iPhone 6 and 6 Plus release date: preorders, price, AT&T vs Verizon

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus release date are upon us – but even with that particular question now answered by Apple, numerous questions still remain. Is it wise at this point to place a preorder, or to plan on getting in line at a retail store on launch day? Is AT&T or Verizon the best iPhone 6 option at this point? And with such a dizzying array of new iPhone models, what are the various price points? We tackle all of the above…

First, the iPhone 6 starts at $199 for the 16GB model on Verizon and AT&T, increasing to $299 for 64GB and $399 for 128GB. The larger iPhone 6 Plus steps up a hundred dollars for each model: $299 for 16GB, $399 for 64GB, and $499 for 128GB. As for which of the two carriers is preferable, that depends on a few factors. AT&T has modestly reduced its pricing for most of its plans over the past year, making it somewhat of a value play. But Verizon still has the top rated network, and is further ahead in 4G LTE rollout. Still, the most important factor is how well each carrier performs in your house, the places you visit most often, and the routes in between.

Preorders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have reached a combined four million already, and those placing their orders now – particularly for the Plus, which appears to be under manufacturing constraint – will face significant delays in shipping and arrival. Those who want their iPhone 6 or 6 Plus now should plan on getting in line at an Apple Store for the retail release date, which of course is this Friday, September 19th.

Stalled: iPod touch 6th generation release date ahead of iPhone 6

The iPod touch has never been one of Apple’s flashier products, but it’s been a consistent if quiet seller – and it’s traditionally been updated alongside each new (non-S) iPhone model. But the iPhone 6 reveal came and went yesterday without a hint of the iPod touch 6, which begs the question: is the iPod touch 6th generation release date delayed, or is something else going on altogether?

On the iPod front, a sea change occurred this week: Apple silently discontinued the iPod Classic. The old click-wheel product had become so obscure in the touchscreen era that most people probably didn’t even know Apple still offered it. Its demise now raises another issue: is this the beginning of the end of the iPod touch as well?

Apple is still selling the fifth generation iPod touch, suggesting it may stick around for awhile. That could be due to engineering issues, as the sixth generation iPod touch would have to be made to resemble the iPhone 6 in both styling and size, and perhaps Apple didn’t want its engineers spending time on it until the new iPhone was out the door. But what if, after seven years, Apple has decided that the iTouch no longer serves a major purpose?

It was originally intended to serve as a bridge for those customers tied to other carriers back when the iPhone was AT&T only. Then it morphed into something of a toy for children whose parents didn’t want them to have a real iPhone, and a point of sale device for retail businesses. But is that alone enough to motivate Apple to bother delivering a sixth generation iPod touch now – or ever? Those waiting for the iPod touch 6 release date could be waiting for some time.

Nouveau iPhone 6 to outsell Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 combined


Apple has received some good news as it preps its neuveau iPhone 6 for launch: the aging iPhone 5S is already outselling the flagship phones of its two primary smartphone competitors combined. Despite having been on the market for the better part of a year, the 5S still ranks as the world’s number one selling smartphone device, even as one Android vendor after another has stepped to the plate this year with new headlining models while Apple has remained quiet. That sets up the iPhone 6 to enter the market at number one with a bullet, as its newly designed body and bigger screen will drive its initial sales far higher than that of the iPhone 5S. But Apple still has some work to do.

While the big-screen iPhone 6 will perform strongly at the top of Apple’s smartphone lineup, the rest of the lineup is less certain. Apple may opt to keep the iPhone 5S around as its $99 mid range phone and the iPhone 5C as a free with contract option. But that will put buyers in the position of having to pony up two hundred dollars if they want anything more than a four inch screen, or a phone with this year’s specs. While the Galaxy S5 sells in that same price range, the critically acclaimed but comparatively poor selling HTC One M8 will likely find its way to a significantly lower price point by the time the iPhone 6 makes its debut.

Another option for Apple is to introduce the iPhone 6 at $99 but make the introductory model more basic, while saving the feature frills, the premium color choices, and the dual processor for the $199 version. That could impact margins negatively if too many consumers settle for the base iPhone 6 model. However the same Counterpoint Research study which crowned the iPhone 5S the king of smartphone sales has also made clear that the iPhone 5C isn’t selling well. That means most iPhone buyers have chosen the more expensive 5S over the cheaper 5C, a trend which Apple could hope to capitalize on. Still it’s more likely that Apple will keep the 5S and 5C around at $99 and $0, respectively, while initially positioning the iPhone 6 at the $199 mark and then authorizing third party deals to adjust pricing down the road if need be.

The iPhone 6 will have a rather long window of opportunity as well. Apple will introduce it in the September 2014 range, and if its rivals continue true to form when it comes to their launch schedules, the iPhone 6 will remain in the top sales spot until at least the spring when Samsung introduces the Galaxy S6 and HTC reveals its successor to the M8. The only major Android phone which may debut before the year over is the successor the Nexus 5, which may appear around October if its launch patterns holds.

Of particular interest is just what screen sizes Apple will offer for the iPhone 6. A larger model is a given, ostensibly in the 4.7 inch range, and Apple will almost certainly offer the iPhone 6 in the current 4.0 inch size as well. There are widespread rumors of a 5.5 inch iPhone 6 model, but that seems unlikely given that the sweet spot of the sales market for smartphones in 2014 is clearly in the 4.0 to 5.0 inch range.

Android phone Buyer’s guide: Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 vs Nexus 5


Is the heavily advertised Galaxy S5 from Samsung the best Android phone on the market, or is the underdog HTC One M8 the better product? How about last year’s holdover, the Nexus 5? Each Android smartphone has its pros and cons, best and worst features and traits. In our Buyer’s Guide we take a look at all three popular Android phones, side by side and together, in the name of figuring out which one is the most recommendable to which users.

