Qualcomm in an earnings conference call on Wednesday showed rare willingness to modify its patent licensing policies, a core segment of its business that sparked a court battle with Apple and government investigations into potentially anticompetitive practices.
Samsung Electronics reported positive quarterly profits on Wednesday, its fourth consecutive period of massive record gains, but warned of slow growth due to weaker than expected demand for smartphone OLED panels like those supplied to Apple for iPhone X.
Recent rumors suggest Apple is planning to remove longtime partner Qualcomm from its iPhone supply chain in favor of industry rival Intel, but according to a new report the switch will not be completed in full this year.
Intel is planning to supply Apple with 70 percent of the modem chips that will be used in the 2018 iPhone lineup, according an unnamed source that spoke to Fast Company. Qualcomm will allegedly provide the rest.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously suggested Intel might be Apple's sole supplier for LTE modems in 2018 given Apple's ongoing and increasingly tense legal battle with Qualcomm, while The Wall Street Journal said Apple might use Mediatek and Intel chips to avoid working with Qualcomm, but Fast Company says that's not the case.
Intel will supply the lion's share of the chips, but because 2018 is the first year that Intel is fabricating its own chips using its 14-nanometer process, Fast Company's source says Apple plans to continue to use Qualcomm chips in 2018.
Given that technological transition, Apple is apparently waiting to see how well Intel fulfills this year's order. If Intel underdelivers, Qualcomm will make up the balance on top of the 30% it's already planning to provide. There's also a chance that if Intel can produce enough chips on time and on budget it could get more than the planned 70%, our source says.
Intel is reportedly not hitting its expected modem chip yield rates at the current time, with just over half of chips produced coming out in an acceptable quality. Intel engineers are, however, confident that yield rates can be pushed up before production ramps up in the summer months.
While Intel may not be Apple's sole supplier for modem chips in 2018, if its chip production speeds up and kinks are worked out, Apple will transition solely to Intel for its 2019 iPhone lineup, effectively cutting ties with Qualcomm.
Apple first adopted Intel chips in the iPhone 7, released in 2016, moving away from Qualcomm as its sole supplier. Since early 2017, Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in a bitter legal battle, which has led to Apple's efforts to cease using Qualcomm chips all together.
Libratone TRACK+ wireless headphones make a bold statement with a smooth, modern design and an audio profile to match, with an adaptive noise cancellation feature so good, that makes it hard to live without.
Every day, Macworld brings you the essential daily news and other info about all things Apple. But staying on top of that torrent of information can be a constant challenge. One solution: the Macworld digital magazine.
In the May issue
Are you curious about buying a new $329 iPad? This month we give you five compelling reasons to pick one up. We also review a formidable competitor to the Apple Watch: the Fitbit Versa. Get all of the details from Apple’s Education Event and find out why Apple will soon be a force in the classroom.
Also in this month’s issue:
• MacUser: You can now buy the coolest parts of the iMac Pro. Plus, how to download your Facebook data, or delete your account altogether.
Despite recent stock woes and the rough HomePod launch, Tim Cook has represented Apple well in his time at the helm, and blaming him for not being Steve Jobs is pointless, and ignores the new realities surrounding Apple that have developed in the last five years.
You don't need to be a coding guru to create your own digital animations. Animatron Studio Pro is giving users the means to make mobile-friendly, entertaining animations, regardless of their experience levels, in an intuitive browser environment. Lifetime subscriptions are on sale today for $49.99, more than 90 percent off the usual price.
New adoption statistics for iOS published on Apple's developer website reveal iOS 11 is installed on 76 percent of all compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch models, a share that has increased by 11 percent since the start of this year.
I know some of you have long justified not buying an Apple Watch out of a belief that the price is too high, but today Walmart has made it difficult to continue making that excuse. Right now the well-known retailer is selling the 38mm Apple Watch Series 1 with Sport Band for just $149, which means you’re getting it for a full $100 off the normal price of $249. For a bit of comparison, that’s $10 less than the retail price of a pair of AirPods, and you’re getting a device that does a lot more.
The iOS 11 operating system is installed on 76 percent of devices as of April 22, according to statistics Apple shared today on its App Store support page for developers.
That's up 11 percentage points since January 18, when iOS 11 was installed on 65 percent of devices, and 24 percentage points since November 6, when iOS 11 was installed on 52 percent of devices.
19 percent of devices continue to use iOS 10, while 5 percent of devices use earlier versions of iOS, such as iOS 9. Many of these devices are likely older and unable to be updated to the newest version of iOS.
iOS 11 adoption rates have been growing steadily, but adoption has been markedly slower than iOS 10. In February of 2017, for example, iOS 10 was installed on nearly 80 percent of active devices.
iOS 11 has been plagued by high-profile bugs and issues like the HomeKit bug, the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, and most notably, the iPhone slowdown controversy that saw Apple throttling the performance of older iPhones. Though not directly related to iOS 11, it's likely people shied away from updating after reading about the issue.
The 11 percent uptick in iOS 11 adoption from January to April can be attributed to the launch of iOS 11.2 in December and iOS 11.3 in March, both of which were major updates introducing key new features.
iOS 11.2 brought Apple Pay Cash and faster 7.5W wireless charging for Apple's newest devices, while iOS 11.3 included a new battery health tool, ARKit 1.5, a Health Records feature, and many other smaller changes.
iOS 11.4, which is in the works, is another update that could spur adoption, as it will introduce Messages on iCloud and AirPlay 2 if the features currently in testing make it into the release.
