The Wall Street Journal


'The Wall Street Journal' Articles

Apple Expected to Switch to All-OLED iPhone Line-up by 2020

Apple could drop LCD displays for its 2020 iPhones in favor of an all-OLED line-up, a new report today claims. From the Wall Street Journal (paywall): Apple is likely to drop LCD displays altogether in its 2020 iPhone lineup in favor of organic light-emitting diode displays that allow for more flexible handset design, people familiar with the production plans have said.This isn't the first time we've heard that Apple is considering dropping LCD models from its line-up in order to make a complete shift to OLED displays in 2020. WSJ suggested the possibility earlier this month, but today's report gives the rumor more clout by claiming that Apple LCD panel supplier Japan Display is seeking investor help that will put it on firmer ground before the switch to OLED-only iPhones takes place. Japan Display Inc. is in advanced talks with Taiwan's TPK Holdings Co. and Chinese state-owned Silk Road Fund about an investment that would include a stake of about 30% with the possibility of greater control later, people familiar with the matter said. The bailout is also said to be partly in response to less-than-stellar sales of iPhone XR, which uses the liquid-crystal displays that Japan Display specializes in. More than half of Japan Display's revenue in the year ended March 2018 came from Apple, so the supplier is acutely sensitive to sales that fall short of the tech giant's expectations. Multiple reports claim Apple has recently asked its partners to cut down on all iPhone production. Apple has also dropped the price of iPhone XR in China to try and spur

WSJ on 2019 iPhones: Triple-Lens Rear Camera on Next iPhone XS Max and Dual Rear on Next iPhone XR

Apple plans to release three new iPhone models later this year, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal today:iPhone XR successor with a LCD display and dual-lens rear camera iPhone XS successor with an OLED display and dual-lens rear camera iPhone XS Max successor with an OLED display and triple-lens rear camera All three models may lack 3D TouchWell-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the same thing back in October, but there's a few new details here. Let's recap. First, we've been hearing rumors that at least one new iPhone in 2019 will feature a triple-lens rear camera for quite some time, and it makes sense that it might be a feature exclusive to the highest-end, highest-priced successor to the iPhone XS Max. The third lens could allow for advanced 3D sensing, improved optical zoom, and other functions. Earlier this week, we saw a render of what the triple-lens camera array may look like, and the design is quite polarizing: Image Credit: OnLeaks/Digit A triple-lens rear camera on the next iPhone XS Max, whatever it is named, would increase its differentiation with the iPhone XS. The two smartphones are very similar as they exist now, with the iPhone XS Max's sole differences being a larger 6.5-inch display versus the 5.8-inch iPhone XS and longer battery life. Meanwhile, this is the first we've heard that the iPhone XR successor may feature dual rear cameras, up from a single lens currently. Apple has been aggressively marketing the iPhone XR, a lower-priced alternative with most-but-not-all features of the flagship iPhone XS and

Apple Reportedly Plans to Cut Price of iPhone XR in Japan Due to Poor Sales and Restart iPhone X Production

Apple plans to discount the price of iPhone XR models in Japan by offering subsidies to Japanese carriers, according to a new report out this morning. The Wall Street Journal said the price decreases on the $750 iPhone models could come as early as next week, citing sources familiar with Apple's sales strategy in the region. "A price cut within a month off the release is rare not just for Apple but for smartphone makers in general," said a senior official at a wireless operator, who monitors sales. Analysts say weaker-than-expected demand for iPhone XR may mirror what happened with the iPhone 5c in 2013, where sales picked up the following year. Apple's higher-priced XS and XS Max models, released a month earlier, appeal more to tech's early adopters who typically fuel initial sales of new iPhones.The decision comes in the wake of a WSJ report earlier this week that claimed Apple has slashed production orders for its latest iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR models due to lower-than-expected demand. Part of the problem for Apple is that the iPhone 8 is apparently still hugely popular in Japan because of its affordability, given that it's cheaper than the XR and was still available when Apple launched the XS and XS Max. According to WSJ's sources, Apple suppliers have also resumed making the iPhone X, the 2017 model that Apple no longer sells at its own stores. If Apple plans to sell the older model in Japan, it wouldn't be the first time the company has produced previously discontinued models for regional markets where it sees sufficient demand for

