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charlesarthur : iphone   222

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Apple is locking iPhone batteries to discourage repair • iFixit
Craig Lloyd:
<p>
If you replace the battery in the newest iPhones, a message indicating you need to service your battery appears in Settings > Battery, next to Battery Health. The “Service” message is normally an indication that the battery is degraded and needs to be replaced. The message still shows up when you put in a brand new battery, however. Here’s the bigger problem: our lab tests confirmed that even when you swap in a genuine Apple battery, the phone will still display the “Service” message.

<img src=“https://valkyrie.cdn.ifixit.com/media/2019/08/07170827/iphone-battery-service.jpg” width=“100%” />

It’s not a bug; it’s a feature Apple wants. Unless an Apple Genius or an Apple Authorized Service Provider authenticates a battery to the phone, that phone will never show its battery health and always report a vague, ominous problem.

We first saw this phenomenon in a damning video from Justin at The Art of Repair, and we were able to replicate it on an iPhone XS running both iOS 12 and the iOS 13 beta. Swapping in a new genuine Apple battery from another iPhone XS resulted in the “Service” message popping up in the Battery Health section, followed by an “Important Battery Message” telling us that it’s “unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple battery.” Justin says this only affects the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max for the time being.</p>

The obvious reason Apple is doing this: it doesn’t want repairers swapping in shonky batteries from all over, which I know definitely happens (it happened to a family member). Those batteries can die early, or explode. Yes, it’s going to have a software button to confirm the work involves a real Apple battery. Authorised companies will get to do this.

You can view this as Apple Is Evil, or you can see it as Apple trying to protect its customers from potentially dangerous counterfeits (bad batteries can blow up in your face) and shoddy work.
iphone  apple  replacement  battery 
16 days ago by charlesarthur
Apple’s iPhone 11 release date just leaked • BGR
Zach Epstein:
<p>A new law in Japan is set to go into effect on October 1st, and it will require that wireless carriers unbundle devices and service plans. Why? Because carriers were forcing customers to pay for overpriced data plans by bundling only the most expensive plans with the most popular smartphones. When asked how the new law might impact Apple’s September iPhone launch, [SoftBank president Ken Miyauchi] had this to say (machine translated):
<p>Honestly, I am wondering what should I do for 10 days. No, I shouldn’t say that. Anyway, I don’t know when the new iPhone will be released. However, after about 10 days, it will be unbundled.</p>


Oops.

Apple always releases its new iPhones on a Friday and if we count back about 10 days from October 1st when this new unbundling law goes into effect, we land on September 20th. That’s exactly when we expected Apple to release its new iPhone 11 lineup, and now it’s all but confirmed. And with that in mind, we can expect the new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Max, and iPhone 11R to be unveiled at an Apple press conference on Wednesday, September 11th, or sometime thereabouts.</p>


"Miyauchi-san? Tim Cook on the line for you." Anyway, now you know. Also: Samsung's Galaxy Note 10 is launched today, Wednesday. It's a phone and has a pen - a sentence that also used to make sense in the early 20th century, when phones had fold-out tray tables underneath where one could keep paper notes. What's old is new.
apple  iphone  release 
18 days ago by charlesarthur
iOS 13 beta 3 suggests new wired method for transferring data between devices • 9to5Mac
Guilherme Rambo:
<p>While looking into the code changes between iOS 13 beta 2 and iOS 13 beta 3, we noticed some new assets in the Setup app – which runs when you set up a new device for the first time or after a reset. These new assets could suggest that Apple is working on a new way to transfer data between devices.

Currently, when you set up a new iOS device, you can restore it from an iTunes backup or from an iCloud backup. The second option can be sped up by having another iOS device next to the new one, logged in to your Apple ID account. This allows your data to be transferred wirelessly.

<img src="https://9to5mac.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2019/07/Screen-Shot-2019-07-02-at-23.34.50.png" width="100%" />

New assets and strings found in iOS 13 beta 3 suggest Apple is working on a way to transfer data from another iOS device directly, using a cable. One of assets shows an image of two iPhones connected to each other using a cable. It’s unclear how this could be achieved exactly given that current iPhones feature a Lightning port and Apple does not offer a Lightning-to-Lightning cable.</p>


Surprised he didn't say "but you could with a USB-C to USB-C..." Still hard to figure out whether Apple is ready to move to USB-C for its phones, though. The Lightning port has a gigantic installed base (nearly a billion devices?) which only grows with time; while USB-C remains a hot, if slowly improving, mess.
apple  usbc  iphone 
7 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Leak suggests the iPhone 11 will add a Pixel-like Night Sight feature • BGR
Jacob Siegal:
<p>While Apple remains the most popular smartphone brand in the United States, the iPhone has been surpassed on multiple fronts by other smartphone makers. One such example is the NIght Sight feature of Google’s Pixel phones, but if a new report is true, Apple could catch up with Google before the end of the year.

According to XDA writer Max Weinbach, who leaked the following information to EverythingApplePro on YouTube, the 2019 iPhone models will have a “dedicated night mode” for taking photos in suboptimal environments. Weinbach also claims that this will be better than similar features from Google, Huawei, or Samsung.

In his text to EverythingApplePro, Weinbach cited a source who says that in addition to a dedicated night mode that users can choose to activate manually, the new iPhones should be able to switch to night mode automatically at the appropriate times. The source doesn’t sound totally confident with this leak, but it certainly makes sense as Apple is expected to focus heavily on camera hardware and software upgrades for this generation.</p>


Bet this was a crash project. Night Sight really reset peoples' expectations of what could be done.
iphone  night  vision  photography 
10 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Apple has capacity to make all iPhones for US outside of China • Bloomberg
Debby Wu:
<p>Hon Hai, known also as Foxconn, is the American giant’s most important manufacturing partner. It will fully support Apple if it needs to adjust its production as the U.S.-Chinese trade spat gets grimmer and more unpredictable, board nominee and semiconductor division chief Young Liu told an investor briefing in Taipei on Tuesday.

“Twenty-five percent of our production capacity is outside of China and we can help Apple respond to its needs in the U.S. market,” said Liu, adding that investments are now being made in India for Apple. “We have enough capacity to meet Apple’s demand.”

Apple shares were up more than 1% to $194.99 in New York on Tuesday.

Apple has not given Hon Hai instructions to move production out of China, but it is capable of moving lines elsewhere according to customers’ needs, Liu added. The company will respond swiftly and rely on localized manufacturing in response to the trade war, just as it foresaw the need to build a base in the US state of Wisconsin two years ago, he said.</p>


It was all going so well until that mention of Wisconsin.
apple  iphone  china 
10 weeks ago by charlesarthur
SensorID: sensor calibration fingerprinting for smartphones • Cambridge Computing Lab
Jiexin Zhang, Alastair Beresford and Ian Sheret:
<p>We have developed a new type of fingerprinting attack, the calibration fingerprinting attack. Our attack uses data gathered from the accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer sensors found in smartphones to construct a globally unique fingerprint. Overall, our attack has the following advantages:

• The attack can be launched by any website you visit or any app you use on a vulnerable device without requiring any explicit confirmation or consent from you<br />• The attack takes less than one second to generate a fingerprint<br />• The attack can generate a globally unique fingerprint for iOS devices<br />• The calibration fingerprint never changes, even after a factory reset<br />• The attack provides an effective means to track you as you browse across the web and move between apps on your phone.

Following our disclosure, Apple has patched this vulnerability in iOS 12.2.

…Our approach works by carefully analysing the data from sensors which are accessible without any special permissions to both websites and apps. Our analysis infers the per-device factory calibration data which manufacturers embed into the firmware of the smartphone to compensate for systematic manufacturing errors. This calibration data can then be used as the fingerprint.

We found that the gyroscope and magnetometer on iOS devices are factory calibrated and the calibration data differs from device to device. In addition, we find that the accelerometer of Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 can also be fingerprinted by our approach.</p>
security  iphone  ios  tracking  surveillance 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
Huawei ban nudges Chinese iPhone fans to switch sides • Tech In Asia
Meng Jing and Zen Soo:
<p>Both sense and sensibility played major roles when diehard iPhone fan Wang Zhixin finally made the decision to become a first-time Huawei user after sticking with the US brand for almost a decade.

“There is a calling from my heart that I need to show support for Chinese brands, especially in the trade war climate,” said the manager at one of China’s largest solar module manufacturers. When the time finally came to retire his three-year-old iPhone 7 earlier this month, Wang went with a Huawei P30.

Huawei was not entirely chosen out of sympathy. “The company has a reputation for better quality at a cheaper price,” Wang said. “[The P30] is faster and can take better pictures.”

For Sam Li, who works at a state-owned telecom company in Beijing, switching from Apple to Huawei was also driven by an emotion. “It’s kind of embarrassing to pull an iPhone out of your pocket nowadays when all the company executives use Huawei.”</p>


And in today's example of "irony": <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/huawei-founder-ren-zhengfei-buys-apple-iphones-2019-5">"Huawei's CEO says he admires Apple and buys his family iPhones when they're not in China"</a>.
huawei  apple  iphone 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
Israel’s NSO: the business of spying on your iPhone • Financial Times
Mehul Srivastava and Robert Smith:
<p>At an investor presentation in London in April, NSO bragged that the typical security patches from Apple did not address the “weaknesses exploited by Pegasus”, according to an unimpressed potential investor. Despite the annual software updates unveiled by companies such as Apple, NSO had a “proven record” of identifying new weaknesses, the company representative told attendees.

NSO’s pitch has been a runaway success — allowing governments to buy off the shelf the sort of software that was once thought to be restricted to only the most sophisticated spy agencies, such as GCHQ in the UK and the National Security Agency in America.

The sale of such powerful and controversial technologies also gives Israel an important diplomatic calling card. Through Pegasus, Israel has acquired a major presence — official or not — in the deeply classified war rooms of unlikely partners, including, researchers say, Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Although both countries officially reject the existence of the Jewish state, they now find themselves the subject of a charm offensive by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that mixes a shared hostility to Iran with intelligence knowhow.

The Israeli government has never talked publicly about its relationship with NSO. Shortly after he stepped down as defence minister in November, Avigdor Lieberman, who had responsibility for regulating NSO’s sales, said: “I am not sure now is the right time to discuss this . . . I think that I have a responsibility for the security of our state, for future relations.” But he added: “It is not a secret today that we have contact with all the moderate Arab world. I think it is good news.”</p>
security  hacking  nso  iphone 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
Switching to a Pixel 3a from any iPhone newer than the iPhone 6 is just silly • BGR
Chris Smith:
<p>Google says its $399 Pixel 3a does better night photography than the $999 “Phone X” from the competition. We all know that’s the iPhone X, or, better said its successor, the iPhone XS [the iPhone X, from last year, costs less than $999]. Even if Google’s Night Sight photo mode is remarkable and puts Apple’s low-light photography to shame, that’s an incredible narrow-sided way to compare these phones. Make no mistake, the Pixel 3a phones aren’t the equivalent of iPhone XR, or the Galaxy S10e for that matter. Google’s cheaper phones pack mid-tier hardware compared to Apple’s and Samsung’s cheapest new flagship.

Aside from taking photos at night, you probably want to use your phone for plenty of other things. While a $399 phone with incredible photo skills sounds excellent, the phone is still a mid-range handset whose performance pales when compared to the iPhone.

Switching from an iPhone 6s or newer to the Pixel 3a phones makes zero sense…

If you really want to switch your iPhone for a new Android phone, then go for the Pixel 3 flagship phones. Although, I would point out that the Pixel 3 phones still suffer from performance issues, the kind you wouldn’t expect from a flagship Android handset — that’s one other reason you shouldn’t swap an iPhone 6s or newer for the Pixel 3a series. Even better, if you want to trade-in your iPhone, then get a Galaxy S10, Huawei P30, or OnePlus 7 instead. It’d be a much better deal.</p>


Smith justifies this on the basis of benchmarks showing the Pixel 3a as slower on multi- and single-core tasks than anything Apple's offered since 2015. I think people might find the visuals and UI slower - Apple optimises like crazy for scrolling (in particular) and other interactions.
pixel  iphone 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
Apple’s iPhone sales drop 17% • WSJ
Tripp Mickle:
<p>Apple’s core iPhone business, which accounts for about two-thirds of total sales, has been hobbled by smartphone owners holding onto devices longer and by competition in China where local competitors offer lower-priced, feature-rich handsets. Its iPhone sales fell 17% in the quarter to about $31bn.

Apple blunted the damage from its iPhone business by extending the robust growth of services like app sales and streaming-music subscriptions, which collectively jumped 16%. It also said it would increase the size of its ongoing share buyback program by $75bn.

The report on Tuesday capped off a mixed bag of results from tech giants, including a major stumble by Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. that caused its stock to plunge nearly 8% on Tuesday. The digital-advertising giant and e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. both over the past week reported their slowest revenue growth in four years as their core businesses showed signs of maturity.</p>


The headline's a little misleading: Apple's iPhone <em>revenues</em> dropped 17%. Mac revenues dropped 5%, but iPad revenues were up 21% (!), "Wearables, Home and Accessories" up 30% (!!) and Services up 16% (~, wait for News+ and TV+ and so on to feed in). China was down 22%, which apparently isn't as bad as some had been expecting.
apple  iphone  china 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Global 5G smartphone shipments will reach 5m units in 2019 • Strategy Analytics
<p>According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Early 5G smartphone models will be expensive and available in limited volumes. Samsung, LG and Huawei will be the early 5G smartphone leaders this year, followed by Apple next year.

Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “We forecast global 5G smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Less than 1 per cent of all smartphones shipped worldwide will be 5G-enabled this year. Global 5G smartphone shipments are tiny for now, due to expensive device pricing, component bottlenecks, and restricted availability of active 5G networks.”