Customers may be wary of iOS 11, leading to somewhat slower adoption rates, but Apple's iOS 11 install base is beyond impressive compared to Google's adoption numbers for its latest operating system update.
As of April 16, just 0.5 percent of Android devices are running the newest version of Android Oreo, and only 4.6 percent of devices total have Oreo installed. The majority of Android users continue to run Android Lollipop, Marshmallow, and Nougat, operating systems that came out in 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively.
New price drops are in effect now at Apple authorized reseller Adorama. Save up to $1,150 on loaded configs with prices starting at just $699, a record low. All with free shipping and no tax on orders shipped outside NY and NJ.
Negative comments from two Apple suppliers about the next iPhone generation could hamper investor expectations for the next quarter, suggests Gene Munster of Loup Ventures, but predictable iPhone sales make this only a near-term risk instead of a long-term problem.
Amazon seeks to widen its smart speaker lead with a new product intended for children's use, that comes pre-packed with parental controls, and access to some of Amazon's subscription services included in the purchase price.
Snap up the lowest prices available on Mid 2017 MacBook Pros for two days only with discounts of up to $350 off, plus no tax on many models in most states. Bargain hunters can also save up to $1,100 on Late 2016 systems with premium upgrades. Or opt for a free Apple TV 4K with three months of DirecTV Now service. The Apple Pencil is also on sale for $71.99.
I'm finally ready to fully embrace the smaller, reversible, more powerful USB-C port featured on Apple's recent MacBooks. But in preparing for a full switch to the versatile port, I have hit a number of roadblocks. No matter how badly I want to completely ditch USB-A, it turns out I just can't.
Apple could make a major change to the way it names successive iPhone generations this year, Guggenheim analyst Robert Cihra suggests, tipping Apple to take the opportunity to simplify what the iPhones are called when the new models launch this fall.
Hardware fails in very different ways. Sometimes, it’s catastrophic and abrupt, and you hear terrible sounds coming from inside your hard drive. Other times, it’s subtle, and a failing component or system causes hardware to limp along, throwing out errors you can’t troubleshoot, because they aren’t consistent. I spent months with one of these problems in early 2015.
However, it’s much clearer resolving issues with Apple’s seemingly now-retired line of AirPort and Time Capsule base stations. Apple hasn’t commented on the record as to whether the products will ever be updated, and the most recent versions remain on sale. But it’s been years since the last hardware improvements, and reports indicate the AirPort product team was disbanded.
New data from GfK shows that global demand for smartphones declined by 2 percent year over year in the March quarter while Average Selling Prices grew by 21 percent, totally contradicting the media narrative that customers were looking to save money and would shy away from Apple's premium-priced iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
Throughout much of its early life, Apple made printers. They were pretty good! Hell, the original LaserWriter was a groundbreaking advancement in home desktop publishing. Eventually, third-party printers with razor-thin profit margins flooded the market, and they worked fine with Macs, so it became a fool’s errand for Apple to continue trying to make its own.
After Toyota unveiled its first CarPlay-compatible model, the Corolla Hatchback, last month, the Japanese carmaker on Tuesday announced plans to introduce Apple's infotainment system to its luxury division with the 2019 Lexus ES.
After attending a state dinner on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook plans to spend at least one more day in Washington, D.C., where he will talk with President Donald Trump in a closed-door meeting at the White House.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is attending the first state dinner of the Trump administration, which is honoring French president Emmanuel Macron, according to CNN. Cook is accompanied by Apple vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson.
Guests at the dinner, which is taking place in the White House State Dining Room, will dine on a goat cheese gateau with tomato jam and buttermilk biscuit crumbles, a rack of spring lamb with Carolina Gold rice jambalaya and a burnt cipollini onion soubise, and a nectarine tart with crème fraîche ice cream.
Other state dinner attendees, aside from President Donald Trump and Melania Trump along with President Macron and his wife, include Vice President Mike Pence, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Rupert Murdoch, Olympic curler John Shuster, hockey player Meghan Duggan, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Approximately 150 guests are attending.
Cook has met with Trump several times in the past, attending a December 2016 tech summit and a meeting of the American Technology Council put together by Trump. Most recently, Cook was in Washington D.C. to meet with Senators Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Richard Burr (R-North Carolina).
Update: Cook will have a private meeting with Trump in the Oval Office at 1:45 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, according to a copy of his schedule obtained by Bloomberg and other media outlets.
Update 2: Trump has now confirmed the meeting and says the discussion will be focused on trade agreements between the United States and other countries.
Looking forward to my meeting with Tim Cook of Apple. We will be talking about many things, including how the U.S. has been treated unfairly for many years, by many countries, on trade.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
Grayshift, the company that makes the GrayKey iPhone unlocking boxes that have been sold to multiple law enforcement agencies across the United States, recently suffered a data breach that allowed hackers to access a small portion of the GrayKey code, reports VICE's Motherboard.
