posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Bloomberg today has published a detailed report about what it expects from the tentatively named iPhone 8. "iPhone Edition" render by Japanese blog Mac Otakara The report, citing people familiar with the matter, claims Apple's latest prototype features a stainless steel frame sandwiched between symmetrical glass on the front and the back. That design, one of several that Apple has tested, would be similar conceptually to the iPhone 4 launched in 2010. The overhauled iPhone will also adopt an OLED display that covers almost the entire front of the device, according to the report. The display itself will be flat, while the cover glass curves into the stainless steel frame along the edges. The cover glass will have similar 2.5D curvature as the iPhone 7. The report backs rumors of Apple testing at least one high-end iPhone prototype with a rear dual-lens camera positioned vertically, instead of horizontally like on iPhone 7 Plus. Apple is also said to be testing dual lenses for a revamped front camera, compared to a single lens on current iPhones. Apple has reportedly experimented with integrating the iPhone's fingerprint scanner into the screen, but noted it would be technically challenging, and said it's currently unclear if that feature will make it into the final product. Earlier research said Apple is facing yield issues with the under-display solution. Apple also tested a prototype with a glass back that had more dramatic curves on the top and bottom like the original iPhone from 2007, perhaps alluding to a previous water drop design rumor, but the report says Apple is more likely to ship the version with more subdued curves due to mass production considerations. Bloomberg believes that supply constraints could mean the high-end iPhone isn't readily available until one or two months after Apple's typical September event, where it is also expected to announce updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone models. All three new iPhones will run iOS 11 and could have faster Apple A11 chips. Today's report corroborates several "iPhone 8" design rumors that have surfaced in recent months, while the existence of multiple prototypes explains why some rumors have been conflicting so far.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: bloomberg.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's new range of iMacs will launch in the second half of 2017 and will include a "server-grade" model to cater for the high end creative professional market, according to Taiwan-based supply chain sources. Apple has already confirmed it is working on new iMac models for release later this year, but today's report offers another hint at what could be in store for creative pros and puts a more specific timeframe on those plans. According to the report, production of two new iMacs is said to begin next month, with a view to launching the consumer desktops between August and October and a "server-grade model" at the tail end of 2017. Apple currently has a 21.5-inch and a 27-inch iMac available in the market and the new products are expected to be the upgrades of the two models and are expected to hit the market in the third quarter to catch up with the year-end holiday season.The report comes from DigiTimes, which has a mixed track record when it comes to rumors, but with Apple already having taken the unusual step of confirming it is working on new iMac models for a late 2017 release, this latest information presents a reasonable timeline. In addition, the technical details from the supply chain line up with previously leaked specs for Apple's upcoming upgrades. According to Tuesday's report, the high end iMac will feature Intel's as-yet-unreleased Xeon E3-1285 v6 processor, options for 16 to 64GB error-correcting ECC RAM, up to 2TB NVM Express PCI-e solid-state storage, and more ambiguously, a "latest discrete graphics card". Typically, iMacs include a mobile-class GPU rather than a desktop-class card, so this last spec could refer to either, while AMD has a contract with Apple to supply the discrete graphics chips for future high-end 27-inch iMacs. The new iMacs for 2017 are said to be manufactured by Quanta Computer, which is expected to remain the largest all-in-one PC maker in 2017. The earlier report detailing identical tech specs claimed Apple's new iMacs would be accompanied by a brand new keyboard. A previous report said Apple was exploring a standalone keyboard with a Touch Bar and Touch ID, but its release is said to depend on how well those features have been received on the latest MacBook Pro. The original source of the iMac tech specs, Pike's Universum, also claimed Apple is working on an 8K external display, which would presumably feature as part of the comapny's highest end iMac offering. All iMacs are expected to ship with USB-C ports and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. Related Roundup: iMac Buyer's Guide: iMac (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
RBC Capital Markets raised its AAPL price target to $157 today, up from $155, as it believes iPhone sales were stable to modestly better than expected in Apple's second quarter, which ended on March 31. The investment bank's lead Apple analyst Amit Daryanani said the company's iPhone mix continues to remain positive, with "more" Plus-sized models sold in the quarter than it previously forecasted. iPhone 7 Plus models carry a $120 premium over iPhone 7 models, contributing to a higher average selling price. RBC now estimates Apple will report quarterly revenue of $53.5 billion, matching the high end of the company's guidance. Apple is scheduled to report its second quarter earnings results on May 2 at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time. MacRumors.com will provide live coverage of Apple's conference call at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. The bank said it remains positive about AAPL based on so-called "iPhone 8" refresh cycle tailwinds, benefits from a possible capital allocation increase, the acceleration of its growing Services category, and potential upside from U.S. Donald Trump's political agenda in relation to taxes and cash repatriation. Apple's stock price has been rising steadily since November, as rumors suggest the company will launch its first iPhone with an OLED display and slim bezels, potentially mirroring the design of Samsung's new Galaxy S8. Many analysts have maintained a "buy" or equivalent rating on AAPL since March or earlier. Last week, RBC Capital Markets generated headlines when it outlined the potential benefits of a completely speculative Disney acquisition. In a lengthy research note, the bank said such a deal would create a "tech and media juggernaut like no other" and instantly expand Apple's services, content, and media portfolio. Assets such as ABC and ESPN, for example, could lay the foundation for Apple's long rumored but elusive streaming TV service. An excerpt from Daryanani's research note obtained by MacRumors:Together, Apple and Disney would instantly have access to global distribution via Apple's installed base and the global iTunes store, and a massive library of content and studio capacity via Disney to make future movies and shows. A digital content service could be put together in relatively short order. Apple has the advantage of integrating its price to consumers with its hardware. For example, buy a new iPhone and receive a 12-month subscription to the streaming service for free.Daryanani said the so-called "mega deal" would diversify Apple away from hardware and help the iPhone maker fulfill its goal of doubling its Services category by 2020. He also thinks it would be an appropriate use of Apple's massive cash hoard, should the U.S. ever offer a cash repatriation holiday.A prerequisite to Apple-Disney is a regulatory environment that would allow Apple to use its huge amount of cash assets for a domestic acquisition. If a cash repatriation tax holiday results in a 9% tax on offshore cash brought to the United States, we estimate that Apple would effectively have access to cash of $223 billion. After adjusting for operational requirements, Apple should have $200 billion cash available for discretionary uses.Daryanani said there is a "greater than 0%" chance that Apple acquires Disney, but he admitted that the odds are low at this point. Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money" show, believes the Apple-Disney speculation was more about influencing the stock market than anything else."The only thing that's really accomplished by this kind of speculation? The short-sellers will be afraid to bet against Disney's stock because of newfound fears of a takeover lurking. It really does put a bid underneath, simply because it was just too juicy to ignore," Cramer concluded.AAPL closed at $141.83 on Monday. The Walt Disney Company closed at $113.78. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tags: RBC Capital Markets, Amit Daryanani, AAPL, Disney Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's widely rumored iPhone with an OLED display will feature a polished stainless steel enclosure sandwiched between front and back glass, says Japanese blog Mac Otakara. That's the same design that reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has expected since last year. "iPhone Edition" render by Japanese blog Mac Otakara The blog claims the so-called "iPhone Edition" will use an improved version of the Apple Watch's stainless steel enclosure. The smartphone, more commonly dubbed "iPhone 8" for now, will also allegedly have a conventionally flat OLED display with 2.5D cover glass along the edges, as rumored previously. As seen in a few renders over the past few weeks, the "iPhone Edition" will reportedly also be equipped with a vertically-aligned dual-lens iSight Duo camera on the rear for VR purposes. Accordingly, when the iPhone is used in a VR headset, the cameras would be positioned horizontally as customary. Meanwhile, the tentatively named iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus are expected to be slightly thicker than the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, meaning that some existing cases and accessories might not fit the newer models. From a cosmetic standpoint, however, those smartphones are expected to look similar.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: macotakara.jp Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3.2 update to developers, one week after seeding the second iOS 10.3.2 beta and three weeks after introducing iOS 10.3, which included features like a new Find My AirPods feature and Apple File System. Apple has also released a minor iOS 10.3.1 update, which focused on security improvements. Registered developers can download the third iOS 10.3.2 beta from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed. Apple doesn't typically provide detailed release notes for its iOS updates, so we don't yet know what features, improvements, or bug fixes might be coming in iOS 10.3.2, aside from some fixes for SiriKit car commands, outlined in the release notes for the first beta. As a minor 10.x.x update, we can expect iOS 10.3.2 to offer bug fixes and performance improvements rather than outward-facing features. No notable features were found in the first two betas, but if anything new is found in the third iOS 10.3.2 beta, we'll update this post.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.5 update to developers, one week after seeding the second beta and three weeks after releasing macOS Sierra 10.12.4, which introduced Night Shift for the Mac. The third beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.5 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store. According to the release notes accompanying the beta, the update "improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac." Apple's release notes don't often provide a lot of insight into what's included in new beta software, so we don't know what features or bug fixes might be included in the 10.12.5 update. No notable changes or major bug fixes were discovered in the first two betas, but should anything pop up in the third macOS Sierra 10.12.5 beta, we'll update this post.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Apple may be forced to eliminate Touch ID from the tentatively named "iPhone 8" altogether if it cannot resolve issues with integrating the fingerprint sensor underneath the smartphone's display within the next month or so, according to Andy Hargreaves, equity research analyst at Pacific Crest Securities. "iPhone X" concept by designer Gabor Balogh Hargreaves isn't the first analyst to think Apple could do away with Touch ID, but the move seems unlikely even as a last-ditch scenario. Touch ID is at the core of Apple Pay, and it appears much more likely that 3D facial or iris recognition would complement rather than replace fingerprint sensing. A more likely option fielded by Hargreaves is that Apple could delay "iPhone 8" production until its under-display fingerprint sensor solution is ready. An excerpt from his research note obtained by MacRumors:Likely options for Apple include a delay of production or elimination of fingerprint sensing on the OLED iPhone. We believe Apple continues to work on solving its optical fingerprint issues. If it's able to solve the problems in the next month or so, it would likely place volume orders at that point. This would likely lead to a delay of the OLED iPhone launch, but we would not expect it to meaningfully affect volume for the cycle. If it's not able to fix the problems in that time frame, Apple may be forced to eliminate fingerprint sensing from the OLED iPhone altogether.At this point, Hargreaves does not believe Apple's optical fingerprint module provider has received firm orders for production, which to him suggests that Apple does not have functionality of the optical fingerprint sensor ready. Additionally, he said Apple has evaluated and passed on Synaptics' optical fingerprint solution. Last week, Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri said Apple is facing yield issues with its AuthenTec-based under-display fingerprint sensor solution. He too speculated that Apple could remove Touch ID, but he believes it's more likely that Apple will put Touch ID on the back of the iPhone or delay production. If Touch ID were to be removed, Hargreaves said that would place significant pressure on unproven 3D sensing to replace the verification functionality that fingerprints currently provide. However, he said Apple's 3D sensing production appears on track, and could be a viable alternative to fingerprints.Suppliers suggest that the solution is both fast and highly reliable, even in low-light scenarios or from odd angles. If this proves accurate, reliance solely on 3D sensing for biometric login and verification could be a viable and innovative replacement for the highly popular fingerprint sensor.In February, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the "iPhone 8" will feature a "revolutionary" front-facing camera system with infrared for fully-featured 3D sensing capabilities. The advancements will enable the camera to determine the location and depth of objects placed in front of it. Pacific Crest Securities maintains a $150 price target for AAPL with an overweight rating.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: Touch ID Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers now have the option of replacing a customer's broken fourth-generation iPad with an iPad Air 2, according to an internal memo distributed by Apple last week. An excerpt of the memo obtained by MacRumors:Starting March 30, iPad 4th generation whole unit repairs may be substituted to iPad Air 2 models. Apple's repair and order management tool will indicate for each repair if a substitution will take place. Please note the substitute part’s color and capacity to ensure the customer understands what their replacement iPad whole unit will be.The fourth-generation iPad was released in November 2012, so when a customer needs a replacement model, it's likely easier now for Apple to just give them a newer and more widely available iPad Air 2 in most cases. Not every broken fourth-generation iPad will be replaced with an iPad Air 2. The decision will ultimately be decided on a case-by-case basis, likely depending upon availability of each tablet in the affected customer's region.Tag: AASP Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Days after a claimed 3D design drawing of the upcoming "iPhone 8" appeared, frequent Weibo leaker KK has shared a different dimensional drawing and renderings showing a device that is somewhat smaller in size than the previous leak. The veracity of the new drawing can not be confirmed, but KK has on several occasions shared accurate details