Apple Shifting Orders to iPhone 14 Pro, More Countries Launching Latest Handset and More from Today’s Observation Deck

The Daily Observations

Looking out from the Observation Deck this morning, we see Apple is shifting orders to the iPhone 14 Pro to keep up with demand. More than 20 more countries are set to welcome the new model of Apple’s flagship smartphone, even as the Cupertino-based tech giant scrambles to squish bugs. Oh, and if you aren’t looking to upgrade, you’re looking for the iPhone 14. All of that is live now on The Mac Observer‘s Daily Observations podcast for September 20, 2022.

Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple Shifting Orders to iPhone 14 Pro

The demand for the Pro end of the iPhone 14 line is apparently quite demanding. When he wrote about pre-orders for iPhone 14 last week, TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted the serious skew to the high end of the 14 line, though he wasn’t certain whether Apple would increase orders for the Pros. Now he is. 

In a series of posts on Twitter on Monday, the analyst said his info has Apple asking Foxconn to shift some of its line work from the consumer-end iPhone 14s to the more expensive iPhone 14 Pros. That’s due to “strong demand for the iPhone 14 Pro models…” 

The way he sees it, the change reflects increased output of the Pro phones of about 10%. While it pretty much goes without saying, the analyst points out that the focus on more expensive phones “will help improve Apple’s product mix/iPhone ASP in 4Q22.”

20+ Countries Set to Welcome iPhone 14 Line

After all these years of making iPhones, it may seem crazy that Apple can still be caught by surprise where demand is concerned. It’s worth remembering though — the company’s got a whole planet to cover. Last week saw the release of most of the iPhone 14 line in the U.S. and China — still iPhone’s two biggest markets, as well Australia, Canada, much of Europe, India, Japan, and over 30 other countries. And now, they’re doing it again. A piece from MacRumors says the company is launching iPhone 14 and the two iPhone 14 Pro models in more that 20 additional countries over the next few weeks. According to the piece:

iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max are set to launch in over 20 additional countries and territories on September 23, including Malaysia, Turkey, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and others. Apple has not provided a complete list of the countries.

When You’re Not Looking to Upgrade, You’re Looking for iPhone 14™

I think I may have come up with a great tagline for the consumer-end of Apple’s latest iPhones:

iPhone 14 — A great upgrade if you’re not looking to upgrade. 

I got the idea from a list put together by José Adorno at 9to5Mac. While people who spend time staring at such things (myself included) see little that’s exciting about iPhone 14 versus iPhone 13, the 14 is really not a phone for people who’ve been staring at the 13. Unless they were staring at it while waiting for the 14 to come out. Rather, it’s a phone for people who’s older phone (iPhone or other) has crapped out and it’s time to buy a new phone. Factors working in the phone’s favor in Adorno’s estimation include:

  • Decent camera upgrades, including the 12MP front facing camera, Action Mode, and Cinematic Mode in 4K
  • Satellite connectivity
  • Crash Detection
  • Greater Repairability

Perhaps the most surprising feature on Adorno’s list, he says, “iPhone 14 Plus will be a no-brainer upgrade once available.” The way he sees it:

The importance of this iPhone, which launches at the beginning of October, is that more iPhone users can have a bigger iPhone without the need to spend more to get a bigger screen and battery.

Enthusiasts may hear that list and find it laughable. But — again — we’re not talking about the phone for the enthusiast. Maybe think of the consumer end as the phone for the rest of us. Or — them, depending on which camp you put yourself in. 

iFixit Heralds Repairability of iPhone 14

When’s the last time iFixit heaped praise on Apple? Trick question: It was yesterday. Cult of Mac highlights the self-repair proponent’s teardown of iPhone 14. As stated in the aforementioned 9 to 5 Mac list, repairs are significantly easier than previous iPhones. In fact, the Cult has iFixit calling iPhone 14 “the most significant design change to the iPhone in a long time,” and deeming it “the most repairable iPhone in years.”

Rather than just opening from the front like older iPhones, iPhone 14 opens from the front and back, making the middle (where most of the components live) much more accessible. Also making them easier to fix, less glue and more screws. “Removing two screws gives access to both the screen and the back glass,” according to the Cult. 

For its part, iFixit is downright effusive, saying:

…with the biggest update in years, we’re upgrading the iPhone 14 to a repairability score of 7 out of 10. That’s the best score we’ve given an iPhone since the iPhone 7. This is the most repairable iPhone in years.

This is such a big deal that it should have been Apple’s big announcement—the iPhone has been redesigned from the inside out to make it easier to repair.

So say people who stare at such things.

To be clear: We’re talking about the consumer-end iPhone 14. The Pro and Pro Max did not get a similar design overhaul. While it seems likely that iPhone 14 Plus will benefit from such a design change, the world won’t know for certain until the bigger phone is released on 7 October. 

