Apple postpones China reopen

At the moment, Apple’s corporate offices, retail stores, and contact centers are closed because of the Coronavirus. The original plans were for them to reopen on February 10th, but that date has been postponed, with no new one decided as of yet.

 

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail and People, Deirdre O’Brien, sent out an email Apple Store staff in China with an update to say that Apple is continuing to work with heath experts and will be issuing further updates.

 

You can see the email in full below. (Via MacGeneration):

 

“Team, I want to thank every one of you for the care, flexibility and spirit you have shown over the past few weeks. Around the world, the entire Apple family stands committed to helping our colleagues, communities, suppliers, partners and customers in China as they care for their health and return to daily life. Apple’s support for the global coronavirus response is broad and ongoing, including our donation to the public health effort.
 

Since my last note, we have been in constant consultation with public health experts, government authorities and our teams and leaders in China. In light of those conversations, I want to share new information about Apple’s workplaces.
 

We are working toward reopening Apple’s Corporate Offices and Contact Centers in China next week. We recognize that personal movement and travel restrictions are ongoing and schools are closed in many places, and managers will be working with their teams to offer additional support. You will receive a follow up communication shortly with more information.

 

Apple’s Retail Stores are actively working to reopen at a date that will be determined next week. Additional cleaning, health protocols and local restrictions around public spaces will factor into this decision. Retail teams will receive updates from their managers on the opening date for their store and on other supportive steps we are taking.

 

Individual business leaders will be reaching out to you soon with more information relevant to your work. In addition to your manager, your People Business Partner and People Support are your resource for any questions you may have. To stay up to date with Apple’s efforts, please continue to check the dedicated coronavirus page we’ve created on the People site.

 

As we work together to gradually resume work over the next few weeks, your well-being is our first priority. We are deeply grateful to everyone for facing this challenging period with the utmost empathy and understanding.”

 

Deirdre

 

iPhone supplier Foxconn has also told staff at its Shenzhen plant to stay at home and has yet to list a return date.

 

We’ll keep you updated when they do!

 

 

 

 

NYPD switches it up

The NYPD has been using handwritten memo books for over a century and on February 17th will be making the switch to an iPhone App for note taking which will be available in real time.

 

The NYPD has been providing officers with smartphones since 2015, and there are now 37,000 iPhones in use.

 

The idea is that case related notes will be more accessible using the app, with no information getting lost, data won’t be able to be faked, and it will all be easily searchable by date or keyword.

 

The app will also streamline all the information, and cut down on paper waste.

 

NYPD Deputy Chief Anthony Tasso told The New York Times that the digital system will allow for entries to be used as valuable crime fighting data. “It gives us the abilities we did not have before, when memo books were left in officers’ lockers and we didn’t have access to a vast amount of information,” he said.

 

 

Apple Watch for the win?

The Swiss watch industry is estimated to have shipped a total of 21.1 million units worldwide in 2019. Which is a lot of watches.

 

BUT The Apple Watch shipped an estimated 30.7 million units worldwide in 2019, which is a lot more.

 

Unsurprisingly, according to the data, the Apple Watch is more popular among younger buyers, whilst older customers prefer the traditional Swiss. Apple Watch is most popular in North America, Western Europe, and Asia.

 

BUT these numbers are actually a guesstimate, as Apple doesn’t release Apple Watch sales numbers. So… make of that what you will. Watches are cool.

 

 

Pssst- Flip phones are back!

An allegedly leaked video shared on Twitter by mobile leaker Ben Geskin shows Samsung’s “Galaxy Z Flip” phone – and it looks pretty rad.

 


If you don’t know, flip phones are the best and might have been one of the best parts of the 2000’s.

 

This flip phone appears to have two cameras on the back next to a digital clock readout. It’s 6.7 inches and will likely be more affordable than its predecessor, The Fold, which costs $1,980.

 

Motorola is also coming out with a Razr flip phone which is currently available for pre-order for $1500, with phones arriving in stores on Feb 6th. –

 

 

The Galaxy Z Flip is expected to be officially revealed alongside the Galaxy S11 at Samsung’s Unpacked event on Feb 11th in San Francisco.

 

Bring on the Flip!

 

Mythic Quest:Ravens Banquet

Happy Tuesday! Need something to keep you going until the weekend? Check out the ‘first look’ of  “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet,” an Apple TV Plus show by the creators of “It’s always sunny in Philadelphia” that’s will debut on Friday, February 7th.

 

The plot centers around a team of video game developers running a popular World of Warcraft-style video game and stars Rob McElhenney. See the trailer below, and the first look below that!

 

 

 

 

Apple has ordered nine half-hour episodes.

Apple Maps redesign

Apple today announced that all users in the United States can now experience a redesigned Maps with faster and more accurate navigation and comprehensive views of roads, buildings, parks, airports, malls and more.

 

From Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services:

 

“We set out to create the best and most private maps app on the planet that is reflective of how people explore the world today. It is an effort we are deeply invested in and required that we rebuild the map from the ground up to reimagine how Maps enhances people’s lives — from navigating to work or school or planning an important vacation — all with privacy at its core. The completion of the new map in the United States and delivering new features like Look Around and Collections are important steps in bringing that vision to life. We look forward to bringing this new map to the rest of the world starting with Europe later this year.”

 

Features include:

 

‘Look Around’ – an interactive way to visually explore a city with 3D imagery.
 

‘Collections  – ‘Users can easily build and share lists of places they love or want to go to with friends and family.
 

Customers get quick and easy navigation to the places they visit every day with ‘Favorites’.
 