about previous devices. This new iPhone 8 leak shows a device that measures 137.54 mm tall by 67.54 mm wide, nearly identical to the iPhone 7's 138.3 mm x 67.1 mm body. The thickness of the iPhone 8 is not shown on the drawing. According to the diagram, the iPhone 8's display measures 5.768 inches on the diagonal and will indeed cover nearly the entire front of the device. There appears to be only a 4 mm bezel around all four sides of the display, with over half of that being the 2.5D curved glass at the edges and the remainder appearing to be the device's frame around the sides. The drawing shows a narrow earpiece at the top of the device's front, with various cameras, sensors, and other components on either side of the earpiece. Those components would likely include a front-facing camera, small microphone hole, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, and the rumored 3D sensor. All of these components appear to be embedded within the display area itself, and while the accompanying rendered mockups based on the drawing show the earpiece appearing as a physical slit within the display area, the camera and other sensors are not depicted and it is unclear how they would appear in reality. With the display filling the entire front of the device, there is no dedicated Home button and thus no visible Touch ID sensor. Apple has been rumored to be trying to build Touch ID into the iPhone's display, but the company has reportedly been struggling with perfecting the technology and thus could resort to putting the sensor on the rear of the device. One of the renderings shows the rear of the device with no obvious dedicated Touch ID sensor, although there is no corresponding dimensional drawing of the rear. Notably, the rendering of the rear of the alleged iPhone 8 again shows a vertical dual camera, this time with the LED flash placed between the two cameras. As Ben Bajarin points out, the increased separation of the two lenses would help with augmented reality and 3D features, allowing for a greater difference in perspective. iDrop News and Benjamin Geskin posted their own mockups showing a very similar design a few days ago, but it is unclear whether the two batches of renderings are based on the same original source information or if one set's creator was working from the other. It is still early in the rumor cycle for detailed design leaks, so readers should continue to take information like this with a grain of salt until the information begin to solidify around a single specific design, but given KK's history of leaks this one is worth considering as a possibility.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: KK Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has been granted a permit that enables it to test autonomous vehicles on public roads in the state of California, according to the California DMV website (via Business Insider). Apple was added to the list of permit holders that are allowed to participate in the Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program in California on Friday, joining companies like Google, Tesla, BMW, Honda, Ford, Nissan, and more. Obtaining a permit for autonomous vehicle testing requires multiple steps, including outlining details for each specific vehicle being tested, suggesting Apple may have some sort of test vehicle that's road ready. Whether Apple will actually begin testing a vehicle remains to be seen, as some companies sign up and then don't go on to use it, but should Apple begin vehicle testing, public reports will need to be filed. In California, all companies that participate in the Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program must file Disengagement Reports that outline how many miles were covered with self-driving vehicles, so if Apple does test a vehicle, the information will be shared on the DMV's website. Apple's acceptance into the Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program confirms the company's work on a car-related project. Early rumors suggested Apple was developing its own autonomous electric vehicle, but Apple is said to have since transitioned to building an autonomous driving system rather than a full blown car. Developed under the leadership of Bob Mansfield, Apple's autonomous driving system could allow it to partner with existing car makers or return to its own car development project in the future. Apple executives have reportedly given the car team until 2017 to prove the feasibility of an Apple-designed autonomous driving system, and its approval to road-test vehicles could be a signal that the project is advancing.Related Roundup: Apple Car Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
It's been over three years since voice actress Susan Bennett came forward and revealed that she was the original female voice of Siri on iOS, which first debuted on the iPhone 4s in 2011. In a recent interview with Typeform, Bennett delved even deeper into her history with Apple and the early days of its virtual assistant. In the interview, which is dotted with audio playback of Bennett's voice so readers can compare her normal voice to that of Siri, the voice actress remembers recording a new project in July of 2005 for a text-to-speech company called ScanSoft. The project was said to be for a phone-messaging system, but it turns out it was the basis for what would become Siri, two years before the original iPhone even came out. Bennett's job during that summer was to recite "nonsense phrases" that made little to no sense. A few years ago, the voice actor behind the Siri male voice, Daniel, described the same work process when he was employed by ScanSoft. ScanSoft eventually merged with Nuance, which powers the voices and speech recognition abilities of Siri. A few of Bennett's lines included: “Malitia oi hallucinate, buckry ockra ooze, Cathexis fefatelly sexual ease stump, Say the shrodding again, say the shroding again, say the shreeding again, say the shriding again, say the shrading again, say the shrudding again.” “We were recording for a text-to-speech company. And this was brand new to us. We had no real idea of what we were doing. We thought we were doing new scripts for phone systems.” Bennett said she was paid an hourly wage, and refused a five-year contract that was eventually offered to her when the job was done, mentioning that constantly using a monotone voice day-in and day-out was "the complete opposite of creative." Only later did she realize that every odd phrase provided Apple with "all of the sounds of the English language," allowing the company to go in and "reform them into new phrases and sentences," and eventually craft what would become known today as Siri. The origin of Siri's name is also explained, with Bennett stating that Dag Kittlaus -- a co-creator of Siri who has now left Apple to found Viv -- had originally planned to name his daughter Siri. His wife eventually ended up having a boy, so Kittlaus used the girl's name for Apple's smartphone assistant instead. “In Norwegian the word Siri means “beautiful woman who guides you to victory.” Of course we know better, she’s the feisty chick who tells you where to go, right. But, Dag and his wife were expecting a child, they thought it was going to be a girl, and they planned to name her Siri. But when the baby arrived it was a boy. So they gave the name to the app instead. And that’s where Siri got her name.” Eventually, Bennett discovered that she was the voice of the ever-present voice assistant in the iPhone beginning in October 2011, and admitted that "it was a little creepy." She decided to stay quiet about her role for two years, finally revealing herself in a CNN interview in 2013. That same year, Apple ended up removing all of Bennett's voice work from Siri and replacing her with someone else within the completely redesigned iOS 7 update. The original Siri in iOS 5 Bennett said that everything has worked out for the best, because her work as the original Siri has opened up aspects of her career that she never imagined, including introducing Steve Wozniak at the 2013 Dallas Digital Summit and even giving a TED Talk in 2016. Because of this, she harbors no ill will towards Apple and the secretive methods the company used when creating Siri. “I kind of got the best of both worlds because I was the original, and I do get to promote myself, and when Siri starts leading us all into the sea it won’t be my voice.” The full interview