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Lock Screen Security Bug Found: Samsung Galaxy S3

Following closely on the heels of a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 security vulnerability, another Samsung user has found that the bug affects other models.

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 flaw, the bug allows for full access to the Samsung Galaxy S3. The method is similar in that it requires a fleet-fingered user to hop through a number of screens.

As discovered by Sean McMillian, the smartphone can be manipulated by tapping through the emergency call, emergency contacts, home screen, and then the power button twice. McMillian admits that the bug isn’t consistent — sometimes, he said, it works right away, while other times it takes 20 attempts.

Indeed, we weren’t able to replicate the bug after many tries (Engadget was able to do it, but it took a long time). That suggests that would-be snoopers must act quickly and deftly, but the lesson here (and always) is to keep a watchful eye on that $500 smartphone.

As McMillian indicates, the bug seems to be related to Samsung’s software and not an Android-wide issue. Judging by the similarities in the two flaws, we might expect Samsung to issue software updates to address the concerns.

Source: CNET

Apple Is Beta-Testing A Fix For Evasi0n Jailbreak

All good jailbreaks must come to an end.

Late last week Apple released an update for iOS to developers in beta that prevents the use of the popular jailbreak software evasi0n, according to one of evasi0n’s creators who tested the patch over the weekend, David Wang.

Wang tells me that he’s analyzed the 6.1.3 beta 2 update and found that it patches at least one of the five bugs the jailbreak exploits, namely a flaw in the operating system’s time zone settings. The beta update likely signals the end of using evasi0n to hack new or updated devices after the update is released to users, says Wang, who says he’s still testing the patch to see which other vulnerabilities exploited by the jailbreak might no longer exist in the new operating system.

“If one of the vulnerabilities doesn’t work, evasi0n doesn’t work,” he says. “We could replace that part with a different vulnerability, but [Apple] will probably fix most if not all of the bugs we’ve used when 6.1.3 comes out.”

That impending patch doesn’t mean evasi0n’s time is up, says Wang. Judging by Apple’s usual schedule of releasing beta updates to users, he predicts that it may take as long as another month before the patch is widely released.

When evasi0n hit the Web earlier this month, it quickly became the most popular jailbreak of all time as users jumped at their first chance to jailbreak the iPhone 5 and other most-recent versions of Apple’s hardware. The hacking tool was used on close to seven million devices in just its first four days online.

Despite that frenzy, Apple has hardly scrambled to stop the jailbreaking.  Evasi0n has already gone unpatched for three weeks. That’s far longer, for instance, than the nine days it took Apple to release a fix for Jailbreakme 3.0, the jailbreak tool released in the summer of 2011 for the iPhone 4, which was by some measures the last jailbreak to approach Evasi0n’s popularity.

Apple’s slow response to Evasi0n is explained in part by the relatively low security risk that the tool poses. Unlike Jailbreakme, which allowed users to merely visit a website and have their device’s restrictions instantly broken, Evasi0n requires users to plug their gadget into a PC with a USB cable. That cable setup makes it far tougher for malicious hackers to borrow Evasi0n’s tricks to remotely install malware on a user’s phone or tablet.

Security researchers have nonetheless pointed out that Evasi0n could give criminals or spies some nasty ideas. The tool uses five distinct bugs in iOS, all of which might be appropriated and combined with other techniques for malicious ends. And F-Secure researcher Mikko Hypponen points out that if a hacker used a Mac or Windows exploit to compromise a user’s PC, he or she could simply wait for the target to plug in an iPhone or iPad and use evasi0n to take over that device as well.

More likely, perhaps, is a scenario described by German iPhone security researcher Stefan Esser. He argues that a hacker could use a secret exploit to gain access to an iPhone or iPad and then install evasi0n, using the jailbreaking tool to hide his or her tracks and keep the secret exploit technique undiscovered by Apple and unpatched. “That way they protect their investment and leave no exploit code that could be analyzed for origin,” Esser wrote on Twitter.

Apple already has a more pressing security reason to push out its latest update. The patch also fixes a bug discovered earlier this month that allows anyone who gains physical access to a phone to bypass its lockscreen in seconds and access contacts and photos.

When Apple’s update arrives, the team of jailbreakers known as the evad3rs may still have more tricks in store. Wang tells me that the group has discovered enough bugs in Apple’s mobile operating system to nearly build a new iOS jailbreak even if all the bugs they currently use are fixed.

