New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Still Charging Customers Over $300 for iPhone 7 Microphone Defect Despite Previously Offering Free Repairs

In May of 2018, Apple acknowledged a microphone issue affecting some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models running iOS 11.3 or later in an internal document made available to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers. MacRumors obtained the document from a reliable source earlier this year.

An excerpt from Apple's document:
Some customers might report that after they've updated to iOS 11.3, the microphone on their iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus doesn't work and the speaker button is grayed out when they make or receive a call.

Symptoms:
- The speaker button is grayed out during calls
- Other people are unable to hear the customer on cellular or FaceTime calls
- If a customer plays back a video or voice memo that they've made after installing iOS 11.3, there is no sound
Apple's document then provided troubleshooting steps for its service providers to follow, including disconnecting any Bluetooth headsets or accessories connected to the iPhone. If the issue persisted, and the iPhone was out-of-warranty, Apple advised service providers to "request a warranty exception" with the company.

For a short time, Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers were able to proceed with repairs at no cost to the customer.

"I just had my wife's iPhone 7 replaced this morning," wrote one MacRumors forum member on July 30, 2018, in a discussion topic about the issue. "Out of warranty and Apple took care of the bill. The mic on the device had failed."

The exemptions abruptly ended in July of 2018, though, when Apple deleted its internal document related to the

Huawei Continues 'Hole-Punch' Smartphone Trend With New Nova 4

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei today introduced the Nova 4, featuring what has become known as a "hole-punch" display.

The "hole-punch" design refers to the tiny hole for the 25-megapixel front camera, rather than the controversial notch, allowing for a nearly edge to edge display. Of course, this means the Nova 4 lacks the necessary sensors for 3D facial recognition and instead relies on a fingerprint scanner for authentication.

The display still has a thicker bottom bezel, known as a "chin," so this still isn't a completely full-screen design.

As noted by The Verge, the Nova 4 follows in the footsteps of Huawei's View 20 and Samsung's new Galaxy A8s as the latest smartphone with a "hole-punch" display. The Nova 4 also has a triple-lens rear camera setup, including a main 48-megapixel lens, a trend that some 2019 iPhones are expected to follow.

Galaxy A8s
There's a slim chance that Apple ever adopts the "hole-punch" design for iPhones due to the TrueDepth system for Face ID, unless it invents new ways to integrate all of the various sensors under the display. The more likely possibility is that the notch is here to stay for now, but gets slimmed down over time.

The Nova 4 is currently limited to China, priced around the equivalent of $490. Huawei will likely expand availability to select other regions soon, although its devices aren't available through any major carriers in the United

App Store Glitch Leads to Missing Ratings and Reviews

It appears that the App Store on iOS devices has been experiencing an issue causing missing ratings and reviews over the past day or so.

The problem was alerted to us by MacRumors reader Robin van Doorn, who noticed that his apps Centraal Beheer and Run Trainer suddenly have around 1,000 fewer ratings displayed in the App Store. Other developers have acknowledged the glitch on Twitter, although not every developer is affected.

While some developers have seen their ratings count return to normal, others have tweeted about the issue within the past few hours:


The unexplained drop in App Store ratings, first reported by the blog The Apple Post, is visible in the App Store Connect dashboard for some developers. A few users have shared screenshots of a discrepancy between the number of ratings displayed in App Store search results and specific app listings as well.

It's not entirely clear if the issue is limited to certain regions or other parameters, but hopefully Apple resolves the issue for

New York Times Article Explores Apple's Failed Attempt to Build the Macintosh in California

The New York Times today printed an interesting article exploring how Apple co-founder Steve Jobs set up a Macintosh manufacturing plant in Fremont, California in the 1980s that failed early on into its tenure.

Titled "When Apple Was Homegrown," the piece by John Markoff offers an insight into Jobs' fascination with Henry Ford's mass automobile manufacturing in Detroit and the high-quality manufacturing capabilities of Japanese companies like Sony, and how Jobs aimed to synthesize the two cultures in a "highly automated" Mac factory.

