When Life Takes Your iPhones, Make Lemonade

The Daily Observation Deck Feature

Making lemonade out of the iPhone shortfall, angst inside Apple over the advertising push, and Apple’s leaning hard into the whole soccer thing.

JP Morgan: iPhone Production Issues May Create Buying Opportunities for AAPL

The production problems for the Pro end of the iPhone 14 line may give investors a chance to be pleasantly disappointed. That’s sort of a fun way to look at a new note from JP Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee. Apple 3.0 ran part of a note he wrote, which sounds kind of bad, which might make long-term investors kind of happy. 

The way the analyst sees it, problems with iPhone production in Zhengzhou (about which we’ve been talking for weeks) will hurt Apple’s bottom line this quarter. Quoting his note:

We are moderating our iPhone 14 (Pro & Pro Max) shipment forecast in the Dec-Q (F1Q23) by 5 mn and Other iPhones by 3 mn, and now forecast F1Q23 iPhone and total revenues to decline y/y relative to investor expectations immediately following the earnings print.

A miss on iPhones? A miss on revenue? I guess we’ve spotted the disappointing parts. As to the potentially pleasant bits, there are a couple noted by Chatterjee. First, he figures a lot of the sales missed in the December-quarter will be made up in the March-quarter. That’s because, historically, people who want iPhones will wait for them and buy them when they’re available. That brings us to the second potential happy place: Some investors will be bothered by the shortfalls in iPhone sales and revenue. When they get out, his thinking seems to be that long-term investors can get in or add to their position at a lower price. The way he sees it, conditions may be setting up “several attractive buying opportunities into the shares through to the year-end.” 

Mr. Chatterjee has an “Overweight” rating on Apple shares. His price target on the shares is $200.

The Information: Apple’s Ad Push Creates Internal Angst

Apple’s big advertising push may be creating internal strife. That’s the word from The Information, in a report highlighted by AppleInsider. There seem to be two concerns on the inside: Junking up the iPhone experience and concerns around privacy. Or concerns around concerns around privacy. “Advertising is viewed as an anti-privacy industry,” says the report, “whereas Apple is decidedly on the side of privacy being a human right.” In other words, it might look and sound too much like a duck for people to think otherwise. 

As for junking up the experience, AppleInsider says:

At least seven people who work with or on the ad team told The Information of apathy among Apple’s employees over the ad business. Two said that some engineers took to internal chatrooms over it, expressing fears Apple could be going too far and potentially harming the iPhone’s premium experience.

While there is concern that Apple will take everything it knows about its users and share it with third-parties, at least one secret person says Apple’s not looking to be a Meta or a Google when it comes to advertising. According to the piece:

Executives are allegedly pleased with revenue growth based on existing ad [spots], and apparently don’t plan to significantly increase the number of ad spots users could encounter on devices.

There’s also news in the piece that’s maybe bad for Apple’s ad plans, but good for consumers. Quoting AppleInsider again:

The focus on privacy for the company does add some limitations to the effort (…). The ad products team is effectively isolated from other departments, so the ad team cannot get developer details from other teams, information that is more easily shared internally in organizations like Google.

Apple Resolves Three-Letter Crash Issue in Safari for iPhone and iPad

You should be cool to do your three-letter searches again. Whether looking for “tar,” an “old” something, or the start of a word, it seems that three-letter searches in Safari for iPhone or iPad were making the browser fall down, go boom. According to a piece from 9to5Mac:

The issue here [was] that when you [started] typing certain letters into the address bar in Safari, the Safari app [would] immediately crash. This means you [couldn’t] complete your search or complete the process of typing in the URL of the website [you were] attempting to visit. 

It wasn’t just any three-letter combos, according to the report. Syllables known to wreck the browser included the aforementioned “tar” and “old,” along with “bes,” “wal,” “wel,” “sta,” and “pla.” “For example,” wrote 9to5Mac’s Chance Miller:

…if I open Safari on my iPhone 14 Pro Max and start typing “Wells Fargo” into the address bar, Safari immediately crashes after I type the first three letters, “wel,” into the address bar.

The issues seems to have affected all versions of iOS 16, though not for everyone. Certain countries saw no issue, according to the report.

If it was happening, it wasn’t just you. Also, it shouldn’t be happening anymore. 9to5Mac says, “Apple has implemented a server-side fix for this bug.”