But then again, Wang says he hasn’t yet been able to check Apple’s patch for every bug it might fix–either the ones evasi0n employs or those he and his fellow hackers had hoped to keep secret for their next jailbreak. “If they patch most of the bugs,” Wang says. “Then we’re starting from scratch.”

Ryan says:  We’re offering our customers the opportunity to Jailbreak their iPhone 5 for FREE until the end of March! – Call Ryan to book an appointment!

Source: Forbes

New next-gen Xbox details emerge, reinforcing reports that used games will be unplayable

The mystery surrounding Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation 4 will soon dissipate when the company unveils its next-generation video game console on February 20th. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s (MSFT) upcoming rival console is still very much a mystery, though pieces of the puzzle continue to come together. The latest report comes from Edge, which cites multiple unnamed people with “first-hand experience of Microsoft’s next generation console” in claiming that the new Xbox will require an always-on internet connection to check disc registration in order to function. The report reinforces earlier rumors that Microsoft will restrict or even completely block owners’ ability to play used games.

BGR also reaffirms specs reported earlier, including a 1.6GHz eight-core AMD CPU, D3D11.x 800MHz graphics and 8GB of RAM, and it says we should expect a new Kinect sensor to launch alongside the console.

Microsoft’s next Xbox is expected to be unveiled during the E3 gaming conference this summer.

Source: BGR

Ryan:  Limiting the ability to play used XBOX games on the new console is will be their downfall. If this happens, I won’t be buying one. PS4 FTW?!?!

Sophisticated botnet steals more than $47M by infecting PCs and phones

A new version of the Zeus trojan—a longtime favorite of criminals conducting online financial fraud—has been used in attacks on over 30,000 electronic banking customers in Europe, infecting both their personal computers and smartphones. The sophisticated attack is designed to circumvent banks’ use of two-factor authentication for transactions by intercepting messages sent by the bank to victims’ mobile phones.

The malware and botnet system, dubbed “Eurograbber” by security researchers from Check Point Software and Versafe, was first detected in Italy earlier this year. It has since spread throughout Europe. Eurograbber is responsible for more than $47 million in fraudulent transfers from victims’ bank accounts, stealing amounts from individual victims that range from 500 Euros (about $650) to 25,000 Euros (about $32,000), according to a report published Wednesday.

The malware attack begins when a victim clicks on a malicious link, possibly sent as part of a phishing attack. Clicking on the link directs them to a site that attempts to download one or more trojans: customized versions of Zeus and its SpyEye and CarBerp variants that allow attackers to record Web visits and then inject HTML and JavaScript into the victim’s browser. The next time the victim visits their bank website, the trojans capture their credentials and launch a JavaScript that spoofs a request for a “security upgrade” from the site, offering to protect their mobile device from attack. The JavaScript captures their phone number and their mobile operating system information—which are used in the second level of Eurograbber’s attack.

With the phone number and platform information, the attacker sends a text message to the victim’s phone with a link to a site that downloads what it says is “encryption software” for the device. But it is, in fact, “Zeus in the mobile” (ZITMO) malware—a Trojan crafted for the Android and BlackBerry mobile operating systems that injects itself between the user and the mobile browser and SMS messaging software. With both devices now compromised, the malware waits for the victim to access a bank account, and then immediately transfers a percentage of the victim’s balance to an account set up by the criminals running the botnet.

The malware then intercepts the confirmation text message sent by the bank, forwarding it to the trojan’s command and control server via a relay phone number. The server uses the message to confirm the transaction and withdraw the money. The same process happens every time the victim logs into their bank account, gradually withdrawing money without alerting the user.

Both Checkpoint and Versafe have added signature and behavior detection to their malware protection products that can block Eurograbber. Updating software that is a frequent target for Web “driveby download” exploits—such as Adobe Flash, Java, and Web browsers—can help prevent infection by the malware, as can a healthy amount of paranoia about clicking links in e-mails.

Source: Arstechnica

Upgrading RAM on the new iMac is practically impossible

The electronics website iFixit on Friday downgraded the new 21.5-inch iMac’s repair score to 3 out of a possible 10, calling servicing the computer “an exercise in disappointment.”

The website urged do-it-yourselfers to look for a leftover 2011 model instead. “Hackers, tinkerers, and repairers be forewarned: Get last year’s model if you’d like to alter your machine in any way,” said Miroslav Djuric, iFixit’s chief information architect, in an email announcing the site’s teardown of the newest iMac.

