains Support for DisplayPort Video

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) today announced a DisplayPort Alternate Mode for the upcoming USB Type-C connector standard, which will let USB-Type C connectors and cables deliver DisplayPort signals.

As noted by AnandTech, DisplayPort technology built into USB Type-C has the potential to connect monitors, cables, docking stations, and more. With the ability to support displays and carry video data via USB, USB Type-C could potentially serve as the next Thunderbolt connector, powering 4K and higher resolution displays.

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The DisplayPort Alt Mode repurposes some or all of the four existing SuperSpeed USB lanes to deliver full DisplayPort performance, and uses other signaling available in the USB Type-C connector for DisplayPort's AUX channel and HPD (Hot Plug Detection) function. This enables computers, tablets, smartphones, displays, and docking stations to implement the new USB Type-C connector at both ends while using the DisplayPort Standard over USB Type-C to transmit high-resolution A/V along with USB data and power.
Finalized in August, the USB Type-C connector specifications are much improved over previous USB generations. The slim connector is entirely reversible, making it easier to plug in, and due to its thin design, it's suitable for both mobile device and larger computers. It's also certified for USB 3.1 data rates of up to 10 Gbps and can deliver a maximum of 100W of power.

With an alternate DisplayPort mode and four lanes of signaling, one USB Type-C cable could be used to provide power to a device while also driving a connected display. According to VESA, Type-C ports and the first DisplayPort Alt Mode capable devices (using DisplayPort 1.2a) will be available beginning in 2015.

Earlier this morning, a rumor suggested Apple's upcoming 12-inch MacBook would take advantage of the new reversible USB Type-C connector, which is plausible as that device is rumored to begin shipping in mid-2015.

iPhone 6 Plus Display Judged 'Best Smartphone LCD Ever Tested', iPhone 6 Also Solid

DisplayMate, which routinely performs thorough testing of display quality on a variety of electronics, has released its iPhone 6 Display Technology Shoot-Out, taking a look at the performance of Apple's latest handsets using new "Retina HD" technology. While DisplayMate's Ray Soneira has not shied away from criticizing Apple's displays on some recent devices, he found the iPhone 6 Plus to have the "best performing Smartphone LCD display that we have ever tested" while the iPhone 6 also scored well in testing.

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While the "best ever" designation includes the caveat of applying to LED displays and DisplayMate continues to rate the OLED display from the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 as the best overall smartphone display, the gains seen in the iPhone 6 and particularly the iPhone 6 Plus are impressive.
Based on our extensive Lab tests and measurements, the iPhone 6 Plus is the Best performing Smartphone LCD display that we have ever tested. It delivers uniformly consistent all around Top Tier display performance. The iPhone 6 Plus is only the second Smartphone display (LCD or OLED) to ever get all Green (Very Good to Excellent) Ratings in all test and measurement categories (except for Brightness variation with Viewing Angle, which is the case for all LCDs) since we started the Display Technology Shoot-Out article series in 2006, an impressive achievement for a display. The iPhone 6 Plus has raised the bar for top LCD display performance up by a notch.
In particular, the iPhone 6 Plus display sets new records among LCD displays for peak brightness, low reflectance, and several measures of contrast and accuracy.

DisplayMate finds the iPhone 6 display to have many of the same strong areas of performance as in the iPhone 6 Plus, but the lower resolution and pixel density hold the smaller model back somewhat.
Most rescaled images look noticeably better on the iPhone 6 Plus with 2.1 Mega Pixels compared to just 1.0 Mega Pixels on the iPhone 6. In addition, even at the native display resolution, fine text and graphics look better on the iPhone 6 Plus if you look carefully and closely at the screen (because you may want to or need to).

