Apple Music Classical is scheduled to launch on Tuesday, March 28, but it appears that the app is beginning to roll out for some iPhone users in some Asian countries, such as Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam, according to Twitter users.
Apple Music Classical became available for pre-order on the App Store earlier this month. The app offers over five million classical music tracks and is free to use with a standard Apple Music subscription on iOS 15.4 and later. The app is based on the former classical music streaming service Primephonic, acquired by Apple in 2021.
Apple recently acquired WaveOne, a California-based startup that was developing AI algorithms for video compression, according to TechCrunch.
Apple did not confirm the acquisition, but former WaveOne executive Bob Stankosh said a "sale of the company to Apple" was finalized earlier this year. In addition, the report notes that WaveOne's website was taken offline around January and that several of the company's employees now work at Apple on various machine learning teams.
WaveOne was working on "content-aware" video compression and decompression algorithms to reduce the size of video files, according to the report:
Leveraging AI-powered scene and object detection, the startup's technology could essentially "understand" a video frame — allowing it to, for example, prioritize faces at the expense of other elements within a scene to save bandwidth.
It's unclear how much Apple paid for WaveOne or when the startup's technologies might be integrated into Apple's software platforms.
Satechi today kicked off a new springtime sale, offering 20 percent off sitewide when entering the code SPRING20 at checkout. This sale is available on all Satechi products sitewide with the exclusion of the new 200W USB-C 6-port GAN charger, and it will last through April 2.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Satechi. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
Satechi is known for its wireless chargers, USB-C hubs, keyboards, cables, and other accessories, many of which are compatible with Apple products like the MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, iMac, and iPhone. We've collected a few examples of the accessories you can buy during this sale below, but remember that the code SPRING20 will work sitewide through April 2.
The sale will end in one week, so browse Satechi's website soon if you're interested in using the coupon code before it expires. Additionally, be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup to shop for even more Apple-related products and accessories.
iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models could launch without a SIM card tray in France this year, according to information obtained by French website MacGeneration. This means the devices would work with eSIMs only for cellular connectivity.
If the SIM card tray is removed in France, it would likely be removed in at least some other European countries as well, as Apple typically sells one iPhone model in most of Europe. For example, the iPhone 14 Pro model A2890 sold in France is also sold in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and dozens of other countries.
Apple already removed the SIM card tray from all iPhone 14 models in the U.S. last September, forcing customers to use an eSIM, a digital SIM that allows users to activate a cellular plan without having to use a physical nano-SIM card. Apple has a support document with a list of carriers that support eSIM technology around the world.
When the iPhone 14 series launched in the U.S., Apple promoted eSIMs as being more secure than a physical SIM since they cannot be removed from an iPhone that is lost or stolen. Apple added that up to eight eSIMs can be managed in the iPhone's Settings app, eliminating the need to obtain, carry, and swap physical SIM cards while traveling. iPhone 13 and newer models can have two eSIMs active at the same time.
With eSIM availability rapidly expanding, the removal of the SIM card tray beyond the U.S. seems inevitable, even if the transition takes a few more years to be fully completed. Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 15 series in September as usual.
Apple has made advancements with its self-driving system and could use LiDAR sensors from Wenmao, Economic Daily News reports.
Apple has reportedly improved its vehicle project's self-driving capabilities and is expanding testing. The self-driving system apparently heavily relies on LiDAR sensors, which Apple may source from Chinese supplier Wenmao – a supplier that already provides LiDAR scanners for the iPhone and iPad Pro. While the company may take some time to develop capacity for automotive-grade LiDAR sensors, Wenmao's quality and existing relationship with Apple could make a partnership likely. Apple is likely to choose long-term supply chain partners like Wenmao early in the development process.
Another Economic Daily News report says that Apple supplier Foxconn's collaboration with German industrial giant Siemens to make advanced driver assistance systems could align with Apple's automotive strategy. Taiwanese companies like Foxconn are believed to have sufficient production capacity to build the vehicle. Apple is expected to continue testing until the car is a viable consumer product.
A major recent report from Bloomberg claims that Apple has scaled back its initial vision for the vehicle and dropped its proposed $120,000 price point, eliminating ambitions for a full self-driving system with no steering wheel or pedals, and an interior design focused on communal seating. Now, the car is expected to have a much more conventional design with more limited self-driving capabilities, for a price under $100,000. The car is now expected to launch around 2026.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has praised his company's "symbiotic relationship" with China during his first visit to the country in the last three years.
