iNews Review

iPhone 5 Tops Benchmarks, iPhone 5 Outsells 'Smarter' Phones, iPad First in Satisfaction, and More

This Week's iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Apple TV News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2012.09.25

The big unknown for the iPhone 5, which went on sale last Friday, is the A6 processor. We know that Apple didn't just modify an off-the-shelf design, but Apple has been pretty quiet about specific details, keeping the focus on what the iPhone 5 does, not the silicon that powers it. We have a whole section dedicated to the A6 this week and will continue to track discoveries and developments about this important processor.

Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review, and general Mac news is in Mac News Review. Older Macs are covered in Vintage Mac News. All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

Purchases made through links to and Apple's iTunes/iBook/App/Mac App Store support Low End Mac.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

Tech: Apple's A6 CPU

The Competition

Apps & Services

Presentation & Protection

iPod Deals

These price trackers are updated every month.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

iPhone 5 Tops Benchmark Chart for Smartphones & Tablets

The Register's Tony Smith reports that Apple's iPhone 5 is one of the fastest ARM devices out there, beating even the Asus-made Google Nexus 7, at least if benchmark data posted online are to be believed.

Smith notes that an entry in the Geekbench database shows the new handset clocking a score of 1601, with the readout indicating a dual-core ARMv7 CPU running at 1 GHz and equipped with 1 GB of memory. That compares to the Nexus 7's score of 1591 and the Asus Transformer Prime TF201's 1497, so the iPhone 5 result, if genuine, shows the handset beating tablets. So does Samsung's Galaxy S III, but its score of 1560 running Android 4.0 is still behind that of the purported iPhone 5 result.

iPhone 5 Selling Fast While 'Smarter' Phones Aren't

The Telegraph's Mic Wright says when consumer technology was the province of hard-core geeks, lists of specifications meant a great deal. It was a badge of honor to have more RAM, a better graphics card, and a faster processor, because, for many, it was the individual numbers that mattered more than the sum of the parts.

Some gadget buyers still have that mindset, but they don't drive huge sales numbers.

Wright observes that while many in the tech press were declaring the iPhone 5 "boring", Apple's new handset was ordered more than two million times in the first 24 hours of availability - twice the rate of its predecessor, the iPhone 4S, in its first 24 hours. While the geek constituency relishes digging deep into many layers of settings and features, mainstream consumers simply don't and just want devices to be easy and enjoyable to use. Where Samsung, Motorola, and the rest present lists of specs and features, Apple aims to demonstrate how its devices will fit into customers lives.

J.D. Power: Apple Ranks Highest in Owner Satisfaction Among Tablet Manufacturers

PR: Tablets are transforming the way content is consumed and challenging the usage patterns for personal computers, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 US Tablet Satisfaction Study released Thursday.

The inaugural Tablet Satisfaction Study finds that tablet owners spend 7.5 hours per week browsing the Internet, watching videos, listening to music, and reading books on their device, compared with spending 9.6 hours per week on a personal computer for the same activities. Overall satisfaction is 857 (on a 1,000-point scale) among owners who view three or more hours of video per week on their tablet, which is 45 points higher than among those who do not. In addition, those who spend three or more hours viewing video content are more likely to purchase another tablet from their current manufacturer in the future than are those who do not watch as much video content (90% vs. 81%, respectively).

"As tablet computing, multimedia, display, and application offerings continue to evolve, their impact on usage patterns will continue to grow," says Dr. Uma S. Jha, senior director of mobile devices at J.D. Power and Associates. "Tablets are a force in the marketplace that offer a great alternative to laptops and netbooks."

The study measures tablet owner satisfaction among those who have owned their tablet for less than two years. Satisfaction is measured across five key factors. In order of importance, they are: performance (26%), ease of operation (22%), styling and design (19%), features (17%), and price (16%).

Apple ranks highest, achieving a score of 848, and performs well in four factors: performance; ease of operation; styling and design; and features. Amazon (841) closely follows Apple in the rankings and performs particularly well in the price factor.

The study also finds the following key tablet usage patterns and purchase trends:

  • Tablet owners who also have a smartphone spend 40% more time browsing the Internet on their tablet than on their smartphone. Similarly, they spend 56% more time using gaming apps on their tablet than on their smartphone.
  • One-fourth (25%) of owners indicate they use their tablet for business purposes.
  • More than one-third (37%) of tablet owners say they are likely to buy a new tablet within the next 12 months.
  • Among tablet owners who are highly satisfied (those rating their device 10 on a 10-point scale), 90% say they are likely to purchase additional consumer electronic devices from the same manufacturer.
  • Three-fourths (75%) of tablet owners indicate they were the sole decision-maker in purchasing their device.
  • More than one-half (61%) of owners share their device with at least one other person.