The display on the iPhone 6 is none-the-less still a Very Good display, and most buyers will be happy with its performance, but it’s somewhat disappointing that Apple went for satisfactory as opposed to the best.
DisplayMate's report includes a variety of charts and tables comparing the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to the iPhone 5/5s that are worth a look, as well as some discussion of how LCDs such as those found in the latest iPhones compares with OLEDs favored by Samsung.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Apple's Ultra-Slim 12-Inch Notebook Rumored to Gain USB Type C and Fanless Internals

macbook_air_chassisFollowing a previous report claiming Apple's much-rumored 12" ultra-slim notebook is planned to arrive in silver, gold, and space gray color options, Jack March has issued a follow-up report sharing additional details on the machine.

According to March's report, which MacRumors believes to be based on legitimate information, the new notebook has a much thinner design the appears to sacrifice many of the usual ports seen on Apple's current notebooks and may adopt the new reversible USB Type C connector that has seen its specifications recently finalized.
A source familiar with Apple’s plans describes the 12 inch Macbook Air as having a noticeably thinner design, the source wouldn’t give dimensions however noted that the thinner design may sacrifice the standard USB port and Apple will move to the reversible USB Type C with this product, It is assumed Apple will include an adapter in the box for backwards compatibility.
Interestingly, the report raises some questions about charging on the notebook, indicating that the usual MagSafe port has been removed in favor of a new, unspecified charging method.

In line with previous rumors, the machine is reportedly fanless, suggesting it will adopt an ultra low-power processor such as the Broadwell-Y Core M processors recently announced by Intel. The body of the new notebook is also said to be narrower than the current MacBook Air, with narrower display bezels and a keyboard stretching right to the edges of the machine. Finally, the speakers are said to be located above the keyboard with visible grilles, unlike the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro that have their speakers located underneath the keyboard.

Apple's 12-inch notebook has been rumored for some time, with the launch perhaps being pushed back due to multiple delays for Intel's Broadwell chips. March's previous report indicated Apple appears to be currently looking toward a mid-2015 launch.

(Image: Chassis of current MacBook Air)

Related roundup: MacBook Air

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Top Most Benchmarks and Battery Tests, While 6 Plus Lags in Graphics

AnandTech spent the weekend benchmarking the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, comparing the duo to the iPhone 5s and competing Android handsets. The test results show that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models are at the top of the charts in CPU benchmarks and battery life, while the iPhone 6 Plus lags in graphics performance due to the larger screen.

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In in GPU benchmarks, we generally see a pretty solid lead over the competition for the iPhone 6/A8. It's seems quite clear that there is a significant impact to GPU performance in the iPhone 6 Plus due to the 2208x1242 resolution that all content is rendered at. It seems that this is necessary though, as the rendering system for iOS cannot easily adapt to arbitrary resolutions and display sizes.
AnandTech also examined battery life, noting that "Apple has managed to do something quite incredible with battery life. " Even with a smaller 1810 mAh battery, the iPhone 6 manages to beat out the iPhone 5s and most other Android phones on the market. Not surprisingly with its 2910 mAH battery, the iPhone 6 Plus grabs second place behind the Huawei Ascend Mate 2.

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Apple introduced the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus during its recent September press event and launched the phones on September 19. The two handsets include Apple's new A8 processor, M8 motion co-processor, 8-megapixel iSight camera, faster 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi‑Fi and NFC. Demand for the two phones was high with Apple selling 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units in the first weekend of sales.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Sales Top Ten Million in Launch Weekend

Apple today announced that opening weekend sales of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus topped ten million units, breaking the previous record of nine million units set by the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c last year.

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“Sales for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend, and we couldn’t be happier,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We would like to thank all of our customers for making this our best launch ever, shattering all previous sell-through records by a large margin.
As with previous years, the company also claims that demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been very high, as more orders will be fulfilled over the coming weeks. Apple announced last Monday that it processed four million first-day pre-orders on September 12.

