Tim Hardwick

Tim is a Contributing Editor at MacRumors. His writing has appeared in over 30 newsstand print and online publications covering a range of topics. Originally from Liverpool, England, Tim can sometimes be found accessing a personal wi-fi hotspot on the Yorkshire Moors.



Apple Declines Request to Testify at U.S. Congressional Hearing Probing Ties to China

Apple has again declined a request to testify at a U.S. congressional hearing that is part of a wider investigation into Chinese influence on technology companies. According to The Washington Post, both Apple and TikTok declined an invitation from U.S. Senator Josh Hawley to attend the hearing, which took place on Monday, February 24. Apple and TikTok each have declined a request to testify at a March congressional hearing that would have probed their relationships with China, a move that threatens to ratchet up tensions with federal lawmakers who see Beijing as a privacy and security threat. Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.), one of TikTok's leading critics, had invited the two tech firms to appear at a March 4 session, his office confirmed Monday. Both previously had declined to testify at a hearing last year on the same issue.According to the Post, TikTok has said it plans to send a representative to engage with the subcommittee at a later date, but Apple has not commented on its absence. Apple and TikTok skipped a similar hearing in November last year, leaving two chairs empty at the meeting with only placards bearing the companies' names. Senator Hawley, who is a frequent critic of Apple for its ties with China, attacked the company for its no-show, saying its entanglement with the country's authoritarian government was "a fact they would rather we think not too much about." In October, U.S. lawmakers called out Apple for not standing up for democratic values and free speech in Hong Kong, after it pulled an app from the App Store that protestors

Netatmo Rolls Out HomeKit Secure Video Support to Smart Indoor Camera

Netatmo has announced that its Smart Indoor Camera now supports Apple's HomeKit Secure Video protocol. The company revealed the news in a blog post on its website, explaining that the free software update would be rolling out to Netatmo Smart Indoor Camera owners in the coming days. With ‌HomeKit‌ Secure Video, the videos recorded by security cameras are analysed locally on users’ iPad, HomePod or Apple TV. The footage isencrypted end-to-end and securely stored in iCloud where no one can see them. Thanks to the ‌HomeKit‌ Secure Video support, Netatmo Smart Indoor Camera users will be able to store their videos locally on the included microSD card free of charge and on their ‌iCloud‌ with select storage plans. Users will benefit from 10-day automatic ‌iCloud‌ storage for their videos, and this will not affect their storage capacity. If they want to keep the videos, after these 10 days, they will be able to save them in their ‌iCloud‌, which will count against their storage limit.Through the Apple Home app, Netatmo Smart Indoor Camera users will be able to access their timeline and past events for 10 days, and set recording and notifications preferences. Netatmo also said that its Smart Outdoor Camera will get ‌HomeKit‌ Secure Video support later this

How to Enable the Classic Startup Chime on Newer Macs

The discovery of a simple Terminal command that brings back the classic startup chime on newer Macs has gone viral in recent days. Apple disabled the startup sound on new Macs in 2016, and while a couple of tricks have worked in the past to get the chime back, updates to macOS appear to have stopped them working. However, the latest trick – first shared in the MacRumors Forums by BigMcGuire – appears to have a high success rate, although depending on your Mac model, your mileage may vary. If you yearn for that classic Mac sound, follow these steps to re-instate it. Launch the Terminal app, which can be found in the Applications/Utilities folder. This will open a Terminal window and a command prompt for you to begin typing. Input the following command and then press Return: sudo nvram StartupMute=%00 Enter your admin user password when prompted. Close Terminal, then restart your Mac.Make sure the volume is up, and with a little bit of luck, you'll hear that soothing F-sharp chord sound the next time your Mac boots up. If you want to get rid of the chime after re-activating it, simply repeat the steps above but replace the Terminal command in step 2 with the following: sudo nvram StartupMute=%01. The iconic chiming startup sound was originally made to indicate that diagnostic tests had found no hardware or software issues. A similar sound accompanied almost every Mac boot sequence since 1991 and the most recent F-sharp chord incarnation was first used in the iMac G3. Originally, a C major chord was recorded by Apple engineer Jim Reekes using a Korg