Wait Times Grow for Second-Generation AirPods Pro Ahead of Friday Launch

More hardware, more delays. A piece from MacRumors says a few days ahead of their official release date, Apple’s second generation AirPods Pro are seeing significant wait times. Due to be released this Friday 23 September, the report says:

…the new AirPods Pro are now facing a 2-3 week shipping delay on Apple’s online store in the U.S. and Canada. Availability varies in other countries, with the [units] facing a shorter 4-6 business day shipping delay in Australia and still available for September 23 launch day delivery in the U.K.

US DoJ and California Will Take Part in Epic/Apple Appeal

The DoJ is getting its 10 minutes. I told you yesterday that the U.S. Department of Justice had asked to be heard during arguments before the appeals court handling the Epic v. Apple case. The way the DoJ sees it, the judge who handled the trial over alleged antitrust behavior between the two companies made mistakes. And so, the Department said:

The United States believes that its participation at oral argument would be helpful to the court, especially in explaining how the errors (in antitrust law interpretation) could significantly harm antitrust enforcement beyond the specific context of this case…

Now, it seems they’ve got their wish. A piece from TechCrunch says:

The U.S. Department of Justice has been granted time to present its own oral arguments during the upcoming Apple v. Epic Games appeal, along with the State of California. 

They’ll not be pulling from anyone’s allotted time. The appeals process gives each side 20-minutes to state its appeal. Apple had asked either that the DoJ’s 10-minutes come out of Epic’s 20, or that the entire proceeding be extended. According to TechCrunch, the DoJ will get 10-minutes of its own, California will get 5-minutes “to present its views on how the court should evaluate its consumer protection law,” and Apple gets an extra 10-minutes, presumably to respond to arguments presented by California and the DoJ. 

Fixes for Bugs and More Bugs: Apple Says Update Planned to Fix Shaking/Rattling Camera Bug

The shaking and rattling in cameras in the iPhone 14 Pro line is not a problem for developers, it turns out. I told you Monday of a problem in third-party apps like Snapchat and Instagram that had the camera modules in Apple’s latest Pro phones delivering shaky video and making grinding noises while in use. 

Since it was only happening in third-party apps, not in Apple’s own camera, 9to5Mac figured that the problem was on the developer side. It would seem not. A follow-up piece from 9to5Mac has Apple identifying the problem. According to the report:

This issue appears to be related with the firmware controlling the optical image stabilization system of the camera lenses. This would manifest with audible rattling inside the camera module, and the output video would be visibly shaking artifacts.

Seems odd that it’s only been spotted in the third-party apps, but — there it is. Apple says it’ll fix the issue in a software update. That is expected to hit next week. 

MacRumors: Occasional Lag Seen in Camera Activation for iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max

With one camera fix planned, another issue seems to have cropped up. A piece from MacRumors has word of slowness for Apple’s Camera app on iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. Complaints in the MacRumors forums have folks saying they’re seeing delays of as much as five-seconds between tapping the Camera icon and having the camera launch. According to the report:

The problem does not happen if the Camera app has been manually closed and reopened, or after a software restart. It seems to exclusively occur when the Camera app has been running in the background…

Also — not everybody is seeing this issue, though MacRumors says its folks were able to recreate the issue. That said, they couldn’t make it happen consistently, just every now and then. The site says a number of its readers have complained to Apple. No mention in the piece on a comment from the Cupertino-company.

MacRumors: AirDrop Not Working with Contacts for Some iPhone 14 Users

There’s an issue with AirDrop across the iPhone 14 line. Another report from MacRumors says the sharing feature is not working from some users of Apple’s latest phones when trying to share with a known contact. Like — the person is in your contacts, you try to AirDrop them something, and it gets hung-up. The piece has readers and forum users indicating that:

A file sent to a contact shows a “Waiting” message indefinitely, with the person on the other end not receiving a message to accept the AirDrop transfer.

The only suggestion anyone has come up with so far is to set AirDrop to “Everyone” instead of “Contacts.” Not the greatest for a couple of reasons. First, the piece points out:

…this workaround is not compatible with password sharing, as sending a password to another person requires both participants to have each other’s contact information saved in the ‌iPhone‌.

Additionally, if you forget and leave AirDrop open to “Everyone…” well… you’re open to anyone, then. “Apple is aware of the issue,” according to the report. 

“Do you copy? Do you copy? Do you copy?”

One more bug that seems like less of a bug than… an issue… Not sure where the line is between the two. The Mac Observer has Apple acknowledging an annoyance in iOS 16. The latest version of iOS added a security feature to make sure that users know when an app is copying and pasting info from the clipboard. A “pop-up message asks for permission to paste text, images and more.” Apparently, it does that a lot, and it’s getting on a few people’s last nerve. 

One assumes the issue has to do with how often one uses that feature in iOS. I think I’ve seen that pop-up a couple of times since iOS 16 hit, but I don’t do a huge amount of copy/paste from one app to another on my iPhone. Apparently the folks at Apple don’t either? One of the folks on the team that implemented the privacy pop-up says the behavior is not a thing Apple’s seen internally. At the same time, they’ve heard the complaint from people outside of Apple loud and clear. Saying that it is “absolutely not expected behavior,” the company urges folks to stay tuned for a fix.

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