Thursday Morning News
A report from the Wall Street Journal claims Apple is in the final stages of negotiating a deal to buy Intel’s modem chip business. As part of the deal, rumoured to be around the US $1 billion mark, Apple will secure a number of cellular-modem related patents and technology from Intel, as well as some personnel transfers, providing a shot in the arm to Apple’s own own modem efforts. In the long run, Apple making their own cellular modems will reduce their reliance on third parties, whether that’s paying less royalties, or being less bound to their release schedules and cadences, so it’s not hard to see where Apple benefits from this deal.
New iPhones are likely just a few short months away, and 9to5Mac believes they have the skinny on the iPhone 11. There will be an A13 chip on board, Lightning port, and three models to replace the current iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR, with all new models featuring the same screen sizes and technology as the current models. A new Taptic Engine will make an appearance, likely due to the death of 3D Touch and the introduction of Haptic Touch on both iPhones and iPads.
The Verge writes that it’s fine that this year’s iPhone is the last one with a Lightning port. While the iPad Pro has switched from Lightning to USB-C, many people thought that this year’s iPhone would do the same. There are still many people who think that iPhones should be USB-C also, but at the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with Lightning as-is, while the USB-C cable situation remains dire at best, and Apple may just be saving their iPhone to USB-C transition for another time.
Supply chain rumours claim we’ll see an all-new 16-inch MacBook Pro from Apple in October, which will arrive with an eye-watering US $3000 starting price. We’ll at least get a resolution upgrade for that kind of cash, with the 16-inch machine having a 3072×1920 display instead of the 2880×1800 currently found in the 15-inch MacBook Pro. That’s about all we know so far (besides smaller bezels and an new keyboard design), but the same rumour also claims we’ll see it launch alongside refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pros and the Retina MacBook Air.
Macworld says rumours alone now perfectly place Apple to launch ARM MacBooks. The rumour of a high-priced Apple laptop aimed at pros now makes room at the bottom end for the introduction of a new ARM-based Mac laptop. Of course, all of this is pure speculation given that we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves, but it still makes a lot of sense, and could be where Apple’s product lineup ends up being.
The US Department of Justice says it will be launching a major anti-trust investigation, to find out whether big tech companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon are unlawfully stifling competition. The results will be interesting, with no defined goal for the investigation and antitrust itself being very ambiguous at times, but we’ll have to wait and see how this one shakes out.
For its part, Apple has already denied favouring its own apps over those of competitors in App Store search results. While the Wall Street Journal recently published a story saying Apple apps often rank higher in search results than their better-reviewed third party counterparts, but Apple says that it uses dozens of factors to determine how apps are ranked. Remember what I was saying about antitrust being ambiguous? This is a prime example of that.
With the upcoming Mac Pro, Apple has moved manufacturing from the US to China. Now, the company has applied for tax exemptions for Mac Pro parts that would exclude certain parts from being subject to import taxes in the ongoing trade war between the US and China. Apple says it wants to keep prices as low as possible for professionals who want to purchase the new Mac Pro, but there’s got to be something about Apple’s bottom line there too, if you read between the lines.
Introduced with iOS 12.4, there’s now a data migration tool for moving your information between your old iPhone and your new one. You can do it over Wi-Fi or via a wired USB camera adapter and a Lightning cable, and 9to5Mac has more information on how it all works.
AppleInsider has a post on why Apple can now ditch Intel CPUs and move to ARM. There’s a few bits of evidence that support Apple gearing up for a processor architecture transition, and many more reasons why such a move would make strategic sense. But an architecture change is no small undertaking, and will likely affect Apple products for over a decade.