The Particle Debris article of the week comes from Mark Gurman and Debby Wu at Bloomberg.
I expect this story to be thoroughly dissected elsewhere by the time this is published. So I’m simply going to weigh in on the scope of this event, as outlined by the authors. In addition to the iPhone 11 family ….
Also coming in 2019: refreshed versions of the iPad Pro with upgraded cameras and faster chips, an entry-level iPad with a larger screen, new versions of the Apple Watch, and the first revamp to the MacBook Pro laptop in three years, the people [sources] said.
But there’s more.
Updates to key audio accessories, including AirPods and the HomePod speaker, are in the works, too, these people added.
That latter item has been interpreted as a new, less expensive HomePod.
Apple is also working on a cheaper HomePod for as early as next year. The current $300 model hasn’t sold very well. The new model is likely to have two tweeters (a type of loudspeaker), down from seven in the current HomePod.
All in all, this looks to be a major, exciting September event. It has to be. With iPhone sales expected to be down a bit, Apple will be pouring on the coals with other products. I like it.
More News Debris
• This week, CNET updated us on the carrier efforts to deal with robocalls, including details on SHAKEN/STIR. “How SHAKEN/STIR — phone caller ID on steroids — can help stop awful robocalls.”
SHAKEN/STIR is a two-pronged protocol that AT&T and T-Mobile will use to verify that the incoming caller is legit. It will also work with home phones running on Comcast’s service. The end result is that Comcast, T-Mobile and AT&T will authenticate caller ID among one another, so you have more assurance that the person who’s calling you is real.
• The Chicago Tribune has also shaken and stirred the community with iPhone radiation tests. “Smartphones may be leaking more radiation than we think.” This is preliminary and, as is customary in science, independent confirmation is required. Meanwhile, Apple disputes the results.
• Recently, I suggested that a consumer poll on the (leaked) App TV+ pricing be conducted. Here’s one that’s already out. “Apple TV+ is coming in the Fall, but Who Wants It?”
The first thing we wanted to capture was the level of interest, so we asked: How interested are you in Apple TV+? Of course, asking consumers to express their interest is always a little tricky, especially in the case of a service like Apple TV+ when we are still missing many details.
There’s a chart available for inspection. The upshot is that, in this poll, a goodly fraction of people are interested. Whether that turns into a purchase, when full details are released, is always the jackpot question.
• The South China Morning Post has an interesting story about Tim Cook’s life style and spending habits. “Apple boss Tim Cook shuns expensive underwear – so how does he spend his millions?”
• Finally, Kirk McElhearn briefs us on the fate of the iTunes Store in macOS Catalina. It is, for some, a bit unnerving.
With the new Music app in macOS Catalina, which retains most of the music functions of iTunes, but sloughs off the other media kinds that the previous app managed, there is a change in the way the iTunes Store is handled. In some cases, users won’t even see the iTunes Store.
In early betas of macOS Catalina, the iTunes Store was visible, but in recent betas it did not show up in the sidebar of the Music app if the user was signed into Apple Music. That seems to be the default now: if a user has an Apple Music account, they won’t see the iTunes Store. You can display it, if you wish, in the Music app’s Preferences, on the General pane, but if you’re a streamer, you won’t see it by default.
This can be taken as simple streamlining for streamers given that the store is only suppressed for those with an Apple Music account. Still….
Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article(s) of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.