Apple will begin mass shipments of the second-generation HomePod mini in the second half of 2024, according to Apple supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
In his latest tweet sharing industry information, Kuo said Apple supplier Goertek has "secured NPI and assembly orders for the HomePod mini 2, which will start mass shipments in 2H24." NPI stands for New Production Introduction, which is a structured process for transforming a product idea into a complete end-product that can be fully reproduced.
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple is not actively working on a new version of the HomePod mini at this time, so Kuo's prediction comes as somewhat of a surprise. There are no obvious new features that are needed for the HomePod mini, and improvements to things like Siri and app integration can be made on the back end.
For his part, Gurman believes that Apple is working on "new speakers with screens and cameras," with Apple said to be developing HomePod models with a display and a camera to compete with the likes of Google's Nest Hub Max, Amazon's Echo Show, and Facebook's Portal. Whether this is the type of device Kuo is referring to when he says "HomePod mini 2" seems unlikely, but not impossible.
Regardless, Kuo clearly believes there is sufficient evidence to suggest that Apple plans to launch a new version of its smaller smart speaker, and by handing NPI and assembly responsibilities to Goertek, the supplier will be able to offset the negative impact caused by loss of orders due to production issues related to its AirPods Pro 2 production.
Apple today held its first earnings call of 2023, which covers the fourth calendar quarter of 2022. During the call, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple CFO Luca Maestri shared several interesting tidbits about recent product sales, services results, and more, and we've highlighted the most interesting parts of the call below.
On the topic of artificial intelligence, particularly in services, Cook said that in the future, it will impact everything that the company does.
It's a major focus of ours. It's incredible in terms of how it can enrich customer lives, and look no further than some of the things that we announced in the fall with Crash Detection and Fall Detection, or a ways back with ECG. These have literally saved lives. We see an enormous potential in this space to affect virtually everything that we do. It is a horizontal technology, not vertical, so it will affect every product and every service that we have.
Apple now has more than 935 million paid subscriptions, up 150 million during the last 12 months. Apple also set revenue records for iCloud, payments, and Apple Music.
Apple in November issued a rare warning about iPhone 14 Pro shipment constraints, letting the market know that shipments would be lower than anticipated due to COVID-19 restrictions. The iPhone 14 Pro models were backordered throughout the holiday period, and as a result, iPhone sales were down year over year.
iPhone revenue was at $65.8 billion, down from $71.6 billion in the year-ago quarter. Production has since improved, and iPhone shipping times are shorter.
There were questions around whether customers opted for more affordable iPhones or would upgrade in the March quarter due to the November/December shortages, and Cook said that it is difficult to predict customer behavior. "It's hard to estimate recapture because you have to know what would have happened, how many people would have bought down, and it takes awhile to get those reports in during the quarter," Cook said. He added that Apple has made its "best guess" at recapture in the insight that it gave for the March quarter.
Cook also said that iPhone revenue would have grown in Q1 2023 had it not been for the supply shortage.
Wearables revenue came in at $13.8 billion, down eight percent year over year. Despite the drop, Cook said that Apple continues to be "excited about the long term opportunity" in the wearables category.
The wearables category includes the AirPods and the Apple Watch at this time, but in the future, it will also encompass the mixed reality headset that Apple is expected to launch this year.
Though revenue was down, Apple CFO Luca Maestri said that the Apple Watch install base saw a new all-time record, largely because there were a record number of new users who purchased an Apple Watch during the quarter.
Macs and iPads
iPad revenue was up 30 percent thanks to the launch of new M2 iPad models, but Mac revenue saw a notable drop because there were no new Macs released in the final months of 2022.
Mac revenue was $7.7 billion, down from $10.9 billion in the year-ago quarter. iPad revenue was $9.4 billion, up from $7.2 billion in the year-ago quarter. Cook said that overall, Apple has a "low share and a competitive advantage with Apple silicon," which means the company is "well positioned within the market" in the long term.
Apple did not provide guidance for the upcoming March quarter, but did offer some directional insights. Apple CFO Luca Maesteri said that year over year, revenue is expected to be similar to the December quarter. Services and iPhone revenue are expected to be up, while Mac and iPad revenue will decline by double digits year over year.
Maestri explained that revenue will drop in those categories because of macro headwinds and challenging comparisons to the year-ago quarter due to product release timelines.
Cook was asked whether manufacturing components in the United States (such as at TSMC's upcoming Arizona plants) would be more expensive than where components are manufactured now, and he said he wouldn't necessarily expect manufacturing to be pricier, as the person asking the question implied.
