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iFixit’s iPhone SE Teardown reveals some interchangeability with iPhone 5s parts

iFixit has posted its teardown of the iPhone SE, confirming many of the findings that Chipworks made in yesterday’s teardown, as well as highlighting how many of the parts in the new 4” iPhone SE are actually identical to those found in the iPhone 5s, allowing many of them to be interchanged between models. iFixit noted that the displays between the two models are “pretty much identical” when compared side-by-side, and that the 5s display can in fact be used in the SE, which means that the older replacement parts and instructions can be used with the new iPhone model. The speaker, vibration motor, and SIM card tray are also identical to those used in the iPhone 5s. While all of the internal chips have naturally been upgraded — mostly to their iPhone 6s counterparts — other dissimilarities were also found, with iFixit observing that the larger 1624 mAh battery is not interchangeable with the one from the iPhone 5s as it uses a different connector. While the battery is a minor capacity increase from the 1560 mAh version found in the iPhone 5s, it’s not quite up to the 1715 mAh power found in the iPhone 6s. Similarly, while the iPhone SE camera sports the same capabilities as its iPhone 6s counterpart, iFixit found that the cameras were not interchangeable between the two models, and while the Lightning connector assembly in the iPhone SE looks basically identical to the iPhone 5s version, the connectors are a “smidge different” and the connectors can’t be used interchangeably.

Kanye West backtracks, releases song on Apple Music (Update: whole album now on Apple Music)

After notably claiming his new album would “never never never be on Apple,” Kanye West has made one of the album’s tracks available on Apple Music. West has been continually tinkering with tracks on “The Life of Pablo,” which was previously only available on Tidal. One track from the album, “Famous,” is now available to listeners on Apple Music, with Pitchfork noting the rapper has tweaked the lyrics on the new version. Known for his over-the-top Twitter rants — among other things — West hasn’t publicly commented on his abrupt about-face on using Apple to distribute his music.

Update: West’s “The Life of Pablo” album is now available to stream on Apple Music, after being initially announced as a Tidal exclusive. Notably, the album isn’t the same as what’s been heard on Tidal. It’s a updated version of the album, which has already undergone other changes both pre- and post-release — so there’s a good chance that the version of “Pablo” currently on Apple Music won’t be a final version.

Apple releases iOS 9.3.1

Following reports earlier this week of a hyperlink bug which was causing freezes and crashes on some iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus units, Apple has released iOS 9.3.1, a minor update that promises to fix the issue. As usual, the update is available now through Settings > General > Software Update, or can be installed using a Mac or PC via iTunes.

Unboxing the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro

Apple’s newest 9.7-inch iPad Pro is here and we’ve posted a quick first look at Apple’s new standard-sized Pro tablet with an unboxing and comparison gallery. The images highlight what’s in the box along with differences between the new device and its brethren, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 4. We’ve noticed Apple is now using what looks to be a thinner version of the font for the word “iPad” on the back of the new Pro. Look for our full iPad Pro review next week once we’ve had a chance to put it through its paces.

Unboxing the iPhone SE

We’ve just gotten our hands on Apple’s iPhone SE and have posted a number of unboxing and comparison photos, looking at the new 4” iPhone model alongside its larger siblings, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Be on the lookout for our full, independent, comprehensive iPhone SE review, coming on Monday.

Chipworks posts first iPhone SE Teardown

Chipworks has posted a teardown of the new iPhone SE, revealing the hybrid nature of the device, with many iPhone 6s components mixed in with iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 internals. As expected, the new four-inch iPhone includes the same A9 flagship processor as the one found in the iPhone 6s, bearing a part number and date code indicating that it originated in a TSMC facility only nine weeks ago. The teardown also reveals the same 2GB LPDDR4 mobile DRAM used in the iPhone 6s, 16GB of Toshiba flash, and a NXP 66V10 NFC and Secure Element chip, again the same one as used in the iPhone 6s. Other components that Chipworks identified in common with the iPhone 6s include the audio chips and the six-axis inertial sensor. On the other hand, the Qualcomm modem and RF transceiver in the iPhone SE are from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus generation, while Broadcom and TI chips are from the iPhone 5s generation. Chipworks noted a new Texas Instruments chip in the iPhone SE as well, bearing a 338S00170 number, which the report describes as likely to be a new Apple/Dialog power management circuit, as well as a Skyworks SKY77611 power amplifier, an EPCOS D5255 antenna switch module, and an AAC Technologies 0DALM1 microphone.