The 2012 US Tablet Satisfaction Study is based on experiences reported by 1,985 tablet owners. The study was fielded in July 2012.

For more information on customer satisfaction with wireless service, wireless retail sales, cell phone handsets, customer care, prepaid wireless service and business wireless service, visit

Phone 5 Demand Expected to Surpass Supply in 4Q12

DigiTimes Research's Luke Lin and Jason Yang report that while Apple's strategy of only launching one new smartphone model per year allows the company to focus more on the smartphone's overall design and manufacturing details compared to other players, a lack of choices over model selection and specifications, along with a long time gap between the launch of each generation product are relatively limiting factors when it comes to the iPhone's penetration into the market.

An example is the iPhone 5's use of in-cell touchscreen panels, and Lin and Yang note that while improving yield rates for the panels should allow iPhone 5 shipments in the fourth quarter to reach 30-35 million units, the volume will still be unable to satisfy demand, with total iPhone (all models) shipments in the fourth quarter expected to reach more than 40 million units. The reporters observe that only Japan-based Japan Display and Korea-based LG Display have a production yield close to 80% for in-cell touchscreen panels, and Sharp, which has a yield rate at 30-40%, is only expected to to have a chance to become a major panel supplier to Apple after the panel maker improves the yield rate in the fourth quarter.

Lightning Adapters Will Be a Jackpot for Apple

Hardmac's Lionel notes that in order to connect the iPhone 5 (and the new iPods equipped with the same new Lightning connector) Apple also unveiled four new Lightning products.

A simple USB Lightning cable costs $19, and the adapters are even more expensive. The simple short adapter will cost $29, and it will be an extra $10 for 20 cm (8") of cable at $39. The fourth item, a micro-USB port, is not available everywhere and is specific to the European Union, as all phones sold in that market by law are required allow charging through micro-USB. However, the law allows manufacturers to use an adapter for that and doesn't require them to include it for free, so users will have to spend another $19 or equivalent for that little adapter.

Lightning Connector, the Bad News of the Day?

The French-language Website Casualtek notes that Apple's new iPhone 5 and iPod (and soon iPad) connector called Lightning mocks the need for consumers to change accessories previously acquired to accommodate the new connector format.

And even if you cough up the 29 euros for an optional adapter, you may still be unable to connect your new Apple device to your existing peripherals. As the US Apple Store notes: "This adapter lets you connect devices with a Lightning connector to many of your 30-pin accessories. Video and iPod Out not supported."

Casualtek observes that the previous 30-pin dock connector's video output and audio output are clearly not reproduced by this adapter, so you're out of luck in that context, which could be fatal to many accessories, though labeled "Made for iPhone" and "Made for iPod" and using the analog audio output dock connector.

They also cite a Cnet report that some cars compatible with the iPod/iPhone original 30-pin connector could be orphaned, including Kia, Hyundai, and BMW, which need an analog audio signal.

iFixit: Apple EarPods Teardown

iFixit's Miroslav Djuric and team have snuck a peek inside Apple's new EarPods, noting:

On the outside they certainly look futuristic, but what lurks inside? We knew of only one way to find out.

We didn't assign a repairability score for the EarPods. Unfortunately, products like these earbuds are still of the throw-away kind. Repair is infeasible because sourcing parts is next to impossible, and it would be a tough sell to convince someone to take apart their EarPods - they're glued together, and will never be the same once taken apart.

  • Apple EarPodsWith such a tight fit between the two halves of the EarPods, simply pulling them apart wasn't an option. Enter the X-Acto blade. We don't normally cut open earbuds, but when we do, we prefer X-Acto #11 blades.
  • Like most speakers, the EarPod speakers consist of a diaphragm/cone, a voice coil, a permanent magnet, and a cabinet. The voice coil is supported by a composite diaphragm made of a paper cone and a polymer surround. This is the first iteration of Apple headphones to use paper cones rather than all plastic.
  • Apple had durability in mind with the new EarPods. The new remote design includes larger cable wrapping on both ends to reduce strain on the wires.
  • Apple EarPodsTo make the new EarPods more resistant to water and sweat damage, Apple's designers removed the external microphone grate.
  • The microphone in the EarPods' remote bears the markings 2F17 045; we also uncovered another IC with the markings TI25ASGVI, which Chipworks believes to be an ADC, or a device used for volume-control duty.
  • While all these components look large when shot in our pictures, but they're quite small in real life. This is how the remote's circuit board looks like when compared to a US dime:

Miroslav Djuric
Chief Information Architect, iFixit

Comparison of previous iPhone earbuds, 1G iPod earbuds, and EarPods
Comparison of previous iPhone earbuds, 1G iPod earbuds, and EarPods.

