Eric Slivka

Eric is Editor in Chief of MacRumors, swimmer, and former biophysicist. Enjoys reading and chasing after two rambunctious boys when he's not playing with the latest gadgets.



Apple's Suppliers Aiming to Produce 75 Million New iPhones in Second Half of 2019

Apple's supply chain is currently aiming to produce components for up to 75 million iPhones in the second half of this year, roughly the same as in the same time period last year, according to Bloomberg. The production targets suggest Apple expects iPhone demand to stabilize this year after recent dips in unit sales largely offset by increases in average prices. 2019 iPhone dummy units Jeff Pu at GF Securities estimates that shipments of newly released iPhones will rise to 74 million in the second half, up about 7% from his estimate of 69 million last year, while TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecast that Apple would sell 75 million to 80 million new iPhones in the second half of 2018. This year’s volumes may signal stabilization after a year of uncertainty, though that’s a far cry from the double-digit growth numbers of years past.As Bloomberg notes, the fact that suppliers are planning for production of 75 million units doesn't mean Apple will sell that many, but suppliers are also reportedly capable of pushing output to 80 million units if demand calls for it. As always, Apple will assess demand following the launch of the new iPhones and adjust production accordingly. Apple has also stopped publicly reporting unit sales of iPhones and other products in its quarterly earnings releases, making it more difficult for analysts and others to track those numbers over time and requiring them to calculate unit sales based on reported revenue numbers and estimated average prices. We're expecting this year's new iPhones to look very similar to the current lineup,

Facebook to Be Fined $5 Billion in Cambridge Analytica Privacy Scandal

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has voted to approve a settlement with Facebook that will see the social media giant hit with a roughly $5 billion fine over the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, reports The Wall Street Journal. The matter has been moved to the Justice Department’s civil division and it is unclear how long it will take to finalize, the person said. Justice Department reviews are part of the FTC’s procedure but typically don’t change the outcome of an FTC decision. A settlement is expected to include other government restrictions on how Facebook treats user privacy. The additional terms of the settlement couldn’t immediately be learned.The scandal revolved around data firm Cambridge Analytica, which improperly collected information on tens of millions of Facebook users without their consent to create targeted political advertisements during the 2016 campaign. The data collection came through an app called "This Is Your Digital Life," which requested that Facebook users complete a survey for academic use. In reality, the app's permissions allowed it to collect personal information on not just the Facebook users who took the survey but also their friends. Facebook revamped its privacy practices in the wake of the scandal, but the company still faced investigations by regulators over multiple security lapses and marked a significant moment in efforts to raise awareness about digital privacy. Apple CEO Tim Cook called the Cambridge Analytica situation "dire" and has on multiple occasions called for increased regulation to protect user

iPad Air vs. Microsoft's Surface Go: Which Is a Better Laptop Replacement?

Apple's iPad Air, which was resurrected in March as essentially a tweaked version of the previous 10.5-inch iPad Pro, offers a significant amount of utility at a solid $499 price point, but how does it compare to other competitors in the market? In his latest video, MacRumors videographer Dan compared the iPad Air to Microsoft's Surface Go to determine which one he liked better for on-the-go computing. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. For this comparison, Dan decided to focus on using the iPad Air and the Surface Go as somewhat of a laptop replacement. The iPad Air starts at $499 while the Surface Go comes in at a $399 base price, but in an effort to look at these as potential laptop replacements Dan opted to consider the devices equipped with first-party keyboard accessories, which pushes the iPad Air up to $659 and the Surface Go to $529. In his video, Dan shares his impressions on the design and features of each, including important productivity accessories like respective keyboards and styluses. As potential laptop replacements, performance is really where the rubber meets the road, and Dan came away somewhat unimpressed with the Surface Go. He wanted to like its relatively full-fledged Windows 10 operating system, and it was fine for basic tasks like emails, web browsing, and document writing, but he found things bogging down a bit when trying to multitask. With the iPad Air, you don't really get a desktop-class operating system, at least for now, but it generally works very well when you need to multitask, switching easily

