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  1. Apple to Unveil iOS 13, macOS 10.15, tvOS 13 & watchOS 6 at WWDC 2019 on June 3 Apple announced today that its annual developer conference, WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) will take place in San Jose between June 3 and 7, 2019. Apple fans rejoice, WWDC 2019 dates have been announced and registrations are now open for Apple's biggest event of the year for developers and users alike. The highly anticipated event will take place from June 3rd to June 7th at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, the United States. As usual, Apple's CEO Tim Cook and other well-known employees will kick off the WWDC 2019 event with a keynote speech on June 3rd, where they will unveil the upcoming iOS 13, macOS 10.15, watchOS 6, and tvOS 13 operating systems and their new features, enhancements, and other notable changes. "WWDC is Apple’s biggest event of the year. It brings thousands of the most creative and dedicated developers from around the world together with over a thousand Apple engineers to learn about our latest platform innovations and to connect as a community," said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.WWDC 2019 registrations are now openApple announced today that developers interested in attending the WWDC 2019 event can now apply for tickets, which will be available starting today until March 20th at 5 p.m. PDT from the official Apple Worldwide Developers Conference website. Admitted developers will be notified of their application status on March 21st at 5 p.m. PDT. For those who can't attend this year's WWDC event, Apple said that it would live stream the entire conference on the Apple Developer website, as well as through the WWDC app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV devices. Apple also put up about 350 WWDC scholarships for students interested in joining the Apple developer community. Until then, we remind everyone that Apple plans to unveil a video streaming service and an expanded Apple News service for magazines and other publications later this month on March 25th during the so-called "It's Show Time" event, where the tech giant might also unveil some new hardware. Source
  2. You are what you eat: 10 companies Apple gobbled up in the past year Apple has been on a bit of an acquisitions binge over the last year. With WWDC nearly upon us, which of these acquisitions might show up as part of technology showcases during the event's keynote? Read on to find out. Even though Apple's market value briefly popped above $1 trillion last year, it has been relatively conservative in terms of the number of companies it's acquired over the years. According to Crunchbase, Apple has acquired 106 companies since its founding in 1976, or an average of 2.5 per year. Microsoft, by contrast, has acquired an average of five businesses a year (a total of 219) since its founding in 1975. Google (now known as Alphabet, Inc.), was founded 20+ years later, in 1998. It has already acquired 233 companies, or a little over 11 per year. Of course, all three of these companies have grown over the years, and larger companies will make more acquisitions than smaller ones. So while Apple has averaged just over two acquisitions per year since its founding, it's acquired 10 companies in just the last 12 months. This becomes particularly relevant as we approach Apple's WWDC early next month. WWDC is when Apple showcases new features for iOS and MacOS. History shows that some of those features have been derived directly from previous acquisitions, although not all debuted publicly at WWDC. Perhaps the most famous is Siri. Siri was founded as a company in 2010 by SRI International-affiliated developers, who created an app for the iPhone. In October 2011, at Apple's yearly iPhone event, Apple introduced Siri as part of iOS. In 2015 Apple acquired Faceshift, a motion capture technology once used in the Star Wars movies but later incorporated into iOS animojis. In 2017, Apple acquired Workflow, an iOS automation app that wound up becoming Siri Shortcuts. It was introduced at last year's WWDC. Apple's largest acquisition to date was Beats, which it gobbled up in 2014 (although Beats still sells headphone products under its own name). The prevailing theory at the time was that Beats music rating software would aid iTunes music sales. Instead, some of Beats' tech, along with guidance from its very-music-industry-connected founders, morphed into a new Apple Music offering that was introduced at the 2015 WWDC. Since then, Apple Music has been an undeniable success, growing to more than 50 million paid subscribers. So what about this year? What acquisitions did Apple make over the last 12 months that are likely to influence Apple's offerings into the future? Let's take a look. Apple's most recent acquisitions Since March 2018, Apple has made 10 acquisitions that we know of -- here they are, and why we think they're important to Apple: TEXTURE Texture was a digital magazine publishing platform owned by a partnership of Conde Nast, Hearst Magazines, KKR, Meredith, News Corp., Rogers Media, and Time, Inc. It offered a Netflix-like subscription model to a large assortment of big name periodicals. Founded in 2009, it was acquired by Apple in March 2018. The Apple News+ platform, announced in March, is a direct result of this acquisition. AKONIA HOLOGRAPHICS Akonia was an AR (augmented reality) display company that developed a technology called HoloMirror, which was designed to be used in low-cost consumer AR head-mounted displays. Founded in 2012, it was acquired by Apple in August of 2018. Apple has made a big push for the use of AR on iPads. It's possible the Akonia technology will find its way into AR glasses or some other AR-related product. DIALOG SEMICONDUCTOR Dialog has made charging and power management chips for iPhones since the very first iPhone was introduced in 2007. Dialog, founded way back in 1981, has relied on Apple for almost three quarters of its revenue. In August 2018, Apple paid $300 million for "certain assets" and will be paying an additional $300 million over the next three years. The company remains an independent operation for now. ASAII This acquisition scares us, primarily because of a statement that was on its website before the acquisition. It brags that its "algorithms are able to find the next Justin Bieber, before anyone else." The company produced music analytics technology that could be used to improve the music recommendation feature of Apple Music. As an automated A&R (acquisitions and repertoire) platform, it might also aid Apple in talent scouting and recruiting new artists to the service. Asaii was founded in 2016. Apple acquired the company in October of 2018. SILK LABS Silk Labs started as a Kickstarter hardware project for an intelligent smart home hub. The company scrapped that idea shortly after it launched, and instead focused on providing on-device AI computational capability. This is a close fit for Apple, which has been pushing heavily on its privacy benefits over its competitors. Founded in 2015, Apple acquired the small 12-person team in November. Key technologies include people detection, facial recognition, object detection, and audio detection. PLATOON Platoon is most likely as much acqui-hire as it is technology acquisition. It was founded in 2016 by Denzyl Feigelson (a former live event and artist relations executive at Apple) and Saul Klein (who founded Lovefilm, which was acquired by Amazon and eventually became the core of Amazon Prime Video). Klein also invested in SoundCloud and Sonos. Together, the two formed Platoon, a talent management and creative incubation service based in London. Apple acquired the firm (and the services of Feigelson and Klein) in December. If you're following along carefully, you probably noticed that this was the second talent acquisition and management company Apple bought in less than a year. Clearly, Apple intends to continue moving beyond technology and begin producing its own entertainment content. DATATIGER DataTiger is an AI marketing, big data, and real-time data marketing provider. There isn't a lot of public information about the firm, but it's likely Apple purchased the company to augment its outreach to current and prospective customers. Founded in 2016, Apple reportedly purchasedthe very small firm in February. PULLSTRING PullString was formerly known as ToyTalk, a technology company who's website says it creates voice applications for Alexa. It was formed in 2011 by former Pixar executives to "realize the dream of higher fidelity computer conversation." Given that the company's technology has been used to power conversational interfaces with Alexa and Google Home Assistant, it's entirely likely this acquisition is designed to bolster Siri's lagging conversational prowess. Apple pulled the string on PullString