Apple claims ruling in patent case was unconstitutional

Apple has asked a federal appeals court to reinstate a $120 million verdict against Samsung, claiming the three-judge panel that reversed the jury’s decision in February violated the U.S. Constitution, Reuters reports. In a petition filed Monday, Apple’s attorney said the panel’s use of its own outside research to overturn the judgment undermined Apple’s Seventh Amendment right to have a jury decide the case.

MLB coaches get iPad Pro devices with custom software

Apple is providing coaches with 12.9-inch iPad Pro devices running custom software through a new multi-year deal with Major League Baseball, The Wall Street Journal reports. The tablets will run a custom iOS app called Dugout, developed by the MLB’s Advanced Media division. The app will be loaded with player statistics, stat breakdowns, interactive data and game footage pertinent to the team’s matchup each day, with future iterations expected to support real-time data updates. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said he hopes the iPads will help speed up the pace of games and make baseball more attractive to a younger generation drawn to fast-action sports. [via Apple Insider]

Apple faces new security challenge after FBI hacks iPhone

Now that the FBI has cracked San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone without Apple’s assistance, the company is left with the daunting task of fixing a security vulnerability it knows nothing about. Unlike other security issues where Apple is working to solve a known problem, the company has so far received no information from the FBI about the method used to break into the device. To complicate issues further, The New York Times reports Apple’s security operations have been in a state of transition since late last year, when Dallas DeAtley, leader of the Core OS Security Engineering team and the manager responsible for most government data extraction requests, left that team to work in a different part of the company.

Nintendo releasing Miitomo app in U.S. this Thursday

After releasing Miitomo in the Japanese App Store earlier this month, Nintendo announced it is bringing its first iOS app to the U.S. and several other countries starting Thursday. The free-to-play app revolves around creating custom Mii characters and sharing responses to questions like, “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?” and “If you were given ten grand to spend in one day, what would you do?” Answers are shared among friends, who can give responses a “heart” and reply with a picture or written comment.

Apple Q2 earnings call set for April 25

Apple has announced that it will release its Q2 financial results on Monday, April 25. As usual, the company will conduct its conference call at 5 p.m. Eastern time that day. Apple previously provided guidance for Q2 of revenue between $50 billion and $53 billion, and gross margin between 39 percent and 39.5 percent. As always, iLounge will provide coverage of the results.

Apple responds to Justice Department dropping iPhone lawsuit

Apple has issued a public response after the U.S. government dropped its lawsuit demanding the company’s assistance in hacking into a terrorist’s iPhone, with the company saying it will continue to aid law enforcement while also continuing to increase the security of its products. “From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent,” Apple said. “As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought.”

Justice Department drops lawsuit after cracking iPhone without Apple’s help

The U.S. Justice Department said it gained access to the information on San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone without Apple’s help and has dropped its lawsuit against the company, Reuters reports. Last week prosecutors asked for a delay the day before a court showdown with Apple, saying the FBI was working with a third party to gain access to the phone. While reports claimed Israeli company Cellebrite was the third party working on breaking Apple’s encryption, law enforcement officials haven’t publicly revealed the party responsible for the hack, or what was found on the phone. “The FBI has now successfully retrieved the data stored on the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple required by this Court Order,” DOJ spokeswoman Melanie Newman said in a statement. Apple had requested that the FBI share information on how it accessed the phone, but an unnamed law enforcement source refused to tell CNN whether the FBI would make good on that request. “We can’t comment on the possibility of future disclosures at this point,” the official said. Apple declined to comment on the news.

Apple releases version of iOS 9.3 for older devices affected by Activation Lock issue

Apple has released a new version of iOS 9.3 with build number of 13E237, designed specifically for older iOS devices. The first finished public release of iOS 9.3 had an issue during the activation process. Users of such devices — including the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and earlier devices — who were unable to recall their Apple ID info could find their devices rendered inaccessible. This new build is meant to provide a fix for that problem. We’re also awaiting an iOS update for everyone that will provide a fix for the current hyperlink bug seen in Safari and elsewhere after updating to iOS 9.3, but it appears like we’ll have to wait a little longer on that front.

