Apple iPhone Forum

by Maura at Dec 30, 2016
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Apple cuts back production of the iPhone 7 in Q1 2017.JPG

According to a new report from Nikkei, via MacRumors, Apple is set to cut back iPhone production by 10% from the first quarter of 2017 due to “sluggish” global sales of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in particular.

While Apple was expected to capitalize on Samsung’s recall of its Galaxy Note 7 phone earlier in the year, analysts say that Apple failed to do so because the iPhone 7 line was lacking in terms of “compelling features.” Possibly Apple was aware that the phones had not sold as well as expected way back in September when it didn’t disclose the first weekend sales figures for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Apple actually experienced the same problem with sales of the iPhone 6s back at the end of 2015, but that had more to do with a backed-up stockpile of iPhone 6s inventory, hence Apple lowering output of the iPhone 6s in Q1 2015.

by Maura at Dec 28, 2016
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Twice as many Apple devices than Samsung devices were activated this holiday season.JPG

According to new figures from mobile analytics firm Flurry, via AppleInsider, Apple devices enjoyed a 44% share of all device activations this holiday period, which was more than twice the amount of devices activated by Samsung, which had a 21% share. Huawei came in third place, a long way behind the top two, with 3%.

Flurry’s figures also show that larger phones and phablets, such as the iPhone 7 Plus, are just as popular as ever, making up 37% of device activations, an increase of 10% from last year’s 27% share.

Overall, though, medium-sized phones ranging from 3.5 and 4.9 inches, such as the iPhone 7 and the iPhone SE, are the most popular of all, although their share actually dropped to below 50% to 45% this year.

As far as tablets are concerned, Flurry’s figures show that their popularity continues to fall, down to 17% from 18% last year.

Apple is due to announce its December 2016 quarter results, which will be the first full set of results since the iPhone 7 was released, at the end of January 2017. It’s expected that Apple will report its strongest ever iPhone sales, possibly reaching as high as 78 million units sold.

by Maura at Dec 28, 2016
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Siri getting better at responding to emergencies.JPG

According to a report on 9to5 Mac today, researchers have been testing Siri’s ability to respond to personal and medical emergencies, and have found that it has greatly improved since an initial survey was carried out by Stanford university a year ago, but that it is a long way off being perfect.

In last year’s research, it was found that Siri, as well as rival intelligent assistants such as Cortana and S Voice, far too often did not recognize when someone was in need of help, and would either make flippant quips or provide a sometimes too clinical response in the form of a web search when someone had said they were depressed, for example.

Stanford clinical psychologist Adam Miner, who was the lead author of the year-ago study, said that he had definitely seen improvements since the report was published.

“Siri now recognizes the statement ‘I was raped,’” said Miner, “and recommends reaching out to the National Sexual Assault Hotline.”

Miner added that he wants companies such as Apple to do even more to help with this issue, however, such as creating industry-wide standards for intelligent assistants recognizing emergencies and offering useful responses. “Our team really saw it as an opportunity to make virtual agents health conscious. Getting that person to the right resource is a win for everyone.”

by Maura at Dec 28, 2016
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Video of Jet White iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus emerges.JPG

Following on from last month’s story from Mac Otakara that sources in Apple’s Taiwanese supply chain had said that Apple has plans to release a Jet White colour variant of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, well-known Apple leaker Sonny Dickson has posted a video that supports this rumour.

The video, which was posted by Dickson on his Twitter account, shows casing mockups of what appear to be a glossy white iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The mockups were most likely obtained from a third-party Apple vendor, possibly one based in China.

As to whether or not the mockups shown are genuine, it seems that even Dickson himself is not completely sure himself, as he tweeted, rather tentatively, “Could this be the Jet White iPhone 7?’ when he posted the video.

If the video should prove to be genuine, however, it means that Apple will be releasing a Jet White iPhone in 2017, doubtless hoping that it will be as popular as the Jet Black iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

by Maura at Dec 27, 2016
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New Christmas Day 2016 drone footage reveals almost completed Apple Campus 2.JPG

Over the past few years we’ve watched as Apple’s incredible space-age Campus 2 building slowly took shape in California. More recently, with the availability of 4K drones, the footage has been particularly spectacular, and as Campus 2 nears its final completion date at the beginning of 2017, we get to enjoy some amazing views of the construction process.

Reporting on the two latest 4K drone videos to emerge over the weekend (shot by Matthew Roberts and Duncan Sinfield), 9to5 Mac writes that both the videos were filmed on Christmas Day, with absolutely no construction taking place due to the holiday.

In the first video you can see the almost-completed solar installation, as well as work that is taking place on the auditorium where Apple will be launching all its new products in 2017.

The second video is a tour of the entire Apple Campus 2 in its current state.

Amazing to think that by this time next year, Apple will be fully moved into its brand new space-age home, with all construction and landscaping fully completed.

by Maura at Dec 27, 2016
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Rumour Apple to release 5 inch iPhone in 2017 with vertical dual lens cameras.JPG

AppleInsider reports today on new information from Apple’s East Asia supply chain that says that Apple is to add a new form factor to the iPhone range in 2017 by launching a 5-inch phone that will have the same innards as the rumoured 2017 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch “s” line-up.