Research Firms Paint Contrasting Pictures of Apple's Mac Shipments in Q2 2019

Prominent research firms Gartner and IDC attempt to estimate shipments of computers around the world on a quarterly basis, and both firms today released their estimates for the second calendar quarter. Gartner's and IDC's estimates are just that — estimates – and with Apple no longer reporting unit sales of Macs and other products, we won't know how accurate these estimates end up being. But as revealed in today's releases, they can differ quite a bit. Gartner's Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q19 (Thousands of Units) Gartner says worldwide PC shipments were up 1.5 percent year-over-year, with Lenovo leading the way on strong growth and HP and Dell sitting in second and third places respectively. Apple registered in fourth place with an estimated 3.711 million Macs shipped, a 0.2 percent decline over the previous year, while Acer and Asus rounded out the top vendors on a global basis.“Worldwide PC shipments growth was driven by demand from the Windows 10 refresh in the business market in the second quarter of 2019. Desktop PC growth was strong, which offset a decline in mobile PC shipments,” said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner. “Additionally, there are signs that the Intel CPU shortage is easing, which has been an ongoing impact to the market for the past 18 months. The shortage mainly impacted small and midsize vendors as large vendors took advantage and continued to grow, taking market share away from the smaller vendors that struggled to secure CPUs.”Turning to the U.S., the overall market saw a slight 0.4

Apple Temporarily Disables Walkie-Talkie App for Apple Watch Due to Eavesdropping Vulnerability

Apple has disabled the Walkie-Talkie app for Apple Watch due to a bug that could allow users to eavesdrop on others, reports TechCrunch. The company issued a statement noting that it was just notified about the vulnerability and has temporarily disabled the Walkie-Talkie functionality while a fix is developed. The Walkie-Talkie app will remain installed on users' Apple Watches, but it will not be functional until the fix is deployed. Apple's statement:We were just made aware of a vulnerability related to the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch and have disabled the function as we quickly fix the issue. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and will restore the functionality as soon as possible. Although we are not aware of any use of the vulnerability against a customer and specific conditions and sequences of events are required to exploit it, we take the security and privacy of our customers extremely seriously. We concluded that disabling the app was the right course of action as this bug could allow someone to listen through another customer’s iPhone without consent. We apologize again for this issue and the inconvenience.Walkie-Talkie debuted last fall in watchOS 5, and it allows users to easily communicate with each other via voice from their wrists using a push-to-talk function. As TechCrunch points out, the issue is reminiscent of a serious Group FaceTime bug discovered early this year that could allow callers to hear a user's audio without the call being accepted. In that scenario, Apple remotely disabled Group FaceTime once the issue

Apple Pushes Automatic Mac Software Update to Remove Vulnerable Zoom Web Server

Earlier this week, a serious vulnerability with the Zoom video conferencing app for macOS was disclosed, with attackers potentially able to hijack users' webcams. The vulnerability was particularly notable because Zoom had installed a hidden web server on users' computers in order to allow for automatic answering of incoming calls, and that web server was not only the weak point that could be exploited, but it also was not removed upon deletion of the app. As a result, users who had previously deleted Zoom might not even realize they were vulnerable to this potential attack. After initially defending the decision to install a web server on users' machines to work around changes in Safari 12 that would have required users to click to accept incoming calls, Zoom later backtracked and released a patch to remove the web server from users' computers. Apple has now taken things one step further and pushed out a silent macOS update that removes the web server, reports TechCrunch. The update is deployed automatically, so users don't have to manually apply it in order for it to take effect.Although Zoom released a fixed app version on Tuesday, Apple said its actions will protect users both past and present from the undocumented web server vulnerability without affecting or hindering the functionality of the Zoom app itself. The update will now prompt users if they want to open the app, whereas before it would open automatically.Zoom told TechCrunch it was "happy to have worked with Apple on testing this update" and that it should resolve all issues with the web

Searchable Transcripts of WWDC 2019 Session Videos Now Available

Apple today announced that transcripts of all of its WWDC 2019 session videos are now available through the WWDC video page. Individual transcripts can be searched by keyword or phrase, and clicking on search results will jump you straight to the corresponding timestamps in the video, making it easy to find just what you're looking for and share those specific sections with timestamped links. Transcripts can also be downloaded in .txt format for local archival and search

AT&T Jumps to First Place in U.S. Mobile Speeds, but Verizon Still Most Consistent