Ville Petteri-Ukonaho, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Samsung will be the early 5G smartphone leader in the first half of 2019, due to initial launches across South Korea and the United States. We predict LG, Huawei, Xiaomi, Motorola and others will follow later in the year, followed by Apple iPhone with its first 5G model during the second half of 2020. The iPhone looks set to be at least a year behind Samsung in the 5G smartphone race and Apple must be careful not to fall too far behind.”</p>

Obviously, it will ramp up next year, but Apple dumping Intel for Qualcomm may mean it's not really losing out. It wasn't first with 4G either, but that was at a time when growth was guaranteed. Also worth reading: Ron Amadeo's article on <a href="https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/12/dont-buy-a-5g-smartphone-at-least-not-for-a-while/">why you shouldn't buy a 5G smartphone</a> (at least this year).
apple  5g  iphone 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung fights back in EU as iPhone XR tops UK charts • Kantar Worldpanel
<p>The latest smartphone OS data from Kantar, for the three months ending March 2019, shows Android accounted for 79.3% of all smartphone sales across the five major European markets.  Android’s strong performance was primarily thanks to Samsung holding share steady and solid gains from Huawei and Xiaomi.  iOS saw its share fall by two percentage points to 20.1% in Europe. However, the American market proved a brighter spot for Apple, as it boosted its US share in the quarter to 45.5%, an increase of 6.5 percentage points on the year.   

Dominic Sunnebo, Global Director for Kantar, comments, “Samsung’s share of the big five European markets held firm in the latest quarter, aided by something of a renaissance in Italy and Spain.  The launch of its flagship Galaxy S10 series also helped the manufacturer to consolidate its number one position in Europe, and it should expect sales to continue well into the next quarter. </p>

The XR as bestseller, and the increase in share, somewhat puts the line that Apple's finished to light. But note that Kantar doesn't indicate sales volume, only share.
Iphone  samsung  android 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Google Pixel 3 and OnePlus 6T sales driven by previous Samsung owners in Q4 2018 • Counterpoint Research
<p>Over one-third of consumers who bought the Google Pixel 3 and the OnePlus 6T, during Q4 2018, were previous Samsung owners, according to Counterpoint Research’s US Smartphone Churn Tracker. Less than one in five people who bought either device was a previous Apple user. In Q4 2018, Google Pixel accounted for 7.3% of Verizon’s total sales while the OnePlus 6T made up 2.4% of T-Mobile’s total sales. Each device signaled an appetite for more diversity in premium device product line-ups from consumers.

<img src="https://www.counterpointresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/temp-oneplus-google.jpg" width="100%" />

Despite the initial sales success, the Pixel 3 series has been ineffective in converting a larger share of iPhone users to Android. Conversely, 6T sales have been down Q1 2019 in spite of the strong Q4 2018 start.
 
Of the Pixel smartphones, Jeff Fieldhack, Research Director at Counterpoint Research said, “The newest Google Pixel lineup was certainly successful in terms of disrupting the premium market space at Verizon. Google invested a lot of marketing money during Q4 2018 resulting in strong sales of the Google Pixel 3 lineup. Over half of all new Pixel 3 owners came from Samsung. A total of 31% of Pixel 3 sales came from previous Samsung Galaxy S7 owners. The Pixel was built to lead Android innovation and be a device to sway the iOS base over to Android. Over 80% of volumes are coming from its Android partners. This is probably seen as a disappointment.”</p>


Given the small volumes that the Pixel and OnePlus sell in, this isn't making a dent on Apple or Samsung. If Google or OnePlus could get real volume, it would be a different story.
smartphone  pixel  google  oneplus  apple  iphone 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Record 83% of surveyed US teens own an iPhone • MacRumors
Joe Rossignol:
<p>A record 83% of U.S. teens own an iPhone as of spring 2019, according to investment bank Piper Jaffray's semiannual "Taking Stock With Teens" survey of around 8,000 high school students. Respondents were roughly 54% male and 46% female with an average age of 16.3 years.

Meanwhile, 86% of U.S. teens expect their next smartphone to be an iPhone, matching an all-time high set in fall 2018. This metric has steadily grown in Apple's favor over the years, rising from 75% in spring 2016.

iPhone popularity among teens is a good sign for Apple, as many of them could stick with the iPhone as an adult. Teens also become locked into the Apple ecosystem at an early age, becoming accustomed to services like iMessage, Apple Music, and iCloud as well as accessories like the AirPods and Apple Watch.

The survey found that 27% of US teens own a smartwatch, while 22% of respondents plan to purchase an Apple Watch within the next six months. By comparison, 20% of teens said they plan to purchase an Apple Watch in the next six months in the year-ago survey. </p>


That's a lot of Apple Watches. Surely the peak audience.
us  students  iphone 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
A powerful spyware app now targets iPhone owners • TechCrunch
Zack Whittaker:
<p>Security researchers have discovered a powerful surveillance app first designed for Android devices can now target victims with iPhones.

The spy app, found by researchers at mobile security firm Lookout, said its developer abused their Apple-issued enterprise certificates to bypass the tech giant’s app store to infect unsuspecting victims.

The disguised carrier assistance app once installed can silently grab a victim’s contacts, audio recordings, photos, videos and other device information — including their real-time location data. It can be remotely triggered to listen in on people’s conversations, the researchers found. Although there was no data to show who might have been targeted, the researchers noted that the malicious app was served from fake sites purporting to be cell carriers in Italy and Turkmenistan.

Researchers linked the app to the makers of a previously discovered Android app, developed by the same Italian surveillance app maker Connexxa, known to be in use by the Italian authorities.</p>


What's not clear is whether the app could grab those contacts, photos etc without the user's permission, or whether iOS's permissions structure is robust against that threat. Of course the social engineering side - "this app needs to access…" - can still work.
iphone  malware  hacking  security 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Apple iPhone sales in China fell by a fifth in fourth quarter, says IDC • Reuters
Brenda Goh, Sonam Rai and Sankalp Phartiyal:
<p>Apple no longer breaks out detailed numbers on iPhone shipments in its quarterly results, meaning that surveys and channel checks by the likes of IDC are often the clearest indicator of shifts in sales.

The figures in the report showed a 19.9% fall in Apple’s smartphone shipments in the final quarter of 2018, while Huawei’s grew 23.3%. That reduced Apple’s market share to 11.5% from 12.9% a year earlier, the report said.

“Besides regular performance upgrades in 2018 and small changes to the exterior, there has not been any major innovation that supports users to continue to change their phones at the greatly increased price,” the report said.

“The severe macro environment in China and the assault of domestic brands’ innovative products have also been reasons for Apple’s continued decline.”

A separate report from another common industry source, Hong Kong-based Counterpoint, earlier this month confirmed a similar sharp fall in sales in India - another big emerging market where Apple is struggling.</p>
apple  iphone  china  india 
february 2019 by charlesarthur
Apple’s revenue and profit drop: ‘the iPhone has matured’ • WSJ
Tripp Mickle:
<p>The downturn in China caught Apple by surprise in November and December, Apple finance chief Luca Maestri said. He expects weak economic conditions there to continue to pose challenges for the company.

Apple also faced challenges in other markets including Europe, its second-largest, where sales fell 3.3%. Sales in the Americas, its largest market, rose about 5%.

Mr. Maestri said the strength of the US dollar has increased iPhone prices overseas, making the cost of the newest handsets pricier than they are in the US. For example, in China, he said the yuan weakened 9% relative to the dollar, crimping sales.

“We’re seeing fewer upgrades than in the past,” Mr. Maestri said. He added that the company has lowered the price of the iPhone XR in China to negate the effect of currency changes, and that has helped sales.

The strong performance of Apple’s other businesses accentuated its iPhone dependency. Sales of Macs, iPads, Services and other products rose by 19%. Its Mac and iPad businesses benefited from Apple’s recent strategy of raising prices on new products. A year after lifting its flagship iPhone price to $999, the company raised the price of the MacBook Air by 20%, the Mac mini by 60% and the iPad Pro by about 25%.</p>


No unit sales figures; <a href="https://www.canalys.com/newsroom/apple-ships-717m-smartphones-in-q4-2018-as-global-market-falls-6">Canalys suggested that Apple outsold others during the quarter</a> with 71.7m (v 70.3m for Samsung and 60.5m for Huawei, as the market shrank by 6% in that period; for the year, the market was down 5% - Samsung 293.7m, Apple 212.1m, Huawei 206.0m.

I'd take those numbers with a pinch of salt - could be up or down a few percent for the fourth-quarter figure - and expect Huawei will be second-biggest in 2019, unless something dramatic happens.
apple  iphone 
january 2019 by charlesarthur
Foxconn looks beyond China to India for iPhone assembly • WSJ
Yang Jie, Yoko Kubota, Newley Purnell and Rajesh Roy:
<p>Apple's largest iPhone assembler, Foxconn Technology Group, is considering producing the devices in India, people familiar with the matter said, a move that could reduce Apple’s dependence on China for manufacturing and potentially for sales.

Executives at Foxconn, a contract manufacturer that assembles a large portion of the world’s iPhones in China, are studying whether to include an India project in budget plans, one of the people said. Senior executives, possibly including Chairman Terry Gou, plan to visit India after next month’s Lunar New Year to discuss plans, the people familiar said.

Foxconn’s look at India comes as sustained friction between Washington and Beijing over trade and technology is pushing many companies to consider diversifying their supply chains away from China, a global center of assembly for smartphones, computers and other electronics.</p>

OK, but this isn't going to be sorted out by Christmas. For Foxconn to build a plant able to assemble iPhones in any volume is a 10-year project at least: find land, build plant, calibrate, test, full production. As a long-term shift, this is something Apple may be thankful for in the future, but it's not going to sort out its position between the rock and hard place of the US-China trade wars in a hurry.
Foxconn  iphone  apple  china  india 
january 2019 by charlesarthur
Apple’s errors • Stratechery
Ben Thompson, with the only take you need on Apple's revenue warning at the start of January:
<p>to the extent that iPhone XS sales slowed in October, Apple likely expected the iPhone XR to pick up the slack; I strongly suspect the XR failed to live up to expectations.

This too, though, should have been predictable: sure, from a feature perspective the XR seemed remarkably competitive with the XS, but we have ample evidence that iPhone buyers want the best possible iPhone. After this year’s iPhone keynote I wrote:
<p>There is, of course, the question of cannibalism: if the XR is so great, why spend $250 more on an XS, or $350 more for the giant XS Max? This is where the iPhone X lesson matters. Last year’s iPhone 8 was a great phone too, with the same A11 processor as the iPhone X, a high quality LCD screen like the iPhone XR, and a premium aluminum-and-glass case (and 3D Touch!). It also had Touch ID and a more familiar interface, both arguably advantages in their own right, and the Plus size that so many people preferred.</p>


It didn’t matter: Apple’s best customers, not just those who buy an iPhone every year, but also those whose only two alternatives are “my current once-flagship iPhone” or “the new flagship iPhone” are motivated first-and-foremost by having the best; price is a secondary concern. That is why the iPhone X was the best-selling smartphone, and the iPhone 8 — which launched two months before the iPhone X — a footnote.

It remains to be seen the extent to which this is the case globally, but the market where having the flagship matters most has always been China. iPhone XS sales slowing and not being picked up by the just-launched XR certainly explain the timing of the missed forecast.</p>


After Apple delivered its warning, <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/8/18173364/samsung-earnings-guidance-q4-2018-warning">Samsung and then LG</a> followed suit. It's an economy thing, perhaps. But his point that the "S" updates don't work in China is well made.
apple  china  iphone 
january 2019 by charlesarthur
Apple to pull some iPhones in Germany as Qualcomm extends global wins • Reuters
Jörn Poltz and Stephen Nellis:
<p>Qualcomm’s win in Germany comes weeks after it secured a court order to ban sales of some iPhone models in China. Apple, which is contesting both rulings, has continued to offer its iPhones in China but made changes to its iOS operating system in the wake of the Chinese order.

The German victory may affect only a few million iPhones out of the hundreds of millions that Apple sells each year. Still, it is a small but clear win in a complex legal battle that will spin into overdrive in the coming months as antitrust regulators and Apple both take Qualcomm to court in the United States…

…Qualcomm is not pursuing the software patents in the Chinese case in other jurisdictions and suffered an early loss while pursuing a US sales ban on the US version of the hardware patent at issue in Germany.</p>


The phones being pulled are the iPhone 7 and 8. It feels like a rerun of 2010, with the Samsung bickering.
qualcomm  apple  germany  iphone  patent 
december 2018 by charlesarthur
Non-disclosure Apple • DIGITS to DOLLARS
Jonathan Goldberg looks back to the 2000s, when everyone used to disclose their handset sales figures:
<p>The industry research shops (e.g. Gartner) sold [product sales forecast] models for other product segments, but those were fragile and prone to breaking under heavy scrutiny. For handsets, everyone involved could make sound judgments, while the other segments were prone to problems stemming from a general lack of data.

All of this started to break down after the launch of the iPhone. Many companies got themselves backed into reporting corners as their data increasingly painted the wrong picture. Apple did not pursue market share, as <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB124805149501664033">we first argued back in May of 2009</a> (email us if you would like a copy of the original note). Apple was pursuing profit share. It took several years for the other handset companies to realize that their record shipment data was useless for explaining why their profits were plummeting. Then with the early waves of Android, the former leaders’ market shares also started plummeting. And so one by one all the others stopped reporting unit figures.

