iPhone 6 Component Costs Estimated to Begin at $200, Samsung Supplying Some A8 Chips

iphone_6_6_plus_compAs it routinely does for new devices, IHS iSuppli has taken apart the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in an effort to estimate Apple’s costs for the components included in the new devices, sharing the results with Re/code. According to IHS iSuppli’s teardowns, parts and labor costs for the iPhone 6 are estimated to begin at $200 for the 16 GB iPhone 6 model, giving Apple a roughly 69 percent gross profit margin on the devices.

That number of course does not take into account an array of other costs, from research and development to software to marketing and distribution, but it does offer an interesting glimpse at what goes into an iPhone.

The margins are in line with more recent iPhone models but higher than the earliest ones. The gross margin on the iPhone 5, released in 2012, and the iPhone 5s, released last year, were about 69 percent, teardown studies at the time of their release showed. On the lower-priced iPhone 5c, also released in 2012, the gross margin was closer to 68 percent. By comparison, the gross margin on the very first iPhone, released in 2007, was closer to 55 percent.

Apple does earn slightly higher margins on higher-capacity iPhone 6 models, as the 128 GB of storage is estimated to cost $47 more than the base 16 GB storage while the device retails for $200 more.

The iPhone 6 Plus is also a higher-margin item for Apple, with IHS iSuppli estimating the device costs just $16 more to produce than the corresponding iPhone 6 models, with roughly half of that difference coming from the display and the remainder presumably related to the rear camera module with optical image stabilization, a larger battery, and other minor differences.

Another interesting observation from IHS iSuppli is that Samsung does indeed remain involved in production of the main A-series processor for the iPhone. Early teardowns had shown the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus using A8 chips manufactured by TSMC for the first time, but IHS iSuppli says TSMC is providing 60 percent of A8 chips while Samsung is handling the remaining 40 percent.

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Microsoft and GoDaddy launch suite of tech tools to help small businesses get online

Microsoft and GoDaddy today announced Get Online Today, a suite of services and tech tools meant to help small- and medium-sized businesses launch an Internet presence. The offer starts at $1 per month for the first year, but it costs bla after that. Get Online Today customers will receive the following: A custom domain name. A subscription to Website Builder from GoDaddy, including hosting for the business’ website on their custom domain name. Microsoft Office 365 from GoDaddy, connecting professional email, contacts and calendar to their custom domain name. $50 credit for Bing Ads, to help business owners find new…

This story continues at The Next Web

The post Microsoft and GoDaddy launch suite of tech tools to help small businesses get online appeared first on The Next Web.

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Akeneo Raises $2.3 Million To Replace Excel For Catalog Management

10712669423_7f66ef5c71_o It currently takes more than four months for a famous luxury company based in Paris to put new collection items on its website. It’s a nightmare for multiple people who have to fight with Excel to add all the relevant data. And before you know it, the next collection is already there. This is where Akeneo comes along. Akeneo is a CRM for product information. Instead of adding people… Read More

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The Best Smartphone Camera: iPhone 6 Edition

The Best Smartphone Camera: iPhone 6 Edition

Since we last pitted the best smartphone cameras against one another, a few new contenders have entered the fold, notably the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. That makes now the perfect time to settle which smartphone packs in the snappiest shooter.

The latest phones in our lineup this time around are the iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, and Moto X 2014 edition. Those join the Lumia 1020 and iPhone 5s in our breakdown. You’ll notice that the iPhone 6 Plus isn’t present in most of the tests; that’s because aside from its fancy optical image stabilization—which we address separately below—its camera is identical to the iPhone 6.

Our tests were simple, representing the most common attributes that define great image quality. While our scenarios provide an accurate overall picture of how these cameras stack up, it should be said that there are always unique conditions where one camera might unexpectedly overachieve, so don’t be surprised if your personal experiences vary slightly. These tests also don’t take into account camera interface, filter options, or other more subjective extras you might factor in; we’re strictly focused image quality and focus speed.

A note about our HTC One M8 images: The camera was in 4:3 mode, which crops the field of view significantly. That’s why those samples may look a bit different. The image quality should’t be affected though.

