Preparing for the Holidays and a Few ‘Spirited’ Offerings

The Daily Observation Deck Feature

A bit of iPhone news, a look at holiday shopping and Apple, and some “Spirited” offerings from Apple TV+.

UBS: Lowered iPhone Expectations May Not Be Low Enough

So, this whole iPhone 14 Pro thing is starting to worry UBS analyst David Vogt. I mean, not worry, but… yeah. 

Apple 3.0 ran part of a note Vogt wrote, wherein he says waits for iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are getting “extreme.” I honestly wasn’t paying close attention for a while because waits were getting shorter. Then the COVID outbreak hit Foxconn’s iPhone City plant in Zhengzhou and workers started fleeing and Apple warned about extended waits and now, here we are. Seriously though — I had no idea how short waits had gotten. According to the note Vogt wrote:

In the US, wait time for the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max is now 34 days, up from ~7 days last week and 19 days 3 weeks ago while wait time in China at the high-end is now 36 days, 10 days higher than last week.

Waits got down to seven-days? Seriously? 

UBS recently lowered its iPhone unit expectations thanks to the iPhone City lockdown/unrest. Now though, Vogt thinks the 83-million units to which he’d lowered himself might still be too high, even with the extra week in this year’s December-quarter. 

All of that said, he’s looking for neither the exit nor the parachute. Mr. Vogt maintains a “Buy” rating on Apple shares. His price target on the shares remains $180.

As Smartphones Falter, iPhone Fares Well in China and Southeast Asia

When there are iPhones to be had, iPhone tends to crush it. It seems to have done so again recently in China and Southeast Asia. That’s according to the findings of two firms highlighted by 9to5Mac.

The Southeast Asia numbers come by way of Counterpoint Research. For the region, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, smartphone shipments were down 10% for the third-quarter versus the same quarter a year earlier, “but premium models grew 29% – and iPhone shipments were up 63%.”

Shifting to China, we shift to numbers from Strategy Analytics. That firm was looking specifically at Single’s Day sales for the Middle Kingdom. As with the rest of the planet, smartphone sales were down year-over-year, with 11/11 sales off 35%. While iPhone fared better, it too saw sales decline year-over-year, falling 27%. It still came out on top for the day though, in terms of units moved and revenue. According to the firm, “Apple ranked top by volume share (39%) and revenue share (68%) at the expenses of Chinese brands.”

Apple Cleared to Sell 5G Devices in Colombia

Apple can go back to selling 5G-enabled iPhones in Columbia. “For several months,” according to a piece from The Mac Observer, Apple has been under an injunction that barred it from selling iPhones with 5G capability, including its latest iPhone 14 line. “This was all related to ongoing disputes with Ericsson over licensing and patent infringement,” according to the report. Quoting TMO:

The dispute between Apple and Ericsson is ongoing in several countries. It all boils down to expired licensing agreements and the two companies failing to reach a new contract. In several nations, including the U.S., trials begin soon [in an attempt to settle] the matter once and for all.

Sounds like “pistols at dawn” stuff. No need for that in Colombia, right now. The piece says a Colombian appeals court “agreed to vacate” a preliminary injunction that kept Apple from selling 5G stuff. Now the punchline: Colombia’s cellular infrastructure doesn’t support 5G. Still, Apple apparently couldn’t sell iPhone 12, 13, or 14 there since April, when the injunction was set. Because those phones support 5G, even if the country from which they were barred does not.

Boy, this planet, huh?

India Works Toward USB-C as Standard Charging Port

A bit of “us as well” regulation may be on the way from India. A piece from MacRumors says the country is pursuing new rules that would require USB-C to be the charging port standard for “electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.” 

If this sounds familiar, it may well. Last month, the European Union passed legislation that’ll make USB-C the charging port standard for electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and speakers. For those devices, USB-C has to be the thing by 2024, though computers have a bit longer to get on board. Assuming India doesn’t pursue an aggressive timeline, Apple will likely be ready for it. MacRumors says:

Apple’s vice president of worldwide marketing, Greg Joswiak, said in a recent event that Apple would have to comply with the EU’s new law, indirectly confirming the iPhone will adopt USB-C in the near future.

Headed Into the Holidaze

Apple Announces Gift Card-Filled Black Friday Promotion

Apple has announced its annual Black Friday deals in the states. Set to run from the day after Thanksgiving — Friday 25 November through Monday 28 November, a piece from MacRumors has the Cupertino-company offering the usual round of gift cards with the purchase of qualifying kit. Most of Apple’s wares, including iPhones and accessories, will net “up to a $50 gift card,” according to the report, though big ticket items like one of the various Mac models available can score on a gift card worth up to $250. There’s currently a link to the holiday shopping event on the front page at 

Apple Lists “Order By” Dates for Christmas Delivery

If you’re wanting to put something Apple from Apple under the tree this year, the company has put together a list of what has to be ordered by when to make that happen. AppleInsider says the Cupertino-crew has listed “Order By” dates to make sure they’re there by 24 December. 

If you’re ordering from Apple, it’s too late for an iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max. I did mention yesterday though that retailers including Target and BestBuy do show some availability. Probably don’t want to wait too long on that. 

Most everything else Apple thinks you might want has an “Order By” date of 21 December. That includes the rest of Apple’s iPhones, Apple Watch, most Macs, most iPads, HomePod mini, and Apple TV. There are a few outliers, though. Just like last year, AirTags are ditching early. A single AirTag or a four-pack engraved needs to be ordered by 9 December. AirTags with no engraving can be ordered as late as 14 December for on-time arrival. iPad mini — engraved or not — has to be ordered by 30 November. The rest of the iPads and the various AirPods are all over the map. You can find the full list of what has to be ordered by when on Apple’s site.

Redesign for Goes Live for All

The website for iCloud got a new look this week. AppleInsider says is now replete with customizable tiles. According to the site:

When people log into, they will see a set of tiles that shows information about their iCloud profile, Apple Mail, Photos, and iCloud Drive. At the bottom, a button lets users add, remove, or rearrange tiles based on other iCloud services.

Apple TV+ Adds Bonus Films to ‘Spirited’

And finally today, that thing that Apple TV+ has been doing — it’s doing it again with Spirited. Spirited the Will Farrell/Ryan Reynolds/Octavia Spencer comedy/musical retelling of A Christmas Carol. That is streaming now on Apple TV+. Starting (I believe) with the Sidney Poitier documentary, Apple has been making related titles available to watch for a limited time at no additional cost to Apple TV+ subscribers. The streamer added a few Sidney Poitier films when the documentary Sidney premiered. It added a few Jennifer Lawrence films when her movie Causeway premiered. It added a few workplace comedies when the Apple TV+ dysfunctional workplace comedy series Mythic Quest started its third season last week. And now, it’s doing it again with Spirited.

Visiting the page for the movie on Apple TV+, subscribers find five films available to watch at no additional cost for a limited time — four starring Farrell and one staring Reynolds. The five films are Old School, Anchorman, Semi-Pro, Kicking and Screaming, and Van Wilder. Personally I was hoping for Elf and Scrooged, but… you know. They’re free. Well… available to watch at no additional cost for a limited time. Old School is available through 17 December. The rest of the extra films are available through New Year’s Eve. 

Today on The Mac Observer’s Daily Observations Podcast:

Bloomberg ran an opinion piece this week that caused ripples of negativity. TMO Managing Editor Jeff Butts and I talk that over. Plus — neat medical news tied to Apple hardware that’s already out there. That’s all today on the Daily Observations Podcast from The Mac Observer.

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