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Apple has sold one billion iPhones

Apple today announced that it has now officially sold one billion iPhones. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the news earlier today at an employee meeting in Cupertino, stating that “iPhone has become one of the most important, world-changing and successful products in history. It’s become more than a constant companion. iPhone is truly an essential part of our daily life and enables much of what we do throughout the day,” said Cook. “Last week we passed another major milestone when we sold the billionth iPhone. We never set out to make the most, but we’ve always set out to make the best products that make a difference. Thank you to everyone at Apple for helping change the world every day.”

Apple crossed the threshold of “one billion active devices” earlier this year, announced at the company’s Q1 2016 Financial Results Conference Call in January, although this earlier number presumably included non-iPhone devices such as iPads and iPods, and was limited to active devices; today’s number refers to the total number of iPhones sold by Apple to date, and presumably includes those that have been retired from active use.

Report: iPhone 7 may feature 3D Touch home button

The new iPhone 7 may do away with the standard home button in favor of a touch-sensitive 3D Touch home button, Macotakara reports. The speculation echoes a report from last week that the new device will use haptic feedback to mimic a click rather than relying on an actual button press. Unnamed supply chain sources said the improved home button is flush with the body and will not actually depress when pushed, even though users will feel the sensation of pressing on a button. Doing away with the physical home button may aid in Apple rumored efforts to make its iPhones more waterproof, but if recent leaks are any indication, it won’t drastically change the look of the phone. [via MacRumors]

Update in iOS 10 allows for autoplay of silent videos in Safari

Apple is relaxing its controls on autoplay videos in Safari with the release of iOS 10, allowing silent or muted videos to start automatically. A post on the WebKit blog explains the rationale behind the changes as an effort to keep up with new display needs, as developers integrate more video elements into their sites. Some of those pages don’t work on iOS 9 due to user gesture requirements, so Apple is relaxing its restrictions. Silent or muted video will be allowed to play, while video with an audio track will load but be paused.

Rumors claim new iPhone will be released Sept. 16, could have ‘iPhone 6 SE’ name

Well-known leaker Evan Blass has sent out a series of tweets claiming the new iPhone will be released on Sept. 16, which would be slightly earlier than recent history. Apple released the iPhone 6s/6s Plus on Sept. 25 of last year — also a Friday, which is typical.

Meanwhile, German site Apfelpage has its own big prediction about the new iPhone, with its sources inside a Chinese manufacturer claiming the new device will be named the “iPhone 6 SE.” The source said packaging has already entered production under that name, but also claimed they had only seen information related to the 4.7-inch phone, shedding no light on how the company would handle naming its new 5.5-inch device, which at least some sources have claimed would be dubbed the “iPhone Pro.”

Report: iPhone 7 will include Lightning adapter instead of Lightning EarPods

A new research note from Deutsche Bank (via Business Insider) reports that the next-generation iPhone will include a “Lightning-to-audio dongle” in the package rather than a set of Lightning-equipped EarPods. Although the research note confirms several other recent rumors about the upcoming iPhone, including the elimination of the 3.5mm audio jack in favor of a Lightning connection, it cites supply chain sources claiming that Lightning headphones will not be included in the package; however it’s unclear whether this means Apple will simply continue to include the 3.5mm EarPods of prior versions, or eliminate the headphones from the packaging entirely.

Edward Snowden designing device to prevent iPhone wiretapping

Former NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden is designing a device to help prevent unauthorized monitoring of iPhone signals, Wired reports. The proposed device, which has been developed in cooperation with hardware hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang, is a case-like accessory that connects into the iPhone’s internals via its SIM card slot to monitor the signals sent to the iPhone’s internal antennas. The add-on would constantly check on whether the iPhone radios are transmitting, and Huang and Snowden suggest that it’s an “infinitely more trustworthy method” of ensuring that no unauthorized radio signals are being sent than simply using “Airplane Mode” which can be hacked or spoofed. By designing this device, which they’ve duebbed an “introspection engine,” Snowden and Huang are looking to provide strong privacy guarantees to iPhone users who would need to shield their iPhones from “government-funded adversaries with advanced hacking and surveillance capabilities,” such as reporters working in hostile foreign countries who want to shield their locations.

