A paywalled article from The Financial Times says the European Commission plans to launch an inquiry on some of Apple’s anti-competitive practices, all of which were brought to our attention by Spotify not too long ago. Spotify’s claims about Apple’s unfair advantages it has on the App Store and on the iOS ecosystem in general, compared to those it offers to third-party developers, means that this investigation will be one to watch if it goes ahead.
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.
Apple’s second quarter financial results tell us a familiar story, with revenue of US $58 billion, and profit of 11.6 billion. While revenue is down 5% compared to the year-ago quarter, services revenue of $11.5 billion means there’s a new all-time services revenue record that Apple can celebrate, and Apple is also calling out a 22% increase in iPad revenue compared to the year-ago quarter. Graphs of Apple’s quarterly financial results from Six Colors tell us the other parts of the story: while the Mac and iPhone were both down year-on-year, there are other parts of Apple’s business that are doing well, with services now accounting for 20% of Apple’s quarterly revenue compared to the iPhone’s 54%.
The New York Times reports Apple pulling apps from the App Store related to monitoring or limiting usage of iOS devices. The apps in question provided similar functionality to Apple’s own Screen Time feature in iOS 12, but in some cases offered functionality not present in Apple’s built-in Screen Time feature. While there’s undertones that this is just another example of Apple’s anti-competitive behaviour when it comes to the App Store, a email from Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller claims these apps were removed due to a misuse of Mobile Device Management technology, which allowed third parties much more pervasive access to iOS devices than what Apple would normally allow a regular App Store app to have.
Speaking at the TIME 100 Summit, Apple CEO Tim Cook says his company never wanted to maximise user time on its devices. TechCrunch claims it’s disingenuous for the company that built the real-time push notification system to claim that it wasn’t for the express purpose of increasing user engagement, to which the only recourse is to switch off push notifications entirely. But Cook also says that they’re working towards healthier smartphone habits, starting with what the company announced at last year’s WWDC, and continuing to improve as time goes by. Importantly, he says that you shouldn’t use your phone when you’re with other people, because that would be doing the wrong thing.
Apple expanded its recycling programs over the Easter long weekend, allowing US residents to drop some iPhones off to Best Buy locations to be recycled by Apple. A similar program also allows those in the Netherlands to drop off their devices at KPN, while everyone else can drop off devices at Apple Stores, or via Apple’s online store as part of the trade-in program. Apple also announced the opening of a new Material Recovery Lab in Texas, designed to investigate new methods of disassembly, sorting, and shredding, in order to further Apple’s recycling efforts.
After just one day in court, Apple and Qualcomm have agreed to drop all litigation worldwide, with the two companies reaching a global patent license agreement and chipset license agreement. Apple’s press release on the issue uses surprisingly positive language in telling us about Qualcomm’s achievements, which makes me wonder: what kind of internal discussions needed to happen at both companies behind closed doors to get to where we are today?
Details have been shared with 9to5Mac regarding what may be included in this year’s version of iOS. According to their sources, iOS 13 will include a system-wide dark mode, and multitude of multitasking improvements on the iPad, including the ability for apps to have multiple windows. There will be a new undo gesture that won’t require physically shaking your device, as well as better detection for when websites continue serving up mobile-optimised versions, even when you’re on a larger screen like the iPad. Last but not least, there’s also a new volume HUD which will be great for everyone that’s ever adjusted the volume while a video is playing.
The latest update to Apple’s clean energy program include 44 Apple suppliers that have committed to run their Apple-related production activities on 100% clean energy. That’s nearly twice as many as Apple had previously, which will allow the company to beat its previous goal of bringing 4 gigawatts of renewable energy into its supply chain by 2020. Although Apple’s global operations are now run on 100% renewable energy, and have been for a year now, manufacturing accounts for 74% of Apple’s overall carbon footprint, so it’s just as important that Apple continues to work with suppliers committed to using renewable energy.
Judging from the rumours, it seems the breakup of iTunes is really happening this time, despite this being one of the most long-standing Apple rumours around. According to multiple sources, standalone Music, Podcasts, and TV apps are going to be included in the next version of macOS set to be revealed at WWDC in June, with developer Guilherme Rambo now saying on 9to5Mac that the new apps will be built using Marzipan. Although new apps will be introduced, it’s expected that iTunes will be sticking around for a little longer.