We remember one example of why this data was important for the companies that were slowly stopping to report it. Around 2009, the India analyst for one of the third party research shops reported market share data that showed Nokia had lost a huge chink of market share there. Nokia actually issued an official statement denying this. The analysis company’s other analysts all chimed in as well, siding with Nokia and not their colleague. We believe the analysts was actually fired, and certainly faced reprimand when his own employers sided with one of their largest customers over their own analyst. But it turns out he was right, he had the correct data, Nokia had very rapidly gone from market share leader to number two player, and they were losing share to a swarm of China-based handset companies. By denying the reality, Nokia turned a blind eye to its growing problem, and ultimately the company was pushed from the handset market entirely.</p>


So why is Apple now going to stop reporting those numbers? Optics, he thinks:
<p> Investors, in particular, tend to analyze data to death. They have to make big decisions (with other people’s money) based on whatever data they can gather. Then they build models to make predictions which can have a huge impact on their valuation decisions. In Apple’s case, this means they will take any declines in unit shipments and extrapolate those numbers out to the heat death of the universe.</p>
iphone  apple  data 
december 2018 by charlesarthur
We broke into a bunch of Android phones with a 3D-printed head • Forbes
Thomas Brewster:
<p>For our tests, we used my own real-life head to register for facial recognition across five phones. An iPhone X and four Android devices: an LG G7 ThinQ, a Samsung S9, a Samsung Note 8 and a OnePlus 6. I then held up my fake head to the devices to see if the device would unlock. For all four Android phones, the spoof face was able to open the phone, though with differing degrees of ease. The iPhone X was the only one to never be fooled.

There were some disparities between the Android devices' security against the hack. For instance, when first turning on a brand new G7, LG actually warns the user against turning facial recognition on at all. "Face recognition is a secondary unlock method that results in your phone being less secure," it says, noting that a similar face can unlock your phone. No surprise then that, on initial testing, the 3D-printed head opened it straightaway.

Yet during filming, it appeared the LG had been updated with improved facial recognition, making it considerably more difficult to open. As an LG spokesperson told Forbes, "The facial recognition function can be improved on the device through a second recognition step and advanced recognition which LG advises through setup. LG constantly seeks to make improvements to its handsets on a regular basis through updates for device stability and security." They added that facial recognition was seen as "a secondary unlock feature" to others like a PIN or fingerprint.

There’s a similar warning on the Samsung S9 on sign up. "Your phone could be unlocked by someone or something that looks like you," it notes. "If you use facial recognition only, this will be less secure than using a pattern, PIN or password." Oddly, though, on setting up the device the first presented option for unlocking was facial and iris recognition.</p>


Windows Hello didn't let him in either. An absurd spinoff of this story (not by Brewster) suggests police might now use 3D printed heads to break into suspects' phones. Duh. You just show the phone to them. (Assuming you've got them before the unlock timeout.)
apple  iphone  faceid  android 
december 2018 by charlesarthur
iPhone owners are losing their minds over this keyboard cursor trick • BGR
Jacob Siegal:
<p>iPhone owners are appreciative of the fact that iOS allows them to tap or drag the cursor in order to change or delete a specific word in a text message, but it can be a surprisingly difficult task to perform. No matter how small your hands are, trying to tap the invisible gap between two letters can be maddening, and it often takes several tries to get it right. More often than not, I just hold down the backspace key until I reach the problem area.

But it turns out that it doesn’t have to be this way. While you can try to manually adjust the cursor with your fat fingers, Apple has also included an alternate control scheme that most people don’t know about.

On Sunday, food blogger Krissy Brierre-Davis <a href="https://twitter.com/krissys_kitchen/status/1064284784124444672">shared a tip on Twitter</a> which immediately went viral. It turns out that if you click and hold on the space bar when the keyboard appears, the keyboard turns into a touchpad which you can use to drag the cursor freely around the text box. This trick works for phones without 3D touch like the iPhone XR. On handsets with 3D Touch, you can press firmly and hold anywhere on the keyboard for a second or two to activate the touchpad, eliminating the need for tapping on words.</p>


Including this just in case anyone didn't know this already. Someone won't. Been in iPhones since 2015. But discoverability is very low.
iphone  interface 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Apple suppliers suffer with uncertainty around iPhone demand • WSJ
Yoko Kubota, Takashi Mochizuki and Tripp Mickle:
<p>Lower-than-expected demand for Apple’s new iPhones and the company’s decision to offer more models have created turmoil along its supply chain and made it harder to predict the number of components and phones it needs, people familiar with the situation say.

In recent weeks, Apple slashed production orders for all three of the iPhone models that it unveiled in September, these people said, frustrating executives at Apple suppliers as well as workers who assemble the handsets and their components.

Forecasts have been especially problematic in the case of the iPhone XR. Around late October, Apple slashed its production plan by up to a third of the approximately 70 million units it had asked some suppliers to produce between September and February, people familiar with the matter said.

And in the past week, Apple told several suppliers that it cut its production plan again for the iPhone XR, some of the people said Monday, as Apple battles a maturing smartphone market and stiff competition from Chinese producers.</p>


Neil Cybart (over at AboveAvalon) looked at this; he reckons that what is probably happening is that older models such as the iPhone 8 are selling better than Apple had expected compared to the newer models - because people don't see the need to spend <em>that</em> much on an upgrade - and that the XR has been hardest-hit by that shift. Doesn't mean that it's selling fewer units overall, though; it's just the suppliers for the old models haven't got any complaints, so they would be hard to get to talk.
apple  iphone 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Apple outgrew unit sales • Above Avalon
Neil Cybart:
<p>Apple management’s decision to no longer disclose unit sales makes plenty of sense. In recent years, it was becoming increasingly clear that unit sales weren’t as useful of a metric for analyzing Apple’s business now as it had been in the past. The primary problem found with unit sales was how the data provided a limited look inside the Apple machine.

Consider the following items:

• Despite iPhone unit sales being mostly flat for the past three years, Apple <a href="https://www.aboveavalon.com/dailypremiumupdate/2018/8/29/3q18-iphone-installed-and-user-base-estimates-thinking-about-iphone-upgraders-bose-unveils-new-stationary-speakers-">expanded the iPhone installed base by nearly 300 users</a>.

Despite annual iPad unit sales contracting by 40% from the sales peak in 2013, Apple was <a href="https://www.aboveavalon.com/dailypremiumupdate/2018/8/30/3q18-ipad-installed-and-user-base-estimates-the-changing-face-of-iphone-sales-apple-acquires-akonia-holographics">able to expand the iPad installed base by more than 120 users over the same time period</a>.

Despite Mac unit sales trending flat, Apple has been able to add approximately 10M new people to the Mac installed base each year.

Unit sales became a crutch for financial analysts. The quarterly numbers were telling us less about Apple’s business and were instead providing a false sense of security to outsiders. As it turned out, unit sales were painting a less attractive picture of Apple’s business fundamentals.

The primary reason unit sales data lost much of its value is Apple’s significant growth over the years. With an iPhone installed base of more than 750m people, quarterly iPhone unit sales were providing less information about the iPhone business. Unit sales went from a measure of the market’s reception to iPhone to a financial data point more likely to be misinterpreted than anything else. The same can be said about the iPad and its installed base of 240m people. Years of unit sales declines gave many the impression that iPad was a dead-end. In reality, iPad fundamentals have been improving for years. Unit sales data was masking the improvement. </p>


Those two links are paywalled; they go to Cybart's own calculations about the user base. Certainly Apple doesn't want Wall St to interpret a flat or falling unit sales figure as indicative of a shrinking base. The problem then is that you need some way to persuade people the base is expanding. The best way is to tell them the number. The second best is to point to an expanding Services business, ideally with ARPU (average revenue per user) data.
iphone  users 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
SMT solving on an iPhone • James Bornholt
<p>Cross-compiling <a href="https://github.com/z3prover/z3">Z3</a> [a theorem prover from Microsoft Research] turns out to be remarkably simple, with just a few lines of code changes necessary; I open sourced the code to <a href="https://github.com/jamesbornholt/z3-ios">run Z3 on your own iOS device</a>. For benchmarks, I drew a few queries from my recent work on <a href="https://unsat.cs.washington.edu/projects/sympro">profiling symbolic evaluation</a>, extracting the SMT generated by Rosette in each case.

As a first test, I compared my iPhone XS to one of my desktop machines, which uses an Intel Core i7-7700K—the best consumer desktop chip Intel was selling when we built the machine 18 months ago. I expected the Intel chip to win quite handily here, but that’s not how things turned out.

The iPhone XS was about 11% <em>faster</em> on this 23 second benchmark! This is the result I tweeted about, but Twitter doesn’t leave much room for nuance, so I’ll add some here.

• This benchmark is in the QF_BV fragment of SMT, so Z3 discharges it using bit-blasting and SAT solving.<br />• This result holds up pretty well even if the benchmark runs in a loop 10 times—the iPhone can sustain this performance and doesn’t seem thermally limited. That said, the benchmark is still pretty short.<br />• Several folks asked me if this is down to non-determinism—perhaps the solver takes different paths on the different platforms, due to use of random numbers or otherwise—but I checked fairly thoroughly using Z3’s verbose output and that doesn’t seem to be the case.<br />• Both systems ran Z3 4.8.1, compiled by me using Clang with the same optimization settings. I also tested on the i7-7700K using Z3’s prebuilt binaries (which use GCC), but those were actually slower.</p>


OK, that's quite a niche application. A classic LOB - line of business, ie application-specific - app. It's what people used to love Windows for. The iPhone's GPU makes it terrific for this particular LOB app over Intel.
iphone  gpu  intel 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
The iPad Pro's USB-C port is great. It should be on my iPhone, too • CNET
Stephen Shankland:
<p>You're not as likely to connect cameras or thumb drives to your iPhone, but there are good reasons for USB-C there, too.

First, you'd be able to charge in more places, including from your MacBook or iPad Pro charger. That means less junk on your desk or in your suitcase and less of a problem if you forget something. Maybe it'll even mean some price pressure on Apple's expensive chargers, too. (We can dream, right?)

Second, USB-C is the best way out of the industry's abandonment of 3.5mm audio jacks. Because face it, they're not coming back. With USB-C iPhones, you'd be able to use one set of earbuds or headphones with your laptops, phones and whatever devices you buy in the future.

Third, Apple's choices send an important message to any other tech company. A USB-C iPhone would help car manufacturers, speaker makers and others embrace USB-C and deliver on its all-purpose promise. That may never happen -- Apple didn't respond to requests for comment -- but today's iPad Pro already sends a message to electronics makers that Lightning's future is uncertain and that Apple appreciates what USB-C has to offer.

The USB-C advantages may not be worth it for you today. Especially if you don't have a newer Mac, don't want to spend $9 for an Apple USB-C adapter for your favorite old headphones with a 3.5mm jack, or have accessories like speaker dock reliant on a Lightning port.

But it's worth it to me, for charging and earbuds today and for digital photography on my next laptop-free vacation.</p>


I may have to do a matrix of the objects Apple has which use Lightning, and which use USB-C. (Former: iPad, iPad mini, 10.5in iPad Pro, iPhones, AirPods; latter: new iPad Pros, MacBook, MacBook Pro. Neither: old MacBook Air - still on sale - desktops and Mac mini.)

As for the iPhone: I'd expect USB-C there in 2020.
ipad  iphone  usbc 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Pixel 3 vs. iPhone XS camera face-off: why Google wins • Tom's Guide
Caitlin McGarry:
<p>The iPhone XS takes more natural shots with colors that are more true to life. Its dual-lens shooter takes portraits that also are more DSLR-like than the Pixel’s. But the Pixel 3 edges out the iPhone XS thanks to the help of software that turns out bright, crisp and colorful photos, even in at night. We’re betting the Pixel 3’s low-light images will look even better when the promised Night Sight features debuts in a software update. With Night Sight, the Pixel will then combine several low-light frames to fill in details and make the final image look brighter.

Some photographers don’t want software doing all the work. In that case, the iPhone XS provides a more natural-looking shot you can take to the next level with your own editing (or an artfully applied Instagram filter). But the Pixel 3’s camera will only get smarter, and we’re looking forward to seeing what other features are in store.</p>


The sort of comparison we've been looking for. The Pixel 3's smart stacking of exposures to do Night Sight (but it's more than that) and for street scenes is quite something.
pixel3  iphone 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
China dismisses claim it eavesdropped on Trump's iPhone calls • The Guardian
Agence France-Presse:
<p>When asked about the report at a regular news briefing, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said: “Certain people in the US are sparing no efforts to win the best screenplay award at the Oscars.”

Hua offered three recommendations to the newspaper and the Trump administration. “First, the New York Times should know if they publish this type of report it provides another piece of evidence of the New York Times making fake news,” she said, using one of Trump’s favourite phrases to disparage unflattering articles.

“Second, if they are worried about Apple phones being listened in on, they should swap them with Huawei phones,” Hua said, referring to one of China’s largest telecommunications firms, which has been largely blocked from the US market over national security concerns.

Lastly, Hua said, “they should stop using any modern communication equipment and cut off contact with the outside” if they wanted to ensure absolute security.</p>


Very sweet, but the hacking is of SS7, not the phone itself.
china  iphone  trump 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
Apple just killed the 'GrayKey' iPhone passcode hack • Forbes
Thomas Brewster:
<p>Apple has managed to prevent the hottest iPhone hacking company in the world from doing its thing.

Uncloaked by Forbes in March, Atlanta-based Grayshift promised governments its GrayKey tech could crack the passcodes of the latest iOS models, right up to the iPhone X. From then on, Apple continued to invest in security in earnest, continually putting up barriers for Grayshift to jump over. Grayshift continued to grow, however, securing contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Secret Service.

Now, though, Apple has put up what may be an insurmountable wall. Multiple sources familiar with the GrayKey tech tell Forbes the device can no longer break the passcodes of any iPhone running iOS 12 or above. On those devices, GrayKey can only do what’s called a “partial extraction,” sources from the forensic community said. That means police using the tool can only draw out unencrypted files and some metadata, such as file sizes and folder structures.</p>


Cat-and-mouse.
apple  iphone  hacking 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
iPhone gaffe that could cost Vladimir Putin's 'god-daughter' £1.25m • Mirror Online
Kelly-Ann Mills:
<p>Russian president Vladimir Putin's 'goddaughter' may have lost an incredible £m after she was caught on camera using her iPhone.

Ksenia Sobchak, a journalist, politician and reality TV show host, is the face of rival smartphone manufacturer Samsung. But the 36-year-old was caught on camera using her iPhone X - despite trying to hide it under a sheet of paper - during a television interview.

