Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.
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Apple in the dock
At the start of the week, news broke that Apple is facing a
class-action lawsuit in California related to gift-card fraud. The law firms involved accuse the company of not doing enough to combat the fraud, and suggest it in fact profits from it.
A few days later, L’Autorita Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato in Italy announced it was
investigating Apple (and Amazon) for potential violations of competition law and alleged price fixing. The regulator is seeking to establish if the two companies formed an agreement to prevent other resellers being able to sell Apple products at a lower price.
Tough times at Cupertino, then: Apple can’t seem to go a week without news emerging of another legal challenge to its business practices. You won’t need reminding, we’re sure, that Tim Cook is already
scheduled to face questioning from the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee in the US on 27 July, while the European Commission is
investigating the App Store and Apple Pay.
Apple Silicon vs Intel
Lots of discussion lately about Apple’s decision to switch from Intel Mac processors to its own ARM-based alternative. The question, as ever, is this: who benefits?
This week Karen Haslam did a deep-dive analysis looking at the pros and cons of
Apple Silicon vs Intel. Anders Lundberg has previously argued that, while the decision is good for everyone (well, everyone except Intel), it
benefits Apple the most.
News in brief
Time for another acquisition? ARM’s owner is considering a sale, and Apple has been
heavily tipped to buy it. nVidia may have moved ahead in the pecking order, however:
Bloomberg says Apple held “preliminary” talks before giving up on bidding.
Apple has vowed to ensure that all of its products
are carbon-neutral by 2030. The company’s shops, offices and data centres already run on renewable electricity, but it will work to help suppliers make the same switch. It has also announced ambitious plans to use more recycled materials and help with reforestation.
We’ve discussed recently the various ways Apple is working to
expand and improve its TV+ streaming service. Perhaps that will bear fruit in due course, but for now it’s difficult to deny that
TV+ is struggling: just 7% of American households subscribed to the service in June, compared to a figure of 73% for Netflix.
Apple has begun a process to
remove non-inclusive language from its developer tools. Loaded terms such as “master” and “blacklist” will be replaced.
Despite a slew of worries – COVID-19, recession fears, legal challenges discussed above – Apple’s share price is healthy. It’s edging ever closer to
$400 a share.
Martyn Casserly has put together a retrospective of
every ‘One more thing’ that Apple has ever announced. We don’t hear those words much these days, but maybe there will be a sting in the tail at the iPhone 12 unveiling.
The iPhone SE (2020) did a great job of persuading hold-outs to upgrade older phones,
market researchers have found. A stunning 73% of buyers were upgrading from iPhones that were at least three years old, while 9% were switching from Android.
Bugs and problems
In a bid to improve iOS security, Apple has set up a scheme to
distribute ‘jailbroken’ iPhones to researchers. The phones let you run code with any level of security.
Apple has updated macOS’s Xprotect antivirus tool to
defend against the new EvilQuest malware.
It’s emerged that macOS 10.15.5
caused problems with backups, but Apple has now fixed that in macOS 10.15.6. Time to update.
The rumour mill
We start as ever with upcoming iPhone updates. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Apple will install big-zoom periscope lenses in its handsets…
but not until 2022. Before then we’ll get the iPhone 12, but that too faces delays: Chinese suppliers say the 5G version
won’t go on sale until November.
It also appears to be confirmed that one of the iPhone 12 models will have a petite 5.4in screen, after references were
discovered in iOS 14 beta code.
Patent activity points to intriguing new
‘gaze controls’ on the upcoming Apple Glass AR headset. A new patent describes ways user could control their glasses by blinking and staring at a particular point.
Talking of innovative controls, we have reason to believe that the AirPods Studio will
feature gesture controls.
Bad news for AirPods fans: the new Pro models won’t launch
until the end of 2021.
when the Big Sur public beta will appear? You’re not alone.
The next Apple Pencil could
‘pick’ colours from real-world objects.
Chip maker TSMC is understood to be well on the way to achieving
the 3nm production process. Why should you care? Because it will be able supply chips for iPhones, iPads and Macs that are faster and more power-efficient.
And that’s it for this week. Stay Appley!