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Kuo: 2020 iPhones to Support 5G, Qualcomm and Samsung Likely to Supply Modems

2020 iPhones will support 5G networks, with chipmaker Qualcomm likely to supply Apple with 5G modems for the devices after the two companies settled their high-profile legal battle last week, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


Interestingly, Kuo also expects Samsung to fulfill some of the 5G modem orders in select markets. Apple frequently aims to diversify its supply chain in an effort to reduce risk and have improved bargaining power, potentially reducing its costs as multiple suppliers engage in a price war to win orders.

An excerpt from Kuo's latest research note, obtained by MacRumors:
Apple and Qualcomm's end of patent dispute and entrance into a six-year licensing deal implies new 2H20 iPhone models will support 5G; Qualcomm and Samsung are potential 5G baseband chip suppliers: The market was worried that Intel's disappointing 5G baseband chip development might be the most severe uncertainty for the new 2H20 iPhone models' adoption of 5G. But we believe the uncertainty has been removed after Apple and Qualcomm's end of patent dispute and entrance into a six-year licensing deal, and Intel's announcement that it will exit the 5G baseband chip business. We expect Apple will likely adopt 5G baseband chips made by Qualcomm (focus on mmWave markets) and Samsung (focus on Sub-6GHz markets) for lowering supply risk, reducing costs and having better bargaining power.
Kuo believes that 5G will be a boon for both iPhone sales and Apple's supply chain in 2020. He forecasts total iPhone shipments of 195–200 million units in 2020, including 70–75 million 5G models released in the second half of the year.

Qualcomm was already the widely expected frontrunner for 5G modems in 2020 iPhones after Intel announced it is exiting the 5G smartphone modem business.

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JCPenney Removes Apple Pay Support From Its Retail Stores and Mobile App

American department store JCPenney has quietly removed support for Apple Pay from its retail stores, it has emerged.


The withdrawal of support for Apple's digital payment system was confirmed on Saturday by the company's customer service Twitter account in response to a query, but offered no reason for its decision.


The option to use Apple Pay at checkout in the JCPenney iOS app has also been removed, reports Appleosophy, catching many mobile shoppers off guard.

The retailer began trialing Apple Pay in late 2015, before rolling it out to all of its stores across the United States and adding support for the payment method to its app for iPhone and iPad shortly after.

JCPenney also made its credit card available on Apple Pay, enabling customers to earn shopping points through its JCPenney Rewards loyalty program, directly in the Wallet app on iPhone.

Assuming JCPenney still takes NFC contactless payments, it's unclear whether the company has switched merchant account providers to one that doesn't support Apple Pay, or has simply disabled support for Apple's digital wallet at its transaction terminals. We've contacted JCPenney for more information on their reasoning behind the decision and will update this article if we learn more.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
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Alleged iPhone XI and XI Max Molds Show Triple Camera Layout

SlashLeaks posts an image that is alleged to be iPhone XI and XI Max molds for 3rd party case production.


These physical molds are presumably produced by case manufacturers based on leaked schematics to test early cases for the upcoming 2019 iPhones.

The front design is also shown on a Weibo post which may have been the original source for the images:


The square grouping of the triple-camera is consistent with other rumors and images that have leaked from the supply chain regarding Apple's upcoming iPhones.

Related Roundup: 2019 iPhones
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Apple Pulls 4K LG UltraFine Displays From Online Apple Store in U.S.

Apple has removed the 4K LG UltraFine Displays from its online Apple Store in the United States, continuing a trend of pulling the display from its online stores around the world. Before disappearing from the store, the display had been listed as "Sold Out" for quite some time.

It's not clear why Apple has stopped selling the 4K LG UltraFine Display, but it is several years old at this point, having first debuted in 2016.


The 4K and 5K UltraFine Displays were designed by LG in partnership with Apple and were created to be used with the 2016 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models, which supported Thunderbolt 3 for the first time.