Currently, shipping estimates for new iPhone 6 orders remains at 7-10 business days, while the iPhone 6 Plus is still showing a shipping delay of 3-4 weeks. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will also be available in 20 more countries including Austria, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and more on September 26.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Simultaneous Voice/Data, HD Voice Now Available to Verizon iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Users

Verizon began rolling out its Advanced Calling service earlier this week, enabling voice over LTE (VoLTE) capabilities for select devices that support the service, which includes the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

Numerous iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users are reporting that the VoLTE service is now functional, allowing Verizon iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users to use simultaneous voice and data capabilities for the first time when connected to a 4G LTE network. MacRumors has confirmed that VoLTE is indeed working, enabling users to browse the web or access apps while on a voice call.

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In addition to enabling simultaneous voice and data, Verizon's Advanced Calling features also allow for High-Definition voice calls, which are said to be more "natural-sounding" and Verizon-branded video calls.
Advanced Calling 1.0, a first-generation service suite enabled by Voice over LTE, or VoLTE, technology, is now available on America's largest and most reliable 4G LTE network with XLTE. With Advanced Calling 1.0, there is a clear difference. You will be able to enjoy natural-sounding High-Definition (HD) Voice and a Video Calling experience that's as simple as making a traditional voice call.
Users can enabled Advanced Calling features by visiting the Verizon website and adding the feature to their accounts. Users also need to make sure both Voice and Data are turned on in the iPhone's Settings app. Go to Settings --> Cellular --> Enable LTE --> Tap Voice & Data.

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Verizon's Advanced Calling features are limited to the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, the LG G2, and the Samsung Galaxy S5.

(Thanks, Will!)

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Use 20-Nanometer A8 Processor From TSMC

Apple's 20-nanometer A8 processor in the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was fabricated by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), according to Chipworks (via iFixit). Chipworks has been analyzing the various parts in the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 plus following its release today.

While the iPhone 5s used a 28-nanometer processor, the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus have a 20-nanometer processor, as has been widely rumored. According to TSMC, its 20-nanometer process technology can result in speeds that are much higher than its 28-nanometer chips. The 20-nanometer process also results in a physically smaller chip that draws less power.

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Ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, there were multiple back and forth rumors that made it unclear whether Samsung or TSMC was manufacturing the chips destined for the new iPhones. Previous generation chips, such as the A7 in the iPhone 5s, were manufactured by Samsung, but Apple reportedly entered into a partnership with TSMC in an effort to reduce its reliance on rival Samsung. The shift is also part of a larger effort by Apple to diversify its supply chain, which cuts down on potential manufacturing issues.

Though TSMC created the 20-nanometer chips for the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus, rumors have suggested that Apple hasn't ended its relationship with Samsung entirely. The company is rumored to be producing the 14-nanometer chips that will be used in future iOS devices next year, indicating that Apple has plans to continue having both TSMC and Samsung create chips for its devices.

According to Apple, the A8 chip in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus offers a 25 percent faster CPU and 50 percent better graphics performance compared to the A7 in the iPhone 5s.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Successfully Survive Second Drop Test

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were subjected to their first drop test yesterday after the two devices went on sale in Australia. While the 6 and 6 Plus fared well when dropped on their backs, the screens did see significant shattering when dropped face down on the concrete.

A second drop test conducted today saw somewhat different results. Android Authority dropped the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus in several different ways, including face down, and the two devices saw little damage aside from scuffs. Even when dropped on their faces with a decent amount of force from waist high, the screens remained intact.


A similar result was seen after a genuine accidental drop. The first person to receive an iPhone 6 in Australia opened up the package on camera and immediately dropped the phone on the hard ground, where it miraculously came away unscathed.


It's impossible to determine the overall durability of the screen in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus based on a limited number of drop tests that were conducted under different conditions, but this additional data does serve to reassure users that the devices do have the potential to survive a fall.

