Top Stories: Apple Watch Sales Ban, Next-Generation CarPlay Preview, and More
2023 is rapidly drawing to a close with the holiday season, but that certainly doesn't mean there hasn't been any major Apple news over the past week.
The week's biggest news was Apple's move to halt sales of its flagship Apple Watch models over a patent dispute, while Apple also squeaked in under the wire to tease the first implementation of next-generation CarPlay from a couple of car manufacturers before the end of the year. Other news and rumors this week involved an iOS 17.2.1 bug fix update, rumors about the iPhone 16 and "Apple Watch X," and more, so read on below for all the details!
Apple Pauses Sales of Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in U.S. Due to Patent Dispute
Following an announcement earlier this week, Apple has "paused" online sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the U.S. due to an ongoing patent dispute with medical tech company Masimo, which has accused Apple of copying its blood oxygen sensing functionality. Sales in Apple's U.S. retail stores will cease after December 24, and Apple will be unable to perform out-of-warranty hardware repairs on many recent Apple Watch models.
In October, the International Trade Commission (ITC) ordered a ban on some Apple Watch imports into the U.S. after finding that Apple violated Masimo's patents related to non-invasive blood oxygen sensing. U.S. President Joe Biden has until December 25 to review the order, but presidential vetoes of ITC import bans have historically been rare.
Apple is reportedly working on software changes to address the alleged patent infringement, but Masimo believes that the Apple Watch's hardware design will have to change to become compliant.
Apple Releases iOS 17.2.1 Update for iPhone
Apple this week released a minor iOS 17.2.1 update for the iPhone with "important bug fixes."
Unlike in the U.S., the release notes for iOS 17.2.1 in China and Japan indicate that the update also "addresses an issue that can cause the battery to drain faster under certain conditions."
iOS 17.3 remains in beta, and has two significant new features so far, including Stolen Device Protection and collaborative Apple Music playlists.
First Vehicles With Next-Generation Apple CarPlay Previewed
Aston Martin and Porsche this week previewed the first vehicle dashboards with support for Apple's next-generation CarPlay experience, which is expected to be available at some point in 2024.
Next-generation CarPlay features integration with the instrument cluster and climate controls, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, a dedicated FM radio app, widgets for apps, and more. The interface can be tailored to each specific vehicle model and automaker's brand identity.
Gurman: iPhone 16's Capture Button Will Be for Taking Video
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman this week confirmed that iPhone 16 models will be equipped with a new dedicated button for recording video.
MacRumors was first to report that iPhone 16 models would feature a so-called "Capture Button," which is expected to be positioned below the power button on the right side of the iPhones. This will require the mmWave 5G antenna window to be relocated on U.S. models.
Beeper Mini Says Jailbroken iPhone Solution is Final Effort
Beeper promises that its cat-and-mouse game with Apple over iMessage is ending.
Beeper announced that its plan to let Android users use a jailbroken iPhone to register a phone number with iMessage will be its final attempt at maintaining its Beeper Mini service, which is designed to let Android users use iMessage without using an iPhone as their primary smartphone. Apple has made efforts to prevent the service from working.
Your Apple Watch Bands May Not Work With Next Year's Model
Next-generation Apple Watch models will feature a completely redesigned band connector, rendering them incompatible with all current bands, according to an Apple leaker known as "Kosutami."
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has previously reported that the upcoming "Apple Watch X" could feature a different way to attach bands to the device. Apple has allegedly considered a magnetic band attachment system.
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.