"We don't know what the impact will be at this point, but we're all in in terms of being the largest customer for TSMC in Arizona," said Cook. "We're very proud to take part in that."
Higher Average Selling Price
Cook was asked whether the higher average selling price that Apple is counting on for next quarter is "sustainable" in a tough macro environment, and Cook said that people are willing to "stretch" to get the best they can afford.
I would say that the smartphone - for us the iPhone - has become so integral into people's lives, it contains their contacts, health information, banking information, smart home, and so many different parts of their lives. It's a payment vehicle for many people. I think people are willing to really stretch to get the best they can afford in that category.
It is Friday, February 3 in New Zealand and Australia, which means it is the official launch day of the second-generation HomePod in those countries. Customers in New Zealand and Australia are always first to get new devices because of time zone differences, though one lucky MacRumors reader was able to get his speaker yesterday.
Customers who pre-ordered a HomePod when the device was announced on January 18 are starting to receive their orders, and photos and first impressions will soon be showing up across the web on Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, and the MacRumors forums.
New Zealand does not have official Apple retail locations, so customers in Australia will be the first to be able to purchase a new HomePod in an Apple Store. Available store stock in Australia will give us an idea of what we can expect in other Apple Stores worldwide. The new HomePod is expected to be readily available.
Priced at $299, the second-generation HomePod is similar in size, function, and sound quality to the original model, but it does feature a larger touch display at the top, humidity and temperature sensors, and a U1 chip. Reviews for the speaker have been largely positive.
Following New Zealand and Australia, sales and deliveries of the HomePod will begin in Asia, Europe, and then North America, and Apple Stores will be opening at their regular times for walk-in purchases and so customers can pick up reserved devices.
The Apple Pay Later service that Apple has in the works is set to launch "soon," Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC ahead of today's earnings call for the first fiscal quarter of 2023.
Cook said that Apple employees are beta testing the Apple Pay Later feature, which will help Apple boost services revenue. "It will be launching soon," Cook said.
Apple Pay Later was first previewed at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. It is similar to the buy now, pay later feature offered by PayPal, and it is designed to allow users to make multiple payments for their purchases.
With Apple Pay Later, a purchase can be split into four payments that can be made over the course of six weeks, and the option will be available where Apple Pay is accepted. Payments will be managed through the Wallet app.
There are more than two billion active iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other Apple devices worldwide, Apple said today in the earnings report covering the first fiscal quarter of 2023.
During the December quarter, we achieved a major milestone and are excited to report that we now have more than 2 billion active devices as part of our growing installed base," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. Two billion active devices is a new record for the company. Apple last shared its active install base in January 2022, when the company had 1.8 billion active devices worldwide.
Apple did not provide numbers for individual devices, but Apple has long had more than a billion active iPhones worldwide.
Apple today announced financial results for the first fiscal quarter of 2023, which corresponds to the fourth calendar quarter of 2022.
For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $117.2 billion and net quarterly profit of $30.0 billion, or $1.88 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $123.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $34.6 billion, or $2.10 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.
Apple's revenue was down approximately 5% year-over-year, a steeper decline than had been expected by analysts as Apple grappled with iPhone supply issues in particular but which also saw declines in Mac and wearables.
Gross margin for the quarter was 43.0 percent, compared to 43.8 percent in the year-ago quarter. Apple also declared a quarterly dividend payment of $0.23 per share, payable on February 16 to shareholders of record as of February 13.
“As we all continue to navigate a challenging environment, we are proud to have our best lineup of products and services ever, and as always, we remain focused on the long term and are leading with our values in everything we do,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “During the December quarter, we achieved a major milestone and are excited to report that we now have more than 2 billion active devices as part of our growing installed base.”
As has been the case for over two years now, Apple is once again not issuing guidance for the current quarter ending in March.
Apple will provide live streaming of its fiscal Q1 2023 financial results conference call at 2:00 pm Pacific, and MacRumors will update this story with coverage of the conference call highlights.
Apple today continued with its ongoing "Shot on iPhone" series, sharing a 30-minute film from Indian film director Vishal Bhardwaj. The movie was shot entirely on Apple's latest flagship smartphone, the iPhone 14 Pro.
The short film, called "Fursat," is described as a "magical story about a man so obsessed with controlling the future that he risks losing what he holds most precious in the present." It stars Ishaan and Wamiqa Gabbi, two popular Indian actors.