‘CBS Mornings’ Running Tim Cook Interview Today

If you’re up early enough for morning news shows… why? Also — you may want to tune-in to CBS Mornings this morning. The Mac Observer says the “breakfast for your head” people took a trip to Cupertino to chat with Apple CEO Tim Cook. In a ~2-minute clip posted to Twitter on Monday, Apple’s CEO talked about hiring during this wobbly macro (they’re doing it, but they’re being deliberate) as well as calling people back to campus (there’s just something about being in the same space, you know?). The clip also teases a look at new technology inside iPhone 14 that will probably not sound new to you, but may to people not listening to shows like this one.

CBS Mornings is broadcast 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern… I have no idea what time other places. It streams through the CBS News app starting at 8 a.m. Eastern. I would imagine that interview will be available to stream by itself later in the day. Might be the way to go since there’s no telling when it’ll run during the broadcast.

Apple Catches World Cup Fever

Coach Lasso Leaves Messages for US Players

Apple TV+ is really leaning into the whole soccer thing. Two tales today of soccer promotions tied to Apple TV+ and Ted Lasso. First, a piece from AppleInsider says billboards are turning up in cities across the U.S. with messages for members of the US Men’s National Soccer Team. This ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, set to run from 20 November through 18 December.

They’re not just one-message-fits-all messages. The one addressed to Josh Sargent in his hometown of O’Fallon, Missouri is very location specific — full of wordplay that sounds like it could have come from the mouth or marker of Apple’s own fictitious football coach. AppleInsider says other such messages have turned up in hometowns and school-towns of other team members, including Bergen County in New Jersey, Pico Rivera and San Diego, California, and Seattle, Washington.

Coach Beard Hosts a World Cup Podcast

Of course, Coach Lasso can’t have all the fun — some is also saved for Coach Beard. Actually, this one involves the guy who plays Coach Beard. A piece from Cult of Mac says sportscaster Rebecca Lowe and Ted Lasso co-star Brendan Hunt are set to host a new podcast — “After the Whistle with Brendan Hunt and Rebecca Lowe.” The piece says Hunt is a huge soccer fan IRL, with a love for the Premier League, as well as Major League Soccer in the U.S.

The show will focus on this year’s World Cup. The description in Apple Podcasts says Hunt and Lowe are: 

…teaming up to talk about all the dramatic moments, the favorites and the dark horses, the stars and the flops … with a few special guests stopping by along the way.

The trailer says the show will run “throughout the World Cup,” so… starting Sunday I guess? You can catch the one-minute audio trailer now on Apple Podcasts. 

Apple TV+ Previews ‘Fraggle Rock’ Holiday Special

This weekend apparently kicks off the holiday season on Apple TV+. The Cupertino-company issued a press release Monday, announcing a premier date and a trailer for a new Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock holiday special. In a paragraph more whimsical than I’m comfortable reading, Apple says:

It’s the Night of the Lights, the most Fraggily holiday of the year, and the Rock is filled with songs and cheer. When Jamdolin (…) encourages Wembley to make a special wish, the Fraggles head out on an adventure to find the brightest light and, maybe, the true meaning of the holiday.

Star power shines in Night of the Lights with Hamilton and Central Park star Daveed Diggs  voicing Jamdolin. Plus Gobo, Wembley, Mokey, Boober, and Red.

The Fraggle Rock holiday special hits Apple TV+ this Friday 18 November, but it won’t do it alone. After its one-week run in select theaters, a piece from The Mac Observer points out that the Will Ferrell/Ryan Reynolds/Octavia Spenser holiday comedy-musical Spirited hits Apple’s steraming service this Friday as well. 

You can catch trailers for the “Fraggle Rock” special and for Spirited now on YouTube. 

Apple TV+ Nabs Nine RTS Award Nominations

And finally today, the endless award season is swelling again. Apple issued a press release Monday announcing its nine nominations for this year’s Royal Television Society Craft & Design Awards. The awards are meant to honor the technical side of television produced in the United Kingdom. Apple’s release says they “recognize the huge variety of skills and processes involved in program production from editing to lighting, and costume design to digital effects.” 

Five titles nabbed the Cupertino-streamer’s nine nominations. They include three for Prehistoric Planet, two each for Bad Sisters and The Essex Serpent, and one each for Slow Horses and Trying.

It’s not the first time at these awards from Apple TV+. The streamer picked up two RTS Awards last year — one for  9/11: Inside the President’s War Room and another for Earth At Night In Color. 

This year’s awards will be presented in London on Monday Dec. 5.

Today on The Mac Observer’s Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Managing Editor Jeff Butts and I will talk over the reported malaise inside Apple’s ad team. Plus: Code from a firm pretending to not be Russian ended up in apps used by the CDC and the U.S. Army. Jeff fills us in on the Daily Observations Podcast from The Mac Observer.

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