Ookla, the company behind the popular Speedtest bandwidth measurement service, today released its 2019 Speedtest Mobile Performance Report, leveraging over 11.5 million speed tests from over 4 million unique devices to rank the network performance of the major U.S. carriers during the first half of 2019. Overall, Ookla found that the mean mobile download speed rose to 33.88 Mbps during the first half of the year, up 24 percent compared to the same period in 2018. That improvement allowed the U.S. to rise from 43rd to 40th in the global rankings of mobile download performance. Mean upload speeds rose 13 percent to 9.75 Mbps, which actually resulted in a drop of 21 spots to 94th in the global rankings. Looking at the four major U.S. carriers, AT&T came out on top in this year's survey with a Speed Score (a weighted rating of 90% download and 10% upload speeds) of 32.91, with T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint following behind. That marks a significant improvement for AT&T, which placed third in last year's survey.Delivering LTE service over seven licensed frequency bands and increasing the amount of seeded devices capable of four and five carrier aggregation has been paying off for AT&T. Over the past year, AT&T has managed to leapfrog the competition to produce the fastest download speeds across the country. AT&T’s addition of FirstNet spectrum meant a required maintenance visit to cell sites and the addition of brand new hardware at those locations. AT&T wisely used this opportunity to also upgrade the existing radio access infrastructure, including replacing the

Apple Releases Revised Version of iOS 13 and iPadOS Developer Beta 3

Alongside the second public beta versions of iOS 13 and iPadOS, Apple today also released a revised third beta version of the operating systems for developers. The reason for the new version isn't entirely clear, but the original third developer beta was not available for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus for some reason. Today's update, build 17A5522g, is only a very minor increment from the 17A5522f build of the original release, but Apple appears to be pushing it out for all devices, not just the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus that had not originally received it. Registered developers will need to download the profile for the iOS 13 and iPadOS betas from Apple's Developer Center. The revised Beta 3 can be downloaded over-the-air once the proper profile has been

Apple Experiencing Issues With iCloud Services and Retail Store Systems [Resolved]

Apple today is experiencing problems with a host of iCloud-related services, as outlined on the company's system status page. Affected services include all of the basic iCloud services, as well as services like Find My Friends, Find My iPhone, Game Center, Photos, and Screen Time. The company says only that "some" users are affected, but social media reports suggest the outage is fairly widespread. Apple is also having problems with its retail store systems, with a number of users reporting that employees are unable to complete customer purchases or support requests. The awkward moment you go into the Apple store and they say every store in the world right now can’t sell anything. Systems down and they don’t know how long for. #FirstWorldProblems #Apple— Elliott Cantor (@ElliottCantor) July 4, 2019 Systems are down completely @apple store international plaza Tampa, Fl. Can’t even get my watch fixed— wakaidev (@wakaidev) July 4, 2019 Update: Apple Cash, Apple Pay card management, and Mail Drop are now also affected. Update 2: According to Apple's system status page, all issues have been

Tim Cook Talks Privacy, Steve Jobs, and the 'Difference Between Preparation and Readiness' in Stanford Commencement Address

Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered the commencement address at Stanford University today, sharing his thoughts on privacy, the need to always "be a builder," and how the loss of Steve Jobs made him learn the "real, visceral difference between preparation and readiness." On the subject of privacy, Cook acknowledged that so many of our modern technological inventions have come out of Silicon Valley, but that recent years have seen "a less noble innovation: the belief that you can claim credit without accepting responsibility." Cook stressed the importance of not accepting that we must give up privacy in order to enjoy advances in technology, arguing that there's much more at stake than just our data.If we accept as normal and unavoidable that everything in our lives can be aggregated, sold, or even leaked in the event of a hack, then we lose so much more than data. We lose the freedom to be human. Think about what’s at stake. Everything you write, everything you say, every topic of curiosity, every stray thought, every impulsive purchase, every moment of frustration or weakness, every gripe or complaint, every secret shared in confidence. In a world without digital privacy, even if you have done nothing wrong other than think differently, you begin to censor yourself. Not entirely at first. Just a little, bit by bit. To risk less, to hope less, to imagine less, to dare less, to create less, to try less, to talk less, to think less. The chilling effect of digital surveillance is profound, and it touches everything. What a small, unimaginative world we would

WWDC 2019 Spoiler-Free Video Stream [Update: Video Posted]

Apple's WWDC keynote will be kicking off at 10:00 am Pacific Time today, and as is tradition, some MacRumors readers who can't follow the event live are interested in avoiding all of the announcements and waiting until Apple posts the recorded video of the event so as to experience it without already knowing the outcome. For those individuals, we've posted this news story, which will be updated with a direct link to the presentation once it becomes available from Apple. No other news stories or announcements will be displayed alongside this story. Apple has become quicker about making event videos available for replay over the past several years, and videos are now frequently available within an hour of an event's conclusion. Users waiting for the video to be posted are welcome to gather in the thread associated with this news story, and we ask that those who follow the events refrain from making any posts about Apple's announcements in this thread. Update: The full keynote video is available on Apple's website as a direct link to the video file with no