Ms Sobchak is reportedly now being sued by Samsung for an incredible 108million rubles for the gaffe. She is required by contract to appear in public with her Samsung smartphone.

But Ms Sobchak has reportedly been seen on television, and at some of the hottest social events in the capital city of Moscow, using her iPhone.

Her representatives have yet to comment on the story which has sparked a lively debate on social media.</p>


Well, that's going to be an interesting standoff.
iphone  putin 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
How China rips off the iPhone and reinvents Android • The Verge
Sam Byford has a deep dive on the many big Chinese companies aiming to copy Apple as fast as possible, and also attract its users in China:
<p>As for the camera apps, it’s really incredible how similar the vast majority are — both to each other and to Apple. Judging by the accuracy and specificity of the rip-offs, the camera app from iOS 7 has a serious claim to being one of the most influential software designs of the past decade. Just look at the picture below. Xiaomi wins an extremely low number of points for putting the modes in a lowercase blue font. But otherwise, only Huawei has succeeded in creating a genuinely new camera app design, which happens to be very good. I consider it penance for the company’s egregious and barely functional rip-off of the iOS share sheet.

<img src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/zrTJoHJOx6y3smOf8W8cDNmn3kE=/0x0:2040x1360/1720x0/filters:focal(0x0:2040x1360):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/13285027/apps_2.jpg" width="100%" />

“Vivo’s performance in the global market so far is the result of great effort to understand consumer behavior, and our camera UI is designed with consumers’ habits in mind,” the Vivo product manager told me. “The swipe across navigation feature allows for users to keep their current habits to access different photography mode. This is supported by our usability tests which indicated that this method has the highest efficiency and best user experience.”

This backs up the idea that attracting iPhone switchers is a serious objective for Chinese software designers. “I definitely see that there’s evidence of a number of different companies that could be seen as following Apple or trying to create a UI that’s very much iOS-like,” says Pete Lau, CEO of phone company OnePlus. “And maybe they’re doing it for reasons of thinking that it makes it easier for users to transition to their products from Apple, and find the experience to be similar.”</p>
china  android  design  iphone 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
The iPhone XS & XS Max review: unveiling the silicon secrets • Anandtech
Andrei Frumusanu:
<p>Apple promised a significant performance improvement in iOS12, thanks to the way their new scheduler is accounting for the loads from individual tasks. The operating system’s kernel scheduler tracks execution time of threads, and aggregates this into an utilisation metric which is then used by for example the DVFS mechanism. The algorithm which decides on how this load is accounted over time is generally simple a software decision – and it can be tweaked and engineered to whatever a vendor sees fit.

Because iOS’s kernel is closed source, we’re can’t really see what the changes are, however we can measure their effects. A relatively simple way to do this is to track frequency over time in a workload from idle, to full performance. I did this on a set of iPhones ranging from the 6 to the X (and XS), before and after the iOS12 system update.

<img src="https://images.anandtech.com/doci/13392/Ramp-A8.png" width="100%" />

Starting off with the iPhone 6 with the A8 chipset, I had some odd results on iOS11 as the scaling behaviour from idle to full performance was quite unusual. I repeated this a few times yet it still came up with the same results. The A8’s CPU’s idled at 400MHz, and remained here for 110ms until it jumped to 600MHz and then again 10ms later went on to the full 1400MHz of the cores.

iOS12 showcased a more step-wise behaviour, scaling up earlier and also reaching full performance after 90ms.

<img src="https://images.anandtech.com/doci/13392/Ramp-A9.png" width="100%" />

The iPhone 6S had a significantly different scaling behaviour on iOS11, and the A9 chip’s DVFS was insanely slow. Here it took a total of 435ms for the CPU to reach its maximum frequency. With the iOS12 update, this time has been massively slashed down to 80ms, giving a great boost to performance in shorter interactive workloads.</p>

Most of this multi-page review is just benchmark gobbledygook to me, but this page and those graphics really stand out because it shows iOS 12 getting performance improvements of as much as 50% on old hardware, through tweaks to the core OS.
benchmark  iphone  xs 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
iPhone XS: why it’s a whole new camera • Halide
Sebastiaan de With:
<p>After testing the iPhone XS side by side with the X, we found the XS prefers a faster shutter speed and higher ISO level. In other words, it takes photos a lot faster, but comes at the cost of noise.

<table><tr><td><img src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1200/1*sXNg2xJnoNEomnB0GnvaPA.jpeg" /></td><td><img src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1200/1*UwJ1UgWcuwdlLw0J7U8rbQ.jpeg" /></td></tr><tr><td><img src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1200/1*vAJMcrrRrkk7Av8g_E4Rog.jpeg" /></td><td><img src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1200/1*Uscw5saDlEv2j37RF3tjGA.jpeg" /></td></tr></table>
<em>iPhone X RAW on the left, iPhone XS RAW on the right. Note the increase in visible noise!</em>

Two shots taken with the iPhone X (left) and iPhone XS (right). Taken in RAW so the extra noise can be seen—RAW on iPhone omits any noise-reduction steps. Why does the iPhone XS’ frame have to be noisier?

Remember that line-up of frames showing how the iPhone camera works?
<img src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/2000/1*jSJrkmv6Yg2V9KwodGd_cQ.png" width="100%" />

Unless you have bionic arms, it’s impossible to hold your phone perfectly still for this long. To get a sharp, perfectly aligned burst of images, the iPhone needs to take photos really fast. That requires a shorter shutter speed — and that, in turn, means that there will be more noise in the image.
That noise has to be removed, somehow, and that comes at a cost: noise reduction removes a bit of detail and local contrast.

<img src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1200/1*vBII4CaOPaJYSLMIiGWVZw.jpeg" width="49%" /><img src="https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1200/1*t6nTyqc4ludzjzOz82RraQ.jpeg" width="49%" />
<em>The iPhone XS RAW exposure on the left shows less ‘smoothed’ detail in the reflections, compared to its regular Smart HDR counterpart on the right.</em></p>


There's tons more: as you'd expect from people who developed a camera app. (Thanks @stormyparis for the link.)
iphone  camera  photography  iphonexs 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
Apple’s new strategy: sell pricier iPhones first • WSJ
Tripp Mickle, Yoko Kubota and Takashi Mochizuki:
<p>This year, according to people familiar with Apple’s production plans, the company prioritized production of its two pricier OLED models, the iPhone XS and XS Max, whose prices start at about $1,000. Both will hit stores Friday, followed five weeks later by the least expensive new model, the XR, which has an LCD screen and a starting price of $749.

The staggered release gives Apple a month to sell the higher-end models without cheaper competition from itself. It also simplifies logistics and retail demands and could strengthen Apple’s ability to forecast sales and production of all three models through the Christmas holidays, analysts and supply chain experts said.

“It’s sort of a Dutch auction,” said Josh Lowitz, co-founder of research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, referring to the practice of starting with a high asking price, then lowering it until a buyer accepts. “The people who are most committed will pay to get early access. Then you get to the people who are making a choice and may settle for the $750 phone. This could become the new normal.”</p>


It does seem pretty obvious that you'd offer the priciest phone first, so you can mop up all the eager buyers. But you can't just write a story speculating that for the WSJ; you need to actually ask the people who know. Which is what they did. After the iPhone 8 last year, and the iPhone 5C v 5S in 2013, Apple seems to have figured out what it's doing. Though it seems odd if it really took that much figuring out.
apple  iphone 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
Apple gives you a TRUST rating – and it's based on your phone call and email habits • The Sun
Sean Keach:
<p> Apple builds a score based on the number calls and emails you send and receive – to help spot fraudulent transactions made using your device.

"To help identify and prevent fraud, information about how you use your device, including the approximate number of phone calls or emails you send and receive, will be used to compute a device trust score when you attempt a purchase," Apple explained. "The submissions are designed so Apple cannot learn the real values on your device. The scores are stored for a fixed time on our servers."

So how does it actually work? Apple has a bunch of different anti-fraud systems in place to work out whether payments you make are legitimate.

One of these, added in the new iOS 12 update, is a numeric trust score that's associated with your device. This score is sent directly to Apple when you make a purchase.

The data used to create the score – including the number of phone calls you've made – is only ever stored on your device.

Importantly, when Apple sees the score, it doesn't see the contents of your communications. It's not reading your emails, for instance. These scores are also encrypted in transit, which means anyone who managed to intercept them would only see gibberish. Apple says it holds onto the scores for a limited period of time, although it's not clear how long that is.</p>

Clever. It all goes into a single number.
apple  iphone  trust  data 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
The iPhone franchise • Stratechery
Ben Thompson:
<p>probably the biggest surprise from these announcements (well, other than the name “XS Max”) is just how good of a smartphone the XR is.

• The XR has Apple’s industry-leading A12 chip, which is so far ahead of the industry that it will still be competitive with the best Android smartphones in two years, and massively more powerful than lower-end phones.<br />• The XR has the same wide-angle camera as the XS, and the same iteration of Face ID. Both, again, are industry-leading and will be more than competitive two years from now.<br />• The biggest differences from the XS are the aforementioned case materials, an LCD screen, and the lack of 3D Touch. Again, though, aluminum is still a premium material, Apple’s LCD screens are — and yes there is a theme here — the best in the industry, and 3D Touch is a feature that is so fiddly and undiscoverable that one could make the case XR owners are actually better off.

There really is no other way to put it: the XR is a fantastic phone, one that would be more than sufficient to maintain Apple’s position atop the industry were it the flagship. And yet, in the context of Apple’s strategy, it is best thought of as being quite literally ahead of its time.</p>

Reading this - in which he points out that smartphone strategies are worked out years in advance - I began to suspect that Apple's long-term strategy for India and other countries which have big markets but where it has negligible share is to let the XR age, and keep offering it more and more cheaply in those markets. The SE tried, but simply wasn't big enough; those markets demand big screens.
Iphone  india  xr 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
Lasts longer • Asymco
Horace Dediu:
<p>What is the logic of this durability focus as a business model? It may be good for the environment but is it good for the bottom line?

Of course, there would be not much business without an environment and we should all strive for sustainability.  But this is an existential observation, and it’s defensive. The important call to make is that Apple is making a bet that sustainability is a growth business.

Fundamentally, Apple is betting on having customers, not selling them products.

The purpose of Apple as a firm is to create and preserve customers and to create and preserve products. This is fundamental and not fully recognized.

To understand how this works, if you look at the pricing graph below, you can read it as a story of increasing prices for a decreasing market share. But if you understand that each advance in products increases absorbable[1] utility then the cost per use remains steady or declines.

<img src="http://www.asymco.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Screen-Shot-2018-09-13-at-8.42.33-AM-768x777.png" width="100%" />

An iPhone at $1200 may be less expensive than an iPhone at $600 if the $1200 version lasts twice as long as is used twice as much each day. The $1200 phone delivers 4x the utility at twice the price, making it half the price. By making more durable products, both in terms of hardware and software, the customer base is satisfied and preserved.

Practically, the initial buyer may resell the iPhone and that 2nd hand devices may be sold yet again. This means an iPhone could have three users over its life and thus it could end up expanding the audience for Apple by a factor of 2 or even 3.

The expanded audience is offered accessories, additional products such as wearables and, of course, services. These residual business models are certainly profitable, perhaps even more so than the iPhone.</p>

Dediu always has a different way of looking at things.
apple  customers  iphone 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
IPhone XS and XS Max: hands-on with Apple’s giant new phone • The Verge
Dieter Bohn:
<p>The iPhone XS Max is bigger, yes, but as you can see in the photos, it is almost hard to distinguish the two when you’re looking at photos. It feels much better than any “Plus” iPhone ever has. I always found the Plus-sized iPhones to be ungainly, but the Max seems to be a little more ergonomic in subtle ways. If you’ve wanted a Plus before but were put off by the size, I’d at least try to hold the new Max size before making your decision.

<img src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/xKRESDznQ0thz5o6xcIVkSyqpoQ=/0x0:2040x1360/1520x0/filters:focal(0x0:2040x1360):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/13048529/Image_from_iOS.jpg" width="100%" />

Both phones have identical specs aside from their screens. They use Apple’s new A12 Bionic processor, which is supposed to be 15% faster than the A11, have improved water resistance that’s supposed to let them stay submerged in two meters of water for up to 30 minutes, and have support for two SIMs and gigabit LTE. The rear cameras have each seen improvements to make them faster (larger pixels on the wide-angle lens, a wider aperture on the telephoto lens), and the selfie camera is supposed to be faster as well (though not for any immediate spec-related reason).

More than anything else, the most impressive tech demo this year is the new portrait mode feature, which allows you to adjust the bokeh after the shoot. It’s just fun to slide the dial left and right to get the exact right amount of blur.

The real difference comes down to both phones’ displays, though that’s just in terms of size and resolution. The XS has the same 5.8-inch size, OLED tech, and 2436 x 1125 resolution as the iPhone X, though it’s also supposed to have 60 percent greater dynamic range for more vibrant images. The XS Max takes the OLED screen and dynamic range gains and brings them to a 6.5-inch size, with a 2688 x 1242 resolution. Both have the same 458 ppi pixel density, so you don’t lose out on sharpness by going larger.</p>

Note how the processor speed improvement isn't as large. We're hitting a wall there (see later link). However, analysts are expecting the LCD-screened iPhone XR (naming 😱) to be the best-seller around the world.
iphone  xs  apple 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
IOS 12: plenty of potential for mobile journalists, but it may take time • BBC Academy
Marc Settle reviews the upcoming software, with specific application to people using iOS as a mobile workhorse:
<p>The best users of Shortcuts could end up doing more with their phones without being on their phones as much - leaving them with more time for the actual reporting.

One very handy Workflow I’ve been using extracts the audio from a YouTube video as an MP3 and saves it to Dropbox, which would normally be quite a cumbersome and time-consuming procedure.

