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Posts tagged with "iPhone"

Apple Announces Acquisition of Intel’s Smartphone Modem Business

As the stock market closed in the US, Apple announced the acquisition of Intel’s smartphone modem business. As part of the deal, 2,200 Intel employees will join Apple. The company is also buying intellectual property and other assets from Intel like equipment and real estate associated with the business. According to Apple’s press release, the companies anticipate that the transaction will be consummated in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory and other conditions.

Apple says that:

Combining the acquired patents for current and future wireless technology with Apple’s existing portfolio, Apple will hold over 17,000 wireless technology patents, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation. Intel will retain the ability to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, internet-of-things devices and autonomous vehicles.

Commenting on the deal, Johny Srouji, Apple senior Vice President of Hardware Technology said:

“We’ve worked with Intel for many years and know this team shares Apple’s passion for designing technologies that deliver the world’s best experiences for our users,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies. “Apple is excited to have so many excellent engineers join our growing cellular technologies group, and know they’ll thrive in Apple’s creative and dynamic environment. They, together with our significant acquisition of innovative IP, will help expedite our development on future products and allow Apple to further differentiate moving forward.”

Given Apple’s two-year court battle with Qualcomm that resulted in a settlement earlier this year, the deal with Intel is not surprising. Ever since Apple’s acquisition of P.A. Semi in 2008, Apple has been buying hardware companies that have allowed it to make more of the components that are crucial to the iPhone and its other products. The Intel deal, however, is one of Apple’s largest acquisitions and demonstrates just how serious the company is about 5G technology and gaining independence from Qualcomm.


iOS 13: The MacStories Overview

iOS 13 is the latest major version of Apple’s mobile software platform, unveiled earlier today during the company’s WWDC keynote. Contrasting with last year’s iOS 12, which focused largely on performance improvements and brought fewer new features than usual, iOS 13 promises to continue the theme of strong performance while also adding a wide array of enhancements across the board. From a systemwide dark mode, updates to Shortcuts, a long-awaited redesign for Reminders, enhancements to an unprecedented number of system apps, and much more, there is a lot to take in here.

What’s not included in iOS 13 is iPad-specific updates, but that’s because Apple has split off the iPad’s version of iOS into its own dedicated software platform: iPadOS, which you can read our complete overview of here.

As for iOS 13, despite not including the variety of iPad improvements Apple has built, it remains a substantial release meant to take the mobile computing experience to a whole new level. Let’s dive in.

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Apple Introduces New Lineup of Watch Band and iPhone Case Colors

Alongside the release of the new AirPods, Apple has released a new lineup of spring Apple Watch bands and iPhone cases that span several different band models and case types.

For the Watch, Apple has introduced new versions of its Sport Band, Sport Loop, and Leather band. There are also new versions of the Nike Sport Band, Nike Sport Loop, and Hermès Leather bands.

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Apple Revises Q1 Financial Guidance Following Poor iPhone Sales

In a letter to investors, Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated that the company has revised its financial guidance for the holiday fiscal quarter that ended on December 29th as follows:

  • Revenue of approximately $84 billion
  • Gross margin of approximately 38 percent
  • Operating expenses of approximately $8.7 billion
  • Other income/(expense) of approximately $550 million
  • Tax rate of approximately 16.5 percent before discrete items

We expect the number of shares used in computing diluted EPS to be approximately 4.77 billion.

Here’s the guidance that Apple gave November 1, 2018 when it reported its fourth quarter 2018 results:

  • revenue between $89 billion and $93 billion
  • gross margin between 38 percent and 38.5 percent
  • operating expenses between $8.7 billion and $8.8 billion
  • other income/(expense) of $300 million
  • tax rate of approximately 16.5 percent before discrete items

That’s a miss of $5-9 billion in revenue. Cook’s letter is lengthy, but the lion’s share of the problem comes down to lower than expected iPhone revenue:

Lower than anticipated iPhone revenue, primarily in Greater China, accounts for all of our revenue shortfall to our guidance and for much more than our entire year-over-year revenue decline. In fact, categories outside of iPhone (Services, Mac, iPad, Wearables/Home/Accessories) combined to grow almost 19 percent year-over-year.

While Greater China and other emerging markets accounted for the vast majority of the year-over-year iPhone revenue decline, in some developed markets, iPhone upgrades also were not as strong as we thought they would be. While macroeconomic challenges in some markets were a key contributor to this trend, we believe there are other factors broadly impacting our iPhone performance, including consumers adapting to a world with fewer carrier subsidies, US dollar strength-related price increases, and some customers taking advantage of significantly reduced pricing for iPhone battery replacements.

