Apple’s iPhone 12 event is nearly upon us, and leaks and rumors have been flying around in the final days. We’ve got new details on the iPhone 12 and its launch timing, a smaller HomePod, and more.
In addition, we’re still looking at a number of other new products including AirPods Studio, AirTags, and the first Apple Silicon Macs, so read on below for the latest on all of these!
Apple Event Announced for October 13: Here’s What to Expect
Apple this week announced that it will be hosting its second event in as many months on Tuesday, October 13 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. During the event, Apple is widely expected to unveil its iPhone 12 lineup, and it may have a few other products to announce, so check out our overview article and video covering what to expect at the event.
As with its Apple Watch and iPad event in September, Apple will be hosting this event virtually with a video streamed from its Apple Park campus in California, and we’ve shared a guide on how to watch the event.
Full Details of iPhone 12 Lineup Allegedly Leaked Ahead of Next Week’s Apple Event
The iPhone 12 will undoubtedly be the star of next week’s event, and a fresh round of leaks from Weibo source Kang claims to share a host of details about the upcoming lineup.
According to the leak, all four iPhone 12 models will have OLED Super Retina XDR displays and a new hardened “Ceramic Shield” glass screen, and all are capable of shooting Dolby Vision video, offering higher dynamic range.
In addition, all phones will support 5G, but only the U.S. models of the iPhone 12 lineup will reportedly support the faster mmWave 5G band. Other notable details in the leak include a “Smart Data Mode” to switch between 4G and 5G to save power, photography improvements for Deep Fusion and Night Mode, and more.
As for launch timing, the rumor claims the two 6.1-inch models will launch first with pre-orders on October 16 and a release on October 23. The 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max are said to launch on November 13 and 20 respectively, with pre-orders for each starting a week ahead of time.
Pricing is said to start at $699 for the iPhone 12 mini, $799 for the iPhone 12, $999 for the iPhone 12 Pro, and $1099 for the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Leaker: HomePod ‘Mini’ Will Launch Next Month Costing $99
The speaker is said to be 3.3 inches high compared to the 6.8-inch height of the original HomePod, and it is allegedly powered by an S5 processor, which is used in the Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch SE.
The HomePod mini is said to go on sale on November 16, and previous reports have indicated the new speaker could include just two tweeters, rather than the current model’s seven, in order to drive down costs and save space. Hopefully Apple will share details on the new speaker at next Tuesday’s event.
Apple to Allegedly Rekindle ‘MagSafe’ Brand for Magnetic iPhone Case and Wireless Charging Accessories
Alongside the iPhone 12 lineup, Apple is reportedly planning to revive its “MagSafe” branding with a new iPhone case accessory and a pair of magnetic charging pads.
While it’s not completely clear what function the magnets will perform, the two official Apple wireless chargers are said to be called “MagSafe Charger” and “MagSafe Duo Charger,” one or both of which will have a 15-watt power output.
Prosser: AirPods Studio to Start at $350 But Won’t Feature at Next Week’s Apple Event, AirTags Delayed Until March 2021
Two things missing from today’s big leak about the iPhone 12, HomePod mini, and MagSafe chargers are mentions of AirTags and AirPods Studio, two heavily rumored new Apple products.
Their omission suggests they may not make their debut at next week’s event, and leaker Jon Prosser says that while an AirPods Studio launch may be just a few weeks away, they will indeed not appear at the event. Prosser says the over-ear headphones will be priced at $350 for the cheaper, sporty model and $600 for the “luxury variant” previously seen in a leaked photo.
Prosser also says that Apple’s Tile-like Bluetooth item trackers known as AirTags similarly won’t be unveiled at Tuesday’s event, with their launch instead being pushed back to March 2021.
Bloomberg: First Mac With Apple Silicon Will Be Announced in November
One other 2020 product launch we’ve been waiting for is Apple’s first Mac based on its own Apple Silicon chips rather than Intel processors. Apple has said that the first Apple Silicon Mac will launch before the end of the year, but it looks like we may not see it at next week’s event.