All I needed to do was save it to my Workflow app (as I don’t have access to Shortcuts yet), open a YouTube video in Safari and tap to run the Workflow extension. Within seconds, the audio was sitting in my Dropbox folder ready for me to use.

And with the help of Nick Garnett, the éminence grise of mojo at the BBC, we adapted this flow so the final destination of the audio was as an M4A into the BBC’s own PNG app. Always being aware of the copyright aspects of extracting the audio from someone else’s video on YouTube, this could be fantastically useful for any mobile journalist.

You can even make your own flow of actions using the drag and drop interface but that may well be the domain of the adventurous. Some of my colleagues in the mobile journalism world are already doing this, which means that the more collaborative among us will soon be sharing our own Shortcuts to help everyone work more efficiently.

Apple’s integration of Workflow into iOS opens up possibilities which would previously have been off-limits even to the most experienced user of the app. This is because iOS can gain access to system-level processes, such as Find My iPhone, Apple Pay or Low Power Mode. With the last one, for example, there can be an action to toggle on and off.

So expect to see your apps going big on Shortcuts by offering suggestions to get the best out of the app as well as an “Add to Siri” option. It’s likely too that before long there’ll be individual apps that collect the best Shortcuts more generally.</p>

He's also keen on the changes to Voice Memos, because of their applicability to journalism and recording.
Ios12  apple  iphone  realwork 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
Apple banks on bigger screens to drive iPhone growth • WSJ
Tripp Mickle:
<p>At a time when people are buying fewer new phones, bigger size brings two advantages. It helps Apple buoy prices and profit margins because it can sell larger phones at a greater markup than it pays suppliers for the larger screens. And it encourages people to use their phones more, helping momentum of Apple’s services business, which includes app-store sales and subscriptions to video services like Netflix and HBO.

Users with smartphone screens 6 in or larger, like Apple plans to launch this year, typically use twice as many apps as those with 5.5in screens, such as those on the largest versions of the iPhone 6 or 7, said Kantar Worldpanel, a market research firm. Users of the larger devices also are 62% more likely to play games, and twice as likely to watch video daily as people with smaller screens.

“The bigger the device, the more people are getting out of it, and the more opportunity there is for Apple to generate money from them,” said Jennifer Chan, analyst with Kantar Worldpanel. She added that the larger phones typically carry faster processors, more memory and better graphics than smaller devices, which also contribute to usage…

…Some 6.5in OLED devices also will be able to use two SIMs, a microchip that allows smartphone users to connect to a wireless network, allowing travelers to access overseas wireless networks more easily. The feature will allow Apple to keep pace with competitors in China, where dual-SIM phones are popular.</p>

The dual-SIM element is in many ways the most interesting: how will it be implemented? Physically or virtually? Also, the 6.5in screen will have more area than the Galaxy Note 9. Quite a bragging point.
Apple  iphone  oled  dualsim 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
Alleged China Mobile leak names 'iPhone XC' and 'iPhone XS Plus' in Apple's 2018 iPhone lineup • Mac Rumors
Tim Hardwick:
<p>First spotted by Japanese tech blog MacOtakara, the China Mobile slide refers to the larger 6.5-inch OLED iPhone as "iPhone XS Plus", casting doubt on earlier claims that the larger OLED iPhone will take the moniker "iPhone XS Max". Meanwhile, the lower-spec 6.1-inch LCD iPhone is referred to as "iPhone XC".

The last time Apple used "C" nomenclature in its smartphones was for 2013's iPhone 5c, which was priced below the flagship iPhone 5 series and featured a plastic rear case available in blue, green, yellow, white, and pink colors.

Respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the 6.1-inch iPhone to be available in red, blue, orange, gray, and white, while the 5.8 and 6.5-inch iPhone models will be available in just three colors – presumably silver, space gray, and gold.

As for the slide's pricing, which includes 17 percent Chinese sales tax, the "iPhone XS" is 7388 yuan ($1079), the "iPhone XS Plus" is 8388 yuan ($1225), and the lower-spec "iPhone XC" is 5888 yuan ($860). Minus tax, the "iPhone XS", "iPhone XS Plus", and "iPhone XC" prices approximately convert to $900, $1015, and $700, respectively. </p>


I think that the celebrated discovery last week by 9to5Mac of marketing visuals for the new OLED iPhones and the new Watch design came from a carrier, not Apple. This close to the launch, they need to have the materials in place so that they can do a coordinated launch with Apple. They need to brief their staff - as demonstrated here.

The naming is starting to go all over the place. Like others, I'd expected iPhone 9 for the LCD phone. Assuming it's right, where does the naming go next year? iPhone Y? iPhone 😀
iphone  apple  xbox 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
From Android to iPhone: Some things were good, but I'll never switch • Android Authority
C. Scott Brown:
<p>With this experiment, I wanted to take away the safety net. I wanted to dive into the Apple ecosystem head-first and see if it’s as clunky and bad as I thought it was.

Here are the rules I placed on myself:

• I used an iPhone 8 Plus (Rose Gold, if it matters) on the latest version of iOS (11.4.1) from Sunday morning to the following Sunday morning — a full seven days.<br />• During that time, I could not even touch my Android daily driver: a OnePlus 5. I had to touch some other Android phones here and there because I work for Android Authority, so it’d be hard not to.<br />• Anything I could do on the iPhone I did on the iPhone. That means texting, messaging, phone calls, music, internet searches, and more.<br />• I relied on Apple apps as much as possible and only used the default settings and setup whenever I could.

Over the course of the week, I installed third-party apps like Facebook, Starbucks, Amazon, Slack, and so on. I tried my best to use every basic feature of the phone at least once, including things like Apple Pay, the Apple App Store, Apple Maps, and Apple News.

Be forewarned: both Apple and Android criticism is coming your way.</p>


It's a fair and interesting comparison. But his principal complaint - his real showstopper complaint - is about notification grouping (which is what Android users have disliked about iOS for years). Strange to test iOS less than two weeks before Apple will release a version which will change notification grouping. Sure, who'd expect him to know that? Except he mentions it.
android  ios11  ios  iphone 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
Exclusive: this is ‘iPhone XS’ — design, larger version, and gold colors confirmed • 9to5Mac
Guilherme Rambo:
<p>Earlier today Apple officially announced when and where it will hold its next big event. Apple’s September 12th event is expected to include the introduction of three new iPhones, and 9to5Mac can exclusively share the first look at both new 5.8in and 6.5in OLED iPhones: the iPhone XS.

We believe that the new 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch iPhones will both be called iPhone XS. We also believe iPhone XS will come in a new gold color option not previously offered on the new design. Apple leaked its own gold version of the iPhone X through the FCC, but it has not been available to purchase.

Other details are still to be determined, but we can report with certainty that iPhone XS will be the name, the OLED model will come in two sizes including a larger version, and each will be offered in gold for the first time.</p>


Definitely look like phones. They have nice wallpaper though.
iphone  apple 
august 2018 by charlesarthur
With expectations of a positive second half of 2018 and beyond, smartphone volumes poised to return to growth • IDC
<p>Android's smartphone share will hover around 85% share throughout the forecast. Volumes are expected to grow at a five-year CAGR of 2.4%, with shipments approaching 1.41bn in 2022. Among the more interesting trends happening with Android shipments is that average selling prices (ASPs) are growing at a double-digit pace. IDC expects Android ASPs to grow 11.4% in 2018 to $262, up from $235 in 2017.

IDC expects this upward trajectory to continue through the forecast, but at a more tempered low single-digit rate from 2019 and beyond. This is a sign of many OEMs slowly migrating their user base upstream to the slightly more expensive handsets. Overall this is a positive sign that consumers are seeing the benefits of moving to a slightly more premium device than they likely previously owned. The broad range of colors, screen sizes, features, and brands are a large catalyst for this movement.

For iOS, iPhone volumes are expected to grow by 2.1% in 2018 to 220.4m in total. IDC is forecasting iPhones to grow at a five-year CAGR of 2.0%, reaching volumes of 238.5m by 2022. With larger screen iOS smartphones coming up for launch in the second half of 2018, IDC has shifted greater volumes into the 6in to sub-7in screen size forecast for iOS. Products are on schedule to begin shipping in the third quarter and ramping up into the fourth quarter of 2018, with volumes growing to account for half of all iPhones shipped by 2022. </p>


The OS market is a complete duopoly; 85% Android, 15% iOS. And IDC sees it continuing that way. Apple gets the money, Android gets the volume.
apple  android  ios  iphone  idc  smartphone 
august 2018 by charlesarthur
Apple September 2018 iPhone event preview • iMore
Rene Ritchie:
<p>unless Apple decides to mic drop, peace out, and retire to spend more time with its money, this year will be no different. Rumors, as always, abound:

• iPhone 9: A 6.1-inch LCD with iPhone X-style design, in iPhone 5c-type colors<br />• iPhone X2: The next generation OLED iPhone and iPhone Plus, perhaps with Pencil support<br />• Apple Watch Series 4: With minimized bezels<br />• iPad Pro 3: With minimized bezels<br />• New MacBook Air. Finally.<br />• Coffee Lake MacBook<br />• Coffee Lake iMac

So, when will Apple hold the iPhone 2018 Event?

This is basically the best worst kept secret in technology. Best, because Apple never tells anyone. Worst, because, since iPhone 5, Apple has announced every new iPhone during a special event held the first or second Tuesday or Wednesday of September.

• iPhone 5 event: September 12, 2012<br />• iPhone 5s event: September 10, 2013<br />• iPhone 6 event: September 9, 2014<br />• iPhone 6s event: September 9, 2015<br />• iPhone 7 event: September 7, 2016<br />• iPhone 8/X event: September 12, 2017

Now, past isn't always predicate, but past events are the best indicator for future events. Apple can and will throw curveballs whenever the company's logistics or strategy demands.

Still, based on the above pattern, it's likely we'll see this year's event on or around Wednesday, September 12.</p>


(Won't be September 11, of course.) What is Apple to do with its MacBook Air and MacBook confusion? The Air is a terrific workhorse that suits lots of people at its price, because it has legacy ports. But its screen is ancient. Shouldn't there be a 13in MacBook, with two USB-C ports (which can then be turned into plenty of legacy ports via add-ons), at the MacBook Air price? That might get USB-C to start moving. It's in a chicken-refusing-to-lay-the-egg situation at present.
apple  iphone  september 
august 2018 by charlesarthur
Windows malware WannaCry delays manufacturing of the next iPhone processor • Motherboard
Samantha Cole:
<p>Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) admitted that the attack was possible because of an unpatched Windows 7 system, which was vulnerable to the infamous ransomware WannaCry while the company was installing a new tool. The infection happened when a supplier connected tainted software to TSMC’s network without a virus scan, according to Bloomberg.

TSMC is Apple’s exclusive supplier of the iPhone’s A-series chips. The attack, which cost the manufacturer $250m, could have been prevented, because it left its Windows 7 systems unpatched. The patch has been available for approximately a year.

The WannaCry virus started spreading in 2017, and has infected 200,000 computers across 150 countries. As a relatively old virus, you can easily protect against it by keeping your PC software updated, which TSMC apparently failed to do. Because there are so many systems still out there that are still not being properly patched, we can still see infrastructure like TSMC that’s vulnerable to the same attacks a year later.

In an <a href="http://www.tsmc.com/tsmcdotcom/PRListingNewsAction.do?action=detail&newsid=THHIANTHTH&language=E">official statement</a>, TSMC said that the company expects the incident to “cause shipment delays and additional costs,” with third quarter revenue taking as 3% hit. But analysts say that the company was prepared for this kind of attack, and its customers might not see much of a difference in shipping delays or costs.</p>


Lasted five days; how many A12 processors had TSMC made already? How much has this affected it? If it's five days, then probably not that much, truth be told. And once the systems are restored, it's all as it was before.

Though of course it would be a wonderful hacking story to put a bug in the A12. Except that this was just an accident.
wannacry  tsmc  iphone 
august 2018 by charlesarthur
Apple pushes back on hacker's iPhone passcode bypass report • ZDNet
Zack Whittaker:
<p>We reported Friday on [Matthew] Hickey's findings, which claimed to be able to send all combinations of a user's possible passcode in one go, by enumerating each code from 0000 to 9999, and concatenating the results in one string with no spaces. He explained that because this doesn't give the software any breaks, the keyboard input routine takes priority over the device's data-erasing feature.

But Hickey tweeted later, saying that not all tested passcodes are sent to a the device's secure enclave, which protects the device from brute-force attacks.

"The [passcodes] don't always go to the [secure enclave processor] in some instances - due to pocket dialing [or] overly fast inputs - so although it 'looks' like pins are being tested they aren't always sent and so they don't count, the devices register less counts than visible," he tweeted.

Hickey credited Stefan Esser for his help.

"I went back to double check all code and testing," said Hickey in a message Saturday. "When I sent codes to the phone, it appears that 20 or more are entered but in reality its only ever sending four or five pins to be checked."

Apple is rolling out a new feature, called USB Restricted Mode, in its upcoming iOS 12 update, which is said to make it far more difficult for police or hackers to get access to a person's device - and their data.</p>


This would have been an amazing hack, if true. But it's not. ZDNet left the URL for this updated story untouched rather than write a new one and redirect from the old; the old URL is "a-hacker-figured-out-how-to-brute-force-an-iphone-passcode".

I don't think Whittaker rushed to (virtual) print on this; the fault was the researcher's, who didn't test it thoroughly before going public. A little embarrassing.
iphone  ios  hacking  security 
june 2018 by charlesarthur
Apple’s Star project could be an ARM-based touchscreen hybrid with LTE • 9to5Mac
Guilherme Rambo:
<p>Apple is now working on a new device, codenamed Star. With an interesting model name N84, it could be the first Mac with an ARM processor, or the first iOS notebook…or something completely different.

Macs have been using Intel processors since 2006 and Apple mobile devices have been using Apple-designed processors since 2010. It was recently reported that Apple was going to move Macs to their own processors by 2020.

