Bloomberg: New Apple Services Show Slow Growth in First Few Quarters

Apple journalist Mark Gurman on Tuesday filed a Bloomberg story summarizing what investors perceive as Apple’s lackluster return on its TV+, Arcade, News+ and Apple Card services after their first few quarters on the market.


Apple is due to report results on July 30 for the fiscal third quarter, and analysts have forecast $13.1 billion in revenue from services, up 15 percent from a year earlier. However, most of those gains will be from existing services like the App Store and licensing deals, rather than the new offerings.

Apple’s TV+ video streaming service made a late entry into an already crowded market when it launched last November, and Gurman cites one analyst’s estimates earlier this year that fewer than 15 percent of eligible customers had signed up, despite Apple offering a one-year free trial with the purchase of an iPhone or other hardware.

It’s a similar story for Apple Arcade subscription service, which launched last September. Apple reportedly shifted its strategy recently and canceled contracts for some games in development as it sought other titles that it believes will retain subscribers.

Some developers have speculated that Apple’s strategy change indicates subscriber growth is weaker than expected, and Apple also recently began offering some people a second free trial month, which perhaps suggests that users aren’t remaining subscribers for a long enough period of time.

As for ‌Apple Card‌, Goldman Sachs Group accumulated about $2 billion in credit lines since it launched last August, which is a fraction of other co-branded cards, according to a February update by the Nilson Report.

The poorest services performer however is believed to be Apple News+, which launched in March 2019. ‌Apple News‌‌+ provides access to hundreds of magazines along with subscription news from The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times, but it has failed to catch on with consumers, perhaps due to the lack of access to publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post, which have refused to sign deals with Apple.

Apple has not provided information on how many ‌‌Apple News‌‌+ subscribers it has, but a report in November suggested Apple was struggling to entice people to pay for the service. That report indicated ‌‌Apple News‌‌+ got 200,000 sign ups within 48 hours, but that the numbers have not increased much since then.

In February, Apple’s head of business for ‌Apple News‌+ also departed the company less than a year after the $9.99 per month service launched.

That leaves the ‌App Store‌, where Apple’s real revenue growth for services lies. Apple takes a cut of 30 percent from all paid apps downloaded from the ‌App Store‌ as well as from in-app purchases. It also takes 30 percent from in-app subscriptions, dropping to 15 percent after the first year.

The ‌App Store‌ generated $32.8 billion in the first half of 2020 for developers, up more than 20 percent from a year earlier, according to Sensor Tower estimates cited by Gurman. Meanwhile, paid subscriptions topped 515 million in the fiscal second quarter.

However, as part of an ongoing antitrust inquiry into Apple’s ‌App Store‌ policies, U.S. antitrust regulators are looking into the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from in-app subscriptions. Government lawyers have been meeting with developers over the course of the last several months, and developers have been asked questions about Apple’s subscription rules.

Apple chief Tim Cook and other big tech CEOs and are all set to participate in an antitrust hearing on Wednesday held by the U.S. House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee as part of the investigation on competition in digital markets. Whether or not Apple’s ‌App Store‌ revenue stream will be dealt a blow as a result of the inquiry remains to be seen.

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Apple journalist Mark Gurman on Tuesday filed a Bloomberg story summarizing what investors perceive as Apple's lackluster return on its TV+, Arcade, News+ and Apple Card services after their first few quarters on the market.


Apple is due to report results on July 30 for the fiscal third quarter, and analysts have forecast $13.1 billion in revenue from services, up 15 percent from a year earlier. However, most of those gains will be from existing services like the App Store and licensing deals, rather than the new offerings.

Apple's TV+ video streaming service made a late entry into an already crowded market when it launched last November, and Gurman cites one analyst's estimates earlier this year that fewer than 15 percent of eligible customers had signed up, despite Apple offering a one-year free trial with the purchase of an iPhone or other hardware.

It's a similar story for Apple Arcade subscription service, which launched last September. Apple reportedly shifted its strategy recently and canceled contracts for some games in development as it sought other titles that it believes will retain subscribers.

Some developers have speculated that Apple's strategy change indicates subscriber growth is weaker than expected, and Apple also recently began offering some people a second free trial month, which perhaps suggests that users aren't remaining subscribers for a long enough period of time.

As for ‌Apple Card‌, Goldman Sachs Group accumulated about $2 billion in credit lines since it launched last August, which is a fraction of other co-branded cards, according to a February update by the Nilson Report.

The poorest services performer however is believed to be Apple News+, which launched in March 2019. ‌Apple News‌‌+ provides access to hundreds of magazines along with subscription news from The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times, but it has failed to catch on with consumers, perhaps due to the lack of access to publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post, which have refused to sign deals with Apple.