on Typeform is well worth a read, as it goes back to detail Bennett's career beginnings as the voice of an ATM named Tillie in the 1970s, and delves into how Apple's programmers created Siri's personality from Bennett's original voice work. The article also looks to the future of virtual assistants and what the AI helpers might look like in next-generation smartphones.Tag: Siri Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple may spend several billion dollars to obtain a "substantial stake" in Toshiba's memory chip business, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK. Reuters cited NHK as saying Apple's stake would be greater than 20 percent. Given concerns from Japanese government officials about Toshiba selling "critical technologies" to overseas buyers, Apple would reportedly have Toshiba keep some shares so that the company retains partial Japanese ownership. Apple is also considering teaming up with its manufacturing partner Foxconn, which is trying to acquire about 30 percent of the stake, the report said. Foxconn allegedly offered Toshiba up to 3 trillion Japanese yen ($30 billion) as a standalone bid, but a subsequent report said Toshiba would likely reject the bid due to Foxconn's ties with China, where it operates multiple factories. Apple's other manufacturing partner TSMC has reportedly already withdrawn its bid, while other potential suitors are said to include technology giants Amazon and Google and rival memory chipmakers SK Hynix and Western Digital. Apple itself was named as a potential bidder by a separate source earlier this month. Toshiba announced plans to sell its NAND flash memory business in January in order to raise funds to cover write-down costs associated with its U.S. nuclear subsidiary Westinghouse Electric, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March. The company expects to face $9 billion in related charges. Apple dual sources 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB flash storage from Toshiba and SK Hynix for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Toshiba, facing an uncertain future, is supposedly expected to select the winning bidder of its memory chip business by June.Tag: Toshiba Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
A user on Weibo has shared an image of what appears to be an engineering design drawing of Apple's rumored 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display, which is tentatively named the iPhone 8 or iPhone X. The photo, which surfaced on /LEAKS earlier today, appears to have been taken on a computer belonging to an Apple manufacturing partner such as Foxconn. It's unclear when the photo was taken, or if it's authentic, so treat this rumor with some caution until actual parts start to leak from the supply chain. The photo appears to be from the EVT, or Engineering Verification Testing, stage. In other words, this could be one of over ten iPhone prototypes that Apple has supposedly been testing this year, and the iPhone that ultimately enters mass production later this year might have an entirely different design. The drawing shows an iPhone with a larger display that takes up nearly the entire front of the smartphone, as widely rumored. However, while many sources suggest the display will resemble the Galaxy S8 with only top and bottom bezels, the drawing shows very slim bezels along the left and right edges as well. On the rear of the iPhone, the drawing shows a vertically aligned dual camera system, which has been rumored only once before by Japanese website Mac Otakara in December. Touch ID has also been relocated to the rear shell, in line with multiple reports claiming the iPhone 8 won't have a Home button on the front. It has been more frequently rumored that Apple will integrate Touch ID underneath the iPhone 8's display glass, but Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri recently said that Apple is facing yield issues with an under-display solution. If it cannot resolve those issues, he said Touch ID on the rear is one possibility. The drawing depicts an iPhone 8 measuring 149.5mm tall and 72.5mm wide, compared to the iPhone 7's 138.3mm length and 67.1mm width, so the iPhone 8 would be slightly larger than a 4.7-inch iPhone as expected. It's depth is 8.6mm, compared to the iPhone 7 at 7.1mm, possibly due to a rumored glass and stainless steel frame. If accurate, the iPhone 8 would be approaching the thickness of an iPhone 4, which also had a glass and stainless steel design. Using the Pythagorean theorem, we calculated that the iPhone 8 would have an overall footprint of about 6.5 inches on the diagonal, compared to around 6 inches for iPhone 7 and around 6.9 inches for iPhone 7 Plus. In other words, the iPhone 8 would be smaller than an iPhone 7 Plus, yet with an even bigger display. The sides of the iPhone include the usual volume toggles, mute switch, lock button, SIM card tray, Lightning connector, speaker grille, and what is likely a second faux speaker grille. In line with the iPhone 7, there is no 3.5mm headphone jack, suggesting that the legacy port won't be making a surprise comeback. Chinese social network Weibo has been the source of numerous part leaks and Apple-related rumors in the past, but as is usually the case with leaks this far from launch, the iPhone depicted in today's image could end up being much different from the one that debuts later this year. Around this time three years ago, a similar design drawing and a few real-life photos of a device that ended up being the iPhone 6 surfaced from within Foxconn, so this leak does have a chance of being credible. Mitchel Broussard contributed to this report.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: weibo.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's iOS has dropped to its lowest share of the smartphone market in urban China since July 2014, according to new data collected and shared by Kantar Worldpanel. Today's report specifically details smartphone shares around the world for the three months ending in February 2017. In total, devices running iOS dropped 8.9 percentage points from the same year-ago quarter, receding from 22.1 percent of the China market to 13.2 percent. Apple rival Android remains the dominant force in China at 86.4 percent of the smartphone market in the country, growing 9.3 percentage points year-over-year. Although the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus remained the top selling devices in China, Apple has trouble competing with local vendors -- like Oppo and Vivo -- who produce cheaper smartphones at a massive rate that are far easier to obtain by the Chinese consumer. "In the three-month period ending February 2017, iOS accounted for 13.2% of smartphone sales in urban China, a decline of 8.9 percentage points from 22.1% a year earlier. This marks iOS’ lowest share since the three-month period ending July 2014," reported Tamsin Timpson, Strategic Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia. "That said, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus remained the top selling devices in the region, accounting for 8% of smartphone sales. By comparison, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus accounted for 14% of smartphone sales in the three months ending February 2016." Not much has changed for either iOS or Android in the United States since Kantar's last report, although the latter OS has continued to see a decline in market share throughout December, January, and February. Android has dropped three percentage points when compared to the same year-ago quarter, now accounting for 55.9 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, while iOS has grown by 3.7 percentage points year-over-year to take 42 percent of the market in the U.S. As in China, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus remained the top-selling smartphones in the U.S., which the devices have been since Kantar's report on the three months ending November 2016. Kantar's analysts cited hope that Google Pixel "might soften the drop in Android sales" that happen annually around every iPhone launch -- and which dropped even more dramatically last year because of the Note7 -- but the Pixel doesn't appear to have picked up the slack for the Android market in the U.S. In terms of overall growth, iOS saw its biggest percentage point increase in the quarter happen in Great Britain, growing 4.5 percentage points year-over-year. In