MacRumors

iPhone 16 models will feature upgraded microphones with a higher signal-to-noise ratio compared to previous models, allowing for the devices to hear your voice more clearly, according to Haitong analyst Jeff Pu. This upgrade should improve the accuracy of Siri, which is expected to be revamped with generative AI features on iOS 18 later this year.

iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray
In a research note earlier this month, Pu said some of iOS 18's generative AI features will likely be limited to iPhone 16 models, as a result of the upgraded microphones and a larger Neural Engine in the A18 and A18 Pro chips for the devices. Both of these hardware changes have been rumored by other sources, increasing their likelihood.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously said the upgraded microphones on iPhone 16 models could "improve the Siri experience significantly." In addition to a higher signal-to-noise ratio, he said the new microphones will offer improved water resistance.

On an earnings call earlier this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the company was working on generative AI and will share details "later this year." In addition to Siri, iOS 18 is rumored to add new generative AI capabilities to Spotlight, Shortcuts, Messages, Apple Music, Numbers, Pages, Keynote, Health, and more.

Apple is expected to announce iOS 18 at WWDC in June, and the update should be released to all users in September alongside the iPhone 16 series.

Related Roundups: iOS 18, iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro

The second-generation AirPods Max could miss out on Adaptive Audio, according to a rumor coming out of Asia.

Airpods Max Feature Green Triad
The rumor comes from Weibo user "Instant Digital," who claims that while new ‌AirPods Max‌ will "definitely" come out this year, the only change will be a USB-C port. The headphones will apparently continue to forgo Adaptive Audio due to the presence of an older processor.

Adaptive Audio encompasses three features: Adaptive Noise Control, Personalized Volume, and Conversation Awareness. Adaptive Noise Control blends Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode to adjust the level of noise control based on the changing noise conditions in your environment, Personalized Volume adjusts the media volume based on environmental conditions and volume preferences, and Conversation Awareness lowers media volume and enhances voices in front of you.

The features are exclusive to the second-generation AirPods Pro because they require the H2 chip's processing power. The first-generation ‌AirPods Max‌ feature the H1 chip and did not gain Adaptive Audio via a software update as a result. Multiple rumors suggest that the only notable improvement offered by the second-generation ‌AirPods Max‌ will be a USB-C port instead of Lightning for charging and wired audio playback, potentially alongside some new color options, meaning that the H2 chip will continue to be absent.

Despite the ‌AirPods Max‌'s $549 price point, the second-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ might still offer superior hardware and software than their over-ear sibling, touting features such as the H2 chip, Bluetooth 5.3, Adaptive Audio, improved Active Noise Cancellation, skin-detect sensors, sweat and water resistance, the U1 chip, Precision Finding, and support for MagSafe and Qi wireless charging.

Apple's refreshed over-ear headphones are expected to launch in late 2024 alongside two fourth-generation AirPods models.

Related Roundup: AirPods Max
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Max (Caution)
Related Forum: AirPods

To celebrate the award nominations given to Killers of the Flower Moon, Apple today sent out emails about a new Apple Pay promotion that offers users a free popcorn when purchasing a ticket to a movie at a Regal theater.

apple pay movie promotion
For each ticket purchased to Killers of the Flower Moon or another film that is part of Regal's Best Picture Film Festival, ‌Apple Pay‌ users can get a free small popcorn. The promotion is available starting today and will last until March 9.

To get the deal, tickets will need to be purchased with ‌Apple Pay‌ from the Regal website or the Regal app. After purchase, a voucher for a free small popcorn will be emailed out, and it can be redeemed from March 1 through March 10.

Killers of the Flower Moon, from director Martin Scorsese, earned 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture of the Year. It is still in theaters, and can also be watched on Apple TV+.

Anker today has a large collection of accessories on sale at Amazon, including the return of a discount on the popular 60,000 mAh Power Station with Retractable Light and Smart Display, available for $109.99 with an on-page coupon, down from $149.95. You'll find chargers, USB-C accessories, portable batteries, and more on sale this time around.

anker january imageNote: 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.

