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Intel Says 10nm Chip Development is On Track

Responding to claims earlier this morning that it had ended development on its 10nm "Cannon Lake" processors, Intel announced on Twitter that it is "making good progress" on its upcoming 10nm chips.

The announcement followed a claim from SemiAccurate suggesting Intel had killed off its 10nm process. Intel's 10nm chips were supposed to launch at some point in 2016, but have been delayed multiple times due to production difficulties.

According to Intel, yields on its 10nm process are improving "consistent with the timeline" shared during the last earnings report, which means sans additional delays, the chips will come out in 2019.


Apple uses Intel chips in its line of Mac desktops and notebooks, and Intel's delays have caused problems for the Cupertino-based company in recent years.

As a result, Apple is said to be planning to transition away from Intel chips to its own custom-designed chips as soon as 2020 or 2021, using supplier TSMC as a manufacturer.

With custom-designed Mac chips, Apple will no longer be forced to delay updates due to Intel's manufacturing issues, and custom chips will give the company more control over design, better profits, and a way to differentiate its products from competing PCs.

Apple has long used Apple-designed A-Series chips in its iOS devices, and the marriage between hardware and software often results in performance that is unmatched by competing products. Similar gains could come when Apple has more control over Mac chip design as well.

Apple won't be ready to transition to its own chips by 2019, and will likely adopt the 10nm Cannon Lake chips from Intel provided those chips make their launch date. Cannon Lake chips will bring performance improvements, reduced power consumption, and support for faster, more efficient LPDDR4 RAM.

Tag: Intel

Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of iOS 12.1 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming iOS 12.1 update to developers, one week after seeding the fourth beta and more than a month after releasing iOS 12, a major new version of the iOS software.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 12 .1 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.


iOS 12 .1 includes several new features that Apple promised would come to the iPhone XS and XS Max. The beta introduces support for the eSIM, which is a digital SIM that lets you activate a cellular plan from a carrier without the need to use a physical SIM card.

Carriers will need to implement support for eSIM, which is likely to happen after iOS 12 .1 launches. In the U.S., AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile will support eSIM.


The iOS 12 .1 update brings a new real-time Depth Control feature, which lets you adjust the depth of field of your Portrait Mode photos before you capture them. Right now, in iOS 12 , Depth Control is only available for post-capture editing.

If you tap on the "F" icon at the top of the screen while capturing a photo you use Depth Control to adjust the amount of background blur in an image.


In addition to these iPhone XS and XS Max features, iOS 12 .1 reintroduces the Group FaceTime feature that was removed from iOS 12 during the beta testing period. Group FaceTime was present in many early betas but was ultimately removed because Apple needed more time to test it.

Group FaceTime is designed to let iPhone and Mac users conduct video and audio chats with up to 32 participants at one time, with new camera effects features included.

The update also adds more than 70 new emoji to iPhones and iPads, with options that include red hair, gray hair, curly hair, cold face, party face, face with hearts, mango, kangaroo, peacock, lobster, cupcake, and tons more.

As for bug fixes, iOS 12 .1 addresses a charging problem that could cause iPhone and iPad models running iOS 12 to fail to charge when connected to a Lightning cable while the screen is off and it fixes a bug that caused iPhone XS and XS Max models to prefer 2.4GHz WiFi networks to 5GHz networks, resulting in perceived slower WiFi speeds. Both of these bugs have also been addressed in the iOS 12.0.1 update.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

HomePod is Ninth Most Popular Smart Speaker in United States According to Recent Survey

Apple's HomePod is the ninth most popular smart speaker model in the United States, according to an online survey of 1,011 smart speaker users conducted by research firm Strategy Analytics in July and August.


The top eight positions are held by various Amazon Echo and Google Home models in the Strategy Analytics rankings. The standard Amazon Echo tops the list with an estimated 23 percent share of the U.S. installed base of smart speakers, while the HomePod is estimated to have just four percent market share.
  • Amazon Echo: 23%
  • Amazon Echo Dot: 21%
  • Google Home: 8%
  • Google Home Mini: 7%
  • Amazon Echo Plus: 5%
  • Amazon Echo Spot: 4%
  • Amazon Echo Show: 4%
  • Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition: 4%
  • Apple HomePod : 4%
  • Google Home Max: 2%
Apple does not disclose HomePod sales in its quarterly earnings results. In August, Strategy Analytics estimated that HomePod shipments totaled 700,000 units in the second quarter of 2018, giving Apple a roughly six percent share of the worldwide smart speaker market at the time.