Apple Putting Finishing Touches on WWDC Decorations at McEnery Convention Center

The first WWDC 2019 events kick off in just two days with the early arrival of student scholars, and Apple is putting the finishing touches on decorations at and around the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. Decorations on the convention center, light poles, and public transit stops all carry the same neon theme on dark blue as seen on other WWDC materials, with the front entrance area of the convention center covered in a huge sheet displaying a robot emoji with all sorts of icons exploding out of the top of it and the "Dub Dub" nickname sometimes used for WWDC. Photos from earlier in the assembly process hint at the possibility of some sort of lighting behind the sheet, so we'll have to wait and see what it looks like at night. The main event of WWDC 2019 kicks off on Monday at 10:00 am Pacific Time with the traditional keynote, and we'll have full coverage here on MacRumors.com and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account. Update 8:51 PM: As shared on Twitter by Lucas Wagner, the "Dub Dub" graphic on the facade of the McEnery Convention Center has now been lit. It’s lit. pic.twitter.com/aGHJ3KAeMX— Lucas Wagner (@lucaswazowski) June 1, 2019

Review: 2019 Subaru Forester Pairs CarPlay With a Great Multi-Display Infotainment System

Subaru is experiencing growing popularity in the U.S., developing a strong reputation based on emphasizing safety, all-wheel drive operation, and technology. The redesigned 2019 Subaru Forester is no exception, offering standard all-wheel drive, a roomier cabin, and new DriverFocus technology that uses facial recognition and monitoring to not only save your driver presets but alert you if it detects drowsy or distracted driving. The 2019 Forester includes Subaru's STARLINK infotainment system with standard CarPlay support, with lower-level models coming with a 6.5-inch screen while higher-level trims are upgraded to an 8-inch screen. I've had a chance to spend some time with a top-of-the-line 2019 Forester Touring in Horizon Blue Pearl, so read on for details about how all of the technology comes together for iPhone users. STARLINK Infotainment Subaru's STARLINK Infotainment systems offer all of the functionality you'd expect, starting with AM/FM radio with HD support, SiriusXM, USB and Bluetooth media device support, hands-free phone connectivity, and a CD player. All trims also include support for CarPlay, Android Auto, and app integration with Pandora and Aha. They also support cloud apps like Yelp, iHeartRadio, Magellan, TomTom, and more. Subaru's STARLINK home screen The base, Premium, and Sport trims all come with a 6.5-inch display, although the Sport trim can be upgraded to the larger 8-inch display. The Limited trim gets the 8-inch display standard with an optional upgrade to embedded navigation from TomTom, while the Touring trim gets the

Supermarket Chain Publix Says It's Rolling Out Apple Pay Support All Stores [Update: No]

Florida-based supermarket chain Publix, which has over 1200 stores throughout the southeastern United States, has announced (via Reddit) that it is rolling out support for Apple Pay to all of its stores "within the coming weeks." The news comes via Publix's Twitter account yesterday, responding to a customer who asked about the lack of support for Apple's mobile payments system. Good Morning. Our stores are currently rolling out this technology to all of our stores. If your store does not currently accept Apple Pay it should within the coming weeks. ≈ Monique— Publix (@Publix) May 29, 2019 Not all of Publix's Twitter support agents appear to have been briefed on the news, however, as just in the past few hours other responses to customers have simply offered to "share your suggestion" with the customer service or payments team. There have been scattered reports of Publix testing Apple Pay in a few stores for a while now, but it looks like a full rollout is finally underway. Update 8:00 PM: In a follow-up Tweet, Publix now says its initial response was "incorrect." Publix is actually rolling out its own Publix Pay

Apple Releases AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.9.1

Apple today released AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.9.1 for AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations with 802.11ac support. According to a support document, the update addresses a number of security issues on the affected models. The models covered by the update are the last generations of the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule, which were discontinued by Apple just over a year ago, although Apple continued to sell through its remaining stock for several more months.

What Will macOS 10.15 Be Called: Mammoth, Monterey, Rincon, Skyline, or Something Else?

