Sales for iPhone 14 Pro Go Nuts, Latest Betas Show Refinement and More from Today’s Observation Deck

The Daily Observations

Plenty is happening in Apple news, as is to be expected. Some of the highlights I’ve seen from the Observation Deck include Ming-Chi Kuo looking favorably on iPhone 14 Pro model demands, as are other financial analysts. I’ve also seen indication that fast 5G is even faster with the iPhone 14, but the Pro models aren’t as easily repaired as Apple’s consumer variants. Let’s dig in.

Ming-Chi Kuo: Positivity for Apple in iPhone 14 Pro Models

I started to say “TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is at it again,” but really — the guy never stops. After saying earlier this week that Apple is shifting some build orders away from the consumer end of the iPhone 14 line to crank out more Pro phones, the analyst has taken to Medium to expound:

  • After the shift from consumer to Pro, the analyst says the high end of the line will account for 60-65% of “total iPhone 14 shipments” for the rest of the year. That’s up from the 55–60% previously estimated
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max is the most popular of the line in his estimation, making up 30–35% of the rest of the year’s iPhone 14 shipments
  • Assuming sales continue on the current trajectory, the analyst thinks “Apple may offer a positive outlook” for the December-quarter when it holds its September earnings call late next month. 

Wedbush Analyst “Encouraged” By “Robust” iPhone 14 Sales

Even more bullish sounding than Ming-Chi Kuo is Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives. Apple 3.0 ran part of a note he wrote on Tuesday. Looking at the sales side, the analyst writes:

Wait times on many iPhone Pro 14 models are now 4-6 weeks for Apple customers and lengthening into November. We believe the iPhone Pro mix is up to 85%-90% vs. iPhone 13 Pro mix in the 60%-65% by this point in the cycle.

 It goes without saying that stronger sales on the Pro end are better for Apple’s bottom line. Everybody says it anyway though, including Mr. Ives. 

His firm’s sources in Asia see the same shift in production to the Pro end of the line as does Ming-Chi Kuo, with “overall demand tracking 8%-10% ahead of [his firm’s] expectations on the Pro front.” He’s also tracking strong sales for iPhone in China.

All of that said, there are two points of concern noted in the note: Whether Apple can keep up with demand into the holidays, and whether sales will stay strong through the “softening” economic times. “That said,” he says:

…we are very encouraged to see demand robust out of the gates for iPhone 14 as the Apple growth story remains a bright spot in the tech landscape [while] darker clouds abound in many pockets of consumer tech.

Mr. Ives has an “Outperform” rating on Apple shares. His 12-month price target on the shares is $220.

Tests Show Qualcomm Snapdragon Modem Delivering Faster 5G for iPhone 14

iPhone 14 Pro isn’t just faster off the shelves. It’s also faster in terms of 5G. Not 5G versus 4G. This year’s iPhone Pros are faster on 5G than last year’s iPhone Pros, according to one tester. 

Cult of Mac writes up the findings of an outfit called SpeedSmart. By that firm’s reckoning, iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max hit 5G speeds that are 38% faster than last year’s Pros on T-Mobile’s network. They clock in 32% faster on Verizon. The piece credits the 14 Pro’s use of Qualcomm’s “faster and more power-efficient Snapdragon X65 modem” with the increased speed.

If you went the consumer route, you should not be caught in the slowness. “While not tested,” Cult of Mac says, “the non-Pro iPhone 14 models should provide similar results, as they also use the Snapdragon X65 modem.”

iPhone 14 Pro Line Misses Out on iPhone 14’s Ease of Repair

It’s not shocking news, but the latest teardown from iFixit confirms that the iPhone 14 Pro line is not as easy to fix as the latest iPhone 14. I told you yesterday of the self-repair people’s excitement around Apple’s latest consumer model. That one features less glue, access via a couple of screws, and access to the parts in the middle through an easily removable display or back glass. 

Yeah, getting into a Pro’s not quite as easy. Andrew Orr at AppleInsider writes up the iFixit Pro Max teardown. That says the 14 Pro Max “kept most of the iPhone 13 Pro Max interior design, and doesn’t have the more repairable aspects of the iPhone 14.” They did find something weird though. For iPhone 14 Pro Maxes in the US, there’s a hunk of plastic where the SIM tray used to be.

It’s really not easy being green is it?

So, iPhone 14 — super easy to repair — gets a 7 out of 10 repairability rating from iFixit. The much more difficult iPhone 14 Pro Max… gets a 6 out of 10. 

You can’t see it, but I’m blinking in sort of a confused way right now. Summing up the teardown, iFixit says:

At 6 out of 10 these Pros aren’t terrible, but you’ll want to use a case to protect that expensive rear glass. We’re maintaining the same scores as the 13 Pro models, but with the newfound certainty that Apple knows how to do better.

Apple Alerts Users to Potential Battery Hit Tied to Haptic Keyboard

Engines consume power — even tiny ones. One of the new features in iOS 16 lets users turn on haptic feedback for the built-in keyboard. So — you tap a virtual key and the iPhone gives a tiny shake, sort of like if you’d tapped a physical key. iPhone’s haptic feedback comes compliments of iPhone’s Taptic Engine… and engines consumer power. Even tiny ones. 