Last week, unknown hackers leaked portions of the GrayKey code and demanded two bitcoin from Grayshift with the threat of additional data being leaked. According to Motherboard, the code in question "does not appear to be particularly sensitive," but Grayshift did confirm that a "brief" data leak had occurred.
Indeed, Grayshift told Motherboard in a statement "Due [to] a network misconfiguration at a customer site, a GrayKey unit's UI was exposed to the internet for a brief period of time earlier this month."
Grayshift says that no sensitive IP or data was exposed, and Motherboard confirms that the leaked code appears to be related to the user interface that displays messages on the GrayKey, but it's clear that Grayshift security is not airtight, raising questions about what kind of data might be accessible to hackers.
The GrayKey is a small, portable gray box equipped with dual Lightning cables. An iPhone is plugged into one of the cables to install proprietary software that's able to guess the passcode to an iPhone in as little as a few hours to a few days, based on the strength of the passcode.
GrayKey, which is priced starting at $15,000, can crack the latest iPhones running modern versions of iOS, including iOS 11. While the box is designed to provide law enforcement officials with easy access to locked iPhones for criminal investigations, there have been fears that the GrayKey technology could fall into the wrong hands.
The box has been sold to multiple law enforcement agencies across the country, and the data breach that Grayshift suffered, however inconsequential, is not at all reassuring for those who are worried about the security of the GrayKey boxes. The underlying functionality that allows the GrayKey to crack iPhones could be discovered and replicated, and the GrayKey boxes themselves are said to download data from cracked iPhones, which could also be at risk in a data breach.
According to Motherboard, Grayshift has not paid the extortionists their two bitcoin fee, as the Bitcoin addresses provided have received no funds. An additional Bitcoin address promising to provide interested parties with GrayKey information has also not received funds.
Grayshift says that "changes" have been made to help customers prevent unauthorized access to GrayKey boxes in the future, but Motherboard discovered another exposed GrayKey device broadcasting similar code.
Using the computer search engine Shodan, Motherboard found a seemingly exposed GrayKey device, broadcasting similar chunks of code to the open internet.
"To brute force a complex alphanumeric passcode, upload a custom password dictionary. If a dictionary is not uploaded, GrayKey will not attempt to brute force custom alphanumeric passcodes," one section of the apparent device's code reads.
The technology used for the GrayKey will likely be outdated at some point through updates to the iOS operating system, but as far as we know now, it's still functional for even the latest versions of iOS and the newest iOS devices, including the iPhone X.
Those worried about GrayKey and similar technologies can implement stronger and more secure passcodes and passwords that are more difficult to guess through brute forcing to prevent these kinds of tools from working. A 6-digit numeric passcode, Apple's default, can be guessed in as little as 11 hours, but an 8-digit numeric code can take over a month, while a 10-digit numeric code can take years.
Security experts recommend alphanumeric passcodes that are at least seven characters long with numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and symbols included. The longer the password, the more secure it is from GrayKey-style guessing methods. For more information on Grayshift's data breach, check out Motherboard's full report.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts. Discuss this article in our forums
Verizon, the largest carrier in the United States by subscriber count, saw a monthly subscriber increase of 260,000 during the first quarter of 2018, reports Bloomberg, largely due to an increased number of smart watch activations.
The company actually lost phone and tablet subscribers last quarter, but the dip in subscribers did not hurt its bottom line because of smart watches, wearables, and other connected devices like vehicles.
Image via Bloomberg
Verizon says it added a total of 359,000 subscribers who are using smart watches and other devices during the quarter, making up for the loss of 24,000 phone customers and 75,000 tablet customers.
There was no breakdown in the number of activations by specific device, but Verizon's jump in smart watch subscribers comes following the September release of the Apple Watch Series 3, the first Apple Watch with LTE connectivity.
The Apple Watch Series 3 allows customers to use the Apple Watch sans iPhone for the first time, as it has its own cellular connection. Verizon and other carriers charge customers $10 per month to add a smart watch to an existing smartphone plan.
Verizon shared the numbers during its first quarter 2018 earnings results, released this morning. Verizon stock has since surged as much as 3.6 percent.
Apple on Tuesday released updates to iOS and macOS High Sierra that patches a few security holes. The macOS High Sierra update (which retains a version number of 10.13.4) only contains security patches. The iOS 11.3.1 update also addresses an issue where touch input didn’t work on iPhone 8 models that were repairs using “non-genuine replacement displays.”
Apple has released support documents for iOS and macOS that details the contents of the security patches. According to the document, a memory corruption issue in Crash Reporter and a spoofing issue with LinkPresentation are both fixed. The updates also include WebKit patches for Safari in both iOS and macOS.
Best Buy is having another one of its impressive one-day sales today, and among the smaller offerings you’ll find a few great deals on the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar and last year’s 9.7-inch iPad. The MacBook Pro deal is the most impressive as it lets you knock off either $250 or $265 off the list price, while the iPad deal falls in line with some of the steep discounts we’ve been seeing since the 2018 iPad launched.
For the 13-inch MacBook Pro, here’s what we’re looking at for discounts. Each of the four laptops listed here comes with a 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, so the only real difference between them is the storage size. If you’re a student, you can get an additional discount on all these models, which in the case of the 128GB model would bring the price down from $1,299.99 to $999.99.