Apple has partnered with film directors in the past to showcase the capabilities of its smartphones in professional film settings. The iPhone 14 Pro models feature a 48-megapixel Wide lens and offer a new Action Mode with smooth-looking video that ignores shaking, motion, and vibrations.
Apple does not plan to name a replacement for vice president of industrial design Evans Hankey when she departs the company in the coming months, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Instead, the report claims that Apple's product design team will report directly to the company's operations chief Jeff Williams, in what is a major internal shift.
Apple plans to give key product designers larger roles within the team, but the new arrangement has still "irked" some of the employees, according to the report. Alan Dye will continue to lead Apple's software design team, the report adds.
"Apple's design team brings together expert creatives from around the world and across many disciplines to imagine products that are undeniably Apple," the statement said. "The senior design team has strong leaders with decades of experience. Evans plans to stay on as we work through the transition, and we'd like to thank her for her leadership and contributions."
Hankey succeeded Jony Ive as Apple's de-facto design chief after he left the company in 2019, reporting to Williams. The report notes that Apple could eventually choose to hire a new industrial design chief, but as of now the company has no such plans.
Apple has placed more of an emphasis on function over form since Ive left the company, although it's unclear if his departure directly led to such a change. For example, Apple brought back ports like MagSafe, HDMI, and an SD card reader on the high-end MacBook Pro, and Apple also revamped the Siri Remote with a more traditional touchpad and layout after some Apple TV users complained about the previous remote's design.
Numerous Mac users are repeatedly encountering a bug in macOS Ventura that throws up Login Items notifications for various background app processes every time they start up their machine, even when the processes in question have been disabled.
If notification previews are disabled (via System Settings -> Notifications -> Show Previews) the annoying notifications appear as "Login Items." If previews are enabled, the notifications are labelled "Background Items Added" and contain the message "[app/process name] added items that can run in the background. You can manage this in Login Items Settings."
Curiously, there is no option in System Settings -> General -> Login Items to remove background items added to macOS by installed apps. Users can only disable listed items by toggling switches. Doing this however seems to have no impact on the notifications, and in some cases can cause more to appear.
Complaints across Reddit, Twitter, Apple Support Community discussions, and various other app-specific forums repeatedly cite app processes such as Google Updater, Adobe CC Helper, and Dropbox as culprits, but these only appear to be referenced more often because they are popular apps with background processes. Almost any third-party background process can seemingly be referenced in the persistent Login Items notifications.
It did this when updating from 13.0 to 13.1 WHY
— ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ (@Quinten0508) November 8, 2022
In all but a minority of cases, trashing or uninstalling the related apps does not fix the problem, and if the notifications do subsequently disappear, reinstalling the app usually brings them back. Some users have even erased their Mac and reinstalled macOS Ventura to defeat the bug, but are then hesitant to install the associated apps.
Only a few users have been successful at ridding their Mac of the notifications by carrying out the following actions, although caution should be applied and users do so at their own risk.
Open Finder, then select Go -> Go to Folder... in the menu bar.
Copy and paste the following address into the input field and press Enter: ~/Library/LaunchAgents
A Finder window will open at the LaunchAgents folder. Show the items as a list organized by name, then search for the app or developer name associated with the process that's causing the Login Items notifications.
Delete the .plist file, then empty the Trash.
Restart your Mac.
If the above steps don't work, look in the ~/Library/LaunchDaemons folder. If there are launch daemons in there associated with the app/developer, delete those too, empty Trash, and restart.
Based on reports, the bug has been around since early beta versions of macOS Ventura, but there have been more frequent incidences reported on Macs running macOS 13.1 and later. Apple is seemingly aware of the problem, but has not commented.
I’ve been trying to stop Microsoft Edge from doing this, too! Can’t find any settings anywhere in Edge to stop it. All I see to be able to do is remove it from Login Items…but then it’s back at login again! Very frustrating. I didn’t consent to this.
— Jeff (@gank41) November 10, 2022
Have you been affected by the Login Items notifications bug? If so, have you found a solution that worked for you? Let us know in the comments.
Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's Journal that Apple has since "heard more interest than ever for the acoustics of a richer larger speaker," leading the company to release another larger HomePod.
The new HomePod looks virtually identical to the original, although it is 0.2 inches shorter and has a larger edge-to-edge LED touchscreen on top. Costello told TechCrunch that Apple's teams "really love" this shape and form for the full-size HomePod and "were able to create a wonderful system within that structure."
