Apple Developing New Way To Make iPhone Batteries Easier To Replace

According to a report from The Information, Apple is developing a new “electrically induced adhesive debonding” technology that would make iPhone batteries easier to replace. 9to5Mac reports: Currently, replacing an iPhone battery requires using tweezers to remove the existing battery, which is held in place by adhesive strips. Then, you must use a “specialized machine and tray” to press the new battery into place. The new process uses metal instead of foil to cover the battery, as The Information explains: “The new technology — known as electrically induced adhesive debonding — involves encasing the battery in metal, rather than foil as it is currently. That would allow people to dislodge the battery from the chassis by administering a small jolt of electricity to the battery, the people said. Consumers still have to pry open the iPhone themselves, which is not an easy process because of the adhesives and screws that keep the iPhone’s screen sealed in place.”

Even with this change, however, Apple will still recommend that iPhone users visit a professional to replace their battery. If Apple’s development of this new bonding technology goes according to plan, it could debut it with at least one iPhone 16 model this year. According to the report, it would then expand to all versions of the iPhone 17 next year.

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Apple Announces Largest-Ever $110 Billion Share Buyback As iPhone Sales Drop

Apple reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that topped estimates, despite a 10% drop in iPhone sales. The company also announced that its board had authorized $110 billion in share repurchases, “a 22% increase over last year’s $90 billion authorization,” notes CNBC. “It’s the largest buyback in history, ahead of Apple’s previous repurchases.” From the report: Apple did not provide formal guidance, but Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC’s Steve Kovach that overall sales would grow in the “low single digits” during the June quarter. Apple posted $81.8 billion in revenue during the year-ago June quarter and LSEG analysts were looking for a forecast of $83.23 billion. On an earnings call with analysts, Apple finance chief Luca Maestri said the company expected the current quarter will deliver double-digit year-over-year percentage growth in iPad sales. What’s more, he said the Services division is forecast to continue growing at about the current high rate it’s achieved during the past two quarters.

Apple reported net income of $23.64 billion, or $1.53 per share, down 2% from $24.16 billion, or $1.52 per share, in the year-earlier period. Cook told CNBC that sales in the fiscal second quarter suffered from a difficult comparison to the year-earlier period, when the company realized $5 billion in delayed iPhone 14 sales from Covid-based supply issues. “If you remove that $5 billion from last year’s results, we would have grown this quarter on a year-over-year basis,” Cook said. “And so that’s how we look at it internally from how the company is performing.”

Apple said iPhone sales fell nearly 10% to $45.96 billion, suggesting weak demand for the current generation of smartphones, which were released in September. The sales were in line with analyst estimates, and Cook said that without last year’s increased sales, iPhone revenue would have been flat. Mac sales were up 4% to $7.45 billion, but they are still below the segment’s high-water mark set in 2022. Cook said sales were driven by the company’s new MacBook Air models which were released with an upgraded M3 chip in March. Other Products, which is how Apple reports sales of its Apple Watch and AirPods headphones, was down 10% year over year to $7.9 billion.

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Apple Watches and iPhones are Placing Dozens of False Distress Calls About Skiers

Dispatchers for 911 emergency calls “are being inundated with false, automated distress calls from Apple devices owned by skiers who are very much alive,” reports the New York Times:

“Do you have an emergency?” [911 emergency dispatcher] Betts asked. No, the man said, he was skiing — safely, happily, unharmed. Slightly annoyed, he added, “For the last three days, my watch has been dialing 911.”

Winter has brought a decent amount of snowfall to [Colorado]’s ski resorts, and with it an avalanche of false emergency calls. Virtually all of them have been placed by Apple Watches or iPhone 14s under the mistaken impression that their owners have been debilitated in collisions. As of September, these devices have come equipped with technology meant to detect car crashes and alert 911 dispatchers. It is a more sensitive upgrade to software on Apple devices, now several years old, that can detect when a user falls and then dial for help. But the latest innovation appears to send the device into overdrive: It keeps mistaking skiers, and some other fitness enthusiasts, for car-wreck victims.

