50 GB Free Cloud; iPhone 4S Speed; Trade-In Price Lock-in; Apple.com Best iPhone 4S Online Purchase Experience

Here’s a potpourri of iPhone-related items crossing my desk today that I thought would merit passing along to iPhone 5 News Blog readers, offered as purely informational. This site has no commercial relationship or conflict of interest with any of the firms cited.

iPhone and iPad Users Can Get 50 GB Cloud Storage Free From Box.net

Finding Apple’s iCloud buggy? Or perhaps like me you don’t have OS X 10.7 Lion installed on your Mac so you’re blocked from using iCloud to sync. documents between your iOS devices and your Mac? There’s more than one way to enter the Cloud.

Box.net’s Social Media Manager Mark Saldana blogs that as evidenced by the overwhelming crowds during past iPhone and iPad launches, it’s clear that our lives more and more revolve around mobile computing.

In recognition of that, Box.net have announced they’re giving away 50 GB of free storage to anyone who uses a Box personal account on an iOS device. That would be 50 GB in the cloud completely free, forever, and not to only your mobile device — you can access it anywhere with Internet access that you can use your Box account, such as on your laptop or office desktop computer.

This promotion started last weekend and runs for only 50 days. Keep in mind that you’ll need to download or update to the newest Box for iPhone and iPad app, version 2.4.3, then log into Box in order to get your 50 GB. Your account will also have an increased file size upload limit of 100MB instead of the usual 25MB.

Saldana notes that Box has also updated their app with a few features that’ll make your free 50 GB even more powerful, such as using AirPlay, you can now wirelessly stream Box content to an Apple TV for projection of photos, videos, presentations and more.

I decided that for me to take advantage of this offer it was a no-brainer. I’m still running Snow Leopard on my Mac, and have no plans to upgrade to Lion in the near-term future, so iCloud is presently terra incognita to my Mac, and consequently I haven’t bothered to activate an iCloud account in iOS 5. Fifty GB is ten times the amount of storage Apple gives you for free with iCloud. Downloading the Box.net app. and creating an account took about three minutes. I also use Dropbox for synchronizing work-in-progress files among devices, but it only gives me 2 GB of free capacity, so this Box.net offer is looking very attractive in the early going at least.

For more information, visit:


SHOOTOUT: iPhone 4 versus iPhone 4S

BareFeats’ rob-ART morgan notes that Apple is claiming the iPhone 4S’a A5 dual-core CPU is “up to two times faster” than the iPhone 4, with its GPU is claimed to be “up to seven times faster.”

Morgan used four benchmark apps to measure CPU and GPU power on both iPhones plus both iPads, and shares what he observed, noting that while Apple’s claims are a bit extravagant, the the iPhone 4S is definitely faster than the iPhone 4. Geekbench’s overall benchmark were scores 63% to 68% faster rather than twice as fast in processor speed and in the graphics column, 4.7 to 6.2 times faster than an iPhone 4 running GLBenchmark’s “Egypt High” — also not shabby, but not seven times faster. Morgan also measured improved performance for Javascript and OpenGL based apps, and concludes that while it would have been nice to have LTE 4G support, overall he’s very pleased with the new iPhone 4S.

For the full report visit here:

NextWorth Guarantees $ 200 for “Good” iPhone 4 Trade-Ins For 21 Days

Orange Public Relations’ Ashley Halberstadt tells me that Boston-based NextWorth (http://www.NextWorth.com) is now guaranteeing $ 200 for iPhone 4 trade-ins through next Monday, October 24th. Currently, the estimated wait time for a new iPhone 4S is one to two weeks, so consumers trading in a 16GB or 32GB iPhone 4 with NextWorth can lock in a $ 200 value now, and all quotes are valid for 21 days — leaving time to receive your new iPhone 4S before sending your old one in to NextWorth.

The offer is good for all 16GB and 32GB AT&T iPhone 4 models traded in through NextWorth.com. To qualify, phones must be in good working condition with no heavy scratches or cracks (that would be “good” condition, as opposed to “flawless” or “like new”).

Also make sure to check with your carrier to see if you’re eligible for an upgrade. Some may be able to upgrade from iPhone 4 to 4S for essentially free if the cost of upgrading to an iPhone 4S is $ 199, since that’s lower than the guaranteed trade-in value for an iPhone 4.