most of Europe's big five markets -- Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain -- Apple has done well to boost sales of iOS devices, with France housing the biggest growth for the Apple operating system over the holidays. Outliers still remain, like Spain's 1.7 percentage point dip in today's report. Kantar's report also looked forward to the rest of 2017, admitting that the three months ending in February is a "challenging time" to report on due to its awkward middle ground proximity between the holiday season last year, and upcoming announcements at events like WWDC in the summer. “The February period is always a challenging time to report on consumer behaviour and plans, since many people put purchases on hold following the holidays, waiting for the latest phone announcements from Mobile World Congress,” Guenveur said. “The much-anticipated March 29 announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S8, combined with the somewhat unexpected launch of the (PRODUCT) RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and the capacity upgrade to iPhone SE a week before that, may mean that the remainder of Q1 and Q2 could yield some interesting, even unpredictable, shifts in the market.” Apple CEO Tim Cook has remained vocal in his optimism about the company's presence -- and future -- in China, mentioning in an earnings call last year that, "We may not have the wind at our backs that we once did, but it's more stable than the common view of it." More recently, Cook went into even more detail about Apple's China plans, stating that, "We're not just someone who's here to access the market," and that the company intends to bolster its presence in the country through providing jobs and improve people's standard of living.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Tags: China, Kantar Worldpanel Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
At a nondescript office in Palo Alto, Apple is rumored to have a small team of biomedical engineers researching better methods for monitoring blood sugar, reports CNBC. Apple's work on glucose monitoring is said to have started with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who wanted to develop a sensor that could continuously and non-invasively monitor blood sugar levels to improve quality of life. Apple is far enough along in its research that feasibility trials are being conducted at clinical sites in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it has hired consultants to sort out regulatory issues.The glucose team is said to report to Johny Srouji, Apple's senior vice president of hardware technologies. [...] One of the people said that Apple is developing optical sensors, which involves shining a light through the skin to measure indications of glucose.Rumors of Apple's work on advanced healthcare initiatives like diabetes management aren't new. Early Apple Watch information suggested the wearable device would be able to measure things like blood pressure and blood glucose levels. Many health-related sensors that Apple wanted to include in the original Apple Watch were reportedly dropped because the technology was not consistently accurate, but rumors at the time said Apple would pursue its work on more advanced health sensors. Apple has also made several health-related acquisitions and around the time the Apple Watch was in development, hired dozens of biomedical experts. Apple CEO Tim Cook has since said that Apple does not want to put the Apple Watch through the FDA approval process, something that would need to happen for more advanced healthcare features, so it is not clear if this is a feature Apple foresees being added to the wrist-worn device. From Tim Cook in 2015:"We don't want to put the watch through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process. I wouldn't mind putting something adjacent to the watch through it, but not the watch, because it would hold us back from innovating too much, the cycles are too long. But you can begin to envision other things that might be adjacent to it -- maybe an app, maybe something else."If Apple is planning on more advanced sensors for the Apple Watch, such features are not likely to be included in the third-generation device rumored to be coming in the fall of 2017. Information on that device thus far points towards a smaller update focusing on improving battery life and perhaps adding features like cellular connectivity. While Apple works on its in-house own blood sugar monitoring solution, it has launched CareKit, a platform that allows app developers to create integrated software that allows patients and doctors to better manage medical conditions. Diabetes monitor One Drop was one of the first companies to support CareKit.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3 Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 12 days ago on mac rumors
All three of Apple's rumored 2017 iPhone models will likely have 3GB of RAM, according to Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri. An excerpt from Arcuri's late March research note, obtained by MacRumors:In terms of memory/storage configuration, all three models will likely adopt 3GB RAM; the 4.7”/5.5” will likely have the same storage options as the current iPhone 7/7+ in 32/128/256GB while the 5.8” model looks to be only offered in two memory configurations: 64GB and 256GB. Finally, the 5.8” model will likely have extended battery life with two packs of batteries.Arcuri's research contradicts Taiwanese research firm TrendForce, which recently said that only the next 5.5-inch iPhone and Apple's rumored 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display will have 3GB of RAM. TrendForce said the next 4.7-inch iPhone will continue to have 2GB of RAM like the iPhone 7. Apple already includes 3GB of RAM in the iPhone 7 Plus, so the 4.7-inch iPhone would be the only model with increased RAM. If the prediction is accurate, it's welcomed news for customers that plan on purchasing the next 4.7-inch iPhone, rather than spending upwards of $200 more on the so-called "iPhone 8" with an edge-to-edge OLED display. Increased RAM means an iPhone can store more data in memory. If you have dozens of tabs open in Safari on an older iPhone, for example, you may notice that some of the tabs refresh when you revisit them. But with increased RAM, the likelihood of Safari reloading a website you previously loaded is lower. Arcuri also corroborated KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in saying that all three 2017 iPhone models will continue to have Lightning connectors with USB Type-C Power Delivery for faster charging. Cowen's research is based on his own checks of Apple's supply chain, so his prediction lends credence to the already-reliable Kuo. The Wall Street Journal previously said the "iPhone 8" will have "a USB-C port for the power cord and other peripheral devices instead of the company’s original Lightning connector." But the report did not provide any additional details, and it appears the Lightning connector will live on.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: Timothy Arcuri, Cowen and Company, Lightning, RAM Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 12 days ago on mac rumors