Apple has not provided information on how many ‌‌Apple News‌‌+ subscribers it has, but a report in November suggested Apple was struggling to entice people to pay for the service. That report indicated ‌‌Apple News‌‌+ got 200,000 sign ups within 48 hours, but that the numbers have not increased much since then.

In February, Apple's head of business for ‌Apple News‌+ also departed the company less than a year after the $9.99 per month service launched.

That leaves the ‌App Store‌, where Apple's real revenue growth for services lies. Apple takes a cut of 30 percent from all paid apps downloaded from the ‌App Store‌ as well as from in-app purchases. It also takes 30 percent from in-app subscriptions, dropping to 15 percent after the first year.

The ‌App Store‌ generated $32.8 billion in the first half of 2020 for developers, up more than 20 percent from a year earlier, according to Sensor Tower estimates cited by Gurman. Meanwhile, paid subscriptions topped 515 million in the fiscal second quarter.

However, as part of an ongoing antitrust inquiry into Apple's ‌App Store‌ policies, U.S. antitrust regulators are looking into the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from in-app subscriptions. Government lawyers have been meeting with developers over the course of the last several months, and developers have been asked questions about Apple's subscription rules.

Apple chief Tim Cook and other big tech CEOs and are all set to participate in an antitrust hearing on Wednesday held by the U.S. House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee as part of the investigation on competition in digital markets. Whether or not Apple's ‌App Store‌ revenue stream will be dealt a blow as a result of the inquiry remains to be seen.
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Bloomberg: Apple’s AR/VR Gaming Headset Plans Altered By Internal Divisions

Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman this morning filed a story detailing the internal divisions at Apple that led it to change the course of its AR and VR headset development.


Specifically, the report covers disagreements between former Apple design chief Jony Ive and Mike Rockwell, the executive heading up Apple’s secretive 1,000-strong group devoted to VR and AR, regarding fundamental aspects of the headset, codenamed N301.

N301 was initially designed to be an ultra-powerful system, with graphics and processing speeds previously unheard of for a wearable product. The processing capabilities were so advanced—and produced so much heat—that the technology couldn’t be crammed into a sleek headset. Instead, Rockwell’s team planned to sell a stationary hub, which in prototype form resembled a small Mac, that would connect to the headset with a wireless signal. In Rockwell’s early version, the headset would also be able to operate in a less-powerful independent mode.

Ive balked at the prospect of selling a headset that would require a separate, stationary device for full functionality. He encouraged Rockwell and his team to redevelop N301 around the less powerful technology that could be embedded entirely in the device. Rockwell pushed back, arguing that a wireless hub would enable performance so superior that it would blow anything else on the market out of the water. The standoff lasted for months.

According to the report, Apple CEO Tim Cook ultimately sided with Ive, who didn’t want Apple promoting technology that would take people out of the real world. As a result, the headset no longer communicates with a separate hub, making graphics unlikely to be as good as they might have been, and download speeds potentially slower.

Although the headset now in development is less technologically ambitious than originally intended, it’s pretty advanced. It’s designed to feature ultra-high-resolution screens that will make it almost impossible for a user to differentiate the virtual world from the real one. A cinematic speaker system will make the experience even more realistic, people who have used prototypes say.

Prototypes of the N301 are said to look like a smaller Oculus Quest, Facebook’s VR headset, with a mostly fabric body but less plastic than the Quest. Apple’s engineering teams are reportedly still testing the device on different head shapes to find the ideal fit, and the company hasn’t settled on pricing.

Apple wants the headset to have its own App Store “with a focus on gaming and the ability to stream video content, while also serving as a sort of super-high-tech communications device for virtual meetings.” Siri will control the headset, although it is also reportedly being tested with a physical remote.

The N301 headset appears to be only one of Apple’s ongoing AR/VR projects. The other is said to be a pair of AR glasses codenamed N421, with current prototypes said to resemble high-priced sunglasses with “thick frames that house the battery and chips.” Ive, who left Apple last year after almost three decades at the company, is said to have preferred the concept of the N421 glasses.

Apple’s augmented reality headset is expected to be released in 2022 followed by the sleeker pair of augmented reality glasses coming in 2023. You can read the full Bloomberg report here, and for everything we know on Apple’s AR/VR plans, be sure to check our dedicated roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses

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Bloomberg's Mark Gurman this morning filed a story detailing the internal divisions at Apple that led it to change the course of its AR and VR headset development.