Photos courtesy iFixit.

Parents and Children Prefer Print Books to Ebooks

Children who read enhanced ebooks recall fewer detailsPR: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center's Sarah Vaala and Lori Takeuchi report that to follow up on insights revealed the Center's Print vs. E-books QuickStudy, they conducted a second QuickStudy QuickReport: Parent Co-Reading Survey to survey parents about reading books with their 2-to-6-year-old children in which they assessed family ownership of devices on which ebooks can be read and included a set of questions about reading ebooks with children since market research indicates these are emerging trends.

Vaala and Takeuchi note that because the Apple iPad has demonstrated a quick rise to dominance in the tablet marketplace, the report delves into iPad owners' practices and perceptions surrounding the use of ebooks in their kids' literacy development. The researchers found noteworthy patterns of perceptions and use of ebooks among the families in this sample who own iPads that they say warrant broader conversations and pose important questions for researchers and designer says:

One finding of the research was that both kids and parents tend to still prefer ink-on-paper books to the onscreen kind:

Book reading preference"A majority of the iPad owners who read ebooks with their kids say they still prefer reading print books with them (see Figure 6). In fact, 89.9% of these parents report that they read mostly print books and some ebooks with their children, compared to 7.5% who say they read print books and ebooks equally with their children, and 2.7% who read mostly or exclusively ebooks. While many parents who do not co-read ebooks worry that their children would want to use their iPad all the time, the majority of parents who do read ebooks with their children believe their children actually prefer reading print books together."

Tech: Apple's New A6 CPU

iPhone 5's A6: Not A15 or A9, but a Custom Apple Core

AnandTech's Anand Lal Shimpi notes that when Apple announced that the iPhone 5 is powered by Apple's new A6 SoC, they typically didn't announce clock speeds, CPU microarchitecture, memory bandwidth, or GPU details.

A6 chip inside iPhone 5Lal Shimpi notes that prior to the surprise announcement of the A6, AnandTech had speculated that the iPhone 5's SoC would simply be a higher clocked version of the 32nm A5r2 used in the most recent iPad 2,4 models, with major architecture shifts reserved for their debut on the iPad, and that after the A6 revelation he had provisionally concluded Apple's A6 SoC likely featured two ARM Cortex A15 cores. It turns out he was wrong, but pleasantly surprised to learn that the A6 is the first Apple SoC to use the company's own ARMv7-based processor design whose CPU core(s) aren't based on a "vanilla" A9 or A15 design from ARM IP, but instead Apple's own creation.

The bad news, he says, is that he has no details on the design of Apple's custom core and no indication how many cores there are. He's provisionally assuming two but notes that Apple was careful not to report core count; more details will emerge when a he gets his hands on an iPhone 5.

In the meantime, Lal Shimpi observes that this is a huge deal for Apple, putting the company in another league when it comes to vertical integration, and now we will get to see just how good Apple's CPU team really is.

Analysts: A6 Chip Is Dual-core Cortex-A15 from UK Company

Macworld UK's Karen Haslam reports that according to analysts at Nomura Equity Research, the A6 processor features a dual-core Cortex-A15 licensed from Cambridge, UK-based ARM Holdings, and like previous A-series processors, it is manufactured for Apple by Samsung using its 32nm manufacturing process.

The report notes that the Cortex-A15 offers a 2 GHz clock frequency that is claimed to double the performance of the previous 1.5 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 based Exynos.

If that really is the provenance of the somewhat mysterious A6, Apple would be one of the first companies to use the Cortex-A15-based processor, according to the report.

Analyst: AppleDesigned Its Own A6 CPU

PR: Linley Group analyst Linley Gwennap says in a newsletter that while Apple hasn't disclosed what CPU it used in its new A6 processor, recent information indicates that AppleDesigned its own CPU rather than licensing a Cortex-A9 or next-generation Cortex-A15 from ARM. He notes that the fact that Apple requires iPhone 5 apps to be recompiled to a new architecture variant called ARMv7s indicates that the A6 does not use the same Cortex-A9 CPUs found Apple's A5 processor, with the hardware watchdog and analysis website reporting that the A6 uses an internally designed CPU.