Costello explained why the new HomePod is limited to the older Wi-Fi 4 standard, compared to Wi-Fi 6 on other modern Apple devices:
"HomePod features Wi-Fi 4 connectivity that allows us to target exactly what works best in the entire system," Costello tells TechCrunch, "making sure Siri requests are responsive, and ensuring a consistent experience for all you are listening to, controlling your smart home accessories and more — all while being energy efficient."
He also elaborated on the inability to pair a new HomePod with an original HomePod:
"When creating a stereo pair, it's important that the audio characteristics match for an optimal, balanced experience," says Costello of the lack of compatibility. "The new HomePod delivers immersive, room-filling sound users love — with even more detail, clarity and layers than the original HomePod — so we wanted the acoustical imaging to be as pure and consistent as possible from generation to generation. The principle of having audio characteristics match in a stereo pair applies to HomePod mini, the original HomePod and the new HomePod."
Apple told both media publications that the HomePod mini is "popular," but did not provide any additional details or comment on the future of the smaller speaker.
In his interview with Men's Journal, Costello provides additional details about the new HomePod's hardware and technologies, including the four-inch high-excursion woofer, tweeters, beamforming microphones, room-sensing capabilities, and more.
The new HomePod is available to pre-order for $299 and launches this Friday in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K., Japan, Australia, and select other countries. Check out our HomePod review roundup for a hands-on look at the speaker, which many reviewers found to have largely the same sound quality as the original.
Popular memory and Mac accessory retailer OWC today introduced a new sale on its Thunderbolt docks, which is set to last through February 9. In this sale you'll find up to $50 off select Thunderbolt docks.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with OWC. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
In total, there are four docks on sale. Starting with the OWC Thunderbolt Hub, this is the cheapest of all the docks on sale and it has 4x Thunderbolt (USB-C) ports, 1x USB 3.2 (10Gb/s) Type-A port, and supports 60W of charging to a connected laptop. It's $99.99, which is $30 in savings.
Next up is the OWC Thunderbolt Dock with 11 ports, including 4x Thunderbolt (USB-C) ports, 3x USB 3.2 (10Gb/s) Type-A ports, 1x USB 2.0 Type-A port, 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 SD Card reader, 1x 3.5mm audio jack, and 96W of charging to a connected laptop. It's $199.99, which is $50 in savings.
The sale also includes the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock with 14 ports, including 2x Thunderbolt (USB-C) ports, 1x USB-C (10gb/s) Type-C port, 5x USB (5Gb/s) Type-A ports, 1x Mini DisplayPort, 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x SD Card reader, 1x Micro SD Card reader, 1 S/PDIF digital audio, 1x 3.5mm audio jack, and 85W of charging to a connected laptop. It's $249.99, which is $30 in savings.
Lastly, there's the OWC Thunderbolt Pro Dock with 10 ports, including 2x Thunderbolt (USB-C) ports, 1x USB 3.2 (10Gb/s) Type-C port, 3x USB 3.2 (5Gb/s) Type-A ports, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x 10 Gigabit Ethernet, 1x SD Card reader, 1x CFExpress Card reader, and 85W of charging to a connected laptop. It's $329.99, which is $50 in savings.
Apple appears to be preparing an iOS 16.3.1 update for the iPhone, based on evidence of the software in our website's analytics logs this week. It's unclear when the update will be released, but it will likely be available at some point in February.
The same logs have accurately foreshadowed the release of several previous updates, including iOS 16.0.3 and iOS 16.1.1 most recently, so they have proven to be a reliable indicator of Apple's upcoming software releases. Minor updates like iOS 16.3.1 are typically focused on bug fixes, stability improvements, and security patches.
In the meantime, the wait continues for the first beta of iOS 16.4, which will likely be a more significant update with some new features. Previously-announced iOS features that have still yet to launch include Apple Pay Later for financing purchases, an Apple Card savings account option for Daily Cash, opt-in web push notifications via Safari, and more, but it's unclear if any of these features will be included in iOS 16.4.
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January with support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for Apple ID accounts, worldwide availability of Advanced Data Protection for expanded iCloud encryption, a new Black Unity wallpaper in celebration of Black History Month, Emergency SOS tweaks, and second-generation HomePod support.
Evidence of both iOS 16.4 and iOS 17 have also shown up in our website's analytics logs in recent weeks, as Apple employees test the updates internally. iOS 17 is expected to be announced at Apple's annual developers conference WWDC in June.
United States Senator Michael Bennet today penned a letter to the chief executives of Apple and Google demanding that they ban Chinese-owned TikTok from their app stores on national security grounds (via The New York Times).
