According to the latest reports shared by local news websites, more than 4,000 Apple employees working at company’s facilities in Cork, Ireland have been evacuated earlier today following a bomb threat. Fortunately, the police hasn’t found anything dangerous, so after waiting for approximately 2 hours outside the facilities in Lavitts Quay, Hollyhill and Model Farm Road, the employees have successfully got back to work.
It is Sunday today, which means it’s high time I told you about the most interesting posts of the past seven days. Most of the articles this week deal with the widely-rumored 4-inch iPhone, the next-generation Apple Watch as well as iOS 9.3. There’re also some posts that deal with iPhone sales and Apple’s streaming music service.
Apple has recently confirmed that there’s indeed an issue with the battery percentage that won’t update on some iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus units after users manually change the time or the time zone on their devices.
According to an email sent to the selected members of Windows Insider program, Microsoft is planning a rollout of its Word Flow keyboard designed specifically for the Windows Phone platform on Apple’s iOS. Since Apple’s mobile operating system now supports the usage of third-party keyboards, the release of the aforementioned one looks quite obvious and possible.
Microsoft has recently launched a special trade-in program for those who are interested in switching from the Apple Watch to the new Microsoft Band 2. Even though I don’t think that there’re people willing to replace their Apple Watches with something much simpler, looks like Microsoft hopes to lure more customers and increase the popularity of their updated fitness tracker.
Contrary to the most recent rumors, Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch believes that Apple won’t announce the second generation of the Apple Watch in March. Instead of the updated wearable device, the reporter believes Apple will launch either the 4-inch iPhone 6c, or the updated Mac lineup.
According to the latest report from people familiar with the matter, Samsung is planning to invest up to $7.47 billion in manufacturing facilities and equipment required to supply Apple with flexible OLED panels for future iPhones. The deal with the Cupertino-based tech giant is nearly signed, so looks like soon Samsung will become Apple’s main component supplier.
One of Apple’s largest component suppliers, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), has recently reported the record-breaking net profit generated by the orders for processors for Apple’s iPhones. In fact, the manufacturer managed to beat all the estimates the analysts made for the last year and earned $9.15 billion, which is 16.2% more than in 2014.
According to the chart shared by Asymco analyst Horace Dediu, iPhone shipments are now higher than the shipments of Windows PCs. 2015 became the first year in the history when the number of personal computers sold to customers worldwide turned out to be lower than the number of Apple-branded smartphones. Notably, the PC shipments continue to decline, while iPhone shipments still grow.
The chart below demonstrates the relation of iPhone, iPad, Mac and PC shipments to each other.
According to the Performance Ranking Report shared by Antutu, Apple’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are the most efficient smartphones of 2015. These handsets easily beat all the rivals including Huawei Mate 8, Meizu Pro 5, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and a number of other flagship devices. Both Apple-branded handsets scored more than 130000 points in the Antutu Benchmark 6.0. Just for you to compare, the closest rival, which is Huawei Mate 8, scored only 92746 points.
According to a sketchy report from Asian insiders, Apple supplier Quanta will start the trial production of the Apple Watch 2 at the end of January. The start of trial production in January may mean that the announcement and the release of the wearable device will take place early in spring. Alongside Quanta, such companies as Foxconn, Wistron and Inventec may obtain rights to manufacture the second-generation Apple Watch.
Looks like Apple has finally added a really useful feature to its mobile operating system. After the release of iOS 9, many users have begun complaining about the uncontrolled usage of cellular data because of Wi-Fi Assist. iOS 9.3, which is currently a beta, features one tiny tweak that makes it easy to understand exactly how much cellular data the device has used over a certain period of time. Now it is possible to monitor the Wi-Fi Assist activity and be aware of the cellular data usage to prevent additional charges from carrier.
Below you can take a look at the screenshot showing the newly-added feature.
According to the latest data shared by Apple, the iOS 9 adoption rate has recently reached 75%. What this means is that the number of active iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users has grown 5% since November. Things like iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus sales, the introduction of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the release of iOS 9.2 contribute to the growth of the iOS 9 adoption greatly. The data on iOS 9 adoption is based on the App Store usage and is a reliable source of information.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has recently called Apple’s electric car project an "open secret". The reason for making such statement about the Cupertino-based tech giant is connected with the number of specialists the company has hired over the last couple of months. In 2015, Apple offered job to hundreds or even thousands engineers, including former Tesla workers, so it’s rather difficult to disagree with Elon Musk.
A well-known investment firm Piper Jaffray has recently lowered the expectations for iPhone shipments in the current quarter. In particular, the firm analyst Gene Munster believes that instead of an earlier figure of 62.5 million iPhone units, Apple will sell 55 million iPhones this quarter. Moreover, the estimates for the next quarter are also a bit different. Apple is expected to sell 45 million iPhone units by June, not 48.5 million it was expected to sell previously.