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Apple still undecided on fingerprint scanner for iPhone 8, unlikely to ship before October

In a new memo, Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri claims Apple’s fingerprint scanner for the iPhone 8 is “still being worked out,” Apple Insider reports. The company is still considering three options: Putting a pinhole in the glass to use an optical or ultrasonic sensor, using a capacitive or infrared “film” sensor embedded in the display, or simply thinning the display’s glass over a sensor area. However they decide to solve the problem, Arcuri sees a delay of at least one or two months in production, leaving the phone shipping in October at the earliest. Arcuri is also voicing doubts about whether the expected iPhone 7s and 7s Plus will even materialize, but still notes that the devices could still boost Apple’s sales in September by offering options like wireless charging.

New photos compare size of alleged iPhone 8 dummy to the iPhone 7 Plus

New photos that 9to5Mac received from Israeli tech blogger Shai Mizrachi show an alleged iPhone 8 dummy model next to an iPhone 7 Plus, allowing for the first real idea of its size. Like the purported iPhone 8 in previous photos, the device features a black glass back, silver trim and a vertical dual camera that appears larger than that of the iPhone 7 Plus despite being in a smaller handset. An accompanying video shows the device from all angles and a side-by-side size comparison with the iPhone Plus, placing it much closer to the footprint of the iPhone 7 if not exactly the same size. The device is never turned on, so it’s difficult to say how the edge-to-edge display’s size compares with that of the iPhone 7 Plus, but there is no visible home button on the front or back of the device, lending more credibility to the idea that Apple has introduced a fingerprint scanner embedded under a certain area of the screen.

iPhone supplier confirms shipping 3D sensor lenses, but doesn’t mention Apple

Largan, a key supplier of camera lenses for the iPhone, says it will be shipping out lenses for 3D sensing modules later this year, leading to speculation that they will make their way into this year’s iPhones, Nikkei Asian Review reports. “We will have lenses for 3-D sensing [module used in smartphone] ready to ship in the second half this year,” said Largan CEO Adam Lin. Those lenses are essential in enabling facial and iris recognition-capabilities rumored to be coming in new iPhones. Lin didn’t say anything about Apple being the recipient of the lenses, but Jeff Pu, an analyst at Yuanta Investment Consulting, said Apple is the only one in the world expected to release a device with those features this year. While even a July shipment schedule seems to create a tight timeline for getting the special lenses into the new iPhones, several sources including well-respected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have predicted Apple will include a “revolutionary” front-facing camera as a tentpole feature in its iPhone 8.

Apple releases third round of betas for iOS 10.3.3, tvOS 10.2.2, watchOS 3.2.3

Apple has released a third set of developer betas for iOS 10.3.3, tvOS 10.2.2, and watchOS 3.2.3. As with the second round of betas, these all include only minor updates and bug fixes. iOS 11 is expected to be debuted next week at WWDC, with a public release likely to follow alongside the new iPhone models in the fall.

Leaked images show glass backs for iPhone 7, 7s and 8; claim all will have wireless charging

A pair of leaked images posted on Reddit show what the poster claims to be the black glass backs of an iPhone 7, 7s and 8 along with the front screen for the iPhone 8. The iPhone 8 back is a similar size to the iPhone 7, but features the vertical dual camera cutout seen in previous leaks. The front glass for the iPhone 8 is also in line with current rumors, with a much narrower bezel all along the edges and a small top cutout for the camera and speaker. The poster claims the photo came from a “friend in the industry,” saying Chinese manufacturers got the components in last week and have confirmed that all three models are going to feature wireless charging. The back of the iPhone 8 also features a series of markings that raised some red flags from commenters, but are actually in line with regulatory requirements of countries like Canada. One thing the back of the iPhone 8 lacks is a Touch ID sensor, casting doubt on previous leaks that showed a back cutout for that component and lending more credibility to rumors that Apple has devised a way to put the scanner under the screen.

Apple allowing resellers to cut prices on older iPhones to make inroads in India

Apple is allowing resellers to slash prices on its older iPhone models to break into India’s cell phone market, Bloomberg reports. While Apple’s official website is only currently selling the iPhone 6S and SE in India, resellers like Amazon and Flipkart are offering the iPhone 5, 5S, and 6 for a substantial discount over what other parts of the world would pay. Varuni T.V., a business professor in India, recently bought her first iPhone 5S for $300, while the similar iPhone SE retails in the US for $400 before taxes and fees. Indians are expected to buy more than a billion smartphones in the next 5 years, and Apple currently only accounts for 3 percent of sales in the country. The company has already moved manufacturing to India to gain access to the market and is now hiring “affordability managers” to help potential customers negotiate with banks and other lenders to come up with the necessary capital to buy an iPhone. Reducing the price of older models is making it easier for younger customers to buy an iPhone, which then opens up new sales opportunities for Apple with its App Store, iTunes and online service ecosystem.