Apple started selling the redesigned 21.5-inch iMac on Friday at its retail and online stores. The larger, more expensive 27-in. iMac is to ship later this month.

After disassembling the iMac, iFixit assigned the all-in-one desktop a repair score of just 3 out of 10; The 2011 version of the same-sized iMac sported a more DIY-friendly score of 7 out of 10.

The iMac’s new score is in the same low range as Apple’s 15- and 13-inch Retina-equipped MacBook Pro laptops, which earned a 1 and 2, respectively, this summer and fall. In June, iFixit called the 15-inch MacBook Pro “the least-repairable laptop we’ve taken apart.”

Explaining the iMac’s low score, iFixit cited the copious amounts of “incredibly strong” adhesive that bonds the LCD and front glass panel to the frame. Earlier iMacs fixed the display in place with magnets rather than the hard-to-dislodge glue, which is even harder to replace.

Just as damning was an Apple design decision that makes it practically impossible for users to upgrade the iMac’s RAM. The 21.5-in. iMac comes standard with 8GB of memory – and can be upgraded to 16GB – but because the RAM is buried beneath the logic board, owners must “take apart most of the iMac just to gain access,” iFixit said.

Older 21.5-inch iMacs had four external RAM slots that were easily accessed by users.

Apple mentions the impracticality of memory upgrade only in a side note hidden on the iMac’s options page. There, Apple said: “Every 21.5-inch iMac comes with 8GB of memory built into the computer. If you think you may need 16GB of memory in the future, it is important to upgrade at the time of purchase, because memory cannot be upgraded later in this model.”

The not-yet-available 27-inch iMac will continue to sport four external memory slots. Customers can boost the RAM at the time of ordering to 16GB (for an extra $200) or 32GB ($600), but those prices are exorbitant compared to third-party RAM that users install themselves. An additional 8GB of memory – which would raise the iMac’s total to 16GB – costs just $40 at Crucial.com, for example.

iFixit spotted several other changes to the iMac, including a larger, single fan rather than several smaller fans; dual microphones, likely a noise cancellation move for FaceTime video calls; and a vibration-dampening housing around the laptop-sized 2.5-in. hard disk drive.

The teardown also exposed the location where Apple places a “Fusion Drive,” the option that combines 128GB of flash storage with a standard platter-based hard drive.

The new iMacs are priced between $1,299 and $1,999 – $100 more than their precursors – and can be purchased or pre-ordered at Apple’s online and retail stores.

iFixit reduced the repair score of Apple’s iMac from 7 to 3 (out of 10), citing screen-to-chassis glue and the impracticality of upgrading RAM or swapping drives.

Source: TechWorld

Blacklist created to fight smartphone theft

Canada’s wireless carriers are targeting smartphone theft by setting up a database that will blacklist lost or stolen phones to prevent them from being reactivated.

The move would also help protect personal data on such devices, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association said Thursday.

Smartphones are worth $600 to $700 and can be resold on the black market, noted association president Bernard Lord.

“With this database, it makes that a lot less attractive because the buyer of the stolen phone will not be able to connect to any network in Canada,” Lord said from Ottawa.

“It eliminates the incentive for stealing a device.”

The idea is also to reduce the black market value of a smartphone in the eyes of criminals, Lord added.

Once consumers call their wireless carrier to report their smartphone lost or stolen, the device’s internal identification number goes on the electronic blacklist.

Lord said even though more smartphones are lost than stolen, law enforcement officials have raised concerns about the issue.

The database for the Canadian wireless industry will be up and running by September 2013 and Canada’s carriers will also be contributing to an international database to help prevent smartphone theft, he said.

However, consumers who have their smartphones lost or stolen are “not off the hook” for paying their smartphone contracts.

A website will also be set up by the association to help consumers protect their smartphone data and help protect themselves from theft.

Lord said the smartphone’s ID number — called the international mobile electronic number — will be verified by carriers to make sure the device has not been lost or stolen.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission congratulated the wireless industry for the initiative, but would like the database running sooner rather than later.

“I would strongly encourage the industry to implement the database before September 2013 to ensure Canadians benefit from this added protection as soon as possible,” chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said in a statement.

The creation of a database and collaboration to make sure stolen or lost devices aren’t reactivated will help make them less desirable to thieves, Blais said.

