Chinese blog Mic Gadget is saying that everyone else has Apple’s 2017 iPhone plans wrong, claiming that their “friends from Foxconn” shared news that the company is planning to release just two iPhone 8 models and no iPhone 7s or 7s Plus. The rumor is a fairly shaky one since the source has no track record of accurate leaks and the report seems based on news that “Foxconn will begin to receive the first deliveries of the material for packing the goods in the last week of the June.” But even though this report is the outlier in the current swirl of rumors, this entire iPhone cycle is different than Apple’s usual annual fall release schedule. Today Nikkei added more support to the growing consensus that the iPhone 8 may not launch until late October, claiming that issues with the OLED displays, concerns over the new smaller printed circuit boards and overheating problems with the wireless charging modules are pushing back production schedules.
Apple has rolled out a fourth set of iOS 10.3.2, tvOS 10.2.1, and watchOS 3.2.2 betas to registered developers. The iOS 10.3.2 beta 4 release notes list SiriKit, VPN, and Siri fixes, while tvOS 10.2.1 beta 4 fixes an issue that caused the Apple TV to sometimes wake from sleep with an AirPlay error.
A man best known for creating phone renderings based on rumors and leaks has posted a series of photos on Twitter that he says show one prototype of the new iPhone 8. Benjamin Geskin said the device—photographed by someone behind the wheel of a BMW—are of a CNC model from Foxconn. When questioned in the Twitter thread, Geskin claimed a friend sent him the images of the device, which lacks a home button and features an edge-to-edge screen, a vertical dual camera, a lengthened power button and a glass front and back with a metal band around the edge. Wihile the phone doesn’t include the fingerprint scanner on the back that some other rumors and leaked renderings have shown, the device’s appearance is in keeping with some of the most prominent rumors presently circulating—even though it lacks any identifying marks that would peg it as coming from Apple. But given that Apple is said to still be undecided on its final model, it’s possible that even if the device is genuine, it still may not be the final model that the company is expected to mass produce later this year. [via MacRumors]
Well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has added his voice to growing speculation that Apple’s OLED iPhone 8 will debut later than the usual September launch time frame. Kuo said Apple’s efforts to pack as much cutting-edge technology as possible into the device will push mass production of the iPhone 8 into October or even November, with ‘significant hardware upgrades’ like the OLED screen, 3D camera sensors, integrated fingerprint scanner and A11 processor causing supply bottlenecks. While the new phone is expected to fly off the shelves once it’s released, Kuo said sales of the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus — thought to be releasing on the usual September schedule — will likely be worse than usual as customers either decide to wait for the flashy iPhone 8 or opt to buy a full-screen phone from Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi instead. [via 9to5Mac]
Condé Nast Traveler has joined the growing list of publications that have featured photos shot on the iPhone 7 Plus, using one such image for its May cover. The magazine asked a range of travel photographers to highlight the phone’s Portrait Mode, which applies a depth-of-field effect to replicate the focus on a subject and blurred background that traditional cameras provide. “iPhone photography has reimagined the way we gather memories while we travel, making it easier than ever before to capture, with exceptional precision, snapshots of our trips,” the magazine said in a press release. When the iPhone 7 Plus was first released last year, photographers from Sports Illustrated and ESPN used the device to capture sporting events to illustrate how well it captured fast motion shots.
iPhone 8 prototype’s edge-to-edge display fits iPhone 7 Plus-sized screen into iPhone 7-sized device
For its deluxe iPhone 8 model, Apple is “testing a screen that covers almost the entire front of the device,” Bloomberg reports. People familiar with the development process said the overall size of the prototype is close to that of the iPhone 7, but the removal of the home button and narrowing of the bezels makes for a display that’s a bit larger than that of the iPhone 7 Plus. Multiple prototypes are still being tested, some of which feature “symmetrical, slightly curved glass on the front and the back” that fits into a steel frame, similar to the iPhone 4’s design. Another version featured more dramatic curves, but with suppliers struggling to reliably produce such an extreme curve sources close to the development said Apple is more likely to go with the “more subdued curves,” or even a simpler aluminum-backed design.
Apple has rolled out a third beta of iOS 10.3.2 to its registered developers, along with new betas of watchOS 3.2.2 and tvOS 10.2.1. This latest betas all appear to include only bug fixes and security improvements.
The latest iPhone 8 rumor out of iDrop News claims Apple is testing two iPhone 8 prototypes, one with a Touch ID sensor on the back and another with the sensors placed under the glass. The new leak—purportedly from a Foxconn employee—supports last week’s images of a supposed rendering of an iPhone with the Touch ID, placing that model in contention with another that would place the sensor on the front like current models, but embed it under the glass rather than putting it in a dedicated home button. The report claims Apple is down to two models under consideration, a big reduction from the “more than ten prototypes” estimates we heard last fall. This latest prototype is also said to feature an “invisible” front-facing camera under the display itself—allowing for 4mm bezels around all four edges of the phone—and a large power button with two points of contact for some as-yet-unknown reason.
