Apple has struck gold with the iPhone 11, according to a new report this week. But already, industry watchers are turning their attention to what its plans are for the future.
This week, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said that demand is stronger than the he had anticipated for the new iPhone 11. He followed that up by saying that Apple plans four new iPhones next year that could all be compatible with ultra-fast 5G wireless networks.
Meanwhile, another report out of China suggested Apple is moving forward with plans to introduce a new pair of wireless earbuds it may call the AirPods Pro. Apple will unveil the earbuds later this month at a press event, according to the report.
But it wasn’t all product news this week. Apple’s problems over a Hong Kong protest app it banned last week also came up. And Apple Pay may come under fire in the European Union over concerns the mobile-payment service is anti-competitive.
Read on for more on those headlines and others in this week’s Apple news roundup:
5G Phones May Be Coming
Apple’s iPhone 11 is more popular than analysts expected, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives reported this week. He said his checks of Apple’s China supply chain suggest the company could sell 185 million iPhone 11s this fiscal year. His comments came alongside his claim that Apple will release four new iPhones next year that will each have 5G connectivity. With that feature, the iPhones will be able to take full advantage of the ultra-high-speed wireless network and offer much faster browsing speeds than current models using older 4G LTE.
What’s Happening With Tencent?
This week, a report said that Apple had been sharing its users’ Web browsing data with Chinese company Tencent. Johns Hopkins University professor Matthew Green had said Apple was making available user IP addresses and browsing histories from its Safari browser to Tencent. Apple quickly responded to the claim, saying that the professor is mistaken. Apple said it’s actually checking the website a person wants to access against Tencent’s database of known malicious or fake websites. When someone in Mainland China requests a website, Apple’s technology quickly bounces the website name off Tencent’s database to see if it’s malicious. If it is, Apple warns users. If it’s not, the person goes to the website. In the U.S., Apple uses the same technology with Google’s database of malicious sites.
Apple’s Hong Kong Response
Just a week after Apple banned the HKmap Live app that gave Hong Kong protesters real-time information about the location of police and potential dangers in their area, Apple CEO Tim Cook met with Chinese regulators this week. According to a Reuters report, Cook discussed with regulators topics including Apple increasing its investment in China to “corporate social responsibility”. Apple didn’t comment about the discussions, but sources told Reuters that Cook’s corporate social responsibility comments may have centered partly on Apple banning the protest app.
AirPods Pro Incoming?
Apple is widely expected to hold a press event at the end of the month, and it may be headlined by a new pair of AirPods, if a recent report is accurate. China-based EDN reported this week that Apple will unveil new wireless earbuds later this month called AirPods Pro. The earbuds will have a revamped in-ear design, noise-canceling features, and cost $250, or nearly $100 more than the $159 first-generation AirPods.
Apple’s Valuable Brand
Apple has the most valuable brand in the world at $234.2 billion, brand consultancy company Interbrand said this week. That was enough for Apple to top Google (brand value $167.7 billion) and Amazon ($125.3 billion). Interbrand’s annual brand-value study assigns a value based on the company’s customer loyalty, ability to attract talent, business growth, and other factors. This is the seventh-consecutive year Apple has had the most valuable brand.
An Eye on Apple Pay
Apple Pay is in the European Union’s crosshairs. MLex, a market insights media company, said this week that the European Union (EU) is seeking comment from mobile payment providers to determine whether Apple is engaging in anti-competitive behavior with its Apple Pay mobile-payments service. The EU’s European Commission investigators are specifically concerned about Apple Pay being the default payment option in Apple’s iOS mobile operating system. In a statement to MLex, a Commission spokesperson said it’s investigating Apple’s “possible anti-competitive market practices and abusive conduct.”
One More Thing…
Apple’s Beats by Dre unveiled new Solo Pro headphones this week. The headphones come with big, cushioned ear cups and work with Apple’s Hey, Siri service for activating the company’s voice assistant. They offer noise cancellation to drown out ambient noise. The headphones, available October 30 for $300, come in several colors including black, gray, blue, and red.
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