Announcements Hidden in the Big Yellow iPhone Announcement

The Daily Observation Deck Feature

A bright yellow phone from Apple, planned expansion for a couple of Apple services, and you will not believe how big iPhone was last year.

Announcements, Mentions, and Newness

Apple Announces Yellow iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus

A big announcement from Apple, with more important announcements folded in. As had been rumored/speculated, Apple did add a new yellow hue to the iPhone 14 line. That’s a yellow iPhone 14 and a yellow iPhone 14 Plus. Meanwhile, for the Pro line — a whole lotta nothin. One wants to cut that line some slack though. A couple of months ago, you pretty much couldn’t get an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max. 

The new, bright color joins the current lineup of midnight, starlight, (PRODUCT)RED, blue, and purple. It comes in at the same capacities and prices as the rest — $799 to start for iPhone 14 and $899 for iPhone 14 Plus. Folks in “Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, the U.K., the U.S., and more than 60 other countries and regions” can order the yellow phone beginning Friday, March 10 at 5 a.m. Pacific.  Quick turnaround on this one. The new hue should be available beginning Tuesday, March 14.

Sending Out an SOS

I said that the announcement had more important announcements folded in. The release for the new color basically served as a chance to reintroduce various iPhone 14 features, including the device’s dual-camera system, better battery life, the Ceramic Shield front cover, and more. Buried in the reintroduction, the expansion of one potentially life saving feature. Reintroducing Emergency SOS via satellite, the company said more countries will be getting the service this month. In case you’ve forgotten, Apple says:

Emergency SOS via satellite allows users to message with emergency services when cellular and Wi-Fi coverage are not available through a combination of custom-designed components and deeply integrated software. Additionally, if users want to reassure friends and family of their whereabouts while off the grid, they can open the Find My app and share their location via satellite.

Already available in Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the U.K., and the U.S., Apple’s press release says the service is on the way to Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Portugal. Emergency SOS via satellite will go live for those countries “later this month.”

Apple Pay on the Way for South Korea

There was one more buried announcement that’s not as dramatic as the SOS thing, but could prove important to Apple’s business. Well, announcement might be a strong word. According to a piece from 9to5Mac Apple has acknowledged the imminent launch of Apple Pay in South Korea. Oh, not in any press release you’re likely to have read. The report quotes the Korean version of the yellow iPhone press release saying:

…as Apple is about to launch Apple Pay in South Korea, Korean users will be able to make easy, fast, and secure payments using Apple Pay on their iPhone, including the new iPhone Yellow, and in on-line merchants and apps.

New Colors for Silicone Cases

In years past, Apple’s spring color refresh announcements have been accompanied by new accessories. This year is no exception. A piece from MacRumors says silicone cases in four new colors are on the way. The Canary Yellow, Iris, Olive, and Sky offerings will be for all four of iPhone’s current models — 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max. They will beat the yellow phones to market. Available to oder now, MacRumors says the new colored cases will start wrapping themselves around phones in the 14 line tomorrow — Thursday, March 9.

New Bands for Apple Watch

Of course, iPhone cases are not the only accessories Apple has to offer. A piece from 9to5Mac says Apple Watch got a bit of love on Tuesday. The piece says the “Solo Loop, Braided Solo Loop, Sport Band, and Hermès bands have a range of new finishes available.” New colors include:

  • Sprout Green
  • Canary Yellow
  • Olive
  • Purple Fog
  • Bright Orange
  • Sky
  • Several new Hermès multi-color bands

Cult of Mac actually had a funny write-up of the Hermès offerings. Suffice to say they were not impressed. 

All of the new bands are available to order today. They’ll be wrapping themselves around wrists starting tomorrow — Thursday, March 9.