Apple today released iOS 11.3.1, the thirteenth official update to the iOS 11 operating system. iOS 11.3.1 comes nearly one month after the launch of iOS 11.3, an update that introduced a Battery Health feature for keeping tabs on your iPhone's battery status, Business Chat for Messages, new Animoji for iPhone X, and more.
The iOS 11.3.1 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings --> General --> Software Update.
iOS 11.3.1 introduces performance improvements and bug fixes for issues that have been discovered since the launch of iOS 11.3. The update includes a fix for a bug that caused third-party repairs done on iPhone 8 models using aftermarket parts to disable the touch functionality of the screen. From Apple's release notes:
iOS 11.3.1 improves the security of your iPhone or iPad and addresses an issue where touch input was unresponsive on some iPhone 8 devices because they were serviced with non-genuine replacement displays.
Note: Non-genuine replacement displays may have compromised visual quality and may fail to work correctly. Apple-certified screen repairs are performed by trusted experts who use genuine Apple parts. See support.apple.com for more information.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus repair issue was discovered following the release of iOS 11.3. After updating, some iPhone users that had sought display repairs from non-Apple service providers saw the touch screen functionality of their devices disabled, resulting in serious headaches for repair shops.
At issue was a small microchip in the display, which disabled touch functionality after the update. At the time, it was not clear if the non-functional displays were a bug or a deliberate move by Apple, but it appears it was a bug. While Apple is fixing the display problem via the iOS 11.3.1 update, the company's release notes encourage customers to seek out authorized providers and genuine parts.
Apple today released a new security update for macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, which comes nearly one month after the first version of macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 was released to the public.
The new macOS High Sierra security update can be downloaded directly from the Mac App Store or through the Software Update function in the Mac App Store on all compatible Macs that are already running macOS High Sierra.
According to Apple's release notes, Security Update 2018-001 is recommended for all users and is meant to improve the security of macOS. The update addresses two security vulnerabilities related to Crash Reporter and LinkPresentation, both of which could be used maliciously to gain access to a Mac. A Safari 11.1 update is also included, with fixes for WebKit vulnerabilities.
An indoor/outdoor portable speaker lets you take your tunes with you wherever you wander, and right now, you can get Anker’s SoundCore 2 for $30 on Amazon, down from its usual $42. This is the lowest price we’ve seen for this popular Bluetooth speaker.
Apple will start paying 13 billion euros in back taxes to the Irish government from May, according to the Financial Times, nearly two years after the European Commission ruled that the company received illegal aid from the country that saw its tax bill significantly reduced over the past few decades.
As expected, the report states that Apple and the Irish government have reached an agreement to set up an escrow account to hold the money while both sides appeal the August 2016 ruling in Europe's highest court. Once the amount has been received in full, additional interest payments will be calculated.
Ireland's finance minister Paschal Donohoe today said the appeal process is likely to begin in the fall, according to Reuters.
Ireland is required to hold the funds in escrow until the legal process is completed, according to the report. Apple previously said the amount will be reported as restricted cash on its balance sheet once it begins making payments.
For background, the European Commission said the Irish government gave Apple unfair advantage between 1991 and 2007 by allowing the company to move income from the European market through two "non-resident" head office subsidiaries based in Ireland, but Apple says there are "fundamental errors" in the findings.
Apple CEO Tim Cook previously called the decision "total political crap" and said Apple pays all of the taxes it owes based on the laws of each country in which it operates. Likewise, the Irish government said it did not give favorable tax treatment to Apple and added that it "does not do deals with taxpayers."
Apple expects its appeal with the European Union's highest courts to take several years, but it is confident the European Commission's decision will be overturned, in which case the 13 billion euros would be returned to the company.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
We loved Adobe's Photoshop Elements 2018 and its helpful automatic, guided features when we reviewed the popular photo editing suite last October. But even though it's a great program, that $100 price tag tends to keep people away. Today, however, Amazon and B&H Photo Video have Photoshop Elements 2018 on sale for $60, a savings of 40 percent.
Apple and Samsung today submitted their witness lists for an upcoming retrial in the long running patent infringement battle between the two companies, reports CNET.
Neither Apple CEO Tim Cook nor design chief Jony Ive will be taking the stand, but several other notable figures will be providing testimony during the retrial. Apple will call Richard Howarth, a senior director on the Apple Design Team, along with Greg Joswiak, vice president of product marketing.
Howarth will discuss the design process at Apple, the design patents that were infringed upon, and other design topics, says CNET, while Joswiak will talk about Apple's marketing approach for its devices and the competitive nature of the smartphone market.
Apple also plans to call Susan Kare, who designed many of the early icons for Apple's Macintosh computers, to talk about icon and user interface graphics design. Other witnesses include Ravin Balakrishnan, a professor of computer science; Alan Ball, an industrial design expert; Julie Davis, a consultant with expertise in damages analysis; and Karan Singh, another computer science professor.
Samsung will call Justin Dension, its senior vice president of mobile product strategy and marketing, along with Drew Blackard, senior director of product marketing and Jinsoon Kim, a vice president at Samsung's Corporate Design Center.
Apple and Samsung's latest damages retrial will kick off on Monday, May 14, with the aim of determining how much Samsung has to pay Apple for infringing on three Apple design patents.