Specifically, the report covers disagreements between former Apple design chief Jony Ive and Mike Rockwell, the executive heading up Apple's secretive 1,000-strong group devoted to VR and AR, regarding fundamental aspects of the headset, codenamed N301.
N301 was initially designed to be an ultra-powerful system, with graphics and processing speeds previously unheard of for a wearable product. The processing capabilities were so advanced—and produced so much heat—that the technology couldn’t be crammed into a sleek headset. Instead, Rockwell’s team planned to sell a stationary hub, which in prototype form resembled a small Mac, that would connect to the headset with a wireless signal. In Rockwell’s early version, the headset would also be able to operate in a less-powerful independent mode.

Ive balked at the prospect of selling a headset that would require a separate, stationary device for full functionality. He encouraged Rockwell and his team to redevelop N301 around the less powerful technology that could be embedded entirely in the device. Rockwell pushed back, arguing that a wireless hub would enable performance so superior that it would blow anything else on the market out of the water. The standoff lasted for months.
According to the report, Apple CEO Tim Cook ultimately sided with Ive, who didn't want Apple promoting technology that would take people out of the real world. As a result, the headset no longer communicates with a separate hub, making graphics unlikely to be as good as they might have been, and download speeds potentially slower.
Although the headset now in development is less technologically ambitious than originally intended, it's pretty advanced. It's designed to feature ultra-high-resolution screens that will make it almost impossible for a user to differentiate the virtual world from the real one. A cinematic speaker system will make the experience even more realistic, people who have used prototypes say.
Prototypes of the N301 are said to look like a smaller Oculus Quest, Facebook's VR headset, with a mostly fabric body but less plastic than the Quest. Apple's engineering teams are reportedly still testing the device on different head shapes to find the ideal fit, and the company hasn't settled on pricing.

Apple wants the headset to have its own App Store "with a focus on gaming and the ability to stream video content, while also serving as a sort of super-high-tech communications device for virtual meetings." Siri will control the headset, although it is also reportedly being tested with a physical remote.

The N301 headset appears to be only one of Apple's ongoing AR/VR projects. The other is said to be a pair of AR glasses codenamed N421, with current prototypes said to resemble high-priced sunglasses with "thick frames that house the battery and chips." Ive, who left Apple last year after almost three decades at the company, is said to have preferred the concept of the N421 glasses.

Apple's augmented reality headset is expected to be released in 2022 followed by the sleeker pair of augmented reality glasses coming in 2023. You can read the full Bloomberg report here, and for everything we know on Apple's AR/VR plans, be sure to check our dedicated roundup.
Related Roundup: Apple Glasses

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Apple Looking to Buy Exclusive Original Podcasts to Compete With Spotify and Promote Apple TV+

Apple is working on original podcasts that will be exclusive to the Podcasts app, and is searching for an executive to lead its podcast efforts, reports Bloomberg.


Earlier this year, Bloomberg suggested Apple was developing original podcasts focused on TV shows and movies from its Apple TV+ streaming service, using the podcasts as a way to promote ‌Apple TV‌+, but it appears Apple is also planning to purchase original content.

Apple will focus on audio spinoffs of existing movies and programs on ‌Apple TV‌+, but is also seeking to purchase original programs that could potentially be adapted into future TV+ content. Apple is said to be searching for an executive to lead its original podcasting work. The new hire will report to Ben Cave, Apple’s head of podcasting.

Apple is also said to have asked some producers working on podcasts to provide versions of their podcasts without advertisements, an effort separate from its work on original content.

Apple Music competitor Spotify has been focusing heavily on podcasts over the course of the last year, aiming to challenge Apple’s dominance in the podcasting sphere. Apple’s Podcasts app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac have long been the go-to listening choice for Apple customers.

Spotify has been working on original podcast content and has purchased several well-known podcasts. Spotify in February 2019, for example, purchased Gimlet Media, known for podcasts like “Reply All” and “Homecoming.” Just this week, Spotify scored exclusive rights to popular podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which will see all of the podcasts made available exclusively through Spotify.

According to podcast producers that spoke to Bloomberg, Apple is just “dipping its toe” into original podcast content and has not yet made a massive leap into original podcast content like Spotify.

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Apple is working on original podcasts that will be exclusive to the Podcasts app, and is searching for an executive to lead its podcast efforts, reports Bloomberg.


Earlier this year, Bloomberg suggested Apple was developing original podcasts focused on TV shows and movies from its Apple TV+ streaming service, using the podcasts as a way to promote ‌Apple TV‌+, but it appears Apple is also planning to purchase original content.

Apple will focus on audio spinoffs of existing movies and programs on ‌Apple TV‌+, but is also seeking to purchase original programs that could potentially be adapted into future TV+ content. Apple is said to be searching for an executive to lead its original podcasting work. The new hire will report to Ben Cave, Apple's head of podcasting.

