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Archive for the ‘Editorials’ Category

Three games to keep you entertained while on the porcelain throne

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Sadly there are just some things in life that you HAVE to do, no matter how much of a drag it can be. One of those is going to the loo, for a number two; let’s call it visiting the porcelain throne. Visits to the porcelain throne can sometimes take quite a while, so I have decided to compile a list of three addictive games to make your time on the porcelain throne a bit more bearable.

Angry Birds Star Wars 2

Let’s get it out of the way, Angry Birds will always make lists such as these. Launched just over two weeks ago, Angry Birds Star Wars 2 is the seventh version of the popular franchise and was once again a chart topper upon being launched. Although the original Angry Birds game has started becoming a bit stale and boring, there is no such thing going on with Angry Birds Star Wars 2. For the first time ever you can play as the evil egg-stealing pigs and there are over 30 characters to play with. The game is available for free on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Amazon’s Kindle Fire OS in ad-supporting packages. Better yet, its playable on both phones and tablets. Let the fun begin!

Cut The Rope Time Travel

Like the original, Cut The Rope Time Travel lets users feed the uber adorable Om Nom once again. Om Nom and his candy is sucked into a time machine, travelling through several different eras and meeting his ancestors from the times, they have to get fed too! There are loads of new obstacles, and the game is quite a bit easier to play that the original, making it a little less stressful, which is good, especially considering the situation you’re finding yourself in. Cut The Rope Time Travel is free on Android, $0.99 for iPhones and $2.99 for iPads and most definitely worth every cent.

Cut The Rope Experiments

Yes, another Cut The Rope expansion. It seems that Cut The Rope is the new Angry Birds; addictive as hell and played by everyone. Cut The Rope Experiments is far from disappointing and more addictive than cocaine. It is fairly easy with a few minor challenges every now and then, meaning less stress and more fun. Om Nom travels in his usual box only to fall out of the moving van and be discovered by a mad scientist, who gives some great, addictive new levels for you to tackle while getting Om Nom all of his delicious treats. Once again available on both mobile devices and tablets, there is a free version on Android, but a paid for version for $0.99, the iPhone version costs $0.99, iPad version $1.99, Windows Phone version $0.99 and a BlackBerry 10 version for $0.99!

Hopefully now your restroom visits will be a bit more bearable, especially if you’re planning on order Mexican food in the near future!

Written by Dion Guillaume

October 2nd, 2013 at 12:49 pm

How to replace the iPhone 5S’ display and how to avoid a broken display

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The Apple iPhone 5S has just gone on sale and, as the diehard fan that you are, you went out and bought yourself one. One thing leads to another and before you know it you’ve smashed your display. Now what? Your warranty won’t cover a new display and repair centers ask exuberant amounts of money to replace the display, especially considering how new the iPhone 5S.

How do you repair a broken iPhone 5S screen? Repairs Universe has created this nifty video showing you how to disassemble the iPhone 5S and subsequently replace your broken display. It is quite simple, you unscrew the bottom screws, use a suction cup and prying tool to lift the display, unplug the fingerprint sensor, unscrew and unplug the display cables then remove the front camera, fingerprint sensor and other sensors as well as the speaker. Then you reverse all of these steps with your brand new iPhone 5S display that you purchased prior to your adventure into the inner workings of your iPhone 5S.

iSuppli says the iPhone 5S’ display assembly costs $41, but of course those available on the market is much more, $285 in fact. Add to that all of the tools that you’ll need and you’re set to pay roughly $299 to replace your iPhone 5S display, which is pretty much the majority of the price for a new iPhone. So, how do you prevent yourself from ever getting stuck in this situation? The answer is quite simple.

How do you avoid a broken iPhone display? Amzer, that’s how. Amzer’s groundbreaking ShatterProof screen guard protects your iPhone, or any other major smartphone or tablet, from falls, bumps and more (we tried hammers, bricks, drills, snaders and more). What makes it even better is the fact that the Amzer ShatterProof for the iPhone 5S costs just $29.95! Yes, 10% of what replacing your display would cost. It’s just 0.2mm thick adding virtually no excess thickness, but it keeps your screen alive to tell its tale of near destruction.

