Monday Morning News
The usual conference call with investors wrapped up Apple’s quarterly financial results last week, with Six Colors having the full transcript of what Apple CEO Tim Cook and co had to say. In short, it was another record quarter for Apple financials, off the back of a higher average selling price for iPhones, record services revenue of over US $10 billion and 27% year-on-year growth. As pointed out by AppleInsider, Apple execs also discussed emerging markets and the difficulties associated with them, as well as the potential impact of almost every foreign currency decreasing versus the US dollar over the past 12 months, if not more.
Apple also announced it would no longer be reporting unit sales of devices in quarterly results starting next quarter. This move has been interpreted by many as Apple saying that it doesn’t consider unit sales important in the grand scheme of things, instead preferring to stick to numbers that more accurately reflect its financials, not the smartphone, tablet, or Mac market. While Apple will undoubtedly continue to sell incomprehensible numbers of iPhones and iPads every year, as the smartphone, tablet, and Mac markets plateau or start to fall off, what will be important is Apple’s ability to continue to keep its revenues high.
A rumour from Fast Company says Apple’s first 5G-compatible iPhone could arrive in 2020 off the back of an Intel 5G chip. Sources claim Intel are currently working on a precursor to their 5G modem, which is currently being used to prototype and test the 5G iPhone, although heat dissipation issues currently present the biggest challenge before being able to make a mass-market device.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says we’ll see an upgraded form of Face ID heading to iPhones next year, one that’s less affected by environmental lighting thanks to a stronger flood illuminator. New iPads, predicted by Kuo to land in 2020, may also include Apple’s 3D modelling tech, which he suspects will come first to the iPad, then the iPhone.
Apple, along with 50-plus tech companies including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Intel, Cisco, and more have signed a letter opposing a rollback of civil rights for trans and non-gender conforming citizens, following news that the Trump administration plans to rollback trans and non-conformative gender protections introduced in the Obama era.
A number of outlets including The Washington Post say that iPhone battery life is getting worse with every generation, and it’s a trend that is seen to continue into the future. Battery life is declining, and unsurprisingly, batteries themselves are to blame: while smartphones make (increasingly marginal) performance improvements year-on-year, battery technology advances at a glacial pace in comparison.
John Gruber’s note of former Macworld editor Dan Frakes going to Apple as a Mac App Store editor calls out two very real problems: all of Apple’s editors work without bylines and without credit, and none of their fantastic journalism is available outside the gated walls of the Mac or iOS App Stores, which is kind of a problem given that that’s where all the associated commentary is.
From this weekend’s Good Reads, I shared a piece saying that iPhones are hard to use. If people think feature discoverability on iPhones is bad, don’t tell them about modifier keys on computers, as demonstrated by this piece from MacRumors on using the option key to surface new menu items — they will lose their minds.
Mophie are late to the party with their iPhone X battery case, releasing it a week after the device has been discontinued. The company’s new Juice Pack Air is only compatible with the iPhone X, and not the newer XS, although it does have wireless charging to charge both it and your iPhone. I hadn’t really thought of it until now, but I wonder what the install base for iPhone X devices is like, given it was only on sale for a year. Perhaps the most limited-edition iPhone Apple has ever sold?
Spotify has opened up the beta for their latest iOS app which finally has Apple Watch support. The Apple Watch companion app appears to only support streaming playback, and is yet to be optimised for the larger display of the 44/42mm Apple Watch Series 4, but it’s expected both of these issues can be resolved during the beta. Speaking of Apple Watch, MacStories tells us about HomeRun, the best Apple Watch app to trigger HomeKit scenes from your wrist.