Following Apple's shift to California-themed names for its Mac operating systems with OS X Mavericks back in 2013, Apple appeared to take steps to protect a number of other California-related names by filing for trademarks under a series of shell companies intended to mask the true identity of the applicant. All told, we identified 19 trademarks that were applied for under six different companies that all appeared to be Apple shell companies. Several of these names, including Yosemite, Sierra, and Mojave, have been used by Apple, while others have yet to be put to use. Over the years, the trademark review process has played out for all of these applications, with most being subject to some form of back-and-forth between the applicants and examiners involving various approvals, denials, and suspensions. Even for approvals, however, owners are required to submit proof of the trademarks being used in commerce. This Statement of Use can be submitted up to 36 months after trademark approval, as long as the applicant regularly requests successive 6-month extensions to the original 6-month submission period. With over five years having passed since the trademarks were applied for, many have now been abandoned, either at some point during the review process or through failure to provide proof of commercial use following approval. In fact, of the original 19 names that were included in the trademark applications, all but four of them have been either used by Apple or abandoned, with the remaining live applications being Mammoth, Monterey, Rincon, and Skyline. Perhaps

Apple Releases iOS 12.3.1 With Fixes for Messages and VoLTE Bugs

A week and a half after releasing iOS 12.3 with a revamped TV app, Apple today released iOS 12.3.1, a bug fix update that isn't expected to include any significant new features. The iOS 12.3.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings > General > Software Update. As with all iOS updates, iOS 12.3.1 is free to download, but it may take some time to propagate to all iOS users. According to Apple's release notes, iOS 12.3.1 addresses a handful of bugs related to the Messages app and VoLTE calls.iOS 12.3.1 includes bug fixes for your iPhone and iPad. This update: - Fixes an issue that could prevent making or receiving VoLTE calls - Fixes issues in Messages that could cause messages from unknown senders to appear in your conversation list even though Filter Unknown Senders is enabled - Fixes an issue that could prevent the Report Junk link from appearing in Messages threads from unknown sendersApple did not offer a developer or public beta testing period for iOS 12.3.1, as is common for bug fix releases that are intended to address only a very few targeted areas and thus don't require significant feedback from users before public

Apple Stores Quietly Carrying New LG 23.7-Inch UltraFine Display

Over the past few months, supplies of the LG UltraFine 4K and 5K displays have dried up at Apple's retail and online stores, leading to speculation on the future of Apple-approved displays beyond a rumored ultra high-end 6K display perhaps coming alongside a revamped Mac Pro later this year. As shared by TidBITS, however, Apple retail stores are now quietly carrying a new $700 23.7-inch UltraFine display from LG. TidBITS' Julio Ojeda-Zapata was able to locate the new display in two different Apple retail stores, but it is not currently listed in the company's online store.To my surprise, an employee told me I should consider forgoing the 21.5-inch model. Why? “Because we have a larger LG display for the same price.” Laid out for me on the floor were boxes for the two monitors—including the 23.7-inch version that had seemingly come from nowhere.At 23.7 inches, the new UltraFine display sits between the original 21.5-inch 4K and 27-inch 5K display, but there is some confusion over the resolution of the display. Ojeda-Zapata claims that it only offers a resolution of 3360x1890, which would not reasonably allow it to serve as a Retina-quality display, but a user manual (PDF) for the display indicates that its native resolution is in fact 3840x2160. That's still less than that 4096x2304 resolution of the smaller 21.5-inch UltraFine 4K, but it would at least qualify as an Ultra HD resolution that is typically marketed as being 4K. Ojeda-Zapata purchased the new display and shares a brief overview of it, noting that it carries the same design as the previous UltraFine

Hands-on With Boss Audio's Latest CarPlay Receiver (With Exclusive Deal for MacRumors Readers)

A couple of months ago, Boss Audio debuted its latest aftermarket CarPlay receiver, the BVCP9685A, offering a relatively low-cost way to add wired CarPlay (and Android Auto) to your existing vehicle. The BVCP9685A is a double DIN unit with a 6.75-inch capacitive screen and a vertical strip of capacitive touch controls along the left side. With an external microphone and support for steering wheel controls and backup camera input when paired with proper auxiliary wiring, the BVCP9685A can integrate with much of the existing technology in your vehicle. Boss Audio sent me a demo unit of the BVCP9685A to test out, and I've come away pretty impressed with its ability to deliver CarPlay functionality at a budget price point, which is currently even lower with an exclusive 5 percent discount code for MacRumors readers. The BVCP9685A demo unit I received is a relatively self-contained package, hooked up to a standard AC power plug and a small external speaker. That makes it easy to test out the unit without needing to install it in a vehicle, which can be a bit tricky depending on your level of experience and the types of connections you need to make. On the flip side, the demo unit doesn't give you the full experience, so this is more of a hands-on look than a complete review as I haven't been able to test its sound quality with a full car speaker setup, integration with steering wheel controls and rear camera, and some other features. Overview Boss's BVCP9685A offers a relatively clean look dominated by the large screen, although it does have a bit of a