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Tech wrap: iPhone 5 coming to Sprint in mid-October?

August 23, 2011

Loyal Sprint customers keen to finally hop on the iPhone bandwagon could be in luck come this fall. The third-largest U.S. wireless carrier will begin offering the iPhone 5 to customers in mid-October, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources. It will be the first version of the popular Apple smartphone to be sold by the company. AT&T and Verizon, already iPhone vedors, will also start selling the new model around the same time, according to the story.

In other iPhone news, Reuters correspondents Kelvin Soh and Clare Jim report that Apple is planning a cheaper version of its current iPhone 4 model to offer to the masses in developing markets such as China as it seeks to gain lower-end customers from rivals such as Nokia. Apple’s Asian suppliers have already begun production of a new lower-cost version of the handset that will come with a smaller, 8-GB flash drive, as opposed to the the 16-GB and 32-GB versions that were released in June 2010, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. So, just how much cheaper will the discount version be? That’s not entirely clear yet, but Yuanta Securities analyst Bonnie Chang had this to say: “Apple may want to push into the emerging market segment, where customers want to switch to low- to mid-end smartphones from high-end feature phones, which usually cost $150 to $200.”

Facebook unveiled a far-reaching overhaul to its privacy controls on Tuesday that will make it easier for users to control who sees their information and what pictures they are tagged in on the social network. Under the new changes, Facebook users will have the option of modifying and changing their privacy settings each time they post something instead being required to browse through to separate sections of the site.

The response from privacy groups so far has been generally positive. “This is a significant step forward in Facebook privacy for users of all ages,” Connect Safety told Mashable. The Electronic Frontier Foundation also seemed to welcome the changes. “We have been asking Facebook for granular controls over privacy setting for some time now, and are pleased that Facebook is now providing inline controls. We also appreciate the introduction of greater control over tagging,” the group told the site.

Beware Android users: the number of malware targeted at devices powered by Google’s mobile platform jumped 76 percent since last quarter, according to U.S. computer security software maker McAfee. That makes Android the most attacked mobile operating system.

No. 1 daily deals website Groupon is turning to executives from Citydeal — the European business it bought last year — to help boost slowing growth in its domestic business, ahead of a planned public listing.

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