If you're looking for a smaller portable battery, there's the 10,000 mAh Nano Power Bank with built-in USB-C cable for $37.99 with on-page coupon, down from $49.99. There are also two portable batteries with foldable dongles for Lightning ($20.24) and USB-C ($23.99) charging.

Note: You won't see the deal price until checkout.

Shoppers should note that some Amazon deals, including all of the ones mentioned above, require you to clip an on-page coupon in order to see the discounts. To get these discounts, click on the box next to the on-page coupon on each product page, then head to the checkout screen in order to see the final sale price.

Portable Batteries

Power Stations

Wall Chargers

Hubs

Keep up with all of this week's best discounts on Apple products and related accessories in our dedicated Apple Deals roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple today rolled out a monthly version of Apple Music Replay, allowing subscribers to see statistics about their listening habits on a more regular basis (via Engadget).

Apple Music Replay 2024 Feature
The new ‌Apple Music‌ Replay variant offers a more granular version of the full, annual ‌Apple Music‌ Replay experience offered toward the end of the year, which takes a retrospective look back at a user's entire year of music consumption.

The monthly version of the feature shows the total number of listening minutes for the previous month and top artists, songs, and albums, as well as monthly milestones. This data is archived and continues to be available for revisiting at a later date, allowing users to see go back and see Replays for previous months.

The feature is viewable at replay.music.apple.com and remains a browser-only experience. Unlike the annual version, the monthly version of ‌Apple Music‌ Replay does not come with an accompanying playlist that can be added to a user's library or a highlight reel.

Apple's Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams is making a rare visit to Taiwan to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Foxconn, one of the company's key suppliers, Bloomberg reports.

foxconn
Apple's COO is joined by senior vice president of operations Sabih Khan, as well as representatives from SoftBank and Arm. Foxconn assembles Apple devices including the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. The supplier is currently helping Apple shift some iPhone assembly to India as the company looks to diversify its global supply chain.

Williams last visited Taiwan in 2017 for TSMC's 30th anniversary celebrations. Apple CEO Tim Cook has not visited Taiwan since 2008. Williams spearheaded development of the Apple Watch and Apple's various health initiatives. He now oversees many vital areas of the company, including hardware and software design.

Williams is reportedly the frontrunner to succeed Cook as Apple's CEO. He is apparently "seen as the heir apparent" within the company, having run Apple's global operations under Cook's leadership, a role that Cook previously undertook for Steve Jobs prior to becoming CEO himself.

Apple's surprise decision to bring RCS support to its Messages app for iPhone later this year was not a result of impending EU legislation, but an about-face caused by Chinese political pressure, claimed a report over the weekend.

apple rcs thumb
In November 2023, Apple announced that it planned to bring RCS (Rich Communication Services) support to Messages alongside iMessage, a move that seemingly came out of the blue, given Apple's staunch resistance to pressure from Google and Samsung to adopt the communication protocol.

In the weeks that followed, one popular theory for Apple's reversal was that its hand had been forced by the EU's Digital Markets Act, which would have required Apple to make changes to iMessage to make it interoperable with other platforms.

That theory has since been debunked for two reasons. First, the DMA does not specifically mention RCS as a requirement of interoperability between messaging platforms. And second, the EU earlier this month concluded that iMessage does not hold a dominant enough position to be brought under the DMA's strict rules for services provided by big tech's so-called digital "gatekeepers."

A more plausible theory has since been offered by John Gruber, who says "little birdies" (Gruber's code for sources at Apple) tell him that "iOS support for RCS is all about China."

Writing on his blog Daring Fireball, Gruber points to China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which in July 2023 solicited feedback for upcoming rules that would require new 5G devices to support RCS (an English translation of the law can be found on Reddit).

"I can't say for certain," admits Gruber, "but after spending the last few months periodically poking around the trees inhabited by little birdies, I do have good news for fans of coercive government regulation. Apple's hand was effectively forced. But by China, not the EU."