All of the samples below can be seen un-cropped on our Flickr page.

Detail

Image quality depends on many factors, and one of the most important is detail. It’s a measure of how well a camera can render the world’s teensy tiniest pieces. When you zoom into your images, you want see clarity, not blur or noisy mush. Here are full-size crops of each phone shooting a finely detailed skyline:

The Best Smartphone Camera: iPhone 6 Edition

Click Expand to view at full-size.

It’s clear from a side-by-side comparison that the Lumia 1020, which boasts a ridiculous 38MP sensor and RAW files, wins this contest hands-down. Resolution isn’t everything though. Even if an image packs in more pixels, it still might be riddled with compression artifacts or noise. In this case that means that the rest of the field—with the notable exception of the downright awful HTC One M8—are very close in quality, with a slight edge going to the Moto X and Galaxy S5. If you look at those vertical black slits on the face of One World Trade Center, the Moto X and the S5 render them better than both iPhones, which are almost identical to each other.


Winner:
Lumia 1020

Runner-up:
Moto X

Overall color/tonality

Let’s zoom out on our skyline and take a look at how the cameras exposed the scene. We’re looking for a balanced range of tones that doesn’t kill shadow detail, yet looks rich and not flat. We also want the color to match how our eyesight sees it, without distracting color casts.

The Best Smartphone Camera: iPhone 6 Edition

The Moto X, HTC One M8, and the Galaxy S5 crushed out detail in the dark portions of the image. You can barely see the building! The Lumia is very even—almost too even so that it looks flat—while the iPhones show some really nice localized contrast. Look at the bricks compared to the others. The iPhone 6 and 5s also had the most balanced color, not looking too blue or too yellow.

The Best Smartphone Camera: iPhone 6 Edition

iPhone 6


Winner:
iPhone 6/5s

Runner-up:
Lumia 1020

Low Light

Shooting in dark conditions is one of the hardest things for the tiny sensor in your camera phone to pull off with any decent results. Unfortunately, a good percentage of smartphone photo-taking occurs in dim lighting. Our beer-bottle scene had almost no light striking it at all. The biggest thing to look for is noise, and how each phone deals with it. Noise, when left intact, isn’t always bad. It’s when the camera’s processor applies aggressive noise reduction that things can get ugly fast.

The Best Smartphone Camera: iPhone 6 Edition

Again, because of its ability to shoot RAW files with no noise reduction, the Lumia excels beyond the competition in this department with a fine, even grain. Next is the iPhone 6, which shows a definite improvement over the 5s. In fact, this was the only area between the new and old iPhone cameras that we saw any significant difference. If you look at the numbers on the UPC label, they are clearer and brighter than the rest. The HTC One M8 puts up a good fight in overall brightness, but the detail is pretty garbled. The Moto X is terribly dark, and the Galaxy S5 is pretty muddy.

The Best Smartphone Camera: iPhone 6 Edition

Lumia 1020

Winner: Lumia 1020


Runner-up:
iPhone 6

Flash

Nobody wants to use a flash, but it’s a last resort that you sometimes just can’t avoid. The most important factors in a flash are how well it exposes your photo, and the skin tones it renders.

The Best Smartphone Camera: iPhone 6 Edition

In our test, both iPhones and the Moto X succeeded only in blowing out Ashley’s face and painting her with an unseemly yellowish tinge. The other cameras do pretty well with exposure, but for skin-tone the best out of the bunch is the HTC One M8, with a nice pinkish hue. However, this test is decidedly more subjective than the others; you may prefer the slightly warmer tone of the Lumia. The Galaxy S5 wasn’t all that bad, but went a bit heavy on the purple cast.


Winner:
HTC One M8

Runner-up
: Lumia 1020

Auto-focus

Nothing is more frustrating than having your camera hunt around to find focus while your precious moment slips away. Companies love to make claims about the speed of their autofocus, and Apple was no exception with the iPhone 6. The company added phase-detection AF to the camera’s sensor, which does mean it should have picked up some speed.

