A new report said that in the third quarter of this year (2018), the growth rate of the premium smartphone market continued to exceed the growth rate of the entire smartphone market, and the iPhones released in 2018 dominates the premium market. Although there are close to 40 manufacturers entering the market, the top five vendors, including Apple, account for 89% of total shipments.



Market analysis data from analyst firm Counterpoint Research reveals that though the entire smartphone market fell by 5% year-on-year in the third quarter, the premium smartphone market experienced a 19% increase; those premium models with a price of $400 or more accounts 22% of global smartphone market.

Apple is the driving force behind the high-end smartphone market, while Counterpoint said that growth in the quarter was “driven by the new iPhones”. At the same time, Chinese smartphone makers have also launched new flagship models. Apple reportedly occupied 47% of the premium market during this season, followed by Samsung (22%), Huawei (12%), Vivo (5%), Oppo (5%) and Xiaomi (3%).

Apple's premium smartphone sales are still driven by markets such as the US, China, Japan, South Korea, and Western Europe. By region, Apple ranks first in North America, the Middle East, Africa, Western Europe, China, and the Asia Pacific; second in Latin America, Central, and Eastern Europe, next only to Samsung.

Image Via The Verge

Not long ago, it was revealed that Apple plans to ship the Connector necessary for the iPhone's USB-C to Lightning cable in the coming future. This means that third-party accessory manufacturers can produce such products early next year, which indicates the arrival of the third-party USB-C to Lightning cable is near.

Recently, ChargerLAB got the physical map of the Apple C94 Lightning Connector from the supply chain, which was inside of a third-party MFi certified USB-C to Lightning cable. The front and back close-ups are clearly visible from the picture. The front has only one master and has built-in materials such as PMU and MOS, so the integration is quite high, The rear, however, is much simpler, with only a little resistance.



Since iOS 12, the possibility of third-party manufacturers cracking Apple's USB-C to Lightning cable has become rarer. Although there are third-party production lines that use cracked chips, some do not charge as fast as the original cable, or they fail to work after the iOS updates so they cannot be used for charging.

It is foreseeable that when Apple's USB-C to Lightning Connector is shipped, more and more third-party manufacturers will follow up, and consumers can choose plentiful fast charge cables. After all, the price of the official one is not cheap.

Image: Apple
Picture this: The holidays have come to a close, and you received that Apple device you wished for, but, you don’t know what apps to download. No need to fear, for I have created a list of my favorite apps for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch so that you can get to downloading them.

1. Procreate — Procreate: $9.99, Procreate Pocket for iPhone: $4.99

Image: Procreate
For me, the most powerful creative tool on the App Store is Procreate. Developed by Savage Interactive, Procreate is the most powerful sketching, painting and illustration app ever designed for iOS, built from the ground up for creative professionals.

According to Savage Interactive, “Procreate is a multi-award winning creative app designed to free creative professionals from their desk. Create beautiful sketches, inspiring paintings, and stunning illustrations wherever you are.”

Image: iMore / Serenity Caldwell
There are two versions of Procreate: Procreate is designed for iPad users and works with your finger or Apple Pencil (Generation 1 & 2) with the iPad 6th generation, or iPad Pro, and Requires iOS 11.1 or later.

Another option is Procreate Pocket for iPhone. Procreate Pocket brings the power of Procreate on iPad in the palm of your hand. “Create anything you can imagine with the most powerful painting software on iPhone, incredible 64-bit color, massive canvas resolutions, an advanced layer system, and beautiful cinema-quality effects.”

According to Procreate, “Procreate Pocket is packed with a studio’s worth of features. There’s advanced selections, powerful transform options, customizable perspective guides, and stunning filters and adjustments, all in the palm of your hand. New Interface Procreate Pocket’s interface has been carefully designed specifically to be easy to use, whether you’re sitting on your couch, at a café, or passing time on the train. Intuitive toolbars stay out of your way, and leave the focus where it should be: on your creations.”

You can buy Procreate Pocket here, or Procreate here.

2. Fresh Air – Hyperlocal Weather & NOAA Radar Map — Free, Premium: $2.99

Image: Fresh Air 
I will admit, I am a sucker for good design. I would much rather choose something that looks visually appealing than something with a ton of other features. But, in reality, do you really need all those features other weather apps have?

I stumbled upon the app called “Fresh Air—Hyperlocal Weather & NOAA Radar Map” when I was looking at weather apps for my iPad. If you don’t know, Apple does not offer their weather app on the iPad, only for iPhone and Apple Watch, so, you are left with deciding over a number of apps in the app store.

Immediately, I was blown away by how visually stunning the app is, and how the app displays all the necessary information in a minimalistic way.

The app is free to download and is offered on iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch. For iPad, this is a great weather app to have, and on iPhone, it’s a great alternative to the stock weather app.

The app does have Ads if you stick with the free version. You can purchase the Premium version via In-App Purchases for a one-time fee of $2.99.

Fresh Air was named “Top 15 designed apps of the year” by Venture Beat, and “few weather apps are as nicely designed and useful as Fresh Air,” by Gizmodo.

You can buy Fresh Air here.

3. LastPass — Free, Premium: $2.00 per month, $24.00 per year.
Image: LastPass 
We have all been there, we can’t remember what password we used, or which of the dozens of inboxes we have were used. Well, that’s about to change.