With that in mind, a piece from MacRumors says Apple has let iPhone users know that turning on the Haptic Keyboard option could affect an iPhone’s battery life. That is literally all Apple said about it. In the fine print of a support doc explaining the feature, as well as how to activate it, Apple lets users know that “Turning on keyboard haptics might affect the battery life of your iPhone.” 

You see… Engines consume power…

Apple Hits Developers with a New Round of OS Betas

Apple is powering ahead with software updates. A piece from AppleInsider says the Cupertino-company seeded a number of betas to developers, including the second builds of iOS 16.1, tvOS 16.1, and watchOS 9.1. The same piece say dev-types were hit with the third beta of iPadOS 16.1, while a piece from MacRumors says they also got access to the eighth beta build of macOS 13 Ventura. 

Tweaks in the iOS 16.1 Beta

While consumers have been finding bugs and issues in Apple’s latest operating systems, so has Apple. Two welcome changes in the latest iOS 16.1 beta, noted by Chance Miller over at 9to5Mac. First, folks will be happy to know that beta-two of iOS 16.1 is no longer asking for permission to paste every blessed time. 

I told you about this issue on Tuesday. As part of Apple’s push for user privacy and security, each time a person went to copy and paste in iOS, they would get a pop-up asking if that was something the user wanted to do. Do that a lot and you saw the message a lot, and that got on a lot of people’s nerves. Now, according to MacRumors:

You’ll still see a popup message for copy and pasting when an app accesses the clipboard in an attempt to paste automatically.

You won’t, however, see the popup when you manually copy from one app and tap in a text field, and choose “paste” in another app.

Building a Better Battery Icon

The second tweak to the second beta of iOS 16.1 — Apple’s playing with the battery indicator again. It was an interesting choice Apple made initially. The battery indicator in the iOS 16 update could be set to display the percentage of charge remaining in numbers. Those numbers were sort of hollowed out of a battery that looked full until the charge got fairly low. Makes sense — the numbers were negative space. Still, this seemed to confused some users: Is the battery full or down to whatever percentage the numbers displayed?

Confusion be gone. “With iOS 16.1 beta 2,” 9to5Mac says:

…the battery icon no longer appears as full if it’s not actually at 100%. Instead, the design dynamically adjusts based on your current charge level. The percentage number appears inside that battery icon just as it did before.

Apple Pledges Support for Hurricane-Hit Puerto Rico

With so much news on so many topics, you may have missed what happened in Puerto Rico over the past few days. A piece from USA Today (via Yahoo! News) says, exactly five-years after the island was pounded by Hurricane Maria, Hurricane Fiona hit the island. Though only a category one storm, the report says Fiona left floods, downed power lines, landslides, and damaged homes. Apple CEO Tim Cook took to Twitter on Tuesday to pledge Apple’s support. Quoting the post:

Our hearts are with all the people of Puerto Rico as they come together to rebuild once again. We will donate to assist with immediate relief and ongoing recovery efforts. To everyone still in the path of Hurricane Fiona, please stay safe.

Currency Fluctuations Send Prices Higher in App Stores Around the World

If you pay for things in euros, you’ll be paying more in the App Store next month. Take heart, though — It’s not just you. A piece from CNET says:

Apple plans to increase the price to purchase apps, in-app items and subscriptions for iPhone and iPad owners in response to international currency fluctuations and inflation.

Prices are said by the piece to be headed higher in Chile, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, South Korea, Sweden, and Vietnam, as well as “all places that use the euro — in other words, most of Europe — according to Apple.”

Unofficial Customer Satisfaction Assessment: Some US Orders for Apple Watch Ultra See Delays

Who’s a dissatisfied customer? Probably a few people who ordered Apple Watch Ultra. MacRumors says it’s heard from a few readers who’ve had delivery dates for their wonder watches slip. The site says it’s:

…received emails from multiple readers with orders that have been delayed in the United States. In one case, an order estimated for delivery by September 29 is now expected to arrive by October 12, while another order with a September 29 to October 6 estimated delivery range was pushed back to October 4 to October 11.

At this rate I’ll never get one. In fairness, that’s mostly because I haven’t ordered one.

Apple Still Tops in 2022 ACSI for Tablets and Computers

If you’re looking for satisfied customers, look to those using Macs and iPads. AppleInsider has word of the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index, and  – for personal computers and tablets — it has Apple on top. That said, Samsung is nipping at the Cupertino-company’s heels. For the period covering July 2021 through June 2022, the piece says:

On a 100 point scale, Apple achieved a score of 82, topping the table. This is the same result and score that Apple attained in the 2021 version of the report.

While Apple did not fall, Samsung did rise. It jumped from last year’s score of 79 to 81 — just one point behind Apple. Going for honorable mention — Amazon saw a 7% improvement, moving from last year’s 74 point score to this year’s 79 (five vendors tied at that score). Going for dishonorable mention was HP. It fell from last year’s score of 80 points to this year’s 78. HP was the only firm to see satisfaction erode, according to the report. 

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