A fresh report from Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman claims the new Mac, which could be a 13-inch MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, should launch in November, and it seems likely it would warrant its own virtual media event at that time.
Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we’ve covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.
Black Friday 2020: the best tech deals – AlKhaleej Today
The holiday shopping season is approaching and many retailers will be participating in Black Friday sales. This guide can help you figure out where and how to shop to find the best deals.
Many shoppers look forward to Black Friday and Cyber Monday every year. After all, it’s one of the best times to shorten that vacation shopping list without breaking the bank. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Christmas business season is likely to look a little different than in previous years. In the past few years, many retailers like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy have launched Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving Eve. However, this will not be the case this year as they are closed for public holidays.
Even if shopping could switch from in-store to online for many this year, there are still many offers that you can take advantage of. This guide will walk you through major store closings, the best times to shop, and where to find great deals on smartwatches / fitness trackers, tablets, headphones, and more. You can also find more ideas and product information in our Christmas gift guides. TechRepublic will update this article as more information becomes available.
Black Friday 2020: where and when to shop
According to sister site GameSpot, the following retailers will be closing on Thanksgiving:
- Walmart / Sam’s Club
- Best buy
- Dick’s sporting goods
- TJ Maxx
- Bed bath in addition
- Office depot
While Black Friday opening times have not yet been announced for these retailers, Black Friday prices will be available online much earlier than usual. For example, GameSpot explains, “Target has confirmed that its first Black Friday deals will start on November 1st and Black Friday prices will be available throughout the month.”
Best Buy has been offering Black Friday deals since Amazon Prime Day and continues to offer Black Friday prices on hundreds of items. Walmart is also expected to start offering deals earlier than usual. The first Deals for Days event begins on Wednesday, November 4th at 7:00 PM (CET) on Walmart.com and on November 7th at 12:00 PM (CET) and 5:00 AM (CET) local time in stores. Amazon is currently running a “Holiday Dash” sale that offers huge discounts on items in the weeks leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Black Friday deals from Amazon, Target and Best Buy
The following offerings from Best Buy, Target, and Amazon may help you find exactly the items you’re looking for.
Disclaimer: Please note that these Black Friday sales will only run for a limited time. Prices are subject to change and quantities are limited. Availability dates are shown in parentheses when listed on the retailer’s website.
(The following Best Buy sales will end November 1st at 11:59 p.m. CT)
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Examining Apple's impressive $64.7B fourth quarter by the numbers – AppleInsider
Despite ongoing challenges in the world, Apple has once again reported stellar revenue in its latest quarterly results. Here’s a graphical breakdown of how Apple’s finances fared and changed over the quarters and the years.
On Thursday, Apple reported its fourth and final quarter for the 2020 fiscal year. In a year described by CEO Tim Cook as one “defined by innovation in the face of adversity,” Apple saw new all-time records for Mac and Services, which helped boost quarterly revenue to roughly 1% higher than last year.
However, the high revenue occurs without an iPhone release in the period, with iPhone revenue also down in the period. The fact that Apple managed to accomplish this despite lower revenue from its keystone product warrants a closer examination.
What follows is the collection of graphs and charts that AppleInsider has generated based on the quarterly results issued by Apple over time.
Revenue and Net Profit
For the quarter, Apple reported revenue of $64.7 billion, an increase of 1.0% year-on-year from $64.0 reported for Q4 2019. A single percentage gain may not sound like much, but given this occurs at the tail end of a financial year dramatically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping an even keel or a modest shrink instead of growth would have been acceptable for most industries.
Apple also reported a net profit of $12.7 billion, which is down year-on-year by 7.4% against $13.7 billion. This would seem to be an issue in most years, but again it is expected that costs will rise due to the pandemic, so there’s little to worry about.
While the lines in this chart may be worrying, as Apple is still hovering around the 0% region for the last few quarters, just bear in mind that the year’s events have taken a toll on many companies, as well as its customers. Neither line goes as far down as periods such as mid-2016 where revenue shrank YoY by well over 20%.