Bennet, a Democrat of Colorado and member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sent the letter to Apple's Tim Cook and Google's Sundar Pichai, saying that no company subject to "Chinese Communist Party dictates should have the power to accumulate such extensive data on the American people or curate content to nearly a third of our population."
"TikTok's vast influence and aggressive data collection pose a specific threat to US national security because of its parent company's obligations under Chinese law," wrote Bennet. "Article 7 of China's National Intelligence Law decrees that 'any organization or citizen shall support, assist, and cooperate with state intelligence work.' Article 14 provides Chinese state security agencies the authority to demand cooperation from companies like ByteDance, while Articles 16 and 17 allow intelligence agents to access relevant materials and files and make use of its communication tools and facilities."
Bennet goes on to cite a BuzzFeed News report from June last year that suggested TikTok engineers in China had access to the data of U.S. users between September 2021 and January 2022. "Everything is seen in China," said one TikTok employee in recordings reviewed by BuzzFeed, with the recordings also referencing a "Master Admin" engineer in China who "has access to everything."
Bennet's letter concludes: "Given these grave and growing concerns, I ask that you remove TikTok from your respective app stores immediately."
TikTok has been in the cross-hairs of U.S. regulators for years now, going back to the Trump administration's failed attempt to bar the app from U.S. app stores in September 2020. However, concerns over the app have heightened in the last few weeks after both Republicans and Democrats called for officials to impose stricter data collection restrictions or ban the app from the U.S. entirely.
For its part, TikTok's parent company ByteDance submitted a plan in August detailing how it plans to prevent the Chinese government from having access to data on U.S. users, and how it will offer the U.S. government oversight of the platform. The Biden administration has yet to respond to the company's plan.
In the meantime, at least 27 state governments have passed full or partial bans on the app, while a bipartisan bill introduced in Congress in December would ban the app for everyone in the United States. The House Foreign Affairs Committee plans to hold a vote on the bill this month.
Senator Bennet's full letter to Apple and Google can be read on Scribd.
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.
All Apple Watch models include a stock Calculator app that offers a couple of handy features for working out how much you should tip when eating out and how much each person in a group owes if you're splitting the bill.
The two functions can be used together, but if it's just yourself dining out then you can just leave the People field set to 1. The steps below show you how it works.
Note: If you see a standard percentage (%) button where the TIP button should be, you can change the calculator layout to replace it. Simply go to Settings -> Calculator and select Tip Function instead of Per cent.
How to Use the Split Bill and Tip Calculator Functions on Apple Watch
Launch the Calculator app on your Apple Watch.
Enter the total amount of the bill.
Tap the TIP button in the top-right corner, just left of the divide button.
With the Tip field highlighted in green, turn your watch's Digital Crown to change the percentage.
To split the bill between a group of people, tap People and then use the Digital Crown to change the number (the maximum is 50).
You'll see the total amount below the two fields change to reflect your tip adjustments, and the amount below that will change depending on how many people are paying.
A South Korean court on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit seeking compensation from Apple over allegations the company deliberately slowed down the performance of older iPhones in order to compel customers to buy new models (via The Korea Herald).
"The lawsuit is dismissed," a court judge briefly said, without elaborating as to the reason for the ruling, denying the case brought by some 9,800 Korean smartphone buyers who were seeking 2 billion won ($1.64 million) against Apple.
The ruling comes five years after a group of consumers filed a civil lawsuit demanding damages of 200,000 won ($163) each. Initially brought by some 64,000 plaintiffs, the lawsuit claimed that Apple had induced some iPhone users to install a software upgrade that caused a performance slowdown so that users would consider replacing their devices with new ones.
The case relates to Apple's introduction in early 2017 of power management features for older iPhones to prevent unexpected shutdowns during times of peak power draw on devices with degraded batteries. These power management features throttle the processor on older iPhones with less than optimal batteries, resulting in slower performance.
The power management features were not widely publicized until late 2017, leading many customers to feel deceived by Apple.
Apple denied that it misled users, but later admitted that it slowed down some older iPhones with degraded batteries during times of peak power usage in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns. The company subsequently accepted that it should have provided a clearer explanation when it introduced the power management feature in iOS 10.2.1.
Following an apology, Apple implemented a battery replacement program that allowed all customers with an iPhone 6, 6s, 7, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7 Plus, and SE to replace their batteries for a reduced fee through the end of 2018.
