Qualcomm has been in a long running patent dispute with Apple concerning iPhones and multiple Qualcomm software patents.
They seem to be multi-touch related patents
"enable consumers to adjust and reformat the size and appearance of photographs and to manage applications using a touch screen when viewing, navigating, and dismissing applications on their phones."
On November 30th a Chinese court ruled in favor of Qualcomm and ordered a nationwide ban on iPhone sales of several older models.
Actually ALL older models including the iPhone 8 and iPhone X
Qualcomm was pushing hard to get the ban extended to the iPhone XS and XR models.
Apple appealed the ruling and at first said the ban wasn't in effect yet and only applied to older versions of iOS and not iOS 12
A Qualcomm spokesperson said if Apple ignored the ban they would ask the Chinese government to "force" Apple to comply.
Which they did, but Apple says all phones shipping have iOS 12 which they believe is not subject to the ban.
iPhones assembled by Foxconn and Wistron are in infringement of Qualcomm patents … but Pegatron-produced iPhones are not, so Apple my move more production to Pegatron.
Pegatron has a patent licensing agreement in place with Qualcomm that covers the two patents at the center of the ban
Apple pushed out a software update iOS 12.1.2 that Apple says removes any infringing software in iOS 12 in China.
Regardless of the update Qualcomm still maintains Apple is violating the court's ruling by continuing to sell the iPhones without explicit permission to do so.
iOS 12.1.2 also offered some eSIM fixes.
The battle between the two companies is legendary at this point Apple has told it's suppliers to withhold royalty payments to Qualcomm while the lawsuits are pending, about $7 billion dollars worth. Qualcomm is pissed to say the least.
Last year Qualcomm sought a US import ban on iPhone's that was shot down by a US trade judge
While he did find the iPhone's "infringing" on one patent he ruled that “public interest factors” weigh against the import ban request
Now the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is reviewing that judgement and could reverse the decision.
One factor is "how long it would take Apple to design around a ban or if it already has."
They will make their ruling on February 19th.
With this and the looming import taxes Apple is getting beat up in China
Bloomberg reported that Apple could handle a 10% tax, but if it went as high as 25% they would look for manufacturing options outside China
That doesn't immediately mean the US. Apple has manufacturing in India, Brazil, and Taiwan among other places.
It also doesn't rule out the US in the future.
Apple is also facing pressure from Egypt to end "unfair restrictions on local distributors"
iPhone prices are already high, but in Egypt prices are 50% more than in other Middle East countries
An iPhone XS 512GB is almost $2,000US in Egypt vs. about $1,300 in the UAE
The Egyptian Competition Authority gave Apple two months to end exclusive distribution agreements and allow local retailers to buy from local distributors, something Apple prevents them from doing now.
With all this Qualcomm business we've also had rumors of Apple looking to possibly design their own cellular modems
Reports of Apple planning a new San Diego office (by 2023) and poaching Qualcomm engineers
Could take three years for Apple to develop their own modem chips
Apple announced a new 133-acre campus in North Austin with a $1B investment
It will be used for engineering, R&D, operating, finance, sales and customer support.
At first the new Austin campus will have 5,000 employees, but will grow to 15,000 over time
It will run on 100 percent renewable energy and have 50 acres of preserved open space.
Other expanded workforces in Seattle, San Diego, and Culver City by 2019 with over 1,000 employees each
Will expand their presence in Pittsburgh, New York, Portland Oregon, and Colorado.
Apple plans to invest $10 billion in US data centers over the next five years with a new site in Waukee and expansions at current data centers in North Carolina, Arizona and Nevada.
In 2018 Apple added 6,000 jobs to its American workforce and now employs 90,000 people in all 50 states. The hope is to add another 20,000 new US jobs by 2023
Apple suppliers report strong revenue
Coming from a Bloomberg report
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, both posted a 5.6 percent increase in November sales.
Seems to push against reports of Apple supplier cut backs.
Still other Apple suppliers like AMS, Japan Display, Lumentum, and others have been issuing warnings about weaker earnings and were slashing revenue forecasts last month.
TSMC also has the advantage of being able to take on other companies if Apple is pulling back on orders.
Still Ming-Chi Kuo thinks demand is low and significantly reduced his forecast for iPhone unit shipments in the upcoming quarter
He claims even sales of older devices are not enough to offset slow iPhone X sand XR sales.
Citing lower demand for iPhone XR (he sees 5 million fewer units then originally predicted) he's now citing Q1 2019 (January – March) iPhone sales of 38-42 million, down from 50 million
For 2018 he's predicting total iPhone shipments of 210 million, but just 188 to 194 million for 2019 or an overall 5-10 percent decline
Because of higher price points he's not expecting the revenue declines to be as significant.
I fell Apple investors are seriously underestimating Apple's ability to shift revenue and growth into Services ad they transition to the next hardware format.
Apple continues media content blitz
Apple has hired another ex-Sony employee, Tamara Hunter, to be their casting director for Apple Worldwide video.
She was most recently at Sony, but for 10 years before that at Sarah Finn Co.
She worked on many of the Marvel cinematic universe films, Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Hidden Figures
She will oversee casting for all films and TV shows at Apple.
Apple has also made a straight-to-series order for a show based on a 2017 memoir by Amy Silverstein called, "My Glory Was I Had Such Friends"
The memoir follows a group of women who supported Silverstein as she waited for a second life-saving heart transplant.