Gone are the days of trying to remember passwords or writing them down in a journal to end up losing it. Honestly, most people carry an iPhone or Apple Watch with them every day, so why not store your passwords safely, securely, and within reach at all times?

LastPass simplifies your online life by remembering your passwords for you. With LastPass to manage your logins, it’s easy to have a strong, unique password for every online account and improve your online security, the company says.

LastPass uses strong encryption standards like AES-256 bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA-256 and salted hashes, to keep your private information safe. You’ll create an account with an email address and a strong master password to locally-generate a unique encryption key. Furthermore, your data is encrypted and decrypted at the device level, not in the cloud.

For devices, you can add two-factor authentication for increased security, and for iOS device users, Touch ID or Face ID for secure access to your passwords anywhere.

Also, new in iOS 12, LastPass can now autofill usernames and passwords within iOS apps. So you don’t have to exit an app and open LastPass, it will automatically know you’re entering a password and give you access to the vault.

LastPass is free for all users, but, they offer a $2 per month single plan, $4 per month family plan for up to 6 users, and enterprise options. You can view them here.

4. Darkroom – Photo Editor — Free, Pro: $9.99

Image: Darkroom
Darkroom is an excellent mobile photo editor for iPhone and most recently iPad. It offers full RAW support, Depth Editing, and full control over Brightness, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Saturation, Vibrance, Fade, Vignette, Sharpness, and Split Tones.

Being that I am a photographer and am usually on the go, I always carry both my iPad and iPhone in my bag, so Darkroom enables me to have a full suite of powerful tools to edit my photos from anywhere.

Image: Darkroom, Editing Interface
Earlier this month, Darkroom added support for iPad. Here’s the official press release, “The new iPad interface is designed to take full advantage of the bigger screen real estate and be a first-class citizen on the new platform. With support for multi-tasking and keyboard shortcuts, Darkroom now sports a desktop-grade photo editing experience, in the same mobile-friendly, easy-to-use package you’re familiar with.”

Darkroom is free to download, but, you can purchase a Pro version through in-app purchases with Curves and Color tools, Premium Filters, and unlocks the full power of Darkroom. The full Pro package is $9.99.

You can get Darkroom here.

5. Unsplash — Free

Image: Unsplash 
Who doesn’t love great, free, photos to use as wallpapers? Honestly, I spend more time changing the wallpaper on my devices than I do in any app.

Unsplash is a Montreal-based photography sharing platform fueled by a community that has generously gifted hundreds of thousands of their own photos.

What originally started as a Tumblr blog with 10 high-resolution photos in 2013, has quickly grown to over 90,000+ photographers and creators around the globe, over 6 billion image requests per month, millions of users per month, and 550,000+ photos shared so far.

In April of this year, Unsplash debuted their official iOS app to the world. With the largest library of freely usable, high-resolution photos anyone can use for anything, right are your fingertips.

We have used many photos from Unsplash in our articles, and many photographs from Unsplash have even made it to Apple Keynotes. It’s a no-brainer that I love this app, and I love downloading new wallpapers.

You can download Unsplash here.

According to the filing submitted to the FCC, US carrier AT&T seems to be interested in the wireless charger accessory market. AT&T will introduce a charger that supports wireless charging for both the Apple Watch and iPhone, as the charger has a built-in 3000 mAh battery that can be used as a power bank.



Apparently, the AT&T wireless charger is called the Power Drum, just simply put the Apple Watch on the front of the charger, while placed the iPhone on the top of the accessory. The Power Drum uses the Qi standard and can output 10W of power, although the iPhone wireless charging limited to only 7.5W.

As for compatibility, it supports Apple Watch Series 3, Series 2, Series 1, and Series 0. While the Series 4 wasn't listed, it most likely to support it nevertheless, it will probably support all iPhones with wireless charging as well. The input to the Power Drum is Micro USB, instead of the hottest USB-C, sadly.

It's unclear when will the Power Drum be available to consumers, it's priced at $99.99, however. (Via Zatz Not Funny)

Since the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs presented the world's first iPhone in 2007, this year may be the first time that iPhone sales have experienced a serious slowdown. The company has had to reduce the price of iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max globally through trade-in.


Compared to the past few years, Apple used a variety of ways to advertise the new iPhone in 2018, but this does not mean that it has prevented sales from slowing down. A report released this week by Citi Research, a research firm of Citigroup, predicts Apple to cut iPhone XS Max production by 48% in 2Q 2019.

Citi Research analyst William Yang told clients in the new report that he expects Apple to cut its iPhone production to 45 million units in three months, a reduction of 5 million units from Citi's original estimate of 50 million units. Yang believes that the main reason for the decline in production is that he speculates the number of produced iPhone XS Max handsets will be seeing a weaker demand.

In fact, Citi Research is not the only group that tells customers that iPhone production is expected to decline in Apple's second fiscal quarter. Rosenblatt analyst Jun Zhang also expect Apple's second-quarter iPhone production to drop by 4 million in three months. Well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, however, lowered the 2018 iPhone sale estimate as well.

Image Via iKream

According to Thinknum, look through the data of Best Buy, the 2018 iPad Pro models sales have not been affected even though Apple confirmed it bent out of the box, which got so many attention. In fact, the sales chart shows that purchases of the new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro have not shown a notable downtrend since the initial launch, but rather have been “stable”.