Tim Cook shares a photo of his visit to Apple's Wangfujing store via Weibo
In his first visit since the pandemic began in 2020, the Apple chief gave a keynote speech over the weekend at the China Development Forum, where he said he "could not be more excited" to celebrate Apple's 30th anniversary in the country, where the company makes the vast majority of its iPhones.
"Apple and China . . . grew together and so this has been a symbiotic kind of relationship," said Cook, according to a report by the Financial Times.
Cook was among several U.S. tech company chiefs in Beijing, where the forum has been billed as an opening-up party after three years of lockdowns and restrictions as a result of President Xi Jinping's strict zero-Covid policy, which heavily impacted Apple's operations and led to a shortage of iPhone 14 models during the holiday period.
According to the FT report, Cook avoided mention of tensions between the U.S. and China during his keynote, which occurred during a session about technology and education, and instead talked up the millions of iOS developers in the country, as well as the success of its Apple stores in the region.
Bloomberg on Monday reported that Cook went on to meet China's minister of commerce Wang Wentao. "Both sides exchanged views about Apple's development in China and stabilizing the industry supply chain," according to a statement given to the outlet by Wang's ministry. Wang also reportedly told Cook that China will continue to open up and provide good services to foreign firms including Apple.
Apple last month released its financial results for the quarter ending in December, reporting a roughly 5% decline in revenue compared to the year-ago quarter. Apple cited a "challenging environment" that included iPhone supply issues due to COVID lockdowns in China, which hampered its ability to ship devices to customers.
China's smartphone market finished 2022 with an annual shipment of 287 million units, a year-on-year decrease of 14% and the first time since 2013 that the country's market shipment has fallen below 300 million units, according to a report by Canalys. Apple reached an all-time-high market share of 18% for the year, despite growth for the fourth quarter dropping by 24% due to supply issues, said the report.
Apple has been trying to diversify its supply chain outside of China to reduce its reliance on the country and mitigate the impact of geopolitical unrest, with Vietnam, and more recently India, emerging as important locations for supply chain expansion and investment.
Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
Gordon Moore, co-founder and former chairman of Intel, died on Friday, March 24. He was 94. Tributes to the technology pioneer were shared on social media by Silicon Valley industry leaders over the weekend, including one from Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Image credit: Intel
"The world lost a giant in Gordon Moore, who was one of Silicon Valley's founding fathers and a true visionary who helped pave the way for the technological revolution," said Cook in a tweet. "All of us who followed owe him a debt of gratitude. May he rest in peace."
In 1965, Moore famously claimed that the capacity and complexity of computer chips would double every year (10 years later, he revised this prediction to a doubling every two years). His prediction regarding the exponential growth of computer chip technology, which held up for decades, became known as Moore's Law.
The world lost a giant in Gordon Moore, who was one of Silicon Valley’s founding fathers and a true visionary who helped pave the way for the technological revolution. All of us who followed owe him a debt of gratitude. May he rest in peace.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 25, 2023
Moore and business partner Robert Noyce founded Intel, originally named Integrated Electronics, in 1968. The two advocated for the use of semiconductor chips to power a wealth of consumer electronics, and made laptop computers affordable for hundreds of millions of people. Moore eventually became chairman and CEO of the company in 1979, and served as CEO for eight years.
In 2005, Apple transitioned the CPUs of its Mac and Xserve computers from PowerPC to the x86 architecture from Intel. The partnership lasted for 15 years until Apple announced that it would shift its Mac line to Apple silicon in 2020.
Apple OLED supplier Samsung Display will start manufacturing OLED panels for the iPhone 15 series a month earlier than planned due to production problems with one of Apple's other suppliers, according to a new report out of Korea.
According to The Elec, Samsung will now begin manufacturing the OLED panels in May instead of June to compensate for the lack of planned initial orders from BOE, which is having problems with light leakage around the portion of the OLED display where the pill and hole cutouts secure the space necessary for the TrueDepth camera and Face ID.
Apple gave the order to Chinese partner BOE to manufacture some OLED panels for the standard model of iPhone 15, but the issues appear to have been so entrenched that Apple has dropped the order, and BOE has now missed its chance to become one of the initial suppliers.
Samsung was always slated to also supply the OLED panel for the standard model of iPhone 15, but now will start production early in light of the Chinese display panel maker's problems.
The standard and Plus iPhone 15 models are set to use low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) thin-film transistor (TFT), suggesting that the devices will continue to lack ProMotion support and an always-on display option like Apple's Pro models have.