The series will star Jennifer Garner and executive produced by J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot Productions along with Warner Bros. Television
Abrams is also producing another series title "Little Voices" for Apple which is said to be a half hour dramedy that is a love letter to "the diverse musicality of New York."
Apple has also done a deal with DHX Media that will bring all-new "Peanuts" content to Apple's video service
Peanuts Worldwide will develop and produce the original series, specials, and shorts staring Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Woodstock and all the Peanuts gang.
One item mentioned in the report from variety is a short featuring astronaut Snoopy that will be themed around STEM education
There is no mention of Apple getting a license or access to back catalog.
Apple also reportedly signed “Fast and the Furious” director-producer Justin Lin to an exclusive TV development deal
The report from Variety doesn't go into an specifics on what Lin or his Perfect Storm Entertainment production company would be producing for Apple.
Apple's video streaming service is expected to launch in over 100 countries in 2019.
There are also still rumors Apple plans to relaunch the Texture paid news and magazine subscription service Apple acquired in 2016.
It would be rolled din under Apple News
There are still not firm details on the price.
The service had 200,000 subscribers paying $10/mo.
There have been reports that publishers are still leery about Apple controlling their content and that they would leave their individual paywalled services for Apple's all you can eat option
Apple's counter is one word, volume.
Revenue under Texture was shared by tracking what people were reading.
Apple adds another social media music failure to it's list.
Now it looks like Apple is sunsetting Apple Music Connect
They reportedly have removing the ability for artists to post content and previously posted Apple Music Connect content is being removed from the For You section and Artist Pages in Apple Music.
Previously uploaded content will still be searchable until May 24, 2019
Apple renewing car efforts?
Apple has reportedly hired Tesla Senior Designer Andrew Kim and some believe this is a sign Apple could be renewing efforts in it's Project Titan autonomous vehicle project.
Kim worked on the Roadster 2, the Semi, plus Models S,X,Y, and the Model 3 and was focused on the vehicle interior including the dashboard layouts.
Over the summer we had reports of Apple stepping up hiring efforts around it's car and autonomous systems project
It includes many hires of former Tesla talent in all areas of development including Autopilot, quality assurance, powertrain, mechanical design and firmware engineers as well as manufacturing experts
Apparently the rumor is Apple is placing renewed emphasis on manufacturing processes and equipment.
So they could be working up vehicle or systems designed that would then be outsourced to manufacturing partners.
Kim also worked for three years at Microsoft on the HoloLens project, so could also bring his knowledge and experience to Apple's AR/VR efforts
I still think Apple could put together and amazing vehicle as a service (VaaS) program selling not other the vehicle service, but also entertainment and other services around the car service.
Apple Pay finally in Germany
Apple Pay partners in Germany include American Express, Deutsche Bank, Hanseatic Bank, HypoVereinsbank, Edenred, Comdirect, Fidor Bank, and mobile banks and payment services o2, N26, boon, bunq, and VIMpay.
In 2019 ING, Consorsbank, and Deutsche Kreditbank will also offer Apple Pay in Germany
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia – or CommBank – also announced that it will finally support Apple Pay
Apple Pay will launch for its personal customers in January of 2019
The BBC's Channel 4 on demand service is finally available on the Apple TV, just look for the "All 4" app in the TV App Store.
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Feedback, commentary, opinions
Not quite winter
I mention it being "winter" on the last Maccast and Brad wrote in to remind me that officially winter starts December 21st, we're still a few days away.
Maybe it was my cold, or just the holiday season and the cooler weather, but it feels like winter for a lot of us. ;)
US ECG seems to need US Apple ID
This has been confirmed by a few Maccast Apple Watch owners.
You need a US based credit card to get a US based Apple ID.
Hey Alexa, play Apple Music
If you have Apple Music and an Amazon Echo device you can now marry the two
To set it up:
1. Open the Alexa app on your iPhone or iPad
2. Tap the Settings icon in the top left corner (3 lines)
3. Tap Settings > Music
4. Tap Link New Service at the top
5. Tap Apple Music and log in with your credentials
To set Apple Music as your default music service
1. Open the Alexa app on your iPhone or iPad
2. Tap the Settings icon in the top left corner (3 lines)
3. Tap Settings > Music
4. Toward the bottom, tap Choose default music services
5. You can pick Apple Music for Default music library as well as Default station service (Beats 1?)
Hidden time tumbler gesture
Ok, this is one I had never heard of from Bob
In the Calendar when entering the time of an event if you double tap the minute "tumbler" it will toggle it between 1 minute and 5 minute increments.
This seems to only work in calendar (including 3rd party ones maybe) and not in say the Alarm app
Here's another one for Apple Watch, at least watchOS 5, from Ali
In any App outside the main watch face you can't typically access notifications or control center by swiping up or down as you normally would.
So you'd press the digital crown and return to the main screen
Well if you tap and hold at the bottom or top edge of the screen a handle will "peek" out and you can then swipe up or down to access the control center or notification center without needing to leave the current app.
This seems to work everywhere EXCEPT on the app grid screen
New devices with older Macs
I have had a rash of folks who have had trouble connecting and syncing newer devices running iOS 12 to older Macs via iTunes
All of them have been told by Apple support they need to get newer computers or to upgrade to macOS Mojave
That sounded unlikely to me so I did some testing on my old 2008 iMac running macOS El Capitan and connecting my 2018 11-inch iPad Pro