As Gruber notes, reports that Apple's decision was influenced by inbound EU regulations subsequently make "zero sense." Apple would prefer, says Gruber, "simply to continue ignoring RCS, on the grounds that they want to support neither any new non-E2EE protocols, nor any new carrier-controlled protocols (whether encrypted or not). But when the [Chinese Communist Party] says device makers must jump to sell their products in China, Apple asks 'How high?'"

Gruber's full piece is worth a read over on Daring Fireball. As for RCS coming to the Messages app, support for the protocol should result in several improvements to the default messaging experience between iPhones and Android devices, such as higher-resolution photos, audio messages, read receipts, improved group chats, and typing indicators.

Apple said RCS support in Messages would arrive "later" in 2024, which corresponds with the timeframe we expect iOS 18 to be released, suggesting it could be a feature of Apple's next major software update.

Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea.

samsung galaxy ring

Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January

Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the time could be ripe for Apple to follow it with something that embodies CEO Tim Cook's mantra, "be best, not first."

According to the Electronic Times, Apple has been paying close attention to the market for signs that a smart ring would be a popular, less intrusive alternative to a watch, that can be worn for longer and is easier to sleep with.

Apple is said to be seriously weighing up the idea as a viable expansion of its wearables lineup, and has been increasingly applying for patents related to an NFC-enabled finger-worn device as it coordinates the timing of the release.

"It seems likely that commercialization is imminent," said an industry insider quoted in the machine-translated report.

The rumor comes as Samsung prepares to unveil a Galaxy Ring at its second Galaxy Unpacked 2024 event, which is likely to take place in the second half of July. The Korean firm teased the product's existence at the end of its first Unpacked event in January, and it is now expected to enter mass production in the second half of the year.

Besides its rumored ability to measure blood flow, the Galaxy Ring is also expected to feature ECG monitoring, sleep tracking, and functionalities for controlling other devices and making wireless payments remotely. The device is expected to come in several sizes.

The emerging smart ring category is currently led by Oura Ring, first released by Finnish health technology company Oura back in 2015. The device collects activity, heart rate, respiratory rate, and sleep data, and transmits it via Bluetooth to the Oura app. Now in its third-generation, the device can also measure body temperature and menstrual cycle, and the battery is said to last for a week on a single charge.

In March 2022, Oura announced that it had sold more than one million rings, but its latest incarnation has come in for criticism after the company introduced a $5.99 monthly subscription fee that put certain aspects of user data behind a paywall.

Would you be interested in an "Apple Ring" as an alternative to Apple Watch? Let us know in the comments.

Tag: Samsung

Apple Music is testing a new feature that allows users to import songs and playlists into their library from rival streaming services like Spotify.

apple music songshift transfer
References to the feature in the latest ‌Apple Music‌ beta for Android were first spotted by a Reddit user, and MacRumors has now independently confirmed that the references are indeed in the APK, or Android Package Kit.

The feature appears to be a collaborative effort with SongShift, a long-running third-party service that enables users to transfer their music libraries and playlists between different music streaming services.

Images shared on Reddit show new prompts in ‌Apple Music‌ for Android that offer to "add saved music and playlists you made in other music services to your ‌Apple Music‌ library." The option also appears in the Android app's settings.

The feature does not yet appear to be fully functional, and the screens are not showing for everyone running the beta, suggesting Apple is at an early stage of A/B testing, or split testing the feature. A/B testing is a method used to compare two versions of the same app, and users are randomly exposed to either version. Statistical analysis is then used to determine which variation performs better for a given conversion goal.

Third-party music transfer services have been available for a few years, but many have limited functionality without a one-off payment or subscription. There's no guarantee that ‌Apple Music‌ will take the SongShift integration through to full development, but if it does retain the feature, there's a good chance it will eventually appear in the ‌Apple Music‌ app for Apple devices.

Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release.

m3 macbook pro 14 16
The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store.

Pricing on these latest refurbished MacBook Pro models starts at $1,699 for the 14-inch M3 Pro model with 11-core CPU and 14-core GPU, a $300 discount off of the original $1,999 starting price. The 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,119 for the M3 Pro chip with 12-core CPU and 18-core GPU, offering savings of $380 compared to a brand-new unit priced at $2,499.