Although there have been rumors of lackluster iPhone sales for weeks based on supply chain leaks, a miss of this magnitude caused by falling iPhone revenue is still a big surprise, which is no doubt why Apple chose to address the issue before its next earnings report is released.



iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max: The MacStories Overview

Earlier today, Tim Cook took the stage at Apple Park’s Steve Jobs Theater to announce Apple’s fall product lineup. As with past fall keynotes, Apple’s announcements included all-new iPhones. Some of the details of the new iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max leaked earlier this morning, but as usual, there were still surprises.

Design

The iPhone XR marks the completion of Apple’s transition to the new form factor introduced last fall with the iPhone X. The iPhone XR will take some people by surprise. At 6.1 inches diagonally, the new XR has a bigger screen than the XS, but it’s also more affordable than the smaller 5.8-inch device. In contrast, the iPhone XS and XS Max are an evolution of the design of the iPhone X.

The iPhone XR is also differentiated visually from the XS and XS Max by its new color options. The new phone is available in six colors: black, white, red, yellow, coral, and blue. That’s one more color than the iPhone 5c, Apple’s last foray into a large selection of colors. When you account for the four carriers and three storage sizes, that means a whopping 72 variations in the US.

Like the XS, the back of the iPhone XR is glass, but instead of a stainless steel band around the edge of the device, Apple has used aluminum that’s colored to match the back of the device. The XR’s aluminum frame looks good but lacks the shine of the steel used on the XS and XS Max, which sets it apart visually from the more expensive models.

The other design difference between the XR and its new siblings is the camera. As discussed further below, the XR is a single-lens, 12 MP, wide-angle camera, and, like the iPhone 8 it succeeds, it has a flash that’s outside the camera assembly. Instead of being next to the camera’s lens as it was on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus though, the flash on the XR is just below it.

In contrast, the design of the new iPhone XS is nearly identical to last year’s iPhone X, as is the iPhone XS Max, except for the fact that it is larger. The other visual differentiator between the new models and the iPhone X is the addition of a new color option. The XS and XS Max come in three colors: Space Gray, Silver, and a new Gold model.

Apple has also designed the iPhone XS and XS Max with the greatest water resistance yet. Both devices have an IP68 rating which means they can withstand submersion in water up to 2 meters deep for 30 minutes. The iPhone XR, in contrast, is rated IP67, which means it can withstand up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.

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Creative Selection Delves into Apple Software Design with Stories about Safari, the iPhone, and the iPad

Today, former Apple engineer Ken Kocienda’s book Creative Selection, which covers his career at Apple and insights about the company’s software design process, was released. As an engineer at Apple, Kocienda worked on several high-profile projects including Safari on the Mac and the touch keyboards on the iPhone and iPad. Much of the publicity surrounding the book focuses on Kocienda’s work on the iPhone. However, there is a treasure trove of interesting anecdotes about other products and people that make Creative Selection an absorbing read for anyone interested in the creative process and Apple.

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Apple Announces September 12 Event

As first reported by Tim Bradshaw Apple has announced a media event for September 12, 2018 at 10:00 am. The event will be held at Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino.

Based on widespread speculation, Apple is expected to introduce new iPhones based on the iPhone X design. Rumors also point to the introduction of new iPad Pros with smaller bezels, no home button, and Face ID, a revised Apple Watch with a larger display, and perhaps a new Mac mini and MacBook Air replacement.

In addition to hardware, Apple is expected to announce release dates for updates to its operating systems, including iOS 12, macOS Movjave, and watchOS 5. As in the past, Apple should release a Gold Master of iOS 12 and Mojave shortly after the event with a public release date within approximately 10 days.

Update: Apple has announced that the September 12th event at the Steve Jobs Theater will be live-streamed.


AeroPress Timer for iPhone, Now with Custom Recipes

One of my favorite iOS kitchen utilities, AeroPress Timer ($4.99 US), has updated to version 3 with a complete rebuild and new functionality.

AeroPress Timer is an iPhone app that steps you through the stages of coffee making with an Aerobie AeroPress. Each step, Pour, Stir, Steep, and Plunge, has its own countdown timer. Once you get into the world of AeroPress, there are a hundred different variations and precise recipes for making different types of coffee, so it’s a handy guide.

The app has always had a great selection of AeroPress recipes, but the biggest, baddest new feature: you can now create and add your own recipes. You can also favorite recipes, add notes, and there’s a new visual grind size guide accessible from any recipe.

This update did lose Apple Watch functionality, which is a bummer, but the developer plan to have it back soon.

AeroPress Timer is available on the App Store.