Apple's ill-fated California Macintosh facility (Credit: Terrence McCarthy for NYT)
"Steve had deep convictions about Japanese manufacturing processes," recalled Randy Battat, who joined Apple as a young electrical engineer and oversaw the introduction of some of the company's early portable computers. "The Japanese were heralded as wizards of manufacturing. The idea was to create a factory with just-in-time delivery of zero-defect parts. It wasn't great for business."
Construction of the plant, located just across San Francisco Bay from Apple's headquarters, began in 1983. The first reporters to tour it were told that factory labor would account for 2 percent of the cost of making a Macintosh, thanks to its state-of-the-art production line. Expectations were therefore high, but the practical realities of working at the plant were markedly different.
Mr. Gassée, a French specialist in office automation, had just been promoted to president of Apple’s product division by John Sculley, then Apple's chief executive, and was responsible

3D Printed Head Fools Android Face Recognition, iPhone X 'Impenetrable'

Forbes recently challenged a variety of smartphone face-recognition systems with a 3d printed head modeled after the author's head.
The head was printed at Backface in Birmingham, U.K., where I was ushered into a dome-like studio containing 50 cameras. Together, they combine to take a single shot that makes up a full 3D image.

The final model took a few days to generate at the cost of just over £300. With it, the author tested it out against four Android smartphones and the iPhone X. All Android phones tested were able to be unlocked with the fake 3d printed head.
If you're an Android customer, though, look away from your screen now. We tested four of the hottest handsets running Google's operating systems and Apple's iPhone to see how easy it'd be to break into them. We did it with a 3D-printed head. All of the Androids opened with the fake. Apple's phone, however, was impenetrable.
The Android phones tested included the LG G7 ThinQ, Samsung S9, Samsung Note 8 and OnePlus 6.

It's been long known that many implementations of facial recognition amongst Android phones have been less secure than Apple's Face ID system. Some of those face recognition systems have been fooled with simple photographs. Apple's Face ID, however, also includes IR depth mapping and attention awareness technology. The attention awareness alone may be enough to explain the inability for a static 3d printed head to unlock the iPhone X. That said, the iPhone X's Face ID has been fooled in the past with more sophisticated printed 3d

Apple Music Now Playable on Amazon Echo Speakers via Alexa in United States

Apple Music can now be streamed on Amazon Echo speakers via Alexa in the United States, a few days ahead of schedule.

As spotted by 9to5Mac, it is now possible to link Apple Music with your Amazon account in the Alexa app for iPhone and use Alexa voice commands to control playback of songs, playlists, and Beats 1 on Apple Music on Amazon Echo speakers.

To access this feature, simply use a voice command such as "Alexa, play music by Ed Sheeran on Apple Music" or "Alexa, play today's hits on Apple Music." Apple Music can also be set as the default music service in the Alexa app, so that "Apple Music" does not need to be specified each time.

Other streaming music services supported on Echo speakers include Spotify, Deezer, Vevo, SiriusXM, Tidal, and Pandora.

Apple and Amazon announced this new partnership in late November, with Amazon saying it is "committed to offering great music providers to our customers," and referring to Apple Music as "one of the most popular music services."

Apple Music playback on Amazon Echo speakers is currently limited to the United

Apple Inks Deal With DHX Media to Produce and Release All-New 'Peanuts' Content

In one of the bigger deals for Apple's upcoming streaming TV service, Variety reports today that the Cupertino company has made a deal with DHX Media to produce all-new "Peanuts" content that will be exclusive to Apple.

Image via Variety/Peanuts Worldwide LLC
Under the deal, DHX and its subsidiary Peanuts Worldwide will develop and produce the original series, specials, and shorts, while Apple will release it on its streaming service. One such project will be a Peanuts short featuring astronaut Snoopy that will be themed around STEM education, which Apple has long supported.