We tested each phone in our extreme low-light scene once again, which is where cameras struggle the most to find focus. After filming each display, we counted the frames between the initial touch-to-focus, and the camera’s successful lock.

Based on our tests, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between any of these phones. All of them were steady around 1-1.5 seconds, some with astonishing consistency. Both iPhones had identical focus times at exactly 1.5 seconds, which is troubling, since Apple explicitly hyped an improvement in the 6. The only phone that was consistently any faster was the Galaxy S5 which hovered at 1.25 seconds, but that is a difference you probably wouldn’t notice in real life. The worst was the HTC One M8 at about 1.7 seconds. Again, hardly noticeable.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S5 (by a hair)

Runner-up: Moto X (also by a hair)

HDR

Switching on the High Dynamic Range setting can be a great way to salvage an overly contrasty or backlit scene. It’s not the most important feature to have, but it’s becoming ever-more popular and capable. The best results feel natural, and avoid the cartoonish look that can occur when applied to heavily.

iPhone 6

The Best Smartphone Camera: iPhone 6 Edition

iPhone 5s

The Best Smartphone Camera: iPhone 6 Edition

Galaxy S5

The Best Smartphone Camera: iPhone 6 Edition

Moto X

The Best Smartphone Camera: iPhone 6 Edition

HTC One M8

The Best Smartphone Camera: iPhone 6 Edition

The Lumia doesn’t have a native HDR mode, so it had to sit this one out. The Moto X looked just a tad overdone for our taste, while the HTC One M8 was a little washed out. The iPhones did a great job, but the standout by the Galaxy S5, with just a bit more pop without going overboard.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S5


Runner-up:
iPhone 6/5s

What About Image Stabilization?

Despite having the same camera as the iPhone 6, the 6 Plus does include one distinguishing feature: optical image stabilization. This means that the camera’s lens actually shifts around to compensate for your jitters, making it easier to get clear, sharp photos.

The only other camera in our lineup that features optical stabilization is the Lumia 1020, so those are the three we compared. For stills, we did a quick test by walking briskly down stairs while taking some pics. It’s clear that the iPhone 6 Plus renders clear images while the iPhone 6 did not. The Lumia’s advantage wasn’t as major.

The Best Smartphone Camera: iPhone 6 Edition

The Best Smartphone Camera: iPhone 6 Edition

This test isn’t completely scientific, because each camera may select a different shutter speed, making each image more or less blurry. But it’s apparent that the iPhone 6 Plus renders a significantly clearer image under heavy motion.

Overall

It’s clear that each smartphone camera has its own strengths and weaknesses. If you’re choosing a phone based on its camera, the best thing to do is to evaluate what your most common subjects are and go from there. For most people, the most well-rounded camera is going to deliver the most consistently good results.

Among our contenders, we think the Lumia 1020 is the highest achiever, with its crisp detail, great low light performance, and good flash. Unfortunately, some out there may prefer to take photos with a log (or HTC One M8) than use a Windows Phone as their daily driver. If you’re one of them, the natural color and low-light chops of the iPhone 6 win out. It was a bit of a surprise to not see more of a bump in performance in the iPhone 6 over the 5s; there was an improvement in low light, but other than that there was nothing separating the two. Still, it stands out as the most well-rounded alternative.

You may be wondering how video weights in to all this. We decided to save it for a separate post, which we’ll be sharing shortly.

Meanwhile, if you want to download the originals and do some further comparing, here are links to each phone’s Flickr gallery:

iPhone 5s

iPhone 6

Motorola Moto X 2014

Samsung Galaxy S5

HTC One M8

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Contour Roam3 Hands-On: Shaky First Steps Back

Contour Roam3 Hands-On: Shaky First Steps Back

The last time we saw an action-camera come out of Contour, it was for the Contour+2. Image quality was pretty good, but the mounts were way too fragile, and under the shadow of GoPro’s colossal market-share, Contour shuttered its doors. But now it’s back! And its first product back is… a slight improvement on its entry-level camera. Which is weird.

