Rising iPhone ASPs and Processing Desert Plans

The Daily Observations

The average selling price for iPhones is up significantly, TSMC Arizona might be good for Apple after all, and entertainment news. That’s a snapshot of what we’re seeing from the Observation Deck today.

CIRP Sees Sharp Rise for iPhone ASPs Since 2020

Seeking Alpha ran a piece Monday arguing that Apple is “unlikely to outperform the market going forward.” The site listed a few reasons, including not having a truly new anything for the past several cycles, and having increased margins about as much as they’re able to do. When looking at true newness, the piece spent a decent amount of time focused on the possibility of a car from Apple, and it looks like no time on Apple’s anticipated mixed reality headset. 

Odd. 

It’s an interesting piece, full of figures and charts. SeekingAlpha.com if you want to take a peek. 

What’s funny to me is, while there is worry about economic uncertainty and slowing sales, the people buying what Apple’s selling keep spending more on it. I told you last week of a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) that said:

For the new iPhone 14 models and the more expensive iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max, a majority of customers paid a premium for larger storage capacity phones.

Now that same firm says the US-weighted average retail price for iPhone is up a lot in the past two-years, with a steep rise in the past one-year. Apple 3.0 ran part of CIRP’s latest report. By that firm’s reckoning, the US-weighted average retail price for iPhone rose about $71 from September 2020 to the following September, moving from $794 to $865. Between then and last September, the average rose another $92, from the aforementioned $865 to $957. While some of that may be tied to higher capacity purchases, September would have included the earliest iPhone 14 sales. It seems likely that love for the Pro end of the 14 line helped to boost that average. 

TSMC Founder Says 3nm Planned for AZ Fab

Bloomberg (via The Washington Post) ran an opinion piece last week that sort of took the air out of the tires of TSMC’s plans for Arizona. In mid-2020, TSMC announced “its intention to build and operate an advanced semiconductor fab” in the Grand Canyon State. When making the announcement, the chipmaker said the facility would “utilize TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology,” though last week’s Bloomberg piece sort of shrugged that off, saying that 5nm is cool right now, but in 2024, 3nm processors will be the latest and greatest. That would make the stuff coming out of Arizona kind of outdated. 

Turns out maybe not. A piece from TechCrunch has TSMC founder Morris Chang saying 3-nm tech is in the cards for the desert southwest, though there are a couple of things to note. First, Mr. Chang has retired from TSMC, though a Reuters piece on his Arizona talk says he “remains influential in the company and the broader chip industry.” Second, while 3nm may be in the cards, the cards have yet to be dealt. According to Mr. Chang:

Three-nanometre, TSMC right now has a plan, but it has not been completely finalised… It has almost been finalised — in the same Arizona site, phase two. Five-nanometre is phase one, 3-nanometre is phase two.

I can’t remember — is phase two the one with Thanos? Wait… Ultron was phase two.

Eh, who can keep up?

iCloud for Windows Users Seeing Corrupted Videos and Unexplained Stills

iCloud for Windows users seem to be having a bit of trouble. MacRumors says it’s seeing a number of complaints on the MacRumors forums of “corrupted videos and images from strangers appearing in Photo Libraries.”

Yikes. One MacRumors reader explains, saying:

iCloud for Windows is corrupting videos recorded from an iPhone 14 pro max resulting in black videos with scan lines. On rare occasions, it is inserting stills into videos from unknown sources, possibly other’s iCloud accounts. I’ve been shown photos of other people’s families I’ve never seen in my life, soccer games, and other random photos. Obviously, this is extremely concerning and does not exactly make me feel safe using iCloud.

Well, you’re using iCloud for Wi… yeah…

No mention of Apple addressing or acknowledging the issue in the MacRumors report. 

Does Bob Iger’s Return to Disney Mean Anything for Apple?

Apple 3.0’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt stirred the ashes of a fire on Monday that probably didn’t need to be stirred. After running a blurb about Bob Iger returning as Disney’s CEO, Elmer-DeWitt added the comment:

It was to Iger’s Disney that [Steve] Jobs sold Pixar. And it was Iger who suggested that if Jobs had lived, Apple and Disney might have merged. I wonder, is Iger still interested in making that happen?

A little over a week ago on The Mac Observer’s Daily Observations Podcast, we talked about a rumor that there were people inside Disney who wanted Apple to make a play for house the mouse built. The thing is, those people were said to be frustrated with Disney’s leadership, which has since changed. Still, listener Tony wrote to me wondering whether Iger was being brought back in to facilitate a merger between Disney and Apple. 

Personally, I have a hard time seeing it. But you can hear our thinking on a couple of episodes of The Daily Observations — the one from Nov. 11 and the one from today. 

I don’t think I hate the idea… but I don’t like it that much. Anyway — the idea’s still floating around. 

Mondo Issuing Collectable Vinyl Editions of ‘Severance’ Soundtrack

If the retro tech in the Apple TV+ series Severance is your jam, maybe you’d like a retro way to jam to the soundtrack. AppleInsider says Mondo is releasing “a collectible vinyl soundtrack” for the show. 

Actually it’s two collectibles. The “Outie Edition” is pressed in white vinyl “inside a spot-varnish gatefold sleeve with a printed inner sleeve.” It’ll run buyers $35. The “Innie Edition” is traditional black vinyl, though it comes in “a custom concertina office folder.” Additionally, the piece says:

The Innie Edition features a Music Dance Experience card, a record safety card, an Eagan bingo sheet which is a family name from the show, four character cards, a hidden map of the severed floor, and a Lumon disco bag.

The “Innie Edition” will run buyers $60. It will be limited to 5,000 units. I started to say that’s the one you want, but if you’re a collector — you probably want both. I know it’s the one I’d want, but then I’d also have to buy a phonograph, so — I’m good. 

If you’d be better with one or both, the albums go on sale tomorrow  — Wednesday, Nov. 23 — at noon Central. More info is available on the Mondo site.  

Gary Oldman May ‘Hang It Up’ After Apple TV+ Series ‘Slow Horses’

Gary Oldman’s turn in the Apple TV+ series Slow Horses may be his last. The Mac Observer highlights comments the actor made to the Times of London, wherein he indicated that he’s about done. The article quotes the actor as saying:

I’ve had an enviable career, but careers wane, and I do have other things that interest me outside of acting. When you’re young you think you’re going to get round to doing all of them — read that book — then the years go by.

I’m 65 next year, 70 is around the corner. I don’t want to be active when I’m 80. I’d be very happy and honoured and privileged to go out as Jackson Lamb [his character in Slow Horses] — and then hang it up.

So when might he “hang it up?” That’s tough to say. He’s in for at least two more seasons of the Apple TV+ series. The Cupertino-streamer announced an order for seasons two and three earlier this year. Season-two’s practically upon us though, set to premier on 2 December. No word on when season-three will debut. Plus, if Apple picks up additional seasons… who knows 

Today on The Mac Observer’s Daily Observations Podcast

New news and leftovers. TMO Managing Editor Jeff Butts joins me today for a short discussion on the tragedy in Hingham, whether Apple can keep outperforming the markets, processors coming out of the Arizona desert, and Bob Iger’s return as CEO of Disney. Early leftovers on the Daily Observations Podcast from The Mac Observer.

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