In every Apple earnings conference call with analysts, there are a range of questions from good to bad. Sometimes worse. And sometimes most of them are just bad. But in Tuesday's call for Apple's second fiscal quarter of 2016, two analysts stood out for Bryan Chaffin as the ones who asked both the best and and worst questions.
Despite Apple's efforts to boost iPad sales, those efforts aren't showing up in sales numbers. The iPad Pro (12.9-inch), discounting the typical exuberance of the holiday quarter (Apple's Q1), didn't seem to create much of an uptick. But CEO Tim Cook seems to have his hopes up for the next quarter's revenue, at least, when the iPad Pro line's sales make their mark.
The FBI says it has new data from Syed Farook's iPhone, and that new data is that there isn't any data, or at least no data that's of any use to the San Bernardino mass shooting investigation. The FBI is saying their analysis shows Mr. Farook didn't communicate with anyone during an 18 minute window that's unaccounted for following the shooting spree—something they should've known long before hacking into the phone.
Earlier today it was reported that, according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple would return to an all-glass enclosure with the iPhone. But that the change will occur in 2017, not this year. In light of Apple's tradition and what we (think we) know about inductive charging, a really good mystery has surfaced.
Apple could turn to a page from yesteryear when it comes to the next major form factor change in the iPhone, according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo [via 9to5Mac]. The analyst said that Apple is planning to ditch aluminum for an iPhone refresh and return to an all-glass enclosure—but interestingly he says Apple will do so in 2017.
Apple reportedly has a secret team working on improving search and discovery in the App Store. This is a significant challenge for every company on the planet, and Bryan Chaffin looks at what Apple and its small team might be able to accomplish.
On April 13th, The White House announced that it has named the members of its non-partisan commission charged with making detailed recommendations on actions to ensure the public safety and empower Americans to take control of their digital security. The members have a strong and wide range of technical expertise.
The San Bernardino iPhone unlocking court battle is over, and FBI Director James Comey said he's glad for it. He also said the very public battle had an "unintended benefit," and lamented the fact it became an emotional issue—right before he added fuel to that fire by equating the encryption fight to the emotions he sees in the gun control debate.
The Obama Administration is a house divided when it comes to encryption, and it's clear that thinking on the issue is an ever-evolving state. This was highlighted this week when Reuters reported the White House would not be supporting a bill empowering judges to order companies like Apple to aid law enforcement help in accessing locked and encrypted devices.
There's been much fuss lately about the desire by the FBI to be able to break into any iPhone it needs to. But the FBI is just one government agency. The interesting backstory here is that the Federal Government, in general, won't buy products that don't meet certain cryptographic standards. It's called FIPS 140-2 certification, and Apple has just announced that the cryptographic modules in iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 have obtained that validation. It's delicious irony.
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