We have been following information about the Star project for a few months, with sources in the supply chain. It is currently in prototype stage, with prototypes being manufactured by Pegatron, Apple’s partner in China which also manufactures other Apple iOS devices.  A small number of units have been shipped to Cupertino for testing by Apple employees. These prototypes have been in production since at least January 2018.

There’s not much information on what the device could possibly be, but we do know that it has a touch screen, a sim card slot, GPS, compass, is water resistant and it also runs EFI. EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) is the boot system used by Macs, which leads us to believe that the Star project could potentially be the first ARM-based Mac, with a ship date as soon as 2020.</p>


Also: <a href="https://twitter.com/never_released/status/1000124288769318912">tweet from Longhorn</a>, a hardware hacker, saying it's part of a "new device family" which runs an "iOS derivative". And <a href="https://www.digitimes.com/news/a20180529PD211.html">Digitimes saying Pegatron</a> (which makes laptops) is "likely to get" the order; Pegatron wouldn't comment.

But then with a bucket of ice-cold water, <a href="https://twitter.com/markgurman/status/1000409733491113985">Mark Gurman "is told"</a> (doesn't say by whom) that it's the low-cost LCD-screen iPhone for this year which looks like the iPhone X.

So, pick your rumour.
apple  arm  iphone  macbook 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
Lint • All this
Dr Drang:
<p>About a month ago, I started having trouble charging my iPhone 6S. I’m not talking about the need to charge my phone more often because the battery isn’t what it used to be, although that’s definitely happening and I need to cough up the $30 to get the battery replaced. No, I’m talking about the Lightning plug on the charger cable not seating well in the port on the bottom of the phone. The plug would wiggle and often lose contact, leaving me with a phone that was still draining when I thought it was charging.

My first thought was that lint had built up in the port and needed to be cleaned out. I was at home without good lighting or good magnification, but I got a toothpick and dug around in the port, figuring that if anything was in there, that would loosen it and pull it out. When nothing emerged, I started thinking there was a problem with either the port itself or with the third-party cables I was using.

Yesterday afternoon I learned the truth.</p>


It's not quite in the league of "spiders crawled into my ear and laid eggs", but it is pretty remarkable. And a little reminder of why wireless (inductive) charging isn't such a bad idea.
lightning  charging  apple  iphone 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
'Beyond belief': Brexit app for EU nationals won't work on iPhones • The Guardian
Daniel Boffey and Lisa O'Carroll:
<p>[UK Home Secretary Amber] Rudd had insisted that using the Home Office app would be as easy for the 3 million EU nationals in the UK as setting up an online account at LK Bennett, the clothes retailer. She also said it had been “extensively tested”, but Home Office officials admitted they had not yet begun mass testing of the app. They also said they would be hiring 1,000 caseworkers for a customer service centre for EU citizens, although they had not yet begun this process.

However, the fact that the app does not work on Apple devices has highlighted what many say is the government’s poor record with technology.

EU citizens who have tested the app say it requires just a small amount of information, such as a scan of a passport, address, email address and a selfie to match the passport picture. The system then matches the biographical details with HM Revenue & Customs records to give the applicant an instant answer as to whether their application has been successful.

However, it has emerged that because Apple will not enable its technology to read the chip on modern passports, the registration can only be completed on an Android phone.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s Brexit coordinator, said he would be writing to Theresa May this week about a series of wider concerns, including the £72 cost of registering, and the need for every member of a family to individually apply for settled status.</p>


Doesn't work on Apple devices because their NFC chips won't talk to the NFC chip in modern passports. That's not good planning, really.
apple  brexit  iphone  nfc 
april 2018 by charlesarthur
iPhony (August 2002) • Daring Fireball
John Gruber, wayyyyy back in August 2002:
<p>John Markoff’s <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/19/technology/19APPL.html?8hpib">New York Times article</a> speculating about a vaporware Apple-branded mobile “iPhone” is getting a lot of traction. Go ahead and read it, but remember that it’s all bullshit speculation at this point.

Other than Jobs himself, who confirms nothing about an Apple iPhone, Mr. Markoff’s only sources are “industry analysts”. Industry analysts know nothing about Apple, and given their record in the tech industry in the last few years, it’s a wonder anyone quotes them at all. Even the Daring Fireball could have offered better insight than these bozos…

…The article seems to insinuate that Apple could make Sherlock run on a cell phone; that’s impossible, unless the cell phone were actually running Mac OS X, which definitely is impossible. If Apple were to create an iPhone, and said iPhone were to have a search application called Sherlock, said Sherlock would by definition need to be completely rewritten.</p>


This popped into my feed some time last week; the perspective is fascinating. The NYT article suggest that Apple would try to add phone capabilities to a computer - which is sort of how it worked out, but this was all before Apple had even begun working on a phone. At this point it was considering a tablet, because at a dinner with Jobs, a boastful Microsoftie (not, I think, Gates) had made so much of what the new Windows tablets could do that Jobs went back to the office and determined to crush it.

Then in 2005 the tablet was put off in favour of the phone.
apple  iphone 
april 2018 by charlesarthur
Chinese toddler disables mom's iPhone for 47 years • CNBC
Kristin Huang:
<p>A two-year-old boy in Shanghai disabled his mother's iPhone for the equivalent of 47 years after playing with it and repeatedly entering the wrong passcode, according to a Chinese media report.

The incident happened in January after the phone was given to the child to watch educational videos online, the news website Kankanews.com said.

The mother returned home one day and when she checked the phone found it had been disabled for 25 million minutes by pressing keys repeatedly when the handset requested the passcode be inputted, according to the article. Each time the wrong keys were pressed the phone was disabled for a period of time, the report said.</p>


"These phones are too secure."
apple  security  iphone 
april 2018 by charlesarthur
The new iOS update killed touch functionality on iPhone 8s repaired with aftermarket screens • Motherboard
Matthew Gault:
<p>“This has caused my company over 2,000 reshipments,” Aakshay Kripalani, CEO of Injured Gadgets, a Georgia-based retailer and repair shop, told me in a Facebook message. “Customers are annoyed and it seems like Apple is doing this to prevent customers from doing 3rd party repair.”

According to [Michael] Oberdick [owner and occupier of iOutlet, based in Ohio, which fixes iPhones etc], every iPhone screen is powered by a small microchip, and that chip is what the repair community believes to be causing the issue. For the past six months, shops have been able to replace busted iPhone 8 screens with no problem, but something in the update killed touch functionality. According to several people I spoke to, third-party screen suppliers have already worked out the issue, but fixing the busted phones means re-opening up the phone and upgrading the chip.

It remains to be seen whether Apple will issue a new software update that will suddenly fix these screens, but that is part of the problem: Many phones repaired by third parties are ticking timebombs; it’s impossible for anyone to know if or when Apple will do something that breaks devices fixed with aftermarket parts.</p>


It's the <a href="https://theoverspill.blog/2016/02/08/explaining-the-iphones-error53-and-why-it-puts-apple-between-conspiracy-and-rock-hard-security/">Error 53 thing, which goes back to February 2016</a> (though that was about replacing the TouchID button).

One point is that Apple won't be trying to hobble legitimate third-party screen repairs; people break their phones so much that it can't be that grasping. Just as with Error 53, there will be some subtle reason around this. The fact to me that the problem can be ended by "upgrading the chip" suggests to me that someone at Apple <em>overlooked</em> that update, and so it hasn't been applied, but the rest of the system needs it. Hanlon's Law at work. (If this applied to the iPhone 7 or others too, then it would be a conspiracy against third-party repairs; the fact it's only the iPhone 8 - not 8 Plus? Not earlier? - suggests to me that's the problem.)
ios  iphone  8 
april 2018 by charlesarthur
Bad iPhone notches are happening to good Android phones • The Verge
Vlad Savov:
<p>I’ve been coming to Mobile World Congress for close to a decade now, and I’ve never seen the iPhone copied quite so blatantly and cynically as I witnessed during this year’s show. MWC 2018 will go down in history as the launch platform for a mass of iPhone X notch copycats, each of them more hastily and sloppily assembled than the next.

No effort is being made to emulate the complex Face ID system that resides inside Apple’s notch; companies like Noa and Ulefone are in such a hurry to get their iPhone lookalike on the market that they haven’t even customized their software to account for the new shape of the screen. More than one of these notched handsets at MWC had the clock occluded by the curved corner of the display.

<img src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/D5zaZYj8kTvKvnIU2hrKNxYHDcc=/1400x0/filters:no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/10339649/DSC00172.jpg" width="100%" />
<em>Ulefone T2 Pro Photo by Sam Byford / The Verge</em>

Asus is one of the biggest consumer electronics companies in the world, and yet its copycat notch is probably the most galling of them all. The Zenfone 5 looks and feels like a promising phone, featuring loud speakers, the latest Sony imaging sensor with larger-than-average pixels, and a price somewhere south of $499. I should be celebrating it right now, but instead I’m turning away in disgust as Asus leans into its copying by calling Apple a “Fruit Company” repeatedly. If you’re going to copy the iPhone, at least have the decency to avoid trying to mock it.

It would be stating the obvious to say that this trend is not a good one. I’m absolutely of the belief that everyone, Apple included, copies or borrows ideas from everyone else in the mobile industry. This is a great way to see technical improvements disseminated across the market. But the problem with these notched screens on Android phones is that they’re purely cosmetic. Apple’s notch at the top of the iPhone X allows the company to have a nearly borderless screen everywhere else, plus it accommodates the earpiece and TrueDepth camera for Face ID. Asus et al have a sizeable “chin” at the bottom of their phones, so the cutouts at the top are self-evidently motivated by the desire to just look — not function, look — like an iPhone X.</p>

Sure, these are obvious copycats. It's stretching it to call them "good" Android phones though. They're run-of-the-mill, entirely fungible things.
Iphone  notch 
march 2018 by charlesarthur
Why the iPhone is losing out to Chinese devices in Asia • WSJ
Newley Purnell:
<p>In China, Apple’s market share is roughly 8% now from 13% in 2015, research firm Canalys says. In India—which last year overtook the US to become the world’s second-biggest smartphone market—Apple has had just a 2% market share since 2013. Apple’s shipments to India fell last quarter compared with the year before, a rare contraction, Canalys says.

The iPhone maker’s market share in Indonesia, home to some 260 million people, has fallen to 1% from 3% in 2013. Apple’s market share has also dropped in the Philippines and Thailand, and has remained static in Malaysia and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Apple’s Chinese rivals are gobbling up customers. Beijing-based Xiaomi has jumped to 19% of India’s market today from just 3% in 2015. While much of that rise has been on the back of inexpensive phones, increasingly it is putting more expensive devices on the market that offer the look, feel and functionality of iPhones and even a few extra features.

Chitra Patricia, a 27-year-old Jakartan, picked an Oppo over Apple for its selfie features.

Oppo’s “selfie expert” F3 offers options such as a front-facing camera for selfies with wide angle that lends itself to “wefies,” or group shots with several people crammed into the frame. The phone also has a “beautify” function that smooths out users’ selfies, making them appear younger and more glamorous.

“It can capture around a dozen people in one ‘wefie,’” making it great for gatherings, said Ms. Patricia.

Xiaomi has an edge in many markets because it can customize for each country while Apple creates the same products for everyone, said Jai Mani, Xiaomi’s product manager for India.</p>

The debate is whether those people who buy Xiaomi or OPPO or vivo now are lost to Apple forever, or if there's some possibility that they will shift to it in the future. That requires software and apps that they want (the hardware is a wash). The signs there are mixed, at best.
Apple  asia  iphone  rivals  smartphone 
february 2018 by charlesarthur
Apple hits record revenues but misses on iPhone sales • FT
Tim Bradshaw:
<p>Apple’s iPhone unit sales dropped by 1% in its key holiday quarter, missing Wall Street’s forecasts, as it pointed to lower total revenues than investors had been expecting for the current March quarter.

The report will compound some Apple bears’ fears that the tenth anniversary iPhone X has failed to reignite a growth “super cycle” as many bulls had hoped.

Its report of 77.3m iPhones for the three months to December was below most analysts’ estimates but was counterbalanced by the higher price of the iPhone X, resulting in what was still a record-breaking quarter of $88.3bn revenues and $20.1bn in net profits for the world’s most valuable company.

Luca Maestri, Apple’s finance chief, said in an interview that the quarter ending in December 2017 was a week shorter than the same period a year earlier. Adjusting for that comparison, iPhone revenues would have been 21% higher, instead of the 13% revenue growth Apple reported.

For the current quarter ending in March, Apple said revenues would be between $60bn and $62bn, representing growth of between 13% to 17% but below investors’ expectations of closer to $68bn. Mr Maestri said that the disparity was due to a build-up of iPhone stock in its retail channel during the December quarter and that on a “sell-through” basis the March period would actually see an “acceleration” in sales.</p>

iPad sales flat, Mac sales flat. Watch and AirPod sales way up. Tech needs a new paradigm.
iphone  apple 
february 2018 by charlesarthur
US probes Apple over updates that slow older iPhones • Bloomberg
Tom Schoenberg, Matt Robinson and Mark Gurman:
<p>The US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating whether Apple violated securities laws concerning its disclosures about a software update that slowed some handsets, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News on Tuesday. The US government has requested information from the company, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the probe is private.

The inquiry is in early stages, they cautioned, and it’s too soon to conclude any enforcement will follow. Investigators are looking into public statements made by Apple on the situation, they added. While the slowdown has frustrated consumers, investigators are concerned the company may have misled investors about the performance of older phones. 

"We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them," an Apple spokeswoman said. She reiterated an earlier statement that the company "never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades."</p>

Prediction: this is going to go nowhere.
apple  throttling  iphone 
january 2018 by charlesarthur
Stellar iPhone X performance in GB, China & Japan • Kantar Worldpanel
<p>In the USA, the iPhone X was outsold by the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in the month of November but did round off the top three best-selling models for the month, easily beating the top Samsung model, the Galaxy S8, which is in sixth position.