Report: Wireless charging, AMOLED screens could come to 2017 iPhones

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting a drastic redesign of the iPhone coming in 2017, including wireless charging, AMOLED displays and a “completely new form factor design” with narrower bezels. Kuo has pushed up his estimate for Apple’s release of AMOLED displays in iPhones, now backing previous rumors that customers will see the technology next year in a 5.8-inch iPhone that will completely replace the 5.5-inch iPhone, provided Apple can get enough of the larger AMOLED displays in time.

Hyperlink bug in iOS 9.3 causing apps on iPhone 6s/6s Plus models to freeze, crash

After updating to iOS 9.3, multiple iPhone 6s/6s Plus users have reported problems clicking hyperlinks in Safari, Mail, Messages, Notes and other apps. Some users are finding the links just don’t redirect anywhere while others are seeing their apps freeze or crash, according to multiple posts in Apple’s technical support forum. We have experienced the problem in Safari firsthand, with the hyperlinks going nowhere and occasionally freezing the app — so far we haven’t seen the behavior in other Apple apps ourselves. Apple hasn’t publicly responded to the issue but reportedly told one forum user “they’re aware of the problem and that their engineers are working on an update (presumably, iOS 9.3.1), and that the update should arrive within the next two days.” Apple’s Support Twitter account also seems to be attempting to offer help to users who contact the account, with apparent mixed results. Some users have had luck restoring hyperlink functionality in Safari by disabling JavaScript, but found the problem still persists in Mail, Notes and other apps that contain links. So far the problem seems isolated to 6s and 6s Plus models, leading to speculation that the issue could be tied to 3D Touch.

Happy Easter weekend from iLounge!

iLounge will be on a limited publishing schedule today as we spend time with our families this Easter weekend. We will return to our full publishing schedule next week, as we await the release of Apple’s 9.7” iPad Pro and iPhone SE. And if you haven’t seen them yet, be sure to check out our comprehensive Instant Expert iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 articles.

Report: Apple working on original TV series about apps

Amidst rumours that have been swirling about Apple’s desire to unveil original TV programming, a new report from The New York Times indicates that the company may be making its first foray into the arena with a show about apps. Apple announced earlier today that it’s working with Will.i.am and veteran TV executives Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens to create a new unscripted show that highlights the “app economy.” Apple executives have declined to discuss any specifics around the show, including even a title, timeline, or how the show will be delivered to viewers. Although it’s notably the company’s first original effort outside the music category — as Dr. Dre’s upcoming show is — Apple SVP Eddy Cue noted that this latest entry does not represent any “broader ambition” by Apple in terms of original productions or streaming video, although he notes Apple will “continue to explore exclusive projects similar to the series about apps or its push into music programming.” This particular project was apparently initiated as a result of a pitch by Ben Silverman, executive producer of several recent hit TV series’ such as “Jane the Virgin” and “Marco Polo.” Silverman worked with Cue to make “The Office” available on iTunes nearly a decade ago.

Sony to bring ‘full-fledged’ games to iOS

Sony has announced plans to develop mobile games for the “smart device market” under a newly-formed subsidiary, ForwardWorks Corporation. The new mobile gaming arm will “leverage the intellectual property” of a number of PlayStation games and characters in developing gaming applications for the iOS and Android platforms, although it appears that it will be focusing these releases on the Japanese and Asian markets. While Sony seems to clearly be following the lead of Nintendo, which debuted its first game Miitomo in the Japanese App Store earlier this month, in contrast to Nintendo’s efforts, it appears ForwardWorks will be delivering “full-fledged game titles” for users to “casually enjoy” on their mobile devices. [via TechCrunch]

Reports detail Apple’s extensive cloud infrastructure projects

Apple has been migrating more of its cloud computing to Google, but a new report from The Information claims the company is aiming to create its own extensive set of data centers and servers to bring all of its cloud services in-house. Last week CRN reported Apple has quietly been moving much of its cloud computing to the Google Cloud Platform and away from Amazon Web Services, whose infrastructure it uses to run online services like iCloud. Anonymous sources said Apple is now spending between $400 million and $600 million on Google’s services after becoming dissatisfied with AWS being unable to quickly load photos and videos on users’ iOS devices.

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