Apple has started selling the iPhone SE on its clearance store, but only in the US, where it retails for US $249 for 32GB of storage, or $299 for 128GB. Unfortunately, every other country misses out when it comes to refurb and clearance iPhones and Apple Watch devices, even though this iPhone SE seems to be Apple clearing out old stock as opposed to Apple bringing back an old favourite.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been published in Time advocating for digital and online privacy. In his op-ed, Cook calls for the US Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation to protect and empower consumers to own all of our data that we currently provide — knowingly or otherwise — to online companies that then go on to build vast stores of user profiles. Cook outlines four key principles that would go some of the way towards better digital privacy for all, but there’s plenty more that can be done.
A report from Cnet gives us a little more of the Qualcomm vs Apple story, with Apple COO Jeff Williams providing testimony about Apple’s rocky relationship with Qualcomm. Williams says Qualcomm refused to provide 4G LTE chips for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, which all use Intel chips for their mobile connectivity. Williams also claims that Qualcomm’s demanded royalties of $7.50 per iPhone was too high, although without point of comparison, it’s hard to say whether this is just a COO wanting to reduce spending, or actually high compared to the industry average. Maybe a little bit of both.
The Wall Street Journal claims Apple will be releasing an iPhone this year with a triple-lens rear-facing camera setup, with recent renders adding fuel to the fire. The move to three rear-facing cameras will only be on the higher-end "2019 XS Max", with the regular XR also said to be going from one rear-facing camera to two. MacRumours tells us about the possibilities a triple-lens setup would afford, including improved 3D sensing, even more zoom, and improved low-light performance, all of which sounds great and all, but I’m just not so sure about having an even larger camera bump.
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s full interview with CNBC aired last night, giving us some insight into what’s next for Apple in 2019 and beyond. While Cook didn’t give any details, he did confirm that Apple will be launching new services this year, with the most likely candidate for a new service being Apple’s streaming video service that still has questions hanging over it regarding distribution and availability. Cook also said that Apple will be remembered for its impact on consumer health in the long run, saying that Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind is about health and that Apple’s business has always been about enriching people’s lives.
In an interview with CNBC, Apple CEO Tim Cook does some damage control by saying Apple’s ecosystem of devices and services is "probably underappreciated" by Wall Street naysayers, many of whom have recently commented on Apple’s updated financial guidance for the holiday quarter. Apple being doomed is nothing new, Cook says, with the former COO saying that he’s heard the same story for years now, ever since Apple started taking the spotlight. Apple’s focus continues to be on the long-term health of the company, not short-term revenues or profits, and in that respect, Cook says Apple has never been better, with a product pipeline that has never been better, and an ecosystem that has never been stronger.
Apple has updated the AirPlay webpage, telling about the expanded capabilities of its wireless communication protocol. Notably, mentions of AirPlay-enabled smart TVs are now present and talked up, with "leading TV manufacturers" integrating AirPlay 2 directly into their TV models, negating the need for separate Apple TV hardware to mirror your iOS or Mac display to your TV. New controls are also coming to iOS devices, allowing you to control your AirPlay 2 TV directly from your iPhone. All of the above are listed as coming soon, but it’s an eye-opening change from Apple’s previous AirPlay and Apple TV strategy that’s only present on the US AirPlay webpage, not the Australian one.
While everyone was recovering from the new year-induced stupor, Apple sent out a curious press release advising of revised financial guidance for Q1 2019. The letter from Apple CEO Tim Cook to Apple investors lowered figures across the board, with revenue dropping from $4-9 billion compared to Apple’s initial estimates. Apple points to both macroeconomic and Apple-specific factors as the reason for lower financial results in a lengthy PR letter, summarised as follows: iPhone launch timing, the strength of the US dollar against foreign currencies, supply constraints for new products, and economic impact in emerging markets, with Cook specifically detailing out China and the iPhone in terms of how they affect Apple’s financial results.
We kick off the last news post for 2018 with the Apple showing off someone else’s holiday cheer, sharing holiday season photos shot on iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max. The Apple piece is quick to point out how new camera features like Smart HDR, Portrait mode, and larger pixels improve your photos, and they also direct you to Apple’s iPhone photography mini-site which has even more tips on getting the most out of your iPhone camera.