Are you willing to take the risk and possibly lose some hard earned cash, or are you going to make the smart choice and invest in an Amzer ShatterProof screen guard, available for the iPhone 5C, Galaxy S4, HTC One, and more, too!

If you don’t believe us, check ShatterProof in action:

Amzer ShatterProof vs Brick

Amzer ShatterProof vs Hammer

Amzer ShatterProof vs Drill

Amzer ShatterProof vs Sander

Written by Dion Guillaume

October 2nd, 2013 at 10:11 am

5 Ways to REALLY extend your battery life on iOS 7!

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So you’ve been on iOS 7 for almost two weeks now. Everything is lovely; you have speed improvements, a beautiful new user interface and a boatload of new features, but you have seen in a dip in your battery life, as opposed to what you experienced on iOS 6. You’re in luck, we have five tips that will ACTUALLY assist in keeping your phone or tablet alive as long as possible.

Use WiFi

With LTE adoption still quite a way to go, most of you are stuck on 3G networks. There is a reason Apple quotes operation time longer on WiFi than on 3G, the old technology is a drag on battery life. Make use of WiFi networks as much as possible, when connected to WiFi, your device will automatically switch mobile data off, increasing battery life by as much as 25%!

Kill The Special Effects

What real reason is there behind using these fancy special effects such as the Parallax effect and Dynamic Wallpapers, besides showing off? Turn off the Parallax effect by going to Settings > General > Accessibility and then switching the ‘Reduce Motion’ option on. Replace that fancy Dynamic Wallpaper with a normal wallpaper, preferably a dark one. Dark backgrounds make use of less energy to display bright images, making it graceful on your precious battery juice.

Keep The Brightness Down

The heading is pretty much self explanatory. You don’t need your screen’s brightness on full, even in direct sunlight. Lower your screen’s brightness to about 33%, or roughly a third on the brightness bar, and you’ll still be able to see what’s going on on your device, even in harsh circumstances. Alternatively you can switch your auto brightness setting on to regulate your brightness for each situation you find yourself in.

Stop Those Auto Downloads

Sure, it’s quite irritating when those App Store update notifications start, especially if it gets to three or more times per day, but battery life is more important, isn’t it? Switch off that lovely new iOS 7 feature that allows it to automatically update all of your apps in the background, even if it means more work for you. Manual updates are a chore, but vastly improved battery life is definitely worth every extra tap.

Close Your Apps!

Every time before you lock your device, just before it goes to your pocket or onto your desk, pick up your multitasking screen and close all of your applications. Open apps use battery life, especially if they have a constant refresh cycle with the web. It also frees up some RAM. Do you really go onto Facebook or Skype that often? Do you open CNN more often than just in the morning for the weather, sports and other headlines? I don’t think so, so don’t let them take away your precious battery life.

Additional Tips

  • Turn your ‘Background App Refresh’ feature off in the General tab in your Settings.
  • Set your emails to either fetch data manually or every half an hour, depending on your usage of course, or so instead of making use of the ‘Push’ feature.
  • Ensure that your software is up to date. Software updates usually bring performance enhancements, such as increased battery life. iOS 7.0.2 is currently the latest version of iOS 7 available.
  • Ensure that features such as AirDrop and Bluetooth is disabled when not in use and keep your screen lock on so that switching views doesn’t waste valuable resources.
  • If Siri isn’t an integral part of your daily life, switch her off. When she’s on, she’s constantly busy; listening, judging.

If you travel a lot, or you’re close to your car a lot, check out one of Amzer’s wide selection of car chargers to give your iDevice some juice when the occasion arises.

Written by Dion Guillaume

October 1st, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Keep your private business, private with Amzer’s new Kristal Privacy Screen Protector

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Are you always looking over your shoulder, wondering who’s looking at your every step and move? Do you want to keep your private business private without breaking the bank? Amzer would like to formally introduce our new Amzer 4 Way Privacy Protector Shield for most modern smartphones and starting at just $14.95!

If you’re an important business leader or politician with sensitive information, classified data or a dirty secret, you can make your device all the more safer with our new privacy centered Kristal screen guards. Keep those naughty pictures and text away from prying eyes. Keep your WiFi, Facebook and email passwords safe from those who’d abuse it.