Referring to the net sales minus the cost of goods sold, the gross margin is usually a good indicator of whether it has been an expensive year for Apple or not. The lower the percentage, the lower the proportional profit Apple earns, and vice versa.
For Q4 2020, the gross margin percentage is 38.16%, which is up from Q4 2019’s 37.97%. This is also towards the middle of the range of Apple’s typical gross margin figures, which since Q1 2013 has been between 37% and 40%, with rare exceptions.
Like revenue for the quarter, there’s a small improvement on last year, but not by much. Despite the reduction in net profit, the gross margin is still quite resilient to change.
Annual revenue, gross margin, net income
As it is the end of the fiscal year 2020, we also have data for a full year of results, which will allow us to more directly compare the company’s fortunes against previous financial years.
The 2020 fiscal year is Apple’s biggest on record, despite the challenges of the year. The company saw gross sales of $274.5 billion, up from $260 billion in 2019, and the previous-highest $265 billion from 2018.
The gross margin value is also naturally the highest since records began, at $104.96 billion against $98 billion in 2019 and $101 billion in 2018.
Of the three key values, net income isn’t quite the highest on record with its $57.4 billion, as while it does beat the $55 billion of 2019, it’s still below 2018’s $59.5 billion.
Crucially, all of them are still an improvement on 2019’s figures, which means Apple is continuing to do better when averaged across the year.
Research and Development
As a technology company, Apple obviously has to continue to press forward with developing products. While this largely consists of its more visible product lines, including the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and others, it also has to invest in improving indirect areas, such as operating systems and other software.
There’s also products that Apple is working on that exist in rumors and patent filings but have yet to actually launch. This includes the “Apple Car,” “Apple Glass,” and other similarly-speculated in-development items that could greatly improve Apple’s future revenue.
For the quarter, Apple spent $4.9 billion on research and development costs, up from the $4.1 billion of the quarter one year prior. This represents an increase of 21.1% of R&D spending year-on-year, the highest rise in the cost since 2018 Q4’s 25.1% growth.
When divided down onto a product category basis, Apple’s revenue appears to be changing over time to be less reliant on the iPhone. Despite this quarter being the one before the typically prosperous first quarter, it is still quite evident that the trend is continuing for yet another quarter.
As evidenced by the above chart, it is visible that the iPhone’s typically sky-high bar is slowly getting lower over time. At the same time, the smaller bars for other units are getting larger, seemingly with the gains in other categories helping to outweigh the depreciation in iPhone.
For Q4 2020, Apple reported revenue of $26.4 billion, which is down from the $33 billion seen in Q4 2019. While this isn’t as bad as the Q3 2019 result of $26 billion, it does demonstrate there is a downturn for revenue for the product category.
Normally, sales trends for Apple has Q3 as the worst quarter before a small increase in Q4 ahead of high Q1 sales, but there’s barely any change in sequential quarters this time. To be more accurate, Q4 2020 reports $26.444 billion, while Q3 2020 saw $26.418 billion.
In previous quarters, the Q4 results would be partially assisted by an iPhone launch in the latter weeks, but Apple’s delayed iPhone 12 launches and releases were pushed to wholly take place in Q4. This would have added a few billion to Q4’s total, but instead that initial sales wave will probably be seen in Q1.
On a percentage change year-on-year basis, Q4 2020 doesn’t look good, with a 20.7% drop from Q4 2019. This works out to be the biggest YoY percentage drop in quarterly iPhone revenue since Q3 2016, which experienced a 23.3% reduction.
Apple reported iPad revenue was $6.8 billion in the quarter, which is a massive 46% increase over the $4.66 billion reported in Q4 2019. It is highly likely that the iPad benefited from the social distancing and work-from-home measures governments around the world encouraged during the pandemic.
Apple did launch some iPads during the period, namely the fourth-generation iPad Air and the 10.2-inch iPad, but only the latter was released during the quarter itself, and is unlikely to have made much of an impact.
The Mac segment enjoyed a similarly buoyant quarter, enjoying a record $9 billion in revenue for the period. This soundly beats the Q4 2019 figure of $6.99, and is a continuation of the improvement seen in Q3 2020.