The first one who reports the iPad Pro bending problem was JerryRigEverything, which showed that the new iPad Pro was easier to break than ever. Later, some media reported that the tablet had ship slight bent issue. Apple hardware engineering executives responded that the new iPad Pro "meets or exceeds" all of Apple's high-quality standards for design and precision manufacturing.
Its unibody design meets or exceeds all of Apple's high quality standards of design and precision manufacturing. We've carefully engineered it and every part of the manufacturing process is precisely measured and controlled.
Meanwhile, Apple's former senior Marketing Director argued on Twitter that "Apple tolerances shouldn't allow for a clear noticeable bend. Much as monitors with noticeable dead pixels aren't acceptable either", and Apple is in the wrong.

With 2019 almost here, it has been quite a year for the Cupertino-based tech giant. This year alone, we saw the HomePod be released, cheaper $329 iPad, Apple moved into their new Apple Park Campus, a number of new Apple Retail Stores were opened to the public, new Macs, a redesigned Apple Watch, new iPhone models, redesigned iPad Pro, and plenty of rumors and leaks. Here's everything we should expect from Apple going into 2019.


Please note that these aren't in any chronological order, or order in which we should expect them to be released. Only Apple can confirm or deny anything, and this is just purely speculation.

New AirPods



Many can argue that the AirPods are the most innovative Apple product in years, and these truly-wireless earbuds and have built quite the fan-following since they were released in late 2016.

It has been long rumored that Apple is planning on updating AirPods sometime in early 2019. Being they haven't been updated since 2016, it has left many customers wishing for wireless charging capabilities, improved audio quality, and different finishes, for almost two years.

According to well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is gearing up to release an upgraded AirPods model that supports Qi-wireless charging sometime in the first quarter of 2019. Furthermore, Kuo expects hands-free “Hey, Siri” functionality, and with the addition of Bluetooth 5.0, longer range, quicker pairing, and improved audio quality.

Kuo goes on to say that we should expect a revised design sometime in 2020.

Cheaper, Smaller HomePod
Image: Apple
Shortly after the release of the HomePod earlier this year, it was rumored that Apple had begun working on a smaller, cheaper version of the HomePod to compete directly with Amazon and Google, who both offer smaller versions of their speakers. It is rumored the smaller HomePod will cost between $150 to $200.

With the current HomePod costing $349, it is a hard sell, despite the excellent sound quality, due to the fact that it only supports Apple Music natively, and requires an Apple device to set up. According to Business Insider, "A $150 speaker that only works with iPhones and Apple Music is much more palatable than one that costs $350."

According to Barclays Analyst Blayne Curtis, we should expect to see the HomePod 'mini' sometime in the Spring of 2019, possibly alongside the AirPods and other products. He says a smaller HomePod will have "broader appeal."

Apple Over-Ear Headphones

Image: Apple / Beats by Dre
At the start of the year, KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had a report stating the Apple has been working on their own branded 'high-end over-ear' headphones. Kuo says these headphones are not to be mistaken for the successor to Beats by Dre, but it's own branded headphones that combine "high-end audio" with the magic of AirPods.

According to 9to5Mac's Benjamin Mayo, "The addition of over-ear headphones to Apple’s lineup would flesh out Apple’s range of audio options, with AirPods optimized for size convenience, HomePod for high-quality home audio and the new over-ear headphones for high-quality sound on the go."

We should expect to see audio quality better than Beats by Dre, an Apple W2 chip from the Apple Watch Series 4, a fresh design compared to Beats, and "Hey, Siri" support like the upcoming AirPods 2.

Apple TV Streaming Service


Image: Apple
According to a report by The Information earlier this year, Apple is expected to launch their TV streaming service sometime in the first half of 2019 in the US first, then to over 100 countries in the following months.

The service will be free to all iOS and Apple TV users and aimed squarely at competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. According to some reports, Apple will not allow the service outside of its so-called walled garden, which may possibly limit the reach of the service, and potentially hinder growth vs. other services.


Apple Austin Campus & Other Expansions

Image: Apple, Current Facility in Austin, Texas, United States.
Earlier this month, Apple announced plans to invest $1 billion in a brand-new campus in Northern region of Austin, Texas, United States. According to the official press release, "Apple has plans to establish new sites in Seattle, San Diego, and Culver City and expand in cities across the United States including Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, Colorado over the next three years, with the potential for additional expansion elsewhere in the US over time."

The planned Austin campus is less than a mile away from the current Apple Austin Campus. The location is a 133-acre campus that will initially accommodate 5,000 additional employees, with the capacity to grow to 15,000, according to Apple.

The new campus will make Apple the largest private employer in Austin, with jobs ranging from engineering, R&D, operations, finance, sales, and customer support. At 6,200 people, Austin already represents the largest population of Apple employees outside of Cupertino.

According to Apple, the new campus will include 50 acres of preserved open space and, like all Apple facilities worldwide, its workspaces will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

WWDC 2019


Image: Apple, Apple CEO Tim Cook at WWDC 2018.
Apple's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) is typically hosted around the first two weeks in June and spotlight the companies iOS, tvOS, macOS, and watchOS advancements. Apple uses the event to showcase its new software and technologies for software developers at the event and those watching from home via Livestream of the Keynote.