Vision-Focused Accessibility Efforts Made by Apple, Amazon, and Others Highlighted in New Report

A new article published last night by The Wall Street Journal takes a look into how accessibility-focused technology has the "potential to fundamentally change the mobility, employment and lifestyle of the blind and vision-impaired." The piece looks at advancements made by Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and other companies, including hardware and software like Amazon's Echo, Microsoft's Seeing AI app, and Apple's Siri. One blind individual, Mike May, discussed using dedicated accessibility technology like Aira, which provides users with special glasses that connect them to a human representative in real time who proceeds to describe the user's surroundings to them as they move around. Aira ranges from $89 for 100 minutes per month to $329 for unlimited access per month. While important for blind users to have technology focused entirely on their daily needs, advocate Mark Riccobono pointed out that introducing accessibility into existing devices, like Apple does, "may be an even bigger need." He points to the iPhone, which had accessibility built into it from the beginning. “I can go down to the Apple store and pay the same price and triple-click the home button and I have VoiceOver,” says Mr. Riccobono, referring to a feature where the phone will describe aloud what is happening on the screen. “That’s built in, it’s great, it doesn’t cost a penny extra.” Apple's devices have numerous features aimed at visually impaired users, including VoiceOver, display accommodations, the magnifier and zoom, resizable text options, and more. These features are available

Apple Music's Jimmy Iovine Transitioning Into 'Consulting Role' This August

Following rumors of his plans to leave Apple earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal today reported that Jimmy Iovine will transition into a "consulting role" with Apple Music this August. Iovine won't completely leave Apple and his involvement with Apple Music behind, but will step back from daily involvement, people familiar with his plans stated. At the time of the original rumor, Iovine denied he would leave the company: "I am committed to doing whatever Eddy [Cue], Tim [Cook] and Apple need me to do, to help wherever and however I can, to take this all the way. I am in the band." As of now, it's unclear what exactly he will be doing in his consulting role with the streaming music service, but upon his transition he will no longer be the public face of Apple Music. Iovine reportedly plans to spend more time with his family while at the same time supporting Apple Music and Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue "as needed." According to people close to Iovine, the transition from Beats' "edgy culture" to Apple's focus on "appealing to the masses" proved to be a challenge. While Iovine was the public face of Apple Music and held meetings with employees and artists in Los Angeles, in recent years "most of Apple Music's operations" had been designated to Robert Kondrk and Jeff Robbin, overseeing business and engineering sides respectively. Cue is said to now be deciding on whether to continue divvying up responsibilities between Kondrk and Robbin, promoting one to a more public role, or hiring someone outside of Apple to become the new Iovine. Iovine has

Apple Not Worried About Apple Pay's Slow Adoption, Believes on Path to Replace Cash and Cards

Apple's trouble with getting a wide array of its users, retail partners, and banks to adopt Apple Pay has been highlighted in a new article today by The Wall Street Journal, which also underlines a belief from Apple executives that the service's growth is adequate and that Apple Pay could soon become consumers' "primary payment system," in lieu of cash and credit cards. Data collected from technology research firm Creative Strategies reported that 40 percent of U.S. consumers have raised concerns about security risks of adding a credit or debit card onto their iPhone, while more than 60 percent aren't even familiar with contactless payments. While data from a recent Nilson Report noted that Apple Pay's rate of acceptance has "more than doubled since 2015," only a third of stores based in the U.S. have accepted it as a form of payment. Many well-known companies have rolled out support for the service, including Best Buy and Whole Foods, but there remain notable absences from Apple Pay's retail supporter list, namely Target and Wal-Mart. Braden More, the head of partnerships and industry relations at Wells Fargo, asked, "If you can’t use it everywhere, why are you going to switch?" This reticence by consumers to jump in on Apple Pay's launch is said to have permeated within the company surrounding its debut, to the point where Apple executives "were reluctant to promote it." Apple Pay has been noticeably absent from the company's advertising strategy since its launch, with just two Apple Pay-focused commercials being made in nearly three years. Apple expected

