Refreshed internals, lower price point possible.
Apple today updated the Events app on the Apple TV to add an image of the invitation for the upcoming event and to note that a video will be uploaded later in the day following the conclusion of the event.
Apple has not held an education-focused event since 2012, so we weren't sure what to expect. That event was not streamed either. Given that this is primarily an event for teachers and students rather than regular customers, it isn't a surprise that we'll have no live stream.
MacRumors will offer live coverage of the educational event both here on MacRumors.com and on our MacRumorsLive Twitter account, so make sure to visit us on Tuesday if you want to hear about what Apple has in store for schools.
Developers who were lucky enough to win a ticket can expect to see their credit cards charged for the $1,599 over the course of the next few days.
Apple has been using a lottery system to provide developers with WWDC tickets for the last several years due to high demand. There are approximately 5,000 spots open for developers, but Apple gets many more applications than that.
Developers will be able to attend iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS app development sessions and more than 1,000 Apple engineers and executives will be available.
This year's event will start on Monday, June 4 and last through Friday, June 8. On Monday, Apple will host a keynote event to introduce new iOS, tvOS, watchOS, macOS, and HomePod software, and we could be surprised with a few new hardware products as well.
Rumors thus far have suggested we might see updated iPad Pro models with slimmer bezels and a TrueDepth camera system for Face ID functionality, and a less expensive MacBook Air.
Following the keynote event, Apple will make new software updates available to developers and the rest of the week will be spent in technical sessions and hands-on labs.
Developers not selected to purchase a WWDC ticket will be able to watch the keynote session and follow along with technical sessions through the Apple Developer Website and the WWDC app for iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV.
The interview will be titled "Revolution: Apple Changing the World," with no other details about Cook's appearance at this time.
JUST ANNOUNCED: @MSNBC & @voxmediainc's @Recode present "REVOLUTION: APPLE CHANGING THE WORLD" ft. @Apple CEO Tim Cook onstage with @karaswisher & @chrislhayes, airing Friday, April 6th at 8:00pm ET on @MSNBC. pic.twitter.com/GjgT5evSRu— MSNBCPR (@MSNBCPR) March 23, 2018
With no additional information available, it's not clear what Cook's discussion will include, but topics like privacy and data collection are likely to come up given the recent scandal with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica and concerns over the CLOUD Act.
Cook may also spend time discussing the new educational initiatives Apple plans to introduce at its March 27 event, and we could get additional commentary on the consequences of Apple's power management features in older iPhones.
Cook is often tight-lipped about new products, but he could potentially provide some veiled hints on what Apple's working on both this year and in the future.
We'll have coverage of Cook's interview with Recode and MSNBC here on MacRumors on April 6.
As outlined by Emojipedia, Apple has suggested emojis that include a guide dog, a hearing aid, a prosthetic arm and leg, sign language, a person in a wheelchair, and a person with a cane. Apple's full list of proposed emojis can be seen in its proposal document.
In its proposal, Apple says it is aiming to better represent individuals with disabilities to provide a more inclusive experience for all. Apple also says this is not an exhaustive list of "all possible depictions of disabilities," but is rather designed to be "an initial starting point."
At Apple, we believe that technology should be accessible to everyone and should provide an experience that serves individual needs. Adding emoji emblematic to users' life experiences helps foster a diverse culture that is inclusive of disability. Emoji are a universal language and a powerful tool for communication, as well as a form of self-expression, and can be used not only to represent one's own personal experience, but also to show support for a loved one.To create the emoji suggestions, Apple teamed up with the American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and the National Association of the Deaf. Its initial proposal focused on people in four categories: Blind and Low Vision, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Physical Motor, and Hidden Disabilities.
This new set of emoji that we are proposing aims to provide a wider array of options to represent basic categories for people with disabilities. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of all possible depictions of disabilities, but to provide an initial starting point for greater representation for diversity within the emoji universe.
Apple says its proposal is a "significant step forward in representing more diverse individuals," and that the company hopes it will "spark a global dialogue around better representation for people with disabilities."
Apple is well-known for its dedicated work on making its products accessible to all users, with a suite of Accessibility features built into all of its iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more. Apple maintains a dedicated Accessibility section on its website where it shares details on available Accessibility features and stories of people who have improved their lives with Apple products.
The Unicode Consortium has already finalized the Emoji 11.0 characters that will be adopted by smartphone companies later this year, but Apple's proposed characters could be added to Emoji 12.0, set to be released in 2019.
Kuo says that he expects Apple Pencil shipments will rise to 9 to 10 million units in 2018 "given that the new low-cost iPad may support Apple Pencil." Kuo says Apple may add Apple Pencil support in order to differentiate the low-cost iPad from competing low-cost Android tablets.