The two companies have been fighting in court since 2011, when Apple sued Samsung for copying the iPhone's design. Apple was initially awarded $1 billion in 2012, but after several appeals and retrials, the award was reduced to $548 million.
Samsung paid Apple the $548 million in 2015, with $399 million of that total awarded to Apple for the design patent infringements. Samsung at the time argued that it was asked to pay a "disproportionate" sum for the design violation, and appealed to the Supreme Court to reduce that portion of the award.
Apple had been awarded damages based on the full value of the infringing device, while Samsung argued that it should pay damages based only on the infringing portion.
The original devices involved in the 2011 patent infringement case
During the retrial, Samsung will argue that the damages awarded to Apple should be less than the original award because the infringed Apple patents represent only a small part of the design of the entire Samsung smartphone in question. Apple, meanwhile, will argue that it deserves damages based on the full value of the device. Discuss this article in our forums
Apple today shared two new videos in its "Life's easier on iPhone" series, which are aimed at encouraging Android users to switch over to an iPhone.
The first ad, "App Store," depicts exploding app icons that are meant to demonstrate the superior safety of the iOS App Store, which is curated by human editors to protect against malicious apps.
Apple's second ad highlights Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting on the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X, both features that are designed to offer studio quality effects with the iPhone.
The two ads are both 15 seconds in length and will likely be used both on TV and on social media sites like Instagram. Last week, these ads were uploaded to Apple's YouTube channels in other countries, such as Mexico.
Apple earlier this year started sharing several short videos designed to lure Android users to the iPhone. All of Apple's videos in this series link back to the "Switch" website, designed for customers who use an Android device or other smartphone and are thinking of switching to an iPhone.
Apple's Switch website answers simple questions like "Will it be easy to switch to iPhone?" and "Will iPhone be easy to use?" It also offers up details on key features that make the iPhone stand out compared to other smartphones, like Face ID, Portrait Mode, iMessages, the App Store, and more.
Apple has aimed to encourage Android users to switch to the iPhone for years with its "Move to iOS" app that makes it quick and easy for Android users to swap to an iPhone and transfer data like contacts, message history, photos, videos, web bookmarks, mail accounts, and more.
If you’re in the market for an iPad (and you can’t see yourself using an Apple Pencil), you shouldn’t rule out last year’s 9.7-inch model. Sure, its near-identical modern-day cousin is hogging the spotlight these days, but that relative lack of attention means steep cuts on the 2017 variety grow more common by the day. Normally these discounts only get you down to $280 or so (down from the usual retail of $330), but Walmart is currently offering the 2017 32GB 9.7-inch iPad for an impressive $249.
The total includes 85 percent of respondents who said they are "very satisfied" with the iPhone X, which Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin said "is amongst the highest" he has ever seen "in all the customer satisfaction studies we have conducted across a range of technology products."
12 percent of respondents said they are "satisfied" with the iPhone X, while three percent were unsatisfied to various degrees.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said the iPhone X has a 99 percent customer satisfaction rate on the company's first quarter earnings call, citing a study by 451 Research, but Creative Strategies said its own survey had a significantly higher number of respondents that led to a more balanced number with room for slight variance.
Creative Strategies surveyed 1,746 respondents to be exact. The research firm informed MacRumors that respondents were profiled as early adopters based on a series of upfront questions about purchasing habits.
On a feature-by-feature basis, the iPhone X saw very high satisfaction rates in all but one area, including Face ID and battery life at above 90 percent. The sole exception was Siri, which scored only a 20 percent satisfaction rate among early adopters, leaving four out of every five respondents unimpressed.
As noted by Creative Strategies, early adopters tend to be more critical than mainstream consumers of technology, but Apple is widely considered to have lost the lead it once had with Siri in the artificial intelligence space.
The Information recently reported that Siri has become a "major problem" within Apple. The report opined that Siri remains "limited compared to the competition," including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and added that the assistant is the main reason the HomePod has "underperformed" so far.
Apple responded to that report with a statement noting Siri is "the world's most popular voice assistant" and touted "significant advances" to the assistant's performance, scalability, and reliability.
"We have made significant advances in Siri performance, scalability and reliability and have applied the latest machine learning techniques to create a more natural voice and more proactive features," Apple wrote in its statement. "We continue to invest deeply in machine learning and artificial intelligence to continually improve the quality of answers Siri provides and the breadth of questions Siri can respond to."
The European Commission today announced it has opened an in-depth investigation into Apple's proposed acquisition of Shazam.
The regulators are concerned that the merger could reduce choice for users of streaming music services in Europe. In particular, they believe that Apple could gain access to sensitive data that could allow Apple to directly target its competitors' customers and encourage them to switch to Apple Music.
While the European Commission did not name any specific services, Apple Music's biggest rival in Europe is Spotify, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. Other competitors include Deezer, Tidal, and Google Play Music.
European Commission competition chief Margrethe Vestager:
The way people listen to music has changed significantly in recent years, with more and more Europeans using music streaming services. Our investigation aims to ensure that music fans will continue to enjoy attractive music streaming offers and won't face less choice as a result of this proposed merger.