Apple is also said to have asked some producers working on podcasts to provide versions of their podcasts without advertisements, an effort separate from its work on original content.

Apple Music competitor Spotify has been focusing heavily on podcasts over the course of the last year, aiming to challenge Apple's dominance in the podcasting sphere. Apple's Podcasts app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac have long been the go-to listening choice for Apple customers.

Spotify has been working on original podcast content and has purchased several well-known podcasts. Spotify in February 2019, for example, purchased Gimlet Media, known for podcasts like "Reply All" and "Homecoming." Just this week, Spotify scored exclusive rights to popular podcast "The Joe Rogan Experience," which will see all of the podcasts made available exclusively through Spotify.

According to podcast producers that spoke to Bloomberg, Apple is just "dipping its toe" into original podcast content and has not yet made a massive leap into original podcast content like Spotify.
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Bloomberg: Apple’s First ARM Mac to Launch by 2021 With 12-Core Processor

In line with a timeframe shared by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo last month, Bloomberg today reports that Apple is planning to release at least one Mac with its own custom-designed ARM-based processor by 2021.


The report claims that Apple is developing three Mac processors based on the A14 chip in upcoming iPhone 12 models. At least one of these processors will apparently be much faster than the A-series chips in the iPhone and iPad. Like the A14 chip, the Mac processors are expected to be manufactured by TSMC based on its 5nm process.

Apple’s first Mac processors will have 12 cores, including eight high-performance cores and at least four energy-efficient cores, according to the report. Apple is said to be exploring Mac processors with more than 12 cores for further in the future, with the company already designing a second generation of Mac processors based on the A15 chip.

The first ARM-based Mac is expected to be a notebook, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects several Macs with Apple processors to launch next year.

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In line with a timeframe shared by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo last month, Bloomberg today reports that Apple is planning to release at least one Mac with its own custom-designed ARM-based processor by 2021.


The report claims that Apple is developing three Mac processors based on the A14 chip in upcoming iPhone 12 models. At least one of these processors will apparently be much faster than the A-series chips in the iPhone and iPad. Like the A14 chip, the Mac processors are expected to be manufactured by TSMC based on its 5nm process.

Apple's first Mac processors will have 12 cores, including eight high-performance cores and at least four energy-efficient cores, according to the report. Apple is said to be exploring Mac processors with more than 12 cores for further in the future, with the company already designing a second generation of Mac processors based on the A15 chip.

The first ARM-based Mac is expected to be a notebook, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects several Macs with Apple processors to launch next year.
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Bloomberg: 5G iPhones to Feature iPad-Like Design, Smaller HomePod and Apple Tags Also Coming This Year

Apple’s refreshed iPhone lineup will add 5G to as many as four new models, at least two of which will have flat stainless steel edges, similar in design to its latest iPads, reports Bloomberg this morning.


This year’s successors to the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max will be joined by two lower-end models to replace the iPhone 11. At least the two high-end devices will have flat stainless steel edges instead of the current curved design as well as more sharply rounded corners like the iPad Pro introduced in 2018. Reminiscent of the ‌iPhone‌ 5 design, the new handsets will have flat screens rather than the sloping edges on current models, said the people asking not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.

The report adds further weight to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo‘s expectation that the 2020 iPhones will include a square-edged stainless steel frame reminiscent of the ‌iPhone‌ 4. Notably, Apple adopted a similar design for the 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌, which features a more industrial band around the sides compared to previous models.

Today’s report also corroborates rumors that Apple will add a 3D camera to the ‌iPhone‌ and is aiming to reduce the size of the notch at the top of the screen that houses the TrueDepth camera. Recently leaked images said to depict the iPhone 12 picture a notch that is approximately 1/3 smaller than the current notch, in addition to a redesigned rear camera array.

Rumors suggest some of the new ‌iPhone‌ models coming in 2020 will feature the LiDAR Scanner feature that Apple added in the 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ models, which will serve to enhance future augmented reality experiences.

Apple is also developing a smaller, less expensive version of its HomePod smart speaker for release as early as this year, and so-called Apple Tags that will let users track real-life objects, reports Bloomberg.

Apple is additionally working on a new version of the MacBook Pro, Apple TV, refreshed budget iPads and a new iMac, people familiar with its product roadmap told the media outlet.

More to follow…

Related Roundup: iPhone 12

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Apple's refreshed iPhone lineup will add 5G to as many as four new models, at least two of which will have flat stainless steel edges, similar in design to its latest iPads, reports Bloomberg this morning.

