Appleviews – 31st March 2023
So the fun begins
Apple’s WWDC invites landed this week, and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
Judging by the artwork for the invite, it was clear, that finally, we were to lay our eyes on the much anticipated, and long overdue mixed reality headset. But, things may just have changed…
Will they won’t they
Less than twenty-four hours after those invites to June’s developer’s conference landed, in our inboxes, the news spread that the headset may now not feature at the summer event.
Leaker, Ming-Chi Kuo, took to Twitter yesterday, with the latest on the headset. He told us that Apple has now pushed back mass production, and that means there are grave doubts that it will be the ‘one more thing’ moment at WWDC on June 5th.
Apple, apparently, “isn’t very optimistic” that can replicate the clamour that was created when iPhone was debuted. Because of that, Kuo is convinced that they will delay the release yet again.
Add to that, they are also struggling to scale up to mass production too. The plan was to ship around 500,000 units by the end of this year. It’s feared now though that they’ll only be able to achieve no more than 300,000 units before the year-end.
Another cause for concern for Apple, was the luke warm reaction from executives last week when shown the device, and tepid market feedback. The timing of releasing a $3000-$4000 headset in a time of such economic uncertainty, has not gone un-noticed, either.
Speaking of Kuo, in another tweet, he mentioned that he fears that there is a component and lens inventory shortage for iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max looming.
The main component supplier for those iPhone models is Largan, and their numbers are not looking good. For instance, although there were more working days in February, their revenue was down 21% month-on-month.
Apple’s lens orders with Largan are also down by almost 40% year-on-year. Even the news that the company is to be the sole supplier of the lens for the periscope phones, has not softened the blow for Largan.
It seems the anticipated demand for the new phone is not as high as once thought. Because of the feared lack of demand, the average selling price for the lens and prism, is only $4. At that price, the company won’t be making a profit.
The woes continue for Largan too, as it appears that Apple next year, will source their lens from Genius, a direct competitor to Largan.
And speaking of that lens…
iPhone 15 latest – the zoom lens
Leaks this week have revealed new details about that zoom, periscope lens on this year’s iPhone 15 Max.
A periscope lens, on a smartphone, works by reflecting light from the camera’s aperture to be in line with the phone’s body. Using this technology offers greater zoom capabilities, without making the camera block even more thick.
The zoom ability on iPhone 15 Max is expected to be x5, which, although not as good as Samsung’s flagship S23, is a significant improvement over the 3x on this year’s iPhone 14.
And the buttons
We understand that the 15 Pro and Pro Max are to have solid state buttons. In a new story to break this week, it would appear that users will be able to customise the sensitivity of those buttons. — and for good reasons!
On first hearing about the move to solid state buttons, iPhone forums had been pondering how hey would work with a case is fitted, or if gloves are being worn. Well, it seems there will be a new toggle in the Settings menu on iOS 17 allowing for the sensitivity of those buttons to be adjusted.
In the same leak that my friends at MacRumors picked up on, the leaker also revealed this year’s Pro model iPhones will use a new ultra-low energy chip. This will let users access the new volume, power, and ‘Action’ solid-state buttons even if the handset is powered off or out of battery.
On your bike
As long ago as 2010, Apple covered a patent for a smart bike.
In a patent revealed this week, it seems Apple may be keen to advance that project – well, sort of.
The latest patent links to the bike, but this time its focus is on a new Apple Watch app which will be able to accurately check your fitness, monitoring it in context for E-bike riders.
This patent from Apple relates to an E-bike detector for energy expenditure estimation. The invention covers methods for determining the heart rate energy expenditure of a user wearing or holding the device, and work rate energy expenditure too.
Do you remember…
At last year’s WWDC, as they announced iOS16, there was a list of features that they headlined would be coming in the following months.
While most of those features have now been launched, there are three big ones that are still to see the light of day. This month, Apple Classical, and an Apple Pay Later early access program were both made available publicly.
So, what does that leave us still to come?
For starters, do you recall they promised the next generation of CarPlay? It’s supposed to have support for multiple displays, widgets, and further integration with vehicle functions such as climate control. Apparently, it is still coming.
Apple has announced that the first vehicles with support for the latest version of CarPlay will be announced before the end of the year. Manufacturers on board include Nissan, Volvo, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz.
The Apple Card Savings account, whereby Apple Card users would be able to open a new high-yield savings account from Goldman Sachs, has yet to materialise, though.
The plan was that users would have their Daily Cash automatically deposited into it, with no fees, no minimum deposits, and no minimum balance requirements. The account, which would be managed through the Wallet app, has still to launch.
The last, somewhat bespoke feature yet to become reality is the iMessage Contact Key Verification. This feature is certainly not aimed for the masses – it allows users who face extraordinary digital threats, such as journalists, and government officials, to check that they are messaging only with the people they intend.
As this is so late in coming out, and so niche, it’s more than likely, this feature will now be held back to launch in this year’s iOS17.
Another slap on the wrist
Apple looks set for more backlash over their reported restrictions for data transfer speeds when using third-party cables.
I have written how they have effectively side-stepped the soon-to-be enforced EU regulations, about being forced to replace their proprietary lightning port.
Apple’s answer to being told to switch was to restrict being able to access the full data transfer speeds available from the USB-C port…unless you bought official Apple or MFi (Made For iPhone) accessories.
That has not gone down too well over at the European Union! MEP Alex Agius Saliba was the minister responsible for the introduction of the universal change in the first place. On Wednesday, he said that any such move would be in breach of the new law.
MEPs are due to hold an urgent meeting to discuss the looming situation, and they will also be writing to Apple as well. He said quite firmly;
“Big companies like Apple cannot continue to do what they want, to the detriment of consumers”.
Although Apple had originally said they would comply with the new laws, within the last week, rumours have suggested the company is planning to use an authentication chip on its devices. That would mean, using an un-authorised cable would throttle charging and data transfer speeds.
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