Apple today announced it has delayed the release of the HomePod until early 2018. The speaker was originally set to launch in December.
In a statement provided to CNBC and several other media outlets, Apple said it needs “a little more time” before the HomePod is ready.
We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple’s breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers. We’ll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018.
Apple unveiled the HomePod at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, and said it would launch in December in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
HomePod is a Siri-enabled smart speaker designed for the home. It’s considered to be Apple’s answer to Amazon’s Echo, but with more of a focus on music and sound quality.
Apple’s next-generation iPhone models released in 2018 will feature Intel’s XMM 7560 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X20 modems, enabling faster LTE transmission speeds, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Image: KGI Securities
Kuo highlighted that both new chips support 4×4 MIMO technology, compared to only 2×2 MIMO in the latest iPhone models, which leads him to believe LTE transmission speeds will increase significantly in 2018 iPhones.
In his latest research note, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo predicted Intel supply Apple with 70 to 80 percent or more of the baseband chips.
New baseband chips from Intel & Qualcomm will significantly boost transmission speed of new 2H18 iPhone models thanks to supporting 4×4 MIMO antenna design: We believe that 2H18 new iPhones will upgrade baseband chips from Intel’s XMM 7480 and Qualcomm’s MDM 9655 in 2H17 to Intel’s XMM 7560 and Qualcomm’s SDX 20. As both new chips support 4×4 MIMO technology, compared to only 2×2 MIMO in 2H17, we anticipate LTE transmission speeds will increase significantly. We believe Intel will supply Apple with 70-80% or more of required baseband chips.
Kuo also predicted that next year’s iPhone models will support dual-SIM dual standby (DSDS), with support for LTE+LTE connections, which allows two SIM cards to be active simultaneously using only one set of chips.
2H18 iPhone models won’t only offer faster LTE transmission speed: We predict that at least one of the 2H18 new iPhone models will feature dual-SIM dual standby (DSDS) with support for LTE+LTE connections. Unlike existing DSDS phones, which commonly support LTE+3G connections, we believe next-generation iPhone models will support LTE+LTE connections, in a bid to enhance the user experience.
It’s not entirely clear if the new iPhones would have a dual SIM card slot or if one of the SIM cards would be embedded into the device.
Apple has authorized coverage within four years from an affected MacBook Pro’s original date of purchase, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers and later obtained by MacRumors.
Both 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models released in 2013, 2014, or 2015 qualify for a free display replacement within the four-year coverage period. Apple says all 2012 models are no longer eligible for free repairs since both the 13-inch and 15-inch models were discontinued by October 2013.
Below is a list of the absolute latest dates that each MacBook Pro model may remain eligible for coverage based on when each was discontinued:
• 2013 13-inch MacBook Pro: July 2018
• 2013 15-inch MacBook Pro: July 2018
• 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro: March 2019
• 2014 15-inch MacBook Pro: May 2019
• 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro: October 2020
• 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro: Still sold
Apple previously confirmed to us that the repair program continues to be handled internally rather than being publicly announced.
Affected customers can schedule a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store using the Apple Support app. Or, on the Get Support page, click Mac → Mac Notebooks → Hardware Issues → Display Issue and options should be presented to initiate a repair or contact Apple via phone, email, or online chat.
Apple’s support website will ask for your Mac’s serial number, which can be found by clicking on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and clicking on About This Mac in the dropdown menu.
Affected customers can also visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider to determine if their notebook is eligible for coverage. If you have already incurred out-of-warranty costs related to this issue, you may be eligible for a refund, which can be initiated by contacting Apple support directly.
Since the repair program has not been publicly announced, some Apple support representatives may be unaware of its existence. Escalating your request to a senior advisor may help, but your mileage may vary.
Apple first began the repair program in October 2015, and has now extended it twice, after some MacBook Pro owners experienced issues with the anti-reflective coating wearing off or delaminating on the Retina display.
The damage appears to be caused by a variety of factors, including the pressure of the keyboard and trackpad on the display when closed, and the use of incorrect third-party cleaning solutions with microfiber cloths.
Over 12,000 customers joined a Facebook group dedicated to the issue, and hundreds of others have claimed to be affected across the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors forums, Twitter, Reddit, and other discussion platforms.
The website Staingate.org contains a gallery of MacBook Pro models with seemingly damaged anti-reflective coating, revealing that the blemishes can be relatively minor or extend across the entire display in extreme cases.
The anti-reflective coating issues do not appear to affect any MacBook Pro models released in 2016 or later.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has received a card on the iTunes Movies storefront that encourages users to watch the film in 4K HDR on the Apple TV 4K, suggesting that Disney’s 4K video holdout on iTunes may end soon. The change comes after news in September that Disney would be the only major Hollywood studio not supporting 4K versions of its films on the iTunes Movies store, including Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars movies.
Right now, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 appears under the “Now Available to Rent” section of iTunes with a new “Watch It in 4K” card, but when you tap through to the movie’s page it’s still listed as HD-only as of writing. As such, the mention could be an error, or the first hint at more Marvel and other Disney movies imminently gaining 4K iTunes support.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is another Marvel Studios movie — a studio which Disney owns — that’s in 4K HDR on iTunes, but it has been 4K since it released on the digital storefront in September due to the distribution rights of the film being owned by Sony, not Disney.
For now, it appears that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the only Disney-related film with a hint of having imminent 4K support on iTunes. Other newly released Disney films, including Cars 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, don’t have mentions of 4K support anywhere on iTunes yet. Apple’s 4K iTunes films are priced at the same point as HD versions — $20 — and if you previously owned the movie in HD, Apple automatically upgrades it to 4K HDR without requiring additional payment.
