The New Yorker has a profile of Jony Ive, and while the Senior VP of Design has been profiled before, there’s still things we don’t know about the man. Described as “impeccably solicitous”, “deeply, deeply, tired”, and “always anxious”, Sir Jonathan Ive is one of two most valuable people in the world’s most valuable company. And that makes him, I think, somewhat special.
The Financial Times claims Apple are hiring automotive experts to work in a top-secret research lab at Apple, one that’s away from the main campus and headquarters at One Infinite Loop. This leads to one of two possibilities: either Apple is working on an advanced CarPlay successor, or they’re working on their own car. And with the Wall Street Journal saying Apple is working on an electric vehicle, there’s a pretty good chance it’s the latter.
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn says Apple is actually worth around $1.3 trillion, double its current market cap. To say Icahn has a vested interested in Apple is an understatement: the man owns around $6.5 billion in Apple stock, and he’s saying that a realistic valuation of the company is 20 times its earnings per share. Factor in Apple’s $178 billion in cash, and voila, $1.3 trillion.
Apple’s latest Supplier Responsibility report covers everything the company did last year in order to better working conditions for hundreds of thousands of employees working at manufacturing facilities all over the world. AppleInsider summarises it as 633 audits of 1.6 million workers in 19 countries, covering everything from the supply of clean water, conflict mineral usage, and prohibiting recruitment firms charging “recruitment fees” to employees.
When word leaks from one Apple employee that the company is working on something that “will give Tesla a run for its money”, the immediate conclusion you jump to is cars. Even though that may seem somewhat far-fetched (yes, even for Apple rumour blogs), Business Insider says it’s also a possibility Apple is working on some other kind of in-car technology that rival’s Tesla’s current experience.
The biggest news from the world of Apple overnight is that iOS 9 will have a huge stability and optimisation focus, after consecutive years of feature additions. Like OS X Snow Leopard, iOS 9 will fix bugs, maintain stability, and boost performance like no other release before it, according to 9to5Mac. With the release expected to be unveiled sometime later this year, it’s high time Apple took a step back and doubled-down on something other than secrecy after two big years in the iOS space.
Ahead of the Apple Watch launch, which Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed to be shipping in April, Apple has begun training Apple Retail employees on the Apple Watch. 9to5Mac says no additional details about the device have been revealed thus far, which is disappointing, but not entirely unexpected. TechRadar has a summary of every watch band and case so far, showing us all the possible combinations from Watch and band designs.
Re/code says Apple is looking at getting into the TV business once again, and before you can “yet another streaming service”, that’s exactly what it looks to be: bundles of programming sold directly to consumers. Word is Apple is working directly with TV content owners to sell their content on a web platform, bypassing the people that own the cables and the networks. Will it work out? Only time will tell.
I suspected Apple would be holding an event early this year to announce more details about the Apple Watch and that 12-inch laptop. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and now we get a rumour about the possibility of an Apple event in late February, possibly even in the last week. The Apple Watch and 12-inch MacBook will be the main focuses, with the latter being heavily rumoured over the past couple of months.
As far as the release of iOS 8.2 goes, there’s one of two paths it could take. For starters, it could be released at the same time as the Apple Watch, being a kind of software update that brings the iPhone up to speed with all the features of the Apple Watch. Or alternatively, and perhaps the more likely of the two options, it could be released just before the official launch of the Apple Watch, say, in March — and that’s exactly what MacRumors are saying about the release of iOS 8.2.