Real-time transit information gives detailed transit schedules, live departure times, arrival times, the current location of a bus or train en route, and system connections to help plan a journey.
 

Share ETA sends an estimated time of arrival to family, friends or coworkers with a simple tap. The receiver can follow along on the journey, and Maps will even update them with a revised estimate for when the traveler is arriving if a significant delay occurs.

 

Flight status uses on-device Siri intelligence to scan for information stored in Mail, Calendar or Wallet and proactively serves flight information for terminals, gate locations and departure times, as well as flight changes or cancellations for upcoming travel.
 

By using Indoor Maps for airports and malls users can see what level they’re on, restroom locations and even which stores and restaurants are open.
 

Siri Natural Language Guidance provides more natural-sounding directions that are even easier to follow, such as “At the next traffic light, turn left.”
 

Flyover offers a way to see select major metro areas with photo-realistic, immersive 3D views.

 

 

Maps it the best, we get it.

 

 

What will the first half of 2020 bring for Apple?

Let’s collect all the little rumours falling off the Apple tree shall we?

 

*Tile-like item tracking tags potentially called “AirTags”

 

*Blue tooth supported high-end (possibly over ear) headphones

 

*A 4.7-inch, low cost (~$399) iPhone with a similar design to the iPhone 8, but with a faster A13 chip and 3GB of RAM.

 

*Refreshed iPad Pro models that have a triple-lens rear camera system that supports 3D sensing for augmented reality

 

*Small wireless charging mat. So Apple canceled its AirPower charging mat last year due to quality concerns, which may have been fixed by now. The Airpower charging mat would have been able to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods case simultaneously.

 

*Lastly, it’s predicted that we’ll have refreshed MacBook Pro and/or MacBook Air models.

 

What are you most excited about?

 

 

Apple posts record revenue & other tidbits from earnings call

Apple today announced financial results for its first fiscal quarter of 2020, which corresponds to the fourth calendar quarter of 2019.

 

Let’s start with this: Apple’s market capitalization has now grown to over $1.4 trillion. Or, to put it another way, Apple’s valuation is now more than Germany’s 30 largest listed companies that make up the DAX index on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

 

I think the appropriate word here is ‘Egads’.

 

Last year they failed to report a quarterly revenue record for the first time since the iPhone’s 2007 release. This last quarter earnings call was much cheerier – having posted record revenue and a return to profit growth. Accordingly, Apple’s shares jumped 2 percent today in after-market trading.

 

The tech giant reported revenue rose 9% in the December quarter to $91.82 billion, driven by sales of devices and services connected to the iPhone such as wearables, apps and subscription services. For instance, the wearables earnings category, which includes AirPods, Apple Watch, Beats headphones, HomePod, etc. hit $10 billion, up from $7.3 billion in the year-ago quarter. The addition of a credit card and video-subscription service helped increase sales of services 17%.

 

Sales of iPhones, which account for more than half of its revenue, rose 8% to $55.96 billion, and the number of active Apple devices world-wide rose to 1.5 billion from 1.4 billion a year ago.

 

From the man himself:

 

“We are thrilled to report Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever, fueled by strong demand for our iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models, and all-time records for Services and Wearables. During the holiday quarter our active installed base of devices grew in each of our geographic segments and has now reached over 1.5 billion. We see this as a powerful testament to the satisfaction, engagement and loyalty of our customers — and a great driver of our growth across the board.”

 

Sweet day for Apple & investors!

 

 

 

Some new Apple media content for your eyes

Got some spare minutes to see some new content?  But only a couple of minutes?

 

You’re in luck, friend! First up, we have a sweet new video in the ongoing “Shot on iPhone” series. Shot in the British Colombia Interior, Canada, the video features past and present Winter X Games competitors snowboarding down slopes and valleys at Baldface Lodge.

 

Apple’s ‌‌‌iPhone 11 Pro‌‌‌, which is used here, features a triple-lens camera with the best wide-angle sensor Apple has released so far along with a telephoto lens and a super wide-angle lens for better landscape shots.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Next up, we have a new teaser video for the “Beastie Boys Story” documentary that’s coming to Apple TV+ on April 24th.

 

“Beastie Boys Story” is described as a live documentary experience that focuses on the history and the legacy of the group and its personal story.

 

The film will be available in IMAX theaters in a limited release on April 3 before launching on ‌Apple TV‌+ on April 24.

 

Make some noise!

 

 

 

 

iPhone Production may be delayed

Apple’s production plans for the newest iPhone model next month could face complications and delays due to the coronavirus outbreak  in China.

 

Although with over 4000 people infected, and over 100 people killed by the outbreak, iPhone production is not top of the list of things to worry about, it may serve as a delay for the iPhone, with most of Apple’s iPhones being made in China, by Foxconn in Zhengzhou and by Pegatron at an assembly plant near Shanghai.

 

Apple usually launches it’s smartphones around September, so the coronavirus shouldn’t affect those plans, but Apple is also reportedly prepping a new low-cost iPhone that’s set to be released during the first half of 2020 – possibly as early as March – which puts those mass production plans more at risk with mass production of the new low-cost iPhone reportedly due to start in the third week of February.

 

BUT, Foxconn said it’s monitoring the situation in China and following all recommended health practices. It declined to comment on production in specific locations but said, “We can confirm that we have measures in place to ensure that we can continue to meet all global manufacturing obligations.”
Over the weekend, Good guy Tim Cook tweeted that the company intends to donate money in support of groups in China fighting the outbreak of the Coronavirus.