A new image posted on /LEAKS earlier today shows what appears to be a manufacturing design render of a next-generation iPhone that features a vertical dual-camera layout and a Touch ID sensor on the rear of the device. The drawing appears to have come from a computer belonging to an Apple manufacturing partner, however there are no other details such as when the photo was taken, or even if it’s authentic. Text in the drawing suggests it’s from the EVT — Engineering Verification Testing — phase, which means it could be related to any one of the “more than ten prototypes” that Apple was reported to be considering last fall, and therefore may not have any connection to the final design of the new iPhone. [via MacRumors]
While other rumors have claimed that adding 3D imaging technology and OLED screens are hindering progress on the iPhone 8, Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company believes it’s the integrated fingerprint sensor that’s the main issue, AppleInsider reports. “For the 5.8-inch OLED version, the biggest bottleneck remains integrating an under-glass fingerprint sensor into the display — the current yield rate of Apple’s in-house AuthenTec solution remains low and AAPL seems unwilling to use other vendors’ products,” Arcuri wrote in a note to investors. Arcuri said Apple is faced with three options in the face of the problem: Ditch Touch ID in favor of facial recognition, move the fingerprint scanner to the back of the phone or delay production of the iPhone 8. He sees the first two options as pretty unlikely, expecting to see the iPhone 8 announced alongside new iPhone 7s and 7s Plus models but possibly becoming available for purchase later.
An analyst at Bankhaus Lampe claims that there is “strong evidence” Apple could cut ties with Dialog Semiconductor and begin producing its own power management integrated circuits, Reuters reports. Another source said Apple is “poaching like crazy” from Dialog, hiring top engineers from the company and ramping up to begin its own in-house efforts. Neither Apple nor Dialog commented on the report, but Dialog’s stock lost as much as 36 percent in one day on the news.
Apple has rolled out a second beta of iOS 10.3.2 to its registered developers, along with new betas of watchOS 3.2.2 and tvOS 10.2.1. This latest iOS beta fixes issues with SiriKit and third-party VPN apps, while the new watchOS and tvOS betas appear to include only bug fixes and security improvements.
(…and it sounds like future A-series chips won’t even include 32-bit support. Wonder if that’ll free up any performance/die space?)— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) April 8, 2017
In a series of tweets, well-connected developer Steve Troughton-Smith claims that Apple’s future A-series chips probably won’t support 32-bit apps. After several notifications from Apple that future versions of iOS won’t support 32-bit apps, developers have been speculating that the change will hit with iOS 11 when this year’s new iPhones are launched, and with the launch of iOS 10.3 the company started alerting users to the coming change whenever they open a 32-bit app. But Troughton-Smith has gone a step further, saying it “sounds like” Apple’s hardware won’t even support 32-bit and speculating that the move could free up “performance/die space.” [via 9to5Mac]
A new research report from long-time Apple analyst Brian White (via MacRumors) suggests that Apple will likely announce the 5.8-inch “iPhone 8” at a September event, alongside the two lower-end 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch “S” models, but that the premium model will only be available for pre-orders around that time, with delivery not expected until “several weeks later.” White notes that while the higher-end iPhone would still be expected to arrive in time for the Christmas holiday season, “challenges around the 3D sensing technology” would cause the more advanced model to not go into production until later in the year. This confirms a report earlier this week suggesting there would be delays related to not only the 3D sensors but also OLED screen lamination, but White adds that his contact was “emphatic about the delay,” but that it’s still early enough in the year that the situation could improve.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is suing Apple over last year’s Error 53 problem that disabled iPhones which had undergone third-party repairs, The Wall Street Journal reports. The ACCC, which is an arm of the Australian government focused on consumer law and competition regulation, is alleging that Apple was in violation of Australian laws by “bricking” iPhone devices and refusing to subsequently repair them at no cost to customers on the basis of the devices having been previously serviced by third-party service providers. The regulator is seeking monetary penalties that could amount in up to $829,000 (A$1.1m) per breach if the courts find Apple liable.
A new Apple patent spotted by Patently Apple would train Siri to recognize specific voices, creating the potential to limit who the digital assistant recognizes and add new controls. Once configured, a customized combination of a specific phrase and a user’s voice—which Apple’s patent refers to as a “lexical trigger”—would be required to get Siri to respond. Current voice-activated digital assistants respond to specific speech, but not to specific speakers, creating circumstances where a user’s request can be picked up and acted upon by other devices in earshot. In addition to limiting that type of confusion, the change could allow users to place restrictions on everything from who can use Siri’s search on an unattended iPhone to who is allowed to rent movies from an Apple TV.
Problems with the iPhone 8’s 3D sensors and OLED screen lamination could delay the phone’s launch to October or November, the Economic Daily News reports [via DigiTimes]. While Apple’s new iPhones usually begin shipping in late September/early October, several reports have claimed that Apple’s extensive prototyping and desire to add new features could push production of the device to begin later than usual. This latest claim suggests that the 3D sensors rumored to be bringing depth sensing and facial recognition capabilities to the iPhone 8 have led to “technical issues.”
One week after the public release of iOS 10.3, Apple has now pushed out a small iOS 10.3.1 update, noting that it “includes bug fixes and improves the security your iPhone or iPad.” While no details of specific improvements are otherwise listed in any release notes, Apple’s About the security content of iOS 10.3.1 support article suggests that it was pushed out to address a Wi-Fi vulnerability that could allow an “attacker within range ... to execute arbitrary code on the Wi-Fi chip.”
Apple’s iOS 10.3 update has solved a vulnerability that allowed iPhones to be tricked into repeatedly dialing 911, The Wall Street Journal reports. Meetkumar Desai was arrested last fall after designing the code, but a link to the code that went viral on Twitter led to pranks causing 911 operators in more than a dozen states to be overwhelmed by accidental 911 calls. The code relied on an iPhone feature that allowed users to place a call simply by pressing a phone number, but the latest update requires users to press a confirmation button before the phone will dial the number. The update will prevent the exploit from being successful even on apps that hadn’t already issued their own fix for the problem.