Meanwhile, LG Display will start producing LTPO TFT OLED panels aimed at the higher-tier models of iPhone 15 in June. The LPTO panels feature 120Hz ProMotion support and a 1Hz refresh rate capability that enables an idle Lock Screen to stay visible without significantly impacting battery.
Samsung's early start doesn't necessarily mean the end for BOE as an Apple supplier, according to the report. The Chinese display panel maker is reportedly showing progress in solving the light leak issue, and could start supplying OLED panels for iPhone 15 within the year.
The iPhone 15 series is expected to arrive in September, as usual. For everything we know about the new models, be sure to check out our dedicated roundups by clicking the links below.
Initial enthusiasm around the device at the company has apparently become skepticism, according to eight current and former Apple employees speaking to The New York Times. The change of tone reportedly marks an unprecedented level of concern about a new Apple product inside the company, in stark contrast to previous product launches that were pursued with single-mindedness and enthusiasm.
The first-generation headset is purportedly seen as a bridge to future products that require technological breakthroughs, but many employees are said to have worries about the device's $3,000 price point, utility, and unproven market. Skeptics have questioned if the device is "a solution in search of a problem," unlike the iPod and iPhone. The headset has apparently not been "driven by the same clarity" as Apple's other products.
Some Apple employees have defected from the project due to doubts about its potential, while others have been fired over lack of progress with some of the device's functionality, including Siri. The discontent is said to extend to members of Apple's leadership, some of whom have questioned the device's prospects.
The headset was apparently presented to many of Apple's top 100 executives via a video at a corporate retreat five years ago made by design chief Jony Ive. The video depicted a man in a London taxi wearing an augmented reality headset calling his wife in San Francisco, sharing the sights of London through the husband's eyes.
The New York Times reaffirmed previous reports that the headset will feature a carbon fiber frame, a hip-mounted battery, outward-facing cameras, two 4K displays, prescription lenses for wearers of glasses, and a "reality dial" to increase or decrease real-time video pass-through from the surrounding environment.
Apple has focused on ensuring that the device excels at videoconferencing and time spent as virtual avatars, calling the headset's main application "copresence." There will also be custom high-resolution TV content from Hollywood filmmakers including Jon Favreau. Despite similarities with Meta's headsets and the "metaverse," Apple is expected to pitch the device as something that differs from existing offerings.
The device will also offer tools for artists, designers, and engineers, enabling drawing and image editing in 3D space. There will also be applications for editing virtual reality video using hand gestures. As a result, it is expected to appeal to businesses and design companies more than ordinary consumers. Some employees have allegedly speculated that Apple could again delay the headset's launch, even though manufacturing is now underway for an unveiling in June.
Blood glucose monitoring technology designed for the Apple Watch is unlikely to launch for several years, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman believes.
In February, Gurman reported that Apple has made major progress with its noninvasive blood glucose monitoring technology, allowing diabetics and others to test their blood glucose levels without needing to prick the skin for blood testing.
Apple's system apparently uses a silicon photonics chip to shine light from a laser under the skin to determine the concentration of glucose in the body. In Bloomberg's "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said that Apple "still needs to perfect the algorithms and on-board sensors" to bring the technology to market. Crucially, the company also needs to "shrink it down to the size of a module that can fit in the small and thin package that is an Apple Watch." Gurman believes this process "will take another three to seven years at least."
Apple began working on alternative glucose monitoring methods following its aquisition of RareLight in 2010. The company then used a startup called Avolante Health LLC to develop the technology at a secret facility before moving it to the Exploratory Design Group (XDG).
Apple has been conducting human trials for the past 10 years and seeks to be able to warn Apple Watch users if they are prediabetic to encourage lifestyle changes before diabetes develops. It is believed to be holding early discussions about getting regulatory approval for the technology.
Apple changed the strategy for iOS 17 later in its development process to add several new features, suggesting that the update may be more significant than previously thought, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports.
In January, Gurman said that iOS 17 could be a less significant update than iPhone updates in previous years due to the company's intense focus on its long-awaited mixed-reality headset. Writing in his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that a change of strategy during the update's development process has added several new features:
When Apple set out to develop iOS 17, the initial thinking was to call it a tuneup release — one focused more on fixing bugs and improving performance than adding new features (not unlike the approach the company took with Snow Leopard on Mac OS X back in 2009). The hope was to avoid the problems of iOS 16, an ambitious update that suffered from missed deadlines and a buggy start. But later in the development process, the strategy changed. The iOS 17 release is now expected to boast several "nice to have" features, even if it lacks a tentpole improvement like last year's revamped lock screen. The goal of the software, codenamed "Dawn," is to check off several of users' most requested features.