“The CRTC has been concerned for some time about reports of an increase in crimes involving lost or stolen cellphones.”

Telus said while the wireless industry, law enforcement, and regulators all have a role to play, smartphone users need to think about where they’re buying their devices.

“We ask consumers to reconsider buying phones on sites like eBay, Craigslist, or Kijiji and instead buy their devices from a verified dealer,” Telus spokesman Shawn Hall said.

“If you buy a phone from Craig’s List it might be legitimate, but it could be stolen and then you will likely be unable to get it activated,” he said.

Smartphone use in Canada is among the highest in the world and penetration has exceeded 50 per cent, Lord said.

Canada’s wireless industry will spend about $20 million on the initiative, he said.

The United States is also taking steps and will have a similar database to fight the black market for smartphones in November 2013, Lord said.

Ryan says:  This should change the market in the way deals are made on classified for sale sites.  Phones will be checked first to see if they work properly before buying.  New tricks will be implemented ie. IMEI / IMSI masking so I do not see this as a long term solution for blacklisting phones but its a move in the right direction.

Source:  CTV News

iOS 6.0.1 already jailbroken — for some devices

iOS 6.0.1 users can now jailbreak their devices, but there are some bumps in the road.

The latest version of the iPhone Dev Team’s Redsn0w can jailbreak iOS 6.0.1 devices, Redmond Pie confirmed today after testing the update.

However, not everyone can take advantage of the effort at this point.

The jailbreak works only on iOS devices powered by an A4 chip or lower. People who own the iPhone 5, the newest iPads, or the latest iPod Touch are out of luck. The jailbreak takes advantage of the Limera1n exploit, which can’t handle the A5 or later chips.

That leaves just the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and the iPod Touch 4G as prime candidates. The iPod Touch 3G and the original iPad don’t support iOS 6.0 or higher.

The jailbreak is also a tethered one. So after you shut down or reboot your device, you’ll need to connect it to your computer to return it to a jailbroken state.

Apple, or course, isn’t too fond of jailbreaking, a process that allows device owners to unlock certain features and install apps not found in the App Store.

The iPhone maker once tried to argue that the action violates its copyright. The U.S. Copyright Office recently ruled that jailbreaking is illegal on tablets and gaming consoles but not on smartphones.

Source: CNET

Five reasons people will want a BlackBerry 10 Phone

The BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha, handed out to developers in May, provided little information about what the finished product would look like. But a better picture has since emerged.

Will BlackBerry 10 phones, which are expected to arrive early next year, be worth the wait? For months, that question had no good answer.

While Apple’s wildly successful ads calmly wrap themselves around a single have-to-have feature (see SIRI) we haven’t yet had the benefit of a full rundown on BlackBerry 10 specs. So we have been left with what we are normally left with in the space before any anticipated consumer device arrives: speculation, rumour, and the odd grainy photo. It’s right around this time in the launch cycle that an iPhone is “accidentally” found in a Palo Alto tavern and pictures show up on various gadget sites, sending fanboys into a predictable lather.

So far, there has been no Canadian equivalent. To date, not one has misplaced a BlackBerry 10 device at a Tim Hortons in Moose Jaw, or a canteen in a Kitchener rink. But a picture has begun to emerge. New RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has been equal parts helpful and feckless, revealing key details of BlackBerry 10 to select media, then reverting to more vague, big picture proclamations that have sometimes provoked ridicule, such as when he said that with BB10 “We’re here to win, we’re not here to fight for third or fourth place,” after the company had fallen to less than 5% of total smartphone sales in Q2.

If RIM is to regain some, if not all, of its lost market share, BlackBerry 10 devices will need to be great, not just good. The good news for RIM supporters is that early indications suggest devices loaded with the new operating system will give RIM every chance. We break down five reasons people will want a Blackberry 10 device.

1. Its contact manager will be great

Early last year, RIM acquired Seattle-based Gist, a company that focused on integrating social media elements into contact management. The startup was founded in 2008 by T.A. McCann, who formerly worked in Microsoft’s Exchange Server Group. Gist actually received its initial funding from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital.

Now McCann’s team is taking on a key role at RIM.

“BlackBerry has always had this heritage of productivity. We are just going to make it better yet again, when we launch BB10,” McCann told Reuters recently. He says that in addition to the BlackBerry contacts app, Gist has been tasked with the responsibility of everything social at RIM including BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), the Facebook and Twitter apps, instant messaging as well as much of the identity platform, BlackBerry ID.