While the HomePod may have only a single-digit share of the overall market, Strategy Analytics shared data last month indicating that Apple accounts for 70 percent of the small but growing $200-plus smart speaker market, topping competing products such as the Google Home Max and a variety of Sonos speakers.

That data shouldn't come as much of a surprise, as Amazon Echo and Google Home models are regularly priced as low as $49, whereas the HomePod retails for $349. Apple has marketed the HomePod as a premium speaker that also has Siri, as opposed to a personal assistant that also plays music.

It's also worth noting that the HomePod only launched this past February, two to three years after its biggest competitors. Today, the HomePod is available in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, and Germany, with sales set to begin in Mexico and Spain on Friday.

Back in April, well-connected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was "mulling" a "low-cost version" of the HomePod, possibly in the form of a Siri-enabled Beats speaker. The status of those plans is unclear.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Neutral)

Kuo: iPhone XR Pre-Order Demand Over First Weekend Exceeded That of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

iPhone XR pre-order demand in the first three days of the device's availability was "better than that" of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus during the same period last year, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


In a research note obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that although pre-order demand immediately after launch has been lower for the iPhone XR versus the flagship iPhone XS models, overall iPhone XR shipment momentum is "more stable" because it will drive more customers to upgrade than the iPhone 8 series over time.


Kuo added that iPhone XR shipping estimates on Apple.com (many models remain available for launch day delivery on Friday) do not indicate exact demand, as the type of customers interested in the device are more general users, with many ordering through carriers to take advantage of promotions.

An excerpt from Kuo's research note with TF International Securities:
We are not surprised that XR's initial delivery times are shorter than those of the iPhone XS series after pre-order open given that XS and XR have different target customers. The former's target customers are Apple fans, who snap up new models rapidly after the pre-order open. The latter's are general users who are used to operating iOS with characteristics including favoring the Apple brand, limited budget, or no urgent replacement demand.
Some other analysts had expressed concerns that the iPhone XR 's strong availability implied weak sales of the $749 handset.

Kuo already predicted that iPhone XR demand would be higher than that for the iPhone 8 series last year in a research note shared last week. He also increased his iPhone XR shipment forecast to 36 to 38 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018, up 10 percent from his original estimate of 33 to 35 million units.

Related Roundups: iPhone 8, iPhone XR
Buyer's Guide: iPhone XR (Buy Now)

iPhone Ownership Among American Teens Remains Steady While Intent to Purchase Grows

American teenagers are still choosing Apple's iPhone over the competition, with 82 percent of surveyed U.S. teens saying that they own an iPhone, according to Piper Jaffray's latest survey (via Business Insider).

This number has grown steadily from 76 percent in April 2017 to 78 percent in October 2017, and it now appears to have plateaued temporarily in 2018, as 82 percent of teens said they owned an iPhone back in April.


Looking to the future, 86 percent of teens surveyed said that they plan on buying an iPhone as their next smartphone. This is an increase from 84 percent in the spring.

In comparison, 10 percent of the teens said they planned on buying an Android smartphone next, down from 11 percent in the spring. The researchers at Piper Jaffray say that American teens' intent to buy an iPhone is now at the highest they have ever seen.


Other tidbits from the report include: 45 percent of teens saying that the brand of an item is the most important factor in a purchase decision, Amazon is the top preferred website, and Instagram is now the most used social platform as Facebook faces an ongoing decline. Netflix represented 38 percent of daily video consumption, ahead of YouTube (33 percent), cable TV (16 percent), and Hulu (5 percent).

For this survey, Piper Jaffray surveyed around 8,600 teenagers across 47 states with an average age of 16 and an average household income of $68,300. 44 percent of the teens were female, while 56 were male.

Phil Schiller on iPhone XR Display: 'If You Can't See the Pixels, at Some Point the Numbers Don't Mean Anything'

Engadget's Chris Velazco recently sat down for an interview with Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller to discuss all things iPhone XR. We've rounded up some of Schiller's comments about the device below.


