November 17, 2021
Consumer Tech Innovation mobile Technology

Apple Loop: Stunning MacBook Pro Leaks, iPhone’s Massive Update, Important iPad Pro Question

Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes Apple’s quarterly results, the EU’s Anti-trust case agains the App Store, iOS 14.5’s disruptive privacy update, Apple Services keep growing, the new M2 chip for your MacBook Pro, Apple’s supply chain problems, and is the iPad a tablet?

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).

Apples Quarterly Results

Apple has announced it’s second fiscal quarter, which ended March 27th. Headline numbers include record Q2 revenue of $86.9B (up 54 percent year on year), net income of $23.6B (up from $11.2B), and iPhone sales of $47.6B, up from $29B:

““This quarter reflects both the enduring ways our products have helped our users meet this moment in their own lives, as well as the optimism consumers seem to feel about better days ahead for all of us,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Apple is in a period of sweeping innovation across our product lineup, and we’re keeping focus on how we can help our teams and the communities where we work emerge from this pandemic into a better world. “

Apple Newsroom.

European Commission Charges Apple

The European Commission’s Anti-Trust regulator has charged Apple with breaking the EU’s competition rules. It focuses on the App Store’s handling of streaming music apps, and how Apple charges a higher commission on its rivals, and does not allow rivals to inform users there are alternative payment methods. This is the first step in a long process. Next up is Apple’s response, which can be filed at any point in the next 12 weeks:

“Apple’s rules distort competition in the market for music streaming by raising the costs of competing music streaming app developers. This in turn leads to higher prices for consumers for their in-app music subscriptions on iOS devices,” an EC statement said.

“In response, Apple said it did not receive any commission on 99% of Spotify’s subscribers. “At the core of this case is Spotify’s demand they should be able to advertise alternative deals on their iOS app, a practice that no store in the world allows,” it said in a statement.”

BBC News,

Apple’s Privacy Protecting iOS Update

As part of the iOS 14.5 update, Apple has implemented its new privacy controls, giving users more control of their personal information. Announced at last year’s WWDC, Apple delayed their implementation of the simple principle – an application must explicitly ask a user to allow an app to track the user’s behaviour, and that option is ‘off’ by default – an option that limits companies which are heavily invested in this approach. Companies such as Facebook:

“It forces developers to give users a choice: once updated to iOS 14.5, every single company that wants to track users and their data across different apps and websites now have to ask permission first using a standardized prompt created by Apple, which looks like this:”

The Verge.

Constant Growth With Apple Services

Of note in the results is the steady and continued growth of Apple’s services division. It’s now the second-largest division of the company – behind the iPhone – and takes in the likes of the App Store, iCloud, Apple Music, and the various subscription services. It’s jumped from $13.3B in Q2 2020 to $16.9B in Q2 2021:

“Apple CFO Luca Maestri told analysts on an earnings call that the company had “more than 660 million paid subscriptions” across its services division, including video music, news and games, and that its video, music, games and advertising businesses all had their best quarters yet. Services is the company’s second biggest business unit, after the juggernaut that is the iPhone, with the Mac, iPad and wearables trailing behind.”

The Hollywood Reporter.

The M2 Is Coming To Your MacBook

Production on the next M class chip has begun, with a view to appearing on a mid-year MacBook Pro. Personally I suspect this will be the first ARM-powered 16-inch MacBook Pro and the high-end 13-inch MacBook Pro to complement the entry-level machines launched last November. Will it be the M2 chip, or the M1X? The geekerati are calling for the M2, but I’m not so sure:

“Irrespective of what Apple calls ‘the second Apple Silicon chip’ it’s going to be better than the existing M1 chip. Expect it to offer more power, better thermal performance, improved graphical prowess, with increased efficiency. And it’s coming to a Mac near you this summer.”

Forbes.

Apple’s Upcoming Chip Problem

Every consumer electronics firm is dealing with the silicon shortage, and Apple is no exception. On the earnings call, Tim Cook noted that Apple will expect to be hit next quarter – ‘supply-gated not demand-gated’ was the key phrase. Any shortage is expected to hit the iPad and Mac portfolios first:

“Cook also explained that “legacy nodes” are the biggest issue in the shortage, and it’s hard for Apple to predict an impact because there are so many players involved. Apple has also seen a boon in iPad and Mac demand over the last year due to people working and learning from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple has largely been able to secure all the necessary 5nm chip production it needs, but the issue lies in the production of other components.”

9to5Mac.

And Finally…

This week’s fun game… can you find anyone in Apple calling the iPad a tablet?

“If you follow along, you’ll know that Apple studiously refuses to enter into the iPad vs. Mac debate — and in fact likes to place the iPad in a special place in the market that exists unchallenged. [Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Greg Joswiak] often says that he doesn’t even like to say the word tablet.“” There’s iPads and tablets, and tablets aren’t very good. iPads are great,”

TechCrunch.

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.