The iPhone X was the top selling Smartphone in Japan in November, commanding an 18.2% share, closely followed by the iPhone 8 at 17.2% share. Meanwhile, in urban China, demand for the iPhone X has exceeded all expectations, as Dominic Sunnebo explains, “Apple was riding on the back of some momentum before the iPhone X release but demand for latest model in urban China has been staggering given its price point.

“Apple is now back on form – the iPhone X was the top selling model in urban China in November, with a market share of 6.0%. Unlike in Europe and the US, where the vast majority of new early iPhone X sales came from existing Apple smartphone owners, in urban China there are significant numbers of Huawei, Xiaomi and Samsung customers switching to the new iPhone models, which they deem a cut above the rest.”</p>


Apple had a share of 49.4% in the UK in November. That's astonishing.
kantar  iphone 
january 2018 by charlesarthur
You’ll probably never read the iPhone X review that would be most useful to you • Subtraction.com
Khoi Vinh:
<p>You could argue that three years is an unrealistically long time to expect a smartphone to be able to keep up with the rapidly changing—and almost exponentially increasing—demands that we as users put on these devices. Personally, I would argue the opposite, that these things should be built to last at least three years, if for no other reason than as a society we shouldn’t be throwing these devices away so quickly.

But even if you disagree with me, even if you’re the kind of person who upgrades to a new phone every year, I think you’d still agree that it would be useful to know how well these devices hold up after one or even two years.

Now, I know it sounds kind of counter-intuitive to read a review of a product a year or more after everyone who would consider buying it has already bought it. But imagine if the sites and publications that review these products did make it a habit to revisit them down the road. Imagine if twelve months from now you could read about how well today’s iPhone X holds up with iOS 12, and also with whatever slate of third-party apps that can reasonably be understood as essential—the 2018 versions of Instagram, Spotify, Twitter or whatever. Imagine that at regular intervals we could see benchmarks on a freshly restored iPhone X running the latest software and getting a quantified and qualified idea of how well that piece of hardware has aged over time.

If reviewers revisited these products in this way, it would give us a whole new dimension of understanding. It would tell us how well-designed these phones really are, whether the manufacturers really understand how technology—and the world—changes within a two or three year time frame. And it would help us judge for ourselves how much effort the companies are investing into ensuring the quality of their products over the lifetime in which they’re used. Basically, it would give us, as customers, a richer track record for these companies, so that we can hold them accountable in a way that tends to go unnoticed today.</p>


Agree.
apple  iphone  journalism 
november 2017 by charlesarthur
An iPhone lover’s review of the Google Pixel 2 • BirchTree
Matt Birchler:
<p>The metal back is coated in a plastic material that is somewhat grippy, but also lets the phone slide into my pocket easily. It feels comfortable without feeling cheap. I do find it odd that they would make a metal back to the phone and then cover it with plastic though. If they had just used plastic for the entire thing they could have added wireless charging, something I very much miss from this phone. I had just gotten used to it with the iPhone 8 and had converted most of my charing spots to wireless. Being forced to use a wire for all charging needs feels like stepping backwards.

The back of the phone also has a fingerprint reader. This is far from the first phone to do it, but it’s the first phone I’ve owned with a rear-mounted fingerprint reader. I haven’t been using it for too long, but I don’t love it personally. People say this location is great because it’s were your index finger naturally is when you’re holding the phone, but my index finger simply does not rest there when I’m using the phone. I can put my finger there easily enough when I pic up the phone to unlock it, but my hand shimmies down the phone to actually use it. I’m about an inch below it and need to stretch to reach it, which is not comfortable. This is most noticeable when trying to authenticate 1Password to fill a form or to make a payment on the Google Play Store.

I also have an issue with the back mounted reader when I’m at my desk at work or driving in the car where my phone is on a stand. The back-mounted fingerprint reader is not accessible in either of these common orientations, so I see this screen a lot:

<img src="https://i2.wp.com/birchtree.me/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/IMG_0339.jpg" width="100%" />

I’ve entered my PIN more in the past week on this phone than I have in the past year on the iPhone because the reader simply isn’t in a place I can always reach.</p>


He has plenty to say about the processing that generates the portrait effect in the camera too. TL;DR: he likes the phone a lot. But it falls a little short of the iPhone 8 Plus here and there.
iphone  pixel2 
october 2017 by charlesarthur
This doctor diagnosed his own cancer with an iPhone ultrasound • MIT Technology Review
Antonio Regalado:
<p>Earlier this year, vascular surgeon John Martin was testing a pocket-sized ultrasound device developed by Butterfly Network, a startup based in Guilford, Connecticut, that he’d just joined as chief medical officer.

He’d been having an uncomfortable feeling of thickness on his throat. So he oozed out some gel and ran the probe, which is the size and shape of an electric razor, along his neck.

On his smartphone, to which the device is connected, black-and gray images quickly appeared. Martin is not a cancer specialist. But he knew that the dark, three-centimeter mass he saw did not belong there. “I was enough of a doctor to know I was in trouble,” he says. It was squamous-cell cancer.

The device he used, called the Butterfly IQ, is the first solid-state ultrasound machine to reach the market in the U.S. Ultrasound works by shooting sound into the body and capturing the echoes. Usually, the sound waves are generated by a vibrating crystal. But Butterfly’s machine instead uses 9,000 tiny drums etched onto a semiconductor chip.</p>


Medicine is changing. The IQ cost about $2,000. The nearest comparison is a Philips portable which costs $6,000. And of course they're looking to add AI to make it even more usable. (Though I hope they don't rely on headphone jacks.)
ultrasound  iphone  accessory 
october 2017 by charlesarthur
iPhone: designed for misuse? • ROUGH TYPE
Nick Carr on Jony Ive's comment that "constant use" of one's phone might constitute "misuse":
<p>Maybe I’m the cynic, but it’s hard not to conclude, from everything we know about the iPhone and its development and refinement, that it has in fact been consciously and meticulously designed to encourage people to use it as much as possible. Here, for example, is how Apple is promoting the new iPhone X at its web store:

<img src="https://i2.wp.com/www.roughtype.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/iphone-promo.jpeg" width="100%" />

If Apple’s “vision” has always been to create a phone “so immersive the device itself disappears into the experience,” it’s hard for me to credit Ive’s suggestion that people are misusing it by immersing themselves in it. If “constant use” is a misuse of the iPhone, then the device has been designed for misuse. And the future we’re supposed to welcome will be one in which the smartphone becomes all the more encompassing, the line between gadget and experience all the more blurred.

If Ive is sincere in his belief that people should be more disciplined in their use of smartphones — and I believe he is — I’m sure he’ll be able to find elegant ways to use design features to deter constant use.</p>


I guess you could always limit its battery life 🤔
iphone  misuse 
october 2017 by charlesarthur
How to organize iPhone apps in iOS11 • CNBC
Todd Haselton:
<p>You can do this by holding your finger on an application icon for just a few seconds. It'll start jiggling and you'll see an X pop up when it's ready to be moved. Don't let go, this is key. We're going to group a bunch of apps together.

Now, while still holding one finger on that first app, tap all the other apps you want to group with it. They'll all start to gather under the first app you selected. Note the small number that appears which shows how many apps you've selected.

Move them where you'd like to place them.

Move the apps anywhere you like, such as into a folder. This simple grouping of applications allows you to take all of your health apps, for example, and quickly toss them into a folder. Previously, you'd need to select each app one by one.</p>


This is useful. And hidden.
iphone  app 
october 2017 by charlesarthur
Apple’s iPhone SE has the reached the same, exalted evolutionary pinnacle as the cockroach • Quartz
Michael Coren:
<p>My plan wasn’t to buy an SE. Apple was releasing the iPhone 7, its latest and greatest device. I entered Apple’s Union Square store willing to splash out on a $600 purchase. The store’s two-story glass and steel wall was open to a crisp San Francisco spring day. The sales person walked me through each new model. A pressure-sensitive screen instantly pulled up shortcut menus. A faster A10 chip cut out annoying time lags. The expansive size made watching videos comfortable.

As I put each device down, I realized none did their job better than the iPhone in my pocket. They did more, yes, but not necessarily better. I’m not sure it’s so different with the iPhone X. Its 5.8″ Super Retina HD display is already beyond the ability of the human eye to differentiate between my SE’s 4” retina screen. A bigger screen? I want to deter casual phone usage (“All screen activities are linked to less happiness, and all non-screen activities are linked to more happiness,” reports The Atlantic). Doubling memory? I’ve got the cloud and WiFi. Wireless charging? Great, once chargers are ubiquitous. I may use face recognition one day, and Apple’s new water-resistant models are tempting, but I’m fine leaving my phone behind where it might get wet, or limiting the surveillance potential of my devices.</p>


It's true: the SE is a sort of perfection. The iPhone 5 - which is its ultimate forebear - was a lovely piece of design; it sat in the hand like the hand was made for it.
apple  iphone  design 
october 2017 by charlesarthur
iPhone 8, Qi wireless charging, and the challenge of open • Tech.pinions
Ben Bajarin on the fact that it's easy to misalign the iPhone 8/Plus on a wireless charging pad - in which case it doesn't charge:
<p>While many third parties disliked Apple’s MFI accessory program, the guidelines Apple had in place for third parties to create accessories for their products led to consistent experiences with third-party products and Apple products. At the moment, we don’t have the same situation with Qi Wireless charging. While Apple’s embracing of the Qi standard means they will certainly get involved and help drive the standard and the technology forward, for now, Apple runs the risk of having third-party solutions not meet their standards of an accessory that will work with iPhones.

Further observations on the challenge of open ecosystems lead us to both Microsoft and Google now going full steam ahead with their own hardware roadmap. I do find it interesting that both the largest open software platforms in history have led the companies who created them into the hardware market. Both Android and Windows have such diversity in offerings that you can have a quality experience with the platform and a sub-par one all with the same software platform. Both platforms have a great deal of inconsistency in their user experience. They do try to manage this by defining the hardware and software specs as much as possible but in open systems, you can only define your standard so far and still allow your partners to differentiate. It is a double-edged sword.

I view both Microsoft’s and Google’s efforts in hardware as strong evidence of the challenge open systems create and their attempts to address those challenges and provide a “best of” experience that they hope others aspire to duplicate.</p>


OK, but in general, you do this wrong once and you don't get it wrong again. But he is right: this isn't an elegant solution at all, which is classic "open system" effects - cheaper wins.
qi  wireless  iphone 
october 2017 by charlesarthur
iPhone XX futurology • Medium
Mike Rundle:
<p>Ten years from now, in 2027, an Apple executive will once again grace the stage to show eager fans the new iPhone. This iPhone will be the 20th anniversary model with 20 years of improvements, refinements and technological achievements under its belt.

In this piece I’ll lay out what I believe this iPhone XX will look like and how it will fit into an accelerating future of technology.

This is not a sci-fi article. The iPhone of 2007 and the iPhone of 2017 look generally similar to one another, so let’s talk about some off-the-wall futuristic iPhone ideas and why I don’t believe we’ll be seeing them in 2027.

Why still a rectangle and not a square? Or a circle? First, books are not squares or circles, they’re rectangles. Humans read text on a page in a particular way and I believe a portrait screen ratio will be sticking around for at least the next ten years.

Why still think there will even be an iPhone? What about AR glasses and VR goggles and flying cars? Technology doesn’t move as fast as people think. 100 years ago people were convinced we’d be living in colonies on Mars and food would materialize from pills. Instead we haven’t put a person on a new celestial body in 50 years and Soylent not only tastes bad but made people sick. The iPhone will still be around in 2027 and will still mostly look like the smartphones we use today.

That’s not to say that VR goggles and AR glasses won’t exist in 10 years, they just won’t be replacing the devices in our pockets.</p>


This is loooong but it's all based on patents Apple has filed; ten years isn't a long time in that timeframe. And previous patents pointed to how things would change.
apple  iphone 
september 2017 by charlesarthur
How Apple’s pricey new iPhone X tests economic theory • WSJ
Josh Zumbrum and Tripp Mickle:
<p>Apple and Samsung have found themselves here partly by necessity. Smartphone makers are running out of new customers. Data from IHS Markit estimates there are just under 100 smartphones per 100 people in the U.S. and about 92 smartphones per 100 people in Europe. (Many people own more than one phone.) By 2020, there will be about 84 smartphones per 100 people globally, IHS projects.

To generate more revenue the big smartphone makers increasingly need to push on price.

“They can create a super-premium model and perception of super-premium that pushes those buyer types into the stratosphere,” said Steven Haines, chief executive of Sequent Learning Networks, which advises companies on product management. “This is classic product management.”

Such segmentation is normal in mature industries, said Mr. Haines, comparing smartphones to what happened with the auto industry, where luxury cars with high prices became a status symbol as car ownership became commonplace.</p>


Zumbrum and Mickle are trying to argue that the iPhone [X] is a Veblen good - where demand rises as the price goes up. Neil Cybart takes this argument to pieces in his latest newsletter (sign up on <a href="http://aboveavalon.com">aboveavalon.com</a>). He points out that iPhone starting prices now range from $349 (iPhone SE) to $999 (iPhone X):
<p>Apple didn't establish the preceding price range in order to push specific "luxury" models, like iPhone X or iPhone 8 Plus. It's not that the higher-end models are priced in such a way as to stoke demand and interest simply because of a higher price. Instead, iPhone pricing is based on capability [such as camera, processor speed, screen size].</p>


Handbags or Vertu phones (which recently went bust) aren't priced on their capability. Vertu phones were arguably less capable than far cheaper devices.
economics  veblen  iphone 
september 2017 by charlesarthur
Interview: Apple’s Craig Federighi answers some burning questions about Face ID • TechCrunch
Matthew Panzarino:
<p>One anecdotal thing: If you lift your phone and swipe up immediately, there’s a good chance that the Face ID system will have performed its authentication fast enough to have unlocked your device by the time you finish your swipe. That’s how fast it is.