It is probable that the Mac segment is enjoying the same sort of pandemic-halo benefit as the iPad, but both areas could have done better. In the analyst conference call following the results, Cook claimed there were supply constraints for both areas, indicating there was a higher demand than Apple was able to supply.
The Services business has been a very reliable source of revenue for Apple over the quarters and the years, and at a time when consumers are more likely to use services like the App Store and Apple Music, this quarter is no exception.
Apple reported Services revenue of $14.5 billion, the segment’s highest result so far, and a continuation of the growth trend. Services is also an extremely useful area for Apple as it offers extremely high gross margins of around 67%, making them highly profitable compared to costs.
For the quarter, the YoY growth of Services is 16.3%. It still isn’t at its previous 2018 ballpark of 30% to 40%, but it seems to be relatively stable at its current range of between 15% and 19%.
Wearables, Home, and Accessories
Covering multiple product areas not handled by the other four, this group accounts for lots of items, including the Apple Watch, HomePod, and AirPod ranges, among others.
For Q4 2020, Apple reports revenue of $7.9 billion, up from $6.5 billion in Q4 2019. While not as high as the record-setting $10 billion Q1 2020, the Q4 value suggests the Q1 2021 figure could reach even higher levels once again.
In terms of growth, Q4 2020 saw a YoY improvement of 20.8%. While this seems relatively low compared to earlier quarters, which benefited from the launch of early-generation products to highly-receptive markets, it’s still a highly encouraging figure to see for the relatively young segment.
On a regional basis, the Americas continues to be Apple’s primary source of income with $30.698 billion, up 4.7% from one year prior. Second place goes to Europe with $16.9 billion, up 13.1 percent, while China is in third with $7.9 billion, down 28.6%.
Japan revenue is up 0.8% at $5 billion, and Rest of Asia Pacific makes up the remainder with $4.1 billion, up 13%.
The considerable drop in revenue for China has been balanced out by improvements in other markets. This has redistributed the contribution percentages of each considerably, to the point that the Americas now provide 47.4% of Apple’s revenue.
Of the remainder, Europe contributes 26.1%, Greater China hands over 12.3%, Japan does so for 7.8%, and Rest of Asia Pacific equates to a 6.4% share.
The sudden drop in Greater China revenue is a major issue for Apple, as such a plunge equates to a revenue drop of $3.2 billion for the region.
During the conference call, Cook claimed “China is the region that was most heavily impacted by the absence of the new iPhones during the September quarter,” as a reason for why it was so low. Cook continued “Still, we beat our internal expectations in the region, growing non-iPhone revenue strong double digits and iPhone customer demand grew through mid-September.”
It seems Cook’s statement on China’s iPhone demand is highly plausible, but it remains to be seen if the demand translates into actual sales. Cook is “confident” the Q4 quarter will grow, and given the shift of a few billion dollars worth of iPhones between quarters, it’s quite likely to do so.
Top Stories: Apple One Launch, iPhone 12 Pro Camera Performance, AirPods and HomePod Rumors – MacRumors
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro have been out for a week now, so this week gave us lots of opportunities to learn more about the new devices now that we’ve been able to get our hands on them and test them out.
There was quite a bit of other news this week as well, including the launch of Apple One subscription bundles, Apple’s September quarter earnings release, rumors about future plans for updated AirPods, AirPods Studio, and a potential third HomePod model, and more. Read on for details on our most popular stories from this week on those topics and more!
Apple One is Now Available: Save Money by Bundling Apple Music, iCloud Storage, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and More
Pricing in the U.S. begins at $14.95 per month for an Individual plan with Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage. A Family plan valid for up to six users offers Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 200GB of iCloud storage for $19.95 per month, while a Premier plan at $29.95 per month takes the Family plan offerings and adds Apple News+ and Apple Fitness+ and increases iCloud storage to 2TB.
If you need more iCloud storage beyond what’s offered in your Apple One tier, you can add up to an additional 2TB, which means users on the Premier plan can have up to 4TB of total iCloud storage.