For 2019, we should expect to see iOS 13, watchOS 6, macOS 11 or 10.15, and tvOS. In rare occasions, Apple has released new products during WWDC, but, I do not expect Apple to do so during WWDC 2019.

As far as macOS, we typically learn what the name of the new operating system will be. I have made some predictions on what I want Apple to name it: Sequoia, Sierra Nevada, Redwood, or Big Sur. I prefer Sequoia. I would really love to see a redesign of macOS, similar to my current favorite concept by Álvaro Pabesio, here.

Furthermore, we should see iOS 13, which is said to have the features that Apple ditched in iOS 12 in an effort to focus on reliability and stability. I really hope that we finally see Dark Mode come to iOS in iOS 13. Additionally, welcome improvements to Siri thanks to Apple recently hiring Ex-Google employee John Giannandrea, who is the Senior Vice President of Machine Learning and AI Strategy. 

A long stretch would be native RAW support in the camera app. We should also see significant improvements to Shortcuts, Home, and Safari.

iPhone 11, 11 Max, and 11r

Image: Apple
With Apple updating the iPhone every year, we should expect to see a redesigned iPhone 11, 11 Max, and possibly an update to the cheaper Xr as the 11r.

I hope to see a revised design, one that is not similar to the iPhone X or Xs but still very much an iPhone. Furthermore, we should expect a new A13 chip inside, a slight possibility of 5G support, and improved True-Depth camera systems.

According to many rumors, the next iPhone will feature a Triple Lens Camera System on the rear with advanced 3D sensing for augmented reality capabilities. The first two lenses will be the same as the current model, but the third will act as a 3x optical zoom, a first for iPhone.

We expect Apple to use the new sensors to build upon its ARKit 2. ARKit 2 allows for shared experiences with multiplayer games, persistent augmented reality, extended support for image detection and tracking, and more.

Entry-level 10-inch iPad, and iPad mini 5

Image: Apple
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is working on the successor to the entry-level $329 iPad for 2019. He says the new iPad will be slightly larger, 10'-inches vs. 9.7'-inches. He also says that in order to accommodate a larger display, the new iPad will receive an industrial redesign with slimmers bezels, and look like its larger iPad Pro siblings.

Kuo assures that the new iPad price will not differ from the current $329, as Apple is still wanting this to be an entry-level iPad that is also aimed at education. We hope to see at least an A11 Bionic chip replace the A10 Fusion inside the current model. Furthermore, we hope to see support for the Apple Pencil 2.

Modular Mac Pro and Updated Apple Cinema USB-C Display

Concept Image: Pascal Eggert. Source: MacWorld UK
The current Mac Pro hasn't been updated since 2013. It still has the same internals, specs, and processors, from 2013. Apple forced itself in a corner with the trash-can design due to the fact they realized the Thermal Core of the Mac Pro isn't able to cool modern components, therefore, limiting them in their ability to update it sooner.

Earlier this year, Apple confirmed that it is working on an all-new Mac Pro that will have cutting-edge components, performance, and will be modular to allow creative professionals to upgrade the system as their needs grow over time.

Concept Image: Pascal Eggert. Source: MacWorld UK
Little is currently known of the Mac Pro aside from it having the latest components, Intel Xeon chips, and modular design.

Furthermore, it is rumored that Apple will release a new Apple Cinema Display alongside the Mac Pro that will have either 5K or 8K panel with 10-bit color support that Apple released with OS X El Capitan.

According to Apple's head of marketing Phil Schiller, "As part of doing a new Mac Pro — it is, by definition, a modular system — we will be doing a pro display as well."

Conclusion


2019 is set to be another busy year for Apple. We hope to see many of the products we've been wishing for this year and many advancements in both hardware and software.

Other notable mentions are that we expect Apple to update the Mac line with fresh processors, improvements with macOS 11 or 10.15, and the possibility of a Touch Bar wireless keyboard.

Apple is reportedly interested in the 3D camera sensor produced by its existing supplier Sony, which uses precise time-of-flight technology. Satoshi Yoshihara, general manager of Sony, said the company plans to start mass production of 3D chips next summer to meet the needs of several smartphone makers.



Bloomberg Quint reported that Satoshi Yoshihara did not provide production data and did not disclose the names of potential customers, but he pointed out that Sony's 3D chip business is making a profit. It is understood that Apple is interested in adopting this technology, but it is not clear whether this info is from Sony or other anonymous sources.

Apple's existing TrueDepth camera system uses a VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) to project structured light on an object. By measuring deviations and distortions in the grid, the system can generate 3D images for biometric authentication. Sony's Time-of-Flight (TOF) system renders a depth map by measuring the time it takes for a light pulse to travel to and of the target surface.

Without a doubt, TOF technology is more accurate than VCSEL and can work at greater distances. A report published earlier this year claims that Apple is evaluating whether to use TOF for rear-facing cameras to help augmented reality app for a faster, more accurate autofocus method. Though, Apple analyst Ming-Chi says the company is unlikely to integrate TOF technology into next-gen iPhones.

A report from the Wall Street Journal today said that Apple’s $62.9 billion stock buyback program in the first half of this year was a bad investment. Meanwhile, the reality is that the publication overlooked and failed to see the actual result of what could follow when a company retires its stock shares.