Still, given the increased size of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, it may be advisable for users to purchase a case. In fact, several reviews of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus conducted by tech sites suggested the devices "need" a case, and described them as slippery. The Verge, for example, said the iPhone 6 Plus "works better in a case" because it makes the phone easier to hold, hides the camera bump, and covers "the weird lines on the back."

Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus went on sale today, and the devices are now in the hands of millions of customers around the world as customers pick up phones from the Apple Store and receive their pre-orders. New orders for the devices from the Apple Store will ship in 7 to 10 days for the iPhone 6 and 3 to 4 weeks for the iPhone 6 Plus.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Tim Cook Helps Kick Off iPhone 6 Sales at Palo Alto Retail Store

With Apple's retail stores beginning sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus today, customers have been lining up to either pick up their pre-ordered devices or take their chances on launch-day supplies without reservations. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster conducted his annual line count at Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan and found a record 1,880 people in line at 8:00 AM, an increase of 33% over last year's line.

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Tim Cook at final employee meeting before opening doors of Palo Alto store (via @CNBCnow)

Apple executives are also getting into the spirit of the iPhone launch, with CEO Tim Cook making his traditional visit to the Palo Alto store to greet customers. Cook walked the line and posed for photos with customers before heading into the store to meet with staff and open the door to welcome customers.

Several other executives are also out and about, with new retail chief Angela Ahrendts presiding over her first iPhone launch by visiting the flagship store in Sydney, Australia, and Internet software and services chief Eddy Cue making an appearance at the Stanford store.
Nearly all Apple retail stores in launch countries have now opened for business today, with only the three stores in Honolulu, Hawaii yet to begin sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

First Impressions of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Sleek Look, Great Display, Unoptimized Apps Blurry, Loud Vibration

While the official reviews of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were published several days ago, with the devices now making their way into customers' hands we are starting to see broader first impressions of the larger iPhones.

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Case from MacRumors giveaway, based on rumored design specs (Photo by @adam_moreno)

Several posters in our forums have highlighted the high-quality "Retina HD" displays on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but have observed that apps yet to be optimized for the larger displays appear "quite blurry" or "'big' and disgusting" due to scaling issues.

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Photo by jchiou

Another aspect being noticed by users is the much louder vibration on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, something highlighted by John Gruber in his review earlier this week.
The iPhone 6 has a noticeably stronger vibrator to me, and with the iPhone 6 Plus, it’s so powerful it’s actually a bit noisy — the sound made by the 6 Plus vibrator is so strong, I wonder if there are going to be complaints that it’s not “silent” at all.

As someone who runs his iPhone in silent mode much of the time, I definitely appreciate the stronger vibrator.
Customers are also generally praising the overall look of the new iPhones, calling them "sleek and beautifully made" and "glorious". Those opting for the gold model may notice that it is "a bit more yellow golden" than the gold iPhone 5s.

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Gold iPhone 6 (left) vs. gold iPhone 5s (Photo by @horwitz)

As for size, some customers have been concerned about placing orders for the iPhone 6 Plus without having a good idea of just how big the device really is. Reactions now that users are getting their hands on them seem to be mixed, with some saying they "love every inch" of the 5.5-inch display while others have found it too big for their tastes. Some in-store customers were able to compare the two sizes before purchasing, helping make the decision easier.

For ongoing coverage of photos and first impressions, readers are welcome to follow our consolidated thread stickied in our iPhone forum.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Go On Sale in U.S. and Canada to Huge Lines

Following launches in a number of other countries around the world earlier today, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have now begun going on sale in the U.S. and Canada, with 8:00 AM Apple launch times in the eastern and central portions of the countries having already occurred.

As expected, supplies of the iPhone 6 Plus have been tight in some cases, although perhaps not as low as originally thought. Apple's own stores appear to have the strongest supplies of the iPhone 6 Plus, with carrier stores in some cases having barely a handful of units to distribute.