The 21.5-inch 4K LG UltraFine Display offered a resolution of 4096 x 2304 with support for P3 wide color gamut and 60W of power delivery for charging a MacBook. It was selling from Apple for $700 before being pulled from the online store.

LG recently debuted a new 4K UltraFine Display, but this new model, priced at $1300, was not designed in partnership with Apple and it doesn't seem like Apple is planning to replace the existing model with this one in its retail stores.

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Apple is still selling the LG UltraFine 5K Display for $1300, and Best Buy is continuing to offer the original UltraFine 4K Display from 2016 for its original $700 price, suggesting it has not been discontinued by LG.

Apple is working on an Apple-branded display that will be sold alongside the high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro that's in the works, but with a rumored 6K resolution and a 31.6-inch screen size, it's sounding like it's going to be ultra high end (and expensive) and not a replacement for traditional 4K and 5K displays.

Related Roundup: Apple Display 6K
Tag: LG
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Siri Shortcuts, Screen Time, and iMessage Screen Effects Coming to macOS This Year

iOS apps and features including Shortcuts, Screen Time, and iMessage effects will be coming to macOS later this year, after they're first unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference in June. The information was shared today by 9to5Mac's Guilherme Rambo, who spoke with people familiar with the development of macOS 10.15.


The major update to macOS, which is expected to launch in the fall, will include support for Siri Shortcuts. Apple updated the previous Workflow app for iOS to become Siri Shortcuts in September 2018, alongside the release of iOS 12. It allows you to create multi-step automations that you can initiate with a simple Siri command.

Today, Shortcuts has expanded to numerous third-party apps like American Airlines and Caviar. Later this year, Mac computers will get "system-wide" support for Siri Shortcuts, according to today's report.

Secondly, macOS 10.15 will see the addition of Screen Time, which tracks your device usage and reports back to you at the end of each week with statistics on what apps you use the most. Parents can use the feature to limit the time their kids spend in certain apps, and people trying to take a break from social media can set time limits on apps like Instagram and Twitter.

On macOS, this feature will work essentially the same as it does on iOS. It'll be housed in a new panel in System Preferences to customize its settings, and an overlay will appear when time limits are exceeded, where you can close the app or bypass the Screen Time lock with a passcode.

Lastly, macOS will be getting iMessage screen effects that have been exclusive to iPhones and iPads for a few years. These include full screen effects like Echo, Balloons, Confetti, and Lasers. On current versions of macOS, when an iPhone user sends these effects and they're read on a Mac, the iMessage screen on Mac simply states "Sent with [Effect Name]" below the message.

Today's news follows previous reports about Apple's plans to tie the iOS and macOS ecosystems more closely together. This includes letting developers release universal apps that work across iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices, which could happen by 2021. Last year at WWDC, Apple also ported a few iOS apps to macOS for the first time, including Home, News, Voice Memos, and Stocks.

Tag: macOS
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Foxconn 'Remains Committed' to Wisconsin Plant and Promise of Eventually Employing 13,000 Workers

Apple supplier Foxconn today said that it remains committed to its contract to build a display plant and research facility in Wisconsin (via Reuters). The company's comment comes a few days after Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said that the state wanted to renegotiate the Foxconn deal, partly due to the belief that the Taiwanese company was not expected to reach its goal of creating 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin.


Foxconn's original goal for the project was to eventually employ 13,000 workers on the site, and today the company has confirmed that it "remains committed" to this plan. Foxconn initially announced the project in 2017 at a White House event alongside President Donald Trump. Governor Evers recently took office in January 2019, inheriting the deal to Give Foxconn $4 billion in tax breaks and other incentives.
“Foxconn’s commitment to job creation in Wisconsin remains long term and will span over the length of the WEDC (Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation) contract and beyond.”
Over the years, Foxconn's Wisconsin plant has gone through many iterations as the supplier faced new roadblocks and cost-cutting measures. The plant was designated as a TV display factory in its early stages, then pivoted to small to medium-size displays for smartphones, infotainment systems, and other "niche products".