According to the report, which uses Apple as an example to emphasize companies' capital investment for the buyback program after the US federal tax cuts. It asserts that the $62.9 billion that Apple spent on repurchasing its own share is now worth only $54 billion, suggesting today's share repurchase can lessen the loss of $9 billion.

However, the report rarely mentions that these stocks have been retired by the firm and no longer have any direct monetary value. In the meantime, there are several benefits to Apple: it meant to reduce the share count, double the value of dividends per share paid to investors, as well as give the management team full confidence in the future investment

Many US companies, including Apple, have been accelerating stock buybacks after the US tax cuts and employment bill (from 35% to 21% in December 2017), while Apple and other Fortune 500 companies in the US Transfer overseas cash back to its own country.

Image Via TechCrunch

Reuters today quoted a number of people familiar with the matter as saying that Apple will assemble high-end iPhones in India in 2019 through the Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn. More importantly, Foxconn will assemble the most high-end iPhone X models in the country. Analysts said the move will push Apple's business in the Indian market to a new level.

Apple Inc will begin assembling its top-end iPhones in India through the local unit of Foxconn as early as 2019, the first time the Taiwanese contract manufacturer will have made the product in the country, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The person familiar with the matter also said that the Foxconn plant, which will begin producing top-end iPhones for Apple, is located in a factory in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. According to Tamil Nadu's Minister of Industry, M C Sampath, Foxconn will invest 25 billion Indian rupees (about 356 million US dollars) to expand the plant. Sampath also stated that the investment is expected to create up to 25,000 jobs.

So far, Apple has only assembled low-cost models like iPhone SE and 6S in the Indian market through Wistron. Moreover, the models that the iPhone sells in India are also dominated by low-end models. In recent years, although the sales of smartphones in the Indian market have soared, Apple's market share only gets about 2%, as it continues to shrink even further.

After reports of iPhone XR sees better-than-expected sales number, today, Apple saw its best single-day performance at the stock market since April 2014, it was up 7.04% when it's closing, while the Dow Jones also posted over 1,000 points increase thanks to record-breaking holiday selling season, it is the highest point gain ever in history, yet, just two days ago, Dow had its worst Christmas Eve ever.

The worst Christmas Eve in stock-market history was more than offset Wednesday by the best day-after-Christmas trading day on record, with the Dow logging its first-ever 1,000-point, single-day gain as equities roared back from oversold conditions.
As of now, AAPL trade at around $157 per share, approximately $10 higher than its $146.83 closing price from December 24. Not just Apple, though, other tech companies also posted sizable performance, Alphabet, Google's parent company, finished today at $1,039.46, up around $63 of the 24th’s $976.22 closing, even better, Amazon gained a whopping $126.94 in stock price. (Via MarketWatch)

The newest report from CIRP provides the latest sale data of iPhone XR, iPhone XR, and iPhone XS Max. The insight for this time was focused on November this year, in which data shows that iPhone XR accounts for 32% of total iPhone sales. the share is lower than the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus at the same time in 2017, though iPhone XR sale percentage were higher than iPhone X last year.


Since Apple changed its new iPhone launch strategy in the past two years, it is a bit challenging to compare models to models. Last year's iPhone X accounted for 30% of total iPhone sales in November last year, while iPhone 8 and 8 Plus accounted for 39%, so iPhone XR is somewhere in between.

CIRP also found that in all iPhone buyers, 82% were former iPhone users, whereas 16% were Android users. When the iPhone X was released in November last year, 86% who chose to upgrade were iPhone users, while 11% were Android switchers. But, when the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus was launched last September, 87% upgraded from an iPhone, and 12% upgraded from Android.

Noted that the study is based on 165 US customers who purchased an iPhone XR in the 30 days after it was launched, such results don't represent all iPhone users. Despite analysts says that iPhone XR suffered from lower-than-expected sales, data from third-party data analytics companies and Apple tells us a different story.

Two weeks ago, some iPhone users found that their device unable to use cellular data after updating to iOS 12.1.1, the issue seems to affect iPhone users in different countries and affect different devices in different ways, according to Forbes, Twitter user @cPlayIt in North Carolina said he couldn't use data after updating to iOS 12.1.2. some even tried to reset the network and re-insert SIM card: Doesn't work.


Similarity, an iPhone user in India also said on Twitter that after upgrading his iPhone 7 to the latest iOS version, the user's iMessage account got dislinked with his mobile number. Apparently, this particular iOS 12.1.2 issue causing devices to be unable to use cellular data is not limited to the 2018 iPhone model, since Apple has seeded iOS 12.1.3 beta so the problem may be resolved in the update.

Of the current situation, iPhone users in the United States may be got hit the hardest. Ironically, Apple has fixed the software bug in iOS 12.1.2 for Turkey users, as the release notes said: "Addresses an issue that could affect cellular connectivity in Turkey for iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max." It's expected Apple will release iOS 11.1.3 update very soon to resolve this issue.

Image Via Gotta Be Mobile

A report from last week claims that Apple will update the iPad mini family early next year, however. the iPad mini 5 will not receive major upgrades, it most likely to have a speed bump, as the screen will be replaced by a lower cost display, and is designed to stimulate the overall sales of the iPad lineup.