Meet the Roam3. It is very, very much like the Roam2. In fact, visually, it looks like the exact same camera. It still has a lot of nice features, like a one-touch, lockable, slide-to-record switch which is very easy to use; a 160-degree lens that rotates to keep your shots level; a laser level; and a standard tripod mount on the bottom. The biggest improvement seems to be that the Roam3 is waterproof to 30 feet deep without the need for a case, which is up from just 3 feet deep on the Roam2.

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The problem is that the waterproofiness seems to be the only noteworthy improvement. It still has a very sharp lens—arguably sharper than the GoPro Hero 3 Black—but the image sensor is just not up to snuff. This is especially obvious in low-light situations, but the camera really struggles with dynamic range. Look at me face in the audio test at the end of the video for an example. Indoor footage looks grainy, too. The camera also maxes out at 1080p 30fps and 720p 60fps, same as it did two years ago. Even Sony’s entry level cams (which come in around the same price-point) can do 1080p 60fps and 720p 120fps.

Contour Roam3 Hands-On: Shaky First Steps Back

While the minimalism of the Roam3 is great in some ways, the lack of wi-fi means that to tweak any settings at all (other the flipping between "Mode 1" and "Mode 2") it has to be done by connecting your camera to your computer and using Contour’s software. Very few people have the patience for that. There is a new photo mode with burst options, but we’re not sure how big of a draw that is. Contour claims that the microphone is improved, but the company has its gain present very low in mode one, so it certainly sounded like the GoPro blew it away, but more testing would be needed to confirm that (it was set to be much more sensitive in 720p mode. Again, we do not understand why). The bottom line is that most people aren’t going to want to deal with the software hassle of trying to get their mic to sound right, they just want it to sound right.

Contour Roam3 Hands-On: Shaky First Steps Back

Also, next to the Hero 3+, the Roam3 is really big, and really heavy. We hope Contour has upped its game in the mount department, because something this hefty will demand some solid hardware to keep it affixed. Also, this isn’t the kind of thing you’ll put on and forget you’re wearing it, and I found its shape—while streamlined—made it more difficult to mount. Granted, the Hero 3+ Black may have been an unfair comparison for the Roam3 considering it’s roughly twice the price, but consider, too that that camera is no spring chicken and yet it’s still the best action camera we’ve seen yet.

Basically, it seems weird that a company trying to resurrect itself amidst competition that has never been more numerous or of higher quality would chose this camera for its grand coming out party. Yeah, $200 is a decent price, but this is not how you come out guns blazing. We’ll update when we hear about availability, but in the meantime, we’re glad to see Contour back, and we hope to see more and better stuff coming down the pipe from them soon.

Contour Roam3 Hands-On: Shaky First Steps Back

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Hackers will get paid for finding Blackphone flaws after all

Both Blackphone and Silent Circle, one of the companies behind it, have launched bug bounty programs to encourage hackers to notify them of vulnerabilities.

Hackers will get paid for finding Blackphone flaws after all originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2014.

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Feds halt bitcoin mining scam that sold machines like a “room heater”

Thousands of customers who hoped to cash in on soaring bitcoin prices got fleeced by Butterly Labs, which took their money but failed to deliver promised mining equipment.

Feds halt bitcoin mining scam that sold machines like a “room heater” originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2014.

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How to Build a Companion Cube Mood Lamp (For Absolute Arduino Beginners)

featured diy companion cube -1

So, you’ve just got your Arduino in the mail, and you’re sitting here wondering… what on earth do I do with this?  The Arduino is a microcontroller that’s inexpensive and incredibly useful for a variety of electronically-oriented DIY projects. Building something yourself from an Arduino is incredibly satisfying – but it’s tough knowing where to start. So today we’ll be making a cute Portal-themed mood lamp to help add some texture to your living space (and establish your 2007-era nerd cred). It’s a great starting point with few components and very little wiring. Follow @makeuseof googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1360132638304-4′); }); Step 1 What…

Read the full article: How to Build a Companion Cube Mood Lamp (For Absolute Arduino Beginners)

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Race Team Manager Review

Want to be in charge of a racing team but not be overwhelmed by tactics and options? Race Team Manager is for you.

The post Race Team Manager Review appeared first on 148Apps.

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