In addition, the European Commission said it will investigate whether Apple Music's competitors would be harmed if Apple were to discontinue referrals from the Shazam app to them following the acquisition. Shazam's app currently integrates with multiple services, including Spotify and Deezer.
The regulators have set a September 4, 2018 deadline to reach a decision, delaying an Apple-Shazam merger for at least 90 days.
Shazam is a popular service that can identify the name and lyrics of songs, music videos, TV shows, and more. It has apps across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, iMessage, and Mac, while the service has been built into Siri since iOS 8.
Over the past week, Apple's Turkish YouTube channel has been sharing a few videos also highlighting Children's Day, in a series called "My Portrait." The first video posted focused on Asya's self-portrait, and in it she explains that she drew herself with her favorite flower, the cherry blossom.
Following the first video, Apple published six more short, 15-second clips where kids from Turkey explained the art that they created using iPad. Ali G. explained that he drew seven-and-a-half versions of himself due to his own age, Ece S. described her nature-focused portrait, and Defne A. showed off an image of her and her dog.
In the most recent video, shared over the weekend, Apple combined all of the self portrait videos into one 30-second ad.
The power of the iPad, the ease of use of Apple Pencil, and the unlimited creativity of children came together, and these extraordinary self-portraits came out.
Apple's Children's Day videos showcase the latest 9.7-inch iPad, which was announced at an education-focused event in late March. The sixth-generation device includes Apple Pencil support with sensors that measure pressure and tilt so that users can take notes or illustrate in supported apps. The tablet has a reduced education price and multiple accessories that are particularly aimed at kids in school.
Apple is set to close its last remaining pop-up shop dedicated to Apple Watch next month. Signs displayed at the Tokyo shop, located in Shinjuku's high-end Isetan department store, were shared on Twitter announcing the closure.
The message reads, "This is a notice that Apple Watch at Isetan Shinjuku will close as of Sunday, May 13. Thank you very much for your continuous patronage."
The closure of the pop-up shop follows last month's opening of Apple's Shinjuku store, which is situated directly opposite Isetan and offers the full range of Apple products and services, including Apple Watch.
Japan's pop-up shop is notable for being the first of its kind to open, coinciding with the launch of the original Apple Watch in 2015. Apple has only operated three pop-up shops worldwide selling Apple watches and bands. The other two operated out of Galeries Lafayette in Paris and Selfridges in London. Both closed in 2017.
The closures appear to be part of Apple's recent strategy of promoting Apple Watch as a health and fitness accessory first and a haute couture fashion detail second. The pop-up shops specialized in selling Apple Watch Edition models, gold versions of which sold for at least $10,000 and up to $17,000 when they hit the market.
The pop-up shops were essentially outlets for Apple's remaining inventory of 18-karat Gold and Rose Gold Apple Watch Edition models, which were discontinued in 2016 and replaced with the ceramic Edition models the company continues to offer online and in-store to this day.
Today is Earth Day, and around the globe people are celebrating the annual event through demonstrations and gatherings aimed at showing support for the planet and protecting the environment. Apple began celebrations this past week in its retail stores, sending green shirts for its employees to wear and lighting up the Apple logo with a green leaf to mark the April 22 global event.
On Friday, April 20, Apple held one of its annual Beer Bash concerts with a performance by Ziggy Marley. In a tweet, the musician explained that his performance at Apple's campus was his "first set fully powered by solar energy." Marley continued by thanking Apple: "Thank you for the example you set for companies around the world."
Also in attendance during the performance was Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy, and social issues. In a tweet this morning Jackson reminded Apple Watch users about today's Earth Day Challenge, which requires you to do any workout for 30 minutes or more before the day ends, and record your activity within the Workout watchOS app or any other app that adds workouts to the Health iOS app.
The company is also celebrating Earth Day across its services, with a few themed playlists, iTunes movies, and iBooks getting top-billing today on each respective platform. On Apple Music, you can find the "Mixtape for Mother Earth," which Apple Music editors describe as a soundtrack for Earth Day with songs "inspired by our planet's natural wonders." Artists and songs include Radiohead's "Bloom," The Beatles's "Sun King," Tegan and Sara's "Our Trees," and more, totaling 30 tracks.
While "Mixtape for Mother Earth" is the main playlist currently being promoted on the Browse tab, if you search for "Earth Day" you can also find playlists like "What are Earth's favorite songs?" and other curated collections from previous Earth Day events.
Over on the iTunes Movies store, Apple has a collection of $0.99 rentals for films that all include messages about the environment. The list of just over 40 films has a mix of scripted movies and documentaries, including "FernGully: The Last Rainforest," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Fly Away Home," "Blackfish," "March of the Penguins," "An Inconvenient Truth," "A Plastic Ocean," and more. There's also a collection of Disneynature documentaries priced at $9.99, including topics like Oceans, Bears, African Cats, and Monkey Kingdom.
iBooks readers can also get in on the Earth Day celebrations thanks to a "Protect the Planet" section of the Featured tab within Apple's digital books app. The books in the new collection "include meditations on Mother Nature's delightful quirks, rallying cries for biodiversity, and blueprints for how to play a part in passing on a healthier planet." The collection is split up into three sub categories called "Explore the Natural World," "Get Informed & Inspired," and "Do Your Part." Books include "Unstoppable" by Bill Nye and Corey S. Powell, "Voices in the Ocean" by Susan Casey, and "A Hole in the Wind" by David Goodrich.
