Thursday Morning News
Six Colors has the transcript of the Apple post-earnings conference call. While it’s still a discussion of Apple’s financials over the past quarter between Apple execs and journalists and financial analysts, there’s lots of smaller tidbits that you might not have gotten from the figure-based results alone. The really interesting stuff comes from when Apple analysts ask hard questions to Apple execs, even if that’s Apple CEO Tim Cook saying that he won’t be announcing new services via conference call. Seeing that Apple’s services business is now bigger by quarterly revenue than the Mac and iPad combined, it’s not going away any time soon.
There’s also a great post on Six Colors commenting on how Apple has been learning to sell the iPhone again. In previous years, it’s always been the case that the iPhone has sold itself. But over the past year or so, Apple has found out the hard way that there’s only so many iPhones they can sell before iPhone sales growth stagnates, so it has to start putting effort into enticing people to upgrade, whether that’s via new marketing, in-store trade-in promos, or offering different financial incentives. Are their new strategies working? Maybe — it’s hard to tell, given market sensitivity to the higher pricing of recent models.
Another person is leaving Apple’s famed industrial design team. This time around, Miklu Silvanto is leaving Apple after eight years to go to an Airbnb-owned designed studio tasked with designing, building, and sharing homes better suited to new modes of living.
Several developers that build parental control apps have called on Apple to make its Screen Time APIs publicly available, both to open up competition in the screen time space and to allow third-party developers to do things in the space in ways that Apple hasn’t (or won’t). While there are certainly gaps in Apple’s current Screen Time implementation that could be filled by third party devs, Apple could turn around and say that letting developers have access to that sort of info may be a privacy risk in an of itself. It’s sad, but when we’re building these kinds of technologies, it’s just as important to think about the kind of impact that would occur if the information was abused or leaked, just as much as we think about how we’re solving real problems.
Regulatory filings by Qualcomm reveal the company gained between US $4.5 and $4.7 billion thanks to its settlement with Apple. Initial estimates put the figure at anywhere up to $6 billion, which seems like a bargain when you factor in the kind of return on investment Apple will get from bringing a 5G iPhone to market at the right time, instead of a year or two after.
Motherboard reports Apple is fighting right-to-repair legislation in California. An Apple representative has been meeting with Californian legislators to "encourage them to kill legislation that would make it easier for consumers to repair their electronics", citing the potential for injury that can happen if the lithium-ion battery is punctured or otherwise mishandled during a repair. While it sounds a little like scaremongering, it is based in truth – those batteries, even smaller ones found in iPhones, can pack a mean punch.
The Verge discusses the upcoming podcast wars between Apple, Spotify, and whatever newcomers decide to throw their hat into the ring. Podcasters want podcasting to remain a free, open, standard that means anyone can start and publish their own podcast, but companies want to monetise it. It’s a classic story, but how will it turn out this time around?
AppleInsider has commentary on what Apple needs to do to get serious with Apple TV+. At the top of their list is Apple dropping its "family-friendly" focus, with the current crop of Apple TV+ original programming including wholesome, story-based content lacking sex or violence. Other companies don’t have any such restrictions, so it will be interesting to see Apple TV+ uptake if it isn’t offering the breadth of content that other streaming companies do.
Lens looks like an Apple Watch Instagram client worth checking out, if only because it can work without your iPhone. There’s basic navigation packed into the Apple Watch app, and it even lets you like and comment on photos from the tiny screen on your wrist.
An album on Imgur shows off the Apple museum in Westerbork in The Netherlands. There’s a lot of machines that are still functioning, which can be unusual for museums, but there’s also a decent range of classic-era Macs as well as a few older designs.