Additional configurations with chip, memory, and/or storage space upgrades are also available, although availability will fluctuate over time. Customers looking for a specific configuration should check back often.

All of Apple's refurbished Macs are close to identical to new products. They are subject to a refurbishment process that includes full functionality testing, with any defective modules replaced, as well as a thorough cleaning and inspection. Refurbished products are eligible for AppleCare+ and have the same 14-day return period as new Apple devices.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro 14 & 16"
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Apple's partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS) is expanding with a new agreement that will see Apple's Beats brand become the official consumer audio products partner of MLS. As part of the partnership, Beats will produce exclusive custom headphones for eight MLS clubs, with additional clubs to follow.

beats mls custom
The eight clubs that will initially receive custom Beats headphones include Atlanta United, Columbus Crew, Inter Miami, LAFC, Nashville SC, NYCFC, St. Louis City SC, and Toronto FC, and MLS players will be featured in Beats marketing campaigns through both Beats and MLS.

"For more than a decade, Beats headphones have been chosen by the world's top athletes to help them get game ready and heighten their focus, while also allowing them to show off their style and personality," said Chris Thorne, Beats' CMO. "We are extremely excited to join forces with the MLS, one of the fastest growing and most dynamic sports leagues in the world. Beats will be working closely with the MLS clubs and top players to deliver amazing experiences throughout the upcoming season."

The announcement comes just a few days ahead of the new MLS season which will see Apple TV once again serving as the worldwide home for MLS streaming with MLS Season Pass. MLS Season Pass is available in over 100 countries, with pricing in the U.S. set at $14.99 per month or $99 for the full season. ‌Apple TV‌+ subscribers receive a discounted price of $12.99 per month or $79 for the full season.

Tag: Beats

Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 Pro models could come in all-new "Desert Titanium" and "Titanium Gray" color options, according to the leaker known as "Majin Bu."

iphone 16 pro colorsMock-up of the alleged new ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ color options shared by Majin Bu.

In a new post on X (formerly Twitter), Majin Bu said that the "Desert Titanium" will be similar to the Gold color option offered on the iPhone 14 Pro in 2022, but deeper and heavier. On the other hand, "Titanium Gray" will apparently be similar to the shade of Space Gray offered on the iPhone 6 in 2014.

The iPhone 15 Pro comes in Black Titanium, White Titanium, Blue Titanium, and Natural Titanium. It is worth noting that there is no ‌‌iPhone 15 Pro‌‌ with a Gold finish. Gold was available through 2013's ‌‌iPhone‌‌ 5S to 2017's ‌‌iPhone‌‌ 8, and then on 2018's ‌‌iPhone‌‌ XS to 2022's ‌‌iPhone 14‌‌ Pro. The reintroduction of a gold-like shade with the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ seems very plausible as a result.

Apple's "Pro" ‌iPhone‌ models have always been available in no more than four color options at launch, usually with basic black, white, and gold options alongside a more striking color like green, blue, or purple. This means that while Black Titanium and White Titanium are highly likely to be carried over from the ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ to the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌, the continuation of Blue Titanium and Natural Titanium is far from certain. It is possible that these color options may be discontinued to make way for "Desert Titanium" and "Titanium Gray," especially since "Titanium Gray" appears to be very similar to Natural Titanium.

This is the first rumor about the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌'s color options and Majin Bu has a mixed track record for revealing accurate information about Apple's plans. Nevertheless, more information is likely to emerge in the coming months as we approach launch.

Related Roundup: iPhone 16 Pro

Amazon today is matching an all-time low price on the Studio Display, now available for $1,299.99, down from $1,599.99. This is the standard glass version of the Studio Display with the tilt adjustable stand, and it currently has an estimated February 23 delivery date for Prime shipping.

mac studio and studio displayNote: 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.