Disney+ Pre-Launch Promotion Offering Discounted Prices for Europe

Disney+ is coming to Europe in just under a month, and Disney is offering prospective customers a discount subscription offer if they sign up early to the streaming video service. Residents in the United Kingdom can get a year of Disney+ for £49.99 instead of the standard £59.99 annual subscription rate if they sign up between now and March 23. Elsewhere, in other European markets users can purchase an annual sub for €59.99 instead of €69.99 euros before the official launch date. Sign-ups to the discounted subscription rate can be completed online at https://preorder.disneyplus.com. On March 24, over 500 feature films and over 7,500 shows will be available on the service including new original content like the critically acclaimed "The Mandalorian" and "The World According To Jeff Goldblum," along with timeless classics like "Lady and the Tramp" and the entire Pixar library. Monthly pricing remains at £5.99 for the U.K. and €6.99 for other European markets. Disney+ will be available on Amazon Fire devices, LG and Samsung smart TVs, Roku's streaming devices, Apple TV, iOS, Android, Xbox One, and PS4 at launch.

2020 iPhones May Support New Short Range Wi-Fi Standard

Apple's next iPhone series may support a new Wi-Fi standard known as IEEE 802.11ay, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. 802.11ay is the follow-up of IEEE 802.11ad, quadrupling the bandwidth and adding up to 4 streams of multiple transmission/reception. The new Wi-Fi spec, which uses the 60GHz spectrum, is still in the draft phase but is expected to be finalized by the end of 2020. The translated report is quite difficult to decipher, but the blog calls the wireless standard "ultra-short range," which suggests it could be used to communicate between iPhones (i.e. AirDrop) and perhaps other Apple devices in close proximity. Interestingly, a 2018 report claimed that Apple has been working on an AR/VR headset that would be untethered from either a computer or a smartphone and instead connect to a "dedicated box" using the 802.11ay wireless standard. The box was said to be powered by a custom 5-nanometer Apple processor similar to the custom chips that Apple will use in future Macs. Connecting the two rumors is pure speculation at this point, but it's interesting to conceive of different scenarios where Apple uses the new Wi-Fi standard to enable next-generation wireless AR/VR experiences. That said, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has claimed the company's AR roadmap will initially focus on the iPad and ‌iPhone‌ before any sort of headset comes to fruition. In November, Gurman said Apple is working on "a range of augmented and virtual-reality devices" based around a new 3D sensor system, which will arrive first on a new iPad Pro slated for release in the first

Construction of Bangkok's Second Apple Retail Store Nears Completion

Photos shared on Twitter show the final stages of construction work on what will become Apple's second retail store in Bangkok, Thailand. The location is in front of the Central World mall. The area, which now features a white stone courtyard, was closed to the public long before Bangkok's first Apple store, Apple Iconsiam, officially opened in November 2018. Over the past year, a temporary wall has kept the very large cylindrical construction site shrouded in mystery, but that has recently been removed and now only a temporary black covering conceals the building's glass walls, housed under a giant flat circular roof. Outwardly, the store design is reminiscent of Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park in California. Leaked architectural plans also appear to reveal the store's interior layout. The plans show a ground floor with the familiar sequoia wood product tables arranged in a ring around the shop floor and shelves for displaying products along the walls. At the center of the store is a winding staircase to the second floor, which includes a large video screen indicating the Forum area and tables with seats for Today at Apple sessions and possibly Genius appointments. There is also a basement, which was formerly the parking lot of Central World. Lights have been seen emanating from behind the black covering, suggesting that lighting has been installed and interior decoration is almost complete. Given the how long it has been in development and the progress made so far, it looks like the store could open very soon. Once completed, it could

Innolux to Supply Mini-LED Panels for iPad Pro to Launch in Second Half of 2020

Taiwan-based Innolux has won orders to supply Apple with mini-LED panels for a new iPad Pro due to launch later this year, according to a new report today. Taiwan's Economic Daily News reports that the panel maker has already sent samples to Apple and has now won orders with the tech giant to supply them in bulk for the tablet, said to be launching in the second half of the year. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed that Apple plans to release four to six products with mini-LED displays over the next two to three years, including a high-end 12.9-inch ‌‌iPad Pro‌ set for launch in the third quarter of 2020‌. Kuo has said the mini-LED displays will "significantly improve productivity and the entertainment experience," and will allow for thinner and lighter product designs, while offering many of the same benefits of OLED displays used on the latest iPhones, including higher contrast ratio, higher brightness, and deeper blacks. LG Display and General Interface Solution (GIS) will be the other significant benefactors of these mini-LED products, according to Kuo. Previous reports claim Apple has contracted for related components with Epistar, Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology (TSMT), Zhen Ding Technology, and Flexium Interconnect. Apple is widely rumored to refresh the ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ in spring 2020. If it does, another new 12.9-inch model in fall 2020 would certainly be an early addition to the range.