In early 2019, Reuters reported that Foxconn would greatly scale back its plans to produce displays of any kind in Wisconsin and instead focus on research and development. The news came from Louis Woo, assistant to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, who said Foxconn is "not building a factory" in Wisconsin.

According to Woo, the steep cost of making advanced screens for TV sets and other devices in the United States led to the decision. Around the same time, the company confirmed it had slowed its pace of hiring, down to about 5,200 people expected by the end of 2020.

As of now, Foxconn has fallen short of its employment goals in 2018, hiring just 178 full-time workers rather than the 260 it intended to for the year. The supplier has to meet certain hiring and capital investment goals under its current contract to qualify for tax credits in Wisconsin. With its inability to meet the 260 hiring target last year, it failed to earn a tax credit of up to $9.5 million.

Tag: Foxconn
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Will, Jaden and Jada Smith Visit Apple Park for Environmental Discussion

Will Smith, his wife Jada Smith, and his son Jaden Smith today visited Apple Park to discuss the environment and Jaden's Just Water company, according to a tweet Apple CEO Tim Cook shared on Twitter this evening.

Just Water is a water company that sells ethically sourced spring water in paper-based bottles with sugarcane caps, all of which is more environmentally friendly than a standard plastic bottle. In addition to plain spring water, Just Water also offers infused flavors like lemon, tangerine, and apple cinnamon.


The Smiths were at Apple Park ahead of Earth Day, which takes place on Monday, April 22. Apple today also released its annual environmental report and launched its Material Recovery Lab in Austin, Texas.

In celebration of Earth Day, Apple plans to host environment-themed Today at Apple sessions at its Apple retail stores. The company will also feature original stories and app collections in the App Store and will host an Earth Day Apple Watch challenge.

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Facebook Confirms Millions of Instagram Passwords Were Stored in Plain Text

Back in March, Facebook announced that millions of Facebook passwords were stored on its servers in plain text with no encryption. At the time, Facebook also said that "tens of thousands" of Instagram passwords were also stored in the same unencrypted format, but as it turns out, the actual number was much, much higher.

In an update to its original blog post, Facebook now says that millions of Instagram passwords were stored on its servers in a readable format.

Update on April 18, 2019 at 7AM PT: Since this post was published, we discovered additional logs of Instagram passwords being stored in a readable format. We now estimate that this issue impacted millions of Instagram users. We will be notifying these users as we did the others. Our investigation has determined that these stored passwords were not internally abused or improperly accessed.
These unencrypted, plain text passwords were accessible to thousands of Facebook employees, and while Facebook says that there's no "evidence to date" that anyone within Facebook abused or improperly accessed the passwords, it's highly concerning.

Instagram user names, unlike Facebook usernames, can be highly appealing to thieves. Short names can sell for quite a lot of money, which makes Instagram passwords rather valuable.

Facebook was not forthcoming about the discovery of additional impacted Instagram accounts, burying it in a month-old blog post and, as Recode points out, releasing the update just before the Mueller report came out and media sites were distracted.

Facebook will be notifying Instagram users whose passwords were improperly stored, and Instagram users who are concerned about their accounts should change their passwords and make sure two-factor authentication is enabled.

Facebook's latest security leak comes just a day after news spread that Facebook harvested the email contacts of 1.5 million Facebook users without their consent and used the data to build a web of social connections.

Earlier this week, a scathing report also outlined how Facebook leveraged user data to punish its rivals and reward companies who paid heavily into Facebook advertising and shared data of their own.

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Apple Paid an Estimated $5-$6 Billion to Settle Qualcomm Dispute, Plus $8-$9 Per iPhone in Royalty Fees

Apple likely paid somewhere around $5 to $6 billion to settle its ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm, according to estimates shared today by UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri (via CNBC).

The $5 to $6 billion payment would have been for royalty fees that Apple had stopped paying over the course of its two year legal fight with Qualcomm.