Trading in this week from NextWorth.com locks in the $ 200 value for 21 days, giving people time to receive their new phone before sending in the old phone.
To qualify for the $ 200 guarantee, the 16GB or 32GB iPhone 4 must be in good working condition with no heavy scratches or cracks. Well-used iPhones are encouraged for trade-in but NextWorth doesn’t expect phones to be flawless when they receive them, and removed the “like new” category earlier this year because only 0.5% of all iPhone trades they received met those standards.

To get started, go to http://www.nextworth.com, select the appropriate iPhone 4 and answer a few questions about its condition. NextWorth offers free, fully-insured UPS shipping service to online customers, and the choice of cash or a gift card for trade ins.

Independent Report Finds Apple.com Best Choice For Buying iPhone 4S Online

Speaking of trading up to the iPhone 4S, if you’re planning an online purchase, a new independent study by STELLAService reports that after an extensive evaluation of all online retailers who sell iPhones, as well as an in-depth look into the policies and customer service phone support of authorized online stores that sell the iPhone (BestBuy.com, VerizonWireless.com, ATT.com, and Sprint.com), an study has concluded that Apple.com offers by far the most consumer-friendly services and policies, including superior customer service phone support (which was measured and rated by mystery shoppers) and an expansive AppleCare+ warranty program.

Drawbacks at other online resellers include in-store pick-up only, expensive and limited warranty programs, and cumbersome return policies.

Consequently, for consumers seeking to avoid lineups by purchasing the iPhone 4S online, a STELLAService finds no reason to look at buying from the Web’s other four iPhone 4S sellers, and rates Apple.com as the hands-down best choice over the four other online resellers.

“Apple.com outperformed its reseller partners hands down when it comes to customer service, and we found no reason that consumers should look anywhere else, says STELLAService co-founder and CEO Jordy Leiser. “With pricing for the iPhone 4S uniform across all online sellers, the overall quality of customer service should be the deciding factor in choosing where to buy the iPhone 4S online.”

In addition to evaluating Web resellers’ key policies and features, such as return and warranty policies, STELLAService rated the quality of customer service phone support based on factors such as product knowledge, issue resolution, and overall tone and attitude of the customer support representatives, by placing ten phone calls to each retailer and asking ten questions — from how to buy insurance to how to change a pass code lock.

Apple.coms representatives earned the highest score overall (4 out of 5), significantly outpacing others when it came to their ability to address questions (4.4 for Apple vs. 3.6 for AT&T and Verizon). STELLAService said the average customer service quality score for consumer electronics retailers was 3.7. Apple.com’s AppleCare+ warranty program was rated by far the most cost-effective. Even though it does not cover loss and theft, the monthly fees and deductions for BestBuy’s Geek Squad and AT&Ts and Verizon’s Asurion warranties come close to the cost of buying a completely a new iPhone.

Leiser says STELLAService conducted the study to provide consumers with clear guidance in light of unclear policies, misinformation, rumors, and scams relating to online retailers selling Apple products, and points out that Apple.com, which provides a list of authorized online resellers for its popular products, such as the iPod and iPad, does not provide a list of authorized online sellers for the iPhone.

Another point, while BestBuy.com allows customers to purchase the iPhone 4S online, it does not offer shipping and delivery. As of the days leading up to the iPhone 4S release, customers could only pick-up the product in stores.

Apple.com and BestBuy.com offer the most generous return window for a refund (30 days) versus 14 days for AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. Apple.com and BestBuy.com also don’t charge customers for returning an iPhone 4S, while AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon each have a $ 35 restocking fee. AT&T is only online seller that does not allow customers to trade-in old phones by mail. AT&T customers can only trade-in phones in-store.

Over the past decade or so, I’ve made most of my Apple hardware purchases online from Apple.com, and have been unreservedly pleased with the service. No complaints. However, I did buy my iPad 2 last spring from my nearest Apple authorized reseller in the interest of supporting local business.

[Publisher's Note: This is not a paid post, and the iPhone 5 News Blog received no remuneration from any of the companies mentioned in this post for writing about their products and services. It is simply a collection of iPhone-related deals that Charles found interesting.] 



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