in February. LASERLIKE Laserlike provided a "web scale content search, discovery, and personalization platform using advanced machine learning." Founded in 2015, it was acquired by Apple in March. This is another technology that might go a long way toward bolstering Siri's lagging machine learning capabilities. STAMPLAY Stamplay was also acquired by Apple in March. According to Stamplay's minimal remaining website, it provides a "low code workflow automation platform, empowering organizations to streamline manual work by integrating data and business applications used every day." Very little is publicly available about Stamplay, but an article in PYMNTS.com explained that the company won a contest to "make the best use of Visa APIs." Given Apple Pay, the new Apple Card, and Apple's developer community, it's likely that Stamplay's technology will be used to help developers develop payment interfaces. What does it all mean? So there you are -- 10 acquisitions. There's a content play in Texture, an AR play in Akonia, more ownership of a power management chip company Apple has long relied upon, two artist and talent management plays, two machine learning operations, a voice skills property, and a payments and process purchase. These acquisitions reinforce what we've been seeing from Apple in terms of its content and services focus. Apple is using acquisitions to bolster Siri, artist and creative management, and payments and process. With the exception of Akonia, nothing here provides hints for exciting new hardware. All these acquisitions are meant to strengthen Apple's offerings, teams, and capabilities in areas it's still struggling to dominate. If you were Tim Cook and the head of a sometimes trillion-dollar company, what companies would you rush to acquire? Let us know in the comments below. Source
  3. Apple lied to me about the MacBook Air and now we have a problem Apple insists there really isn't a big issue with its MacBook butterfly keyboard. I found out the hard way this may not be true. Apple's worst product ever? Apple's latest MacBooks, the stories said, had clearly been designed by a bunch of inebriated Beelzebubs who were tired of retrograde customers thinking laptops were still relevant. Or could this have merely been the interns' summer design project? We didn't really have time for this. Maybe you guys can solve it. After all, Apple has kept insisting the iPad Pro is a computer, so why do all you backward types keep begging for a new MacBook? I'm one of those backward types. I've been using portable Macs ever since I first set eyes on them. Their sheer simplicity and efficiency has helped keep me in employment and sports highlights for more years than some readers have been alive. So when the kerfuffle about the MacBook's butterfly keyboard first began, I wanted to believe this was just an isolated design flaw, one which Apple had now solved. Yes, it was Cupertino's third attempt at solving it, but third time, charm etc. So I bought a new MacBook Air at the end of last year. I didn't adore it. It was a little more noisy and, if anything, it felt a little cheaper than previous iterations. Still, I didn't have any actual problems of the kind some had been describing. The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern, for example, had serious trouble with her E's and R's. She wasn't alone. Apple began issuing muted apologies. It insisted this keyboard malfunction thing is an issue for only a tiny minority of users. I took an extra precaution. I went to a couple of Apple stores to see if employees would follow the company line or let slip that this was a much bigger deal. One conversation went like this: Me: "I hear people are complaining that these keyboards don't work very well. Haven't there been problems with dust?" Apple store saleswoman: "It's the opposite." She explained what she meant by the opposite: "There's no way dust can get in because they've put an extra layer of plastic underneath to make sure it doesn't." My heart skipped a beat in glee. At a different Apple store, a saleswoman told me that no, no, she'd never even heard of such keyboard problems. She added that her own MacBook worked perfectly. There. I had my answers. This was an isolated affair. I could now go on a long trip, confident that my Air would not deflate beneath me. Welcome To Heathrow. Or Should That Be Welcoe? Sometimes I write just to stay awake. So, after landing at London's Heathrow Zoo, I thought I'd spend a few jetlagged minutes before my connecting flight writing pithy words about, oh, nothing immediately came to mind, but hopefully I'd think of something. I began to write, hoping soon to find sense. What I found instead was that my M key had endured a difficult flight. Suddenly, it was refusing to be depressed. It was going on strike. I pressed the key and my screen was M-less. I pressed a little harder and the M-lessness seemed hopeless. It was only when I pressed very firmly, on the very middle of the key, that the chosen letter appeared on my screen. Yes, despite Apple's third attempt at fixing it, I was yet another of the keyboard victims. Or, as some would surely prefer, losers. Perhaps some crumb or speck of dust had inveigled its way beneath this one key. Was it a butter croissant crumb or one from a pain au chocolat? Could it have been ordinary wheat toast? Perhaps it was an eyebrow, an eyelash or one of my last head-hairs. And now it was my problem. A first-world problem, of course, so please forgive the whining. It's merely a sad, existential whining, caused by a faith gone awry. Welcoe To Lisbon. This all happened just over a week ago. Since then, my M has been offering increasing resistance and I've been offering increasing aggression. I don't happen to have brought my can of compressed air with me, so I haven't yet tried one of Apple's recommended cures. Moreover, I'm now in Lisbon where there are no Apple stores, only authorized Apple resellers. Did I want to bother them? No. Did I bother them? Of course. I had to check whether Apple's promise of one-day repair holds here. "As a reseller, I have to send your MacBook to an authorized service provider," the very helpful authorized Apple reseller told me. "How long will that take?" "I have to tell you the possible number of days. It's 30. It could be less, of course, but it's best to get it repaired in America." "I've only had my MacBook for a few months," I said. "It's very bad," he replied. "You pay your money, so you should get something for that. This is a terrible design." So now I'm determined. I'm determined, in fact, to see how long it'll be before my M becomes entirely inoperative. I want to discover whether more keys will succumb to this obvious and desperate design flaw. I want to see just how useless this third-generation keyboard truly is. This MacBook Air is less than six months old. Not only is the M-key two-thirds of the way to its coffin, but the letter A on the A-key has already smudged to the point of being almost entirely blurred. I can't help but conclude that this thing is cheaply, myopically made. At what point does an issue become a complete embarrassment? Oh, we're there already? The MacBook Air. Apple's Biggest Disgrace? I've owned perhaps 20 or more Apple products over the years. Not once has any of them started to malfunction in the first six months. Many of them never malfunctioned at all. Yet here is one of Apple's most lauded, stable products -- one that I once described as the company's best-ever product -- reduced to a pathetic mess by a combination of arrogance and inattention. I wonder what they'll say if I go back to one of the Apple stores which tried to reassure me. It serves me right, of course. I'm the fool here. I should have realized that my Air might be just as vulnerable as any other. Worse, I was smeared with such overconfidence that I didn't even bother bringing my usual backup. It's called an iPad Pro. On that machine, you see, nothing can ever get under the keys. Source