Alleged 2020 iPad Pro Case Leaks Suggesting Square-Shaped Camera Setup

Mobile leaker Ben Geskin today shared images on Twitter purporting to be a case for the next-generation iPad Pro, which Apple is rumored to be launching sometime in the first half of this year. There's a square cutout in the top corner of the case, suggesting the new ‌iPad Pro‌ might have a square-shaped camera setup modeled after the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. A hole for the microphone is visible on one side, and there are gaps for the standby button and USB-C port. Aside from that, not much can be gleaned from the photos, and we have no way to verify if it's actually a case designed for the 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌. The new ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ models are said to feature the same dimensions as the 2018 ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ models, and based on renders, the design will also be close to identical with the exception of a triple-lens camera. There were some rumors indicating Apple would release new ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ models in 2019, but that didn't happen, and current information from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests Apple plans to release an ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ update during the first half of 2020, perhaps sometime in March. We've already seen dummy models said to be of the new ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ models, which featured a triple-lens camera, but those may not be entirely accurate when it comes to the camera design. Kuo believes that the next ‌iPad Pro‌ update will come with upgraded Face ID, an A14X chip, and a rear-facing time-of-flight (ToF) camera system that would allow for 3D models to be captured using the ‌iPad Pro‌ and then edited with the Apple Pencil for an "all-new productivity experience."

The EU Wants All Phones to Work With Interoperable Chargers, Here’s What That Means for Apple's Lightning Port

Despite pushback from Apple, the European Parliament in January voted overwhelmingly for new rules to establish a common charging standard for mobile device makers across the European Union. This article explores what form the EU laws might ultimately take and how they could affect Apple device users in Europe and elsewhere. What Exactly is the EU Calling For? To reduce cost, electronic waste and make consumers' lives easier, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) want "binding measures" that ensure chargers fit all smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices. According to a 2019 impact assessment study on common chargers of portable devices conducted by the EU, almost a fifth of people surveyed reported having faced "significant issues" because of non-standard chargers. Such issues included incompatible chargers between devices, variable charging speeds between different chargers, and having to have several chargers available to cover all needs. In addition, the EU claims that by agreeing on a common charger standard, it will put an end to charger clutter and 51,000 tons of electronic waste annually. The recent 582-40 parliamentary vote in favor of a common charging standard came about because the European Commission's previous approach of merely "encouraging" tech companies to develop a standardized solution "fell short of the co-legislators' objectives," according to a briefing on the European Parliament website. How Did the EC's Earlier Approach Play Out? The European Commission's efforts to establish a common charging standard for

Google Testing New Double-Tap Gesture on Back of Pixel Phones for Launching Camera, Assistant, and More

Google is reportedly testing an interesting new gesture for its Pixel smartphones that lets users double-tap the back of the handset to control various functions. XDA-Developers discovered the new gesture system, codenamed "Columbus," in the Android 11 developer preview for Pixel phones. According to the site, the double-tap gesture can be used to perform the following actions: Dismiss timers Snooze alarms Launch the camera Invoke Google Assistant Play or pause media Collapse the status bar Silence incoming calls Unpin notifications Other "user-selected action" The double-tap gesture apparently doesn't require any special hardware, as it relies on the phone's gyroscope and accelerometer. XDA-Developers managed to get the gesture working on a Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 4 XL, both running Android 11 Developer Preview 1. You can see the gesture being used to launch the Camera app in the clip below. GIF via XDA-Developers To prevent the gesture being activated unintentionally, Google has also added so-called "gates" to stop the double tap actions from taking effect. Some of the currently implemented gates are said to include camera visibility, charging status, keyguard, and more. XDA believes the Settings app will also contain gesture training activities for the user to perform in order to refine its responsiveness. Google's own-branded Android phones have included innovative interactive gestures before, such as fingerprint gestures, Active Edge, and Motion Sense on the Pixel 4 series. Active Edge lets users squeeze the sides of the device to