As with previous iPhone software updates, iOS 17 is expected to be previewed at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June ahead of launching in the fall. The update could offer a range of enhancements and new features, such as a next-generation CarPlay experience, changes to Siri, support for sideloading and alternate app stores, support for Apple's mixed-reality headset, and more.
Apple showcased its mixed-reality headset to the company's top 100 executives in the Steve Jobs Theater last week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.
In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that the "momentous gathering" is a "key milestone" ahead of the headset's public announcement planned for June. The event was intended to rally Apple's top members of staff around the company's next major platform.
Senior Apple executives have apparently gotten a peek at the headset every year since 2018, but these demonstrations were discreet looks at the project's progress rather than showcases of the complete device. Situated at the Steve Jobs Theater, the latest preview was reportedly a far more significant event, being "polished, glitzy, and exciting."
While anticipation of the device's launch is growing inside Apple, Gurman added that the device is likely to launch with several potential issues:
Moreover, the device will start at around $3,000, lack a clear killer app, require an external battery that will need to be replaced every couple of hours and use a design that some testers have deemed uncomfortable. It's also likely to launch with limited media content.
As a result, Apple executives are said to be "striking a realistic tone within the company" with the understanding that "this isn't going to be a hit product right out of the gate," potentially following a similar trajectory as the Apple Watch instead.
The first version of the device "will look like a dud next to the company's existing products," Gurman believes, but it is still "likely to make Apple the market leader in mixed reality within a few months." Executives expect consumer interest to grow as subsequent iterations of the headset launch at lower price points in the future.
We're still almost six months away from the official unveiling of the iPhone 15 lineup, but it seems like every day we're learning more about what to expect from the next-generation models. Notably, this week gave us our clearest look yet at what appear to be some changes for the volume and mute control hardware.
iOS 16.4 and associated releases are also right around the corner with some new features and hints of updated earphones coming from Apple and Beats. Meanwhile, we're continuing to hear about Apple's plans to expand its home audio product portfolio, so be sure to read on for all the details on these stories and more!
iPhone 15 Pro Leak Reveals Single Volume Button and Mute Button
Voice isolation was already available for Wi-Fi calls in apps like FaceTime and WhatsApp on devices running iOS 15 or macOS Monterey or later, and now the feature is available for regular phone calls over a cellular network.
HomePod With a Screen Delayed Until Next Year at Earliest
Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.
Christopher is a YouTuber dedicated to the iPad, automation, and productivity. He was a full-time iPad user for several years, conducting all of his content creation, including video editing and podcasting, from the device, before feeling forced to switch back to the Mac due to the direction of iPadOS.
We get his insights on Apple's upcoming iPadOS 17 update and the areas he feels Apple should focus on this year, with particular attention to some of the key issues he believes Apple needs to address with Stage Manager. We also touch on the need for "Pro" apps like Final Cut Pro and Xcode, a Notification Center and Control Center redesign, Lock Screen customization, and more.
In addition, we talk through some of the most important information around the next-generation iPad Pro models, which are rumored to sport 11.1-inch and 13-inchOLED displays, thinner and lighter designs, the M3 chip, and wireless charging. We also briefly discuss the rumored price rises that are planned for the device owing to its more costly OLED display components – meaning that the 11.1- and 13-inch models could start at approximately $1,500 and $1,800, respectively.
We saw a lot of great deals on Apple products and related accessories this week, including Samsung's iMac-like Smart Monitor M8 for $250 off, a 30 percent off spring sale at Anker, and the year's best prices on numerous AirPods models. All of these deals are still available to purchase right now, so we're recapping them and more below.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
What's the deal? Take $250 off Samsung's Smart Monitor M8 and more in the "Discover Samsung" event
Samsung rang in the new spring season with its "Discover Samsung" event this week, which will continue through March 26. There are plenty of products on sale during this event, but the highlight for Mac users is the Smart Monitor M8 for $449.99 in Warm White, down from $699.99. That's the best price we've seen on the iMac-like monitor since last holiday season.
Later in the week, Anker began a spring sale of its own that's still offering its customers 30 percent off a wide assortment of chargers, cables, MagSafe-compatible accessories, and much more. We've listed a few of the best devices below, but be sure to browse our larger article on the sale for all the best deals, and check it out before the sale ends March 31.