Gwennap says he believes the custom A6 CPU is similar in complexity and performance to Cortex-A15 and to the Krait CPU that appears in Qualcomm's newest processors, and deduces that in order to attain Apple's claim of a 2x performance gain over the iPhone 4S (which uses the A5), he expects the A6 contains two CPU cores clocking at roughly 1.2 GHz, a clock speed speed lower than competing A15-class CPUs achieve, presumably to save power, reasoning that as a result, the iPhone 5 will probably fall short of other high-end smartphones in raw CPU performance, although the same has been true of previous iPhone generations.

Gwennap also speculates, but hasn't confirmed, that the A6 is likely being manufactured by Samsung using its currently leading-edge 32nm process, but this has not been confirmed, and observes that while Apple has been licensing CPU cores from ARM for its previous processors, the company's interest in CPU design dates back to its $278 million acquisition of PA Semi in April 2008, and provides a backgrounder on how that led to development of the A6 SoC.

Now that it has completed its first CPU design, Gwennap thinks Apple is not likely to stop there, and that to keep pace with competitors using ARM cores, Apple will have to crank out a new CPU design every couple of years. He's convinced that Apple is already working on a next-generation CPU, likely to implement the 64-bit ARMv8 instruction set, but says it probably won't debut until 2014, projecting that for its 2013 products, Apple will rely on the A6 CPU design, although perhaps in a quad-core configuration and with a higher-performance GPU.

Editor's note: Apple also has extra impetus to get alternate silicon suppliers such as Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) on stream. The Korea Times' Kim Yoo-chul reports that Samsung is asking Apple to pay more to use mobile application processors produced at its plant in Austin, Texas, and claiming that it is the only firm that can guarantee ontime delivery, output commitment, and better pricing for mobile application processors. However, TSMC looks to be first with 20nm processors, and Apple has reportedly dispatched some 200 engineers to help TSMC get up to speed manufacturing Apple A-series silicon. cm

The Competition

iFixit's Kindle Fire HD Teardown

iFixit's Miroslav Djuric says:

The Kindle Fire HD landed in our hands on Friday, and we immediately got it on our operating table to see what lurks inside. Interestingly enough, the HD version is quite dissimilar internally from the regular Kindle Fire. Kindle Fire HDIt turns out that the new non-HD Kindle Fire is essentially the same thing we took apart a year ago, whereas the Kindle Fire HD contains a completely different layout.

The Kindle Fire HD received a solid 7 out of 10 repairability score. It's fairly easy to access and replace the battery and most other internal components, but the CPU is covered with a copper tape heat sink that's hard to reseat correctly, and the LCD panel and glass are fused together. This unfortunate binding increases the cost of repair for the most oft-broken component of the tablet the front glass.

  • Confirmed: the Kindle Fire HD has a TI OMAP 4460 processor with 1 GB of Elpida RAM.
  • We used a plastic opening tool to get our first glimpse at the internals. Not long ago, we praised the Nexus 7 for being so easy to get into compared to the iPad, and sacrificing only a single millimeter to do so. Fast forward a couple months later, and Amazon has an easy-to-open tablet that's 0.1 mm thinner than the Nexus 7. We've said it once, and we'll say it again: you don't need to sacrifice thinness to make a repairable device.
  • Thickness comparison among the major contenders:
    • Kindle Fire HD: 10.3 mm
    • Kindle Fire (2012): 11.43 mm
    • Nexus 7: 10.4 mm
    • iPad 3: 9.6 mm
  • The battery is secured by four Phillips #00 screws and one lonely T5 Torx screw. While this single T5 Torx isn't going to keep out our prying fingers, it might be enough to sour the battery removal attempts of those less well-equipped. Lesson learned, kids: don't bring your Phillips to a Torx fight.
  • Inside we find that the battery is enclosed within a metal casing. We believe this is for structural reinforcement, as well as for shielding the battery from any possible electrical damage.
  • The Kindle Fire HD gets 11 hours of spark from a 3.7 V, 4400 mAh, 16.43 Wh Li-ion battery that as in most mobile devices dominates the majority of the inner real estate. That's the same amount of juice as the regular Kindle Fire (which Engadget found to last 7:42 hours), and just a tad more than the Nexus 7's 4326 mAh unit which lasts 9:49 hours. So take that 11-hour figure with a grain of salt, and possibly some pepper.
  • Kindle Fire HDSome careful work with a razor blade allowed us to peel up the copper tape covering the main processor. The copper tape allows the processor to dissipate heat, but is more problematic to remove than a good ol' fashioned heat sink.
  • These are the ICs that Amazon threw into the Fire HD to make it burn:
  • Samsung KLMAG2GE4A eMMC 16 GB Flash Memory and Flash Memory Controller
  • Elpida B8164B3PF-1D-F 8 Gb (1 GB) DDR2 RAM
  • Texas Instruments TWL6032 Fully Integrated Power Management IC
  • Broadcom BCM2076 GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, and FM Receiver/Transmitter
  • Wolfson WM8962E Ultra-Low Power Stereo CODEC
  • B50 5222 12507A9A10
  • The backside of the motherboard is mostly barren, save for the InvenSense MPU-6050 six-axis gyro + accelerometer.
  • Kindle Fire HDJust like last year's Kindle Fire, we delayered the main POP to see what processor lurks underneath the RAM. The Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 dual-core processor we uncovered is an upgrade from the standard Fire's 4430 processor.
  • The display is manufactured by LG Electronics, and labeled as LD070WX3-SL01.
  • We found an Atmel maXTouch mXT768E mutual capacitance touchscreen controller hiding underneath a piece of tape on the ribbon cable attached to the LCD. Silly Atmel, you'll have to do better than tape if you want to hide the chip from us.

