Appleviews – 27th January 2023
A more normal week
After all the excitement of our late Christmas from Apple, things returned to normal this week. Oh, by the way, I have ordered a HomePod which should arrive next week, and I have some exclusives coming up about the Apple Headset too.
But, you didn’t come here for waffle, you came here for news, so let’s get to it.
iPhone 16 Pro
So, the early rumours are already starting to surface about next year’s iPhone 16. Of course, with nearly two years before the release, details may change, but here is what we know for now.
Dynamic Island is a feature that will evolve, and Apple are looking to display extra information in their innovative feature. There will be a reduction in the size of the exposed camera lenses, by around 50%.
A new Face ID system that Apple has been working on for a few years now, will be located underneath the screen, meaning that the physical dimensions of the Dynamic Island will be smaller.
There will be no change to the Haptic buttons that are thought to be coming to this year’s iPhone 15 Pro’s, and it’s unlikely that the phone will go portless, and will retain USB-C for charging.
The minimum storage will be 256GB, with a maximum of 2TB. As the global economy stabilises, Apple are hoping to hold their prices for iPhone 16, but don’t forget that we are expecting some hefty increases on this year’s line-up.
Camera-wise, the sensor will be the same 48MP that we have now, with improvements to HDR picture quality, and the addition of 8K video recording.
For the longest while now, Apple has known to have wanted to bring in-house, the manufacture of the Wi-Fi chips in their phones. But this week, there seems to have been an indefinite pause put on that program.
There are numerous reasons contributing towards Apple walking away from their plans, namely, an impending Wi-Fi standard transition and 3nm chip development…plus so many internal resources being pulled towards their AR/VR headset launch.
Although Apple has been keen to be less reliant upon suppliers such as Broadcom, they also appreciate the complexities, of bringing Wi-Fi chip production in-house. The move to Wi-Fi 6E, and eventually Wi-Fi 7, also introduces yet further risks for Apple. The aggressive push into custom chipsets during a standard change only increases their potential headaches.
Broadcom supplies a chip that is a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi combo, whereas the chip that Apple had been developing was a wi-fi only chip.
This coming Thursday, Apple will announce their Q1 FY’23 results.
We know that during that period, Apple experienced supply chain issues, with many products, including their flagship iPhone 14 being affected. This is thought to have had an effect on the results.
Analysts are expecting a small dip, year-on-year, with a profit of $123 billion for the quarter expected to be announced.
Poorer sales than expected of iPhone 14 are likely to be the biggest driver of the company’s results. iPhone Pro models witnessed shortages through the holiday season, resulting from Covid-19-related issues in China and protests at Foxconn’s factory in Zhengzhou.
Demand for Mac and iPads is also likely to have dipped from the last year, as people return to work from the office, post pandemic.
Apple services sales have certainly cooled in recent quarters. In the last financial quarter of 2022, the division grew by a mere 5%, compared to double-digit growth in recent previous quarters. This is clearly concerning, given that services have been highly lucrative for them recently.
Back to work
Apple has amended their COVID-19 policy, and employees will longer require to be tested before entering to Apple HQ.
As you probably know, Apple had applied pretty stringent rules about entering the workplace, during the pandemic. Those measures have included encouraging employees to get vaccinated and regular testing. Last spring, Apple finally dropped its mask mandates for corporate and retail employees as the pandemic eased.
A further easing of policies takes place from January 30th, as employees will no longer have to be tested before coming back to work. The company will also ease its special sick leave policy, which had allowed unlimited sick leave for workers experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Spring is in the air
As I write, Apple is still expected to hold their normal year opening event this spring.
The final decision, though, will depend upon the progress the company makes with its AR headset over the coming weeks, and months. If Reality Pro runs in to issues, though, I’d expect Apple to hold back on the event, and knock it back until early summer.
Given all the releases this year so far, without the headset, there really would not be enough to warrant a full-blown, in-person event. The Mac Pro is the only other big release this year, and that could easily be released via the pressroom.
If the event does take place, though, it will mimic what we have become used to – an in-person event, with the normal, high-quality video productions being at the heart of the event.
Launching the headset, Apple would be keen to have people, together, under one roof, experiencing the headset for real. The headset, in particular, would need that type of tactile, physical interaction to fully show it off.
As to when the event would take place…the smart money is on either a Monday or Tuesday in late March, with the dates of 20th, 21st, 27th, or 28th looking to be the most likely candidates.
A lot rests on the headset for Apple this year…
If you join me here regularly, you’ll know what an Apple TV+ fan I really am.
This week I have been catching up on a missed gem, Truth Be Told, starring Octavia Spencer – if you’ve missed it too, I promise, it’s worth catching a view.
Tonight, a new series starts, that I have been looking forward to. Shrinking stars Harrison Ford, and Jason Segel. The series is centred around a therapist who ignores the usual rules of practice and decides to give raw, honest, advice to his clients. The team behind Shrinking (Brett Goldstein, and Bill Lawrence), were also responsible for the hit, Ted Lasso.
Jason Segel takes the role of James Laird, a therapist who has given up on life following the death of his wife. His way of dealing with grief, is to get back to work, and decides on a new take to his therapy work – by giving his patients the truth!
Harrison Ford is another therapist, Dr. Paul Rhodes. Fords role grows over the episodes, but certainly adds that star element to the show.
It’s a lengthy series – the first three episodes are ready to watch now, after which, one episode will drop weekly until 24th March.
You can also listen to Jason Segel in the most recent Apple Fitness + Time to Walk workout.
Did you know there was such a thing as Data Privacy Day? Nope, me neither.
Well, apparently, there is, and to mark it Apple has unveiled a new set of educational resources designed to help users take control of their data. The threat to personal data remains ever present, and a new Toady at Apple session addresses the issue.
It will help to educate users how best to safeguard their data, and the awareness drive partners with Ted Lasso star, Nick Mohammed.
Starting tomorrow, Saturday, January 28, a new Today at Apple session, “Taking Charge of Your Privacy on iPhone,” will explore features including Mail Privacy Protection, Safety Check, Location Services, and passkeys. At these sessions, you’ll learn how to best customise each feature for you.
The sessions are 30-minuets long, and are available worldwide at Apple retail stores.
Spreading their wings
Apple retail is looking to pastures new – this time, Malaysia is in their sights.
The company are seeking to expand their bricks-and-mortar presence in Southeast Asia. Adding to the stores they already have in Thailand, and Singapore, Apple has already posted for job positions in Malaysia, according to Bloomberg.
The jobs that are listed include store managers, technical specialists, support staff, salespeople for businesses, and operations experts. The listings suggest that the positions will be for Apple’s retail stores, rather than re-sellers.
Close to home
A few weeks back, you may recall, I wrote a blog and the title was created by AI – ChatGPT.
Then I reported that Apple Books were accepting AI narrated books…well now, this platform, Medium, has now followed suit.
They say they are fine for users to post articles written with the help of AI writing tools like ChatGPT — as long as their use of the technology is disclosed. Medium’s VP of content, Scott Lamb, shared the new policy in a blog post, which states:
“We welcome the responsible use of AI-assistive technology on Medium. To promote transparency, and help set reader expectations, we require that any story created with AI assistance be clearly labeled as such.“
Medium says if they find posts they believe to be AI-generated that have not been disclosed, the posts won’t be removed. To further deter authors from posting AI-generated stories, those posts won’t be distributed via Medium’s various recommendation features either.
One of Mediums most followed blogs, Towards Data Science, says it’s “committed to publishing work by human authors only,” and will only allow AI-generated text when it’s clearly labeled and used as an example.
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