If Disney does begin a wider rollout of 4K support across its iTunes film catalogue, it will be joining 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros., and Universal Pictures in backing the 4K video format on Apple devices.
Apple’s BeatsX deal matches some other retailers, but Amazon and Best Buy each have better deals on the Powerbeats3 Wireless and Solo3 Wireless, with the products on sale for as low as $134.99 and $199.99 respectively.
Like AirPods, the BeatsX, Solo3 Wireless, and Powerbeats3 Wireless are equipped with Apple’s W1 chip for instant pairing with an iPhone. They can then simultaneously connect to an Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac via iCloud.
All three headphones feature Fast Fuel. Five minutes of charging provides up to three hours of playback for the Solo3 Wireless, two hours of playback for the BeatsX, and an hour of playback for the Powerbeats3 Wireless.
Apple’s special Beats prices are available in the United States only for a limited time.
Disclaimer: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon and Best Buy and may get paid if you click one of the above links and make a purchase.
With DirecTV Now’s latest offer, if you sign up for four months of the streaming TV service at an upfront cost of around $140, you’ll get the 32GB Apple TV 4K for free. DirecTV Now starts at $35/month for the “Live a Little” package, which adds up to $140 for four months of service (without any additions like HBO or Showtime). Higher tiers increase to $50/month, $60/month, and $70/month with more channels added to each.
If you opt for the lowest tier, you can get Apple’s latest Apple TV 4K device for just $140, which is $40 cheaper than its traditional price point of $180 at Apple and other retailers. If you take advantage of the savings and eventually decide you don’t want to continue paying for DirecTV Now, you can cancel the service at any time on the company’s website.
The sale is for new customers signing up to DirecTV Now, but existing subscribers can likely use another email and credit card combination to get the free Apple TV 4K. The offer will last through the end of 2017, requires a credit card or PayPal payment, and will see the Apple TV 4K delivered in around three weeks from the order date.
Here’s more of the fine print, which also mentions that DirecTV Now does not currently support 4K HDR content streaming:
4K Apple TV (32 GB): Must prepay first four months of service at full price. Non-refundable. Online orders will be shipped via FedEx ground to address provided at point of sale. Allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Offer limited to 1 per DIRECTV NOW account; 2 per household. Not combinable with select offers. 4k HD not avail. w/DIRECTV NOW.
To get started, visit DirecTV Now’s website, click “Start your free trial now,” and on the fourth step of the sign-up process you’ll encounter the “Special Offer” section with mention of the Apple TV 4K deal. When you’re done, be sure to head over to our Deals Roundup and Black Friday Roundup to catch up on all of the latest sales as we head into Black Friday.
Spotify updated its iOS app today with support for iPhone X, exactly two weeks since Apple’s latest smartphone launched. The update removes the letterboxing of Spotify’s interface on the iPhone X’s 5.8-inch OLED display, which should come as welcome news to heavy users of the app, allowing them to see more of track lists and search results on the screen, and more artwork when browsing albums and playlists.
“Stranger Things Mode” before (left) and after Spotify iPhone X update
The music streaming service is unusually late to the game on this front, with many top App Store apps already having updated their interfaces for the iPhone’s 1,125 × 2,436 resolution display, which results in roughly 20 percent additional vertical space for content compared to the 4.7-inch displays of the iPhone 6, 7, and 8.
Apple was naturally quick to publish human interface guidelines for developers coding iPhone X apps. The documentation explains the changes that need to be made to ensure apps make the most of the additional space. At the same time, the guidance warns developers away from encroaching on certain areas of the screen, including the rounded corners, sensor housing, and indicator for accessing the Home screen.
Apple is “leaning heavily” towards choosing Intel’s 5G modems for its future iPhones, according to Fast Company. Apple engineers are said to be already working with Intel on upcoming 5G technology.
Apple’s discussions with Qualcomm about 5G modems, meanwhile, have been described as “limited.”
Citing a source with knowledge of Apple’s plans, Fast Company says that while Qualcomm 5G modems will offer more specialized carrier features, many of those features will not be adopted by carriers, leading Apple to believe Intel’s hardware will be sufficient for future devices.
The end game, multiple sources have said, is to build the Intel modem onto an integrated system-on-a-chip (SoC) that would also contain the CPU, GPU, and other iPhone components. The SoC would be co-designed by Intel and Apple and would be fabricated at an Intel facility.
Intel reportedly has “multiple thousands” of people working on 5G technology in an effort to catch up with Qualcomm and win the contract from Apple.
Intel this morning said that it had made “substantial advances” in its wireless product roadmap to accelerate the adoption of 5G. According to Intel, an end-to-end 5G call based on early 5G silicon has been completed successfully, which Intel says is a “key milestone in its development.”
Intel expects its first 5G chips to roll out in 2019, ahead of the wide rollout of 5G networks. T-Mobile just today said that it is planning to roll out its fifth-generation network across the United States by 2020, and most of the carriers in the United States are already experimenting with limited trials.
5G is expected to deliver speeds that are 10 to 100 times faster than the average 4G connection, at a gigabit per second or higher, along with lower latency and other benefits.
Rumors that Apple is considering Intel’s 5G technology are in line with previous reports that have suggested Apple is considering eliminating Qualcomm chips from its 2018 iPhones and iPads.
Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in a bitter legal battle since the beginning of the year, which has continued to escalate over the months. Apple believes Qualcomm charges unfair royalties for “technologies they have nothing to do with,” while Qualcomm claims its technology is “at the heart of every iPhone.”