WhatsApp's Dark Mode for iPhone Inches Closer to Release, Requires iOS 13

WhatsApp's Dark Mode for iOS got one step closer today, with the long-awaited feature rolling out to all beta users on TestFlight. Gleaning details from the latest 2.20.30.25 build, WABetaInfo has provided a few more nuggets on what iPhone users can expect. First off, the new Dark Theme is a better one than the previous version WhatsApp was working on, with no battery drain and support for Apple's official iOS 13 APIs. So like Instagram, it respects Apple's guidelines and syncs with the system-wide ‌Dark Mode‌ setting, switching on and off if the user has set it to Automatic. Given that WhatsApp uses Apple's APIs, the dark theme won't be available for users running iOS versions earlier than ‌iOS 13‌. In other words, you'll need an ‌iPhone‌ 6s or later to be able to use it. There's a redesigned dark splash screen with the WhatsApp logo, which makes way for a dark chats list screen. All the other screens are similarly fully darkened. Meanwhile in chat threads, WhatsApp will show dark chat bubbles and a dark version of the chosen wallpaper – this part's dynamic, so if you switch the theme, the wallpaper style changes too. WhatsApp has also done some extensive work on a raft of Dark Mode-friendly solid colors. According to WABetaInfo, this latest WhatsApp beta build supports an additional dark theme setting that uses lighter dark colors for some UI elements if the user has the high contrast setting enabled. Away from ‌Dark Mode‌, this beta also includes a noteworthy new feature in the form of an advanced search function, adding a categorical breakdown in the

YouTube Music Readies Free Upload Feature, Google Play Music Migration Service Coming

YouTube Music appears to be readying a feature that proved a big draw for Google Play Music fans – the ability to upload your own music collection to the cloud. Google has published a new support document explaining how music uploads will work in YouTube Music. If you're on a computer you'll be able to add your personal music library either by dragging files to any surface on music.youtube.com, or by clicking on your profile picture and selecting "Upload music." The feature supports FLAC, M4A, MP3, OGG and WMA files. The support document notes that music uploads cannot be completed in the YouTube Music mobile app, uploads will not influence the user's music recommendations in YouTube Music, and uploads stay private. To view or manage uploaded music, you can tap (in the app) or click "Uploads" in the Albums section of the library. The big bonus here is that uploaded songs can be played in the background, ad-free and offline - even if you're not a YouTube Music Premium subscriber. It's basically the same feature Google Play Music offered, so that's good news for anyone who wants to switch to Google's new music streaming service. Google is asking users looking to transfer their entire Google Play Music library to "stay tuned" for a seamless way to do so. "Nothing is changing with Google Play Music right now," says the document. "When we do replace Google Play Music with YouTube Music, we'll be sure to give you plenty of advance

Bloomberg: Apple May Let iOS Users Set Third-Party Web Browser and Mail Apps as Defaults Over Stock Apps

Apple is considering whether to let iPhone and iPad users set third-party mail and browser apps as defaults instead of the mobile operating system's preference for its own Safari and Mail stock apps. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman: The technology giant is discussing whether to let users choose third-party web browser and mail applications as their default options on Apple’s mobile devices, replacing the company’s Safari browser and Mail app, according to people familiar with the matter. The potential move comes after criticism that the tech giant gives its in-house apps an unfair advantage and undue prominence on the App Store. As it stands, Apple doesn't allow users to replace pre-installed apps like Safari and Mail with third-party services, opening it up to scrutiny from lawmakers investigating possible antitrust violations. The report also claims that Apple is considering opening its HomePod speaker to third-party music services like Spotify. The Cupertino, California-based company also is considering loosening restrictions on third-party music apps, including its top streaming rival Spotify Technology SA, on HomePods, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing internal company deliberations.Currently, Spotify and other third-party music services can be streamed from ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌ to ‌HomePod‌ using Apple's AirPlay technology, but it's an ungainly alternative solution than just allowing users to stream third-party music services from the speaker directly. As Gurman notes, opening the ‌HomePod‌ to additional music services could benefit the product's sales.

Report Suggests Apple to Release GaN USB-C Charger With 65W Fast-Charge This Year

Apple is among a number of tech companies with plans to release a GaN-based power adapter this year, claims a new report out today. According to IT Home (via Gizchina), Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung, Oppo, and Apple all have plans for the Gallium Nitride technology, which can provide fast charging solutions through a USB-C interface and support fast-charging up to 65 Watts. Choetech GaN charger According to Caifa News, in addition to Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung, OPPO, and Apple all have deep accumulation in GaN technology. Xiaomi, a supplier of Xiaomi GaN solutions, said that following Xiaomi, "this year, several manufacturers of the same size as Xiaomi will release GaN power adapters."GaN technology uses fewer components than standard silicon chargers, and allows them to be manufactured in a smaller casing than a standard power adapter. For example, Choetech's new 61W Wall Charger is half the size of the original 61W MacBook charger. GizChina notes that Xiaomi recently released a new GaN charger that utilizes the technology. It comes with a USB Type-C interface that supports up to 65W fast-charge and can deliver a full charge of a Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro in 45 minutes. Thanks to the new semiconductor material GaN (gallium nitride), the size of this charger is about 48% smaller than that of the Xiaomi notebook’s standard adapter. In addition, Xiaomi's GaN charger Type-C 65W's USB-C interface supports intelligent adjustment of output current in multiple gears. It can charge up to 65W for high-power devices such as the new MacBook Pro and Xiaomi notebooks.The report is unclear on

