A new report from The Wall Street Journal is adding weight to several recent rumors suggesting that the next-generation iPhone, expected to be released this fall, will see only subtle changes, essentially breaking Apple’s two-year iPhone redesign cycle. Citing sources familiar with the matter, as well as other recent analysts, the WSJ is confirming with some confidence that Apple’s long-rumored plans to drop the headphone jack are likely to come to fruition with this next-generation model, but that any other large changes will be held back to 2017 — the year that also happens to be the tenth anniversary of the release of the original iPhone.
Apple may have to halt sales of its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in China after a the company was ruled to violate patent rights of a Chinese company, Bloomberg reports. The Beijing Intellectual Property Office ruled the iPhones infringe upon Baili’s 100C phone (which doesn’t look that similar to Apple’s iPhones). The decision only affects Beijing, but it could be used as precedent in China. Apple can appeal the ruling, and the report notes the company “could be allowed to continue selling its phones during the process.”
This week’s WWDC keynote also saw the unveiling of the next-generation version of OS X — now renamed as “macOS” to match its mobile counterparts (and likely to avoid confusion with iOS 10). macOS Sierra introduced a number of new “Continuity” features to build upon the tight integration between Apple’s Macs and iOS devices. Apple SVP Craig Federighi outlined several new features including automatic unlocking, Universal Clipboard, iCloud Desktop and Documents synchronization, and Apple Pay for Safari, all of which tie a user’s Mac into a closer relationship with their iOS and watchOS devices, and make it possible to work seamlessly across multiple devices. Here’s a closer look at those “crossover” features.
One of the many smaller but welcome new features in iOS 10 that wasn’t mentioned in yesterday’s keynote will be the ability to remove most of Apple’s own built-in stock apps from the iOS Home Screen, using the same process as deleting third-party apps. The ability to remove these apps is seen in the iOS 10 beta and has been noted by Apple. Not all apps appear to be eligible for deletion, however, including both obvious exceptions like Settings and App Store as well as apps that have a more “core” function such as Wallet, Camera, Photos, Activity, Clock, Phone, Messages, and Safari..
Apple is reportedly planning to use chips from Intel as modem chips in some versions it next-generation iPhone model, Bloomberg reports. The Intel chips will replace the Qualcomm chips that have traditionally been used in prior iPhone models for GSM versions of the iPhone used on the U.S. AT&T network and some overseas markets, according to people familiar with the matter. Verizon iPhones will apparently continue to use Qualcomm chips for their CDMA network, as will iPhones sold in China.
A new report from Mac Otakara claims that the Apple will be releasing a “deep blue” color option for the next-generation “iPhone 7” expected to be released this fall, as an addition to the current silver, gold, and rose gold color options, although its source claims that is is “highly likely” that the space gray option will be discontinued in favor of the new deep blue color. The report also notes that the LCD glass surface of the new model will be the same as that of the current models.
The Unicode Consortium has approved 72 new emoji for inclusion in the Unicode 9.0 standard, scheduled for release this month, expanding on the existing base of 1,601 emoji with a handful of new symbols that have long been requested. The new emoji build on existing themes, such as facial expressions, animals, and food, and a new roster of sports and medal-style characters have also been introduced in time for the Rio Olympics. Specific new emoji include a selfie, shrugs, clowns, face palms, and rolling-on-the-floor-laughing, while new animals include bats, rhinos, owls, and sharks. Croissants, pancakes, bacon, avocados, and kiwi fruit will be added to the food roster. Although the Unicode 9.0 standard becomes official this month, Apple will still have to add support for the new emoji to iOS. With the announcement of iOS 10 around the corner, it’s unclear whether these will appear in a coming point update to iOS 9 or whether users will have to wait until iOS 10, likely in the fall, before seeing the new characters.
A new story from Nikkei confidently states what many following the so-called “iPhone 7” leaks have been thinking — Apple appears to be pushing its usual two years between full model changes to a three-year cycle. While Nikkei doesn’t cite any Apple sources in making the claim, the new iPhone seems to have the same dimensions as the iPhone 6s and certainly looks more like a minor improvement to the current model than a dramatically new device in its own right, with camera upgrades expected to be the major new feature. Tech analysts and journalists alike see the 2017 iPhone as the next great leap forward, with that model thought to be getting an improved edge-to-edge display, embedded Touch ID sensor, possible wireless charging and perhaps an all-glass body.
The California Institute of Technology has sued Broadcom and Apple over use of the school’s encoding and decoding patents in Broadcom’s Wi-Fi chips, Patently Apple reports. Apple has used Broadcom’s technology since 2012 in most of its devices, including the iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air, Apple Watch and others.