Earlier this month, Apple announced that its global facilities, including retail stores, offices, data centers, and more, are powered with 100 percent clean energy. Apple went into further detail about how it has lessened its overall environmental impact with the 2018 Environmental Responsibility Report, sharing stats about its reduced greenhouse gas emissions, lowered energy footprint, and more. The company also updated its trade-in and recycling initiatives into a new "GiveBack" program, and introduced a new iPhone disassembly robot named Daisy.
Apple says that a limited number of these units feature a component that can fail and cause the built-in battery to expand. It is not a safety issue, according to the company, and Apple will replace all eligible batteries.
Customers who want to see if their machines are eligible for a fresh battery should use the serial number checker on the MacBook Pro Battery Replacement page. You can find your serial number by clicking on the Apple logo in the menu bar and selecting "About This Mac." The serial number is located at the bottom of the information window.
Affected customers who are eligible for a new battery will need to visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider, make an appointment at an Apple retail store, or mail their device into an Apple Repair Center after initiating a repair with Apple Support.
Apple suggests customers who are getting a battery replacement back up their machines ahead of time. Apple also says that if the MacBook Pro in question has damage that will impair the replacement of the battery, it must be addressed prior to the battery replacement process.
The United States Department of Justice today launched an antitrust investigation to determine whether U.S. carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, have coordinated to prevent consumers from easily switching wireless carriers, reports The New York Times.
AT&T, Verizon, and GSMA, an industry group that sets mobile standards, were asked in February for documents related to their efforts to hinder the implementation of eSIMs. An embedded SIM, or eSIM, is a standardized chip that's designed to replace a physical SIM card.
With eSIM technology, there is no need to swap out SIM cards when switching carriers, making it easier to make a switch from one carrier to another. eSIMs are designed to be compatible with all major carriers, regardless of network type.
eSIMs are a major change from physical SIM cards, which require customers who wish to switch carriers to obtain a new SIM card when changing providers. eSIMs make it simpler for customers to swap carriers while traveling, and, of interest to device makers, they free up space currently taken up by a SIM card.
AT&T and Verizon are accused of colluding with the GSMA to create standards that would allow devices with eSIM technology to be locked to their networks. Representatives from the two carriers attended a meeting for a private task force called GSMA North America earlier this year and advocated for the ability to keep eSIM devices tied to a single carrier.
Verizon reportedly claimed that phones needed to be locked to its network in order to prevent theft and fraud.
At the heart of the investigation is whether the nation's biggest wireless carriers, working with the G.S.M.A., secretly tried to influence mobile technology to unfairly maintain their dominance, in a way that hurt competition and consumers and hindered innovation in the wider mobile industry.
AT&T and Verizon together control about 70 percent of all wireless subscriptions in the United States. A technology that made it easy to switch carriers could lead to more churn and fewer subscribers for them.
The Department of Justice launched began the probe several months ago following formal complaints from at least one device maker and one wireless carrier. The investigation may include other carriers beyond Verizon and AT&T.
AT&T, Verizon, and other U.S. carriers have long resisted features that would make it easier for customers to switch carriers at will without being tied to a specific network. Verizon, for example, refused to allow Apple to offer Verizon service through the Apple SIM built into newer iPads. The Apple SIM, a multi-carrier SIM card, is designed to make it easier for customers to choose a carrier after an iPad purchase and switch to a new carrier when traveling.
Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other wireless carriers in the United States are proponents of the eSIM. Apple, for example, is said to want to use eSIM technology in its 2018 iPhones, but may instead opt for dual-SIM technology because "some carriers are resistant to the idea."
Apple has already implemented eSIM technology in the Apple Watch Series 3 models equipped with LTE connectivity. The eSIM is also a feature of the Google Pixel 2 smartphone and the Microsoft Surface.
Update: According to CNBC, all four major U.S. carriers received requests from the U.S. Justice Department.
Update 2: Apple is one of the companies that submitted a complaint to the Department of Justice, according to Bloomberg. Discuss this article in our forums
Earning a featured spot in the revamped iOS App Store can increase app downloads by up to 800 percent, according to new data sourced from app analytics site Sensor Tower and shared by TechCrunch.
The data, collected from September 2017 to the present, suggests an app that's highlighted using either the "App of the Day" or "Game of the Day" feature in the U.S. sees the greatest increase in downloads.
Specifically, "Game of the Day" apps have seen a median download increase of 802 percent for the week following the feature, while "App of the Day" apps have seen a boost of 685 percent.
Other features, such as a developer story or an app list can increase downloads by up to 240 percent. Stories resulted in a 222 percent boost in downloads, while app lists increased downloads by 240 percent. A theme feature had the lowest impact at a 164 percent increase in downloads.
Sensor Tower has also outlined what kind of data Apple has chosen to highlight through the new App Store design. Many of the top publishers that have been featured are larger companies, like Electronic Arts, Warner Bros., Square Enix, Gameloft, Noodlecake Studios, and King, which is unsurprising as these companies have put out some of the most popular apps in the App Store.
13 of the top 15 featured publishers had at least one million U.S. iPhone downloads since the launch of the new App Store.