What the "R" stands for in iPhone XR :
I love cars and things that go fast, and R and S are both letters used to denote sport cars that are really extra special.
How the iPhone X led to the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR :
We had this technology we were working on for many years to be the future of the iPhone. It was a huge ask of the engineering team to get it to market last year, and they did. ... We knew that if we could bring that to market and it was successful very quickly after that, we needed to grow the line and make it available to more people.
Making sure the iPhone XR is still "the best phone":
If we're going to push the upper boundaries with XS and XS Max to make something the best, how do we make something that's more affordable for a larger audience? To make the overall iPhone audience even larger? What choices can we make and still make it a phone that people can hold and say, "I have the best too"?
Expanding on that:
We don't think about categories. We think the iPhone X technology and experience is something really wonderful, and we want to get it to as many people as possible, and we want to do it in a way that still makes it the best phone.
Addressing concerns about the iPhone XR 's lower-resolution display:
I think the only way to judge a display is to look at it. …

If you can't see the pixels, at some point the numbers don't mean anything. They're fairly arbitrary.
As far as the iPhone XR launching over a month after the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, Schiller simply said "this is when it's ready."

iPhone XR pre-orders began last Friday in over 50 countries. The first deliveries to customers and in-store availability will begin Friday, October 26. The colorful device starts at $749 in the United States.

Full Article: With the iPhone XR, Apple broadens its 'best'

Related Roundup: iPhone XR
Buyer's Guide: iPhone XR (Buy Now)

iPhone XR Repair Fees Without AppleCare+: $199 for Screen Damage, $399 for Other Damage

Apple has detailed out-of-warranty repair fees for the iPhone XR ahead of the smartphone's launch on Friday.


In the United States, Apple will charge $199 to repair a damaged iPhone XR screen and $399 to repair other damage to the device, unless it is a manufacturing defect covered by Apple's standard one-year limited warranty. Prices vary in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and other countries.

How that stacks up to Apple's out-of-warranty repair fees for other iPhones:

  • iPhone XR : $199 for screen damage, $399 for other damage
  • iPhone XS: $279 for screen damage, $549 for other damage
  • iPhone XS Max: $329 for screen damage, $599 for other damage
  • iPhone X: $279 for screen damage, $549 for other damage
  • iPhone 8: $149 for screen damage, $349 for other damage
  • iPhone 8 Plus: $169 for screen damage, $399 for other damage

    These prices do not apply to customers who purchase AppleCare+ for the iPhone XR, starting at $149 in full or $7.99 per month.

    AppleCare+ is an optional warranty plan that extends an iPhone's warranty coverage to two years from the purchase date of the plan. AppleCare + adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a lower service fee of $29 for screen repairs and $99 for any other damage.

    As with any form of insurance, AppleCare + provides peace of mind, but only yields savings in the event it is used.

    If the screen cracks on an iPhone XR , for example, the repair fee with AppleCare + is up to $178, savings of at least $21. If the back glass shatters, the repair fee with AppleCare + is up to $248, savings of at least $151. Those prices are based on the full $149 cost of AppleCare + for iPhone XR plus deductibles.

    If a customer pays for AppleCare + in monthly instalments, there is the potential for even more savings versus the out-of-warranty fees.

    iPhone XR pre-orders began last Friday in over 50 countries. The first deliveries to customers and in-store availability will begin Friday, October 26. The colorful device starts at $749 in the United States.

    Related Roundup: iPhone XR
    Buyer's Guide: iPhone XR (Buy Now)
  • Apple Launches Redesigned Jobs Website: 'Do More Than You Ever Thought Possible'

    Apple today launched a redesigned Jobs at Apple website, complete with a new video highlighting the company's culture.


    The website now provides more detailed information about the various teams at Apple, grouped into the following categories: hardware, software and services, design, operations and supply chain, marketing, corporate functions, sales and business development, retail, and support and service.

    Apple has profiled a handful of employees, including Divya, who manages a team responsible for developing the Apple Watch's sensors.



    A new About Apple page highlights the company's innovative business practices, collaborative work environment, employee benefits, diverse workforce, and other advantages of working at the tech giant.

    Apple has expanded its Students section with a list of opportunities for interns, undergrads, and graduates, ranging from the AppleCare College Program to the Apple Store Leader Program. The updated page includes a profile from a software engineer named Alexa, who describes her impact at Apple.

    Apple's jobs search portal has also been updated with a cleaner design.


    Apple says it has created over two million jobs in the United States, including those attributable to the App Store ecosystem. Apple also says it is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to inclusion and diversity.