Fitbit's Blood Oxygen Monitoring Feature Now Available in More Countries

Google-owned Fitbit is activating blood oxygen monitoring (sp02) in more countries, following the feature's U.S. launch for some of its smartwatches and fitness trackers last month. Now the company has released it for users in the U.K., Canada, and possibly other countries, with blood oxygen saturation data appearing in the Fitbit app. Tech blog Tizenhelp.com confirmed the feature's appearance with device owners in the two countries, including Fitbit Versa, Versa Lite, Versa 2, Ionic and Charge 3 wearables. The blood oxygen monitoring sensor on the back of the devices works by detecting blood flow through the outer layer of the skin, which is used to detect sleep apnea and track sleep quality and quantity. Before it ever came to market, early prototypes of the first Apple Watch featured sensors that measured the conductivity of skin, allowing the device to detect stress levels and heart-rate monitoring similar to an electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG. Apple also experimented with ways to track sleep, glucose monitoring, blood pressure, and how much oxygen is in a user's blood. However, a mix of consistency problems and potential oversight caused Apple to switch the focus of the device from health-related to a more general do-everything product. Of course, Apple has reversed this trend with succeeding ‌Apple Watch‌ models, choosing once again to focus on health and fitness first while reining in functions that needlessly duplicate iPhone features. We've already seen ECG make it into the ‌Apple Watch‌, and rumors persist that sleep tracking will be included in

10 More Apple Stores Reopen Across China, Other Stores Outside of Beijing Remain Closed

Apple has updated its website to indicate that it will reopen 10 more stores across China, following closures due to the coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan. The stores, listed below, will reopen on February 19 for limited business hours of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., or 12 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time until further notice, as noted by iMore. Chengdu Apple Chengdu Vientiane City Apple Chengdu Taikoo LiDalian Apple Dalian Han Lung Plaza Apple Centennial CityGuangzhou Apple Pearl River New City Apple Sky PlazaQuingdao Apple Quingdao Vientiane City (pictured)Shanghai Apple Hong Kong Plaza Apple Nanjing East Road Apple PudongApple reopened all five of its retail stores in the Beijing area on February 14, operating on similar limited hours. Apple has yet to announce reopening dates for its other stores in mainland China, which remain listed as closed on its website due to the viral outbreak. Apple began working toward re-opening its corporate offices and contact centers in the country last week. Reports suggest ongoing delays from the coronavirus outbreak in China will likely impact iPhone production, in particular its upcoming low-cost ‌iPhone‌, and inventories of existing models could remain low until April or longer. The coronavirus has infected more than 75,000 people, and there have been at least 1,870 deaths, primarily in

Alto's Odyssey Now Available on macOS

The popular endless runner game for iOS, Alto's Odyssey, is now available on macOS computers via the Mac App Store. Originally set to debut in summer 2017, Alto's Odyssey is the followup to the original 2015 game Alto's Adventure and while it's a standalone game, it retains the endless runner mechanic that the original was known for while introducing new features, controls, and a new desert location. Both games feature a "one-touch trick system" that players use to control the main character to chain together combos and complete various goals. Join Alto and his friends and set off on an endless sandboarding journey to discover its secrets. Soar above windswept dunes, traverse thrilling canyons, and explore long-hidden temples in a fantastical place far from home. Along the way, you’ll grind across vines, bounce atop hot air balloons, ride towering rock walls, and escape mischievous lemurs – all while uncovering the desert’s many mysteries.In addition to the game's release on Mac, a simultaneous update has been pushed out to the game on iOS, tvOS, and iPadOS, so that any progress in the game on those platforms will sync with the Mac installation, allowing users to switch between devices and continue where they left off seamlessly. The release of Alto's Odyssey on Mac mirrors the staggered release of the original Alto's Adventure across Apple platforms, with a Mac launch following mobile versions of the game. Alto's Odyssey for macOS is available to download for $9.99 on the ‌Mac App Store‌. Alto's Odyssey for iOS and tvOS is available for $4.99 on the App