This year’s successors to the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max will be joined by two lower-end models to replace the iPhone 11. At least the two high-end devices will have flat stainless steel edges instead of the current curved design as well as more sharply rounded corners like the iPad Pro introduced in 2018. Reminiscent of the ‌iPhone‌ 5 design, the new handsets will have flat screens rather than the sloping edges on current models, said the people asking not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.
The report adds further weight to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's expectation that the 2020 iPhones will include a square-edged stainless steel frame reminiscent of the ‌iPhone‌ 4. Notably, Apple adopted a similar design for the 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌, which features a more industrial band around the sides compared to previous models.

Today's report also corroborates rumors that Apple will add a 3D camera to the ‌iPhone‌ and is aiming to reduce the size of the notch at the top of the screen that houses the TrueDepth camera. Recently leaked images said to depict the iPhone 12 picture a notch that is approximately 1/3 smaller than the current notch, in addition to a redesigned rear camera array.

Rumors suggest some of the new ‌iPhone‌ models coming in 2020 will feature the LiDAR Scanner feature that Apple added in the 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ models, which will serve to enhance future augmented reality experiences.

Apple is also developing a smaller, less expensive version of its HomePod smart speaker for release as early as this year, and so-called Apple Tags that will let users track real-life objects, reports Bloomberg.

Apple is additionally working on a new version of the MacBook Pro, Apple TV, refreshed budget iPads and a new iMac, people familiar with its product roadmap told the media outlet.

More to follow...
Related Roundup: iPhone 12

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Apple CEO to Take COVID-19 Questions at Virtual Company-Wide Meeting Later This Month

Apple CEO Tim Cook will hold a company-wide virtual meeting later this month for employees to ask questions about working-from-home arrangements that have been put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


According to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, Apple sent a note to staff on Wednesday advising them of the plan.

It asked that questions be submitted by end of day on Saturday and also encouraged workers to share their experiences of working through the disruption to daily life that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about. The specific date of the meeting has not yet been disclosed.

Apple last week informed employees that its retail stores in the United States will remain closed until early May, and Apple employees will continue to work from home until then.

In Santa Clara County, where Apple Park, Infinite Loop, and many other corporate offices and retail stores are located, there is a shelter in place order that will remain in effect until May 3.

The order prevents all nonessential businesses from being open and requires employees to work from home. Apple’s corporate offices will not be able to reopen until that order is lifted.

Apple continues to review its flexible work arrangements in light of the latest guidance from local governments and public health experts.

In an earlier memo to employees, Apple said it was particularly focused on ensuring parents have the flexibility to adjust their schedules as necessary, with many children no longer able to attend school.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook will hold a company-wide virtual meeting later this month for employees to ask questions about working-from-home arrangements that have been put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple sent a note to staff on Wednesday advising them of the plan.
It asked that questions be submitted by end of day on Saturday and also encouraged workers to share their experiences of working through the disruption to daily life that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about. The specific date of the meeting has not yet been disclosed.
Apple last week informed employees that its retail stores in the United States will remain closed until early May, and Apple employees will continue to work from home until then.

In Santa Clara County, where Apple Park, Infinite Loop, and many other corporate offices and retail stores are located, there is a shelter in place order that will remain in effect until May 3.

The order prevents all nonessential businesses from being open and requires employees to work from home. Apple's corporate offices will not be able to reopen until that order is lifted.

Apple continues to review its flexible work arrangements in light of the latest guidance from local governments and public health experts.

In an earlier memo to employees, Apple said it was particularly focused on ensuring parents have the flexibility to adjust their schedules as necessary, with many children no longer able to attend school.
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Bloomberg: iPhone 12 Still on Course for Fall Launch Despite COVID-19 Disruption

The iPhone 12 is on course for a fall launch despite disruptions to mobile manufacturing in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with Apple’s supply chain.


Apple’s next flagship iPhones, with 5G wireless capabilities, are still on schedule to launch in the fall, although that’s partly because mass production isn’t due to begin until May, said the people. They asked not to be identified discussing private supply chain issues.

Apple typically announces its latest flagship smartphones in September, with mass production beginning in May, which usually gives assemblers and component suppliers time to manufacture and amass units for shipping later in the fall.

Earlier this month, a Bloomberg report cited Bank of America analysts claiming that Apple’s 5G iPhone could be delayed to due to the coronavirus outbreak. The analysts said Apple’s ‌‌5G iPhone‌‌ release could be delayed by a month because of restrictions put in place on Apple employees visiting China earlier in the year to perfect assembly processes with manufacturing partners like Foxconn.