According to Chinese website ITHome, it appears that a so-called iPad mini 5 case has surfaced on the web, although we can not see the specific shape of this model, just from the back, the rear camera setup looks like got vast improvements, but it will not be dual-lens. From the case, it seems like the iPad mini 5 may add stereo speakers support, and the 3.5mm headphone jack will still be retained.


In October this year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple is in the work for a new version of the iPad mini, and the device may be released March 2019. Based on the timeframe and past track records, we expected that Apple will hold a Spring Event in March of next year, probably launch other Apple accessories such as AirPods and AirPower as well.

Regularly, the way we go to a certain website is: browser → search engine → enter keywords → select the item you want to see, yeah, I know that took several steps. So what if we omit some processes, no more jumping back-and-forth between a page of search result links and the website, heck, the browser app, Cake, can do this flawlessly and is super easy to use.


When you first use the app, you will notice the illustration on the top, and that will make you just focus on the Search bar, and yes, there are five toolbar icons at the bottom of the Cake app, such as Return, Home, Search, etc, which I suppose you're familiar with. However, the real magic here is when you type something on the Search bar, it will then loads most irreverent results to save time while searching.

Now, you just swipe forward to view your results, and you don't have to click on every search result, only swipe from left until a satisfying content appears. It's a nice option to save time while searching websites, however, you will also able to refine your query to just videos, shopping, images, or news.

So we have tested the app, searching for “Loveios” with Cake Browser takes you to our homepage by swipe left, of course, these are Google’s results, rather than the ones specifically selected by the app, certainly, you can also choose Bing or DuckDuckGo as your default search engine. The one downside that I can think of right now is it uses more cellular data than traditional browsers since it loads more content.

Enough is said, the app is now available on the App Store or Google Play Store for free.

Image Via TNW

Love wallpapers? Then you will love our wallpapers collection, we plan to release some wallpapers at a certain time, we will not release these wallpapers every week due to the fact that they took some time to make, we hopefully would able to make them as fast as possible. We welcome your feedback if you want a request a specific topic, for example, colorful, puppy, flowers, etc. Comment Down Below!!!

Bad Lip Reading (BLR for short) has uploaded its first comical video that directly linked to Apple. This parody is targeted at Apple CEO Tim Tim Cook and Software Chief Craig Federighi, which took place at an Apple event. In the mouth-to-mouth way, Apple has launched a new device like Apple Skin Twist and so on.


The video titled "Apple Product Launch" uses a real Apple event video script, however, the audio and images have been modified to showcase Apple's launch of some rather humorous products, such as the plant guitar "Lickamaforbus", Apple Skin Twist, Apple Wish Prince, Apple Socks, Apple Hole, etc.

Bad Lip Reading is a YouTube Channel that went popular thanks to its videos like The Hunger Games, the NFL, and now a live Apple event. The channel is run by a man who humorously lip-reads onto real clips of politics, tv shows, films, and more, though the guy behind it declined to reveal his background.


Earlier this week, Apple confirmed to The Verge that some of the 2018 iPad Pro ship a slight bent. But the company said it was a side effect during the manufacturing process and should not deteriorate over time or negatively impact the performance of the tablet in any practical way, Apple doesn't think this is a defect. Nevertheless, Apple has now issued a new statement concerning some expressed doubts of the response...



Users from MacRumors sent an email to Apple CEO for details on the matter, however, Cook did not respond directly to the email, instead of, Dan Riccio, vice president of hardware engineering at Apple, asserts that the new iPad Pro “meets or exceeds” all of the high-quality standards of Apple design and precision manufacturing. Riccio hints that Apple to provide an official statement on the matter soon.
Relative to the issue you referenced regarding the new iPad Pro, its unibody design meets or exceeds all of Apple's high quality standards of design and precision manufacturing. We've carefully engineered it and every part of the manufacturing process is precisely measured and controlled.
In the meantime, he says the new iPad Pro has a flatness measure of 400 microns that is higher than previous generations of iPad Pro. In addition, the flatness of the iPad Pro will not change during normal use and will not affect any features. The 400 micron is less than half a millimeter, which is the thickness of only 4 sheets of paper.

Image Via BGR.com

Following it kicked off a new iPhone trade-in promotion back in November for users in the United States, Apple has extended the limited time offer to additional countries. Once you trade in your older iPhone models, let say, iPhone 7 Plus, you can get a brand new iPhone XR for just $449, while iPhone XS for as low as $699 in the US, that saves you $300.


The countries that available for the promotion, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, France, Japan, Hong Kong, Macao, Italy, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, he Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. The promotion will end in January 31, 2019, with some offers will be exclusively at Apple Stores, some on Apple.com.

It's unclear why Apple decides to provide the promotion at this time of the year, possibly due to lower-than-expected iPhone sales that many analysts expressed about it. Yet, Apple last month said that its latest iPhone XR was the best-selling iPhone every week, so we don't know who is telling the truth as of now.

According to sources in the Apple supply chain cited by the China Times, Apple is preparing to release the fifth-generation of iPad mini in the first half of 2019. The goal of the iPad mini is to save the falling iPad sales, and the device will enter mass production by the end of this month.


In October this year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple is developing a new version of the iPad mini. The new version of the mini will feature with a better processor, and the device may be released in 2018 or early 2019. The last iPad mini update was in September 2015, while Apple lowered the price of the iPad mini in March 2017, so that the 128GB version is priced at $399.