India’s government dealt Apple’s plans for expansion another setback Monday, formally rejecting the company’s request to sell used iPhones in the country, Live Mint reports. Tim Cook had defended Apple’s request during his Indian tour, saying the company has similar programs in countries all over the world to sell refurbished phones that the company has restored to a “pristine level’ but made available at a lower price.
Plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit against Apple after replacement Touch ID sensors resulted in their iPhones becoming non-operational are now fighting the company’s efforts to dismiss the case, Apple Insider reports. The issue cropped up in February, when iPhone owners who had used third-party service centers to replace Touch ID sensors started getting “Error 53” messages that left their devices locked and unusable. Each Touch ID sensor is paired with its unique device and can’t be replaced without causing problems with Touch ID and Apple Pay, but the release of iOS 9.2.1 locked all other functions on iPhones with replacement sensors as well.
The Spotlight search on iOS devices now provides results for certain emoji. Searching with the hamburger emoji, for example, provides a list of nearby burger joints in Maps. Searching using the dress or pants emoji returns Maps results for clothing stores, while a dress shirt with a tie emoji curiously returns results for clothing retailer apps before the Maps listings. Searching the stack of American cash emoji returns results for nearby banks, but searching the stack of yen or Euros only provides web results.
The latest alleged leaked iPhone images, dug up by HDBlog off of the Chinese Baidu forum, show schematics and metal casts of what appear to be the rear shells of an iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. As mentioned in some previous reports, the new images show the larger dual camera setup to be exclusive to the larger phone. Smart Connector holes are also nowhere to be seen on either model.
Apple has released the first betas for iOS 9.3.3 and tvOS 9.2.2 to developers today. Both betas are likely to be minor updates; we’ll update if there are any major findings. Apple just released iOS 9.3.2 and tvOS 9.2.1 to the public one week ago.
Another alleged iPhone 7 leak from Chinese social network Weibo shows a more refined, similar design to past leaks and schematics (via Nowhereelse.fr), with a protruding circular camera on the rear shell. Antenna lines are also seen once more at the top and bottom of the device. The new leak, however, doesn’t match another recent leak which featured two holes between the camera and the flash. There’s also no Smart Connector seen on the rear of the iPhone on this new leak, which we previously learned was a possibility.
A new report from Nikkei Asian Review appears to add credence to other rumors and reports which predict that the 2017 iPhone may have an all-glass body. Allen Horng, chairman and chief executive of Catcher Technology — which supplies metal casings for Apple’s iPhones — stated that as far he knows “only one [iPhone] model will adopt glass casing next year.” He expects that future iPhones would still need a “durable metal frame” and that there would be no iPhones using glass-only casings that don’t at least have metal frames as part of their construction. In addition to comments by KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo back in April, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber also recently revealed scuttlebutt that the 2017 iPhone could feature an edge-to-edge glass display with a Touch ID sensor embedded behind the glass. Horng’s comments about only a single model featuring all-glass construction raise more questions as to exactly what Apple’s plans will be for the iPhone lineup in 2017.
Tim Cook is meeting with Indian phone companies with hopes of using the country’s expanding 4G network to make Apple devices more appealing, The Economic Times reports. A senior executive at Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile phone operator, said his company is in talks with Apple to create a strategic partnership that may end up including special offers on devices, deals to sell products through retail stores, and new training of company personnel. A senior Reliance executive said bundling of Apple products was also an option, supporting claims that Apple’s leadership sees potential for India’s increased 4G coverage to boost sales of iPads and Apple TVs in addition to iPhones.
Apple has released a whole slew of updates this afternoon, as iOS 9.3.2, watchOS 2.2.1, tvOS 9.2.1, and iTunes 12.4 have all been launched to the general public. The updates are mostly made of bug fixes and minor enhancements, but as alluded to last week, a few design and navigation tweaks have been made to iTunes. Also, the iOS update fixes a Bluetooth audio quality issue with the iPhone SE. The updates are currently available. We’ll add to this piece this afternoon if there are any other major findings.
A photo circulating on Chinese blogging site Weibo purports to show the rear shell of a new iPhone, featuring two holes between the camera lens and flash, Letem Svetem Applem reports. There is no way of confirming the authenticity of the photo, which conflicts with leaked design renderings that show only the single microphone hole between the lens and flash, just like on the iPhone 6s. What the second hole would be used for is unclear, with some speculating it could be used for stereo recording but no one able to explain why one hole is larger than the other.
The CEO of the British driving authority has hinted at the U.K. becoming the first country to make its driver’s license available through Apple Wallet, The Independent reports. Oliver Morley posted a mock up image showing a driving license installed alongside credit cards in Apple Pay with the caption, “So here’s a little prototype of something we’re working on.” There’s no word on when such a system would be up and running or how verification would work, but the image indicates that governments are beginning to see potential to expand on what Apple Pay has accomplished, and they’re placing a high degree of trust in the security of the system Apple has built.