Galaxy S5: it’s the best marketed Android phone on the market, and accordingly, the best seller. It’s a medium-to-large sized device with the latest available tech specs, packed with a number of Samsung-specific apps that aren’t found on competing Android phones. Here’s the catch, however: the Galaxy S5 is still made of the same cheap feeling fragile plastic that it’s predecessors were made of. From a build quality standpoint it’s not a highly recommendable device, meaning its built in apps and compatibility with devices like Samsung televisions are its best quality over the HTC One M8 and the Nexus 5.

HTC One M8: now here’s a well built piece of hardware. It’s got a sturdy body that is likely to last longer and hold up better than that of the Galaxy S5. Here’s the catch: HTC has historically been among the worst at keeping its devices compatible with new versions of the Android system software, meaning those who buy the One M8 may have to worry about whether they’ll have access to new Android features and security updates going forward (in fairness Samsung has suffered from this same issue to a somewhat lesser degree). HTC has gotten better at this over the past year. But while the HTC One M8 is a more recommendable hardware device than the Galaxy S5 or Nexus 5 right now, it does carry that potential compatibility stigma.

Nexus 5: here’s where Android system software is a complete non issue, as this is Google’s official Android phone. It’s a well built nice piece of hardware, and was easily the top Android option in 2013. The catch: this is 2014, and the Nexus still hasn’t been updated yet. Is it worth buying last year’s phone simply for the cohesion with the software platform? You’d be saddling yourself with year-old technology specs, and while that may not matter now, it’ll come back to haunt you in a year or two when you realize your phone can’t keep up with the latest powerful new apps and features that are released, even though your device will technically be compatible with them.

Android phone Buyer’s Guide verdict: if you value compatibility with your Samsung TV set, the Galaxy S5 may be the way go go. Otherwise we recommend the HTC One M8 by virtue of being the best Android phone on the market right now. Much as we like the Nexus 5, it’s difficult to recommend a phone this old. If the prospect of Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 doesn’t appeal to you, then your best bet may be to wait for the Nexus 6 in the fall.

Miami Dolphins schedule: 2014 news, rumors, Tannehill, draft picks


The Miami Dolphins head into their 2014 schedule with a new offensive coordinator, a new general manager, a rebuilt offensive line, new weapons from the draft and free agency – and the same head coach and starting quarterback. Joe Philbin and Ryan Tannehill, both heading into their third year with the Dolphins have one more year to prove themselves. Anything short of a playoff push in 2014, and rumor has it they’ll both find themselves replaced by this time next year. So what changes have the Miami Dolphins made this offseason, and what does their schedule look like?

The two defining Miami Dolphins additions this season may both be off the field. Bill Lazor has been imported from Philadelphia to run the offense, and he’ll bring at least some of the Eagles bag of tricks with him. Longtime general manager Jeff Ireland has been forced out and replaced by Dennis Hickey, who has brought a different approach to free agency and the draft. Namely, he’s brought in new players at the team’s positions of need – something which wasn’t always a given under Ireland.

It’s translated to a major overhaul of the offensive line, with only pro bowler Mike Pouncey remaining from last year’s opening day starters. Ja’Wuan James, the team’s first round draft pick, leads the OL overhaul. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry is also highly regarded.

The Miami Dolphins 2014 schedule includes the usual pair of home and away games against the AFC East division rival New England Patriots, New York Jets, and Buffalo Bills. Opening day is September 7th vs Patriots, Sept 14th at Bills, Sept 21st vs Kansas City Chiefs, Sept 28 at Oakland Raiders, October 12th vs Green Bay Packers, Oct 19th at Chicago Bears, Oct 26 at Jacksonville Jaguars, November 2nd vs San Diego Chargers, Nov 9th at Detroit Lions, Nov 13th vs Bills, Nov 23rd at Denver Broncos, December 1st at Jets, Dec 7th vs Ravens, Dec 14th at Patriots, Dec 21st vs Minnesota Vikings, and the season finale Dec 28th vs Jets.

Barrett-Jackson auction: $1 million 2014 Corvette convertible and the General Lee


Bring on the 2014 Corvette Convertible, a million dollars at a time. This weekend’s Barrett-Jackson automobile auction in West Palm Beach, Florida featured all the things you’d expect from a classic car auction: men speaking barely intelligible words into microphones. Older cars older than some attendees with engines that sound like rocket launchers. And millionaires spending money on antique cars they don’t need. But leave it to auto racing mogul Rick Hendrick to steal the show with a million dollar bid on a brand new car. His winning auction bid netted him the very first 2014 Corvette Convertible off the line, and General Motors donated the money to charity. The new car was then placed on display indoors at the South Florida Fairground, which hosted the Palm Beach auction.

Much of the rest of the auction focused, as expected on older cars of varying makes and models. Popular were the oversized Pontiac GTO models from the late sixties, classic Chevy Camaro Z28 models, and more exquisite aging lines including Bentley and Lamborghini models. That didn’t keep the occasional 2003 BMW M3 convertible or current decade Volkswagen from sneaking into auction contention, of course. But the vibe in the main auction hall tended to lean most enthusiastically toward the classic cars for which the auction series is best known.

But some of the oddest sights of the Barrett Jackson weekend came from vehicles which didn’t sell. The original General Lee “01” car from the Dukes of Hazzard was displayed on loan from Warner studios, but wasn’t for sale. A private jet went up for auction, but the top bid failed to meet reserve. Also for sale was the pickup truck once driven by former U.S. President George W. Bush on his Crawford ranch, an odd offering in the liberal leaning, mostly democrat voting Palm Beach county.