Apple’s feud with Qualcomm could leave iPhone 8 lagging behind in download speeds

Apple’s aversion to solely using Qualcomm modems in its new iPhones will likely leave the devices unable to take advantage of 1-gigabit-per-second download speeds offered by cellular providers, Bloomberg reports. While AT&T, Verizon and other wireless carriers have upgraded their networks to be capable of gigabit transfers — which are up to 100 times faster than previous speeds — only Qualcomm’s modems can currently handle downloads at that speed. Apple’s insistence on splitting its modem orders between Qualcomm and Intel, plus the serious court showdown with Qualcomm over royalties, means the company would be forced to disable some of the capabilities of devices running with a Qualcomm modem to keep its products consistent, since Intel’s modem with the same capacity won’t be ready for the new iPhone’s launch, according to people familiar with Apple’s decision. Samsung’s Galaxy 8 and HTC’s U11 are both already capable of the new faster download speeds due to their Qualcomm modems.

Apple unveils iOS 11, featuring major iPad UI improvements

As expected, Apple unveiled iOS 11 during today’s WWDC 2017 Keynote, showing off the next-generation of the company’s mobile operating system which features several iterative improvements across the board, combined with some significant new UI changes for iPad users.

New leaks back under-glass fingerprint scanner in iPhone 8, 2018 Macbook with customizable keyboard

Last week a series of images released by iPhoneros appeared to show an iPhone prototype with the Touch ID fingerprint scanner embedded in the back, but even though the site claimed its Chinese source “has never sent us false information,” well-sourced leaker Benjamin Geskin tweeted out a photo of both the front and back of the device in question and said it’s a clear fake. Geskin has since claimed that “some case manufacturers received the final information about the iPhone 8 and began mass production,” which, if correct, would mean that the prototyping stage is over and the company has moved into a new phase for production. Geskin has heard rumors that the iPhone 8’s backing will be a “special and unique alloy of glass and metal,” but provided no photos of how that would look.

Apple releases second round of betas for iOS 10.3.3, tvOS 10.2.2, watchOS 3.2.3

Apple has released a second set of developer betas for iOS 10.3.3, tvOS 10.2.2, and watchOS 3.2.3. As with the first round of betas, these all include only minor updates and bug fixes. iOS 11 is expected to be debuted next week at WWDC, with a public release likely to follow alongside the new iPhone models in the fall.

UK carrier EE begins selling ‘new’ 2017 32GB iPhone 6 model

Apple’s resurrected iPhone 6 appears to now be on sale in the United Kingdom, AppleInsider reports. The ‘new’ 32GB model of the 2014-era iPhone first appeared in on select Asian carriers in March, appearing in Belarus two weeks later, leading many to believe that Apple was releasing it primarily as a lower-cost option for emerging markets. However, its appearance in the U.K. — and the U.S. on Virgin Mobile — suggests slightly more widespread distribution, although it’s still unclear as to why the it remains available on only a few specific carriers.

Analysts see wireless charging, AR applications in Apple’s Corning investment

Apple has invested $200 million in Corning’s “revolutionary glass production methods,” sparking speculation that new glass breakthroughs could aid in the development of new features in future Apple devices, CNBC reports. Apple has been dealing with Corning for a decade—ever since the first iPhone—and Oppenheimer analyst Andrew Uerkwitz thinks the new investment backs up previous reports that Apple’s new generation of iPhones will use glass or ceramics to facilitate wireless charging. “Metal can interfere with wireless charging technology,” Uerkwitz said. “That means you need glass on the back of the phone, but glass that won’t break. Or you need to use ceramics. Corning has a long history of investing in both glass and ceramics.”

Apple publishes ‘How to shoot on iPhone 7’ tutorial series

Apple has posted a new web page with a series of tutorials on taking great photographs using the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Titled How to shoot on iPhone 7, the page hosts sixteen tutorial videos ranging from basics such as taking great portraits, close-ups, and action shots, to more advanced techniques such as shooting from unique angles, working with street lights and backlit subjects, and taking photos during the golden hour. Each video is brief and to the point, running only 30–40 second in length with three to four clear steps presented to accomplish each action, and only background music without narration. The first five videos in the series have also been published on Apple’s YouTube channel.