iPhone 8 Will Have Curved OLED Screen and USB-C Connector

In line with previous reports, The Wall Street Journal today said Apple's rumored iPhone 8 will feature a curved OLED display supplied by Samsung. Tuesday's report corroborates previous claims from KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi-Kuo that Apple will release three devices this year: Two "S" cycle iPhones with LCD displays to succeed the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, as well as a special "10th Anniversary Edition" iPhone 8. Apple Inc. has decided to adopt a flexible display for one model of the new iPhone coming out this year and has ordered sufficient components to enable mass production, people familiar with the matter said.According to WSJ's anonymous sources, Apple will drop the traditional home button on the iPhone 8 in favor of a distinct touch-enabled area on the chin of the handset, also corroborating Ming-Chi Kuo's claims of a "function area" below the new iPhone's main display. Additionally, in a new claim likely to cause much debate, the paper reports that Apple will replace the Lightning connector with a USB-C port. Indeed, all of the next iPhones are said to feature a "USB-C port for the power cord and other peripheral devices instead of the company's original Lightning connector". Over recent weeks, reports have clashed over which models will include several purported new features. For example, citing "reliable sources" within Apple's supply chain, Japanese blog Mac Otakara most recently claimed that only the OLED model will adopt glass casing and wireless charging capabilities, contradicting a Nikkei report and analyst Kuo's repeated claims

Apple Testing More Than 10 Prototype iPhone Models, Including One With Curved OLED Display

Multiple sources have claimed Apple will launch its first iPhone with a curved OLED display next year, and now The Wall Street Journal has thrown its weight behind those rumors. The report claims an OLED version could be introduced as one of several new iPhone models unveiled next year, but it would have a higher price tag than current iPhone models. OLED displays are thinner, lighter, and allow for flexible designs, but they are up to $50 more expensive to produce than traditional LCD displays, according to analysts cited. OLED displays can also be more energy efficient, as unlike LCD displays, they do not require a backlight to illuminate the screen. When displaying black pixels, OLED displays are completely off, which could preserve battery life. Apple is said to have more than 10 different iPhone prototypes under development, so it may decide not to launch a version with an OLED display next year, according to the report. Previous reports said Apple will also launch new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models with traditional LCD displays next year. Apple will likely tap Samsung as its primary OLED display supplier, but it wants LG Display, Japan Display, and Sharp to ramp up production for 2018, the report added, corroborating information heard previously. Sharp President and CEO Tai Jeng-wu confirmed Apple's plans to switch to OLED technology last

Apple Watch 2 Rumored to Include Cellular Connectivity Amid Push for iPhone Independency

In a new article centered on the first-year sales of the Apple Watch, The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is working on including cellular network connectivity and a faster processor in the so-called Apple Watch 2.There are relatively easy fixes for some concerns. Apple is working on adding cell-network connectivity and a faster processor to its next-generation Watch, according to people familiar with the matter.The addition of standalone cell-network connectivity onto the wrist-worn device could bring some benefits to users, particularly those who are frustrated with the current generation's heavy reliance on a tethered iPhone to provide basic iMessage and phone call functionality. Although such a feature would undoubtedly require an additional data plan, on top of one they might already have for both the iPhone and iPad, benefits like using GPS, making phone calls, and streaming Apple Music without an iPhone nearby could outweigh the cons for some users. The new hints given for the next-generation Apple Watch come on the heels of a collection of rumors that point to the upcoming version of Apple's wearable gaining much-requested independence from the iPhone. Apple began implementing a third-party push for iPhone independency by announcing that all watchOS apps submitted to the App Store after June 1, 2016 will be required to be native applications. Such updates to watchOS, which Apple introduced in watchOS 2, allow the wearable device to open apps more quickly and provide a smoother experience to users, instead of having to transmit data back and forth