In the middle of the week, Verizon opened up one of the year's first big sales across nearly every AirPods model. You can get the AirPods Pro 2 for $199.99 ($50 off), the AirPods 3 with Lightning Charging Case for $149.99 and AirPods 3 with MagSafe Charging Case for $159.00 (both $20 off), and the AirPods 2 for $89.99 ($39 off). Across the board, these are the best prices of 2023 so far on each model.
Over at Amazon this week we saw the return of record low prices across the 2022 iPad lineup. You can get both Wi-Fi and cellular models for $50 off, starting at $399.00 for the 64GB Wi-Fi device. There is a sale on every configuration, although not on every color in some cases.
We also tracked one of the year's first discounts on the AirTag this week, with the 4-Pack down to $89.99, from $99.00. The individual AirTag is also now discounted to $27.00, down from $29.00. Neither of these are all-time low prices, but given that deals on the AirTag have been rare for months, they're decent second-best options for shoppers this week.
If you're on the hunt for more discounts, be sure to visit our Apple Deals roundup where we recap the best Apple-related bargains of the past week.
Apple has no plans to release a new version of the third-generation AirPods with a USB-C port, despite intending to do so with a new version of the second-generation AirPods Pro later this year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today said.
In a tweet, Kuo explained that Apple "currently appears to have no plans for USB-C versions of the AirPods 2 & 3." The decision is notable since Apple is apparently planning to release a revised version of the second-generation AirPods Pro with a USB-C port later this year. Kuo's comment likely suggests that Apple is holding off for the fourth-generation AirPods to offer a USB-C port on the device.
Apple has released new versions of AirPods charging cases twice in the past to add new hardware features such as wireless charging and MagSafe. A new, mid-cycle version of the second-generation AirPods Pro's charging case to switch to a USB-C port is therefore in line with the company's past behavior.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman believes that all three AirPods models could switch to USB-C by the end of 2024, hastened by EU legislation that forces manufacturers to offer USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of devices.
Apple plans to release second-generation AirPods Pro with a USB-C charging case later this year, with mass shipments expected to begin in the second to third quarter, according to information shared today by Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
The second-generation AirPods Pro launched in September 2022 with a Lightning charging case. The updated version of the second-generation AirPods Pro would have a USB-C charging case instead, but it's unclear if any other hardware changes are planned. Kuo believes references to new AirPods discovered in the iOS 16.4 Release Candidate earlier this week are related to the USB-C version of the AirPods Pro.
Around two years after the original AirPods Pro launched, Apple started selling the headphones with a MagSafe-compatible charging case, so there is precedent for a mid-cycle charging case update. Unfortunately, the MagSafe case was not sold on a standalone basis, and it's unclear if the USB-C case will be sold separately.
The current version of the AirPods Pro charging case features a built-in speaker that can play a sound when the case is misplaced, an opening to attach a lanyard, a U1 chip for Find My support, and newly added compatibility with the Apple Watch charger.
Kuo added that Apple currently has no plans to release USB-C charging cases for the second-generation or third-generation AirPods. This suggests the standard AirPods may not have a USB-C charging case until a fourth-generation pair are released. Apple released the third-generation AirPods in October 2021.
This year, all iPhone 15 models will include Apple's Dynamic Island that unifies the pill and hole cutouts at the top of the display, but there will also be a material change to the feature that wasn't included in the iPhone 14 Pro models.
According to a new tweet by Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the proximity sensor on the iPhone 15 series will be integrated inside the Dynamic Island area, instead of sitting below it.
In the iPhone 14 Pro, the proximity sensor is located under the display (outside the Dynamic Island). Conversely, in the iPhone 15 series, the proximity sensor is situated within the Dynamic Island, with almost no change to the Dynamic Island area.
The proximity sensor detects when the user holds the phone up to their ear and shuts off the screen. It's possible that moving the location of the sensor could be related to improvements to Face ID, but as Kuo says, the tweak is unlikely to result in any difference to the look or functionality of the Dynamic Island. Regardless, it will mark a change in components that may have simply been instigated to reduce costs.
According to Kuo, Apple supplier Finisar will shift to providing Apple with 940nm wavelength proximity sensors, compared to 1380nm for the iPhone 14 Pro. Based on additional information provided to MacRumors by leaker Unknownz21, the new proximity sensor is now part of the Single Pearl Module, codenamed "Sphinx."
Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 15 lineup in September as usual. For everything we know about what's new in the new models, be sure to check out our dedicated roundups using the links below.