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iPhone 6 line at Toronto's Eaton Centre Apple store snaking through multiple levels (via @KristinaParts)

Lines at most stores, particularly Apple's own locations, are long in most cases, despite the company having offered pre-orders for delivery this year. As of 6:00 AM, the line at Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan stretched for twelve city blocks, according to Business Insider. Other locations are obviously seeing shorter lines, but many customers are reporting lines numbering in the hundreds at their stores.

Some MacRumors forum members are updating their statuses in our iPhone 6 Launch Meetups forum while others are sharing their thoughts in our general iPhone forum as the launch continues.

For those with pre-orders going out for delivery today, our forums remain busy as users track their orders minute-by-minute. MacRumors forum members in the U.S. are generally organizing in one of a number of threads depending on where they ordered from.

- The "I just bought/ordered/shipped/received my new iPhone 6/6 Plus" thread
- iPhone 6 & 6 Plus Sprint Pre-Order Thread!
- T-Mobile.com preorder thread
- ATT Pre-order status
- VZW Order Status Thread
- Apple.com Pre-order thread

Those who already received their iPhones can post first impressions in our forums of their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Get Cracked in First Drop Test

With the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus already underway in several countries, many companies have begun performing tests and benchmarks on the device. PhoneBuff has taken the two devices and put them through a drop test, dropping each on its back, side and front.


The iPhone 6 did well when dropped on the side and back, but unsurprisingly suffered when dropped on its face. The 6 Plus, on the other hand, cracked when it landed on the side. However, it sustained little further damage when falling on its face.

Based on this one test, both phones may have performed worse than the iPhone 5 design which was described as "very durable" and survived similar drops in a previous drop tests. Without standardized testing, it's hard to draw definitive conclusions.

iPhone 6 Plus Teardown: Twice as Big a Battery as iPhone 5s [Update: 1 GB RAM Confirmed]

iFixIt is in the process of taking apart the new iPhone 6 Plus, currently on sale in Australia. Surprisingly, the team points out that the internal layout of the device is extremely similar to that of the iPhone 5s, except at a larger scale and with a bigger battery. The teardown's findings reveal the battery capacity of the device and some internal reorganization.

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In removing the front panel from the rest of the device, the iFixIt team notes that there are "no noticeable booby traps", referring to the iPhone 5s' cable that ran from the Touch ID sensor to the Lightning port. The battery in the device is listed at 2915mAh at 3.82 volts, in line with the previously leaked battery prototype for the device and giving the 6 Plus double the battery capacity of the iPhone 5s' 1560mAh and much larger than the iPhone 6's 1810mAh battery.

The teardown also revealed that the vibrator is now located under the logic board and to the right of the battery.

iFixIt's teardown is still in progress and this post will be updated if anything significant is revealed.

Update 7:45 PM: iFixit has exposed Apple's new A8 processor in their teardown, which reveals the F8164A3PM inscribed on the chip. The second digit in that sequence, 8, corresponds to 8 Gigabits (1 GB) of RAM in Micron's catalog.

Update 11:38 PM: iFixit has assigned the iPhone 6 Plus a repairability score of 7 out of 10, which is an improvement over the iPhone 5s' score of 6 out of 10. The largest difference being the absence of the cable connecting the Touch ID Home button to the Lightning port, which resulted in the cable being torn if one is not careful opening the phone.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Launch Day: What to Expect

Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will launch in the United States tomorrow, with Apple retail stores, carrier stores, and several major retailers offering the two devices for sale.

We've gathered up a list of U.S. locations that will be selling the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, listed below, along with general opening times. Customers hoping for an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus are encouraged to call their local stores for specific information on opening times and potential stock.

- Apple retail stores - 8 a.m local time
- Verizon Wireless - 8 a.m. local time (Not all stores are accepting walk-up purchases, and opening times will vary)
- AT&T - 8 a.m. local time
- T-Mobile - 9 a.m. - 10 a.m local time, but opening times vary
- Sprint - 8.a.m local time
- RadioShack - 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. local time, but opening times vary
- Best Buy - 8 a.m. local time
- Sam's Club - 8 a.m. local time
- Target - Availability will vary
- Walmart - Availability will vary
- Staples - Availability will vary

At Apple Store locations, procedure will be slightly different than it has in past years as Apple will also be handing out iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units to customers who opted for Personal Pickup when pre-ordering online last week.