In addition, today's report also suggests that Apple is preparing to launch a new 10-inch iPad to replace the current 9.7-inch iPad. Compared to the iPad Pro, the 9.7-inch iPad is thicker and heavier yet supports Apple Pencil at a price of only $329. In order to boost iPad sales, the company plans to release two versions of the low-cost iPad.

Finally, today's report says that the two iPads will use Korea-made LCD displays instead of Japan's LCD procurement in order to reduce production cost. As for release time, it's likely that Apple will held a Spring Event in March 2019, possibly alongside other Apple accessories such as AirPods.

According to Reuters and CNBC, a German court today ruled that some iPhone models featured with Intel modems infringe Qualcomm's patents. The court has issued an initial sales ban, influenced by the ban, Apple has confirmed will stop selling the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models in Germany.



Judge Matthias Zigann ruled Thursday that Apple infringed Qualcomm's patent on iPhones with Intel and Apple supplier Qorvo moderns violated one of Qualcomm's patents so-called "envelope tracking," a feature that helps preserve battery life when sending and receiving wireless signals, however, there's no doubt that Apple will definitely appeal. Apple's statement via CNBC:
Qualcomm's campaign is a desperate attempt to distract from the real issues between our companies. Their tactics, in the courts and in their everyday business, are harming innovation and harming consumers. Qualcomm insists on charging exorbitant fees based on work they didn't do and they are being investigated by governments all around the world for their behavior. We are of course disappointed by this verdict and we plan to appeal.
In the statement, Apple stated that the latest iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR can still be purchased normally, while iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models will no longer be available through the Apple Store, but consumers can purchase it from authorized resellers and carriers. Apple is also dealing with similar legal issues in China, but continue selling these models in China.

Image Via Forbes

In a press release today, Apple has officially announced that John Giannandrea, Google's former Search Chief, now named To the company’s executive team as Senior Vice President of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Strategy, he joined Apple in April 2018, and will reporting to CEO Tim Cook directly.



According to Apple, Giannandrea oversees the strategy for artificial intelligence and machine learning across the company and development of Core ML Siri technologies and making it easier and faster to integrate machine learning into apps. Apple CEO Tim Cook says that the company is "fortunate" and thrilled to have Giannandrea at the helm of its AI and machine learning efforts.
“John hit the ground running at Apple and we are thrilled to have him as part of our executive team,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Machine learning and AI are important to Apple’s future as they are fundamentally changing the way people interact with technology, and already helping our customers live better lives. We’re fortunate to have John, a leader in the AI industry, driving our efforts in this critical area.”
Prior to Apple, Giannandrea spent 8 years at Google where he led the Machine Intelligence, Research, and Search teams, even before that, he found Tellme Networks and Metaweb Technologies. Meanwhile, John Giannandrea will still respect Apple's commitment to Privacy and makes computers even smarter and more personal.

Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster recently tested the voice assistant accuracy of four smart speakers. The four voice assistants are Alexa on Amazon Echo, Siri on HomePod, Google Assistant on Google Home mini, and Microsoft's Cortana. Each speaker were given the same 800 questions and is divided into 5 categories, including local, commerce, navigation, information, and commands. The result was somewhat surprising...



Siri on HomePod correctly answered 74% of the questions. In December last year, HomePod's success rate was only 52.3%, the increase was rather sizable. However, Siri is still lags behind compares to Google Assistant, which has an success rate of 87.9%, while Alexa's correctly answered 72.5% quires, and the last place were taken by Microsoft's Cortana, which only answered 62.3% correctly.

Munster believes that because a series of software updates in recent months have enabled the speaker to make and receive calls, schedule calendar events, set up multiple timers, and search Songs via lyrics, and all these makes HomePod becomes more versatile and assistants become more capable, the analyst will continue testing it to remain exhaustive.

Finally, Munster claims that HomePod and Google Assistant are neck and neck when it comes to queries on local and navigation due to the fact that they both properly uses its own Map data. Yet, Siri on HomePod is limited in comparison to Siri on iPhone, probably because Apple is not positioning it as the "Smart Speaker", but rather a Home speaker with just Siri on board.

Apple has made a small adjustment to its App Store Guidelines today that developers will be able to set the in-app purchase content as a gift, meaning iOS users could gift subscriptions to their friends and family, for example, you purchased a Spotify Premium subscription, you can give it as a gift. The move is likely another sign that Apple is going big on its Service Business.


Before the adjustment: "Apps should not directly or indirectly enable gifting of in-app purchase content, features, or consumable items to others.". The revised version is: Apps may enable gifting of items that are eligible for in-app purchase to others. Such gifts may only be refunded to the original purchaser and may not be exchanged."

It's not clear how Apple will handle the in-app purchases, and it's possible to add gift-giving options to the interface. I believe that developers will receive further details on Apple in the near future. As more and more apps become Free Download + In-App Purchases or Subscriptions model, Apple's change is very responsive.

Now if users want to gift a paid app, they need to click the "..." button in the upper right corner of a paid app page in the App Store app and then select the "Gift App..." option, then fill in the other user's Apple ID.

