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Yup iFixit has done their thang an ripped apart a beautiful pair an Apple’s new iPods Max just to let us know what’s inside.
The biggest surprise, “you can detach the entire headband from AirPods Max with just a SIM card removal tool or paperclip”
Is it a hint that Apple had originally planned swappable headbands as rumored?
There are logic boards in each ear cup.
iFixit also comments on the electromechanical hinge that connects the ear cups to the headband calling it “intricate and overbuilt”
To be fair though this thing has to rotate for comfort while still providing power from the battery
Overall iFixit seemed impress with the build quality comparing it to a mechanical watch vs a pair of headphones.
The also found the reparability to be fairly serviceable giving Air Pods Pro a 6/10 in, as it seems most parts were held together using screws instead of glue.
The iPhone 12 mini not so mighty
In an investment note Morgan Stanley say that Apple may have shifted production of 2 million iPhone units from the iPhone 12 mini to the iPhone 12 Pro
Apple has been reportedly struggling to meet demand for the Pro models, especially in China
The general belief is that demand for the iPhone 12 mini continues to underperform the demand for the higher end models
The report says even despite that, sales of lower end iPhone 12 models are doing better in China than in the US
The note from Morgan Stanley seems to also be supported by reports from Digitimes claiming that Apple has slowed down orders for the iPhone 12 mini
Recent numbers from CIRP showed the iPhone 12 mini only accounted for about 6 percent of iPhone sales and they say “likely disappointed Apple”.
We also once again heard rumors this week that the iPhone 13 could have a smaller notch
This time the rumors are coming from DigiTimes
They say a new design form the Rx, Tx and flood illuminator will integrate the sensors into the same camera module, like on Apple’s LiDAR module for the front camera
This should allow Apple to make the notch shorter, though the report state the notch may stay the same width.
The same report also claims that the ultra-wide angle lens will also get an upgrade, going from a 5P (p stands for plastic, number is the number of elements) to a 6P
Next iOS will drop support for a couple of older model phones according to the French site iPhoneSoft
They claim iOS 15 will not support devices with the Apple A9 chip, which would include the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and the iPhone SE
That also means that iPad OS 15 will probably not support the iPad mini 4, the iPad Air 2, or the iPad 5. All have A9 or newer chips
Apple Car might be made by Kia Motors
We continue to hear about the possibility of Apple partnering with Hyundai for the Apple Car
The latest is from Korea IT News. They claim Apple and Hyundai are looking to reach a deal by March and that Apple’s electric cars could be produced at a Kia factory in Georgia.
Kia is an affiliate of the Hyundai Motor Group
The report seems to indicate that Hyundai does not intend to be an “OEM factory" for Apple cars which is why are consider a possible to transition of the project to Kia Motors though the report also notes that nothing has been decided.
You may remember a week or so a go we had reports that Hyundai confirmed to CNBC that they were in talks with Apple about an electric vehicle project, but then they later revised their statement to exclude references to Apple.
Kia has said it is working with "multiple firms" on self-driving electric vehicles. Not specifically mentioning Apple.
‘Ted Lasso’ Picks up three award noms
Of the few bright lights in 2020 for me ‘Ted Lasso’ was one of them.
Now looks like the show has picked up three nominations in this years Critics Choice Awards
Jason Sudeiks, how plays the lead role of coach Ted Lasso, was nominated for best actor in a comedy series
Hannah Waddingham, who plays the football clubs owner Rebecca Welton, was nominated for best supporting actress in a comedy series
And the show itself will compete for best comedy series
Ted Lasso has been one of the few standout “hits” on AppleTV+ and has already been renewed for second and third seasons.
The show is scheduled to begin filming of season two in London this month, with a late 2021 or early 2022 release.
Apple looks to be ramping up it’s staff to help promote their upcoming film releases
According to Deadline Apple has hired JP Richards, a former co-head of worldwide marketing at Warner Bros.
For Apple Richards will serve as the head of film marketing strategy
And Apple might need the help promoting their newest service.
According to new research from JustWatch reported on by 9to5 Mac Apple TV+ had only 3% of the US streaming market share in the fourth quarter of 2020
Coming in last behind service like Netflix, Disney+, and even Peacock
Apple did have to delay a number of their new and season two productions and have now twice extended their “free trial subscription” which now go until
There’s also a report from Variety with numbers from MoffettNathan's Q4 2020 Streaming Video On Demand Tracker that claims 62 percent of AppleTV+ subscribers are on the free trial and that almost 30 percent say they don’t plan to pay once those trials expire.