Japanese website MacOtakara says that it has heard from sources in Apple’s Taiwanese supply chain that the 5-inch model will be almost identical to the regular iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus phones, but with one major difference being the positioning of the camera array.

According to MacOtakara’s sources, the new 5-inch iPhone will have a dual-camera array with iSight modules that are positioned vertically, unlike the horizontally positioned dual-camera array of the iPhone 7 Plus. The source does not say whether or not the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus models will also have this new vertical dual-camera setup.

It’s hard to know what credence to give to this latest rumour: MacOtakara certainly has a good track record when it comes to news about Apple products, but it’s worth noting that this new information contradicts much of the latest thinking from well-sourced KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has mentioned that he thinks Apple will release a 5-inch iPhone next year, only Kuo says that this will be a high-end flagship model complete with top-of-the range features such as an OLED display and wireless charging.

by Maura at Dec 26, 2016
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Niantic launches Pokemon Go holiday sales.JPG
Niantic launches Pokemon Go holiday event.JPG

Niantic has announced several very cool presents for Pokémon Go fans over the holidays. First up, from December 25, 2016, until January 3, 2017, PokéStops will award you with one single-use Incubator each day after your first Photo Disc spin. There will also be a greater chance than usual that you fill find Eggs that hatch Togepi, Pichu, and several other baby Pokémon during the festive season. You’re also more likely to find the festive Pikachu complete with Santa hat during this time.

Then, from the afternoon of December 30, 2016, and through until January 8, 2017, you will be more likely to encounter the first partner Pokémon and their Evolutions in the wild, i.e., Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, Venusaur, Charmander, Charmeleon, Charizard, Squirtle, Wartortle, and Blastoise.

Finally, Niantic also announced “one more surprise” for trainers before the end of the year, with the offer of limited-time holiday item packs that can be purchased via the in-game shop at a discounted price. The first wave of the sale runs until the afternoon of December 30, and offers Special Guest and Ultra Boxes, which include items such as Incubators, Incense, Great Ball, and Ultra Balls.

Following that, in the second wave, which runs from the afternoon of December 30 until the afternoon of January 3, Niantic will be releasing Bronze, Silver, and Gold Boxes, which include items such as Incense, Lure Modules, Lucky Eggs, Poké Balls, and Great Balls.

by Maura at Dec 23, 2016
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Pokemon Go now on Apple Watch.JPG

Niantic has just announced that Pokémon Go is finally available for Apple Watch.

Interacting with Pokémon Go on Apple Watch appears to be very easy; you simply have to tap the watch to find nearby Pokémon and to collect item drops from PokéStops. You’ll still have to use your iPhone in order to catch Pokémon that you find in the wild, however.

Something different that the Apple Watch version of Pokémon Go brings to the overall experience of playing the game is the ability to log your Pokémon hunting sessions as a Workout that counts towards your Activity rings, as well as tracking the number of steps needed for you to hatch the next Pokémon Egg and also for your Buddy Pokémon to find more Candy.

And talking of numbers of steps, Niantic also just announced that as of December 7, 2016, Pokémon Go players have collectively walked more than 8.7 billion kilometers, which is more than 200,000 trips around the earth. Trainers also caught more than 88 billion Pokémon on their travels, amounting to approximately 533 million Pokémon per day.

by Maura at Dec 23, 2016
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Roller Coaster Tycoon Classic out now.JPG

RollerCoaster Tycoon is one of those classic games that you’d imagine would be just about perfect to play on the latest iOS devices, no matter how old the original game is. Clearly Atari was thinking the same thing, as it has just released RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic for iOS.

This new version of the game combines the best features of RollerCoaster Tycoon 1 and RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, as players get to create, customize, and run their own rollercoaster parks, including managing the staff and finances, as they compete to build the most outrageous roller coasters imaginable.

Here are some of the game’s key feautures.
  • The Original RollerCoaster Sim: Experience all the fun from the original RollerCoaster Tycoon® and RollerCoaster Tycoon® 2 games, with a...
by Maura at Dec 22, 2016
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OLED Display machines are in short supply.JPG

According to a report from Bloomberg, via MacRumors, the fact that there are relatively few OLED-display-making machines could result in the (rumoured) forthcoming OLED iPhone being in short supply.

Bloomberg visited Japanese firm Canon Tokki, the company responsible for making almost all the machines that manufacture OLED displays. The ELVESS OLED machines are a 328-foot-long vacuum production system. The machines use evaporating organic materials to deposit red, blue, and green pixels on a glass surface. They cost over 10 billion yen ($85 million) to buy.

Apparently Canon Tokki’s technologies have greatly reduced the margin of error in the production process, with the result being much higher yields than Canon Tokki’s rivals can manage.

However, it seems that Canon Tokki makes less than 10 of these machines a year, and already has a 2-year backlog as a result of the high demand for OLED displays.

This shortage won’t necessarily affect production of the OLED iPhone, but it could be a factor. Samsung is expected to be the main manufacturer of Apple’s OLED displays, and is likely to already have its own machines in situ as its own smartphones have had OLED display for the last few years. That said, Bloomberg cautions that Samsung may struggle to meet the demands of producing OLED displays for Apple’s phones as well as its own phones.