  4. Apple Tops Fortune 500 Most Profitable Company Rankings While Apple and Microsoft are battling for the world’s most valuable company title, the most recent Fortune 500 rankings show that the Cupertino-based iPhone maker continues to be the most profitable company in the world. When it comes to the profits these company make, Apple is number one ahead of JPMorgan Chase and Alphabet. But what’s notable is that Apple’s profit is nearly twice the amount of the profit obtained by Alphabet, the parent company of Google. Other tech giants like Facebook, Intel, and Microsoft are far behind with smaller profits. In terms of overall rankings, which are based on revenue, Apple is only third after Walmart and Exxon Mobil. However, the company continues to be placed better than all of its rivals in the tech field, including here Amazon, Alphabet, and Microsoft.Apple continues to be the technology leaderAnd speaking of technology, Apple is number one here judging from revenues, followed by Alphabet and Microsoft. The difference between the second and third place isn’t huge, and this shows that Microsoft has a chance to overtake Alphabet in the short term. Dell, IBM, and Intel come next, just ahead of HP, Facebook, Cisco, and Oracle. “In total, Fortune 500 companies represent two-thirds of the U.S. GDP with $13.7 trillion in revenues, $1.1 trillion in profits, $22.6 trillion in market value, and employ 28.7 million people worldwide,” Fortune says in its analysis. Earlier this year, both Microsoft and Apple achieved $1 trillion market valuation. Apple’s growth has been mostly fueled by services, as sales of its flagship product, the iPhone, declined significantly in the majority of markets. The performance of Microsoft, on the other hand, is powered by its cloud offering, which has become the company’s number one cash cow in the latest quarters. Source
  5. iOS 13 likely to drop support for a lot of older hardware iOS 11 and 12 have been kind to those running older iPhones and iPads, not only giving older devices extra time but also a performance boost. But a report suggests that iOS 13 will drop support for a number of older iPhones and iPads. iOS 12, released last September, was particularly good at supporting older hardware. We'd expected that the aging iPhone 5S – which is almost six years old – would be dropped, but iOS 12 carried forward the same hardware support list as iOS 11, which was good for both owners of older devices (who got an extra year of use), and Apple (which got to grow its base of active devices). Not only that, but iOS 12 gave older devices a surprise performance boost. But it looks like iOS 13 will be the end of the line for the iPhone 5S, along with a handful of other devices. According to a report by iPhonesoft.fr, the following iPhones will not be supported by iOS 13: iPhone 5s iPhone SE iPhone 6/6 Plus This means that the supported iPhone list will be as follows: iPhone XS/XS Max iPhone XR iPhone X iPhone 8/8 Plus iPhone 7/7 Plus iPhone 6S/6S Plus If this is correct – and I believe that it is – then it is a little sad that the iPhone 6/6 Plus doesn't get an extra year The following iPads are headed for the retirement: iPad Mini 2 iPad Air This means that the iOS 13 iPad line up will be as follows: iPad Pro 12.9 inch (2016 and 2017) iPad Pro 10.5 inch iPad Pro 9.7 inch iPad Pro 11 inch (2018) iPad Air 2 iPad Air 3 iPad 5 iPad 6 iPad Mini 4 iPad Mini 3 If you are running an older iPhone or iPad, it's probably a good time to start thinking about what you are going to do between now and iOS 13 landing later this year. Expect an iOS 13 beta to land soon after the WWDC 2019 keynote, scheduled for June 3. The final release will most likely land in September. Source
  6. Antitrust Lawsuit Could Drastically Change the Apple App Store The United States Supreme Court has decided to allow an antitrust case against Apple to move forward after the company previously appealed a lower court ruling against it. As explained in the official Supreme Court’s decision here, Apple is being accused of forcing the App Store on its customers, eventually using its monopolistic power to charge both developers and consumers. Technically, Apple only allows iPhone apps to be distributed through the App Store. Developers can create apps and publish them in the App Store with a $99 account. If these apps are being sold through the App Store (hence they aren’t offered free of charge), Apple gets a 30% percent of the revenue. Apple’s approach could pave the way for an antitrust lawsuit, as forcing the App Store on customers and developers and then taking a cut of all sales could mean the company’s business model is based on a monopolistic system.Consumers could sue Apple over antitrust violationThe Supreme Court explains in the Opinion of the Court (linked above) that it’s looking into the rights of consumers to sue Apple for this approach. “A claim that a monopolistic retailer (here, Apple) has used its monopoly to overcharge consumers is a classic antitrust claim. But Apple asserts that the consumer plaintiffs in this case may not sue Apple because they supposedly were not “direct purchasers” from Apple under our decision in Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, 431 U. S. 720, 745–746 (1977),” the court says. “We disagree. The plaintiffs purchased apps directly from Apple and therefore are direct purchasers under Illinois Brick. At this early pleadings stage of the litigation, we do not assess the merits of the plaintiffs’ antitrust claims against Apple, nor do we consider any other defenses Apple might have. We merely hold that the Illinois Brick direct-purchaser rule does not bar these plaintiffs from suing Apple under the antitrust laws.” Needless to say, this isn’t a ruling against Apple, but while we’re probably several years away from a decision in this case, it could eventually be the first step towards bigger changes in the App Store, including lower cuts on the App Store dev revenue. Source
  7. The iPhone maker saw more of the same during the second quarter of 2019. Enlarge Andrew / Flickr Today, Apple shared its fiscal second-quarter results with shareholders. After a tumultuous first quarter that saw CEO Tim Cook revise the company's guidance weeks before the earnings report was made public, investors and analysts were looking for Apple to divulge some good news—particularly surrounding iPhone sales, its services business, and the situation in China. Apple somewhat delivered on those fronts, but overall, its Q2 2019 earnings report is a mixed bag. The company made $58 billion in revenue this quarter, which is on the higher end of its expected revenue spectrum ($55 to $59 billion), but down 5 percent year-over-year. iPhone sales made up $31 billion of that total amount, down from $37.5 billion during the same quarter in 2018. Apple stock jumped over 4 percent after the earnings report was released, pushing the company close to a $1 trillion valuation. Handling the iPhone’s decline Generally, Apple's other product segments did well this quarter. iPad sales revenue saw an increase from $4 billion in Q2 2018 to $4.8 billion in Q2 2019. Apple's wearables, home, and accessories category also saw revenue gains: up from $3.9 billion in Q2 2018 to $5.1 billion this quarter. Mac sales revenue saw a slight decline year-over-year. Cook attributed that decline to "processor constraints," but the CEO also said that these constraints should not have a long-term effect on Mac sales. But, as anticipated, Apple's services business hit an all-time high of $11.5 billion in revenue this quarter, up from $9.8 billion during the same period last year and up from Q1 2019's total revenue of $10.9 billion. After years of detailing iPhone sales growth, Cook described this quarter's iPhone sales revenue decline as being "significantly smaller than last quarter." Cook noted that the most challenging months in recent memory for iPhone sales was November 2018 and December 2018, and the company's goal is to "pick up the pace" to accelerate iPhone sales in the future. While users may be holding onto their iPhones for longer now, Apple cited the strong, positive response to its revamped trade-in and financing programs. After launching new programs in the US, China, UK, Spain, Italy, and Australia, Apple saw four times the trade-in volume than it did in March 2018. That means that customers are more likely to buy new iPhones if they can get some money back by handing over their existing handsets or if they can choose a financing option that works for them. At the end of last year, Apple explained that it would not report iPhone unit sales per quarter, a decision that frustrated some but makes sense for Apple's bottom-line. Instead, the company disclosed on its Q1 2019 earnings call that its global install base includes 900 million iPhones—and today's earnings report shows that the company's install base is comprised of 1.4 billion devices. Rather than focusing on how many new iPhones it has sold, Apple wants to now focus on how many iPhones are out in the world to show how vast its services business could be. Services and China Apple is hoping its slew of new services will appeal to many iPhone users. At an event in March, the company announced Apple News+, a news and magazine subscription program; Apple Arcade, a gaming subscription service; and Apple TV+, a TV-streaming subscription program. The former of the three is already available for $10 per month, but the latter two will debut in the fall. All of these new endeavors, along with Apple's existing services, represent a big part of the company's future. Cook described the "singularly exceptional experience" that Apple is trying to achieve with its devices and services. The company hopes that it can keep users in the Apple ecosystem by offering services