All customers will be directed to wait in one line until approximately 5 a.m, at which point they will be split into two lines: one for Personal Pickup and one for customers hoping to purchase a device on launch day.

Apple will hand out refreshments like coffee and water, as it does every year, and ahead of the store's opening, customers in the walk-in line (who did not pre-order) will be given a digital Reservation Pass (sent via email or SMS) to guarantee them an iPhone. This year's Reservation Passes replace the paper cards that have been handed out in past years.

Walk-in customers planning to wait in line should aim to arrive as early as possible. Many people hoping to get their hands on an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus are already waiting in line across the United States, and will wait through the night. According to multiple sources, supplies of the iPhone are expected to be low, with the iPhone 6 Plus being in extremely short supply.

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Line at 14th Street Store in New York City, as of 2:30 PT.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are already on sale in Australia, and initial reports have suggested that supplies of the iPhone 6 Plus are indeed constrained. According to one MacRumors reader, many stores in Melbourne, Australia received only one iPhone 6 Plus unit.

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Apple employees in Australia giving an iPhone to the first customer in line

As for customers who pre-ordered and plan to do Personal Pickup, arriving early is also generally recommended as the pickup line can get long as well.

Customers who pre-ordered early and selected at home shipping will also begin receiving their devices on Friday, September 19, with most shipments listing guaranteed delivery by the end of the day. MacRumors readers who are expecting shipments can join in on several threads in our forums, where readers are tracking their shipments and order statuses:

- The "I just bought/ordered/shipped/received my new iPhone 6/6 Plus" thread
- iPhone 6 & 6 Plus Sprint Pre-Order Thread!
- T-Mobile.com preorder thread
- ATT Pre-order status
- VZW Order Status Thread
- UK iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Thread
- Apple.com Pre-order thread
- iPhone 6 Launch Meetups

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Photographer Tests iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in Iceland, Demos Focus Pixels, Other Camera Improvements

With every iteration of the iPhone, Apple aims to bring significant improvements to the device's camera. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are no exception, packing in several new features like Focus Pixels, Exposure Control, Panorama improvements, Slo-Mo video enhancements, and Optical Image Stabilization for the iPhone 6 Plus.

Professional photographer Austin Mann partnered with The Verge to test the cameras in both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus in Iceland and came away with some impressive results.

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One of the major new features in the new devices is Focus Pixels, which is the result of a new image signal processor. As described by Apple, Focus Pixels provides the sensor with more information about an image, which results in faster autofocusing.

In a video, Mann demonstrated Focus Pixels, showing much faster autofocusing on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. As seen in the still below, taken from the video, the iPhone 6 Plus is able to refocus on a scene much more quickly after an object placed in front of the camera causes the lens to refocus.

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According to Mann, Focus Pixels keeps objects in focus in photographs, but it really shines when capturing video because it vastly speeds up refocusing. Focus Pixels are also highly useful in low-light situations -- where previous iPhones might have had trouble focusing in low light, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus work well, even better than some DSLRs.

Combined with optical image stabilization in the iPhone 6 Plus, the results are impressive. A comparison of an image shot with Phone 5s (top) and the iPhone 6 Plus (bottom) in low light is below.

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Another improvement made to iOS 8 and thus the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is Exposure Control, which allows for manual control over exposure and thus more control over the way photos turn out. Two shots, one with exposure control (left) and one with no exposure control (right) are shown off below.