Qualcomm may also be receiving between $8 and $9 per iPhone from Apple in ongoing patent royalties, a figure calculated based on guidance numbers that Qualcomm provided following the settlement. Qualcomm said that it expects its earnings per share to increase by $2.

Apple previously paid $7.50 in royalties, so at $8 to $9 per iPhone, Apple would be shelling out more cash than it did before.

Apple appears to have had no alternative but to settle with Qualcomm, as it had no other way to source 5G chips for its 2020 iPhone lineup. Apple initially planned to use Intel chips, but rumors suggested Intel wasn't meeting development goals, leading to tension between Apple and Intel.

Just hours after Apple and Qualcomm announced a settlement deal, Intel said that it was exiting the 5G smartphone modem business and would not be making 5G smartphone chips at all.

It's not entirely clear if Apple settled with Qualcomm because it knew of Intel's plan to abandon 5G chip development or if Intel made the decision after learning of Apple's settlement plans, but either way, it leaves Apple with no choice but to re-adopt Qualcomm chips for future iPhones.

Smartphone makers like Samsung will have 5G smartphones available starting this year, so Apple could not afford to delay the rollout of its 5G iPhones. Launching in 2020 already puts Apple somewhat behind, but 5G networks from U.S. carriers are still very much in development.

Following news of the settlement, Qualcomm's stock has gone up over 38 percent, marking a big win for the San Diego company. The agreement includes a six-year licensing deal along with a "multiyear chipset supply agreement."

It sounds like Apple will need to rely on Qualcomm for the foreseeable future, but Apple is working on its own modem chip technology, which may eventually allow it to drop Qualcomm as a modem chip supplier.

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Kuo: 2019 iPhones to Feature 12MP Front Cameras, Special Black Coating to Hide Lenses, and More

All three 2019 iPhones will feature 12-megapixel single-lens front cameras, up from 7-megapixels on the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, according to the latest research note from well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


The note, obtained by MacRumors, adds that the next iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED displays respectively will also feature triple-lens rear cameras, including a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 12-megapixel super-wide-angle lens supplied by Sony:
We forecast the camera upgrade will be one of the new 2H19 iPhone's major selling points. Critical spec upgrades are as follows. (1) Rear cameras of 6.5-inch OLED, 5.8-inch OLED, and 6.1-inch LCD will likely upgrade to triple-camera and dual-camera, respectively. A super-wide camera will be newly adopted by the triple-camera system, which is equipped with the 12MP/1um CIS provided exclusively by Sony. (2) The front camera of all three new iPhone models will likely upgrade to 12MP CIS+5P lens (vs. current 7MP CIS+4P lens).
Kuo believes the next iPhone XR with a 6.1-inch LCD display will sport a dual-lens rear camera, as the WSJ previously reported, although he did not provide megapixels or any other camera specifications for that model. The rear camera on the current iPhone XR is a single 12-megapixel wide-angle lens.

Kuo says the rear super-wide-angle lens and front camera lens on the next iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will adopt "black lens-coating technologies," which will make the lenses look "inconspicuous," as hinted at previously.

The rumored triple-lens camera design for the next iPhones has proved quite controversial, but the special coating should help the far-right lens blend into the black bezels for a more aesthetically pleasing look.

The triple-lens camera design was first leaked by OnLeaks:


A chart from the research note:


Kuo says the new iPhones will be introduced in the second half of 2019. This is no surprise, as Apple has unveiled new iPhones in September every year since 2012. Last year, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max became available to order on September 14, followed by the iPhone XR on October 19.

Related Roundup: 2019 iPhones
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Apple Opens Material Recovery Lab in Austin to Improve Recycling Efforts

Apple has opened a new lab that will study how it can expand upon its current recycling processes through machine learning and robotics. The company announced the news today, along with other environmentally-focused updates, including that it will quadruple the number of locations where United States customers can send their iPhone to be disassembled by its recycling robot Daisy in a major expansion of its recycling programs.