Those delays had the potential to eat into the time Apple needs to finalize orders for chips and other ‌iPhone‌ components that need to be made well in advance of when full production begins. However, supply chain experts told Reuters in late February that Apple still has time to keep the ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ schedule on track, despite the travel restrictions.

Apple plans to release four so-called iPhone 12 models in the fall, including one 5.4-inch model, two 6.1-inch models, and one 6.7-inch model, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. All of the devices are expected include OLED displays and support 5G, and they may sport a new design that includes more of a flat edged metal frame like the iPad Pro or ‌iPhone‌ 4.

Meanwhile, Apple’s new ‌iPad Pro‌ models begin shipping next week. Production of those devices likely started at the top of the year, according to Bloomberg, although DigiTimes today reports that Apple is in the process of ramping up ‌iPad Pro‌ shipments, with volume for the new tablet series from the suppliers to climb about 40 percent sequentially in the second quarter.

Apple this week set worldwide purchase limits on its newly updated ‌iPad Pro‌ and MacBook Air models, its entire range of ‌iPhone‌ models, and the Mac mini on its online stores. Apple often places purchase limits on products in some Asian countries to combat the gray market, but the expanded restrictions are thought to be an effort to balance supply and demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12

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The iPhone 12 is on course for a fall launch despite disruptions to mobile manufacturing in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with Apple's supply chain.

Apple’s next flagship iPhones, with 5G wireless capabilities, are still on schedule to launch in the fall, although that's partly because mass production isn't due to begin until May, said the people. They asked not to be identified discussing private supply chain issues.
Apple typically announces its latest flagship smartphones in September, with mass production beginning in May, which usually gives assemblers and component suppliers time to manufacture and amass units for shipping later in the fall.

Earlier this month, a Bloomberg report cited Bank of America analysts claiming that Apple's 5G iPhone could be delayed to due to the coronavirus outbreak. The analysts said Apple's ‌‌5G iPhone‌‌ release could be delayed by a month because of restrictions put in place on Apple employees visiting China earlier in the year to perfect assembly processes with manufacturing partners like Foxconn.

Those delays had the potential to eat into the time Apple needs to finalize orders for chips and other ‌iPhone‌ components that need to be made well in advance of when full production begins. However, supply chain experts told Reuters in late February that Apple still has time to keep the ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ schedule on track, despite the travel restrictions.

Apple plans to release four so-called iPhone 12 models in the fall, including one 5.4-inch model, two 6.1-inch models, and one 6.7-inch model, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. All of the devices are expected include OLED displays and support 5G, and they may sport a new design that includes more of a flat edged metal frame like the iPad Pro or ‌iPhone‌ 4.

Meanwhile, Apple's new ‌iPad Pro‌ models begin shipping next week. Production of those devices likely started at the top of the year, according to Bloomberg, although DigiTimes today reports that Apple is in the process of ramping up ‌iPad Pro‌ shipments, with volume for the new tablet series from the suppliers to climb about 40 percent sequentially in the second quarter.

Apple this week set worldwide purchase limits on its newly updated ‌iPad Pro‌ and MacBook Air models, its entire range of ‌iPhone‌ models, and the Mac mini on its online stores. Apple often places purchase limits on products in some Asian countries to combat the gray market, but the expanded restrictions are thought to be an effort to balance supply and demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Related Roundup: iPhone 12

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Foxconn Expects to Resume Normal Production at Chinese Plants by End of March

iPhone assembler Foxconn expects its Chinese plants to resume normal operation by the end of the month after fixing labor shortages resulting from the coronavirus outbreak (via Bloomberg).


The first quarter of the year is typically quiet for Apple and its Taiwanese ‌iPhone‌ supplier after a boom in sales over the holiday season. However, ongoing delays from the coronavirus outbreak in China could cause Apple to miss its schedule for mass producing its upcoming low-cost iPhone, according to at least one report.

“As of today, the production resumption has reached 50% of seasonal required capacity. Based on the current schedule, we shall be able to reach full seasonal capacity by the end of March,” [Foxconn] said in a stock exchange filing. “There are still plenty of uncertainties which we cannot quantify around the potential impact on the full year.”

Apple was planning to begin mass production on the low-cost ‌‌iPhone‌‌ in February, but sources that spoke to Nikkei last month said that meeting that target was “very challenging” and production could be delayed until March.

Current rumors have suggested Apple plans to unveil the new ‌‌iPhone‌‌ at an event that’s set to take place in March, perhaps on March 31, with Apple then releasing the device on April 3. Though there are issues with production, multiple sources have said the new ‌‌iPhone‌‌ is still going to launch on time.