Miroslav Djuric
Chief Information Architect, iFixit

Photos courtesy iFixit.

Apps & Services

iExplorer File Transfer Utility for iOS to Mac or Windows

PR: iExplorer lets you easily transfer music, movies and playlists from any iPhone, iPod or iPad to your computer and iTunes. With its user interface, you can view and save your photos, SMS, voicemail, address book contacts and even call histories. iExplorer can also seamlessly mount your iPhone or iPad like a flash drive in Mac's Finder or Windows Explorer.

iExplorer for Mac
iExplorer for Mac

  • Music Transfer: Easily transfer music and rebuild playlists in iTunes.
  • Device Mounting: Mount an iPhone as a flash drive in Finder & Windows Explorer.
  • Data Access: Save SMS & iMessage, Voicemail, Contacts, Call History & Notes.
  • Browse Files: Explore, read and write to the iPhone and iPad file system.
  • Photos & Videos: View and copy photos and movies on any iPad, iPod or iPhone.

Intelligently Transfer Music

With iExplorer, getting music and other media from an iPhone, iPod or iPad to your Mac or PC couldn't be any easier. You can search for particular tracks, listen to them directly from your device and even drag and drop them to your computer. With the touch of a button you can copy those songs and even rebuild playlists directly from your device into iTunes.

Avoid Duplicates, Save Metadata

If your music collection is scattered across multiple computers or devices; iExplorer is the tool that will help you finally unify your music library. With iTunes duplicate detection, iExplorer intelligently skips copying dupes from your device to your computer tracks so you can easily recover playlists or everything from your dusty old iPod without having to worry about swapping your computer with thousands of redundant tracks. And did we mention that when you do import music into iTunes, iExplorer saves your metadata, such as play counts, ratings and other info?

Auto Transfer All Music & Playlists in One Step

Whether you're upgrading to a new device, or whether your old one crashed and lost all of its data, or you're merging all of your music from various iPods and iPhones on to one Mac or PC, iExplorer is the tool for the job. iExplorer lets you easily rebuild and recover your entire iTunes music collection from your iPod, iPhone or iPad with its "Auto Transfer" button that knows which tracks are missing from iTunes. With just one click iExplorer can put everything (music, ringtones, playlists & all), back into place.

Mount iPhone & iPad to Mac's Finder & Windows Explorer

iExplorer's disk mount capabilities allow you to use your iPhone, iPod or iPad like a flash drive. Want to view your iPhone's photos in Finder or Windows Explorer like you would from any other digital camera? Want to get file system access to data files contained within an app on your device? How about backing up or moving your app's high scores from one device to another? Want to save files directly from your favorite text or image editor to your iPad so you can take them to go? What about instantly seeing all your music listed out with title and artist in the track file names?

You can easily make specific directories within your iOS accessible, or you can even mount the entire device from its root. With iExplorer 3's automounting features, you can seamlessly enable your iPhone or iPad to automatically appear in Finder or Windows Explorer every time you turn on the computer.

There are seven utilities in iExplorer to allow you to browse, preview, save and export the most important information contained in the most important databases on your iPhones and iPads.

Within these utilities you can browse, recover, backup, export and save your data. View your appointments, events or your call history. Listen to your iPhone's voicemail messages and drag or export them to a folder on your computer. Everything is always just a couple of clicks away. Be in charge of your content.

SMS & iMessages

In the last few years we've seen SMSs and iMessages grow in popularity. These messages are replacing phone calls, voicemails and even emails. We understand that your SMSs and iMessages can be priceless to you and that's why we've spent so much time developing the best SMS tools to help you view, export and archive your messages and attachments. The iExplorer SMS client looks and works great with group messages and images too.