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Also new to the iPhone 6/6 Plus and iOS 8 is time-lapse video and improved Slo-Mo video. In iOS 7, Slo-Mo allowed users to capture up to 120 frames per second (fps) at 720p, but in iOS 8, that's been improved to 240fps, allowing for much improved slow motion video capabilities. Both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are also capable of shooting 1080p video at up to 60fps.

While Mann doesn't spend too much time focusing on comparisons between the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 6/6 Plus, he does have a few shots that show much improved picture taking capabilities. Mann also doesn't make comparisons between the 6 and the 6 Plus, the latter of which has optical image stabilization, but photos taken with the two devices are equally impressive.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pack in new innovations that make the camera experience better and more fun. What I love most about these innovations is they focus on enabling iPhone users to better capture and share life rather than just beefing up tech specs. The Apple team clearly understands their user base very well and incessantly strives to create devices that solve technical challenges and simplify experiences and they've done that yet again with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Photographers are really going to enjoy this upgrade... with way better low light, a massive viewfinder and new tools like timelapse that work flawlessly I really couldn't ask for much more out of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus camera.
Austin Mann's complete overview of the camera in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is well worth reading, as it contains a multitude of gorgeous images he was able to capture with the devices.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

FlightAware Offers Tool For Tracking iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Pre-Order Shipment Flights

Apple began shipping out early iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders on Thursday morning, and FlightAware, a site that offers live flight tracking, has created a tool that allows users to track the flights carrying their iPhones after receiving a tracking number.

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According to FlightAware, users can check the "departure scan" in their UPS tracking information which may match a departure time and flight listed on the tracking page. Currently, the page is tracking UPS flights from Shenzhen, China to Anchorage, Alaska and Anchorage to Louisville, Kentucky, all of which are standard flight rounds for shipping companies.

Currently, many iPhones that will be shipping out to customers overnight and in the morning are aggregated in Kentucky, a worldwide UPS air hub known as Worldport. Apple appears to have shipped the majority of iPhone units using Next Day Air.

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The first iPhone 6 and 6 Plus shipments are expected to arrive on Friday, September 19, but oftentimes, some lucky customers receive their shipments early due to shipping company errors. Apple will also begin selling the devices in stores on Friday, but supplies are expected to be tight, especially for the iPhone 6 Plus.

MacRumors readers who are waiting for an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus may also want to join in on the dedicated Apple pre-order thread on the forums, where users share tracking information and socialize while waiting for their devices to arrive.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

iPhone 6 Plus Reportedly in Very Short Supply for In-Store Launch

Ahead of tomorrow's launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in a number of countries, customers who didn't place pre-orders for delivery have been lining up at Apple's retail stores and those of its carrier and retail partners hoping to obtain one first thing in the morning.

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A new report from BGR claims, however, that those looking for an iPhone 6 Plus are likely to be disappointed, as the units are in extremely short supply.
We are told that stores have been receiving shipments all throughout the day, and out of all the new iPhone 6 models received, typically only about 2-3% are iPhone 6 Plus units, and in only one color.

There is "no chance" of finding an iPhone 6 Plus unit to purchase tomorrow, we were told. Sources also said there are no 16GB iPhone 6 Plus devices to be found.
The report notes that stores are seeing decent supplies of iPhone 6 units, with all colors and capacities available, but much like with the gold iPhone 5s last year, it appears that only a handful of customers at the very front of store lines will be able to purchase an iPhone 6 Plus at many locations.

Update: Multiple carriers have confirmed that supplies of the iPhone 6 Plus will be constrained, reports Re/code, with a Sprint representative saying the company's inventory is "extremely limited."

Related roundup: iPhone 6

SwiftKey's iOS 8 Keyboard Hits One Million Downloads in Under 24 Hours

Earlier today, we highlighted how a number of new third-party systemwide keyboard for iOS 8 are topping the App Store charts, with SwiftKey Keyboard [Direct Link] displacing Facebook Messenger from the top spot on the free iPhone app chart in the United States.