Apple also introduced better battery monitoring features in a later iOS update, including the ability for customers to turn off the power management feature it introduced in iOS 10.2.1.
The Korean ruling stands in contrast with similar lawsuits brought against Apple in other countries. Apple in 2020 agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle a long-running class action lawsuit in the United States that accused the company of "secretly throttling" older iPhone models. Apple faced similar lawsuits in Belgium, Chile, Spain, Italy, and Portugal.
The second-generation HomePod is set to be released on Friday, February 3, which is the day that pre-orders will be delivered and when the speakers will be available for purchase in retail stores. One lucky MacRumors reader received his HomePod days early, with the device delivered today.
The HomePod in question was ordered from Best Buy and was mistakenly delivered early by the Canada Post.
Apple's second-generation HomePod is almost identical to the now-discontinued original HomePod, coming in at just a bit shorter. The major external design difference is the revamped display, which is edge-to-edge, larger, and improves the overall look of the speaker.
The internal components have also been changed with Apple tweaking the number of tweeters and microphones, but reviewers have found that the speaker largely sounds the same as the original model. As with the first HomePod, the new version comes in two colors, white and a new midnight shade.
Amazon today introduced a deal on Apple's AirPods 2, available for $99.00, down from $129.00. Amazon is expecting a delivery estimate of early February for most locations in the United States as of writing.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
This is an overall second-best price on the AirPods 2, but we of course haven't tracked record low deals since the holidays. If you're shopping for a cheaper pair of AirPods in 2023, this will be your best bet, and only Amazon has the sale.
This model of the AirPods comes with the Lightning Charging Case. We track sales for every model of the AirPods in our Best AirPods Deals guide, so be sure to bookmark that page while you shop around for the wireless headphones.
It's been more than a week since Apple released the iOS 16.3 update, and typically, new iOS betas follow launches within a day or so. We were expecting Apple to provide the first beta iOS 16.4 on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, but that hasn't happened.
Tuesdays are the days that we most often see betas, though Monday and Wednesday happen now and then, and most often betas come out at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. We're now past the most likely beta release timelines for this week, which means we may be waiting until Tuesday, February 7 for the first beta of iOS 16.4.
That said, Apple very rarely releases new beta updates at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time so there is still a slim chance we could get a beta today, and even more rarely, betas come on Thursday, so tomorrow isn't 100 percent ruled out either. It is earnings day on Thursday, with details set to come out at 1:30 p.m., so we may not see a Thursday beta.
Next week is the most likely iOS 16.4 beta launch scenario, based on when betas normally come out and past launch timelines.
Last year, iOS 15.4's first beta came on January 27, one day after the launch of iOS 15.3, and in 2021, there was a 14.5 beta that came in February as the timelines were accelerated that year. In 2020, we did get iOS 13.4 on February 5, which was a full week after the launch of iOS 13.3.1.
Possible iOS 16.4 Features
There wasn't a lot in iOS 16.3 as it primarily focused on Security Keys and then under-the-hood bug fixes, but there is a solid chance that iOS 16.4 will be more exciting, especially given the launch delay.
New Emoji - Apple has not yet added the Unicode 15 emoji, which include pink heart, moose, black bird, jellyfish, flute, hyacinth, ginger, goose, donkey, and more, so we could see them in the 16.4 beta.
Apple Music Classical - Apple is working on some kind of revamped classical music experience with a dedicated app. It was supposed to come in 2022, but that didn't happen, so it could launch any time.
Web-Based Push Notifications on iOS - We're still waiting on an iOS 16 update that adds web-based push notifications on the iPhone and the iPad, a feature that will let websites send notifications through Safari, just like on Macs.
Apple Pay Later - With Apple Pay Later, qualifying customers in the United States will be able to split their purchases into four equal payments that will be made over six weeks, with no added interest. The feature will be built into the Wallet app and is similar to the PayPal buy now, pay later functionality. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman previously said Apple Pay Later could be introduced in iOS 16.4.
Apple Card Savings Accounts - Apple is planning to allow Apple Card customers to open a high-yield savings account through Goldman Sachs, where Daily Cash accumulated through purchases can be saved. There is no word on when this is launching, and like Apple Music Classical, it could come any time.
When the initial beta of iOS 16.4 comes, it will be limited to developers to begin with, with Apple likely providing the software to public beta testers a week later. If we get the first developer beta on the 7th of February, a public beta could come on the 14th, and a launch could happen somewhere around the second to third week of March at the earliest, or in early April if there are features that require more extensive testing.