Tuesday Morning News
A story in the New York Times explains some of the problems encountered by Apple when assembling the trash can Mac Pro in the US. A single screw was difficult to come by in Texas, with Apple’s single supplier of these screws only able to produce 1,000 screws per day, unlike Chinese factories where many multiples of that were able to be produced. The piece tells of that and other differences between manufacturing in the US and China, even though you probably won’t be able to get the CEO of a company to personally deliver 28,000 screws over some portion of 22 separate deliveries.
The Age reports on Apple’s financials in Australia, with Apple Australia recording $9.08 billion in revenue, up 12.9% from the previous year, with something like $900 million in profit. But despite higher revenue and profits, Apple Australia’s tax bill fell by $18.8 million, with the company paying $164 million in tax for the year. Although the Australian Tax Office has released reports saying all the big tech giants are paying Australia’s 30% corporate tax rate, seeing increased income but decreased tax is sure to raise some eyebrows.
Apple has registered seven new iPad models in an Eurasian database, which matches up with previous claims about a new 10-inch entry-level iPad, as well as a new fifth-generation iPad mini. While model numbers are just about all we know about the devices — legally required to be registered as encrypted devices in some Eastern European countries and Russia, if the rumours are true we should see something in March.
A new rumour says Apple is gearing up to launch a subscription service for games, although there are no solid details. Price, release titles, and other details are all unclear, with speculation saying that it would likely be some kind of deal between Apple and developers, with Apple serving as kind of a publisher for the games, as it already does with the App Store. It’s clear that Apple are chasing services revenue, and ongoing subscriptions to services is probably the easiest way to go about it.
New guidelines for developers clearly document the requirements for in-app subscriptions. Apple’s updated human interface guidelines and App Store documentation for in-app subscriptions say that monthly renewal prices must clearly be shown, with conversions into yearly savings or similar de-emphasised in comparison. The aim here is to cut down on shady subscriptions, with exorbitant renewal fees designed to scam the unwary.
The good news is, Apple has decided it will be paying the 10 winners of its Shot on iPhone contest. The updated press release now reads "Apple believes strongly that artists should be compensated for their work. Photographers who shoot the final 10 winning photos will receive a licensing fee for use of such photos on billboards and other Apple marketing channels", although the licensing fee itself is not disclosed.
The first public betas of iOS 12.2, macOS 10.14.4, and tvOS 12.2 have been released. Really minor features have been discovered so far, with Safari Autofill now supporting Touch ID on Macs running macOS 10.14.4, and references to new iPads (probably the new iPads registered above) and even a seventh-generation iPod touch found in iOS 12.2.
9to5Mac says that iOS 12.2 also includes a "Hey Siri" setup step for AirPods, which isn’t a feature the current AirPods support, suggesting that any AirPods hardware revision will support Hey Siri without having to interact with AirPods beforehand.
Apple has distributed an internal document saying that 42mm Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 0 models are currently under constraint. The document authorises Apple Authorised Service Providers and Apple Stores to replace devices with the 42mm Apple Watch Series 2 starting February through to April, although there’s no details on specific model eligibility or criteria for replacement.
Apple’s Shot on iPhone film for the Chinese New Year is The Bucket of post-Chinese New Year celebrations. Two behind-the-scenes videos showing off iPhone slow-motion and depth control have also been uploaded to Apple’s YouTube channel.