that are similar to its hardware: easy-to-use, detail-orientated, and focused on privacy and security. How Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade will be received is unclear, but Apple's existing services are already bolstering this effort. Currently, Apple has 390 million paid subscriptions across its entire services portfolio—up from 120 million paid subscriptions at this time last year, and up by 30 million since last quarter. Cook did not break down that subscriber number, but as of last quarter, Apple Music had 50 million paid subscribers. On the topic of China, the country continues to present struggles for Apple as the company saw lower sales revenue than last year. This quarter, sales in Greater China produced $10.2 billion in revenue, down from Q2 2018's total revenue of $13 billion. However, Apple's leadership remains optimistic about its efforts in China. Tim Cook cited again the popularity of Apple's new trade-in and financing options, which have been a big hit in China as well as other countries. Cook also explained that price adjustments to account for weaker currency have had a positive effect in the region, as well as stimulus programs created by local governments and the improved trade dialogue between the United States and China. Many analysts probed Apple about its recent settlement with Qualcomm, in which the companies came to an agreement to dismiss all litigation after just one day in court. The agreement resulted in a multi-year supply and licensing deal in which Apple will continue to use Qualcomm's chips in its devices. Cook didn't provide any more details about the settlement, only saying that the company is "glad to put the litigation behind us." Source: Apple sets sights on services as iPhone revenue continues to fall (Ars Technica)
  8. Apple is opening up its world of iPhone recycling Keep this in mind as Earth Day approaches: All those iPhones don't recycle themselves. Hidden not far from downtown Austin, Texas, a research lab is working to change the way we recycle electronics. And it's being run by Apple. If you don't know exactly where it is, you'll definitely miss it. There are no signs. The parking lot is almost empty. There's an unremarkable door at the bottom of a set of generic cement stairs. It looks like the back entrance to a rundown mall. But inside is a 9,000-square-foot warehouse where, just a stone's throw from the front door, you'll find one of the most interesting robots in the world. Daisy is actually a series of five robot arms working in an elaborate dance. James Martin/CNET Meet Daisy. Daisy is 33 feet long, has five arms and can methodically deconstruct any of 15 iPhone models -- from 2012's iPhone 5to 2018's iPhone XS -- at a rate of 200 per hour. In a coordinated and sometimes violent dance, Daisy removes the screen, battery, screws, sensors, logic board and wireless charging coil, leaving its husk of an aluminum shell. Apple invited me here not just to see Daisy in action, but also the Material Recovery Lab that's been built up around it. Last year, Apple announced Daisy for the first time to the world via a press release and video. Now it's inviting in academics, recyclers and other companies to learn how Daisy works. And, hopefully, use its technology to make e-recycling around the world better. "This is about the big, hairy goal of making all our products from recycled materials," said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, in an interview. "It's going to take a while, but it'll also take tons of innovation." Source
  9. Apple Expected to Announce Lower iPhone Sales Due to Poor iPhone XS, XR Demand Apple is expected to announce dropping iPhone sales later this month as part of the company’s reports concerning its Q2 FY19 earnings. Media research firm OTR Global said in a note published by Street Insiderthat Apple sold between 37 million to 42 million iPhone units, whereas the original estimation was between 40 million and 45 million units. The numbers were obtained from executives working for 18 Asian suppliers, and it seems that the drop was caused by lower demand for the iPhone XS and iPhone XR. Apple no longer reveals how many iPhone units it ships every quarter, but the company originally said revenue would total between $55 billion and $59 billion. However, as compared to the same quarter a year ago, Apple’s iPhone shipments are likely to decline significantly. The company sold 52.2 million iPhones in the second quarter of 2018, while its revenue totaled $61.1 billion.iPhone XR selling wellMeanwhile, data offered by Kantar reveals a strong performance of the iPhone XR in Europe, and this model even topped smartphone sales in the United Kingdom. “iPhone XR was a strong performer for Apple this quarter, outselling the combined iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max in Europe and claiming the title of the best-selling model in Great Britain,” Dominic Sunnebo, Global Director for Kantar, said. In the United States, iPhone XR accounted for 10 percent of all smartphones sold in the country in the three months ending March 2019. “As smartphone prices rise rapidly, iPhone XR provides Apple with a way to keep its customers with older models continuing to upgrade regularly, and less tempted by the competition,” the Kantar official explained. Apple is projected to unveil its quarterly earnings on April 30, but without specifics no longer shared on iPhone sales, we’ll never know exactly how many units the company shipped. Source
  10. Mozilla wants Apple to change users' iPhone advertiser ID every month Change will make it harder for advertisers to build exhaustive profiles on iOS users. Mozilla has launched a petition today to get Apple to rotate the IDFA unique identifier of iOS users every month. The purpose of this request is to prevent online advertisers from creating profiles that contain too much information about iOS users. IDFA stands for "IDentifier For Advertisers" and is a per-device unique ID. Apps running on a device can request access to this ID and relay the number to advertising SDKs/partners they use to show ads to their users. As experts from Singular, a mobile marketing firm explain, "IDFAs take the place of cookies in mobile advertising delivered to iOS devices because cookies are problematic in the mobile world." IDFAs are different from UDIDs, which stand for "unique device identifiers," which are permanent and unchangeable device identifiers. Apple added support for IDFAs specifically to replace UDIDs, which many apps were collecting for all sorts of shady reasons, enabling pervasive tracking of iOS users. Apple now blocks apps on modern iOS versions from accessing the UDID number, which is now considered a sensitive ID and access to it is limited to Apple and a few selected parties. Instead, app makers that need a way to track users for advertising/monetization purposes are encouraged to use the IDFA identifier instead, which Apple allows users to change or turn off, in cases where users want to prevent ad tracking altogether.shortcode MOZILLA: APPLE SHOULD CHANGE IDFAS AUTOMATICALLY "Most people don't know that feature even exists, let alone that they should turn it off," said Ashley Boyd, VP Advocacy, Mozilla Foundation, in regards to users' ability to disable the IDFA identifier. Image: Apple Today, Boyd and the Mozilla Foundation have started a petition to raise signatures in an attempt to convince Apple to implement further privacy-minded changes to the IDFA system. Mozilla wants Apple to change the IDFA for all users every month automatically. The reasoning is that this will protect the privacy of iOS users who didn't know that they could disable or change the IDFA whenever they wanted. "You would still get relevant ads - but it would be harder for companies to build a profile about you over time," Boyd said. "If Apple makes this change, it won't just improve the privacy of iPhones - it will send Silicon Valley the message that users want companies to safeguard their privacy by default," Boyd added. Users who'd like to help convince Apple in taking another step towards improving the privacy of iOS users can sign Mozilla's petition here. Source