Strong demand for low-price 9.7-inch iPad in 2017. iPad shipments hit 43.8mn units in 2017, well above the 35mn units forecast by the market at the beginning of the year. The primary driver was the low-price 9.7-inch model, whose selling points are competitive pricing and a significantly larger panel than those of six- to seven-inch smartphones (iPad mini was a flop because it was replaced by large-screen smartphones). In a bid to strengthen its selling points and to differentiate it more from low-price Android tablets, the new low-price 9.7-inch iPad (starting mass production in 2Q18) will likely support Apple Pencil.There have been no previous rumors suggesting the low-cost iPad will include Apple Pencil support, but there was speculation that it could based on the design of the event invite that Apple sent out to members of the media.
The invitation includes an Apple logo that's clearly been drawn using the Apple Pencil, which led people to think that the low-cost education-focused iPad might support Apple Pencil. It's not clear if Apple will offer schools the existing Apple Pencil or introduce a new, more affordable version if the company is indeed planning to debut a lower-cost iPad that works with the accessory.
Adding Apple Pencil support to the low-cost iPad would allow Apple's tablet to better compete with the Chromebooks that are popular in schools, providing the ability for students to draw and write directly on the iPad's screen with a fast, reliable tool.
Though Kuo does not mention the possibility, if Apple is planning to add Apple Pencil support to the low-cost iPad, some kind of keyboard could also be included. With Apple Pencil support and an included keyboard accessory, iPads would be a far more appealing option for schools.
Rumors have suggested Apple is working on a more affordable iPad targeted at the educational market. The new device could perhaps be priced as low as $259, down from the current $329 price tag for the 5th-generation iPad.
Kuo believes 9.7-inch iPad shipments will account for more than 70 percent of all iPad shipments in 2018, which will have a positive impact on Apple Pencil shipments. He expects Apple will begin shipping new iPad Pro models with TrueDepth camera systems during the "around" the third quarter of 2018, which suggests a September debut.
In addition to the low-cost iPad, Kuo's note also mentions Apple Pencil support for future iPhones. He believes the likelihood of such a feature "may increase with future iPhone screen size being enlarged," but he does not believe the 2018 iPhone models will support Apple Pencil.
Mohan shared his prediction in a research note obtained by CNBC after spending a week in Asia meeting with companies in Apple's supply chain. He expects the foldable iPhone will launch in 2020 and said it could potentially "double up as a tablet," suggesting the device could expand to have an iPad-like form factor.
This isn't the first time we've heard this rumor. Back in December 2016, a Korean report said LG Display was developing and mass-producing foldable displays for smartphones. And, as of October 2017, it appears that LG Display has reached an agreement to supply Apple with its foldable displays for future iPhones.
LG has shown off various futuristic-looking curved and foldable display prototypes over the past three years, including one with a book-like design and another that can be rolled up like a newspaper. Both designs take advantage of the flexible property of OLED displays, compared to rigid LCD screens.
For that reason, the iPhone X is a good start on the path towards a foldable iPhone, should one ever materialize.
While not visible, the iPhone X actually has a flexible OLED display that curves behind itself on the inside of the device. The curved portion houses the display controller chip, and this clever engineering feat allows the iPhone X to have a slimmer bottom bezel, which is normally where the chip is located.
A foldable iPhone would require further innovation. If the device can be rolled up like a newspaper, then components like the logic board and battery would need to be flexible enough to bend rather than buckle. But if it only folds in half, then components could still be rigid and connected with flex cables.
Apple applied for a foldable display patent last year and is likely researching ways to create a foldable iPhone, but that doesn't guarantee we'll ever see a consumer-facing product. 2020 might be an overly ambitious timeframe, too, but technology can change a lot in two years, so we'll have to wait and see.
Apple is also said to be working on a new, lower-priced notebook, likely to replace the MacBook Air with a sub-$1,000 price in the United States:
A new, cheaper MacBook laptop is in the works and likely destined to replace the MacBook Air at a price less than $1,000, but it probably won't be ready in time for next week, the people said. The MacBook Air, introduced about a decade ago, hasn't seen a major change since 2010, the same year the iPad came out. Although the laptop is popular with college students, it has languished as Apple focuses on more expensive Macs.At first glance, it would appear that Gurman is referring to a lower-priced 12-inch MacBook, as many people believe that Apple will eventually phase out the MacBook Air. However, the "MacBook laptop" wording is perhaps intentionally vague, in case it does end up being a cheaper MacBook Air.
12-inch MacBook models currently start at $1,299, and were last updated with Kaby Lake processors and faster graphics in June 2017. MacBook Air starts at $999 and hasn't received a meaningful update since March 2015.
