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New trademarks ahead of Apple’s AR Headset launch

Appleviews – 2nd September 2022

Apple's AR Headset & new trademarks
image courtesy of 9to5Mac & author

This week….

I hope you’ve managed to have yourselves a great week. Ahead of next week’s Far Out event, this time I have the latest news on Apple’s AR/VR headset, more news about Apple Retail & unions, the latest on Apple Podcasts subscriptions…and a word or two about iPhone 14.

Headset News

Although we have now officially entered Techtember, we are not yet quite sure whether Apple’s long anticipated headset will be on show this year, or early next. But, what we do know is that they are coming, and that was confirmed this week when Apple began the trademark application process.

Apple’s interest in AR started as long ago as 2017 when Apple began working on realityOS and rOS. That was followed in 2019 with the release of RealityKit – which helped to create augmented reality experiences.

Then, this week, according to Bloomberg, the company, and associated Apple companies have applied to trademark names such as Reality One, Reality Pro and Reality Processor.

Will this high-end headset be of interest to you when it is eventually released?

More retail stores turn to the unions

I reported recently about some US & even UK Apple Retail stores turning to union representation, in an effort to address their pay & working conditions.

Now, along with the Penn Square store in Oklahoma City, the unrest has spread to Australia. Numerous Zoom meetings have been arranged by Apple Together to discuss their concerns. It was the same group which reached out to the UK store to assist them.

The meetings, in Australia, included representatives from the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU), which follows two earlier briefings by the Australian Services Union (ASU).

Apple Together was formed to promote unionisation with the aim of obtaining better pay for retail store workers. One interesting tid-bit that came out this week, was over the disparity of denoting ten years working with the company.

In 2021, CEO Tim Cook received a $100 million compensation package for his ten-year tenure as CEO. In contrast, staff who have worked for the same period of time receive a block of aluminium.

All this happens in the week that Deirdre O’Brien has been seen attending several Apple Retail outlets, prompting her to say, in a 2-minute video, that “We have such amazing people in our teams. Their stories make me smile and make me so proud to be at Apple.”

Apple Watch 8 experiences

Before moving on from retail related news…Apple plans to roll out an updated in-store retail experience for the Apple Watch 8 in the coming weeks, following a massive new lineup reveal at next week’s Far Out event. It will include a new in-store setup, training, displays and more.

Possible iPhone 14 delays

Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted this week that India are still around six weeks behind on their mass production schedule of iPhone 14, compared to China. The gap, has however, recently shown signs of a significant improvement.

Based on that improvement, it seems reasonable to expect that India and China will be able to produce the new iPhone 15 at the same time next year.

iPhone 14 prices

This year, looks set to be a tough year financially for us all. Apple is about to release iPhone 14 at next week’s Far Out event, and there have been some encouraging reports this week, that prices may actually be lower than we had anticipated.

But, faced from global inflation and foreign exchange rates, Apple may well err on the side of caution with iPhone prices this year.

The market intelligence company, Trendforce, now expect Apple to have more modest starting prices across the iPhone 14 range. Prices could look like this;

  • iPhone 14 $749
  • iPhone 14 Max $849
  • iPhone 14 Pro $1049
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max £1149

If this turns out to be the case, those prices would represent a $50 saving throughout the range from what we had first expected.

Apple Podcast paid sub’s

The popularity of podcasts continues to grow at pace. Apple, this year, has witnessed a 300% increase in paid subscriptions. Paid subscription offer listeners an ad-free experience.

Of the top 100 most popular podcasts on Apple Podcasts, 25% of them are now offering a subscription model for their listeners. The exact number of both subscriptions or subscribers was not disclosed by the company, though.

The news of the 300% increase in subscriptions came as a part of a Digiday article on Monday, covering NBC’s Dateline podcasts move, where it will offer a paid podcast subscription through Apple’s in-app product starting Monday.

Check your AirDrop settings

A viral video on TikTok from user @teighmars shows the moment a Southwest Airlines pilot reprimanded an unknown passenger for cyber flashing (sending nudes to other iPhone users via AirDrop).

On the flight, destined for Cabo, the pilot threatened to ground the plane, return to the gate and get security involved, if the anonymous passenger continued sending naked pictures over AirDrop.

There were instances of this as long ago as 2015, on London’s underground. Lorraine Crighton-Smith, 34, received indecent images on her iPhone while traveling to work in south London.

AirDrop provides a preview of incoming photos and videos, which the recipient can either accept or deny, however, you still see a preview. The best way to prevent this happening at all, is to have your device set to receive AirDrop from contacts only. Having your devices set as visible to everyone, could leave you open to abuse.

Faster USB-C coming

Have you ever heard of the USB Promoter Group? Nope, you’re not alone, me neither. Among their members are companies such as Apple, Microsoft, HP & Intel. This week, the group committed to significant changes to the USB-C and USB Power Delivery.

The current data transfer speeds of 40Gb/s will be doubled to 80Gb/s. Importantly, these improvements will be back-compatible, meaning the increased speeds will work with your existing cables.

More issues for Studio Display

I have a Studio Display, and, touch-wood, I have had no issues at all. However, it would appear I should count myself lucky.

Complaints have started to appear on Twitter, Reddit, and the Apple Support Community regarding a high-pitched noise coming from the top of the display. It would seem not to be fan-related, and interestingly, only happens when another appliance such as a MacBook or iPad is plugged in for charging. The noise can vary in intensity and pitch depending on the time of day, oddly, suggesting an electrical shielding issue may be the cause of the fault.

Although no fix has been issued for the fault, Apple are aware of it. This is a separate issue from the earlier speaker problems that were fixed through the latest firmware update.

iPhone record user figures

According to a report from Counterpoint Research, featured in the Financial Times, iPhones have now overtaken Android devices to account for more than half of all phones used in the United States.

These figures are accurate too, as they are not solely based on new sales, rather relying on the active installed base. This metric considers users who brought into the Apple ecosystem through the used phone market, as well as new, and those who use iPhones that were purchased years ago.

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