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Main article: IPhone X

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Analyst says Apple could have sold 6 million iPhone X units during Black Friday weekend

21:22 | 28 November

Apple hasn’t shared any exact number, but Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang calculated that Apple may have sold as many as 6 million iPhone X units this weekend alone, StreetInsider reported.

With such a big number, it’s hard to grasp Apple’s success with the iPhone X. Last quarter, Apple sold 39.3 million iPhones when you combine all iPhone models. In other words, Apple usually sells around 1.75 million iPhones during a 4-day period.

So this weekend was a huge weekend for Apple, even if you don’t take into account other iPhone models. The company sold more than 17 iPhone X units every single second during four days.

Rosenblatt also says that Apple currently produces 3 million units per week. But this could increase to 4 million units per week in just a few weeks. Overall, Apple may have sold 15 million iPhone X units ever since it went on sale.

Zhang says that most people buy the more expensive 256GB model. Apple is currently selling twice as many 256GB units of the iPhone X compared to the 64GB model.

This should greatly improve Apple’s average selling price in the company’s next earnings report. Apple could end up selling 30 million iPhone X units during the current quarter that ends in December, and 40 million units during the next quarter. It turns out that a premium iPhone wasn’t a bad idea.

Featured Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

 


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iOS 11.2 is going to support faster 7.5W Qi wireless charging

19:29 | 14 November

The iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X all support wireless charging using the Qi standard. It means that iPhones are now compatible with hundreds of chargers out there. But iPhone Qi charging is currently limited to 5W, or the slowest wireless charging speed. Apple is currently working on iOS 11.2 — this update is going to support 7.5W charging, as MacRumors spotted.

Wireless charging is nice if you don’t want to plug your phone every time you want to charge it. But it’s not a groundbreaking feature as you still have to plug your charger to the wall. You also need to put your phone on the charger. So it’s not really wireless.

But if you tend to pick up your phone very often and the cable gets in the way, you might want a wireless charger for your desk or nightstand. When new iPhones came out, Apple said that they would only support 5W charging for now.

Apple is currently testing iOS 11.2 with beta testers, and this update unlocks wireless charging speed. 5W wireless charging is more or less as fast as using the charger accessory that comes with the iPhone.

MacRumors tested iOS 11.2 with a 7.5W charger and a 5W charger. After the update, wireless charging with a 7.5W charger was 43 percent faster.

This is encouraging and more useful than wireless charging in its current form. Apple currently sells a Mophie and a Belking charger in its stores. Both support 7.5W charging. Some chargers on Amazon also support 10W or even 15W. It won’t be any use for now, but maybe next year’s iPhone is going to get improved wireless charging.

And if you like cables, don’t forget that you can use a 10/12W iPad charger to charge your iPhone in no time. You’ll have to buy it separately, but it makes a big difference.

 


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Apple could launch a bigger iPhone X Plus next year, report says

20:50 | 13 November

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote a new report about Apple’s plans for next year. According to him, the company is going to release three new iPhone devices next year. They’ll all have edge-to-edge displays with a notch.

The successor of the iPhone X could be roughly the same size and shape. According to Kuo, this new iPhone would feature a 5.8-inch display with a density of 458 pixels per inch. This is exactly the same specifications as the current display in the iPhone X.

But if a 5.8-inch display is not enough, KGI Securities thinks there will be a bigger phone with a 6.5-inch display. It’ll also be an OLED display with a pixel density of 480-500 pixels per inch. In other words, there might be a second-gen iPhone X Plus.

That’s not all. Apple doesn’t plan to focus on high-end phones that cost $1,000 or more. The company is also going to release a successor to the iPhone 8. But Apple plans to bring some of the innovations in the iPhone X to this new device.

This lower-end iPhone (but still very expensive) could cost between $649 and $749 and feature an edge-to-edge display with a notch. But there will be tradeoffs. For instance, you can expect a traditional LCD display with a lower resolution (roughly 320 to 330 pixels per inch).