Camera Comparison: iPhone 12 Pro vs. iPhone 11 Pro
Apple last week released the iPhone 12 Pro, which is being sold alongside the iPhone 12, 12 mini, and 12 Pro Max. The Pro Max has the best camera of the bunch, but since it’s not out yet, we thought we’d take a look at the camera improvements introduced in the iPhone 12 Pro and see how the camera quality compares to the iPhone 11 Pro.
We have also continued to learn more details about the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro in the week or so since their launch. Notably, it has been discovered through FCC documents that iPhone 12 models may have a hidden reverse charging feature for future Apple accessories, and this has led to speculation that it may be possible to charge a new MagSafe-enabled AirPods case or perhaps even Apple’s rumored AirTags item trackers by simply placing them on the back of the iPhones.
We also learned that Personal Hotspot uses faster 5GHz Wi-Fi by default on iPhone 12 models. The combination of iPhone 12 models supporting higher-speed 5G networks and 5GHz Wi-Fi’s higher maximum throughput paves the way for faster Personal Hotspot. There is a new “Maximize Compatibility” toggle to revert to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi like on previous iPhones. Personal Hotspot allows an iPhone’s cellular data connection to be shared with other devices like a Mac over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Lightning.
Apple Invites Developers to Get One-on-One Guidance From Engineers Ahead of Apple Silicon Mac Launch
At WWDC in June, Apple announced that it will be transitioning from Intel processors to its own custom Apple Silicon processors in Macs, promising industry-leading performance per watt.
Apple has been allowing Mac developers to get their apps ready for Apple Silicon through the Universal App Quick Start Program, and now Apple is emailing developers to invite them to get one-on-one code-level guidance from an Apple engineer. The one-on-one labs are scheduled for November 4-5.
Apple has previously said that it plans to ship its first Mac with Apple Silicon by the end of 2020, and rumors suggest that Apple plans to hold a virtual Mac-focused event on Tuesday, November 17.
Report: New AirPods and AirPods Pro Coming in 2021, AirPods Studio Delayed, Mid-Range HomePod Also Possible
Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman and Debby Wu this week outlined several upcoming Apple products that are reportedly in development for release as early as 2021, including new AirPods and AirPods Pro, high-end over-ear headphones dubbed AirPods Studio, and potentially even a mid-range HomePod that would be positioned between the HomePod and HomePod mini.
Interestingly, the report claimed that Apple is aiming to remove the stems that drop below the ears on the AirPods Pro. The new version of AirPods Pro would instead have a more circular design, similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Buds.
MagSafe: Everything About Apple’s New iPhone 12 Charging Technology
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models have a new feature called MagSafe that allows magnetic accessories to be easily attached to the back of the devices. In our latest guide, we go over everything you need to know about Apple’s new charging system.
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple’s new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to an Apple support document. Apple also said users should not place credit cards, security badges, passports, or key fobs between the iPhone and MagSafe Charger, because this might damage magnetic strips or RFID chips in those items.
2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison
Apple introduced a new 10.9-inch iPad Air in September, but the device just started shipping out to customers last week. We picked one up to do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, given that the tablets share many similarities.
The new iPad Air features a similar design as the iPad Pro, with an edge-to-edge display and a USB-C port. The device also features Apple’s newest A14 Bionic chip, whereas the iPad Pro still has an older A12Z Bionic chip. The new iPad Air is also Apple’s first device with Touch ID built into the power button, in place of Face ID.
iPhone 12 Pro Allows You to Measure Someone’s Height Instantly Using LiDAR Scanner
iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality experiences, but the sensor also enables another unique feature: the ability to measure a person’s height instantly.
To measure a person’s height, open Apple’s preinstalled Measure app and position the iPhone so that the person you want to measure appears on the screen from head to toe. After a brief moment, a line will appear on the screen at the top of the person’s head with their height measurement.
This feature is limited to devices with a LiDAR Scanner, including 2020 iPad Pro models and the upcoming iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we’ve covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.
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