Image Via Apple Support

Shortly after Apple released the new iPad Pro last month, some users complained on social media that the device bends when the device was just unpacked and that there was a problem of bending with the use. Now Apple has confirmed that the aluminum chassis of some device will show slight bending when it is delivered, but the company believes that this is not a defect.


Apple believes this is a side effect of the manufacturing process and does not deteriorate over time or affect performance. In a statement provided to The Verge, Apple says that this is caused by a cooling process involving the iPad Pro's metal and plastic components during manufacturing, though they will still organize an engineering team to perform a check on the issue.
Apple has confirmed to The Verge that some of its 2018 iPad Pros are shipping with a very slight bend in the aluminum chassis. But according to the company, this is a side effect of the device’s manufacturing process and shouldn’t worsen over time or negatively affect the flagship iPad’s performance in any practical way. Apple does not consider it to be a defect.
The report states that due to the existence of plastic antenna strips, the bending on the cellular version of the iPad Pro may be more obvious. "Apple has not declared that the defects are strictly limited to the cellular version of the iPad Pro, but some non-LTE iPad Pro users have indicated that they have faced similar situations." Apple, however, has not experienced higher-than-normal return rates for the 2018 iPad Pro.

Image Via MacRumors

Apple has seeded the first beta of iOS 12.1.3 to developers, a few days after they pushed iOS 12.1.2 to fix eSIM activation bugs and patent issues with Qualcomm in China, which removed the app closing animation, as confirmed by the company today, though Qualcomm says Apple is still violating it, so the software beta available is being labeled as beta 2, iOS 12.1.2 should be the beta 1.


As far as iOS 12.1.3 concerned, we were unable to discover what changes it implemented, it’s likely to be a mirror update focused on bug fixes and performance improvements. As always, developers can download the new iOS 12.1.3 beta with the proper configuration profile has been installed in place. At the same time, beta 2 of macOS 10.14.3 and tvOS 12.1.2 also available for beta testing.

If you found anything new in these betas, let us know in the comment!

Earlier this month, Apple released the iOS 12.1.1 update, and on Tuesday it issued iOS 12.1.2 to users. Now, Apple has stopped signing iOS 12.1, which means users can only downgrade from iOS 12.1.2 to iOS 12.1.1, and can't go back to iOS 12.1. iOS 12.1.1 . iOS 12.1.1 introduced improved FaceTime app and Haptic Touch Rich Notifications on iPhone XR, while iOS 12.1.12 only fixed eSIM bugs.



As always, the move is ensuring users to have the latest security experience and prevent them from jailbreaking their devices, facts are that iOS 12.1 suffered from many bugs that pave the way for future jailbreak process. Hackers have found the version contains a Zero-day exploit, a privilege escalation bug, and a Safari based security exploit, which allows them to develop jailbreak tools in the future.

Looking forward, we advise users that if you want to continue jailbreak your devices, make sure to not to upgrade to iOS 12.1.1 or iOS 12.1.2. Despite that jailbreak is become less common and that the purchases of Cydia already disabled, many jailbreakers still have passion on it, we also saw that videos of jailbreak news and update continued pop up on YouTube everyday.

Image Via manchikoni.com

Apple has started selling the Catalyst waterproof case designed for AirPods on its Online Store and at retail stores, this is also the first time that Apple sold AirPods-related accessories on its platform. While you can also order the AirPods case on Amazon for $5 cheaper than the one Apple sells.



This case offers IP67 water resistant (1 meter for an hour) for AirPods, and it can also resist the drop and dust out and most importantly, it meets or exceed military standard 810G for drops and shocks. It is worth stating that it comes in with a loop and aluminum carabiner that can be easily hung in a backpack or on the clothes.
Available only at Apple, the Catalyst Waterproof Case for AirPods Special Edition completely protects and secures your AirPods so you can take them anywhere. This stylish, waterproof, and drop proof case is made of soft and durable silicone and includes a premium lightweight carabiner for attaching it to your bag or belt loop.
The design of the case is really flexible. You don't need to pump the AirPods out of the case and be able to charge it directly, but it will be a little troublesome every time when you use the AirPods in trade off for the waterproof and drop proof features. The case is priced at $29.95 in Black, White, and Glow in the Dark versions, available only in the US and Canada.

So far, we've seen a number of Android smartphone makers or their brand ambassadors promoting their own products using the iPhone, such as Samsung and Huawei. However, Tech YouTuber MKBHD found out that Apple Music's official Twitter account once used an Android device to post a tweet, "never thought I'd see the day," says the YouTuber in a rather surprised tone.



Although Apple Music is not only available for iOS devices, it can also be downloaded and installed on Android devices, is still quite awkward to publish a message using competitors’ devices. It could be the case that Apple might have testing Apple Music on Android and forgot to switch over to iPhone when tweeting.

The YouTuber seems to be very keen on such incidents lately, that even the tweets sent by Apple Music's Twitter account in November were dug up. Marques Brownlee just discovered last week that Samsung India used the Twitter for iPhone app to promote the Galaxy A9, and noticed that Samsung's Nigerian Twitter account highlighted the Galaxy Note 9's Super AMOLED display via an iPhone.

In October of this year, Samsung's Russian ambassadors Ksenia Sobchak was sued by Samsung for using the iPhone X in public instead of the Samsung phone she should have promoted. In 2016, US President Donald Trump also used the iPhone to push for a boycott of Apple.
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