Leaked photo allegedly shows new glass-backed iPhone SE model

A photo posted on Slashleaks appears to show the rear shell of a glass-backed iPhone on top of a document referring to Ion-X glass. Ion-X is the type of glass used in the non-sapphire Apple Watch Sport screen, and while the SE hasn’t been specifically mentioned as a candidate for a glass-backed update, there has been no shortage of rumors about Apple going that way for its new iPhones. The case features what appears to be a camera opening that doesn’t protrude from the back and another hole underneath, possibly for the flash. Apple has been mum on its plans for the SE line of iPhones since releasing its first—and so far only—model last March. Instead of updating the SE this March, Apple simply doubled the storage of the device at the same price, which led most to believe that was the only update it would get this year. The photo provides no context for scale, making it impossible to confirm the actual dimensions of the pictured phone, so it’s also possible the image shows an iPhone 7s or iPhone 8, if it’s even real.

Senator reveals FBI paid $900K to hack San Bernardino iPhone

During last week’s questioning of FBI Director James Comey, California Senator Dianne Feinstein inadvertently revealed the amount the agency paid to hack into a terrorist’s iPhone, The Associated Press reports. The FBI has been resisting press requests to release the amount paid and the name of the vendor who broke into Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone 5c, but Feinstein disclosed the $900,000 payment in the process of questioning Comey on unrelated matters. After ending its lawsuit against Apple after the company’s refusal to aid in unlocking the device, the Justice Department argued that the amount of the government’s payment for hacking services was properly classified. Neither the FBI nor Feinstein’s office would comment on her slip. Comey has previously made comments leading to speculation that the hack may have cost more than $1.3 million.

Component suppliers deny delays in iPhone 8 production; analysts predict edge-to-edge screen

Pushing back against claims that the iPhone 8 would be delayed because of component production problems, several of Apple’s key suppliers now claim they’re on schedule for an October release, Chinese publication the Economic Daily News reports. TSMC claims it will “begin to fabricate the wafer starts needed for the production of A11 processes on June 10 and to deliver the chips in volume quantity in the second half of July,” while Zhen Ding Technology and Kinsus Interconnect Technology have reportedly improved their yield rates on laminated motherboards enough to ramp up production by June as well. Foxconn, Pegatron and Winstron—Apple iPhone assembly partners—are also bracing for the added workload, “accelerating the recruitment and training of new workers in China in preparation of mass production of the new iPhone.”

Deutsche Bank suggests iPhone 8 might not launch until next year

Deutsche Bank is the latest to voice doubts about the iPhone 8 launching before next year, Business Insider reports. Referencing a Value Walk story from last week claiming to have insider information from a Foxconn employee, the bank said, “Report suggests no new iPhone 8 this calendar year. As we have written in previous [research notes], several supply chain reports have suggested that key component shortages and technical challenges could delay the release of a high-end iPhone 8 device this fall.” Like previous reports, the Value Walk story relies on timelines for the delivery of packaging for the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus, which the sources said will begin arriving at the end of June.

Apple to make online sales debut in India with locally produced iPhone SE

Apple will open its online store before it opens brick and mortar locations, according to a report from the Economic Times. Apple —which has had a difficult time gaining approval to open retail locations in the country because of India’s rules that require at least 30 percent of its product materials locally — recently opted to move forward with plans to produce the iPhone SE in India without waiting for the concessions it had been requesting from the Indian government. Producing the iPhone SE in India means it can also be sold there “since the government allows companies to directly sell online models manufactured locally.” The company reportedly plans to start assembling the devices in Bengaluru by June and offer “value-added services such as laser engraving to personalize the handset, sell models or variants which are exclusive such as a dedicated model, color option or storage space” once the devices go on sale online, one source said.

Apple releases fifth beta of iOS 10.3.2

Only three days after the release of iOS 10.3.2 beta 4, Apple has already rolled out a fifth beta of iOS 10.3.2 to registered developers. The release notes appear to be basically unchanged from the prior beta, listing SiriKit, VPN, and Siri fixes and a few outstanding notes on managed and shared devices, openURL, WebKit, and SOS (which continues to be supported only in India).

Chinese blog claims Apple is only releasing two iPhone 8 models, no iPhone 7s or 7s Plus

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.

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