It's unclear what else will be coming to Apple's service from the Peanuts characters, and the report makes no mention of Apple gaining the rights to existing Peanuts content. The franchise dates back to 1950, when Charles M. Schulz created the Peanuts comic strip, which has now grown into a larger media franchise of TV specials, feature films, short films, merchandise, and more.

News of content acquired by Apple for its streaming service has been increasing lately, and in the past few weeks we've heard about new cast members for shows from M. Night Shyamalan, a new series starring Jennifer Garner, and Apple's interest in a violent drama show starring Richard Gere. Previous rumors suggested Apple's TV service would launch around March 2019, but now Variety reports that the debut will be sometime in the second half of

'123456' and 'Password' Remain Worst Passwords of the Year for Fifth Consecutive Year

SplashData published its annual list of the worst passwords of the year this week, sourced from more than five million passwords leaked on the internet this year. Like previous years, 2018 saw numerous high-profile data leaks, but many people have continued to use easily guessable passwords for their online accounts.

The new password autofill feature in iOS 12
For the fifth consecutive year, "123456" and "password" are the top two most popular passwords online. New entries on the list include "111111", "sunshine", "princess", "666666", "654321", and "donald" at number 23. SplashData CEO Morgan Slain discussed the list: "Hackers have great success using celebrity names, terms from pop culture and sports, and simple keyboard patterns to break into accounts online because they know so many people are using those easy-to-remember combinations."

The top 10 most popular passwords of 2018:

1) 123456
2) password
3) 123456789
4) 12345678
5) 12345
6) 111111
7) 1234567
8) sunshine
9) qwerty
10) iloveyou

Higher up the list, popular passwords include people's names like "daniel", "hannah", and "thomas"; pop culture references like "solo", "tigger", and "lakers"; random items like "cookie" and "banana"; birth years like "1990" and "1991"; and simple phrases like "whatever" and "test". As Slain explained, using super-simple phrases like these for any account online is a bad idea because it's so easy to guess what they are.
“Our hope by publishing this list each year is to convince people to take steps to protect themselves online,” says Slain. “It’s a real

Ming-Chi Kuo Says iPhone XR Demand Has Been Lower Than Expected, Slashes Shipment Estimates

iPhone XR demand has been lower than expected, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has slashed his overall iPhone shipment forecast by 20 percent for the first quarter of 2019. He now expects Apple to move 38-42 million iPhones in the quarter, down from his original estimate of 47-52 million.

Kuo, in a research note with TF International Securities, obtained by MacRumors:
We have reduced our 1Q19 iPhone shipment estimation by 20% to 38–42mn units (vs. our previous forecast of 47–52mn): We cut the 1Q19 iPhone shipment estimation again for the following reasons. (1) Lower-than-expected XR demand. We have reduced our 1Q19 XR shipment estimation to 15–20mn units vs. our previous forecast of 20–25mn units. (2) The increase in orders of legacy iPhone models cannot offset the decline of XR and XS series shipments because of the low season impact.
Apple reported sales of 52.2 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2018, which corresponds with the second quarter of Apple's fiscal year, so as few as 38 million units in the first quarter of 2019 would be a significant year-over-year decline.

For the iPhone XR in particular, Kuo has revised his shipment estimate to 15-20 million for the first quarter, down from 20-25 million.

Kuo estimates annual iPhone shipments will fall between 205 million and 210 million in 2018, and based on that, forecasts that annual iPhone shipments in 2019 will decline up to 10 percent to a range of 188 million to 194 million. This would fall below Wall Street's consensus estimate of around 212 million units in 2019.

While this news

Apple Warns Chinese iPhone Ban Would Force a Settlement With Qualcomm, Result in 'Irreparable Harm' to Apple and Others [Updated]

In a court filing related to the ongoing dispute with Qualcomm that has resulted in a partial ban on iPhone sales in China, Apple this week warned that upholding the ban would cause "truly irreparable harm" to Apple, other companies, and consumers if Apple is forced to withdraw its devices from the market, according to Bloomberg.