Bose Begins Rollout of AirPlay 2 Support to SoundTouch Speakers and More

As promised, Bose has begun rolling out a firmware update providing AirPlay 2 support for its range of Bose SoundTouch speakers. Firmware update 24.0.7 works with the following models:SoundTouch 10 SoundTouch 20 series III SoundTouch 30 series III SoundTouch SA-5 amplifier Wave SoundTouch music system IV SoundTouch 300 wireless sound bar system Lifestyle 550 home entertainment system Lifestyle 600 home entertainment system Lifestyle 650 home entertainment systemAirPlay 2 support is being rolled out as part of a free over-the-air software update via the Bose SoundTouch app for iPhone and iPad. Simply log into the SoundTouch app and accept the update when it appears. AirPlay‌ 2 enables multi-room audio playback with other ‌AirPlay‌ 2 devices, such as the HomePod, Apple TV, and select speakers from Sonos, Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, and others. ‌AirPlay‌ 2 devices also appear in the Home app on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch and can be controlled with Siri voice commands. The update also includes SiriusXM (SXM) stability improvements and access to additional SXM content. If you're an SXM user you will need to make sure you have updated to the latest version of the SoundTouch app and that you're using the most recent firmware for your Bose speaker. You’ll also need to add your SiriusXM account details again, even if you’ve connected in the past. Although deployment of the firmware began on Tuesday, the update will roll out in phases, so some SoundTouch owners may not receive the update until February 25 at the latest. Bose added AirPlay 2 to select

Warren Buffett Sold Off $800 Million of AAPL Stock Last Quarter

Berkshire Hathaway sold $800 million in Apple stock over the last quarter, according to SEC filings published on Friday. Depending on when Warren Buffett's real estate company sold the 3.7 million Apple stock, it will have earned between $806 million and nearly $1.1 billion. According to Business Insider, what might look like a massive sale is actually only a small portion of Buffett's investment in the tech company. Berkshire is Apple's biggest shareholder with a 5.4 percent stake worth $72 billion, according to Bloomberg data. It's unclear what prompted the sale, but the company may have wanted to diversify its holdings, given some of its other investments in the last quarter, such as Kroger and Biogen. Apple accounts for 30 percent of Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio. Another possible reason for the sell-off is to cash out after Apple's stock surged by a third last quarter, from around $219 to $294. Historically, Buffett has shied away from investing in technology companies, but the business magnate has suggested he sees Apple more as a consumer company and has been a long-term investor in the iPhone maker. Last month, Apple reported quarterly revenue of $91.8 billion and net quarterly profit of $22.2 billion, or $4.99 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $84.3 billion and net quarterly profit of $20.0 billion, or $4.18 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. The quarter was the best in Apple's history, topping the first fiscal quarter of 2018.

Bloomberg: 'iPhone SE 2' Launch Still on Course for March Despite Coronavirus Outbreak, New iPad Pro Models in First Half of 2020

Bloomberg this morning reports that Apple's new low-cost iPhone is still on course for launch next month, despite the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on production, although new iPad Pro models originally scheduled for the first half of 2020 could yet face delays or constraints. Image via @Onleaks The [low-cost ‌iPhone‌] is still on track to launch in March, though the plans are still fluid, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple has also been preparing updated ‌iPad Pro‌ models with a new camera system for the first half of 2020 and the virus may yet impose delays or constraints on those plans.Bloomberg's sources don't conflict with noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's latest predictions for the new low-cost ‌iPhone‌, which is rumored to be based on the iPhone 8, but with upgraded internals. In a research note seen yesterday by MacRumors, Kuo reiterated his belief that the "iPhone 9" or "‌iPhone SE 2"‌ is still expected to launch in the first half of this year in spite of the impact of the viral outbreak on production. Rumors have been pointing toward a significant ‌iPad Pro‌ update in the first half of this year, including a new triple-lens rear camera system supporting 3D sensing for immersive augmented reality experiences. Today's report also broadly aligns with claims made on Monday by DigiTimes that production on the new ‌iPad Pro‌ models has been slow to ramp up following the extended Lunar New Year holiday, although the Taiwan-based website maintains that launch of the new devices is still expected "around March." Aside from potential delays, Apple's spring