Last week, Apple executives announced that the company is working on an updated Mac Pro that features a revamped modular design to accommodate regular component upgrades. The launch of the new modular Mac Pro is at least a year away as development has just started, so we have no idea what the machine will look like when it's finished, but that hasn't stopped designers at CURVED/labs from dreaming up a conceptual design that includes a simple Mac mini-style box and a matching Apple-branded display. The imagined Mac Pro features a design that's entirely upgradeable, with two slots for full-sized graphics cards, rotating housing sides, and easily accessible sections for the processor, RAM, and storage. Holes on the top are designed to allow hot air to escape, and there are added features like a Touch ID power button, a Touch Bar for accessing information on included components, and USB-C, USB-A, and HDMI ports, along with a microphone and a headphone jack. Accompanying the imagined Mac Pro is a revamped 27-inch Apple "Cinema Display" with ultra thin bezels, an iMac-style stand, and and USB-C ports at the back. Again, this is in no way representative of what the finished Mac Pro might look like, but it does imagine features that are in line with what Apple executives have said about the Mac Pro so far. It's going to be a high-end high-throughput machine that will facilitate regular upgrades to meet the needs of Apple's pro user base. And given its modular nature, it will ship with an Apple-branded "pro" display. Apple is in the process of "completely rethinking" the Mac Pro and execs say it will take "longer than this year" to finish. What that means is not entirely clear, but one rumor has suggested it might not launch until 2019. Apple has a dedicated team working on the machine, which will serve the company's "most demanding pro customers."Related Roundup: Mac Pro Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 12 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's supposed "biggest bottleneck" in preparing to mass produce the rumored 5.8-inch iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display remains integrating Touch ID underneath the display glass, according to a research note from Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri obtained by MacRumors. Arcuri, citing his own "field work" within the supply chain, said the current yield of Apple's in-house AuthenTec-based fingerprint sensor solution is low, while noting that Apple seems unwilling to use an outside solution at this time. If Apple cannot resolve these yield issues, he sees three different scenarios: • Apple removes Touch ID from the 5.8-inch iPhone entirely and relies solely on facial/iris recognition. Arcuri said this is unlikely, as it's not secure enough, risky, and would potentially create issues with Apple Pay. • Apple puts Touch ID on the back of the 5.8-inch iPhone, but in a different place than the one on the Galaxy S8, which can be hard to reach. Arcuri said this would not be a user-friendly or optimal solution to say the least. • Apple delays production of the 5.8-inch iPhone, but still announces the device in early September alongside updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models.Arcuri said Apple is aiming to finalize its fingerprint sensor specification by May, but if its in-house AuthenTec-based solution is not feasible due to yield issues, mass production of the tentatively named "iPhone 8" could be delayed until September, compared to its usual late July to August timeframe. Arcuri still expects Apple to announce the 5.8-inch iPhone alongside updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models in September, but supplies may be extremely limited or unavailable whatsoever until later in the year. That timeline echoes recent predictions from Apple analyst Brian White and investment bank Barclays. It's also a scenario that has occurred with nearly every previous iPhone launch. Last year, the iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black was a highly popular model among customers, and shipping estimates for online orders quickly slipped to several weeks out. It wasn't until around November that it became more widely available. The device, which has also been called the iPhone X, iPhone Pro, or iPhone Edition, is expected to feature a new glass and stainless steel design, wireless charging, longer battery life, a new front-facing camera with 3D sensing capabilities, and improved water resistance. It also won't have a physical Home button. Touch ID-related yield issues may be the reason why 5.8-inch iPhone components and schematics have yet to leak from the supply chain. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus parts began to leak around March last year.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: Timothy Arcuri, Cowen and Company, Touch ID Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 12 days ago on mac rumors
In February, Apple held a "Close the Rings" Apple Watch fitness challenge for its employees, designed to encourage them to be more active. Employees who completed all stand, movement, and exercise challenges on the Apple Watch each day for a month earned an Activity rings pin (which matches in-app badges) and a matching T-shirt. Pins appear to be available in gold, silver, and rose gold, based on performance, while the T-shirt being awarded is black with colorful Apple Watch-style rings and text that reads "Close The Rings Challenge 1.0" on the back. Image via Instagram user gabo_cr7 As noted by French site WatchGeneration many Apple employees have been posting images and messages on social networking sites like Instagram and Twitter, announcing the completion of the challenge. Got my #apple #circles t-shirt and badge today for completing the 30 day close the rings challenge :) #closetherings pic.twitter.com/QeS5bjidkf— Sheraz (@sherazkhan) April 6, 2017 Each of the pins is accompanied by the following message:Welcome to the winner's circle. You did it. You completed the Close the Rings Challenge, and this badge is proof. Wear it, display it, or place it on your fridge. Let it be a reminder that even though the Challenge is over, your healthier lifestyle is just beginning.While this challenge is limited to Apple employees, Apple has done public challenges that resulted in special in-app badges. On Thanksgiving, Apple challenged Apple Watch owners to run 3.1 miles as part of a Thanksgiving Day Challenge, and on New Year's, Apple encouraged Apple Watch owners to "Ring In The New Year" by closing all three Activity rings each day for a week in January. Apple's Close the Rings employee challenge appears to coincide with a new "Close Your Rings" ad campaign that kicked off in January, but it is part of a series of wellness challenges that Apple encourages employees to complete each month.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3 Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
Amid a continuing decline in worldwide PC shipments, Apple's Mac sales are up slightly, according to new PC shipping estimates shared today by Gartner. During the first quarter of 2017, Apple shipped an estimated 4.2 million Macs worldwide, up from 4 million in the year-ago quarter for an estimated growth of 4.5 percent. During the quarter, Apple held 6.8 percent of the market, up from 6.3 percent during the first quarter of 2016, allowing the company to hold on to its position as the number five PC vendor in the world. Lenovo, HP, and Dell, the top three worldwide PC vendors, saw shipment growth during the quarter. Lenovo shipped an estimated 12.4 million PCs for 20 percent of the market (1.2 percent growth), HP shipped an estimated 12.1 million PCs for 19.5 percent of the market (6.5 percent growth), and Dell shipped 9.4 million PCs for an estimated 15 percent of the market (3.4 percent growth). Gartner's Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q17 (Thousands of Units) Asus, the number four PC vendor in the world, saw a sharp decline in growth, shipping only an estimated 4.5 million PCs compared to 5.3 million during the first quarter of 2016. Acer and the "Other" group composed of smaller manufacturers also saw declines. According to Gartner, overall worldwide PC shipments totaled 62.2 million units, a 2.4 decline compared to the first quarter of 2016."While the consumer market will continue to shrink, maintaining a strong position in the business market will be critical to keep sustainable growth in the PC market. Winners in the business segment will ultimately be the survivors in this shrinking market," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "Vendors who do not have a strong presence in the business market will encounter major problems, and they will be forced to exit the PC market in the next five years. However, there will also be specialized niche players with purpose-built PCs, such as gaming PCs and ruggedized laptops." "The top three vendors -- Lenovo, HP and Dell -- will battle for the large-enterprise segment. The market has extremely limited opportunities for vendors below the top three, with the exception of Apple, which has a solid customer base in specific verticals."In the United States, PC shipments totaled 12.3 million units in 1Q 2017, also a 2.4 percent decline compared to 1Q 2016. Apple is the number four PC vendor in the United States, shipping an estimated 1.47 million Macs (for 12 percent market share), a slight decline from the 1.48 million Macs shipped in the first quarter of 2016. Gartner's Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q17 (Thousands of Units) While HP saw 16 percent growth in the United States with an estimated 3.6 million shipments, shipments were down for Dell (3.2M), Lenovo (1.7M), and Asus (503,000). Apple's U.S. Market Share Trend: 1Q06-1Q17 (Gartner) IDC also released its PC market shipment estimates today, and as per usual, its numbers tell a different story, in part because of the difference in the way tablets are counted by each firm. According to IDC, the PC market saw its first growth in five years, with worldwide shipments totaling 60.3 million in the first quarter of 2017 for year-over-year growth of 0.6 percent. IDC's estimates for Apple are similar to Gartner's, with IDC suggesting worldwide Mac shipments of 4.2 million units, up from 4 million in the year-ago quarter for 4.1 percent growth. It's important to note that data from Gartner and IDC is preliminary and that the numbers can shift, sometimes dramatically and sometimes less so. Last year, for example, Gartner estimated Mac shipments of 4.6 million in the first quarter of 2016, but the actual number was just over 4 million.Tags: IDC, Gartner Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