It could have a 6.1-inch display, which would make it slightly bigger than the iPhone X. And it could have all the sensors for Face ID and face tracking.

Apple works on new phones years before unveiling them. But, as always, this report might not be perfectly accurate. We’ll learn more about Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup in the coming months.

 


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Mysterious ‘green line of death’ appears on some iPhone X displays

20:49 | 10 November

It wouldn’t be the launch of a first-generation Apple product without a few hiccups — who can forget Antennagate and Bendgate? — and the iPhone X is no different. A handful of users report that a mysterious and inextinguishable green line has appeared on their device’s display.

The above images, from Twitter users mix0mat0sis, Nate Heagy and Christian Roman, represent a few of the examples of the “green line of death” as the latter called it. No one seems to know what causes it or how prevalent it actually is. I’ve asked Apple for comment.

We can at least speculate on one part of that. iPhone Xs have a new diamond sub-pixel pattern in their displays, and as such all green sub-pixels appear in lines, while red and blue alternate. You can see that in this image taken as part of DisplayMate’s tests:

It seems likely that an electrical fault in a few phones is causing voltage to flow to all the green sub-pixels in a line. That it stretches all the way from top to bottom suggests it’s something at the edge of the display that’s sending an incorrect voltage down a few lines of pixels (if it were just one line of sub-pixels, it would appear much thinner). The line tends to be close to the right or left side of the phone, but that’s harder to diagnose.

This kind of issue always pops up in ambitious devices that use several new kinds of tech at scale. It happened to Samsung last year, except the line was pink. Even if only 0.001 percent of the displays they put together were faulty, a frequency that’s nearly impossible to test for, a few users will still end up with a bum phone.

One such user already reports that their phone was replaced at the Apple store, so it seems unlikely that this is a software issue. Is your phone showing this line? Take a picture and let us know. Then take it in to be replaced.

 


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iPhone X first weekend adoption tops the iPhone 8 models

21:56 | 6 November

The iPhone X is already showing strong consumer adoption, according to a new report from Localytics out today, despite the fact that long shipping delays for pre-orders mean many customers have yet to receive their devices. That said, iPhone X managed to grab 0.93 percent of the overall market share for iPhones after the first weekend of sales, the firm found.

To be clear, this data isn’t referencing iPhone sales – it instead measures market share based on consumers’ app usage. Localytics runs a mobile engagement platform across 2.7 billion devices and 37,000 mobile and web apps, which is how it’s able to collect this data. For this specific report, the firm says it examined over 70 million iOS devices. It then compared this weekend’s data (Nov. 3, 2017 – Nov. 5, 2017 at 2 PM ET) to historical data on older iPhone models.

Though 0.93 percent of iPhone market share may not seem like a lot, it still puts the new iPhone X ahead of the 0.7 share achieved by the iPhone 8 models in their first weekend, which may indicate a stronger demand for Apple’s high-end device compared with the more moderate – or as many pundits have said, more boring – upgrade.

However, the X’s market share is lower than the 2.3 share the iPhone 6 models saw in their first weekend in 2014; the 1.3 percent adoption of the iPhone 6S models in 2015; and the 1.2 percent adoption of the iPhone 7 models in 2016.

In addition to the iPhone X’s more limited availability at launch (20 cities’ retail stores even sold out by Sunday), Localytics cautions that historical comparisons may not be the best way to analyze the new device’s popularity.

For one thing, the company explains, there are “significantly more iPhones in the market today than in 2014.” In other words, Apple isn’t just competing against rivals for market share, it’s competing against itself.

While shipping delays may already be improving, the market share data for the first weekend may not be the best way to measure the iPhone X’s adoption, but it’s what’s available for now. In a few months’ time, the data may tell a different story. Localytics is predicting the Phone X will end up grabbing more of the overall iPhone market share than any of its predecessors did during their first few months on the market, even if it didn’t do so for the launch weekend.