  • Doing a quick bank transfer or a PayPal payment using your smartphone and need to put in your personal login in details? Keep that private!
  • Logging into your Facebook, Twitter or any other social media account on the go? Keep your details private!
  • Masterminding a plot to overthrow the government in order to let SkyNet roam free? You’d probably want to keep that to yourself!
  • Looking at some raunchy sites while standing in the queue at McDonalds waiting for someone to wake up and assist you? You definitely don’t want someone to catch a glimpse of that!
  • Typing in nuclear launch codes because the UN refuses to write off your nation’s debt? You probably don’t want the mouthy UK delegate seeing what you’re up to and blabbing it all out!
  • Texting the wifey to hear what you ATM pin is because you’re so forgetful? There are peeping Toms everywhere just waiting for a chance to help themselves to your hard earned cash!

I may be making some jokes, but your privacy is no laughing matter. So, instead of buying a couple of beers or a carton of cigarettes, invest in an Amzer 4 Way Privacy Protector Shield to ensure that your privates stay private! Please note that the accessories mentioned above are up for pre-order and will only start shipping starting on the 10th of October for select units!

Unlike other screen protectors claiming to keep your personal data safe from wondering eyes, Amzer’s Kristal Privacy screen guard allows for four different viewing angles, as long as you are right in front of your device. Viewing from the sides, vertically or horizontally is quite simple and your data is sure to remain your own. It is designed specifically for each device, with 100% precision to make sure your business, remains just that.

What’s even better is the fact that it not only protects your personal data, but your display too. The Kristal Privacy screen protector protects from scratches and bumps, and most importantly UV radiation, it filters 99% of harmful UV rays away from your eyes, making images more crisp and clear while make sunlight legibility better than ever. With privacy being in the spotlight in recent times thanks to the NSA’s PRISM program, everyone is seeing just how import it is too keep your data as safe as possible.

Amzer’s 4 Way Privacy Protector Shield is available for most of the current best smartphones including the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, Galaxy S4, and loads more starting at just $14.95. Keep your dignity, and personal data, with this great new accessory.

Written by Dion Guillaume

October 1st, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Nokia: Connecting People

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A month ago Microsoft and Nokia announced that Redmond would be acquiring the Finns’ once market leading mobile phone division, in addition to licensing the company’s vast amount of patents and getting to use the company’s ‘Nokia’ trademark on feature phones for the next decade. An era is over, but a new era is also dawning…

In 1987 the Mobira Cityman is launched as the company’s first mobile phone, followed by the first Nokia-branded, GSM-enabled mobile phone launching five years later in 1992 as the Nokia 1011. By 1998 the company is the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer. In 2001 they launch the world’s first camera phone, the Nokia 7650, and by 2005 the billionth Nokia device is sold. By 2013, when the iconic mobile hardware division is sold off, their Lumia 520 becomes the best selling Windows-powered device in history.

When you ask what most people’s first ever mobile phone was, they are likely to say that it was a Nokia. My first Nokia device was the iconic Nokia 3210, and I have owned plenty after that, as many people have. Games such as Snake, Bounce and Space Impact are some of the most popular, and enjoyable, games ever and played by millions of people. Then there is the iconic Nokia tune, based off of Francisco Tarrega’s Gran Vals, which is heard an estimated 1.8 billion times a day!

Nokia was clearly once a global market leader, sadly despite adapting to the mobile device era quite fast, they failed to adapt to the smartphone era fast enough. Their Symbian offerings were stale, their MeeGo offering dropped too quickly and their focus solely on Windows Phone a grave mistake, despite being the most significant Windows Phone manufacturer, and the key to the platform’s growth to the third largest smartphone platform.

Rumours have it that Nokia had gotten impatient with Windows Phone’s slow growth and had started exploring the possibility of joining in on the Android bandwagon, having quite possibly ordered 10,000 Android-powered prototypes. Of course, rumours are rumours, at least until we see some concrete proof that they aren’t just rumours. Could whispers of an Android adoption be what prompted Microsoft to place their bid?

