Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the latest pictures of the iPhone XI, another cut in iPhone production, three problems Tim Cook needs to address, more iPhone discounts, the iPad Mini 5 leaks, and creating a standard action for undo in iOS.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).
Leaked iPhone XI Renders
It may be very early for some, but the next iPhone designs will be going through testing by Apple alongside its manufacturing partners, so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that existing details on the 2019 iPhone can be put together a rendered image – including an awkward triple-lens camera and flash unit. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly has more:
Hemmerstoffer stresses that the iPhone XI is currently at the Engineering Validation Test (EVT) stage which means the design is not yet final. But he has found a significant ally in hugely popular (and equally accurate) industry insider Ice Universe who validated the leak, so the information looks rock solid.
For me, the only concern is whether Apple would introduce such an asymmetrical camera design. The company has relaxed its historical obsession with symmetry (the iPhone XS has asymmetrical speaker and mic holes at the bottom of the phone) but the triple camera is asymmetrical to the point of being ugly.
More here on Forbes.
Back from September 2019, I bring you the very 1st and very early glimpse at which I guess #Apple will unveil as #iPhoneXI!!! Yes, time has already come to meet the new #iPhone through gorgeous 5K renders made on behalf of new coming Partner @digitindia -> https://t.co/b6SxFUS2tx pic.twitter.com/97jrlTHQ5G
— Steve H.McFly (@OnLeaks) January 6, 2019
As for the new iPhones, Forbes’ David Phelan follows up the long-suspected details:
This September, it seems, Apple will repeat its format from this year, releasing three iPhones, two with OLED displays and one, the successor to the iPhone XR, with an LCD screen.
There’s already been a leak which has suggested the phone that replaces the iPhone XS Max will have three cameras… The smaller phone, successor to the 5.8in display iPhone XS, will stick with two cameras as now, it’s believed.
New iPhone Production Cut
Following the poor iPhone sales in the last quarter of 2018, Apple started to cut back on supply orders for the new handsets. As the new calendar year begins, production has been cut once more. Cheng Ting-Fang and Lauly Li report:
Apple is cutting its current production plan for new iPhones by about 10% for the next three months in a sign that the U.S. smartphone maker is expecting a further hit this year, just a week after its market-shaking revelation that it would miss revenue forecasts at the end of 2018.
Apple late last month asked its suppliers to produce fewer of its new iPhones than planned for the January-March quarter, sources with knowledge of the request told the Nikkei Asian Review. It is the second time in two months that the U.S. company has trimmed its planned production for the flagship device.
More at Nikkei Asian Review, and I discussed what this means for Apple here.
Three Problems For Apple To Address
Of course the fallout from Apple’s revenue warning continues as more analysis goes on and more voices consider the problem. Ben Thompson picks out three areas of concern – China, the ’S’ designated handsets, and the destiny of the iPhone. Settle in with a coffee for this one!
What makes this quarter seem so much worse was both the already negative sentiment surrounding the shift in Apple’s reporting (the presumption being the company wanted to hide declining unit sales), and also the fact that Apple’s management forecast was so off: here is CFO Luca Maestri on last quarter’s earnings call:
“As we move ahead into the December quarter, I’d like to review our outlook, which includes the types of forward-looking information that Nancy referred to at the beginning of the call. We have the strongest lineup ever as we enter the holiday season and we expect revenue to be between $89 billion and $93 billion, a new all-time record.”
In fact, the only record, such that there was, was the size of the miss. So what went wrong?
More at Stratechery.
iPhone’s Latest Price Cut
As well as cutting back on physical stock in this quarter, Apple has implemented another price cut for the latest iPhones. This won’t be seen directly by customers, as the cut is in the distributor price offered to networks in China. That should allow the networks to offer higher subsidies without Apple having to lower the sticker price in its stores. Gordon Kelly explains:
Yahoo has confirmed that this practice quietly began on Tuesday with Apple cutting approximately $100 from the price it charges Chinese partners for the iPhone XR. Immediately, these partners – including Suning, “China’s Best Buy” – began lowing prices.
In an effort to save face, prices on Apple’s Chinese website remain unchanged.
…Moreover, the question is whether Apple will extend this method of price cutting to other countries.
More here on Forbes.
The Latest iPad Mini Leak
Meanwhile the release of the next iteration of the iPad Mini may be getting closer. The latest images show an improved antenna, dual speakers, a lightning port, and a headphone jack. It may be called the iPad 4S, but there’s every change Tim Cook will bump up the number to make this the iPad Mini 5. James Rogerson reports:
…the images show an iPad Mini that doesn’t quite look like any existing one, thanks to a slim antenna line on the back. That’s in contrast to the iPad Mini 4, which has a large antenna block if you opt for the cellular model.
Other than that this looks very similar to the current model, complete with a headphone port on the top edge, speakers on the bottom, volume keys on the right edge and a single lens rear camera. Of course, we can’t see the front, so that could be different.
More at Tech Radar.
Almost every iOS app needs an undo feature, and it is a UI operation that is not consistent between apps. So the team at Procreate – who have a ‘two-finger tap to undo system’ in the self-titled app – have decide to give it away for free. Is this the start of the standard?
It’s also one of our most-stolen features (over a dozen apps and counting), and we’re fine with that. In fact, we’re giving it away. Seriously. We’ve put together a sample project covered by the Simplified BSD License, which means you can add to or modify it as you wish.
Whether you’re one of our competitors, or in an entirely different field, please feel free to grab the project below. Take it, use it, and give your users the most instinctive Undo and Redo method available.
(And a tip of the hat to John Gruber).
Apple Loop brings you seven days worth of highlights every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future. Last week’s Apple Loop can be read here, or this week’s edition of Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit, is also available on Forbes.
Read more from source here…