In regards to its new lab, Apple is calling it the "Material Recovery Lab" and says that it will be dedicated to looking for innovative solutions that will improve on traditional methods of recycling. The lab will work with Apple engineering teams and members of academia to address and propose solutions to current recycling challenges. The 9,000 square foot lab is located in Austin, Texas.

The recycling expansion also includes select iPhones returned to Best Buy stores throughout the United States and KPN retailers in the Netherlands. With the Apple Trade In program, those interested can also turn in their eligible devices to be recycled at any Apple Store or on Apple.com.

Apple says that Daisy can now disassemble 15 different iPhone models at the rate of 200 per hour, and after materials are recovered from the robot they are recycled back into the manufacturing process. Apple has received nearly 1 million devices through its recycling programs and each Daisy robot can disassemble 1.2 million devices each year.
In 2018, the company refurbished more than 7.8 million Apple devices and helped divert more than 48,000 metric tons of electronic waste from landfills.

“Advanced recycling must become an important part of the electronics supply chain, and Apple is pioneering a new path to help push our industry forward,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “We work hard to design products that our customers can rely on for a long time. When it comes time to recycle them, we hope that the convenience and benefit of our programs will encourage everyone to bring in their old devices.”
Lastly, the company has released its 2019 Environment report with more information on its climate change solutions. These include Apple's recent announcement that 44 of its suppliers -- like Foxconn and Wistron -- have committed to 100 percent renewable energy for their production of Apple products.


To celebrate Earth Day on April 22, Apple will have environmentally themed Today at Apple sessions at all Apple Stores, feature original stories and app collections on the App Store, and run an Earth Day Apple Watch challenge. The company will also support the efforts of non-profit organizations like Conservation International, SEE Foundation, and The Recycling Partnership, which are all focused on protecting and preserving the environment.

The front page of Apple.com has been updated as well, prompting visitors to learn more about Apple and its environmental efforts.

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Multiple Reviewers Facing Broken Galaxy Fold Devices After Just Days of Use

Samsung this week provided reviewers with Galaxy Fold devices for some hands-on time, and it appears the folding smartphone may be suffering from some serious flaws. Three of the reviewers who received a Galaxy Fold have already experienced failures, all of which focus on the display.

The Verge's Dieter Bohn says that his Galaxy Fold device broke after a random bulge appeared on the display, perhaps from a piece of debris that had gotten into the hinge. The debris, or whatever the bulge was, pressed into the display hard enough to break it.

Broken Galaxy Fold OLED display via The Verge

Bohn says that he did not mistreat the phone, doing "normal phone stuff" like putting it in a pocket and opening and closing the hinge.
It's a distressing thing to discover just two days after receiving my review unit. More distressing is that the bulge eventually pressed sharply enough into the screen to break it. You can see the telltale lines of a broken OLED converging on the spot where the bulge is.
Similarly, CNBC's Steve Kovach shared a video of his review unit displaying a flickering, failing screen after just a single day of use.


Bloomberg's Mark Gurman also ran into a catastrophic display failure. His Galaxy Fold is broken and unusable, appearing to feature some of the same screen failures as Kovach's unit.


In Gurman's case, he says that there was a protective layer on the screen that is not supposed to be removed, but this was not communicated to him. He took it off, which may have contributed to the problem. Well-known YouTuber Marques Brownlee says that he did the same thing because there was no warning in the box.


Not all of the reviewers with broken units removed the plastic film, however, so there are clearly multiple issues impacting the Galaxy Fold. Three broken review units that failed within a day or two does not bode well for the device at all. It's not known if reviewers received a bad batch of the device or if units going out to customers will experience the same issues, but anyone considering a purchase should be aware of these failures.

Samsung's Galaxy Fold costs a whopping $1,980, which is a sensationally high price even for a device that works. Right now, Samsung is accepting pre-orders for the Galaxy Fold on carrier sites, and the first retail units are expected to be available to customers on April 26.

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