Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the coronavirus impact on Apple, a new iPhone appears, more details on 2020’s MacBook Pro, details on the iPad Pro’s new camera, Apple adopting adware methods, a closer look at Apple’s finances, and a tell-all book about Apple’s App Store.
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).
Coronavirus And Apple
Apple’s launch plans for its upcoming hardware – much like every other manufacturer in the tech industry – has been hit by the controls placed around manufacturing and suppliers in China. Workers have been told to stay at home, factories remain closed, and although some production has moved to other countries, nobody puts together the volumes of smartphones required like China can. Carrie Mihalcik reports:
“Mass production of the new low-cost iPhone was supposed to start by the end of this month but may be delayed until sometime in March, according to a report Tuesday from Nikkei Asian Review. A separate report from Bloomberg said the low-cost iPhone is still on track, but noted that Apple’s plans are “fluid.”
“The reports follow a warning from Apple on Monday that it likely will miss the quarterly revenue guidance it gave last month. The iPhone maker cited two reasons for the update: The coronavirus is hurting both demand from Chinese customers and production capabilities inside China.”
“Our quarterly guidance issued on January 28, 2020 reflected the best information available at the time as well as our best estimates about the pace of return to work following the end of the extended Chinese New Year holiday on February 10. Work is starting to resume around the country, but we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated. As a result, we do not expect to meet the revenue guidance we provided for the March quarter.”
CUPERTINO, CA – SEPTEMBER 12: Apple CEO Tim Cook makes speech during the Apple launch event on … [+]
VCG via Getty Images
Will Apple Change The Name To iPhone
Turning to the upcoming iPhone 9 (née iPhone SE2) are we in for another name change on the product? With the caveat that he is quoting an unnamed insider, Apple reporter Jon Prosser discusses the potential for the simplest name of all. Gordon Kelly looks at the potential for ‘IPhone’:
“I think this would an extremely smart move on Apple’s part. After all, iPhone SE2 sounds almost as bad as iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone 9 sounds underwhelming given the iPhone X launched already in 2017. In addition to what Prosser notes about the iPad naming scheme, the same is true of AirPods and iMac of as well.”
New Details On The MacBook Pro
This week saw a new MacBook Pro pop up on the benchmarking tools available online. That allowed a closer look at the reported specs of the machine, suggesting that the 2020 update to the 13-inch MacBook Pro is making the jump to Intel’s tenth generation processors and offering more power to users. Now we need to know when this new MacBook Pro will be launched, and will it have the magical Magic Keyboard replacing the ill-aged butterfly keyboard?
“As for the launch, the obvious answer is the end of March event that has been mooted for the iPhone 9 (née iPhone SE2) and the iPad update, but I would expect Apple to keep the focus on the tablet and smartphone combination. The next event – June’s Worldwide Developer Conference – feels more appropriate.
“That said I think Apple will go down a route it has taken before… to quietly launch the updated 13-Inch MacBook Pro with a press release and some early hands-on time with a few hand-picked writers.”
Some 3D With Your iPad?
Also in line for a refresh is the aforementioned iPad. Although production could be affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, the specs will be locked in, and that makes the details around the new camera exciting. Benjamin Mayo has more:
“[Digitmes] says production shipments of the tablet are not expected to peak until after April, with the factory closures due to the coronavirus outbreak delaying the usual supply chain ramp. This means Apple could delay the launch of the new iPad Pro, or debut it in limited quantities. Digitimes predicts production will peak at around 3 million units per month.
“Digitimes says the new iPads will feature a rear-facing triple-camera system, including a time-of-flight 3D sensor.”
SHANGHAI, CHINA – 2020/01/12: Customers admire iPad Pro products in an Apple retail store in … [+]
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Apple’s Quiet Adoption Of Adware
If you’ve not signed up for Apple Music, your iPhone’s Music app will remind you and offer options only available through the subscription. If you’ve not signed up to Apple TV+. you’re going to see lots of adverts for Apple’s own programming. Apple News users without the subscription without are going to see adverts and diversions to subscription-based articles. In many cases the alerts over these services o not follow the strict guidelines Apple hands to third party developers. Steve Streza argues this is adware:
“If you don’t subscribe to these services, you’ll be forced to look at these ads constantly, either in the apps you use or the push notifications they have turned on by default. The pervasiveness of ads in iOS is a topic largely unexplored, perhaps due to these services having a lot of adoption among the early adopter crowd that tends to discuss Apple and their design. This isn’t a value call on the services themselves, but a look at how aggressively Apple pushes you to pay for them, and how that growth-hack-style design comes at the expense of the user experience.”
A Little Bit More Financial Clarity
This week saw Apple making some corporate changes with its Irish companies that should expose more of the company’s financial details, thanks to the switch from unlimited company status to limited company status. Richard Cantillon explains:
“Last month, it appears things at Apple’s Cork hub began to change. On January 23rd, Apple’s six main Irish entities all began re-registering with the Companies Registration Office as limited companies, relinquishing unlimited status.
Company filings this week suggest the move is underway at Apple Operations Europe, Apple Sales Ireland, Apple Sales International, Apple Distribution International, Apple Operations, and Apple Data Services Ireland.
“Returning to limited status means that Apple’s Irish entities will now have to file full annual accounts, detailing their sales, profits, tax bills and where their ultimate control lies. Apple will also have to reveal what sort of cash pile it is maintaining in Ireland through these entities.”
Former Apple App Store Manager Tom Sadowski has published a book called ‘App Store Confidential’, which promises a personal look behind the scenes of Apple’s app store business. Let’s just say that Apple is not impressed, and has issued a cease-and-desist legal motion to try and block its distribution. Ben Lovejoy covers the issue:
“Apple has issued a cease-and-desist letter to the author and publisher of a new book App Store Confidential, claiming that the former Apple manager reveals business secrets.
“Apple says that Tom Sadowski is in breach of his employment contract by revealing “business secrets […] of considerable economic value”… The German-language book was published yesterday as an ebook and paperback.”
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.