New York University graduate student Dejian Zeng spent last summer working in a Pegatron factory manufacturing the iPhone 6s and 7 as part of a summer project, where he got a first hand look at what factory life is like for a worker in China. Zeng did a extensive, detailed interview with Business Insider, where he shared his experience and offered up an inside glimpse at how factories like Pegatron work. When he first arrived at the factory, Zeng's job was in final assembly. His sole task was to put a sticker on the back of the iPhone 6s and add a screw, over and over again, a process that he said was "very boring." Employees at Pegatron are not allowed to bring in electronic devices, so there's no entertainment like music. Strict security measures are in place, including metal detectors, preventing outside devices from entering the factory. While Zeng started out assembling the iPhone 6s, the factory switched over to the iPhone 7 in August ahead of its September launch, providing an interesting look at how security ramps up when an unreleased device is being manufactured. According to Zeng, once the iPhone 7 was in trial production, the sensitivity of the metal detectors was ramped up, with no metal, including the metal of underwire bras, allowed through. Two security checks were also required, and new assembly line infrastructure had to be built. Apple employees were also on hand to keep an eye out for issues.When we were producing the iPhone 7, they have Apple staff there every single day to monitor the process because it's a new product they want to see if there are new problems. The management of the factory becomes very, very careful. It needs to be very, very clean. All the case holders need to be in the exact position of where they should be. The process changed a lot because it used to be just an assembly line. They made it a clean room, like they want to keep the dust out.Zeng earned the equivalent of $450 for a month of work, including overtime pay, for working up to 12 hours per day. Because of unpaid breaks, he was only paid for 10.5 hours. He was also provided with housing in a dorm with multiple other employees, but he had to pay for meals. At $450 per month, Zeng did not earn anywhere near enough to purchase one of the devices he was assembling, and he said most of his coworkers used Chinese smartphones from Oppo or similar brands rather than an iPhone. Still, he said some factory workers considered producing the unreleased iPhone "as a very cool thing," and everyone knew they were working on an upcoming device. Factory jobs, he said, weren't hated, but weren't liked, and turnover rates were "very high." "It's very normal for workers to leave after two weeks or a month," he said.We just consider it a job that can give us money. Nobody enjoys the process because the purpose of getting to work is waiting to get out. The only thing that we're thinking about is really money, money, money. I need to get some money from my family, I need to support my life, support my kids.On the subject of safety training, Zeng said Pegatron was "very careful" and the training was thorough. Workers only get two days of training, though, with most of the focus on safety, and they're also required to download a special app designed by Apple that includes additional training documents and information on overtime. Pegatron, he said, did seem to keep an eye out for safety issues and other problems like underage workers. According to an Apple spokesperson that spoke to Business Insider, Apple has employees on the ground at the Pegatron facility every day and performs regular audits to make sure employees aren't working more than 60 hours. Apple also pointed out that wages at Pegatron have increased 50 percent over the last five years and are higher than the Shanghai minimum wage. Zeng, who originally visited the factory in anticipation of a worker strike due to reduced wages and the elimination of bonuses, says his experience at the factory has affirmed that his plan for a career in human rights advocacy is the right choice. Zeng's full interview with Business Insider, which goes into much more detail on working conditions, employee routines, living quarters, food, overtime pay, safety procedures, and more, is well worth checking out.Tags: supplier responsibility, Pegatron Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today provided its public beta testing group with the second beta of iOS 10.3.2, nearly two weeks after seeding the first iOS 10.3.2 beta and a day after releasing the second beta to developers. iOS 10.3.2 comes shortly after the release of iOS 10.3, a major update that brought features like a new Find My AirPods feature and Apple File System, and iOS 10.3.1, a minor security update. Beta testers who have signed up for Apple’s beta testing program will receive the iOS 10.3.2 beta update over-the-air after installing the proper certificate on their iOS device. Those who want to be a part of Apple’s beta testing program can sign up to participate through the beta testing website, which gives users access to both iOS and macOS Sierra betas. Betas are not stable and include many bugs, so they should be installed on a secondary device. According to Apple’s release notes, the iOS 10.3.2 update fixes SiriKit car commands, which should now be working as expected. Aside from the SiriKit fix, we don’t know what other bug fixes and improvements are included, as nothing notable has been discovered in the betas we’ve received so far. As a minor 10.x.x update, iOS 10.3.2 likely focuses on bug fixes, performance improvements, and security enhancements rather than outward-facing features.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
Samsung topped Apple as the world's largest smartphone maker in the first quarter, as it continues to show signs of recovery following its disastrous Galaxy Note7 recall last year, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. Samsung reclaimed the number one spot with an estimated 26.1 percent market share, trailed by Apple at an estimated 16.9 percent, said TrendForce. Chinese vendor Huawei, which aims to become the world's largest smartphone maker within four years, finished third with an estimated 11.4 percent market share. Samsung is traditionally the world's largest smartphone maker, as it sells millions of inexpensive smartphones alongside its flagship devices, so this would normally be no surprise. However, after Samsung recalled the Galaxy Note7 due to defective batteries, Apple overtook its South Korean rival in the fourth quarter. While the worst might be over for Samsung now, TrendForce said the company's sales results for its high-end smartphones still "fell short of expectations" in the first quarter, as consumer confidence in the brand had "yet to fully recover" from Galaxy Note7 recall and subsequent discontinuation in the fall. Nevertheless, Samsung's continued success in the mid-range and low-end segments of the market allowed it to reclaim its crown.The economically priced, high-performing Galaxy J series sustained Samsung’s shipments and contributed significantly to the expansion of the brand’s overall smartphone production volume. Samsung was the only brand that saw positive growth in production volume during the off season of the first quarter.Samsung's focus has now shifted towards the Galaxy S8, set to launch later this month. The smartphone features an edge-to-edge 5.8-inch display with no physical home button, foreshadowing the rumored design of the tentatively named iPhone 8. And it shouldn't catch on fire like the Galaxy Note7, as Samsung now performs an 8-point battery check on all of its smartphones. It's important to recognize that these are estimated figures only, and that shipments do not necessarily reflect sales to customers. Apple will officially report its iPhone sales figures for the first quarter, corresponding with the second quarter of its 2017 fiscal year, on May 2.Tags: Samsung, TrendForce, Galaxy Note 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