The Studio Display features a 27-inch 5K retina display with a 5120 x 2880 resolution and up to 600 nits of brightness. Discounts on the Studio Display have been very rare over the past few months, and this is only the second time in 2024 that we've tracked a record low price on any version of the monitor.

If you want to upgrade to the nano-texture glass option, Amazon also has this model of the Studio Display on sale. It's available for $1,599.99, down from $1,899.99, which is a second-best price on the Studio Display with nano-texture glass.

Apple says that the standard display is engineered for "extremely low reflectivity," but for rooms where there is a lot of glare, Apple suggests the nano-texture glass option with even less reflectivity.

Keep up with all of this week's best discounts on Apple products and related accessories in our dedicated Apple Deals roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple still plans to release multiple new AirPods models later this year, according to the latest information shared by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

airpods 3 orange
In an October 2023 edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said Apple planned to release two fourth-generation AirPods models and updated AirPods Max in "late 2024." On Sunday, he confirmed that this plan is "still underway."

Gurman expects the entry-level fourth-generation AirPods to feature a new design with better fit, improved sound quality, and an updated charging case with a USB-C port. He also expects higher-end fourth-generation AirPods with active noise cancellation and a speaker in the charging case that can play a sound for Find My location tracking.

Apple plans to discontinue the second-generation and third-generation AirPods after launching the two fourth-generation models, he said.

The updated AirPods Max will feature a USB-C port instead of Lightning for charging and wired audio playback, but no other major changes, according to Gurman. He said the over-ear headphones might also be available in new colors. The current color options include Green, Pink, Silver, Sky Blue, and Space Gray.

Gurman expects new AirPods Pro to launch in 2025 with design changes and an "updated chip," which may refer to an H3 chip for improved sound quality.

Apple unveiled the third-generation AirPods during its October 2021 event, while the AirPods Max were announced in a December 2020 press release.

Related Roundups: AirPods 3, AirPods Max
Related Forum: AirPods

The second-generation version of Apple's Vision Pro headset is at least 18 months away from launch, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports.

Apple Vision Pro Dual Loop Band Purple Feature 2
In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said that Apple is likely at least a year and a half away from the release of the second-generation Vision Pro headset, placing launch in late August 2025 at the earliest. Gurman noted that Apple is keenly interested in the reasons why customers who choose to return the first-generation Vision Pro headset do so, ultimately passing feedback from retail stores to the company's headquarters to help perfect the next version of the device.

The tidbit effectively rules out the idea of the Vision Pro receiving annual updates like the iPhone or Apple Watch, suggesting that it is likely to follow a longer refresh cycle that could even surpass that of the iPad.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and market research firm Omdia have previously mentioned a 2027 launch time frame for the second-generation Vision Pro headset. It is said that there could be no hardware updates for the Vision Pro until then, meaning that the Vision Pro might go up to 54 months without a refresh from the announcement of the first generation to the second. Meanwhile, Apple could launch a more affordable Vision headset around 2025, according to both The Information and Bloomberg.

Related Roundup: Apple Vision Pro
Buyer's Guide: Vision Pro (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Vision Pro

Apple Original Films' historical action epic "Napoleon" will premiere globally on Apple TV+ on March 1, 2024, the company has announced.


Directed by Ridley Scott, best known for films including "Alien," "Blade Runner," and "Gladiator," his new biopic stars Joaquin Phoenix as the French emperor and military leader.

The film is an original and personal look at Napoleon Bonaparte's origins and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine, played by Vanessa Kirby. The film captures Napoleon's famous battles, relentless ambition and astounding strategic mind as an extraordinary military leader and war visionary.

"Napoleon" has received Academy Award nominations for Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, and Best Visual Effects. This year's Oscar winners will be announced at the 96th Academy Awards on March 10.

Scott's film has drawn both praise and criticism from audiences and reviewers. It has been recognized for its technical excellence, epic battle scenes, and some strong performances, including Vanessa Kirby's portrayal of Josephine in particular. But the script has also faced some criticism for its historical accuracy and a somewhat shallow exploration of a complex historical figure.