Corning announces Gorilla Glass 5

Corning has announced Gorilla Glass 5, the fifth-generation of the chemically-strengthened glass that has been used in iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads. The latest version promises to protect against even higher drops, and has been tested to survive 1.6-meter shoulder-height drops onto hard, rough surfaces up to eighty percent of the time — an improvement by a factor of four over competing glass solutions. Corning also notes that despite the improved toughness, Gorilla Glass still retains the same damage resistance, optical clarity, and touch sensitivity as prior generations. To date, Corning Gorilla Glass has been deployed in 4.5 billion devices worldwide across more than 1,800 product models and 40 major brands, and the company’s announcement notes that the new glass is “expected to be on product models from leading global brands later this year,” suggesting the possibility that it might make it into the next-generation iPhone. [via iPhone in Canada]

Apple under fire for providing refurbished replacements under AppleCare+

A new class action lawsuit has been filed in California alleging that Apple is not living up to the terms of its AppleCare+ service plan by providing refurbished service stock replacements to customers rather than new devices. The suit takes specific issue with Apple replacing damaged devices with refurbished devices, focusing on the clause in the AppleCare+ terms that state that devices replaced under the program are “equivalent to new in performance and reliability” with lawyers for the plaintiffs arguing that refurbished means “a secondhand unit that has been modified to appear to be new” and therefore can’t be considered to be equivalent to a new unit in durability or functionality.

Apple releases second iOS 10 public beta

Apple has released the second public beta of iOS 10 through its Apple Software Beta Program. Corresponding to the third beta released to developers earlier this week, the latest public beta continues enhancements to Music, Maps, Messages, and News, the new lock screen, today widget, and notification system, and on-device intelligence for face, scene, and object recognition in the Photos app on 64-bit devices. iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE users in the United States should also now be able to take advantage of the new beta transcription service in the Visual Voicemail app. Users who have already signed up for the Apple Software Beta Program should be able to log in and download the new versions now; users who haven’t signed up can do so at the same site.

Report: Army switching from Android to iPhone for tactical smartphone

A new report from Military.com claims the U.S. Army Special Operations Command is ditching its Android tactical smartphone in favor of the iPhone. An Army source not authorized to speak to the media said the iPhone 6S is slated to be used in an iPhone Tactical Assault Kit, a special-operations version of the Army’s Nett Warrior battlefield situational awareness tool. The source said the Army is making the switch because the iPhone is “faster, smoother. Android freezes up” and has to be restarted often.

Iran threatens to ban, seize iPhones unless Apple registers in the country

In an effort to crack down on phones being imported into the country by smugglers, Iranian officials have demanded that Apple officially register in Iran or have its products banned, The Japan Times reports. “If Apple will not register an official representative in Iran within the next few days, all iPhones will be collected from the market,” the director of Iran’s anti-smuggling office told Tasnim News Agency. The director’s name wasn’t provided in the report. The new project, running under the president’s office, will require all mobile phones to be registered with Iran’s telecommunications user database.

Apple releases third developer betas for iOS 10, tvOS 10 + watchOS 3

Apple has released the third developer betas for iOS 10, tvOS 10, and watchOS 3. The third round of betas is intended to allow developers to continue working on the new features and APIs first debuted at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last month, with the unveiling of each of the major new operating system releases; the third round of betas likely continues to refine the experience from the second round of betas, with the release notes indicating mostly minor updates. A new voicemail transcription beta is available in the iOS 10 beta 3 on iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE with Siri language set to English (United States), and a new beta of the Apple TV Remote app is also available.

Apple releases iOS 9.3.3, watchOS 2.2.2, tvOS 9.2.2, iTunes 12.4.2

Apple released a big set of of updates yesterday afternoon, as iOS 9.3.3, watchOS 2.2.2, tvOS 9.2.2, and iTunes 12.4.2 were all launched to the general public. The updates mostly contain bug fixes and minor enhancements, but the iTunes update resolves a playback issue with short Apple Music songs in your Up Next queue. The updates are currently available. We’ll add to this piece this afternoon if there are any other major findings.