The ban would cost Apple millions of dollars a day and affect both the Chinese government and consumers, the company added, noting it has created 5 million jobs in China across the supply chain and third-party software developers.

The Chinese government "may suffer hundreds of thousands of tax losses" from the iPhone ban because of lost taxes from sales of the devices, the company also said, citing estimates of 50 million units sold in the country in 2017. [...]

"Apple and many other companies, consumers, and government will suffer truly irreparable harm," the company said in the filing.
As a result, Apple says the ban would force Apple to settle with Qualcomm, a move that would lead the entire mobile phone industry to "relapse into the previous unreasonable charging mode and pay high licensing fees."

Apple and Qualcomm have been locked in a patent battle over chip-related license fees, but the current issue instead stems from separate patents that cover allowing users to "adjust and reformat the size and appearance of photos" and "managing applications using a touch screen when viewing and navigating apps."

Qualcomm earlier this week won an import ban on iPhone 6s through iPhone X models, although Apple has argued the ban does not

Apple Music Connect to Shut Down, Suffering Same Fate as iTunes Ping

Apple today announced that its Apple Music Connect social platform for artists is in the process of shutting down, suffering the same fate as Ping, the company's previous social network for music removed from iTunes in October 2012.

In a letter shared with artists via 9to5Mac, Apple said artists will no longer be able to post to Connect as of today, with the feature now removed from artist pages and the "For You" tab in Apple Music. Apple says all previously uploaded Connect content will remain searchable in Apple Music until May 24, 2019:
We've made a few changes to Apple Music that we'd like to tell you about.

We're always looking for ways to enhance our focus on artists and help them better connect to fans. So we've given Artist Pages an all-new design and added new, personalized Artist Radio.

Today we're streamlining music discovery by removing Connect posts from Artist Pages and For You. This means you'll no longer be able to post to Connect as of December 13, 2018, but all previously uploaded content will still be searchable until May 24, 2019. You can still create Artist Playlists with the latest version of Apple Music.

We're also excited about the latest beta of Apple Music for Artists, which gives you everything you need to understand your music's impact across Apple Music, as well as valuable audience insights. You can even upload your own photo to use on your Artist Page. Sign up for free today.

Thank you for helping us make Apple Music a vibrant community for artists and fans.
Connect had its own tab in Apple Music when the app first launched in

Apple Orders J.J. Abrams-Produced Series 'My Glory Was I Had Such Friends' Starring Jennifer Garner

Apple has reportedly given a straight-to-series order for a show starring Jennifer Garner and executive produced by J.J. Abrams.

Image Credit: Jordan Strauss/Shutterstock via Variety
"My Glory Was I Had Such Friends," based on the 2017 memoir of the same name by Amy Silverstein, will follow a group of women who supported Silverstein as she waited for a second life-saving heart transplant, according to Variety.

The series reunites Garner and Abrams, who worked together on the ABC show "Alias" between 2001 and 2006. Garner starred in the drama series, which was created by Abrams and produced by his company Bad Robot Productions and what was then called Touchstone Television, now known as ABC Studios under Disney.

Bad Robot Productions will also produce this series in association with Warner Bros. Television, as part of a deal between the companies.

Garner most recently starred in the HBO series "Camping," and she also starred in the 2017 film "The Tribes of Palos Verdes," according to the report. She is also known for her work in films like "Dallas Buyers Club," "13 Going on 30," and "Juno."

Abrams and Bad Robot have previously produced shows like "Lost," "Fringe," "Person of Interest," and the ongoing HBO series "Westworld." Abrams is also known for films like "Super 8," "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," and the "Star Trek," "Mission: Impossible," and "Cloverfield" franchises, the report adds.

"My Glory Was I Had Such Friends" will be one of well over a dozen original TV series and movies expected to be distributed through Apple's rumored streaming video