A Gist user review hints at the possibilities:

“The main idea behind Gist is pretty similar to other social media aggregators like MyBlogLog, FriendFeed, Seesmic and Google Buzz” says Gist user Dustin Luther. “However, there’s one HUGE improvement they’ve made. Rather than forcing you to view updates based on a timeline (i.e. most recent updates first), they allow you to view updates in a “people” mode where you can view all the updates from that person (whether they are on Facebook, Twitter, their blog, foursquare, etc.) based on the importance that you’ve selected. (Facebook has tried to do this with their “top news” feature, but it’s crude at best and doesn’t do a great job finding updates that are important to me)”.

2. It will have a cool camera

When new RIM CEO Thorsten Heins offered a sneak peak at some of the features of its new BlackBerry 10 operating system, the things that got the biggest oohs and aahs from the crowd at BlackBerry World were the new camera features. A tidy demo that followed showed the new camera will allow the user to “go back in time” using a circular timeline slider to pick the perfect moment. While the phone looks to be a marked improvement over what is on the market today, it is unlikely that it will present a distinct business advantage, as the technology behind it is licensed from a Swedish company called Scalado that was acquired by Nokia in June.

3. It will have better battery life

The new BB10 devices will feature an OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) screen that, unlike its LED counterparts, doesn’t require a backlight. While some budget devices, such as the Toshiba T-02D and the Samsung Exhilarate, have employed OLED, RIM has the opportunity to bring it to the mainstream. Other details reveal that RIM is extremely battery focused with BB10. The new BBM, for instance, will feature a darker screen that will save battery life by as much as 25%. And for real road warriors, Thorsten Heins told the Wall Street Journal recently that BlackBerry 10 phones will include a removable battery, so heavy users can swap a fresh one in, rather than traipse around an airport for a power source.

4. It will be fast

RIM acquired QNX, which became BlackBerry 10 after a legal spat, in April 2010. The Ottawa-based company was founded in 1980 and acquired by Harman International in 2004. QNX developed an operating system called the QNX Neutrino, which is more familiar to those familiar with OS’s used in mission critical environments, such as high speed trains in Europe and Japan, nuclear power plants, even the Canadarm. Neutrino employs a micro-kernal structure in which each application runs in its own memory space on this operating system, allowing the device to multi-task like nothing that is currently on the market.

5. Lack of apps won’t be an issue

One could argue that many apps built for the iPhone were necessary because the device’s browser did not support Adobe Flash. But that’s a story for another day, especially now that that fence has been mended in the post Steve Jobs world. A persistent critique of BlackBerrys has been BlackBerry App World, which is dwarfed by Apple App Store. But Alec Saunders RIM’s VP of developer relations, says the image that BlackBerry is bleeding app developers is simply false. BlackBerry App World, he points out has grown its vendor base by 157% in the past year, and just passed the three billion download mark. The QNX Neutrino operating system, which provides support for Adobe Flash and Air, Java, HTML 5.0 and C++. makes it inherently developer friendly, insists Saunders.

“I have been receiving a lot of feedback from developers personally and I can tell you that I am hearing again and again that developers are amazed by how easy it is to work with the BlackBerry 10 tools, ” he said recently, adding: “They appreciate the open nature of our platform, which allows developers to bring their work and their skills and find a toolset that will work for them.”

Among BlackBerry App World’s more than 90,000 apps, you’ll now find all the regular battery monitoring and texting ones, plus brands such as Pandora, Angry Birds, Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Source: Cantech Letter

Is Aliyun OS really Linux? Android? A rip-off of both?

When Acer was ready to announce a new smartphone running Alibaba’s Aliyun operating system, Google responded with force. If it were to be released, Google would end its parternship with Acer, which uses Android for 90 percent of its smartphones.

Acer swiftly cancelled the release, but clearly Acer wasn’t happy about the state of affairs. Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company, was even less happy.

Alibaba says it wants Aliyun OS to be the “Android of China,” claimign that they’ve spent years working on their Linux-based mobile operating system.

Google didn’t see it that way. Google thinks Alibaba is an Android rip-off.

