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Apple Expected to Lead 5G Smartphone Shipments in 2020

Though Apple has not yet come out with a 5G iPhone, the company is expected to lead the 5G smartphone market in 2020, according to a new report today from analytics firm Strategy Analytics.

Apple is expected to capture a dominant share of the emerging 5G market in 2020, following the launch of 5G iPhones. Strategy Analytics believes that Apple simply needs to match its current upgrade rates to dominate the 5G market after September 2020.

"It may seem counterintuitive that Apple, which currently has no 5G phones in its portfolio will be able to pass current 5G market leaders Samsung and Huawei," comments Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics. "But with three new 5G models coming next year, Apple merely needs to match its current upgrade rates for newly introduced iPhone models to take the lead next year."

"Currently Samsung is the undisputed market leader in 5G smartphones," comments Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, Associate Director at Strategy Analytics. "But with the two largest 5G markets in 2020, China and the USA, dominated by Huawei and Apple respectively, these two vendors are set to lead in 5G next year."
All of the iPhones coming in 2020 are expected to include 5G technology, according to well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo originally believed that only the two higher-end iPhones coming in 2020 would support 5G, but later revised his prediction.

Apple will offer 5G speeds for all of its smartphones in order to better compete with lower-cost Android smartphones that support 5G. We're expecting a total of three iPhones in 2020, including a 5.4-inch model, a 6.7-inch model, and a 6.1-inch model.

The 5.4 and 6.7-inch iPhones are expected to be higher-end devices similar to the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, while the 6.1-inch iPhone will feature a lower price tag much like the iPhone 11.

Though Apple is expected to do well in the 5G smartphone market in 2020, Strategy Analytics ultimately believes that Samsung will be the 5G leader longterm due to its "dominance of the overall smartphone market" and broader range of price points.

Huawei's success, meanwhile, is limited by the US trade ban, but it is still expected to be the dominant 5G smartphone provider in China.

For more on Apple's plans for a ‌5G iPhone‌, make sure to check out our guide.

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Apple News+ Struggling to Get New Subscribers

Apple has been struggling to add new subscribers to its Apple News+ service that launched in March, according to a new report from CNBC that cites people familiar with ‌Apple News‌+.

When ‌Apple News‌+ debuted, Apple signed on approximately 200,000 subscribers within 48 hours, but has not had luck attracting many new customers. The subscriber count has not "increased materially from its first couple of days," based on information from CNBC's sources.


‌Apple News‌+, which offers up access to magazines and newspapers for $9.99 per month, was promoted at launch, but Apple has not been heavily marketing it since then. Despite this, Apple is said to be committed to improving ‌Apple News‌ for years to come.

Publishers who thought the service would bring in more revenue are "disappointed" with poor sales. Apple takes 50 percent of the revenue from every ‌Apple News‌+ subscriber, while the rest of the money is doled out to publishers based on the amount of time that subscribers spend reading their content.

One publisher has received between $20,000 and $30,000 per month from ‌Apple News‌+, which is lower than expected. Another publisher told CNBC that while ‌Apple News‌+ revenue growth is lower than anticipated, advertising from the free ‌Apple News‌ product has consistently climbed.

A Bloomberg report from earlier today suggested Apple is considering a bundle that would include Apple Music, Apple TV+, and ‌Apple News‌+ for one monthly price, which could potentially make ‌Apple News‌+ more appealing because other services would be available alongside it. Such a bundle could be released as early as 2020.

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Apple Releases Firmware Update for AirPods Pro

Apple today released a new firmware update for the AirPods Pro, which were originally released on October 30.

Today's firmware update is labeled as 2B588, up from 2B584, which was the release version of the firmware that the ‌AirPods Pro‌ shipped with.


There's no word on what's included in the firmware update, but it may improve connectivity or resolve other small issues with the earbuds.

The firmware update will install automatically when connecting the ‌AirPods Pro‌ to your iPhone or iPad, and it could take some time for the update to become available for everyone. To check the firmware of your ‌AirPods Pro‌, follow these steps:
  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone, iPod touch, or ‌iPad‌.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap About.
  4. Scroll down to ‌AirPods Pro‌ and tap it.
  5. The firmware number is listed under "Firmware Version."
There's no reliable way to force a firmware update on the ‌AirPods Pro‌, so ‌AirPods Pro‌ owners will need to be patient and expect the ‌AirPods Pro‌ to be updated over the course of regular use.

Related Roundup: AirPods Pro
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Pro (Buy Now)
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Trio of Friends Make Challenging Hike Across Catalina Island to Recreate the macOS Catalina Wallpaper

A few months ago, YouTuber and photographer Andrew Levitt teamed up with his friends Jacob Phillips and Taylor Gray on a one-week road trip to try to recreate all of Apple's default wallpapers included in macOS.

Photo Credit: Jacob Phillips

Just a few weeks after the video, Apple publicly released macOS Catalina, giving Levitt and his friends one more wallpaper to recreate. The task was more challenging this time, however, as the default ‌macOS Catalina‌ wallpaper showcases the remote, northern tip of Santa Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California.

To get there, Levitt and his friends took a ferry to Catalina Island and hiked over eight hours across the island, complete with camping gear and other supplies.


The trio of friends eventually reached the tip of the island and, despite windy conditions, managed to capture a nearly identical version of the default ‌macOS Catalina‌ wallpaper with a drone.

On the hike back to the ferry terminal, Levitt and his friends were stopped by a police officer and learned that hiking at night on Catalina Island is apparently forbidden. Fortunately, the police officer was kind and merely escorted them back to the other side of the island. All in all, a fascinating video.

Here's the original video:

Follow the creators on Instagram: Andrew Levitt, Jacob Phillips, and Taylor Gray.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina
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Apple's Research App Launches With Heart, Women's Health, and Hearing Studies in United States

Apple today announced it has released its Research app with three studies related to heart and movement, women's health, and hearing. The app is designed to make it easier for iPhone users to contribute to medical research.


iPhone users in the United States can download the free Research app from the App Store and enroll in the multi-year studies starting today. After enrolling in a study, participants using an iPhone or Apple Watch can contribute movement, heart rate, and noise level data captured during everyday activities.

Apple first previewed its Research app and the first three studies back in September:
- Apple Women's Health Study: In partnership with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Apple has created the first long-term study of this scale focused on menstrual cycles and gynecological conditions. This study will inform screening and risk assessment of conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), infertility, osteoporosis, pregnancy and menopausal transition.

- Apple Heart and Movement Study: Apple is partnering with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the American Heart Association on a comprehensive study of how heart rate and mobility signals — like walking pace and flights of stairs climbed — relate to hospitalizations, falls, heart health and quality of life in order to promote healthy movement and improved cardiovascular health.

- Apple Hearing Study: Alongside the University of Michigan, Apple is examining factors that impact hearing health. The Apple Hearing Health Study is the first of its kind to collect data over time in order to understand how everyday sound exposure can impact hearing. The study data will also be shared with the World Health Organization (WHO) as a contribution toward its Make Listening Safe initiative.
Apple COO Jeff Williams:
Today marks an important moment as we embark on research initiatives that may offer incredible learnings in areas long sought after by the medical community. Participants on the Research app have the opportunity to make a tremendous impact that could lead to new discoveries and help millions lead healthier lives.
Apple emphasizes that the Research app was designed to only share data with the chosen studies when the user approves. An enrollment screen explains how data will be used and allows a user to control the type of data shared with each study. Apple says the data collected will never be sold to third parties.

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Bloomberg: Apple Considering Bundling Apple Music, TV+, and News+ as Early as 2020

Apple is considering bundling its subscription services as early as 2020, including Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple News+, according to Bloomberg.


The report indicates that Apple has included a provision in its contract with Apple News+ publishers that permits Apple to bundle News+ with its other services if it desires. The monthly price of the bundle would presumably be lower than the cost of paying for each service separately in a bid to attract more subscribers.

Apple Music and Apple News+ each cost $9.99 per month in the United States, while Apple TV+ is $4.99 per month.

Apple is already experimenting with at least one services bundle. Last month, the company began offering free access to Apple TV+ to students who subscribe to Apple Music. The offer is available for a limited time only.

The report goes on to cite "some media executives" who said the amount of money they have received from Apple News+ so far has been less than expected. On the other hand, some executives are pleased with the service so far, including Los Angeles Times executive editor Norm Pearlstine.

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Apple Shares New Trailer for Upcoming Apple TV+ Show 'Servant'

Apple this evening shared a new trailer for its upcoming Apple TV+ show "Servant," which is set to come out in just over two weeks.

This particular clip shows a doll maker creating Jericho, the lifelike fake baby that plays a starring role in the show.


"Servant" is a thriller produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, known for movies like "Signs," "Glass," "Split," and more. The movie follows a Philadelphia couple who hire a nanny to look after their "child" following a tragedy.

Based on the trailers that have been shown so far, including the newest trailer, a couple loses a child and then adopts Jericho, a rather real-looking fake baby. The nanny that's hired to look after Jericho turns out to be unusual herself, leading to a series of strange events.


"Servant" will be the first major new series to come to ‌Apple TV‌+ following its November 1 launch, with the show set to debut on Thursday, November 28. "Servant" is a shorter form show that will feature 10 30 minute episodes.

If you're interested in discussing Apple's new TV shows, make sure to head over to the new MacRumors Apple TV+ forum.

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Stanford Medicine Publishes Results of Apple Heart Study

Stanford Medicine today published results from the Apple Heart Study that kicked off in 2017, marking the third time data from the study has been shared (via Reuters and CNBC).

The aim of the study, conducted by Stanford and Apple, was to determine whether the Apple Watch is able to detect atrial fibrillation, which can be an indicator of serious heart health problems. Researchers wanted to determine how well the ‌Apple Watch‌ worked and whether it was safe to use.


A total of 419,297 people in the United States participated in the study, and 0.52 percent of participants (2,161 people) received an irregular heart rhythm notification over 117 days of monitoring. People who received a notification were sent ECG patches to further monitor for heart problems, but quite a few of those went unreturned.

Of the 450 people who returned the patches with data that could be analyzed, atrial fibrillation was present in 34 percent overall and 35 percent of participants age 65 or older. Of those who had an irregular reading and returned a patch, 84 percent of subsequent notifications were determined to be atrial fibrillation.
Among participants who were notified of an irregular pulse, the positive predictive value was 0.84 (95% CI, 0.76 to 0.92) for observing atrial fibrillation on the ECG simultaneously with a subsequent irregular pulse notification and 0.71 (97.5% CI, 0.69 to 0.74) for observing atrial fibrillation on the ECG simultaneously with a subsequent irregular tachogram. Of 1376 notified participants who returned a 90-day survey, 57% contacted health care providers outside the study. There were no reports of serious app-related adverse events.
According to researchers, the low number of warnings in the study indicates that the device does not cause an excess of false notifications in healthy people who wear the watch.

In some cases, atrial fibrillation detected by the ‌Apple Watch‌ was in the early stages of development, and it didn't happen frequently enough for the patch testing to detect it, something that was more prevalent in younger participants.

The study did ultimately determine that the ‌Apple Watch‌ can detect atrial fibrillation. Stanford cardiologist and co-author of the study Dr. Mintu Turakhia said that the trial was overall a success, especially when it came to determining how many people are going to get heart-related notifications from ‌Apple Watch‌ and what those types of notifications mean for patients, doctors, insurers, and more.

Dr. Daniel Cantillon, a Cleveland cardiologist who was not involved, told Reuters that the technology was promising, but more than half of participants were under 40, a group at low risk for atrial fibrillation, leading to concerns about scaring healthy people.

Separately, a New York cardiologist told CNBC that there's a risk of the ‌Apple Watch‌ finding young people who have early signs of atrial fibrillation that the medical community doesn't know how to treat. "We just don't understand atrial fibrillation well in the 35-year-old, otherwise healthy person," he said.

Wessler treats patients who have visited him based on data gathered from the ‌Apple Watch‌, and he expects those kind of visits to pick up in the future. Should Apple's research continue, Wessler believes it's important to find the right population that's most at risk to use these tools rather than delivering them to a mainstream audience.

The study was overall beneficial, demonstrating the potential for large-scale studies that use a variety of technologies to monitor patients remotely without requiring on-site visits. Since this study kicked off in 2017, it did not use the new ‌Apple Watch‌ models that are able to take ECG readings, instead relying on the standard heart rate sensor.

The full Apple Heart Study published by Stanford Medicine can be read in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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Apple CFO Luca Maestri Auctions Lunch and Apple HQ Tour for Charity

Apple CFO Luca Maestri is teaming up with auction site Charitybuzz to offer Apple fans the opportunity to bid on lunch with Maestri and a tour of the Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Maestri will have lunch with two people at the Apple Park campus, with the proceeds from the auction benefitting the Andrea Bocelli Foundation. The lunch, which also comes with a tour with an Apple employee, will last for approximately one hour.


Luca Maestri is a senior vice president at Apple and the company's chief financial officer, reporting directly to Tim Cook. He oversees Apple's accounting, business support, financial planning and analysis, treasury, M&A, investor relations, internal audits, and tax functions at Apple.

The Andrea Bocelli Foundation's goal is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, distress due to illness, and social exclusion by promoting and supporting national and international projects that aim to overcome these barriers.

The current bid on the lunch with Maestri is at $10,500, and its estimated value is $50,000. The auction will end on December 5 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Apple CEO ‌Tim Cook‌ in past years has also done charity lunches facilitated by Charitybuzz to earn money for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, but the last one was held in 2017. That auction earned $680,000.

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Kuo: iPad Pro With Rear 3D Sensing and 'iPhone SE 2' on Track to Launch in First Half of 2020

Apple plans to release new iPad Pro models with rear 3D sensing in the first half of 2020, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


In a research note with TF International Securities, seen by MacRumors, Kuo said the iPad Pro models will gain 3D sensing through the rear-facing camera system. Apple is expected to use a time-of-flight system, which measures the time that it takes for light to bounce off of objects in a room to generate a 3D map.

The timeframe lines up with a recent report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who also said Apple plans to release iPad Pro models with rear 3D sensing as early as the first half of 2020. Gurman expects the iPad Pro models to feature dual rear cameras, up from a single lens, along with a new augmented reality sensor.

Kuo also reiterated that Apple plans to release a so-called "iPhone SE 2" in the first half of 2020 too. He has previously said the device will be released by the end of the first quarter with similar features as the iPhone 8, including a 4.7-inch display and Touch ID, but with a faster A13 chip and 3GB of RAM.

The low-cost iPhone will likely start around $399 with 64GB of storage, and come in Space Gray, Silver, and Red, according to Kuo.

Kuo has made both the iPad Pro and low-cost iPhone predictions in the past, so this really only serves as an update that the plans are still on track for early next year. Apple often holds a media event in March, and it is certainly possible the new iPad Pro and low-cost iPhone could be announced then.

It is worth noting that Kuo is likely just referring to the device as the "iPhone SE 2" as an easy way to refer to Apple working on a new low-cost iPhone. With its rumored 4.7-inch display, the device would certainly not resemble the original iPhone SE in terms of size, so it could end up having a different name.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPhone SE 2
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Apple Music Gains New 'Replay' Playlist With Your Top Songs Played in 2019

Apple Music was today updated with a new feature called Replay, which is designed to allow ‌Apple Music‌ subscribers to take a look at the music that they listened to most in 2019.

Available on the web, in the Mac Music app, and the Music app on iOS devices, the Replay feature aggregates top songs of the year, while also providing playlists for past years too.


Playlists are available for every year that an ‌Apple Music‌ subscriber has had the service, dating back to 2015. Replay playlists can be added to the ‌Apple Music‌ Library so they can be streamed right alongside other playlists and shared with others.


According to TechCrunch, Replay will continue to be updated throughout the year, changing and evolving as a person's musical tastes and interests shift.


Apple plans to update the Replay playlist each Sunday with new songs and data insights to reflect each person's current listening activity.

‌Apple Music‌ has never offered an aggregated year-end playlist with song data, something that Spotify has provided for years with its Wrapped experience. Apple now has an equivalent feature, and one that is perhaps more useful given the fact that it's updated on an ongoing basis.


‌Apple Music‌ subscribers can access Apple Music Replay on the web and add the playlists to iOS or Mac devices. Replay should also be available in the iOS and Mac Music apps without the need to use the feature on the web, but it's still in the early stages of rolling out and not available on every platform yet.

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Phil Schiller Discusses 16-Inch MacBook Pro, Says Virtual Esc Key Was Number One Complaint About Touch Bar

Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller has spoken with CNET's Roger Cheng about the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, reflecting on the new Magic Keyboard, the Touch Bar, and many other aspects of the notebook.


When asked about the redesigned scissor keyboard on the 16-inch MacBook Pro, Schiller acknowledged that the butterfly keyboards on recent MacBook Pro models have received a "mixed reaction" due in part to "some quality issues" that could result in sticky, repeating, or nonfunctional keys.

Schiller says Apple carefully considered customer feedback and found that many professional users wanted the MacBook Pro to have a similar keyboard as the standalone Magic Keyboard for the iMac:
As you know, a number of years ago we started a new keyboard technology with this butterfly keyboard and began it with MacBook. It had some things it did really well, like creating a much more stable key platform. It felt more firm and flat under your finger -- some people really like that, but other people weren't really happy with that. We got sort of a mixed reaction. We had some quality issues we had to work on. Over the years we've been refining that keyboard design, and we're now on the third generation, and a lot of people are much happier with that as we've advanced and advanced it.

As we started to investigate specifically what pro users most wanted, a lot of times they would say, "I want something like this Magic Keyboard, I love that keyboard."
Another common request among professionals was to bring back a physical Esc key. Schiller said it was the "number one" complaint about the Touch Bar. To its credit, Apple listened and made the change:
There is a fairly large number of customers who use the Touch Bar and see great benefit in some of its features, but there were also some complaints. If I were to rank the complaints, No. 1 was customers who like a physical Escape key. It was just a hard adaptation for a lot of people.

We decided that rather than just remove the Touch Bar and lose the benefits some people get, we could instead add the Escape key. While we were doing that, we had already in the MacBook Air created a discrete Touch ID button. People really like that. So the decision was made to keep the Touch Bar, but also to create room on either side for the Escape key and Touch ID key. That is the best solution for the largest number of people we've dealt with who had complaints -- and kept something innovative that people were using with Touch Bar.
When asked if Apple ever plans to merge the Mac and iPad, Schiller insisted the devices will remain separate:
No, that's not our view. Because then you get this in-between thing, and in-between things are never as good as the individual things themselves. We believe the best personal computer is a Mac, and we want to keep going down that path. And we think the best tablet computing device is an iPad, and we'll go down that path.
Schiller also downplayed the possibility of a touchscreen Mac, as Apple always has.

At the very end of the interview, Schiller takes a shot at Google's Chromebooks in the classroom, describing them as "cheap testing tools" that do not allow kids to succeed. Naturally, Schiller said Apple thinks the iPad is the "ultimate tool" for a child to learn on and be the most engaged.
Chromebooks have gotten to the classroom because, frankly, they're cheap testing tools for required testing. If all you want to do is test kids, well, maybe a cheap notebook will do that. But they're not going to succeed.
The full interview contains several more questions and answers and is a worthwhile read.

Update: Schiller also sat down with YouTube tech reviewer Jonathan Morrison to discuss the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Notably, Schiller said that Apple is unlikely to bring an SD card slot back to the MacBook Pro. He also said the technology does not exist yet to bring all of the Pro Display XDR features to a MacBook-sized screen.



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