Nokia’s feelings towards Android in 2011, when they opted to go the way of the Windows Phone, was that it was overcrowded and that they would not be able to provide a differentiated experience, that they would not be able to create a viable alternative to the loads of other Android-powered devices. Well, I feel that they could have, but management was stubborn and that is what lead them to their current situation.

Had they opted for Android, they could have easily created a differentiated experience. Introduce their Swipe UI from MeeGo onto their Android-powered devices, introduced their world class Mapping solution, powered by their NAVTEQ subsidiary, onto their devices, embed their even better camera solutions into the devices and make use of their unique, differentiated designs to make some badass Nokia Android devices. Think about it, no need to bully developers such as Instagram into creating applications for their ill-fated platforms.

Samsung’s rise in the Android market only took off at about the same time as Nokia could have introduced Android-powered devices of their own, and with their superior designs, cameras, software and mapping software, they could easily have overtaken Samsung and run the Android monopoly that they currently rule. They already had world class manufacturing plants that could mass produce said devices very fast and in the large quantities necessary to rule the market once again.

Sadly, the company chose Windows Phone, which wasn’t necessarily a bad choice, but going in exclusively on the platform is cause for major concern. Yes, the company could have ended up like HTC, also once a leader in the market, but their expertise in the market as well as their major differentiating factors, which HTC lacks, would have prevailed in the end. The market could very well have been very different today, though it can still change.

Nokia’s shareholders still have a say. Next month, shareholders in the US as well as Finland, will have a say in the Microsoft acquisition, which many believe is extremely undervalued. If they vote against it, Nokia will have to pay a €38 million penalty, but the company will be free to do as they wish. They will have access to €1.5 billion in loans from Microsoft to keep themselves alive, although I am more than sure banks should be more than willing to loan them more than enough thanks to their vast amount of key assets.

Then, the company can start work on Android-powered devices, I mean make a Lumia 1020 powered by Android, stock for now, and announce it as soon as January 2014, maybe even at CES 2014. Mass produce several other devices, and by the end of 2014, when their agreement with Microsoft runs out, can their Windows Phone line in favour of the much more popular Android, which by then should be outselling their Windows Phone powered offerings.

Of course there is another scenario. The Microsoft acquisition is approved. In early 2014, Nokia smart devices are no longer being produced, the Lumia line remains as Microsoft’s mobile offerings, the Asha 5-series is killed off as to not compete with the popular Lumia 525, Nokia feature phones continue to be produced for the next three or so years, in two years Windows Phone is dropped as yet another miserable failure by Redmond. Nokia’s assets remain and are implemented into future Microsoft devices.

Nokia remains as a mapping and network services provider, stronger than ever, but with a piece of them missing, a hole in their heart…

Written by Dion Guillaume

October 1st, 2013 at 11:40 am

A ten minute charge gives this smartphone a day’s worth of usage!

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One of the biggest drawbacks that most smartphones have nowadays is they take ages to charge, despite running out of juice in what feels like second. Fujitsu’s new Arrows A 301F was launched in Japan today by SoftBank and although it packs a lot of great features, there is one that stands out much more; the fact that it can get a day’s worth of battery life from a simple ten minute charge.

The Fujitsu Arrows A 301F is highly unlikely to get launched anywhere outside of Asia, unless you import one, but it is great to know that someone is tackling the issues we actually care about. The Arrows A 301F packs a 5-inch FHD display, a 2.2GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a 13MP rear facing camera, a 2,600mAh battery and of course a fingerprint sensor. Its specialized AC charging cable allows it to charge up within 10 minutes to give you a full day’s worth of usage, which sure beats what its competitors are offering.

If you’re still wondering why this device is important? Well, earlier this year Fujitsu announced that they would be expanding into the European market, and more than likely the US market if Europe pays off. Want a fast charging smartphone with a faster processor, and more memory than what most modern tablets feature? You may get a chance to get your hands on one very soon.

Written by Dion Guillaume

September 30th, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Why everyone once again misunderstood Apple with the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S…

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Three weeks ago Apple surprised the world when they introduced the Apple iPhone 5S, alongside the not-so-budget-friendly plastic iPhone 5C. Why was it such a surprise? Well, the iPhone 5S wasn’t anything like the mass media’s supposed insider sources reported. The iPhone 5S gained some processing power, widened its camera lens, enlarged its battery and added two new colour options to its line up, but that was the whole problem for the mass market.