In Google’s Android Official Blog, Andy Rubin, Google’s senior vice president of mobile and digital content said:

“We built Android to be an open source mobile platform freely available to anyone wishing to use it. In 2008, Android was released under the Apache open source license and we continue to develop and innovate the platform under the same open source license — it is available to everyone at: http://source.android.com. This openness allows device manufacturers to customize Android and enable new user experiences, driving innovation and consumer choice.”

But: “While Android remains free for anyone to use as they would like, only Android compatible devices benefit from the full Android ecosystem. By joining the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), each member contributes to and builds one Android platform — not a bunch of incompatible versions.”

Android is a mobile operating system branch of Linux. While there have been disagreements between developers, Android and mainstream Linux buried the hatchet in March 2012.

So, from where Google sits, Aliyun OS is an incompatible Android fork.  John Spelich, Alibaba vice president of international corporate affairs replied oddly: “[Google] have no idea and are just speculating. Aliyun is different.”

How can Google have no idea about what Aliyun is if it is indeed, as Alibaba claims, a Linux fork? Linux is licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GPLv2). Part of that license insists that if a GPLv2 program is released to general users, the source code must be made publicly available. Thus, perhaps Google doesn’t have any idea because, as Spelich indidicted and far as I’ve been able to find, Aliyun’s source code is not available anywhere. If indeed the source code isn’t open and freely available, even if Aliyun has no Android connection, this would still make it an illegal Linux fork.

Spelich went on to claim that Aliyun is “not a fork,” adding: “Ours is built on open-source Linux.” In addition, Aliyon runs “our own applications. It’s designed to run cloud apps designed in our own ecosystem. It can run some but not all Android apps.”

Rubin, in a Google+ post, replied, “We agree that the Aliyun OS is not part of the Android ecosystem and you’re under no requirement to be compatible.”

“However, ” he continued, “[t]he fact is, Aliyun uses the Android runtime, framework and tools. And your app store contains Android apps (including pirated Google apps). So there’s really no disputing that Aliyun is based on the Android platform and takes advantage of all the hard work that’s gone into that platform by the OHA.”

Hands on research by Android Police, a publication dedicated to Android reporting and analysis, shows that Aliyun app store includes pirated Google apps.

Android Police found that, “Aliyun’s app store appeared to be distributing Android apps scraped from the Play Store and other websites, not only downloadable to Aliyun devices as .apk files, but also provided by third parties not involved with the apps’ or games’ development. What’s more, we’ve received independent confirmation from the original developers of some of these apps that they did not in fact give consent for their products to be distributed in Aliyun’s app store.”

Not the least of the evidence is that the Aliyun includes Google’s own Android applications such as Google Translate, Google Sky Map, Google Drive, and Google Play Books. The odds of Google giving Aliyun permission to use its own applications are somewhere zero and none.

What we seem to have in Aliyun is an illegal Android and Linux fork, which supports a pirated software ecosystem. I only wonder that Google didn’t come down even harder on Acer and I really wonder how much due diligence, if any, Acer did before signing a deal with Alibaba.

Source: ZDNet

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Apple poised for iPhone 5 launch

Technology giant Apple has fuelled rumours it will launch a new version of its best-selling iPhone by announcing a “special event” only hours before two of its competitors unveiled two new devices.

The secretive firm sent out invitations for the event next week ahead of Wednesday’s announcement in New York by Nokia and Microsoft where they revealed details of two new phones which will run on Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

The Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820 are the Finnish company’s attempt to claw back lost ground since it lost its position as the world’s biggest phonemaker to Samsung.

The firm described the 920 as its “flagship” product and it boasts a high powered camera described as the equivalent of “a standalone SLR camera” and can be recharged without being plugged in.

The Apple emails, sent on Tuesday to selected journalists, invite them to an event on Wednesday September 12 and includes the line “it’s almost here”.

It also features a figure 12 with a shadow that appears to be the number 5 – seemingly confirming the company will announce the arrival of the iPhone 5.

The events typically involve Apple executives unveiling new products at their California base – which are carried by videolink live to a central London location.

It is around a year since the firm unveiled the iPhone 4S complete with voice recognition software and an A5 chip allowing it to use much faster graphics for gameplay and to download data twice as fast.

The 4S also has an eight megapixel camera with five lenses, one more than the iPhone4, which results in sharper pictures and allows users to take HD video.

The new phone is expected to sell well. Thousands of gadget fans queued to get their hands on the iPhone 4S when it first went on sale.

Source: The Press Association