Foxconn slashed its 2020 revenue outlook in early February after it imposed strict quarantines at its main base in China to guard against the coronavirus outbreak. The manufacturer previously claimed the viral outbreak had had a “fairly small impact” on ‌‌iPhone‌‌ production, but since then the virus has spread to 70 countries and is responsible for 90,000 infections and 3,000 deaths, most of which have occurred in China.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE 2

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iPhone assembler Foxconn expects its Chinese plants to resume normal operation by the end of the month after fixing labor shortages resulting from the coronavirus outbreak (via Bloomberg).


The first quarter of the year is typically quiet for Apple and its Taiwanese ‌iPhone‌ supplier after a boom in sales over the holiday season. However, ongoing delays from the coronavirus outbreak in China could cause Apple to miss its schedule for mass producing its upcoming low-cost iPhone, according to at least one report.
"As of today, the production resumption has reached 50% of seasonal required capacity. Based on the current schedule, we shall be able to reach full seasonal capacity by the end of March," [Foxconn] said in a stock exchange filing. "There are still plenty of uncertainties which we cannot quantify around the potential impact on the full year."
Apple was planning to begin mass production on the low-cost ‌‌iPhone‌‌ in February, but sources that spoke to Nikkei last month said that meeting that target was "very challenging" and production could be delayed until March.

Current rumors have suggested Apple plans to unveil the new ‌‌iPhone‌‌ at an event that's set to take place in March, perhaps on March 31, with Apple then releasing the device on April 3. Though there are issues with production, multiple sources have said the new ‌‌iPhone‌‌ is still going to launch on time.

Foxconn slashed its 2020 revenue outlook in early February after it imposed strict quarantines at its main base in China to guard against the coronavirus outbreak. The manufacturer previously claimed the viral outbreak had had a "fairly small impact" on ‌‌iPhone‌‌ production, but since then the virus has spread to 70 countries and is responsible for 90,000 infections and 3,000 deaths, most of which have occurred in China.



Related Roundup: iPhone SE 2

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Limited iPad Pro Availability May Suggest Imminent Launch of New Models

iPad Pro models are currently showing limited availability at stores in major cities in the U.S., Australia and across Europe, Boomberg‘s Mark Gurman reported today.


According to a review of Apple’s website that was conducted on Monday, the non-cellular 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ with 512GB storage is sold out at all Apple stores in the Los Angeles area, while the same model and other versions are also sold out at many stores in New York City.

Some Apple store employees said they started noticing reduced ‌iPad Pro‌ inventory in the last week. They asked not to be identified discussing private product information.

Gurman’s report leads by speculating that the supply constraints may be a possible sign of the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on Apple’s manufacturing supply chain, but he also concedes that the shortages could be due to new incoming ‌iPad Pro‌ models. Apple sometimes slows the flow of product units coming into its various sales channels as the next-generation models approach launch.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to launch an upgraded ‌iPad Pro‌ during the first half of 2020, perhaps as early as this month, with Apple planning to release a next-generation model with a rear-facing time-of-flight (ToF) camera system supporting 3D sensing for immersive augmented reality experiences.

Recent rumors suggest Apple is planning to hold an event on Tuesday, March 31, so if new iPad Pros are in the works for the first half of 2020, they could well be announced at this event.

However, even if an announcement is imminent, it’s still possible the new ‌iPad Pro‌ model supplies could be constrained or delayed due to a slowdown in production caused by the coronavirus outbreak in China. A DigiTimes report last month claimed the new ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ models have been slow to ramp up following the extended Lunar New Year holiday, although the Taiwan-based website maintained that launch of the new devices is expected “around March.”

Gurman notes that AirPods Pro and built-to-order Macs are also continuing to show shipping delays, and some Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 5 models are listed as unavailable to buy online, although the Series 3 watch and Airpods Pro were constrained before the viral outbreak was reported.

Apple’s latest iPhones and other iPads remain widely available in the U.S., although the iPhone 11 is listed as unavailable in some European countries and Australia.

In addition to the new ‌iPad Pro‌‌, rumors suggest Apple is planning to release a new low-cost iPhone and an updated 13-inch MacBook Pro, while more outlying launch possibilities for the first half of 2020 include a MacBook Air update, Apple’s Tile-like “AirTags” item trackers, and perhaps a wireless charging mat.

Apple recently said it wouldn’t meet its guidance for the March quarter due to the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus, citing both constrained iPhone supplies worldwide and lower customer demand for Apple products in China as the main impacts on performance for the quarter.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

This article, “Limited iPad Pro Availability May Suggest Imminent Launch of New Models” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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iPad Pro models are currently showing limited availability at stores in major cities in the U.S., Australia and across Europe, Boomberg's Mark Gurman reported today.