    Apple Begins Selling Refurbished 2018 15-Inch MacBook Pro Models in United States and Canada

    Apple has added 2018 models of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to its refurbished store in the U.S. for the first time. Prices are discounted by roughly 15 percent compared to the equivalent brand new models.


    Quantities are limited, so we recommend acting fast or using Refurb Tracker to monitor when inventory is replenished.

    Apple says refurbished MacBook Pro models are thoroughly inspected, tested, cleaned, and repackaged, with all manuals and cables included in the box. In our view, a refurbished MacBook Pro is virtually indistinguishable from a brand new model, so this represents a good opportunity for savings.

    Note that third-party resellers sometimes offer better deals than Apple's refurbished prices, so be sure to monitor our deals roundup.

    A refurbished MacBook Pro comes with Apple's standard one-year warranty effective on the date the notebook is delivered. The warranty can be extended to three years from the refurbished purchase date with AppleCare+ for Mac, which costs $379 for the the 15-inch MacBook Pro in the United States.

    Apple has also added refurbished 2018 models of the 15-inch MacBook Pro to its Canadian store at a 15 percent discount.

    Apple began selling refurbished 2018 13-inch MacBook Pro models earlier this week.

    (Thanks, Kevin Z.!)

    Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
    Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

    Apple CEO Tim Cook Calls on Bloomberg to Retract Supply Chain Hack Story: 'There's No Truth to This'

    For the first time since Bloomberg published a highly controversial story suggesting Chinese spies planted microchips in Supermicro server motherboards Apple used in its iCloud facilities, Apple CEO Tim Cook has gone on the record to vehemently deny the claims.

    In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Cook said there is "no truth" to the story about Apple, before making the unprecedented move of calling on Bloomberg to publish a retraction.


    Since the report went live earlier this month, Apple has refuted Bloomberg's claims in multiple clearly worded statements denying such an incident ever took place. Apple maintains that the story is "completely untrue," malicious chips were never found in its servers, and there was never an FBI investigation into the incident.

    Bloomberg has continued to stand by its original report, which, based on info obtained from 17 unnamed sources, said that Apple, Amazon, and other tech companies had purchased and installed Supermicro servers that had been tampered with by the Chinese government. Small chips were allegedly implanted into server motherboards, allowing China to access corporate secrets and other information.

    Apple did have an issue with Supermicro servers that led to the company dropping Supermicro as a supplier, but the relationship ended after malware was discovered on a single server in an incident unrelated to Bloomberg's claims.

    According to Apple CEO Tim Cook , though he only spoke out publicly about the Bloomberg story this week, he's been involved in Apple's response "from the beginning."
    "I personally talked to the Bloomberg reporters along with Bruce Sewell who was then our general counsel. We were very clear with them that this did not happen, and answered all their questions," said Cook. "Each time they brought this up to us, the story changed and each time we investigated we found nothing."
    Cook went on to say that Bloomberg failed to provide Apple with specific details about the malicious chips the company supposedly found and removed, and that Bloomberg's claims are based on "vague secondhand accounts." Cook told BuzzFeed that Apple did a deep search through all of its documentation and could find zero evidence of malicious chips or an FBI investigation.
    "We turned the company upside down," Cook said. "Email searches, data center records, financial records, shipment records. We really forensically whipped through the company to dig very deep and each time we came back to the same conclusion: This did not happen. There's no truth to this."
    As BuzzFeed points out, Apple has never publicly called for a retraction of a story before, even in instances where incorrect information was published. Following Cook's discussion with BuzzFeed, the site again contacted Bloomberg, and Bloomberg once again refused to budge.
    "Bloomberg Businessweek's investigation is the result of more than a year of reporting, during which we conducted more than 100 interviews," a spokesperson told BuzzFeed News in response to a series of questions. "Seventeen individual sources, including government officials and insiders at the companies, confirmed the manipulation of hardware and other elements of the attacks. We also published three companies' full statements, as well as a statement from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We stand by our story and are confident in our reporting and sources."
    Along with multiple strongly worded denials from Apple, including one to Congress, several other sources and government agencies have supported Apple's claims that the information shared in Bloomberg's story is false.

    The UK's Cyber Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, former FBI general counsel James Baker, and NSA Senior Advisor Rob Joyce have all questioned the veracity of Bloomberg's claims and have denied knowledge of such an investigation.