Counterpoint: Apple Made Eight of the 10 Best Selling Smartphones Globally in 2022

You can officially call smartphone sales a two-horse race as far as Counterpoint Research is concerned, though one horse is running away with it. In a release issued Tuesday, the market tracker said that iPhone took eight of the top-ten best-selling smartphone spots on the planet in 2022. The other two were made by Samsung. 

Surprises from the release:

  • iPhone 13 was the best-selling smartphone of 2022
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max was the second best-selling smartphone of 2022, marking the first time a Pro Max model “drove more volume than the Pro and base models
  • Despite its late-in-the-year introduction, serious production issues, and a general lack of availability, iPhone 14 Pro Max was the third best-selling smartphone of 2022 by Counterpoint’s reckoning
  • 2021’s iPhone 12 took sixth-place on the 2022 best sellers list — It was the oldest phone to make the top-ten
  • For those who insist on calling iPhone SE a failure, the 2022 edition was the ninth best-selling smartphone globally, according to Counterpoint’s count

Developer Betas and a Security Update for GarageBand for Mac

Updates on Tuesday for developers and musicians. For the developers — a new round of betas. AppleInsider posted a couple of pertinent pieces on Tuesday. One pointed out that the third betas of iOS/iPadOS/tvOS 16.4 as well as watchOS 9.4 were available to developers. The other said the same for the third beta of macOS Ventura 13.3 for developers.

As for the musicians — if you’re a GarageBandian, there’s a security update for you. Another piece from AppleInsider says the Cupertino-company released GarageBand 10.4.8 for the Mac on Tuesday. While we know it’s security focused, that focus is a bit blurry. Apple’s release notes simply say the “update provides important security fixes and is recommended for all users,” according to the report. 

‘Slow Horse’ and ‘Bad Sisters’ Up for Awards in UK and Ireland

It’s awards season here, there, and everywhere. While we in the States tend to think of awards as a Hollywood thing, the U.K. and Europe like doling out trophies as well. A couple of pieces from AppleInsider have a few Apple TV+ titles up for a few awards in the UK and Ireland. 

In the U.K., the site says the series “Slow Horses” and “Bad Sisters” are up for a Royal Television Society Programme Award. Yes, just one — the two titles are competing in the “Writer — Drama” category. Sharon Horgan is up for “Bad Sisters,” while Will Smith (not that one) is up for the spy drama. 

Making the hop over to Ireland, we find the Irish drama “Bad Sisters” nominated 12 times in the Irish Film & TV Awards. That’s four nominations for Supporting Actress — Drama, three for Supporting Actor — Drama, one for Lead Actress — Drama, one for Best Director — Drama, one for Best Script — Drama, one for Production Design, and one for Best Drama. 

So much drama.

Apple TV+ did pick up one other nomination. According to the second AppleInsider piece, Aoife McArdle has also been nominated for Best Director — Drama for the mind-bending workplace drama “Severance.”

Apple Outs Trailer for Second Season of ‘Schmigadoon’

And finally today, the Apple TV+ musical comedy “Schmigadoon!” is back soon for season two — and it’s bringing “the old razzle dazzle.” Apple TV+ issued a press release Tuesday, outlining the season and bringing a trailer. As had been teased before, the return to Schmigadoon, referred to in the show as “Schmicago,” updates its tone by a decade or two in a “reimagined world of ’60s and ’70s musicals.”  

Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key return as the leads. They’ll be joined by Tituss Burgess, Dove Cameron, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Ariana DeBose, Jane Krakowski, and many more. Wednesday is for lighter fare, it seems. The first two episodes of season two hit Apple TV+ on Wednesday, April 5. The remaining four will follow on successive Wednesdays through the second season conclusion on Wednesday, May 3. While you wait, you can catch the trailer on YouTube.

Today on The Mac Observer’s Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Managing Editor Jeff Butts and I will look at Apple’s new iPhone offerings, as well as that Counterpoint iPhone count. Plus: We’re taking a trip to the “Lassoverse.” That’s all today on the Daily Observations Podcast from The Mac Observer.

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