Photo & Video Access

Photos and Videos are stored on your iPhone and iPods in numerous encoded formats and various databases. Whether you snapped a pic using the camera on your iPhone, or if you synced saved images from your computer to an iPod Classic, or if you have videos and images saved in the iCloud - iExplorer is the best app to view and export these images.

Movies & TV Shows

iExplorer not only works great with the videos that you created, but it also works great with the movies, TV shows and other media that you've downloaded to the device or purchased in iTunes.

Perhaps more impressive than the variety of photos and videos that iExplorer supports, is its carefully designed thumbnails, full resolution previews and export options offered.

Explore Everything

With iExplorer 3, you can access more files and folders without modifying (jailbreaking) your device. Want to access the files and folders of your device's apps? Done. How about browsing through your backup data? Check. What about the media folders containing your photos and iTunes purchases? We've got that too. What about files in apps that are synced to iCloud? Yes (iCloud access is for Mac only).

iExplorer also works great if your iPhone is Jailbroken. With AFC2 access, the app can read and write to the iOS device's real root. (Experts only though please!)


System Requirements

  • Supports all iPhones, iPods and iPads ever created.
  • Mac version requires OS X 10.6 or later with iTunes 10 or later.
  • PC version requires Windows XP or later with iTunes 10 or later.

Presentation & Protection

Tech21 Impact-Absorbing Cases Bring Impactology Protection to iPhone 5

PR: Tech21, the company pioneering Impactology, introduced its newest line of protective cases for the iPhone 5 minutes after the phone was introduced. Seven iPhone 5 cases are available for sale on the Tech21 website, including the Impact Band, Impact Snap and Impact Snap with cover with additional versions and retailers to be introduced soon. Tech21 cases for iPhone 5All of these cases are Impactology approved incorporating the advanced polymer D30, which absorbs impact at the molecular level providing maximum protection without adding bulk, respecting the original device design.

"We know that most customers purchase a case almost immediately after the phone itself, so we dedicated ourselves to making sure we would have our Impactology cases ready when the iPhone 5 was introduced," says Jason Roberts, CEO of Tech21. "We are obsessed with offering consumers the highest quality protection that science can provide and wanted no less for the early adopters of iPhone 5."

The iPhone 5 Impact Band and Impact Snap cases are available on the Tech21 website and selected retailers across the globe.

Real Protection, Based on Science

Tech21 is pioneering the use of advanced polymers for mobile device protection and has established Impactology, a new industry standard in impact protection. Tech21 products are the result of many years of intensive research and development in the study of impact protection, including unique fabrics and their application in a more than 40 step manufacturing process. In North America, nearly 75% of the device cases offered through T-Mobile are based on Tech21 Impactology, and the company is rapidly expanding into other national retailers. Tech21 also manufactures cases for the iPhone 4/4S, Samsung Galaxy S III, iPad, Kindle, plus other smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Seidio Launches iPhone 5 Cases

PR: Seidio's signature Surface, Active, and Convert cases offer variety of protection for iPhone 5, available with kickstands for easy multimedia viewing. These items are available for preorder now.

"The iPhone 5 is sure to shake up the mobile industry as this phones predecessors have been best-sellers since its 2007 debut. Seido iPhone 5 casesSo, we [Seidio] realize the importance of the perfect accessory to complement such an iconic phone," says David Chang, CEO of Seidio. "We're thrilled to release our accessories, and we even have a lot more exciting iPhone 5 products in the pipeline."

Seidio's Surface and Active cases are available with or without a kickstand. The metal kickstand is designed to prop up the iPhone 5 in an easy, comfortable multimedia viewing position. With handsfree, the user can multitask while watching videos or slideshows. This feature separates Seidio cases from other cases currently on the market. The Convert Combo is also available for the iPhone 5 for topnotch protection and convertible 2-in-1 case design.

Protecting the screen of the new iPhone 5 is critical, and Seidio is offering its Ultimate Screen Guard to consumers. Its designed from the highest quality materials to specifically fit the device, and safeguard the screen in most conditions. It will retail for $9.95

Signature Cases

The Surface is the thinnest case in the line with high-end protective qualities. Its available in Black, Garnet Red, Royal Blue, Amethyst and Sage. Piano Black and Glossed White will be available in the upcoming weeks.

The Active offers more protection with a very stylish exterior. It is perfect for consumers who are always on-the-move. Its available in Black, Garnet Red, Royal Blue, Amethyst and Sage. Piano Black and Glossed White will be available in a few weeks.