Earlier this month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple plans to launch a more affordable MacBook Air in the second quarter of 2018, which essentially runs between next week and the end of June. WitsView researcher Yubin Qiu estimated the notebook could start at $799 to $899 in the United States.
Gurman said the new MacBook "probably won't be ready in time for next week," suggesting it won't be unveiled at the Chicago event. Of course, Apple could still mention the notebook at the event, even if orders begin later.
Gurman nor Kuo have elaborated on what we can expect from the new MacBook or MacBook Air, whichever it ends up being, but it's reasonable to assume that we'll see a bump to the processors and graphics. If it's a new MacBook Air, a Retina display is also a possibility, but that may go against the sub-$1,000 price.
Apple hasn't specified if the Chicago event will be live streamed. MacRumors will provide coverage on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. Central Time.
Thursday, March 22
1. Erasing Complexity: The Comfort of Apple's Ecosystem: MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci explains how, after years of testing competing products and ecosystems, he has decided to fully embrace Apple's ecosystem given the simplicity and integration of apps, services, and hardware.
It took me years to understand that the value I get from Apple's ecosystem far outweighs its shortcomings. While not infallible, Apple still creates products that abstract complexity, are nice, and work well together. In hindsight, compulsively chasing the "best tech" was unhealthy and only distracting me from the real goal: finding technology that works well for me and helps me live a better, happier life.2. Retro Review: 2009 Mac Pro in 2018: iMore's Anthony Casella examines whether the 2009 Mac Pro, upgraded with dual Radeon RX 580 GPUs, is still a capable machine in 2018 compared to a 2014 iMac and entry-level iMac Pro, based on transcoding HD video, rendering video in Final Cut Pro, and gaming.
Casella notes that his article isn't intended to be a scientific comparison, but rather more of a fun project to see if a nine-year-old workstation can still keep up in 2018, if someone were to have upgraded its components over the years instead of buying a whole new system. His answer is very much "yes."
And yes I say that it can hang with the latest and greatest systems. In some areas, like with openCL computation, we made it insanely fast. Much faster than an iMac and an iMac Pro. It some areas it plays in the ball park like when transcoding videos. Others seem to show it's age like when exporting Final Cut Pro videos but it does not show it's age when using a FCP workflow like editing, transforming and scrubbing.3. Samsung Galaxy Note 9 to adopt in-display fingerprint scanning: sources: "Samsung Display has prepared three or four solutions for Samsung Electronics to embed the fingerprint sensor inside of the main display, and both are seriously considering one of the solutions," a source told The Korea Herald.
Samsung wouldn't be the first smartphone maker to achieve the feat, as Chinese company Vivo released the X20 Plus UD with an in-display fingerprint scanner in January. The smartphone is the result of a collaboration between Vivo and Synaptics, which could also be working with Samsung for the Note 9.
Apple was widely rumored to embed Touch ID into the iPhone X's display, but as it turned out, the company chose to ditch the fingerprint scanner entirely in favor of Face ID. And with a trio of new iPhone models with Face ID expected to launch later this year, it doesn't look like Touch ID has a long future.
- The Loop Bash at WWDC 2018: The party will be held at The Ritz, a nightclub around the corner from the San Jose Convention Center, on June 4, 2018, from 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time. The Loop will make an announcement on how to RSVP for the party as WWDC draws closer.
- Meet Haben Girma, a blind-deaf rights lawyer changing tech and design: Mashable's Kerry Flynn interviews disability rights lawyer Haben Girma, who is deaf and visually impaired, about the need for more commitment to accessibility in tech by businesses and entrepreneurs. There are a few quotes from Apple's accessibility director Sarah Herrlinger.
- Clipboard API Improvements: Apple has added a new entry to its WebKit blog that provides a technical overview of recent improvements made to the Clipboard copy-and-paste API that enables web apps to more seamlessly integrate with native apps on macOS and iOS.
Called "Fly Market," the video is set to the song "Back Pocket" by Vulfpeck. It features a man dancing through an open air market making purchases with just a look. Every item he looks at flies onto his body like magic.
Apple Pay on iPhone X is unique because purchases are approved with Face ID rather than Touch ID. Making a purchase is as simple as looking at the iPhone to unlock it using facial recognition, and then clicking twice on the Side button.
"Fly Market" is the second video Apple has released in recent weeks showing off Face ID on the iPhone X. The first video, "Unlock," was done in the same vein, with Face ID on the iPhone X causing everything in the surrounding area to unlock.
Huberty believes that over the course of the next five years, services revenue growth will contribute more than 50 percent of Apple's total revenue growth. The iPhone, meanwhile, will make up just 22 percent of revenue growth during the same time period, despite the fact that it's contributed 86 percent of Apple's revenue growth over the past five years.