  11. Apple to Launch a “New” iPhone 8 in 2020 with Upgraded Hardware, Lower Price The 2020 iPhone lineup could include an upgraded version of the original iPhone 8, according to a new report. China-based Economic Daily News reveals that Apple wants to give the iPhone an under-the-hood upgrade and re-launch the device in global markets next year in order to tackle the mid-range smartphone market. As a result, Apple also wants to make this second-edition iPhone 8 more affordable, with the cited source indicating a target price of approximately $649. The original iPhone 8 was launched in 2017 alongside the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X, and it’s still available for purchase worldwide. There are no plans for a revised iPhone 8 Plus, it seems. However, if this plan indeed gets the green light, the current version of the iPhone could be retired, while the new model would be positioned as a more affordable alternative to the upgraded iPhone XS and XR.Same design, same dimensionsThe source claims the 2020 iPhone 8 would still feature a 4.7-inch LCD screen with the same dimensions as the current model. It will however boast an Apple A13 processor, an upgraded camera (a single lens, not a dual-lens configuration), plus 128GB storage. A new PCB design will also be used. Pegatron is very likely to be in charge of manufacturing the new iPhone 8, and it looks like Apple wants to build approximately 20 million units in the first year, though these numbers could be adjusted as we get closer to the estimated launch date. Most likely, the new iPhone 8 would be primarily aimed at markets where the new-generation iPhones fail to meet the expected figures due to their premium price. Older iPhones, including here the iPhone 8, continue to sell like hotcakes in countries like China, so with this new model, Apple wants to benefit from this strong demand while also giving owners of older iPhones another reason to upgrade. Keep in mind that right now we’re still in the rumor stage, so a certain amount of skepticism is recommended at this point. Source
  12. Company Claims All iPhones Violate Its Wi-Fi Patents As if Apple’s legal trouble with Qualcomm wasn’t enough, the Cupertino-based tech giant is now dragged to the court once again, this time for allegedly violating the Wi-Fi patents owned by a company called Red Rock Analytics. In a lawsuit discovered by AI, this company claims that Apple uses its patents covering transceiver technology for Wi-Fi chips without authorization. The alleged technology is being used by Apple on most of its products, including iPhones (all models dating back to the iPhone 4), iPads, Apple TV, MacBooks, and the Apple Watch. The new-generation iPhones, including the XS and the XR, are also infringing on the patent, Red Rock claims. As a result, this company is now seeking a trial by jury and wants Apple to pay damages for using its patent without authorization. As per Apple’s approach, the Cupertino giant hasn’t commented on these claims, and there’s a chance it’d never say anything public about the lawsuit until it comes to an end. As the cited source notes, Red Rock has previously sued Samsung over the same claims as well, but details on how everything ended aren’t available at this point. However, the South Korean firm itself filed a countersuit, so it remains to be seen if Apple wants to the same time.Apple’s legal battlesMeanwhile, Apple is involved in other legal wars, several of them against the San Diego-based chipmaker Qualcomm. The company has already lost lawsuits in China and Germany, where it was accused of violating Qualcomm patents, and despite appeals already being filed, the iPhone was subject to a local ban following the court ruling. Apple remains one of the favorite targets of patent trolls across the world, so the dispute against Red Rock is something that’s very common for the iPhone maker. Source
  13. Apple Releases Second Public Beta of iOS 12.3, macOS 10.14.5, and tvOS 12.3 Apple has released today the second public beta of the forthcoming iOS 12.3, macOS Mojave 10.14.5, and tvOS 12.3 software updates for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV devices. The public beta program for iOS 12.3, macOS Mojave 10.14.5, and tvOS 12.3 has been updated to the beta 2 release, which Apple seeded the other day to registered developers through its Apple Developer portal. Now, everyone can install the beta 2 builds of iOS 12.3, macOS Mojave 10.14.5, and tvOS 12.3. Shipping with the same changes included in the developer beta releases, the iOS 12.3, macOS Mojave 10.14.5, and tvOS 12.3 public beta 2 let public beta testers try out the revamped TV app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, along with the new Apple TV Channels feature for Apple TV devices.How to install the public beta 2 of iOS 12.3, macOS Mojave 10.14.5, and tvOS 12.3If you're running the first public beta of the iOS 12.3, macOS Mojave 10.14.5, and tvOS 12.3 operating systems on your devices enrolled into the Apple Beta Software Program for iOS, macOS, and tvOS, you can now install the second public beta builds via OTA (Over-the-Air) updates following the instructions below. On iPhone and iPad devices, you can install the iOS 12.3 public beta 2 release by opening the Settings app, going to the General section, and tapping on Software Update. There, you can download and install the iOS 12.3 public beta 2 and reboot your device. On Mac computers, you can install the second public beta of macOS Mojave 10.14.5 from the Software Updates panel in System Preferences. Lastly, on Apple TV devices, you can install the tvOS 12.3 public beta 2 by going to Settings > System > Software Update. iOS 12.3 public beta 2 Source
  14. Intel Responds to Reports Claiming It Could Hold Back a 5G iPhone 5G is the next big thing in mobile, but while the majority of manufacturers update their smartphones with ne modems to take advantage of the faster networks, Apple is left with no other choice than to hope its partners would be able to do the same thing by the end of 2020. While a 5G iPhone is very unlikely to see daylight this year, a recent report indicated that such a model might not hit the shelves in 2020 either, especially because Apple can’t find a modem supplier for this device. Apple’s options are said to be very limited at this point. Qualcomm, which is the go-to company for 5G modems, is currently at war with Apple over patent royalties, while MediaTek, a potential replacement, is unlikely to meet its requirements. Samsung is a no-go as well given that Apple wants to reduce reliance on its rival, while Intel in particular was said to be unable to finalize its 5G chip next year. In fact, Intel has been Apple’s preferred supplier for the latest-generation iPhones, but news that the company could miss the deadline wasn’t necessarily surprising.5G iPhone coming next yearAnd yet, Intel explains in a statement for Fast Company that the development of its 5G modem is on track and advancing as planned, suggesting that a 5G iPhone is still possible next year. “As we said in November 2018, Intel plans to support customer device launches in 2020 with its XMM 8160 5G multimode modem,” a company representative was quoted as saying. Intel needs to finalize its modem, however, much sooner in order to provide it to Apple for additional testing. Then, should everything work properly, the company would have to ramp up production to meet the output required by Apple in time for the September 2020 launch. Of course, we’re still far away from the moment the 5G iPhone would see daylight, but it’s pretty clear that right now, every little issue that Intel might experience could cause a substantial delay for this upgraded iPhone. Source
  15. Apple Could Launch Another Windows 10 App Apple could release another app for Windows 10, as the company may be planning to bring iCloud to the Microsoft Store. Microsoft watcher WalkingCat found evidence that a Store version of iCloud is already in the works, albeit it’s obviously way too early to discuss other details like the release date. However, bringing iCloud to the Microsoft Store isn’t something totally unexpected from Apple. The Cupertino-based giant released iTunes for Windows 10 last year, and by the looks of things, iCloud is next on the company’s agenda. Also, such a port isn’t necessarily a difficult project for a company the size of Apple. Most likely, Cupertino would turn to the Centennial desktop bridge to port the Windows version of iCloud to the Microsoft Store, an approach that the company also used for iTunes.The benefits of a UWP appBringing iCloud to the Microsoft Store allows Apple to expand in a market where its application would otherwise be unavailable. While iCloud is already available on the Windows desktop, a Microsoft Store version would also expand the availability to Windows 10 installs limited to UWP apps, as it’s the case of Windows 10 in S Mode. This particular configuration is specifically aimed at the education market, where teachers and students can block the installation of Win32 software for extra security, so Apple can thus make its service available to this category of users as well. Most likely, the Store version of iCloud will be very similar to the one on the desktop, with the same feature package to be offered to Windows 10 users. The Store app, however, comes with a series of benefits, like a more straightforward auto-updating engine. Source