Lately, emergency call centers in some ski regions have been inundated with inadvertent, automated calls, dozens or more a week. Phone operators often must put other calls, including real emergencies, on hold to clarify whether the latest siren has been prompted by a human at risk or an overzealous device. “My whole day is managing crash notifications,” said Trina Dummer, interim director of Summit County’s emergency services, which received 185 such calls in the week from Jan. 13 to Jan. 22. (In winters past, the typical call volume on a busy day was roughly half that.) Ms. Dummer said that the onslaught was threatening to desensitize dispatchers and divert limited resources from true emergencies.

“Apple needs to put in their own call center if this is a feature they want,” she said.

Apple acknowledged this was occuring in “some specific scenarios,” the Times reports — but a spokesperson also “noted that when a crash is detected, the watch buzzes and sends a loud warning alerting the user that a call is being placed to 911, and it provides 10 seconds in which to cancel the call.”

But the Times points out that “skiers, in helmets and layers of clothing, often do not to detect the warning, so they may not cancel the call or respond to the 911 dispatcher.”

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Apple Exec Says Samsung Copied iPhone and Simply ‘Put a Bigger Screen Around It’

In a new documentary about the evolution of the iPhone, Apple’s marketing chief Greg Joswiak was seen calling Samsung “annoying” and accusing them of poorly copying Apple’s technology. “They were annoying,” said Joswiak. “And they were annoying because, as you know, they ripped off our technology. They took the innovations that we had created and created a poor copy of it, and just put a bigger screen around it. So, yeah, we were none too pleased.” MacRumors reports: Samsung launched the Galaxy S4 with a 5-inch display in early 2013, at a time when the iPhone 5 had a 4-inch display. Apple did eventually release its first larger smartphones with the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus in 2014, and the devices were met with strong demand and went on to be among the best-selling iPhone models ever.

Apple sued Samsung in 2011 for patent infringement, alleging that Samsung copied the iPhone’s design with its own Galaxy line of smartphones. Apple was initially awarded around $1 billion in damages, but the amount was lowered in a subsequent retrial. In 2018, Apple finally settled with Samsung and reiterated the following statement: “We believe deeply in the value of design, and our teams work tirelessly to create innovative products that delight our customers. This case has always been about more than money. Apple ignited the smartphone revolution with iPhone and it is a fact that Samsung blatantly copied our design. It is important that we continue to protect the hard work and innovation of so many people at Apple. We’re grateful to the jury for their service and pleased they agree that Samsung should pay for copying our products.” The full documentary can be watched on The Wall Street Journal’s website.

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Apple Extends Its Grace Period for Deleting Old (and Unpopular) Apps from Its App Store

“As a response to recent coverage of software being purged from the App Store, Apple is sharing its criteria for how it chooses to remove abandoned apps,” reports 9to5Mac.

Apple’s announcement say it’s only flagging apps for possible removal “that

Developers will also have more time to comply after being notified.” (90 days instead of 30 days). And 9to5Mac adds that Apple “is also reiterating that the practice is not new but instead part of an initiative that started six years ago.

But the Verge took a different message from “Apple to developers: if we deleted your old app, it deserved it.”

[T]he company has responded — by issuing a press release effectively saying that nobody was downloading the apps anyways….

Apple’s explanation does clear up why it, as some developers noted, seemed to apply the rules inconsistently. For example, one developer noted that Pocket God, a popular game from the iPhone’s early days, hasn’t been updated for seven years but is still on the App Store. Apple is basically saying it’s still up because it’s still popular.
From one angle, this reasoning doesn’t necessarily gel with the first half of Apple’s post, where it says it removes old apps to ensure “user trust in quality apps,” and to improve discoverability, security and privacy, and user experience. After all — if an app is problematic because it’s outdated, more downloads would make a bad app a bigger issue. Who’s being harmed if there’s an outdated app almost no one is downloading?

But Apple says it doesn’t want the App Store cluttered up with apps that both developers and users have forgotten about. It has enough problems making it easy for users to find good apps as it is, and it’s easy to imagine Apple seeing deleting old, seemingly irrelevant apps as a good solution.

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