Everyone wanted a larger display, a larger camera, a juicier battery and of course some other enhancements to make it a bit more competitive. The mass market misunderstood Apple on that faitful last Tuesday morning. Sure, the event launched two iPhone’s, but the main event was the launch of iOS 7, which was released globally just over a week later and downloaded onto over 200 million devices within the first five days. See, as soon as Apple announced iOS 7, they announced and additional three ‘new’ iPhone devices and four ‘new’ iPad tablets, with the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C just happening to join in on the fun. You see. Apple’s iOS 7 breathes new life into devices as old as three years. It makes said devices, I am of course speaking of the iPhone 4, a viable smartphone for another three years, but most of all, it turns almost every iOS device over the last three years into a brand ‘new’ device by breathing a fresh new look, loads of new features and some speed into the devices.

The Apple iPhone 4, 4S, 5 and iPad 2, 3, 4 and Mini are essentially brand ‘new’ devices, and not the ageing white elephants that they were slowly becoming. Apple essentially announced eight additional devices at their September 10 event, sadly the market was too concerned over future products than with current offerings. Does the Nokia N8 still get the latest software updates? No. Does the Samsung Galaxy S still get the latest software updates? No. Does the Google Nexus One receive the latest software updates? The answer is once again a resounding no. Sure, the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 are getting trimmed down versions of the software and may not perform the best, but it is brand new software none the less. Users of said older devices are also likely to be more prone to acquiring Apple products in the future, not only as replacements for their older devices, but also because they know that a few years down the line, their products will still be receiving some of the latest software updates at the time.

The iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C should not be seen as flagship devices, or even the best that Apple has to offer, even if it is for now. Instead, maybe we should consider that they are rather there to bring users of older devices such as the iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S over to the newer devices, with slightly larger displays and enhanced performance. Eventually Apple will once again want to launch an iPhone with double the screen resolution of their current offerings, but if everyone is still stuck on devices with their old screen aspect ratios, applications for the newer aspect ratios won’t be as successful. Developers will be reluctant to code applications for three different mobile screen resolutions in addition to the different tablet resolutions. So, maybe we are misunderstanding Apple.

The iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C aren’t the best they have to offer, not by a long shot, but it most definitely is more than enough to cater for everyone’s needs for at least the next year. Maybe it isn’t aimed at buyers of last years’ flagship, but instead at those who have to renew their two- and three-year contacts soon, that want something new and exciting, something elegant and useful. Do we really need large, pixel dense displays? Do we really need octa core processors? Do we really need 41MP cameras? I don’t think so, and neither does Apple, thus we have their current line up, which seems to be paying off quite well after seeing a record breaking 9 million sales during its launch weekend.

Once again we are shown that Apple doesn’t play by the rules, they make the rules…

Written by Dion Guillaume

September 30th, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Prepare for the confusion, iOS 7 goes live today and here are the times

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iOS 7 goes live later today, reinventing every iPhone since 2010, and leading to some great confusion with those that haven’t heard of the brand new, redesigned operating system.

iOS 7 is going live globally and if you are eager to get your hands on some gradients, then take a look at the table above to see when it launches, where, today. iPod Touch 5G, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2, iPad 3 and iPad 4 owners are in for a treat, especially if you own one of the older, fast aging devices that you want to blow a breathe of new life into.

iOS 7 will not only pack boatloads of new features, but also a brand new user interface, and loads new feature to third party apps, in due time. So, let’s get the yummy!

Written by Dion Guillaume

September 18th, 2013 at 8:37 am

iPhone 5S: The ‘S’ stands for ‘Suckers’

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Just four days left until the almighty Apple iPhone 5S officially goes on sale, but as the rollout date nears, many consumers are left wondering what exactly the ‘S’ in iPhone 5S stands for. Well, unlike the ‘Speed’ it referred to with the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S, I have reason to believe that the iPhone 5S’ ‘S’ stands for ‘Suckers’.