Scott is also releasing a four-hour-long cut of "Napoleon", exclusive to ‌Apple TV‌+, with extra scenes and the potential to address some of these criticisms, although it's not clear when this will arrive on the streaming service.

‌Apple TV‌+ received a price increase in October, and the service now costs $9.99 per month in the U.S. for new and existing subscribers.

A photo claiming to show a mold of Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 standard model has appeared online, offering another preview of the rumored new vertical camera arrangement.

iphone 16 mold majin
Over the last few months, Apple has been experimenting with different camera bump designs for the standard iPhone 16 models, all of which have featured a vertical camera arrangement.

The latest prototype features the same arrangement with two separate camera rings for the Wide and Ultra Wide cameras, housed within a pill-shaped raised surface, suggesting Apple has drawn inspiration from older iPhone models, such as the ‌iPhone‌ X.

With the vertical camera layout, Apple is expected to bring Spatial Video recording to the standard ‌iPhone 16‌ and ‌iPhone 16‌ Plus models. Current iPhone 15 models have a diagonal camera arrangement and are not able to capture spatial video, a feature that is limited to the iPhone 15 Pro models and the Vision Pro headset.

In addition to the updated camera bump design, recent ‌iPhone 16‌ prototypes have also featured a smaller Action Button, similar to the one used on ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌, along with a pressure-sensitive Capture Button for shooting horizontal video that sits flush with the frame of the device.

When MacRumors first revealed the latest prototype earlier this month, we cautioned readers that it was sourced from pre-production information, and so may not ultimately reflect the final design that goes into mass production.

iphone 16 molds
Likewise, the existence of case maker molds at this early stage does not necessarily confirm that Apple has settled on this design for the iPhone 16. The molds could simply be being used as test samples based on early schematics. Case makers also often base their initial case designs for upcoming iPhones on leaks and rumors, so the images may not be true representations.

The latest images were shared by Majin Bu on X (formerly Twitter). Bu has a mixed track record for accurate rumors, but schematics and images Bu has previously leaked show the same design and align with our own information independently sourced from the supply chain.

We should know more when the devices move closer to the Engineering Validation Testing (EVT) phase of development. For additional details on Apple's next-generation 2024 smartphones, check out our dedicated rumor roundups for iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro.

Related Roundup: iPhone 16

Apple is set to be hit with a €500 million ($538 million) fine for allegedly breaking EU law over access to music streaming services, according to a Financial Times report.

Apple vs Spotify feature2
The focus of the European Commission's investigation has been Apple's policy of preventing streaming music apps from informing iPhone and iPad users within the app that lower subscription prices are available when signing up outside of the App Store.

The investigation began in 2019 after Spotify filed an antitrust complaint against Apple. EU regulators formally charged Apple in the anti-competitive probe in 2021, before the commission last year narrowed the scope of the investigation and dropped a charge of pushing developers to use its own in-app payment system.

According to the paywalled FT report, the Commission will say Apple's actions are illegal and go against the bloc's rules that enforce competition in the single market. Subsequently, it will ban Apple's practice of blocking music services from letting users outside its App Store switch to cheaper alternatives, which has historically given Apple Music an unfair advantage.

The investigation's conclusion will essentially rubber stamp the Commission's preliminary view that Apple's rules equate to "anti-steering" and "unfair trading conditions," in breach of EU antitrust law. The Commission previously said that the rules are "detrimental to users of music streaming services on Apple's mobile devices" given they may end up paying more and "negatively affect the interests of music streaming app developers by limiting effective consumer choice."

Developers are permitted by Apple's App Store Review Guidelines to notify users of alternative buying options through external communications, like email. Apps categorized as "reader" apps, including Spotify, have the ability to incorporate a link in their app directing users to their website for account management. However, Spotify is still not allowed to promote its reduced subscription rates offered on its website directly from within its iPhone app.

Apple has never previously been fined for antitrust infringements by the EU, but it was hit in 2020 with a €1.1 billion ($1.19 billion) fine in France for alleged anti-competitive behaviour. The penalty was revised down to €372 million after Apple appealed.

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