    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.

    Jony Ive Discusses His Team's Move to Apple Park, Remains Tight-Lipped About Prospects of Apple Car

    Apple's design chief Jony Ive sat down for an interview over lunch with Financial Times reporter Nicholas Foulkes earlier this month, discussing a wide range of topics, including the Apple Watch, Apple Park, and prospects of an Apple Car.

    Jony Ive portrait via Financial Times

    Questioned on why Apple's design team was among the last to move into the company's new Apple Park headquarters, Ive said that was the plan all along, adding that relocating some 9,000 people takes time:
    It wasn't late, it was always scheduled to be then. When you're moving 9,000 people, you don't do it in one day. We're one of the last groups. It's a loaded and significant event because it meant leaving a studio that has decades of history, where we designed and built first prototypes. This is the studio I went back to on the day that Steve died. And it's the place where we figured out the iPhone and the iPod.
    Ive said his team's move to Apple Park has allowed for increased collaboration among different areas of creative expertise:
    Moving to Apple Park represents the coming together, at last, of these different areas of creative expertise that are incredibly diverse. I'm fairly confident that this has never happened before, to have industrial designers next to font designers, next to prototypers, next to haptic experts. The best haptic experts in the world are sat next to a bunch of guys who have PhDs in material science.
    On the prospects of an Apple Car , Ive remained tight lipped. In general, he said it's important to work on the associated issues and challenges with any new product, rather than talk about it and risk having the ideas and technologies copied:
    We explore so many different thoughts and so many different technologies for products or services. Some companies use the fact that they are exploring lots of different ideas as a PR tool — we don't. If you are genuinely working on something, it's better to be working on it and struggling with the associated issues and challenges, rather than talking about it. Our capital, our equity, is our ideas and the technologies that we're developing. It's important that as long as possible that remains ours, to try and postpone that point when they will then be copied — which is what history suggests.
    When asked if the Apple Watch is best described as a watch, Ive instead referred to it as a "very powerful computer":
    No, I think that this is a very powerful computer, with a range of very sophisticated sensors, that is strapped to my wrist. That's neither very descriptive nor very helpful. You and I share the same perspective and we had this same challenge with the product that we called the iPhone. Clearly the capability of the iPhone extends way beyond the function of what we would traditionally call a phone.
    Ive went on to say that Apple believes it has a responsibility to understand and mitigate the implications and consequences, both positive and negative, of the products it creates — i.e. Screen Time in iOS 12. "It keeps me awake," he said:
    If you genuinely have a concern for humanity, you will be preoccupied with trying to understand the implications, the consequences of creating something that hasn’t existed before. I think it's part of the culture at Apple to believe that there is a responsibility that doesn't end when you ship a product… It keeps me awake.
    Also See: Jony Ive Talks Secrecy, His Future, and More at WIRED Anniversary Event

    Some iPhone XR Models Start Selling Out

    iPhone XR pre-orders kicked off at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time, and just a half hour after orders went live, some colors started selling out and became unavailable for launch day delivery in the United States.

    Right now, some yellow and PRODUCT(RED) iPhone XR models from T-Mobile won't ship out for one to two weeks, delivering in November instead of on October 26. In the UK, iPhone XR supply is also starting to slowly sell out, with coral and yellow models starting to list a one to two week delivery estimate.


    All other colors are still available for launch day delivery in the United States at this time, but available supply for in-store pickup has dwindled for some models in some areas.


    It's not clear if yellow is a popular color choice or if Apple made fewer yellow iPhone XR models, but with one color selling out, the others could soon follow.

    Apple did not provide SIM-free models of the iPhone XR for pre-order in the United States, which typically means that supplies are not quite as strong as Apple would like. SIM-free models are, however, available in other countries around the world.

    Curiously, Apple has also not provided iPhone XR cases for the new device, which is unusual as new iPhone releases are typically accompanied by matching cases. iPhone XR press releases in some countries mentioned that Apple would debut a clear case for the iPhone XR to show off the colors of the device, but no such case is available as of yet.

    If you're planning to get an iPhone XR , it's best to place an order right away if you want launch day delivery, because it's not clear if and when available stock will sell out. Apple will, as always, have some devices available for walk-in purchases on October 26.

    Related Roundup: iPhone XR
    Buyer's Guide: iPhone XR (Buy Now)