Although "over the last five years, the vast majority (86%) of Apple's 8% annual revenue growth was driven by iPhone sales, it is through monetization of Apple's Services business that we see the company still generating mid single digit revenue growth," she said.For the last several years, Apple's services category has been setting continual quarterly revenue records thanks to its rapid growth. In the first fiscal quarter of 2018, for example, services brought in $8.5 billion, up 18 percent year over year.
Huberty estimated that roughly 60% of revenue growth is now attributable to services. That, coupled with wearables, like the Apple Smart Watch, "will drive almost all of Apple's growth over the next five years," she added.
The services category includes iTunes, the App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay, and AppleCare.
According to Huberty, services revenue is at roughly $30 per device, up from $25 two years ago, but that might not be an accurate reflection of actual spending. Most Apple users do not currently pay for services, which could mean that revenue per active user is well above and "possibly double" the $30 metric.
Just 18 percent of Apple's total device installed base subscribe to paid Apple services, which means there's a lot of potential for growth in recurring revenue sources. Apple Music, iCloud, and Apple Pay are all services that Huberty believes have yet to be fully monetized.
Apple Music, as an example, has seen considerable growth since its launch and now boasts over 36 million subscribers. Just 2.9 percent of Apple customers subscribe, however. Apple Pay usage is also low, despite the fact that it's available in more than 50 percent of retail locations in the United States.
According to Huberty, Morgan Stanley is confident in Apple's growth through services monetization, with the firm setting a price target of $203 on Apple shares, which are currently trading at ~$170.
As Tim Cook often says, Apple's services category has already reached the size of a Fortune 100 company, and Apple has set a goal to double its 2016 services revenue by 2020, a target the company is well on its way to hitting.
In a statement provided to MacRumors, Apple said "we are aware of the issue and it will be addressed in an upcoming software update." It's quite possible the fix will be included in iOS 11.3, which remains in beta testing, but Apple may elect to address the problem with a minor update such as iOS 11.2.7.
As reported by Brazilian website MacMagazine earlier this week, users can simply ask Siri to "read my notifications" and the assistant will read aloud the contents of notifications, including ones that are hidden, from a wide selection of apps.
Siri's behavior becomes a privacy issue because it can read aloud messages and emails from third-party apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Gmail, even if an iPhone is locked and notifications are hidden. This violates the trust of users who expect that their notifications cannot be read by others.
MacRumors has reproduced this issue on an iPhone X running both iOS 11.2.6 and the latest iOS 11.3 beta, but we can confirm that it does not affect iMessage. However, the issue did partially affect Apple's stock Mail app, as Siri was able to read the subject line of an email we sent as part of our testing.
Lock screen notifications are hidden by default on iPhone X, meaning the contents of notifications are concealed until a user authenticates with Face ID. The setting isn't turned on by default on other iPhones, but it can be enabled in Settings > Notifications > Show Previews, which presents three options:
- Always: Lock screen notifications are fully visible
- When Unlocked: Lock screen notifications remain hidden until a user authenticates with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode
- Never: Lock screen notifications are always hidden
- Turn off lock screen notifications for sensitive apps: Settings > Notifications, select an app, and toggle off Show on Lock Screen
- Fully disable Siri whenever the iPhone is locked: Settings > Siri & Search > Allow Siri When Locked
Apple Expected to Trial Production of 2018 iPhone Lineup Earlier to Avoid Last Year's Supply Bottleneck
The report, citing supply chain sources, claims Apple's fast-tracking of the trial production will help push ahead the delivery schedules for the 2018 iPhones, meaning it should have more plentiful supply available for pre-orders.
The sources cited add that sales of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X have been "lower than expected," but they believe the earlier production will help Apple to "rekindle" its smartphone momentum. Apple's supply chain partners are said to be "generally more optimistic" about order prospects this year.
Leading up to the iPhone X launch, multiple reports claimed Apple was having issues with ramping up production of the device. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo pegged the TrueDepth camera system as the primary reason for the supply bottleneck, due to its complex 3D facial recognition technologies.
Kuo added that the yield issues began to stabilize by late October, but when pre-orders began on October 27, shipping estimates for the iPhone X quickly fell back to 5-6 weeks around the world. The estimates gradually improved over the following weeks, and the device was fully in stock by mid December.
Looking ahead, Apple is widely rumored to launch a so-called iPhone X2, iPhone X2 Plus, and a cheaper 6.1-inch model with Face ID, but with design tradeoffs like an LCD screen and no wireless charging. And if today's report proves accurate, getting your hands on one of the new models should be easier this fall.