Apple events are always big, and few tech product releases generate the level of excitement we see over new iPhones. This year, we saw an oddly-named trio of new phones and a new smartwatch, but that’s not all Apple unveiled on the Cupertino stage, we also saw a whole new level of greed from the world’s richest company.
We can wax lyrical about the stunning iPhone Xs, the super-sized iPhone Xs Max, and the more affordable iPhone XR. Make no mistake, these are highly-desirable, thoughtfully-designed smartphones that will bring joy to many people. Whether they’re worth the high fees Apple commands is debatable. A price of $1,450 for the 512GB iPhone Xs Max seems excessive, but most people will be perfectly happy with the $750 iPhone XR.
Wednesday is Apple’s big product release day, where analysts expect the company to release the next edition of the iPhone. While the usual upgrades to the screen, CPU, and storage are expected as always, one major lingering question is how the company is going to handle 5G, the next-generation telecommunications standard.
The conventional wisdom among analysts is that Apple will ignore 5G in 2018 and 2019 just as it took extra time to rollout 3G and 4G chipsets in its phones. A typical example of this analysis comes from Chris Smith at BGR, who says that “We already saw what Apple did when 4G LTE came out. The company waited for carriers actually to offer decent coverage before launching the first 4G iPhone. That was the iPhone 5, by the way, which launched more than a year after the first Android-based LTE phones came out.”
The creators of several Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have criticized Apple’s decision to remove their products from its App Store in China.
The BBC understands that as many as 60 VPNs were pulled over the weekend.
Apple said it was legally required to remove them because they did not comply with new regulations.
It refused to confirm the exact number of apps withdrawn, but did not deny the figure. It added that dozens of legal VPN apps were still available.
Apple’s long-rumored Amazon Echo competitor is real. It’s called the HomePod (yes, I know). “We want to reinvent home music,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the company’s WWDC keynote. The Apple Speaker is focused on music first, not Siri.
Apple’s SVP of Global Marketing Phil Schiller said Sonos aren’t smart speakers and Amazon Echos aren’t good speakers. So Apple wants to combine the best of both worlds. It’s a smart marketing strategy. HomePod is shipping later this year — it’s not quite ready for prime time.
When it comes to tech giants, Apple and Amazon have one of the better rivalries.
Both are trying to be the living-room platform of the future. Apple is doing that through Apple TV; Amazon is doing that through its Fire sticks and boxes. Neither wants to cede ground to the other, which has meant they haven’t been playing nice.
The result? No Amazon Prime Video app for Apple TV owners, and no Apple TVs available on Amazon.com. For now.
Last week, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced the company would invest $1 billion in a U.S. “advanced manufacturing fund.”
As the CEO of a manufacturing company, even I have no idea what Cook means by an “advanced manufacturing fund,” and I don’t think Apple (AAPL, -0.82%) wants me or anyone else to know, which is why it makes for such good publicity. The company announced last week that its cash reserves hit $256.8 billion in the fiscal second quarter, then doesn’t give any other specifics, and saves those specifics, as Cook says, for a later date. Apple will keep beating the drum of how it’s “investing in America,” but won’t ever provide any specifics as to how the money is used other than to create more manufacturing jobs or how many American jobs it creates. And if it does, it will be harder to trace than an Iranian cash deal.
Rejoice lovers of petite-sized iPhones, for Apple is granting additional storage bounty — announcing today it’s doubling the current storage capacity of the iPhone SE.
The new four-inch display iPhone comes with either 32GB or 128GB on board storage, replacing the prior 16GB and 64GB models — but with only a small price-tag bump for the more capacious model (+ $50, to $499), and no price change for the $399 starter model.
As with all iOS devices there’s no ability for users to expand storage capacity themselves via a removable memory card. You get what you’re given on the storage front — so being given more is very welcome.
Last week, Apple finally revealed its grand plan to conquer your TV: a new Apple TV app that brings all your shows and movies together in one place and serves you recommendations.
The idea makes sense. Apple thinks apps are the future of TV, and that eventually you will have separate subscriptions to Netflix, HBO, Showtime, Hulu, and so on — maybe you already do.
In that world, it will be annoying to have to navigate a bunch of different interfaces and menus. So Apple will do it for you with a new app called TV, which not only works on your Apple TV, but also on your iPhone or iPad.
It looks as though 90% of the Apple power accessories sold on Amazon, such as chargers and cables, are fake, according to a legal document from Apple obtained by Patently Apple. In the document, Apple claims it bought “well over 100 iPhone devices, Apple power products, and Lightning cables” from Amazon and found that nearly 90% of the accessories were fake.
Apart from potentially not working as well as genuine Apple products, Apple also claims that counterfeit Apple power accessories can cause property damage and even bodily harm. The company says in the document that counterfeit accessories are often poorly built with “inferior” — and even missing — parts, and they don’t go through industry-standard safety tests. As a result, they risk catching fire or sending “deadly” electric shocks to users during normal usage.
First they came for the bulky 30-pin docking connector. Then the 3.5mm headphone jack was removed from the iPhone. What will Apple remove next? A newly granted patent published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office offers another clue. In a bid to reduce the physical imperfections on the iPhone’s external design, Apple could drop the lightning port.
Patent #9,453,976 was granted today, and details a system where data could flow between two devices through an optical interface. This would use a series of tiny holes that in concert would allow enough optical information to pass through: