WWDC 2018 takes place June 4 to June 8 in San Jose, California.
A total of $533,316,606 was awarded to Apple for Samsung's violation of three design patents, while the remaining $5,325,050 million was for Samsung's infringement on two of Apple's utility patents.
Samsung and Apple were back in court to redetermined damages after Samsung appealed to the Supreme Court and said that the original damages award, which was set at $399 million after several appeals, was a "disproportionate" sum for the design violation.
The Supreme Court ordered the U.S. Court of Appeals to redetermine the damages amount, leading to today's victory for Apple.
The core issue of the retrial was whether the damages should be based on the total value of the iPhone or if Samsung's fee should be based on just the elements of the iPhone that it copied.
Apple argued that its payment should be based on the full value of the iPhone, while Samsung argued that it should pay a lesser amount. They're seeking profits on the entire phone," argued Samsung lawyer John Quinn. "Apple's design patents do not cover the entire phone. They are entitled to profits only on [infringing] components, not the entire phone."
Apple asked the jury to award $1 billion in damages, while Samsung asked jurors to limit the damages to $28 million. Unfortunately for Samsung, the jury sided with Apple, and the new award is more than Samsung would have had to pay had the retrial not happened.
In a statement, Apple had this to say: "It is a fact that Samsung blatantly copied our design. We're grateful to the jury for their service and pleased they agree that Samsung should pay for copying our products.
Historically, Apple hasn't introduced major changes in its tvOS updates, but the operating system is still new and there could be some larger scale changes in the works for 2018. We've asked MacRumors readers what they'd most like to see in tvOS 12, and this is what they had to say.
- Atmos support - Apple promised to add Dolby Atmos support to the Apple TV, and has yet to do so. tvOS 12 would be the ideal time to do so, and it's certainly a feature many MacRumors readers want.
- Audio passthrough - Along those same lines, MacRumors readers would also like to see support for digital audio passthrough.
- Picture-in-picture - A classic feature on a lot of television sets, picture-in-picture mode is not supported on the Apple TV. MacRumors reader Bbednarz would like to see picture-in-picture added for watching multiple shows, watching a show while using an app, and more.
- Safari - Apple isn't likely to add Safari to the Apple TV to allow for web browsing, but it's still a feature at least one MacRumors reader would like to see available as an option.
- Open screensavers - The Apple TV can only display screensavers that are sourced from Apple, but it would be nice to be able to add non-Apple screensaver options if desired.
- tvOS App Store access via computer - MacRumors reader HobeSoundDarryl has a long wishlist for tvOS 12, including a suggestion for an option to browse through tvOS apps on a Mac or PC to make it easier to discover tvOS apps.
- iCloud playlists for movies and TV shows - You can create playlists for Apple Music, and Leon1988 would like to see that same functionality made available for television shows and movies on the Apple TV.
- Multi-user support - Each Apple TV is limited to a single iCloud and iTunes account, but multi-user support, as suggested by MacRumors reader The 12th Man, would make it easier for different family members to have access to their favorite apps and channels and suggestions through the TV app without having to mix content.
The woman, Danielle, and her family had Amazon devices situated in each room for home control, and two weeks ago, one of those devices apparently recorded a conversation about hardwood floors and sent it to a person on their contact list. There are no details on how the recording was delivered to the contact.
But Danielle said two weeks ago their love for Alexa changed with an alarming phone call. "The person on the other line said, 'unplug your Alexa devices right now,'" she said. "'You're being hacked.'"Danielle confirmed that the recordings received by the contact were indeed conversations picked up by her Alexa device, and in no way was she informed that Alexa was sending the recording to a contact. She contacted Amazon and was told that the "device just guessed what we were saying." Amazon apologized and told her it would fix the issue.
That person was one of her husband's employees, calling from Seattle.
"We unplugged all of them and he proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files of recordings from inside our house," she said. "At first, my husband was, like, 'no you didn't!' And the (recipient of the message) said 'You sat there talking about hardwood floors.' And we said, 'oh gosh, you really did hear us.'"
Alexa has an option to send a message to a contact name using a voice recording, but Alexa is supposed to vocally confirm such requests and does not appear to have done so in this instance.
In a statement to the Kiro7, Amazon said that it "takes privacy very seriously" and that the event was an "extremely rare occurrence" that it is taking steps to prevent in the future.
This is not the first strange Alexa behavior that Amazon has had to deal with. Back in March, Alexa made headlines after multiple customers with Alexa-enabled devices reported hearing creepy, unsolicited laughter.
An internal T-Mobile employee tool, promotool.t-mobile.com, had a hidden API that provided T-Mobile customer data when a customer's cell phone number was added to the end of the web address. Data that was available included full name, address, billing account number, and for some customers, tax identification numbers.
Account data, such as service status and billing status was also included, but it does not appear that credit card numbers, passwords, or other sensitive information was compromised. ZDNet says that there were "references to account PINs used by customers as a security question" which could be used to hijack T-Mobile accounts.
The API was used by T-Mobile staff to look up customer data, but it was accessible to the public and not protected by a password. T-Mobile rectified the issue in early April after it was disclosed by security researcher Ryan Stevenson, who ultimately earned $1,000.
In a statement provided to ZDNet, T-Mobile says that it does not appear customer data was accessed using the API, but research suggests the API had been exposed since at least October 2017.
A T-Mobile spokesperson said: "The bug bounty program exists so that researchers can alert us to vulnerabilities, which is what happened here, and we support this type of responsible and coordinated disclosure." "The bug was patched as soon as possible and we have no evidence that any customer information was accessed," the spokesperson added.This is not the first unprotected API issue that T-Mobile has faced. Last year, a similar bug also exposed customer data to hackers.
T-Mobile has more than 74 million customers, and had this most recent bug been exploited, a simple script could have provided hackers with access to data on millions of people.
The full scope of the internal documents remain under seal, but the judge presiding over the case, Lucy Koh, made some of the information public when she published an opinion on the case earlier this month, and Motherboard shared the details she offered up about the case.
Apple knew that the iPhone 6 was 3.3 times more likely to bend than the iPhone 5s, while the iPhone 6 Plus was 7.2 times more likely to bend ahead of the release of the two devices. Publicly, though, Apple said that the two devices had been "thoroughly tested" and evaluated for "strength and durability." Bending, according to Apple, was "extremely rare" and only happened to a small number of customers.
At the heart of the Touch Disease problem is an earlier issue that received widespread attention -- bendgate.
Bendgate was the first and most visible issue affecting the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but the malleability of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is also what led to Touch Disease, which occurs when the chip that detects touch input becomes unseated from the logic board from bending or as Apple claims, multiple drops. Apple quietly addressed Touch Disease in an engineering change implemented in May 2016, but did not launch a repair program until months later after the problem received significant attention. From Judge Koh:
After internal investigation, Apple determined underfill was necessary to resolve the problems caused by the touchscreen defect. As the Plaintiffs explain, "[u]nderfill is a bead of epoxy encapsulant that is placed on a circuit chip to reinforce its attachment to the board substrate and to stiffen the surrounding assembly. ... Underfill is used to prevent the manifestation of chip defects induced by bending because it reinforces the connections and prevents them from bending away from the substrate."As part of the repair program that Apple eventually put in place, the company is replacing devices affected by Touch Disease with a replacement device for a service fee of $149.
The Touch Disease lawsuit is still ongoing and not all documentation has been made public. Judge Koh recently denied the plantiffs' attempt to get class certification, but an appeal is in the works. The full court document covering the denial for class certification is available from Motherboard.
A selection of 8-core, 10-core, and 18-core configurations are available with various storage, memory, and graphics options, priced between $4,249 and $8,159 in the United States, reflecting savings of 15 percent. All of the refurbished configurations are currently available with next-day delivery.
The base model iMac Pro with a 3.2GHz eight-core Intel Xeon W processor, 32GB of DDR4 ECC memory, 1TB of SSD storage, and Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics is available for $4,249, for example, compared to $4,999 brand new.
Apple released the iMac Pro in December 2017 as a powerful, top-of-the-line workstation designed for professional users with demanding workflows, such as advanced video and graphics editing, virtual reality content creation, and real-time 3D rendering. Benchmarks have proven it is by far the fastest Mac ever.
The all-in-one desktop workstation has a 27-inch Retina 5K display within a sleek Space Gray enclosure, and can be configured with up to an 18-core Intel Xeon processor, up to 4TB of SSD storage, up to 128GB of ECC RAM, and up to an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64 graphics processor with 16GB of HBM2 memory.
Apple says all refurbished iMac Pro models are thoroughly inspected, tested, cleaned, and repackaged with a new box and all manuals and accessories, including a Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad and Magic Mouse 2 in Space Gray. Apple's refurbished products are generally indistinguishable from brand new ones.
Any refurbished iMac Pro model comes with Apple's standard one-year warranty effective on the date the computer is delivered. The warranty can be extended to up to three years from the original purchase date with AppleCare+ for iMac, at a cost of $169 in the United States, but the plan is unavailable in Canada.
All in all, customers can save between $750 and $1,440 on an iMac Pro, but better deals are sometimes offered by third-party resellers. Micro Center stores, for example, have twice offered $1,000 off the base model iMac Pro.
Apple has been working on developing the shuttle program, called "PAIL" or Palo Alto to Infinite Loop, since last summer. At the time news of Apple's work on the program first surfaced, the company was said to be planning to install its own self-driving software in a commercial vehicle from an automaker, which has turned out to be Volkswagen.
Under the terms of the deal, T6 Transporter vans from Volkswagen will be turned into self-driving shuttles for employees.
Apple's self-driving shuttle program is said to be behind schedule and "consuming nearly all of the Apple car team's attention," hinting at ongoing problems on its car-related project, which has already been scaled back.
Apple originally had grander plans for autonomous vehicles and over the course of the past several years, attempted to ink deals with companies like BMW and Mercedes-Benz, which would have led to the development of an all-electric autonomous vehicle.
According to today's report, no deal was able to be established because Apple was asking potential partner companies to "hand over control" of data and design, something no car manufacturer was prepared to do.
When its grandiose self-driving vehicle plans fell through, Apple shifted focus to autonomous driving software under the leadership of Bob Mansfield.
Apple is now working on its shuttle program and has been testing several Lexus SUVs equipped with self-driving hardware and software out on the streets of Cupertino and surrounding areas. Beyond the shuttle plan, Apple is said to have no clear idea of what it's going to do with its autonomous driving project.
With so few rumors about macOS 10.14 available, we turned to the MacRumors community to ask our readers what they would like to see the most in the next version of macOS.
- Unified macOS and iOS design - With rumors of apps compatible with both iOS devices and Macs, MacRumors reader Glmnet1 would also like to see a more unified design between Macs and iOS devices. What that might look like is unclear, and while it could happen at some point, it's not likely for this year as we're not expecting major design changes with iOS 12 or macOS 10.14.
- Apple iOS apps for Mac - In the same vein, based on cross platform app rumors, several MacRumors readers would like to see iOS-exclusive apps like Apple News, Health, Activity, and Home made available on the Mac. A dedicated Apple Music app that's separate from iTunes is also on at least one reader's wishlist, as is an improved version of iTunes.
- HomeKit - A way to control HomeKit devices on Mac is a highly requested feature, either through the aforementioned Home app for the Mac or through Siri. At the current time, while Siri is available on macOS, the personal assistant can't control HomeKit devices from the Mac.
- Complications as Menu Bar items - Complications are limited to the Apple Watch, but since the device's debut, Apple Watch users have been hoping for their expansion to other platforms, including macOS and iOS. MacRumors reader ButteryScrollin would like Apple Watch-style complications to be added to the Mac's Menu Bar, introducing new quick-access shortcuts.
- Split-Screen improvements - MacRumors reader bmac89 would like some iPad-like improvements to the Mac's split-screen functionality, with options for dragging to resize or dismiss a split-screen view, opening apps into a split-screen view from the Dock or Spotlight, and initiating split-screen in the same way.
- APFS improvements - With macOS High Sierra, Apple introduced a new Apple Filesystem. The rollout of APFS was something of a nightmare for Apple customers who have Fusion drives that combine SSDs with traditional hard drives, and to this day, Apple has not implemented APFS support for Fusion drives. MacRumors reader Ncrypt would also like to see Apple use APFS to allow for macOS updates to install in the background to cut down on installation times.
- Group FaceTime - Group FaceTime is on both the macOS 10.14 and iOS 12 wishlists, and while it's something Apple is rumored to be working on, it's not clear if this is a feature that's ready for debut.
What new features are you hoping Apple adds to macOS 10.14? Let us know in the comments. Make sure you check out our macOS 10.14 roundup for more on what we might see in the update, including possible naming choices. We've also got a separate iOS 12 wishlist that has a list of what MacRumors readers are hoping will come to iOS in 2018.
Apple Hit With Second Class Action Lawsuit Over 'Defective' Keyboards in Recent MacBook, MacBook Pro Models
Like the first lawsuit last week, this complaint alleges that small amounts of dust or debris accumulating on 2015-and-later MacBook and 2016-and-later MacBook Pro keyboards can render the butterfly switch mechanism underneath individual keys non-functional, according to court documents obtained by MacRumors.
In some cases, the butterfly switches can also break entirely, resulting in the affected key becoming detached from the keyboard.
MacRumors first highlighted customer complaints about the 2016 MacBook Pro keyboard over a year ago, including non-functional keys, strange high-pitched sounds on some keys, and keys with a non-uniform feel.
An excerpt from the complaint, filed on Tuesday by law firm Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe in Northern California district court:
Butterfly switch keyboards, which Apple began to use in 2015 on MacBooks and in 2016 on MacBook Pros, are even lower profile than scissor switch keyboards. They still prop up the keys with two intersecting pieces of plastic, but their profile is so low that the key barely "travels" at all when it is depressed. True to the name, butterfly switches are also extremely delicate, held in place by four tiny threads of brittle plastic.Much of this second lawsuit echoes the first, including the proposed class:
Because of their very low profile, butterfly switch keyboards are resistant to the accumulation of debris underneath the keys. However, when dust or other tiny particles do get beneath the keys, they are capable of rendering the butterfly switches nonfunctional. Further, the keys cannot be removed without risk of damage to the keyboard, which may void Apple's warranty.
This action is brought on behalf of all persons in the United States who purchased, other than for resale, a model year 2015 or later Apple MacBook or a model year 2016 or later MacBook Pro laptop, which are equipped with "butterfly switch" keyboards.The complaint alleges that "thousands of consumers" have suffered from these issues, with customer complaints prevalent across blog posts, tweets, comments on forums like MacRumors, an ongoing Change.org petition that has received over 27,000 signatures, and even a satirical song and video.
That video is "I Am Pressing The Spacebar and Nothing Is Happening," uploaded to YouTube by song-a-day musician Jonathan Mann.
The complaint adds that Apple is "aware of" or "should have known" about the defect through either pre-release product testing, customer complaints, or a combination of the two, but has "at all times failed to disclose that the keyboard is defective" because repairs and replacements prove to be costly.
Apple knew or should have known of the butterfly keyboard defects before the Laptops were ever sold to the public, as a result of standard pre-release product testing. Further… Apple knew or should have known that that the Laptops were defective shortly after the 12-inch MacBooks were initially launched in 2015, and shortly after the MacBook Pros were launched in 2016, because, shortly after each launch, the keyboard was the subject of numerous consumer complaints published on the Company's website and a variety of internet message boards, such as MacRumors, social and traditional media, and retailer websites. Apple continuously monitors its own website as well as other web pages, including MacRumors…This complaint, like the first, acknowledges that Apple provides a support document with instructions to clean the keyboard of a MacBook or MacBook Pro with "an unresponsive key or "a key that feels different than the other keys," but notes that the steps "will not permanently repair the defect."
Instead, many customers have to resort to the Genius Bar. In the United States, Apple charges an out-of-warranty fee of $700 to replace the keyboard on affected MacBook Pro models, as the process requires replacing the entire top case assembly, the aluminum enclosure housing the keyboard, trackpad, and speaker grilles.
The complaint shares an experience had by Joey Baruch, one of three named plaintiffs alongside Remy Turner and Christopher Martin:
On July 21, 2017, plaintiff Joey Baruch purchased a MacBook Pro 13 inch from an Apple Store in Sherman Oaks, California, and paid $1,974.91. Following his purchase, Mr. Baruch set up his Laptop for use pursuant to the instructions provided. Shortly after his purchase, Mr. Baruch noticed the sporadic failure of certain keys, including the space bar, and the "R", "T" and "Enter" keys. This problem impaired Mr. Baruch's ability to use the Laptop.Apple is accused of, among other things, violating California's Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and breach of express warranty.
Once the problem began, Mr. Baruch tried to clean the keyboard using compressed air or a cloth to improve its performance, but the problem progressively got worse. By early 2018, the keyboard performance became so bad that Mr. Baruch needed to take his Laptop in for repair. He brought it to the Apple Store in Sherman Oaks, California. Mr. Baruch is informed and believes his keyboard was replaced. The repair occurred at or about the end of March 2018, and took approximately 5 days.
Shortly thereafter, however, the issue resumed on the new keyboard, including the space bar sticking. The Laptop’s poor performance has become a substantial distraction for Mr. Baruch. Mr. Baruch continues to experience repeated failures with the functionality of the keyboard on his MacBook Pro.
The complaint demands that Apple pays punitive damages in an amount to be proven at trial, publicly discloses the defect, and reimburses customers for all costs attributable to the defective MacBook or MacBook Pro keyboards. A jury trial has been demanded in Northern California district court.
Given the overlapping claims, it is likely that the complaints regarding the keyboards will eventually be consolidated into one class action lawsuit.
Apple Offering $50 Credit to Customers Who Paid for iPhone 6 and Later Battery Replacements From January to December 2017
The $50 credit is an extension of Apple's $29 battery replacement program, which went into effect in December of 2017 to provide lower-cost battery replacement options to customers potentially affected by performance throttling due to battery degradation.
All customers who had a battery replacement from an Apple Store, Apple Repair Center, or an Apple Authorized Service Provider are eligible for the $50 credit, which will be provided as an electronic funds transfer or a credit on the credit card used to pay for the battery replacement.
Apple is only issuing refunds for replacements completed at an Apple authorized service location, so those who may have received repairs from a third-party repair outlet will not be eligible for a refund.
The program is available to customers who paid the full $79 price for an out-of-warranty battery replacement on an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, SE, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, or 7 Plus. The $50 credit will bring the price paid for the replacement down to $29, the same price Apple is charging for replacement batteries through the end of 2018. While Apple is offering $50 in the United States, battery replacement credits in other countries will vary based on the original price of the out-of-warranty replacement.
Those who paid for an out-of-warranty battery replacement will be contacted by Apple via email between May 23 and July 27 with instructions on how to receive the credit. Customers who believe they are eligible for a credit but have not received an email by August 1 should contact Apple support for assistance.
Apple has been offering lower-cost batteries following controversy over power management features quietly introduced in older iPhones with the iOS 10.2.1 update in early 2017.
The power management options were introduced to prevent unexpected shutdowns during times of peak power draw on devices with degraded batteries, but Apple faced heavy criticism for not disclosing the fact that the power management features throttled the processor on older iPhones with less than optimal batteries, resulting in slower performance.
The throttling was discovered in late 2017 and many customers were left feeling deceived by Apple. To make up for the disclosure oversight, Apple apologized, introduced a $29 battery replacement program, disabled throttling by default in iOS 11.3, and added new features to iOS to introduce more detailed information about battery health so customers will know when a degraded battery is impacting performance.
Specifically, the Apple Watch accounted for an estimated 59 percent of the worldwide cellular-enabled smartwatch market in the first quarter of 2018, according to data shared by research firm Canalys today.
Canalys senior analyst Jason Low says the cellular capabilities have been key to the success of the Apple Watch Series 3 lineup:
Key to Apple's success with its latest Apple Watch Series 3 is the number of LTE-enabled watches it has been able to push into the hands of consumers. Operators welcome the additional revenue from device sales and the added subscription revenue for data on the Apple Watch, and the list of operators that sell the LTE Apple Watch worldwide is increasing each month.Low added that Apple has taken advantage of a lack of high-end competition in the cellular-enabled smartwatch market:
While the Apple ecosystem has a strong LTE watch offering, the lack of a similar product in the Android ecosystem is glaring. If Google decides to pursue the opportunity with a rumored Pixel Watch, it would jump-start much needed competition in this space.There are a handful of Wear OS smartwatches with LTE available, such as the LG Watch Sport, LG Watch Urbane, and Huawei Watch 2, but third-party app support and software updates are lackluster compared to the Apple Watch.
Canalys estimates that Apple Watch shipments totaled 3.8 million units in the quarter, including non-cellular models, making it the world's most popular wearable, even though several other competitors in the top five sell a wide range of comparatively inexpensive fitness trackers and activity bands.
Chinese company Xiaomi, for example, shipped an estimated 3.7 million wearables in the quarter, but Canalys notes that more than 90 percent of those shipments were Mi Bands, priced as low as $20 to $25 in the United States.
Apple Watch pricing starts at $249 for Series 1 models, while Series 3 models with LTE retail for $399 and up, in the United States.
Apple doesn't break out Apple Watch sales as it does with iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Instead, it groups the watch under its "Other Products" category, alongside the Apple TV, AirPods, Beats, iPod, HomePod, and accessories. Canalys and other research firms look for clues in Apple's earnings reports to estimate shipments.
Apple CEO Tim Cook did vaguely reveal that Apple Watch revenue reached a new record in the first quarter of 2018:
Apple Watch had another great quarter with revenue growing by strong double-digits year-over-year to a new March quarter record. Millions of customers are using Apple Watch to help them stay active, healthy, and connected, and they have made it a top-selling watch in the world.Apple Watches have grown so popular that, in the final three months of 2017, worldwide shipments outpaced all Swiss watch brands combined for the first time, according to IDC senior research director Francisco Jeronimo.
The data download that users are able to request includes purchase and app usage history, calendars, reminders, photos, and documents stored in iCloud, Apple Music and Game Center statistics, marketing history, and AppleCare support history.
The data download option arrives before the GDPR deadline and is currently limited to Apple accounts registered in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, but Apple says it will roll out the service worldwide "in the coming months".
We've compiled a separate how-to outlining the steps involved in requesting the data. If you live in a country or region that's not listed above, you can still contact Apple to request a copy of your data.
The new Data & Privacy site also includes links that customers can use to update their account details, temporarily deactivate their account, or delete it permanently.