Report: Apple will source iPhone 8 ‘A11’ CPU solely from TSMC

After dropping Samsung to source its new iPhone 7’s A10 CPU exclusively from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) earlier this year, Apple has made TSMC the exclusive manufacturer of its upcoming A11 chip as well, Chinese-language site Economic Daily News reports. Apple split its A9 chip orders between both Samsung and TSMC, but a number of reports claimed the TSMC version of the A9 provided significantly better battery life than the Samsung version in at least some benchmark tests. Unnamed sources said the new A11 chip will be built with TSMC’s new 10nm manufacturing process, with the company starting small-volume production as early as the second quarter of 2017. [via Digitimes]

New video shows alleged iPhone 7 lacks headphone jack, still has mute switch

A new, longer Weibo video comparing a purported iPhone 7 and an iPhone 6s shows extended views of what was seen in a much shorter video last week, seeming to confirm that the new device lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack and features an updated camera, redesigned antenna lines and two speaker grills. The new video also provides one new update: The new phone still has a mute switch just like the iPhone 6s, contrary to other leaked photos that showed the switch would be eliminated in an iPhone featuring a dual-camera setup.

Video of alleged iPhone 7 shows lack of headphone jack, other features

A short video has been posted by unknown sources on Chinese site Weibo purporting to be of the next-generation iPhone 7, seems to corroborate many of the prior rumors and leaked photos seen up to this point. Specifically, the video shows a larger opening for new camera hardware, the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack, stereo speakers, and redesigned antenna lines on the back of the device. [via 9to5Mac]

Prototype iPhone 7 molds reveal no change to color options?

A new set of photos from Macitynet purporting to be of molds for the next-generation iPhone suggests that the new model will come in the same set of colors as the iPhone 6s, casting some doubt on prior rumors that Apple would offer a “deep blue” color option. While these types of molds are provided to MFi program partners to fit cases and other accessories against the new body design, it’s unable to be certain that what is shown in the leaked photos are molds provided directly by Apple, or if they were designed by a third-party for the same purpose, based on rumored or incomplete specifications.

Report: iPhone 7 to include increased battery capacity

A recent tweet from OnLeaks cites a reliable source suggesting that the battery in the new iPhone being released this fall will likely see a modest increase from the battery in the iPhone 6s, jumping to 1960 mAh from the 1715 mAh capacity of the current model.

These numbers presumably represent the battery capacity for the standard 4.7” iPhone model, rather than the larger Plus/Pro models that have been rumored. Last year’s iPhone 6s actually saw a slight decrease in raw battery capacity from the 2014 iPhone 6 model, which came in at 1810 mAh, although both the 2014 and 2015 iPhone models achieved roughly the same actual battery life despite the capacity differences. It’s unclear whether any increased capacity for the iPhone 7 would be intended to mean longer battery life, or if it would simply be required to supply the additional power for new components.

New leak shows ‘iPhone 7 Plus’ with Smart Connector, no mute switch

One day after a fairly clear photo purporting to show the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 emerged, new photos have leaked, showing what could be the larger 5.5-inch model, with a dual-lens camera, Smart Connector on the back, and the notable absence of a mute switch. The photos, which turned up on Chinese search engine Weibo, are consistent with previous renderings where the size and shape of the dual camera opening is concerned, but the appearance of the Smart Connector is a bit strange. While some other leaks have hinted at the larger model featuring a Smart Connector in that general location, the pictured iPhone’s ports look different than those of the iPad Pro’s Smart Connector. The Apple logo on the back of the device is also hollow, so it’s possible the phone seen here is unfinished.

New iPhone 7 leak shows larger camera, relocated antenna lines

The clearest leaked photo of an alleged iPhone 7 that we’ve seen so far, posted by NowhereElse, has further reinforced rumors that the phone will feature a redesigned camera and relocated antenna lines. The picture gives us our best view yet of the 4.7-inch model’s new camera, which features a much larger lens surrounded by an circular protrusion in the back casing. The redesigned antenna lines, as predicted, ditch the straight line across the back of the phone, instead hugging the top and bottom edges. The photo only shows the phone’s back, so it sheds no light on rumors of the removal of the headphone jack or the inclusion of stereo speakers.

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