Dialog Semiconductor shares plunged to their lowest price in over 16 years on Monday, after an industry analyst predicted Apple will drop the supplier and move to its own in-house power management chips for iPhones by 2019. The prediction comes from analyst Karsten Iltgen at German investment bank Bankhaus Lampe, who said that Apple will at the very least cut back to some degree on Dialog's supply of power management chips for the iPhone, according to a research note obtained by Bloomberg.“There is strong evidence that Apple is developing its own power-management integrated circuits and intends to replace the chip made by Dialog at least in part,” Karsten Iltgen, analyst at Bankhaus Lampe, said in a research note published Tuesday. A shift to Apple developing its own chips in-house is unlikely in the short term, he said. “We believe that Apple is setting up power-management design centers in Munich and California,” said Iltgen. “We hear from the industry that about 80 engineers at Apple are already working on a PMIC with specific plans to employ it in the iPhone by as early as 2019.”According to Iltgen, Apple is setting up its own power management chip design centers in Munich and California, and up to 80 Apple engineers are said to already be working on its own PMIC (power management integrated circuit) component. However, he said Apple dropping Dialog "is unlikely in the short term." Dialog's website says its integrated power management component results in up to 30% longer battery life:Dialog replaces multiple discrete power management components with one highly integrated device, enabling our customers to produce lighter and thinner portable applications with higher power efficiency resulting in longer battery life. These single chip solutions reduce energy usage and provide a simple, yet flexible, design at a lower cost. Typical usage tests show our Power Management Integrated Circuits (PMICs) are able to decrease the power consumption of a portable device by up to 30%.The analyst noted that Apple has steadily hired engineers from the United Kingdom-based Dialog over the past year, from the chipmaker's pool of about 1,300 engineers, but a person familiar with the situation noted that "it isn't unusual" to see employees flowing between Apple and its supplier. However, last week Apple announced that it was planning to stop using the graphics processing chips supplied by Imagination Technology in its iPhones within two years, and Bloomberg noted that, ahead of that decision, Apple had hired "several people" from Imagination to help craft its in-house technology. If Apple does make the same decision with Dialog Semiconductor as it did with Imagination Technologies, the former company could see as much as three quarters of its business gone over the next few years, as it's believed that Dialog gets as much as 74 percent of its sales from Apple. Some analysts don't believe that it will ever come to that and disagree with Iltgen's prediction, as Barclays analyst Andrew Gardiner recently mentioned in a research note that he does "not see [Dialog] remotely in a similar position" as Imagination. Dialog shares remained down around 16 percent on Tuesday. Not everyone agrees that Dialog is at risk. “We do not see them remotely in a similar position," said Andrew Gardiner, an analyst at Barclays Plc, in a research note. "We acknowledge Apple’s continued hiring of engineers, in power management and elsewhere, but an additional 80 engineers hired in this area pales in comparison to the over 1,300 engineers Dialog employed at the end of last year." Last year Dialog entered the news when a Fast Company report mentioned the supplier's $10 million investment in wireless technology company Energous, adding to recent rumors that Apple and its suppliers were gearing up to implement some form of wireless charging into a future line of iPhones. Energous has said that its first truly wireless charging technology will arrive later in 2017, but in regards to the iPhone's wireless charging it's believed that Apple is again looking in-house to craft an inductive charger for the iPhone as it did for the Apple Watch, rather than using a truly wireless solution.Tag: Dialog Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
Qualcomm today announced it has countersued Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, nearly three months after the iPhone maker sued the chipmaker for $1 billion in alleged unpaid royalty rebates. Qualcomm, which earlier called Apple's lawsuit "baseless," accused Apple of failing to engage in good faith negotiations for a license to its 3G and 4G standard essential patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms. The chipmaker accused Apple of breaching its licensing agreements, making false statements, and encouraging regulatory attacks on its business in multiple countries. Qualcomm also said Apple has deliberately "chose not to utilize the full performance" of its LTE modem in its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Even still, independent testing last year found Qualcomm's LTE chip to significantly outperform Intel's LTE chip in iPhone 7 models. However, Qualcomm said Apple misrepresented the performance disparity between iPhones using its modems and those using competitor-supplied modems. Qualcomm said Apple made threats to prevent it from making any public comparisons about the superior performance of the Qualcomm-powered iPhones. Qualcomm, a longtime supplier of 3G and LTE modems for iPhones, said Apple has "launched a global attack" against its company, using its "enormous market power" to coerce unfair and unreasonable licensing terms. Qualcomm said Apple "could not have built the incredible iPhone franchise" without relying upon Qualcomm's "fundamental cellular technologies," adding that Apple "refuses to acknowledge the well established and continue value of those technologies" after a decade of unprecedented growth.“Qualcomm is the world leader in inventing and developing fundamental, ground-breaking mobile technologies that enable the worldwide mobile ecosystem. Today, Qualcomm's patented technologies remain the primary value driver for mobile devices,” said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm. “The value of our inventions has been proven through hundreds of license agreements, negotiated and renegotiated over almost three decades, with virtually every significant handset maker in history, including the companies in Asia that have manufactured Apple iPhones and iPads. Over the last ten years, Apple has played a significant role in bringing the benefits of mobile technology to consumers with its popular products and services. But Apple could not have built the incredible iPhone franchise that has made it the most profitable company in the world, capturing over 90 percent of smartphone profits, without relying upon Qualcomm's fundamental cellular technologies. Now, after a decade of historic growth, Apple refuses to acknowledge the well established and continuing value of those technologies. It has launched a global attack on Qualcomm and is attempting to use its enormous market power to coerce unfair and unreasonable license terms from Qualcomm. We intend to vigorously defend our business model, and pursue our right to protect and receive fair value for our technological contributions to the industry.”Qualcomm is seeking, among other things, damages from Apple for "reneging on its promises in several agreements" and to "enjoin Apple from further interference" with Qualcomm's agreements with other companies and licensees that manufacture iPhones and iPads for Apple.Tag: Qualcomm Discuss this article in our forums

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