Moving beyond the charts to look at raw download numbers, the success of these new keyboards is even more clear, with SwiftKey telling MacRumors that its iOS 8 keyboard has just passed one million downloads in less than 24 hours.

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SwiftKey saw a brief launch delay yesterday due to App Store processing, and thus it did not go live until around noon Pacific Time, meaning that it has reached the milestone in roughly 22 hours.

SwiftKey is certainly benefiting from its positioning as a free app compared to competitors such as Swype and Fleksy, but it offers users a good opportunity to try out an alternative to Apple's default keyboard. SwiftKey will continue to upgrade its keyboard over time, no doubt at some point adding in premium features to generate income for the company.

iOS 8 Keyboards Climb to Top of App Store Charts

With yesterday's launch of iOS 8, devices running the new operating system are now able to install third-party keyboards that work on a systemwide basis. Most of the major keyboard makers were ready for the launch, introducing iOS 8 versions of their keyboards into the iOS App Store. One day after launch, three of these keyboards, including Fleksy, SwiftKey and Swype, are now at the top of the top iOS paid and free charts in the U.S. and other countries.

Within 24 hours of their debut, paid keyboards Swype and Fleksy climbed to the top two spots in the U.S. paid iOS app chart, displacing popular games such as Minecraft Pocket Edition and Five Nights at Freddy's. On the free app chart, Swiftkey jumped to the number one spot, beating out the now freemium and very popular 1Password password manager and the newly launched Amazing Thief game. Perhaps most impressively, SwiftKey has even displaced longtime number one Facebook Messenger from its spot atop the rankings.

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The new keyboards are of course benefiting from launch-day momentum of the iOS 8 debut, and it remains to be seen where they will settle in the charts following the initial surge of interest. Still, it is clear that many users are interested in at least trying out alternatives to Apple's default keyboard, even with its new QuickType suggestions implemented in iOS 8.

These three keyboards and more are available to all iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners running iOS 8. SwiftKey [Direct Link] is available for free from the iOS App Store, while Fleksy [Direct Link] costs $1.99 and Swype [Direct Link] is 99 cents.

iOS 8 Downloads Cause Spike in Web Traffic as Adoption Rate Climbs Slowly

Apple yesterday released iOS 8 to the public, opening the doors for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners to download and install Apple's latest version of iOS on their devices. According to The Guardian, this release caused internet traffic to surge in the UK by as much as 60 percent compared to the same time the previous day as millions of iOS users rushed to update their devices.

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LONAP web traffic data from iOS launch timeframe (blue) vs. previous day (red)

Data from LONAP shows that web traffic surged just as iOS 8 was released at 6:00 PM UK time. Traffic remained strong for several hours, with a peak at 8:00 PM in the UK as more than 70 gigabits per second were being transferred through LONAP's exchange.

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iOS 8 adoption from Mixpanel


iOS 8 may have caused web traffic to briefly increase, but the first-day adoption rate of the mobile operating system is relatively low when compared to previous iOS rollouts. According to analytics firm Mixpanel, only 14 percent of the iOS devices that it tracks are currently running iOS 8. Data from mobile marketing company Fiksu shows a similar slow uptake in iOS 8 with the adoption of Apple's latest iOS version trailing the last that of the last several iOS launches.

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Fiksu iOS 8 Tracker

The slower update rate may be due to a record number of iPhone owners purchasing new devices. Apple sold more than four million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units in the first 24 hours that pre-orders were available last week. Customers who are receiving a new phone in the coming weeks may delay upgrading their current device, opting instead to prepare the handset for sale.

Another factor may be the large storage size required for the over-the-air updates. Though the iOS 8 update was just over 1 GB in size, it required 4.6 GB of free storage space on an iPhone and almost 7 GB of free storage on an iPad for installation. That's almost half the free space available on a 16 GB device, forcing many owners to decide whether to delete content from their devices or install the update.

Related roundup: iPhone 6