The Surface and Active versions without a kickstand retail for $29.95 for the case and $49.95 for the case and holster combo. While the kickstand version of both cases retails for $34.95 for the case and $54.95 for the case and holster combo.

The Convert begins with the Surface case, and allows the user to add more protective layers for rugged, tough environments. It is available in Black, and Seidio will release a Sand Gray color in a few weeks. It retails for $49.95 with their patented locking holster and Ultimate Screen Guard.

Belkin Cases and Accessories for iPhone 5

PR: Belkin has unveiled a line of accessories designed for the new iPhone 5, including a collection of innovative, trend-inspired cases, armbands and screen protectors.

"Ranging from fun and bright to sleek and sporty, our designs for the iPhone 5 offer stylish solutions for everyone," says Patrick Sullivan, director of product management at Belkin. "Striking the right balance between form and function, our new collection of cases and armbands enhance the variety of ways we use our phones in our daily life without sacrificing personal style."

View Case (F8W153) $19.99 - Clear polycarbonate back showcases iPhone, while flexible, easy-to-grip TPU frame protects against scratches. Available in six colors: Blacktop, Whiteout, Day Glo, Fresh, Violet and Volta.

Belkin Shield for iPhone 5Belkin Shield Series Collection

Made from ultrathin polycarbonate, Belkin's Shield Series cases feature powerful protection from every day wear and tear in a slim, formfitting design.

  • Shield Pinstripe (F8W120) $29.99 - Textured pinstripe pattern in glossy, translucent Silver
  • Shield Blooms (F8W172C00 and F8W172C01) $29.99 - Elegant floral designs in a variety of patterns and two colors: Purple and Red
  • Shield Petals (F8W171) $29.99 - Pop of playfulness with a high-gloss petal design in Pink and Green
  • Shield Pastels (F8W170) $29.99 - Multi-colored wave pattern in two pastel color combinations: Pink and Orange
  • Shield Spot (F8W173) $29.99 - Cheerful dot designs in two colors: Blacktop and Purple lightning

Belkin Grip Series Collection

Belkin Grip case for iPhone 5Available in a variety of designs and colors, the grip collection is made from a flexible, easy-to-grip TPU material and provides durable protection from impacts and scratches in a slim-fitting profile with a velvety smooth finish.

  • Grip Case (F8W158) $19.99 - High-gloss finish in four opaque colors: Blacktop, Whiteout, Ruby and Ice
  • Grip Neon Glo (F8W097) $24.99 - High-shine gloss finish in two bright neon colors: Day Glo and Volta
  • Grip Candy (F8W152) $24.99 - Bright, two-toned design in two opaque color combinations: Blacktop/Ice and Day Glo/Volta
  • Grip Candy Sheer (F8W138) - Bright, two-toned design in four color combinations: Smolder/Glow, Smolder/Hazard, Gravel/Reflection and Purple Lightening/Fountain Blue
  • Grip Max (F8W161) $34.99 - Superior, double-layer protection in three color combinations: Whiteout/Civic Blue, Gravel/Civic Blue, and Pink/Lilac

Belkin Sport Armband Collection

Belkin Sport Armband for iPhone 5Belkin's stylish, functional Sport Armbands let you concentrate on your workout, not your device. Made from lightweight, breathable Lycra and neoprene, the armbands are water-resistant, hand-washable and fit snug against your arm without adding extra bulk. The clear window gives you full access to all your controls.

EaseFit Armband (F8W105) $19.99

  • Adjustable strap for superior fit and comfort
  • Available in Blacktop

EaseFit Armband Plus (F8W106) $29.99

  • Longer adjustable strap for increased comfort and fit
  • Convenient key pouch
  • Available in Blacktop and Day Glo

Screen Guard Screen Protectors

Belkin's Screen Guard Protectors feature Belkin's Tru Clear technology for optimal visibility and touch sensitivity.

  • Screen Guard Transparent Protector (F8W179tt3) $14.99
  • Ultrathin, completely clear to keep screen safe without altering appearance

Screen Guard Anti-Smudge Protector (F8W180tt2) $19.99

  • Prevents the buildup of dirt from daily use and resists fingerprints and smudges


Select new Belkin accessories for the iPhone 5 will be available in late September, with additional accessories launching throughout the fall at select retailers across the United States and on

Incase Announces Cases for iPhone 5

PR: Incase is has announced its first iPhone 5 case offering, featuring signature styles reengineered for the new iPhone. Incase for iPhoneAvailable now for preorder via and shipping early October are iconic Incase forms such as the Slider Case and Snap Case in an array of colors and finishes.