One point I don’t think all these analysts get is that Apple doesn’t have to “complete” with other streaming services
AppleTV+ is an “add-on” to their other products and services.
Of course Apple want the service to do well and make money, but that is a different goal than having a large share of the streaming video market.
Also Apple has had success starting small and building their services as “best in class” and if Apple Music is any indication of how well that strategy works then I think Apple TV+ will do just fine.
Apple TV+ has some great content (I would argue some of the best content, albeit a bit small in terms of the size of the library)
And those show are gaining in audience and popularity
In fact Deadline reports that the premier episode of the second season of the M. Night Shyamalan thriller, Servant, had twice the audience of the premier of the first season.
Apple doesn’t provide viewer number, but the report claimed Servant had a similar numbers to shows like Defending Jacob and Ted Lasso. Two of the more popular shows on the service.
And Apple TV+ continues to rack up new shows with some pretty big A-List names attached
This week Variety reports that has picked up a new series called “Lessons in Chemistry” that will star and be executive produced by Brie Larson.
The series is based on an upcoming novel by author Bonnie Garmus
Jason Bateman and Michael Costigan are also co-executive producing the project, along with Larson.
This is the second project with Apple TV+ that Larson is attached to. She was also said to be in an upcoming untitled CIA drama for Apple that was announced back in early 2019
No word on the timeline for the CIA drama, but the report says “Lessons in Chemistry” is just getting rolling and could see a launch possibly in the Spring of 2022
Apple’s AR Headset might by “pricey”
Well aren’t most of Apple’s products, let’s be honest.
Still not sure we were expecting Apple’s first AR headset to be as costly as Bloomberg’s Mark Gruman’s sources say it could be.
They price could likely be over $1,000 USD
They are calling it a "pricey, niche precursor" to a future more affordable AR product
Oh, he also is saying the first Apple AR headset my be really more VR than AR.
He says it will “display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating”
And that AR functionality will be more limited
The premium version will come with premium tech though with the report claiming
It will have a much higher resolution display than the competition
Also that Apple will include advanced chips that will be more powerful than the just released M1 processors in the new MacBooks
The report also states that Apple had to add a fan and the extra weight caused them to have to move the headset closer to the face to reduce the size of the product.
Apple also is intending to use fabric to help keep the weight down
That means you can’t use it with prescription glasses, so Apple is looking at custom prescription lenses can be inserted into the headset
They are still trying to figure out how they will manage selling the prescription versions at retail
The good news is the VR headset is designed to be “standalone”
They will have external camera and Apple is working on hand tracking that could also allow for “air” typing
Bloomberg says the headset is similar in size to an Oculus Quest
According to the report Apple plans to lunch the VR product “as soon as” 2022
The next Apple Silicon MacBooks
Bloomberg is also speculating on the next generation of the MacBook lineup
Starting with a new “higher-end” version of the MacBook Air
The report claims it will be thinner and lighter in design, but will remain at 13-inches
Though they may shrink the bezels allowing the new version to be smaller
They did say Apple had considered 15-inch screen, but is to moving forward with it
It will also bring MagSafe back to the MacBook Air and feature second generation Apple Silicon
It will still only carry two USB 4 / Thunderbolt ports
The piece says we might expect to see the new MacBook Air in the second half of 2021 at the earliest.
In the same piece Gurman notes that Apple has also been working on cellular connectivity and FaceID, but that those will likely not be ready for this years line-up
Including not in this years re-designed iMac that we discussed last episode.
Gurman also expands on the “expanded ports” that Ming-Chi Kuo said would be coming to the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros this year.
He says Apple will bring back the SD card slot.
M1 Macs can run a Linux
Guess maybe Linus Torvals can come back to the Mac now?
Said after Apple’s M1 event that he’d “absolutely love to have one, if it just ran Linux," But also doubted that it would happen.
Well it has.
Corellium has created a version of Ubuntu Linux that their CTO says is "completely usable" on an Apple M1 Mac mini
Can get networking via a USB dongle and has full support for USB, I2C, and DART
Still the release did warn that it was "very early" beta was for "advanced users only"
For example there’s no hardware acceleration for now.
Apple set for record quarter
Apple will hold their earnings call for the first quarter of 2021 this Wednesday
This would be the quarter that includes Apple’s 2020 holiday sales
And based no how we already know sales went it’s not surprising that analysts are making bold predictions
In fact, many believe Apple might break $100 billion in revenue for a quarter for the first time.
The current record, set in the first quarter of last year, stands at $91.8 billion.