  16. High-Profile Apple Users Hacked with the Oldest Trick in the Book A Georgia hacker admitted in court that he broke into the Apple accounts of several high-profile users, including professional athletes and musicians, in order to steal credit card information. 27-year-old Kwamaine Jerell Ford used nothing more than a standard phishing attack which relied on emails sent from mailboxes pretending to belong to Apple and requesting login credentials. The man posed as an Apple customer support representative and told victims he needed their usernames, passwords, and answers to security questions for what he claimed to be an Apple account reset. Once he obtained their credentials, the hacker changed the email addresses and passwords, thus locking targets out of their accounts. Regaining access to the compromised accounts wasn’t possible without reaching out to Apple support.No specifics on the high-profile victimsThe Justice Department doesn’t provide any specifics on the victims, but says that they include NBA and NFL players, as well as rappers. The stolen credit card data was then used to pay for thousands of dollars in air travel, hotel stays, furniture, and money transfers to various accounts that the hacker owned. “The high profile victims in this case are an example that no matter who you are, hackers like Ford are trying to get your personal information,” said Chris Hacker Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “This case demonstrates the need to be careful in protecting personal information and passwords, especially in response to suspicious e-mails. Hopefully this is a lesson for everyone, not just the victims in this case.” The hacker is now indicted on six counts each of wire fraud, computer fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft, as per an official press release (embedded below). The man pleaded guilty to one count of computer fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, and a sentence is expected on June 24. Source
  17. Apple reportedly never managed to solve a thermal problem. Enlarge / AirPower was announced at an Apple keynote back in 2017. Valentina Palladino Apple has canceled its AirPower wireless charging mat product, according to a statement by an executive from the company. The product had seen repeated delays due to technical challenges. AirPower was introduced alongside the iPhone X and Apple Watch Series 3 in the company's first event at the Steve Jobs Theater, in September of 2017. Apple said it would be a wireless charging mat that could simultaneously charge your iPhone, your Apple Watch, and your AirPods, regardless of where you placed them on the mat. At the time, AirPods could not be wirelessly charged, but Apple just released a version of the AirPods' charging case that supports the feature. As the mat failed to arrive in 2018, reports and speculation abounded that Apple was facing serious technical challenges in developing the product. Apple initially planned to launch the product by June 2018, but the company delayed it to September. When the product didn't appear then, Apple bloggers revealed a little more inside info: AirPower's design, which incorporated overlapping charging coils, was prone to overheating. Some engineers within Apple reportedly believed they could solve this problem, but as time went on, those working on the project inside the company became less optimistic. Apple apparently held on to the notion that it could still ship AirPower until very recently, as the product is mentioned in packaging for the refreshed AirPods released just a couple of weeks ago. But in a very rare move unprecedented in the current era, Apple Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering Dan Riccio acknowledged that the company had completely canceled a previously announced hardware product: After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project. We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward For now, there are numerous other existing third-party solutions available to users for wirelessly charging iPhones and AirPods. Any Qi-standard charger should work. Source: Apple just confirmed once and for all that AirPower will never come out (Ars Technica)
  18. Apple unveils TV streaming platform and credit card Apple has unveiled its new TV streaming platform, Apple TV+, at a star-studded event in California. Jennifer Aniston, Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey were among those who took to the stage at Apple's headquarters to reveal their involvement in TV projects commissioned by the tech giant. The platform will include shows from existing services like Hulu and HBO. Apple also announced that it would be launching a credit card, gaming portal and enhanced news app. The event was held in California and Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was clear from the start that the announcements would be about new services, not new devices. It is a change of direction for the 42-year-old company. Image copyrightAPPLE Image captionSteve Carell, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston Apple TV There had been much anticipation about Apple's predicted foray into the TV streaming market, dominated by the likes of Amazon and Netflix. The Apple TV+ app was unveiled by Steven Spielberg and will launch in the autumn. Spielberg will himself be creating some material for the new platform, he said. Other stars who took to the stage included Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Jason Momoa, Alfre Woodard, comedian Kumail Nanjiani and Big Bird from Sesame Street. The app will be made available on rival devices for the first time, coming to Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio smart TVs as well as Amazon's Firestick and Roku. Image copyrightAPPLE Image captionOprah Winfrey spoke of the potential of a book club on Apple TV+. The subscription fee was not announced, and notably absent from the launch line-up was Netflix, which had already ruled itself out of being part of the bundle. "The test for Apple will be, can new content separate them out from their competitors and can they commission and deliver on fresh new content that can reach audiences in the same way that Stranger Things has for Netflix for example?" commented Dr Ed Braman, an expert in film and production at the University of York. Apple Card Image copyrightAPPLE Image captionThe physical version of the card is made of titanium and does not have a card number or signature space on it. The Apple Card credit card will launch in the US this summer. There will be both an iPhone and physical version of the card, with a cashback incentive on every purchase. The credit card will have no late fees, annual fees or international fees, said Apple Pay VP Jennifer Bailey. It has been created with the help of Goldman Sachs and MasterCard. News stand The firm also revealed a news service, Apple News+, which will include more than 300 magazine titles including Marie Claire, Vogue, New Yorker, Esquire, National Geographic and Rolling Stone. The LA Times and the Wall Street Journal will also be part of the platform, the firm said. It added that it will not track what users read or allow advertisers to do so. Apple News+ will cost $9.99 (£7.50) per month and is available immediately in the US and Canada. It will come to Europe later in the year. Unlike TV+, the news platform will only be available on Apple devices. Image Copyright @[email protected] Report Gaming Image copyrightAPPLE Image captionApple Arcade will offer 100 games not available elsewhere. A new games platform, Apple Arcade, will offer over 100 exclusive games from the app store which will all be playable offline, in contrast with Google's recently announced streaming platform Stadia. It will be rolled out across 150 countries in the autumn but no subscription prices were given. in 2018 analyst firm IHS Markit valued the global gaming market on iOS, Apple's operating system, at $33.5bn. There is space within that market for a platform like Apple Arcade which is not financed by in-app purchases or advertising, said IHS director of games research Piers Harding-Rolls. "Apple's decision to move up the games value chain with a new, curated subscription service and to support the development of exclusive games for its Arcade platform is a significant escalation of the company's commitment to the games market," he said. "Apple joins the other technology companies Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon and others in investing directly in games content and services." Analysis: Dave Lee, North America technology reporter, at the Steve Jobs Theater Apple is making an aggressive push into several markets in which, thanks to sheer scale alone, it immediately becomes a massive player. Its TV service has been long in the making, and Apple has amassed a roster of big stars, as expected. A bigger test will be how creative those ideas will be - a lot of Netflix's success has been about finding new talent, not throwing money at already famous names. I also have reservations about how many boundaries Apple will be prepared to push with its creative endeavours: if it's as controlling with its television as it is with its brand, it will create a catalogue bereft of risk-taking. But TV is just a small part of what Apple is going for here. It wants (and needs) to turn its devices into the portal through which you do everything else - TV/film, gaming, reading the news... and you'd presume other things in the very near future. The announcement of a credit card shows how far Apple is prepared to go to make sure life is experienced through your iPhone. As Oprah put it on stage: "They're in a billion pockets, y'all." Source