Incase has been creating market-leading protective solutions for iPhone since its introduction in 2007. Utilizing industrial design expertise and world-class engineering, Incase products are designed to seamlessly match the nuanced contours of each new iPhone, from the gently curved back of the original iPhone to the glass back of the iPhone 4S and now the taller anodized aluminum body of iPhone 5. The precise fit of Incase cases has not only provided improved protection, it has also enabled Incase to apply its signature minimalist design principles while enhancing the user experience. The new cases continue this tradition, matching the thinnest lightest iPhone to date with complementary designs that highlight the iPhone form while protecting the new advanced technology within.

The initial iPhone 5 case offering features dependable, time-tested case styles reengineered for the new iPhone including eight different Slider Cases, two Snap Cases, and a Sports Armband. More products will be announced in the near future.

Incase for iPhone 5

Stay connected with Incase on Twitter (@goincase) and Facebook ( for the latest product news and announcements.

Slider Case for iPhone 5, $34.95

The Slider Case offers sleek, dependable protection in a signature design. The two piece hardshell design provides complete coverage for all critical corners and edges, while still allowing clear access to all buttons and ports. An internal guardrail adds shock absorption as well as a secure fit. The Slider Case is available in an array of colors and of finishes, including metallic (soft-touch), gloss and crystal.


  • Complete edge and corner protection
  • Durable hardshell construction
  • Direct access to all buttons and ports
  • Available in an array of colors and finishes

Snap Case for iPhone 5, $34.95

The Snap Case offers the ultimate in lightweight minimalist protection. Its durable hardshell construction protects the iPhone back, sides and critical corners while the open ends allow for easy charging without removing the case.


  • Easy snap-on attachment
  • Durable hardshell construction
  • Direct access to all buttons and ports
  • Open ended design for easy charging

Sports Armband, $39.95

Redesigned for iPhone 5, our Sports Armband is the ideal training partner. The touch-sensitive screen cover delivers sweatproof protection. Its adjustable armband fits a broad range of arm sizes with just the right amount of stretch to allow for movement without slipping. Perforations enhance breathability, and reflective details provide extra safety when you're training in dark conditions.


  • Sweatproof protection
  • Adjustable to fit wide range of arm sizes
  • Touch sensitive clear screen cover
  • Perforated armband for enhanced breathability
  • Reflective safety highlights

RokLock v3 Protective Case for the New iPad and iPad 2

PR: Rokform has announced the availability of its new RokLock v3 protective case for the new iPad and iPad 2:

The RokLock v3 is made in the USA from reinforced high impact polycarbonate and includes a Rokgard screen protector. More than a case, the RokLock v3 is a system. Made in the USA, the RokLock v3 features a patent-pending integrated mounting system that allows the iPad to be positioned just about anywhere. RokLock v3An optional MagLok magnetic mount kit also allows the RokLock v3 case to stick to any magnetic surface for maximum mounting convenience. This versatility lets consumers get more from their iPad by making it accessible in places like the car, boat, RV, kitchen cabinet, wall or toolbox.

You can see it in action here:

"After the success of the iPhone Rokbed v3 case, we had an influx of customers asking for a similar case for the iPad," says Bernhard Leitner, Chief Engineer for Rokform. "The iPad is a big investment, so we knew it needed to be a really protective case, while also providing the maximum amount of convenience so users could get more out of their device. The RokLock v3 case is a perfect blend of those qualities."

The RokLock v3 case includes:

  • High Impact Polycarbonate Case
  • RokGard Screen Protector
  • Anti-Slip Hex Grip Inserts
  • RokLock Mounting system

Looking ahead, Rokform plans to produce a variety of accessory mounts to complement the RokLock v3. Currently, the MagLok magnetic mount kit is available (sold separately) to work with the case and instantly attach the iPad or iPad 2 to any magnetic surface. The MagLok includes six rare earth magnets and fits discretely behind the anti slip hex grips in the case.

The RokLock v3 case for the new iPad and iPad 2 retails for $69 and is now shipping.

Fabrichorse waxed canvas iPad case
Fabrichorse waxed canvas iPad case

Waxed Canvas iPad Case

PR: This new iPad case from Fabrichorse is made with waxed canvas and lined with neoprene.

It features a handy Velcro™ closure front pocket for a charge cord, important papers, or a small book.

Colors available: Black Vintage, Burnt Toffee, Woodland Moth

The Waxed Canvas iPad Case fits iPad, iPad 2 with or without Apple Smart Cover.


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