Let me explain. For months there has been rumours, leaks and doubts. Anticipation heightened and there were some letdowns when the device that is the iPhone 5S finally launched, but what if that was Apple’s plan all along? No bigger display, no storage expansion, no megapixel enlargement, not THAT much change hey? Here everyone went and made bigger phones, bigger cameras and the works, but the software didn’t change much, neither did the user experience. iOS 7 is once of the greatest leaps in the mobile space for quite a while. Apple started the spec-war, and they may actually have ended it. Instead of going all in with hardware, Cupertino went all in, they gave the users a brand new phone, a more secure, longer lasting phone, that may actually be the same phone from last year.

Users on an iPhone 5 can upgrade to iOS 7 and have a whole new phone, but what about those people on older models? That’s what Apple was working towards. More users to the better, newer devices. The updated device. iOS 7 in its own is already enough to more than justify the iPhone 5S’ shortcomings as opposed to that of the competitors. And while Wall Street and haters gonna hate, Apple fans will rejoice, especially after the initial confusion of tomorrow’s iOS 7 rollout has blown over. Apple went ahead and instead of releasing a new mindblowing device, they went ahead and made the last four generations of smartphones, and the last three generations of iPad tablets, brand new devices.

Now Samsung, Nokia, HTC and the works laugh and tease Apple, but how many Nokia devices and Android devices from 2010 still get the latest software updates? Where do you get a company that makes devices bought three years ago, usable for three more years? Apple pulled off the biggest con in history, the turned their competitors into ‘Suckers.’ They will undoubtedly loosen their grip on competing with Apple, underestimating the company’s next generation of devices, giving Apple even more room for a device worth getting wet dreams over.

While everyone else goes on with the hardware race, and teasing Apple, they forget to actually cater for their users, making their experience better, refining their devices and software. Apple not only released two new smartphones, in essence they released five new smartphones and four new tablets. The iPhone 4, 4S and 5 as well as the iPad 2, new iPad, iPad 4 and iPad Mini become new devices with iOS 7.

The Apple iPhone 5S (and iPhone 5C) may be underwhelming, but it is there to bring pre-iPhone 5 users to the newer, bigger devices. Then Apple can bump resolution, user numbers, but most of all enhance the user experience. The hardware race is over. The future is all about the user experience, the software race is back. Why do you need a FHD screen when you can’t tell individual pixels apart either way? Why do you need an octa core processor? Why do you need a 41MP camera? Why have the latest and fastest hardware with sluggish software?

Apple’s control over its hardware AND software has ensured that they are a market leader, that they are a reference for most other manufacturers, everyone else. They have in effect turned everyone into ‘Suckers’ that are laughing and mocking Apple for such an “underwhelming product” when they actually went and reinvented their whole line up for the last three years in one foul swoop. Only Apple can pull such a thing off, and that’s why everyone else is ‘Suckers.’

Written by Dion Guillaume

September 17th, 2013 at 12:29 pm

iPhone 5C: The ‘C’ stands for ‘Chubby’

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It has been almost a week now since Apple announced their two new iPhone smartphones in the form of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. Ever since, there has been a lot of speculation as to what exactly the ‘C’ stands for…

Many speculated that the ‘C’ in the iPhone 5C stands for ‘cheap’, but since it is only $100 more affordable that the latest flagship, the iPhone 5S, it is quite unlikely, so what does it stand for? Well, Apple claims ‘color’, but I believe that the ‘C’ stands for ‘chubby,’ not the ‘conspiracy’ that it has brought forth. Why ‘chubby’? Well, the iPhone 5C is 8.97mm thick, a whole 1.37mm thicker than its predecessor. By definition, chubby means plump and rounded, which are the exact words that I would use to describe the iPhone 5C. It feels firm in the hands, more rounded that ever before, smooth as a baby’s bum.

Sure, this is somewhat satirical of me to write, but come on, think about it. The iPod has featured colors before, no one called it the iPod Nano C, so why now? iPhone 5C(hubby) I tell you!!! Chubby chasers, Apple is keeping an eye out for you…

Written by Dion Guillaume

September 16th, 2013 at 12:05 pm