  19. kantry123

    iTunes 12.9.4

    iTunes is a free application for Mac and PC. It plays all your digital music and video. It syncs content to your iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV. And it's an entertainment superstore that stays open 24/7. Organize your music into playlists Edit file information Record compact discs Copy files to an iPod or other digital audio player Purchase music and videos on the Internet through the built-in iTunes store Run a visualizer to display graphical effects in time to the music Encode music into a number of different audio formats. Microsoft Store (UWP): ITunes Store | 481.13 MB Download: iTunes 12.9.4 (32-bit) | 201.0 MB Download: iTunes 12.9.4 (64-bit) | 262.0 MB Link: Apple iTunes Website | Release Notes
  20. Apple Outs macOS Mojave 10.14.4 with Safari Improvements, AirPods 2 Support Apple released today the macOS Mojave 10.14.4 software update for Mac users adding several new features and enhancements across various other apps, as well as the usual bug fixes and stability improvements. Coming hot on the heels of iOS 12.2, the macOS Mojave 10.14.4 update is here for Mac users with support for the recently announced 2nd generation AirPods wireless headphones, and various improvements to the Safari web browser, including Dark Mode support for websites that support custom color schemes, warnings for unencrypted web pages, and automatic login to websites after filling the credentials. macOS Mojave 10.14.4 also restricts push notifications from websites only after the user interacts with them, and replaces the old "Do Not Track" feature with Intelligent Tracking Prevention to protect users against cross-site tracking. The update also adds support in the iTunes app for more editorial highlights in the Browser tab for Apple Music subscribers.Enhanced support for external GPUs, other improvements and bug fixesThe macOS Mojave 10.14.4 software update also introduces Air Quality Index support in the Apple Maps app in the US, UK, and India, enhanced support for external GPUs in the Activity Monitor app, better audio quality for recordings in the Messages app, improved reliability of USB audio devices with the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini models announced in 2018. It also resolves various annoying issues reported by users, such as Wi-Fi connection problems after upgrading to macOS Mojave, graphics compatibility issues with certain external display in 2018 Mac mini models, the disappearance of re-added Exchange accounts in the Internet Accounts panel in System Preferences, and default screen brightness problems in MacBook Air Autumn 2018 models. Other than that, macOS Mojave 10.14.4 fixes an issue with the App Store that may prevent the adoption of the latest versions of Apple's Keynote, Pages, Numbers, GarageBand, and iMovie apps, as well as a problem that prompted users for their AOL passwords in the Mail app. Apple recommends all Mac users to update to macOS Mojave 10.14.4 as soon as possible via the Software Update panel in System Settings. macOS Mojave 10.14.4 release notes Source
  21. Poster's note: This is a long multipage article. Please use the source link or Table of Contents to see the full article and slideshows. Apple's TV play has been a long time coming, but there might be new hardware, too. Enlarge / The Steve Jobs auditorium on Apple's new campus. Update: Tomorrow, March 25, Apple will hold its first public event of 2019 at 1pm ET (10am PT). And press invitations, rumors, and prior evidence indicate this event could hold an unprecedented announcement for the company: its long-anticipated streaming content business. Ars will be on site Monday to find out and liveblog all of it, but for now we're resurfacing our rundown of what to expect from Apple this week and what surprises may be in store. This story originally ran on March 15, 2019 and appears unchanged below. On March 25, Apple executives and partners will take to the stage in the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple's Cupertino campus to talk about subscriptions, software, services, entertainment, and media. These are all things Apple has dealt with before, but never before has an event focused so completely on them as we're expecting later this month. That's not to say it's impossible that hardware will appear. The timing is right for an update to Apple's base iPad model, and reports and rumors have been joined by developer beta evidence to imply that hardware refreshes are imminent for a few Apple products like the iPad, iPad mini, iPod touch, and AirPods. These would fit perfectly in an event focused on services like TV, Music, and News: they are media-consumption devices, first and foremost. But this will be Apple's first public event after it reported a marked decline in worldwide iPhone sales, worrying pundits, analysts, and investors that the iPhone-hardware-dependent company is in for difficult times. It is fitting (and perhaps telling) that the event will focus on services—the division Apple is happiest to boast about right now—rather than hardware. Of course, you should be skeptical when you read hot takes on the Internet declaring that Apple is doomed because its iPhone sales are down primarily in China. It's not good news, but other companies would give anything to have the financial and market position that Apple does in most of its worldwide business interests, even with that rare sign of weakness. I write "most" because Apple is actually lagging substantially behind in the one area I expect the March event to emphasize the most: television. The iTunes Store is a relatively successful platform for buying episodes of TV series, but many people these days prefer to watch TV shows that are part of a streaming subscription bundle like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. And while we generally liked the Apple TV 4K as a media-streaming hardware solution when we reviewed it, Apple's market share in that space is unimpressive. The cheaper, more accessible, less closed-off Roku platform dominates. That's not to mention the fact that many of today's TVs ship with Netflix and the like built right in, and more than half of US households own video game consoles with ample video streaming app libraries. But the same story was emerging for music on iTunes before Apple launched the massively successful Apple Music service. Could the same happen again with television or with news? And what do we know about the new iPads that may or may not be announced? Let's explore both the definites and the possibilities at Apple's March 25 event. Table of Contents Definites An Apple streaming TV service A news and magazine subscription service Possibilities An updated iPad and iPad Mini (and maybe an iPod touch) Second-generation AirPods The AirPower charging mat New Apple Music or App Store features and content Stuff we won’t see <snip> Poster's note: This is a long multipage article. Please use the source link below or the above Table of Contents to see the full article and slideshows. Source: Everything you need to know before Apple’s March 25 “it’s show time” event (Ars Technica)
  22. Apple Overtakes Microsoft to Become the World’s Most Valuable Company Apple’s recent announcements of new iPads and AirPods have given a boost to the Cupertino-based tech giant, propelling it past Microsoft and helping the firm reclaim the title of the world’s most valuable company. Apple has long been the leader in terms of market cap and even reached $1 trillion in August 2018. Since then, however, the company has mostly been on a decline, with poor sales of new devices, like the iPhone XS and XS Max, often considered to be the main culprit. More recently, however, Apple announced products that have helped the company recover, including here the aforementioned iPads and AirPods. And this all pushed its market valuation to no less than $916 billion, enough to become the leader once again. Microsoft, who has previously been the number one for several months, dropped to the second place with a total market cap of $908 billion on Thursday.New Apple increase likely next weekBut while Microsoft is now the runner-up, there’s a good chance a switch of places happens again in the coming weeks, especially as the software giant has until now been on a constant ascending trend. Apple is also expected to record another boost next week, as the company will be holding a new event on March 25 to announce a series of new products, including what’s likely to be a news service. New iPhones are projected to launch in September this year, and according to people close to the matter, the company wants to launch three different models for the 2019 generation that will be all successors to the existing devices. What’s unclear at this point, however, is whether Apple plans to address the price issue of the iPhone, as sales have declined in the last few months specifically due to the high price of these devices. iPhone XS starts in the United States at $999. Source