That coincides with Apple’s own forecast that its its holiday 2017 quarter will be one of its best ever thanks to iPhone X sales.

 


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A closer look at the capabilities and risks of iPhone X face mapping

21:13 | 4 November

 Face ID has already generated a lot of excitement but the switch to a facial biometric does raise privacy concerns — given that the human face is naturally an expression-rich medium which, inevitably, communicates a lot of information about its owner without them necessarily realizing it. Read More

 


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Snap, where are my anibitmoji?

23:00 | 3 November

The day we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. Apple’s highly anticipated iPhone X has made it into the hands of everyday customers. I’m a big weirdo, so I’ve been mostly looking forward to being able to use Face ID for the purposes of animoji.

Animoji takes emoji to the extreme and it works using the iPhone X’s new facial recognition system. As Apple’s Craig Federighi explained at the company’s big press event in September, the goal of animoji is to “breathe our own personality” into our favorite emojis. So far, it’s great. But I want more.

Here’s my idea: anibitmoji, a mashup of animoji and Bitmoji, owned by Snap. Instead of a talking pile of poo, what about a talking pile of my Bitmoji hanging out with the dancing hot dog?

At that same event in September, Apple gave a shout-out to Snap, noting that the two companies are working together to create realistic filters that can track your facial expressions. In his iPhone X review, my boss was able to test out these new lenses, and they’re pretty sweet, so what’s one more integration?

I’ve reached out to Snap and will update this story if I hear back.

 


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On iPhone X launch day, Apple draws a crowd

22:46 | 3 November

Today, the iPhone X became available in Apple retail stores across the globe. And given the fanfare around iPhone launches for the past decade, we couldn’t help but show up and chat with one of the world’s most loyal consumer fan bases.

At Apple’s 5th Avenue Manhattan store, lines stretched down the block and across Madison Avenue, with some pre-order folks arriving only a couple of hours before opening, while others (without a pre-order reservation) arriving early morning yesterday.

Most seemed pretty excited about the new model iPhone, though, as buyers who wait in line, that’s to be expected. Check out the reactions in the video above.

 


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iPhone 8 launch propels Apple to growth in China after 18 months of sales dips

13:19 | 30 October

Apple is finally back to growth in China.

The company has broken a run of sales decreases that stretches back six quarters thanks to promising early signs for the newly released iPhone 8, according to a new report from Canalys. The analyst firm recorded 40 percent annual growth for Apple in Q3 2017 with 11 million shipments during the three-month period. It noted also that the iPhone 8 accounted for a higher proportion of iPhone sales than the iPhone 7 did last year.

Apple’s revenue from China is down by more than 50 percent from two years ago, according to its most recent Q2 earnings, so growth is much-needed. However, despite progress, the firm ranked only fifth in the Canalys report.

Huawei led the field with 22 million shipments, fractionally ahead of Oppo (21 million — the only annual decline) and Vivo (20 million). Xiaomi, which is rejuvenated in 2017, came in fourth.

Beyond the raw data there are a few notable takeaways worth digging out.

Firstly to Apple, which Canalys believes is not out of trouble in China.

The impact of the iPhone X, the much-anticipated device that goes on sale November 1, isn’t reflected in this report but already limited supply around the phone and its expensive price tag — which starts at $1,000 for the most basic model — may mean the phone doesn’t deliver stellar growth that the U.S. firm saw in China when it released the iPhone 6, its first larger sized device.

“Apple is unlikely to sustain this growth in Q4,” Canalys’ Mo Jia said in a statement.

“While the iPhone X launches this week, its pricing structure and supply are inhibiting. The iPhone X will enjoy a healthy grey market status, but its popularity is unlikely to help Apple in the short term,” Jia predicted.

Beyond Apple — which is so often the focus when studying smartphone sales in China, given its importance to the company — it is clear that a few brands now dominate the Chinese smartphone market.

