Good news (maybe) on iPhone availability, Apple Maps can help you find a place to park, and as snow falls, false Crash Detections rise.
JP Morgan Notes Continued Improvement in iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max Availability
iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models are even easier to get than they were a couple of weeks ago. That’s saying something, since they were pretty easy to get even then. Just ahead of the new year, I told you of a note from JP Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee. In that note, he said:
…a majority of SKUs are now available for in-store pickup across all geographies, including China for the first time since product launch. Lead times for the Pro models are now tracking in line with lead times seen prior to the COVID outbreak in Zhengzhou, China, suggesting that supply is improving and inching slowly towards parity with demand…
That was in the last week of December, and availability’s only gotten better since. Apple 3.0 ran part of a note he wrote on Monday that wasn’t the same. However, it was similar to the one two weeks back. According to the analyst:
- Waits for phones at the Pro end of the iPhone 14 line are less than a week in China, the UK, and the US
- Lead times are shorter than late September/early October waits before the COVID-related disruptions around Foxconn’s “iPhone City” plant in Zhengzhou, China
- In-store availability is better than it was a week ago with “nearly all SKUs of the Pro and Pro Max models (…) now available for same-day pickup,” according to the analyst.
Good news, right? Well… sure? Chatterjee says he and his attribute the shorter waits to two factors. One is “improvement in output at Foxconn’s main iPhone plant,” which is likely to be seen as good news. The other is “seasonal demand moderation,” which brings back one big question: Were the sales missed in December sales deferred or sales lost? It’ll likely be a while before there are numbers to back either take. In the meantime, Mr. Chatterjee maintains an “Overweight” rating on Apple shares. He’s set JP Morgan’s price target on the shares at $190.
Apple Issues Second RSR Update for macOS Ventura Beta 13.2
One wonders whether Apple’s Rapid Security Response will become akin to something like “the boy who cried wolf.” Then again, maybe that’s the point. Rapid Security Response is a feature introduced in iOS 16, (I assume) iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura. Boiling it to its simplest terms — when one opts in, it allows Apple to slide in security fixes without the user having to update or restart their machine.
A piece from MacRumors says Apple released its second Rapid Security Response update for the macOS 13.2 beta on Monday. The piece says the first one didn’t seem to do anything, leading watchers to believe that it was just a test. Just as little is known about Monday’s RSR activation, though the piece says the size (13.4MB) makes yet another test seem likely.
iOS 16 and its various betas have also seen several RSR updates — most if not all assumed to be tests, and you start to see what I mean. With test after test after test, will anyone believe when an RSR deployment is the real deal? Then again — it’s meant to be a set-it-and-forget-it feature. It really doesn’t matter whether such a deployment is a test or an actual fix, as long as the system works.
And maybe that’s the point.
Apple Maps Integrates SpotHero Parking Reservations in US and Canada
Apple Maps has made it easier to find parking in the US and Canada, though the spots will come at a price. Cult of Mac says Apple’s mapping service has integrated SpotHero into Maps. The piece says that ties in “parking options for more than 8,000 locations across North America.” The report has SpotHero calling itself “the leading digital parking reservation app in North America,” with locations near airports and event centers all over the map.
The Cult says the service went live in Apple Maps on Monday. To try it out, type in a location in Maps. When the info page for that location pops up hit the “More” button. That prompts a pop-up that should show “Parking” as one of the options. Tap that and the phone will open either the SpotHero app or website, with parking options near the location. Those can be filtered for a number of options, according to the piece. “Prices are clearly shown,” according to Cult of Mac. Find a spot you want and the report says you can “reserve it through a secure payment system.”
As Winter Sports Increase, More False Crash Detection Reports
With a rise in winter sports has come a rise in false alarms from Crash Detection on Apple devices, apparently — and that has put emergency responders at odds with emergency responders. The website for Minnesota Public Radio News outlines problems faced by emergency communications centers in places where skiing and snow mobile use are up. Past reports have indicated a rise in calls triggered by Crash Detection and similar features in apps as well as from Android devices tied to activities like snow mobile-ing, skiing, and — humorously — riding roller coasters. The ones involving wilderness activities have to be taken seriously, though. And they can lead to trouble — especially when no one is actually in trouble.
Jon Lentz, patrol captain with the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota, says his office has received seven Crash Detection calls in the past couple of weeks. The good news — none of those involved actual crashes. The bad news — each took time (sometimes minutes, sometimes hours) and manpower to track down.
Minnesota Public Radio says some officers are asking users to turn off Crash Detection when skiing or snow mobile-ing, though not every official agrees.
Dana Wahlberg, director of the emergency communication networks division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, would rather see people learn more about the tech they’re strapping to their bodies. Wahlberg says:
This is a really good opportunity to provide education to people to help them understand that [they’ve] purchased a product that has a lot of technology available with it… And with that comes a responsibility to really embrace that technology.
Report: Apple to Restructure Services as VP Stern Exits Company
And finally today, something of a shakeup inside Apple’s Services division. MacRumors highlights a Business Insider piece that says Peter Stern is leaving the Cupertino-company. Never heard of him? He’s the guy behind the guy. Or, behind lots of guys. Answering to Apple Senior VP of Services Eddy “the Butler” Cue, Stern is said by the piece to oversee Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+, Apple News+, Apple One, Apple TV+, Books, iCloud, and Sports as VP of Services. That’s a position he’ll apparently hold until the end of the month.
Once seen as a possible successor to Cue, the piece has Stern telling “colleagues that he is leaving in order to spend more time on the East Coast…” If you’re wondering what one person could handle so much in Stern’s absence, it seems no one person leaps to mind. “Apple will be restructuring its services business,” according to the report, “splitting the services unit and Stern’s responsibilities into three divisions.”
Today on The Mac Observer’s Daily Observations Podcast
TMO Managing Editor Jeff Butts and I talk over the meeting between supply and demand on the iPhone 14 Pro line. Plus — the problem with false-positive Crash Detections? We try to solve it! Do we succeed? Find out on the Daily Observations Podcast from The Mac Observer.