  23. Kaspersky files antitrust complaint against Apple in Russia After Spotify complained about Apple's unfair App Store policies to EU authorities, Kaspersky does the same in Russia. Russian cyber-security firm Kaspersky Lab filed today an antitrust complaint against Apple with Russian authorities in regards to the OS maker's monopolistic grip over its official App Store. Kaspersky claims that Apple used its power over the App Store and the entire iOS app ecosystem to force its engineers into removing two features from the Kaspersky Safe Kids iOS app --namely app control and Safari browser blocking. The company argues that Apple did so to eliminate competition for the "Screen Time" feature that the OS maker added in iOS 12 in September last year. APPLE IS SABOTAGING "SCREEN TIME" COMPETITORS In a blog post published today, Kaspersky said that other app makers like AdGuard and Kidslox also lost their abilities to restrict access to apps after interventions from Apple. Furthermore, the Russian firm claims that Apple has embarked on what appears to be a concerted effort to crack down, remove, or reject any third-party screen time apps that may compete with built-in iOS features. "By setting its own rules for that channel, [Apple] extends its power in the market over other, adjacent markets: for example, the parental control software market, where it has only just become a player," Kaspersky Lab said. "It is precisely in this extension of its leverage through possession of so-called 'key capacity' over other segments, leading to restriction and elimination of competition, that we see the essential elements of antitrust law violation, which consist of erecting barriers and discriminating against our software," the antivirus maker added. "We have repeatedly tried to contact Apple to resolve this situation, but no meaningful negotiations have ensued." Kaspersky lodged its complaint with the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia (FAS), and only in Russia, but not in the European Union. The antivirus maker recognized Spotify's similar effort in the EU. Last week, the music streaming service filed a similar antitrust complaint against Apple because of its strict control over the App Store. Spotify claimed that Apple had used unfair App Store taxes to suppress the growth of Spotify and other competitors for Apple's own music service --Apple Music. Apple posted a blog post answering the Spotify complaint in the EU, but an Apple spokesperson did not return a request for comment in regards to Kaspersky's complaint today. KASPERSKY TOOK ON MICROSOFT AND WON This is not the first time that Kaspersky Lab files antitrust complaints against a Silicon Valley tech giant. The company filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft in Russia and the EU in November 2016. The antivirus maker argued that Microsoft made it unfairly difficult for antivirus providers to compete following a major Windows 10 update. Kaspersky dropped its complaints in August 2017 after reaching a common ground with Microsoft after the Redmond-based OS maker revised its antivirus and update policies. Source
  24. Apple wants all of the spotlight on its new services and subscriptions next week. Enlarge Apple We're one week out from Apple's services-focused event in Cupertino, and the company just announced a pair of devices we've been expecting for quite some time. Apple debuted a new, $499 10.5-inch iPad Air and a new, $399 7.9-inch iPad mini today. Both have familiar designs but also have the company's new A12 Bionic chip. The new iPad Air looks like previous models, with thicker bezels on the top and bottom of the advanced Retina display (now with True Tone technology) to house the camera array and the physical Home button. While both new iPads have updated cameras that can better handle low-light situations and immersive AR experiences, they appear to omit FaceID entirely. Inside the iPad Air is the new A12 Bionic chip with Apple's neural engine, and the company claims it will make the new Air 70 percent faster than previous versions, with twice the graphics power. The updated display now supports the Apple Pencil as well, giving more users the opportunity to draw, sketch, and take notes on an iPad. Similar updates were made to produce the new 7.9-inch iPad mini. Apple's most compact iPad now runs on its A12 Bionic chip, which the company claims will provide three times better overall performance and nine times faster graphics performance. The new iPad mini now has an advanced Retina display with True Tone, and it will support the Apple Pencil as well. Much like the new Air, the new mini didn't receive other noticeable design updates—it still has chunky top and bottom bezels as well as the physical Home button. The $499 iPad Air sits closer to the regular iPad in Apple's lineup, with a starting price that's $170 more than the $329 iPad that debuted last year. The latter device was positioned as an education-focused, affordable option for those who wanted an iPad but didn't want or need the power and price tag of an iPad Pro. With its A12 Bionic chip, the new Air will be a more powerful device than the base iPad, and it may attract more customers with its easier-to-swallow starting price (the iPad Pro, in comparison, starts at $799). While the new iPad mini looks identical to its previous model, it's a refresh that was much needed. The mini hasn't seen a meaningful update since 2015, and the spec bumps in the new version may encourage users to finally upgrade. Apple has typically announced new iPads at spring events, but the event to be held on March 25 this year will focus entirely on upcoming services. Apple will likely announce its new and highly anticipated TV streaming service and possibly a new news subscription service. The new iPad Air and iPad mini are available for preorder today from Apple's website. The iPad Air starts at $499 for a Wi-Fi model with 64GB of storage (a cellular model starts at $629). The iPad mini starts at $399 for a Wi-Fi model with 64GB of storage (a cellular model starts at $529). Source: Apple updates $499 iPad Air, $399 iPad mini ahead of services event next week (Ars Technica)
  25. Apple Releases Sixth Beta of iOS 12.2, macOS 10.14.4, watchOS 5.2, and tvOS 12.2 Apple released today the sixth and probably the last beta versions of their forthcoming iOS 12.2, macOS Mojave 10.14.4, watchOS 5.2, and tvOS 12.2 software updates. Continuing the weekly release cycle for new betas, Apple released today the iOS 12.2 beta 6 (16E5227a), macOS Mojave 10.14.4 beta 6 (18E220a), watchOS 5.2 beta 6 (16T5225a), and tvOS 12.2 beta 6 (16L5226a) for testing through its Apple Developer portal for registered developers who want to prepare their apps for the upcoming software releases. Users running last week's beta 5 releases of iOS 12.2, macOS Mojave 10.14.4, watchOS 5.2, and tvOS 12.2 can now update their devices to the beta 6 builds, which they can download and install via OTA (Over-the-Air) updates or directly from their Apple Developer account from the Downloads section. Unfortunately, there are no important changes worth mentioning in this sixth beta milestone as Apple is putting the final touches to its iOS 12.2, macOS Mojave 10.14.4, watchOS 5.2, and tvOS 12.2 operating system updates, which will introduce several new features like Apple News support for Canadian users and new Apple Watch faces.Public beta 6 of iOS 12.2, macOS 10.14.4, and tvOS 12.2 coming soonThe sixth public beta version of iOS 12.2, macOS 10.14.4, and tvOS 12.2 will also be available later today or sometime in the next 24 hours for everyone else who doesn't have a paid Apple Developer account. We'll let you know as soon as the new public beta versions are available with an update to this article. We believe Apple plans to release the final iOS 12.2, macOS Mojave 10.14.4, watchOS 5.2, and tvOS 12.2 software updates to all supported devices by the end of the month as the Cupertino, California-based company plans a special event for March 25th, 2019, where it will unveil new video streaming and news subscription services. iOS 12.2 beta 6 Source
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