The top five sellers in Q3 2017, according to Canalys’ numbers, accounted for a massive 75 percent of all devices shipped in China. The analyst firm is predicting that Xiaomi may break into the top three thanks to its usually-impressive performance on China’s major online shopping day — 11/11 — and offline retail, but, that side, it is hard to see any others making headway on the top players at this point.

That’s particularly important because data suggests that growth in the Chinese smartphone market is topped out.

The Canalys report estimated that the market dropped by five percent year-on-year to 119 million shipments. That’s a second successive quarterly drop.

China remains the single largest market for smartphone firms on the planet, but the declines explain why many firms have expanded their focus to cover fast-growing markets like India, which overtook the U.S. on shipments numbers in Q3, and Southeast Asia.

These regions do not yet rival China but, when competition is tough and the market is shrinking, they represent more accessible opportunities for revenue.

 


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Apple’s bid to become a $1 trillion company starts this week

20:34 | 29 October

While people spend more than $1,000 for the right to eventually get an iPhone X (as well as sell that right to eventually get an iPhone X for more than $1,500), we’re seeing Apple is doing a pretty good job of setting the stage as to whether it can make its case to Wall Street that it can be a $1 trillion company.

We’ve noted before that quarterly financial reports from companies are, generally, the moments that consistently swing stock prices for companies. And while Apple is hoarding a ton of cash, its future depends on the success of the iPhone — and, in particular, the iPhone X. While it is rolling out an updated version of the iPhone 7 in the form of the iPhone 8, the iPhone X represents Apple’s interpretation of the true next generation of that slate of glass in your pocket that controls your connection to the rest of the internet.

With that in mind, Apple in its last fiscal quarter signaled that it might have a better-than-expected third quarter — something which, again, caused Wall Street to tweak its models and ended up with a pretty significant spike in Apple’s stock price. On the year, it’s been on quite a run, up more than 40%:

Apple shares once again rose on Friday, up more than 3% and setting the company at a market cap of $842 billion. Granted, around $160 billion is a lot of ground to gain, but for Apple that actually seems possible given the expansion it’s made into new products that aim to tie together a network of devices running on Apple’s ecosystem and offering a continuous experience across the car, office, home, and walking around the city.

Which comes to this Thursday. Going into those results, we’ll have an idea of how some combination of iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 sales did, as well as some signals as to how the iPhone X is progressing. It’s not clear if Apple will be able to sate demand for the iPhone X — but, at a much higher price point, it offers a different opportunity for Apple to reach a new equilibrium in terms of how much it invests in phones versus how much it charges. The iPhone has always been a sort of premium product, and if Apple shows that it’s able to unlock demand at an even higher tier and retain it beyond just early adopters, that could add some significant momentum to its business.

In the past year or so, Apple has seen its iPhone growth engine come to a halt. While it isn’t performing poorly by any stretch of the imagination, it has put pressure on the company as it starts to see its revenue level off and temper expectations for Wall Street. It’s launched a portfolio of other devices like the AirPods, as well as some in the hopper like the HomePod, but the story on both of those have yet to play out. It’s also tried to pitch its services business hard to Wall Street as an additional incremental line that’s able to grow methodically sitting on top of its product base.

The iPhone, however, is still its driver, and you can see it in the revenue numbers. But that small signal that Apple gave in the third quarter may be a sign that the company has much bigger expectations for its performance going into the fourth quarter this year:

If Apple is going to become a $1 trillion company, that effort is going to begin in earnest tomorrow. Apple has to show that its numbers line up with a trajectory that will send it to that (largely symbolic) number, and the story that CEO Tim Cook tells on the call that accompanies each financial report is going to be just as important. The tea leaves are going to be even more critical as we look for signs as to whether Apple has unlocked a new tier of demand and starts to generate an even greater profit, as well as what the heck it is going to do with all that cash if it actually starts to ramp up a new engine.

 


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