Apple has, however, also focused on highlighting indie apps. 29 percent of apps featured since the launch of the new App Store have been from publishers who had fewer than 10,000 downloads at the time.
"While it's clearly the case that big publishers are more likely to receive the largest number of features, small publishers still very much have their chance to benefit from a feature on the App Store," said Sensor Tower's Mobile Insights Analyst, Jonathan Briskman.
Apple introduced the redesigned App Store in iOS 11 to offer additional opportunities for exposure to app developers. The new App Store includes a "Today" section that's updated daily with app suggestions, featured spots, app lists, developer features, and more, and it splits apps and games into two distinct categories.
Content featured in the new App Store is chosen and curated by Apple's App Store editorial team, which ensures high-quality recommendations that don't rely solely on popularity rankings.
As noted by TechCrunch, Sensor Tower's data suggests that Apple's goal of increasing developer exposure through the new App Store design has largely been a successful venture.
Apple will release an updated iPhone SE in May, according to case makers who spoke with Japanese website Mac Otakara at the Global Sources Mobile Electronics trade show in Hong Kong this week.
The case makers said the second-generation model will retain the same physical size as the current iPhone SE, and Touch ID is expected to remain, suggesting the device will continue to have a four-inch display sandwiched between top and bottom bezels for the home button, camera, and earpiece.
Following in the footsteps of the iPhone 7 and beyond, the case makers do not expect the new iPhone SE to have a 3.5mm headphone jack. If accurate, and with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus likely to be discontinued in September, Apple would no longer sell any iPhone model with a headphone jack.
Also like the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, the new iPhone SE will supposedly be powered by Apple's last-generation A10 Fusion chip, up to 40 percent faster than the A9 processor in the current iPhone SE. The chip will likely enable support for the HEIF image format and HEVC video compression standard.
The report speculates that the new iPhone SE may have a glass back with wireless charging capabilities, like the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, but evidence is said to be inconclusive at this time.
It's unclear how and where the case makers obtained this information, but they are likely compelled to dig up details from the supply chain in order to be first to the market with properly fitting cases and accessories.
If history repeats itself, the regulatory filings in April do lend credence to a new iPhone SE debuting next month. DigiTimes also predicted May or June. Apple has only debuted new products in May twice in the past five years, including the fifth-generation iPod touch in 2013 and a refreshed 15-inch MacBook Pro in 2015.
WWDC 2018 in June could also provide Apple with stage time to introduce the new iPhone SE, but that hasn't happened since the iPhone 4 in 2010. A press release in May could be more fitting if the update is insignificant.
iPhone SE rumors have been all over the map in recent months. A sketchy report from Chinese website QQ.com, for example, claimed the second-generation model will have a larger 4.2-inch display, Touch ID, A10 Fusion chip, 2GB of RAM, and metal back and frame, available with 32GB or 128GB of storage.
Apple is likely most focused on making under-the-hood improvements to the iPhone SE, as the device is now outdated by a few years. At its $349 price point, its new design is unlikely to resemble the iPhone X.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who relays information from Apple's supply chain in Asia, recently cast some doubt on rumors about a second-generation iPhone SE launching in the second quarter of 2018.
If there really is a so-called iPhone SE 2 on Apple's roadmap, Kuo expects it will have few outward-facing changes. He predicts the device would likely have a faster processor and a lower price, rather than iPhone X-like features like a nearly full screen design, 3D sensing for Face ID, or wireless charging.
The current iPhone SE looks much like the iPhone 5s, including its smaller four-inch display preferred by a subset of customers. The device is powered by Apple's A9 chip, like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and it has 2GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and Touch ID.
Apple hasn't fully refreshed the iPhone SE since it launched in March 2016, but it did double its available storage capacities to 64GB and 128GB in March 2017. It also dropped the device's starting price to $349 last September.
In celebration of Earth Day, which takes place on Sunday, April 22, Apple has started tweaking the logos of some of its retail stores with green leaf accents, in a departure from the usual uniformly white design.
Apple Orchard Road Store, Singapore (Images courtesy of Stanford Chong)
For example, Singapore's Apple Orchard Road store has already been updated with the green logo, as Apple gears up for its annual Earth Day celebrations at multiple retail locations around the world.
In typical fashion, Apple store staff are also encouraged to wear green shirts instead of their usual blue ones to promote the event. Apple may also be planning to hold a special Earth Day celebratory event at its Cupertino headquarters, as it has done in the past.
Apple often uses Earth Day as a way to highlight its environmental efforts and reaffirm its commitment to recycling, renewable energy, and other initiatives. This year it is explicitly tying the event to its new GiveBack trade-in program, which offers customers credit and/or free recycling on old Apple devices, as well as a donation to Conservation International.
On Thursday, Apple published its environmental report outlining all of the improvements and changes that were implemented throughout 2017 and early 2018 to lessen the company's overall environmental impact.
In addition, Apple shared details on initiatives that support its goal of making its products using only recycled or renewable materials, and introduced a new iPhone disassembly robot named Daisy – an improved version of Liam, its first disassembly robot launched in 2016.
Also on Thursday, Apple Watch owners received a notification about an Earth Day activity challenge. If previous years are anything to go by, customers can expect more Earth Day-related goings-on from Apple over the coming days.