According to a review of Apple's website that was conducted on Monday, the non-cellular 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ with 512GB storage is sold out at all Apple stores in the Los Angeles area, while the same model and other versions are also sold out at many stores in New York City.
Some Apple store employees said they started noticing reduced ‌iPad Pro‌ inventory in the last week. They asked not to be identified discussing private product information.
Gurman's report leads by speculating that the supply constraints may be a possible sign of the coronavirus outbreak's impact on Apple's manufacturing supply chain, but he also concedes that the shortages could be due to new incoming ‌iPad Pro‌ models. Apple sometimes slows the flow of product units coming into its various sales channels as the next-generation models approach launch.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to launch an upgraded ‌iPad Pro‌ during the first half of 2020, perhaps as early as this month, with Apple planning to release a next-generation model with a rear-facing time-of-flight (ToF) camera system supporting 3D sensing for immersive augmented reality experiences.

Recent rumors suggest Apple is planning to hold an event on Tuesday, March 31, so if new iPad Pros are in the works for the first half of 2020, they could well be announced at this event.

However, even if an announcement is imminent, it's still possible the new ‌iPad Pro‌ model supplies could be constrained or delayed due to a slowdown in production caused by the coronavirus outbreak in China. A DigiTimes report last month claimed the new ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ models have been slow to ramp up following the extended Lunar New Year holiday, although the Taiwan-based website maintained that launch of the new devices is expected "around March."

Gurman notes that AirPods Pro and built-to-order Macs are also continuing to show shipping delays, and some Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 5 models are listed as unavailable to buy online, although the Series 3 watch and Airpods Pro were constrained before the viral outbreak was reported.

Apple's latest iPhones and other iPads remain widely available in the U.S., although the iPhone 11 is listed as unavailable in some European countries and Australia.

In addition to the new ‌iPad Pro‌‌, rumors suggest Apple is planning to release a new low-cost iPhone and an updated 13-inch MacBook Pro, while more outlying launch possibilities for the first half of 2020 include a MacBook Air update, Apple's Tile-like "AirTags" item trackers, and perhaps a wireless charging mat.

Apple recently said it wouldn't meet its guidance for the March quarter due to the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus, citing both constrained iPhone supplies worldwide and lower customer demand for Apple products in China as the main impacts on performance for the quarter.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

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Bloomberg: Apple Loses Two Veteran Operations Executives

Apple has lost two long-serving operations executives, including its VP in charge of manufacturing design and a longtime iPhone operations executive who moved to its AR division, reports Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.


Nick Forlenza, a vice president of manufacturing design, has retired from Apple, while Duco Pasmooij, another vice president who worked on operations, is discussing an exit in the near future, according to people familiar with the moves. Pasmooij left the operations team over a year ago, moving into a role reporting to the company’s head of augmented reality efforts, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing personnel.

According to the report, Forlenza had worked under Sabih Kahn, Apple’s senior VP of operations, as an executive in charge of manufacturing design. Forlenza led a team of supply chain and operations executives responsible for global production processes and manufacturing equipment.

Pasmooij helped lead production operations for the ‌iPhone‌ for many years, but had recently reported to Mike Rockwell, the vice president in charge of augmented reality and virtual reality efforts. The personnel moves aren’t related to each other, nor to the recent supply chain disruptions owing to the coronavirus outbreak, according Gurman’s sources.

Apple has about 100 vice presidents who help CEO Tim Cook and the senior executive team run the company.

This article, “Bloomberg: Apple Loses Two Veteran Operations Executives” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple has lost two long-serving operations executives, including its VP in charge of manufacturing design and a longtime iPhone operations executive who moved to its AR division, reports Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.


Nick Forlenza, a vice president of manufacturing design, has retired from Apple, while Duco Pasmooij, another vice president who worked on operations, is discussing an exit in the near future, according to people familiar with the moves. Pasmooij left the operations team over a year ago, moving into a role reporting to the company’s head of augmented reality efforts, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing personnel.
According to the report, Forlenza had worked under Sabih Kahn, Apple's senior VP of operations, as an executive in charge of manufacturing design. Forlenza led a team of supply chain and operations executives responsible for global production processes and manufacturing equipment.

Pasmooij helped lead production operations for the ‌iPhone‌ for many years, but had recently reported to Mike Rockwell, the vice president in charge of augmented reality and virtual reality efforts. The personnel moves aren't related to each other, nor to the recent supply chain disruptions owing to the coronavirus outbreak, according Gurman's sources.

Apple has about 100 vice presidents who help CEO Tim Cook and the senior executive team run the company.


This article, "Bloomberg: Apple Loses Two Veteran Operations Executives" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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