But the speed isn’t the only question. Sunglasses, for instance, are fairly commonly worn outdoors. Federighi had mentioned in an email to a user that “most” sunglasses would work fine.…

…Face ID requires that it be able to see your eyes, nose and mouth. This means there are scenarios where it just won’t work.

“If you’re a surgeon or someone who wears a garment that covers your face, it’s not going to work,” says Federighi. “But if you’re wearing a helmet or scarf, it works quite well.”

This means that Face ID is not going to be a viable option for people who wear a mask for work or wear a niqab, for instance. They would need to use a passcode. Federighi notes that this limitation is similar to Touch ID, which simply didn’t work if you wore gloves or had wet fingers.

Another common question is about what kind of angles and distances you can be at in relation to your iPhone to get it to unlock.

“It’s quite similar to the ranges you’d be at if you put your phone in front-facing camera mode [to take a picture],” says Federighi. Once your space from eyes to mouth come into view that would be the matching range — it can work at fairly extreme angles — if it’s down low because your phone is in your lap it can unlock it as long as it can see those features. Basically, If you’re using your phone across a natural series of angles it can unlock it.”</p>


The question all becomes one of "what does 'look' at your phone mean?" From the demos I've seen it's not a fixed stare. It's a lot more casual than that.
apple  faceid  security  iphone 
september 2017 by charlesarthur
What do US wireless operators want in the next iPhone? • BTIG Research
Walter Piecyk:
<p>We estimate that iPhones represent nearly half of all smartphones in the United States. Wireless operators and investors are therefore very interested in what technologies and spectrum bands are included each year as they can determine whether these companies are able to leverage their network and spectrum investments. Adding spectrum to a network doesn’t do much good if the smartphones don’t take advantage of it. Unfortunately, the operators don’t really know for sure what is included in each iPhone prior to its launch. So, here’s a quick review of what each national wireless operator in the United States would like included this year.</p>


This is pretty technical, but would be useful to anyone who's really into phone/network interaction.
iphone  us  wireless  modem 
september 2017 by charlesarthur
Response to NY Post article • NYPD News
Deputy commissioner of Information & Technology Jessica Tisch:
<p>This Sunday, while a Post reporter was writing her story, NYPD officers used their smartphones to help respond to over 25,000 911 calls; ran 18,000 searches; and viewed 1,080 flyers of missing or wanted persons. Sunday is a slow day.

Three years ago we made the decision to bring mobility to the NYPD. At that time, neither iOS nor Android phones allowed us to cost-effectively utilize prior investment in custom Windows applications.

Moreover, we assessed that the Windows platform would be most effective at achieving our goal of securing 36,000 devices that would be used for sensitive law enforcement operations. This was of paramount importance. The devices were rolled out as tools to help officers fight crime, enhance their safety and improve policing in New York City.

The contract entered provided for the smartphones at no cost. It also allowed for the NYPD to replace the smartphones with devices of our choosing two years later, also at no cost.

We have since continually reviewed the evolution of mobile platforms. A year ago, we learned that improvements in Apple controls would allow NYPD to responsibly and cost effectively move our mobility initiative to the Apple platform. We began plans to make the transition, which will take effect this fall.

Our smartphone initiative is 45% under budget. Based on current rate of spending, we expect to stretch what was initially budgeted at two years of spending to more than four years.</p>


Ah. So the phones were free, and they can be replaced for free. Microsoft took a gamble that it would be stronger by now, but instead it failed. I wrongly thought that Tisch would get fired over this, before knowing the details of the free phones.

Instead, she looks quite smart: for the cost of a few app rewrites, the NYPD doesn't have to gamble on the mobile platform war.
nypd  mobile  iphone  windows  microsoft 
september 2017 by charlesarthur
Apple to hold product launch event on Sept. 12 • WSJ
Tripp Mickle and Drew Fitzgerald:
<p>Apple has scheduled a product-announcement event on Sept. 12, according to people briefed on its plans, reinforcing expectations that the technology giant will release new iPhones and a smartwatch well ahead of the holiday shopping season.

The company is expected to unveil three iPhones, according to other people familiar with its plans. Those include a showcase iPhone to mark the product’s 10th anniversary that is larger and pricier and features an edge-to-edge display and facial-recognition technology, as well as updates to the two iPhone 7 models that started selling last year.

Analysts had widely reported in recent months that production glitches on the newest iPhone could cause it to be delayed. If the event proceeds on Sept. 12, its timing would be roughly consistent with iPhone launches in previous years, reassuring investors and customers that the device is on track.</p>


The date makes sense - the alternative was Sept 6, which seemed to close to the end of August. Aiming to use the new theatre on its new campus.

Expect phones, Watches, and a new Apple TV capable of HDR and 4K. Notable thing about the writers of this story: Mickle does lots of Apple stuff; Fitzgerald does lots of telecom and media stuff.
apple  iphone 
august 2017 by charlesarthur
New iPhone leaks show tap to wake, attention detection, and virtual home button • The Verge
Thuy Ong:
<p>A potential “attention detection” feature is also mentioned in the [HomePod firmware] code, with some speculating that may mean the phone will remain silent for notifications if it knows you’re looking at the screen already. Facial references such as “mouthstretch,” “mouthsmile,” and “mouthdimple” were also found, which are most likely a nod to Apple’s rumored facial recognition feature that can even detect faces in the dark using infrared.

A "tap to wake" feature has also been discovered, and should be similar to the Windows Phone function that allows users to double-tap the screen to wake the phone.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/stroughtonsmith">@stroughtonsmith</a> And the death of the home button is confirmed. RIP. <a href="https://t.co/w638s4Tgzn">pic.twitter.com/w638s4Tgzn</a></p>&mdash; Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) <a href="https://twitter.com/_inside/status/892182911167979521">1 August 2017</a>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The home button looks to be gone in favor of a virtual one, but some held out hope that though Troughton-Smith didn’t find evidence of an ultrasound Touch ID, a fingerprint sensor under the display was still a possibility. Troughton-Smith shot that down too, tweeting, “I mentioned ultrasound, yes, but I searched for much, much more. There is no evidence whatsoever of any new kind of Touch ID.” The virtual home button is called the “home indicator,” and will most likely be hidden in certain contexts such as when watching a video.</p>

Matt Birchler looked back at the leaks last year, and found that by this time of the year pretty much everything about the new phones had leaked, one way or another. Apple is helping along by releasing this firmware, of course. What I don't get is why Apple <a href="https://www.macrumors.com/2017/07/29/homepod-firmware-details-apple-smart-speaker/">released HomePod firmware</a>.
apple  homepod  iphone 
august 2017 by charlesarthur
Public service announcement: you should not force quit apps on iOS • Daring Fireball
John Gruber:
<p>The single biggest misconception about iOS is that it’s good digital hygiene to force quit apps that you aren’t using. The idea is that apps in the background are locking up unnecessary RAM and consuming unnecessary CPU cycles, thus hurting performance and wasting battery life.

That’s not how iOS works. The iOS system is designed so that none of the above justifications for force quitting are true. Apps in the background are effectively “frozen”, severely limiting what they can do in the background and freeing up the RAM they were using. iOS is really, really good at this. It is so good at this that unfreezing a frozen app takes up way less CPU (and energy) than relaunching an app that had been force quit. Not only does force quitting your apps not help, it actually hurts. Your battery life will be worse and it will take much longer to switch apps if you force quit apps in the background.

Here’s <a href="https://www.macrumors.com/2016/03/10/force-quitting-apps-doesnt-help-battery/">a short and sweet answer from Craig Federighi</a>, in response to an email from a customer asking if he force quits apps and whether doing so preserves battery life: “No and no.”</p>


I think that of all the misconceptions around iOS (well, computing misconceptions; there are plenty of business ones which need not detain us for now), this is the most pervasive, most persistent, and most rooted in behaviour learnt from past computing paradigms. Of <em>course</em> on your PC you free up more memory and so give programs more room to breathe by force-quitting unused apps. <em>Obviously.</em>

This is a remarkable aspect of iOS: it is essentially a mainframe OS (BSD Unix) which has been tweaked to do this. (Android, as Gruber notes, hasn't been tweaked in this way, which is why <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn-2B82B1mg">iOS runs rings around it on a "multiple loop app test"</a>.)
apple  iphone  forcequit 
july 2017 by charlesarthur
iOS 11 will expand your iPhone's NFC capabilities beyond Apple Pay in several ways • Mac Rumors
Joe Rossignol:
<p>Apple at WWDC 2017 last month introduced Core NFC, a new iOS 11 framework that enables apps to detect Near Field Communication tags.

Similar to Apple Pay, iPhone users are prompted with a "Ready to Scan" dialog box. After holding the iPhone near an item with an NFC tag, a checkmark displays on screen if a product is detected. An app with Core NFC could then provide users with information about that product contained within the tag.

A customer shopping at a grocery store could hold an iPhone near a box of crackers, for example, and receive detailed information about their nutritional values, price history, recipe ideas, and so forth. Or, at a museum, a visitor could hold an iPhone near an exhibit to receive detailed information about it.

Core NFC will expand the iPhone's NFC chip capabilities beyond simply Apple Pay in several other ways.

Cybersecurity company WISeKey, for example, today announced that its CapSeal smart tag will now support iPhone thanks to Core NFC. CapSeal smart tags are primarily used for authentication, tracking, and anti-counterfeiting on products like wine bottles. Many other companies offer similar solutions.</p>


iPhone 7 upwards only at present.
nfc  iphone 
july 2017 by charlesarthur
The iPhone for the next ten years • Tech.pinions
Jan Dawson:
<p>Given that this week marks the tenth anniversary of the iPhone going on sale, there’s lots of navel-gazing about the impact the iPhone has had on the industry (including my own take on Monday for subscribers). However, what I want to do today is think about which products in the market today might have a comparable impact to the iPhone over the next ten years.

I put this question to my Twitter followers, and got a whole range of interesting results, including:

• Tesla (both cars and solar shingles)<br />• Oculus Rift<br />• Crispr [DNA editing]<br />• and the Nvidia DGX-1 for AI and machine learning!

Those are all fascinating answers, including a couple I never would have included in my own analysis here. But I have a different set of three possible products in mind, and I’ll talk about each of them below. As a reminder, what defined the impact of the iPhone was that it was a single product from a single company, and yet that product never achieved majority market share, but still managed to transform not just its own industry (smartphones) but both created and transformed others as well. So that’s the bar that any worthy successor has to clear.</p>


This is definitely a more interesting tack than looking back ten years. (In general, I hate anniversary journalism - "it's X years since Y!" - because unless Y is quite something, we learn little. And if Y is quite something, there'll be a plethora of those pieces.)

He picks the Amazon Echo, the Apple Watch and Airpods, and Microsoft Hololens. Where, you might be asking, is Google?
iphone  gadget 
june 2017 by charlesarthur
Global smartwatch OS market share by region, Q1 2017 • Strategy Analytics
<p>Global smartwatch shipments at 6.2m units in Q1 2017 were up 48% YoY. Apple's watchOS maintained the top spot with 57% market share.  Tizen with 19% share took second place from Android Wear this quarter for the first time since Q4 2015. Android Wear vendors together accounted 18% share and took the #3 rank. </p>


That makes it 3.5m Apple Watch units, Tizen at 1.2m, Android Wear 1.1m. My data from Google Play suggests only 0.6m or so Android Wear devices activated in that period, though possibly quite a few were connected to iPhones (where data isn't easily available).
androidwear  iphone  applewatch 
may 2017 by charlesarthur
Uber’s ‘fingerprinting’ of iPhones after users delete app has sparked an FTC complaint • The Washington Post
Steven Overly:
<p>An advocacy group known for challenging the tech industry on privacy called on the Federal Trade Commission Thursday to investigate media reports that Uber could identify specific iPhone devices even after users deleted the ride-hailing app.

In a <a href="http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/ltrftc042717.pdf">letter</a> submitted Thursday, California-based Consumer Watchdog alleged that Uber’s practice would be considered “unfair or deceptive” to its users and therefore violates a statute in the Federal Trade Commission Act designed to protect consumers from substantial and avoidable harm.</p>
uber  iphone  consumer 
april 2017 by charlesarthur
Powermat CEO calls wireless charging a ‘standard feature in the next iPhone’ • 9to5Mac
Zac Hall:
<p>Wireless charging is widely expected to be on one if not all new iPhone models later this year, and the CEO of a prominent wireless charging technology company appears to consider it a done deal. Powermat CEO Elad Dubzinski called wireless charging ‘a standard feature in the next iPhone’ ahead of any official iPhone 7s or iPhone 8 announcement.

Powermat’s CEO made the comment in an unrelated <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dan-stone-ceo-of-compucom-appointed-chairman-of-the-board-of-powermat-300445074.html">news release</a> about the company gaining a new board chairman:

“With the recent announcement by Apple that wireless charging will become a standard feature in the next iPhone, we are finally at the threshold of mainstream adoption,” said Mr. Dubzinski.</p>


If Steve Jobs were still alive, Dubzinski would now be in the foundations of the new Apple building.
apple  wireless  charging  iphone 
april 2017 by charlesarthur
I spent two hours with a mobile video genius and learned 26 useful things • Fluxx Studio Notes – Medium
Tom Whitwell:
<p>14. Put your finger over the camera lens and film a few seconds of fuzzy red to make a more interesting background for titles than the default black. Try filming the sky through a shirt, the sun through a leaf, or a blurry closeup of a TV or laptop screen.

15. Just before filming, clean your camera lens, then tap and hold the focal point on your iPhone screen to lock the exposure and focus.

17. For many people the word ‘interview’ means a stressful job application process or a politician being interrogated on TV. “Could we talk… do you mind if I video this?” might work better.</p>


These are all terrific, though I'd never come over 14 above (it's brilliant). If you have to video, this is the video you want to do.
iphone  video 
april 2017 by charlesarthur
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