The number could go well above $100 billion and will come thanks to a very strong lineup of products and services, coupled with the pandemic increasing demand for computers and tablets as many folks transitioned to doing work and school from home.
Products like the iPhone 12, Apple Silicon Macs, and the HomePod mini
Plus Apple’s service updates with Apple Fitness+ and the new Apple One bundles.
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A great title for that is The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman. He even reads and performs this one and I love that. You get the story with the authors own words and emphasis
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Feedback, commentary, opinions
Thoughts on AirTags
Daniel wanted to know, “Have (you) heard any rumors with regard to whether Airtags will have replaceable batteries?”
Originally tile trackers did not, but had a 1 year battery
Newer versions use replaceable batteries
He’s been using Tile trackers for years and hoping Airtags will be cheaper and/or will provide some benefits over Tiles.
I seriously doubt they’ll be cheaper
They should offer some enhanced and unique user experiences, especially with the U1 chipped iPhones
I really doubt they’ll have replaceable batteries.
Maybe rechargeable via wireless charging?
Daniel was worried this would be inconvenient, especially removing a tag stuck to an item just to recharge it.
battery life concerns
My Siri Remote goes for months without needing to be recharged
If you try attempting to “associate” your AppleOne storage (200GB) to the account has the 2TB it will see that as a “cancellation” of the iCloud Storage on the 2TB account.
It throws up a scary warning that the storage will be reduced and that you may be unable to save new Photos and files to iCloud
The storage can seemingly only be associated with one account or the other.
When you sign up for Apple One if the account you use to sign up with already has iCloud storage and the Apple One Storage is less than your current iCloud plan then you keep both your current iCloud storage plan and the iCloud storage in Apple One.
The trouble here was that Paul has his Apple ID (Media account) associated to the Apple One 200GB of storage and his separate iCloud account kept it’s own 2TB
Now, when attempting to switch, it sees it as he’s “cancelling” the 2TB and moving to the 200GB in the Apple One plan.
So what to do…
Luckily, as scary as the message is, I think he can still do what he wants and it’ll be OK.
Please ensure you have full backups of all your iCloud data before trying this.
According to [this support article](https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207594), when you downgrade your iCloud storage plan and your iCloud storage exceeds your new storage plan capacity. iCloud won't sync or update your information.
It doesn’t appear to immediately delete any information in iCloud.
iCloud updates again when you increase your storage capacity or delete information to make more space.
So sounds like you’d be OK, because you immediately plan to add another 200GB of storage and at that point everything should just begin syncing again.
Big Sur and bootable clones
I had at least two people come to me this week with concerns that SuperDuper currently has not been updated with support for Big Sur
I love SuperDuper, but unfortunately a lot of Apple’s changes for security and such are causing issues for apps like SuperDuper
I have moved to [Carbon Copy Cloner]()
It does offer Big Sur support, but with some caveats
What has changed is the system now resides on a cryptographically sealed “Signed System Volume” and the seal can only be applied by Apple.
Copies of the System volume are non-bootable without Apple's seal.
To make a bootable clone you now have to use Apple's APFS replication utility, "ASR" (Apple System Recovery)
The tool requires that the destination is erased and that everything is copied from the source to the destination.
To get CCC to work they had to offer three choices when upgrading to Big Sur:
Allow CCC to erase the destination to make a bootable clone
Add a new, dedicated backup volume to an existing APFS destination (if there is enough free space)
Proceed with a Data Volume backup (this is a complete backup of all of your data, applications, and system settings)
The other limitation is that CCC can no longer keep the system up to date on the backup drive on it’s own
The only was to update the destination System volume is by cloning both the System and Data volumes together with ASR. That would require erasing the destination every time.
CCC has made a feature request (September 2019) to Apple to change the behavior to allow ASR to clone just the System volume. Apple's APFS team acknowledged the request in June 2020 and clarified the requirements.
The workaround if you want an up to date system on your clone is to boot the Mac from the backup volume and apply any updates via the Software Update preference pane in the System Preferences application
macOS in 2020 needs an SSD
I really hate to say this, but I’m coming to firmly believe this is true.
This week I received multiple emails from members of the community who are frustrated with experiencing constant “beachballs” on systems running macOS Catalina and Big Sur.
The common thread is these system have spinning HDDs or Fusion drives.
My wife’s 2014 Mac mini also would have constant sluggishness and beachballs.
The only solution for me was to install an SSD in replace of the spinning drive.
Fusion drives also don’t seems to provide much relief. I think it’s likely because the SSD portion of the drive is just too small.
I personally don’t think Apple should be selling ANY systems with spinning or Fusion drives anymore.