Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative

A $100M commitment.

“Beginning in the United States and expanding globally overtime, the Initiative will challenge the systemic barriers to opportunity and dignity that exists for communities of colour, and particularly for the Black community, with special focus on issues of education, economic equality, and criminal justice reform.“

Tim Cook — Apple CEO.

Apple 2020 Second Quarter Results

Apple Newsroom:

Total Revenue Grows, Services Revenue Reaches New All-Time High of $13.3 Billion.

Cupertino, California — April 30, 2020 — Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2020 second quarter ended March 28, 2020. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $58.3 billion, an increase of 1 percent from the year-ago quarter, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.55, up 4 percent. International sales accounted for 62 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Apple Gear Setup Challenge

Chris Wilson, started a fun little exercise after coming across a YouTube video about the Ultimate Apple Setup for $1000 and wondered about other price points. The budget spans across four different price points: £500, £1000, £2500 and £5000.

Andy Nicolaides published his picks on The Dent and proceeded to challenge a selected few.

Rules (Set by Chris):

  • You cannot use any other items, if you have a Mac Pro lying around your home, I don’t care.
  • The prices are based off Apple’s website.

I’m approaching this challenge with what I will buy for my needs given the specific budgets, rather than a recommendation based on the best bang for your buck.

Edit: ‪For each category, I looked at it as if I had no devices at all, starting fresh with the respective budget at hand. What would I buy? I’ll always get an iPhone first, it’s the affordable device that does pretty much ‘everything’!‬

Note: All products at the time of this publication are at Apple prices bought from the Apple Store.

£500 Price Point

  • iPhone SE (2020) 64GB - £419
  • iPhone SE Leather Case - £45
  • Apple 12W USB Power Adapter - £19
  • Belkin Anti-Glare Screen Protector - £14.95

Total: £497.95


£1000 Price point

  • iPhone SE (2020) 64GB - £419
  • iPad 7th gen 32GB (Wi-Fi Model) - £349
  • Smart Cover for iPad - £55
  • AirPods 2.0 (Non-Wireless) - £159

Total: £982


£2,500 Price Point

  • iPhone 11 Pro 256GB - £1,199
  • iPad Pro (2020) 12.9-inch 128GB (Wi-Fi Model) - £969
  • Smart Keyboard Folio - £199
  • Magic Trackpad 2 - £129

Total: £2496


£5000 Price Point

  • iPhone 11 Pro Max 256GB - £1,299
  • iPad Pro (2020) 12.9-inch 256GB (Wi-Fi Only) - £1,069
  • Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro - £349
  • Apple Pencil 2nd Gen - £119
  • Apple Watch Series 5 GPS (44mm) - £429
  • AirPods Pro - £249
  • HomePod - £279
  • Apple TV 4K 32GB- £179
  • LG UltraFine 4K Monitor - £629
  • Magic Keyboard (Stand-alone) - £99
  • Magic Trackpad 2 - £129

Total: £4,829

Take away the LG UltraFine 4K monitor, switch the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro to the Smart Keyboard Folio, the same for Apple Watch with the Series 4, throw in a 2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro instead of the 2020 model and you have my current ecosystem configuration of Apple products.

Apple Acquires Dark Sky Weather App with its API

Adam Grossman, Dark Sky Blog:

Today we have some important and exciting news to share: Dark Sky has joined Apple.

Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy.

There is no better place to accomplish these goals than at Apple. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to reach far more people, with far more impact, than we ever could alone.

Dark Sky Weather app to this day remains the longest third-party weather app I’ve used on iOS. What drew to me to Dark Sky was its rich collection of meteorological conditions and granular custom notifications that enables you to receive down-to-the-minute alerts on various weather change patterns. For example, users can set a custom notification as follows; notify me at 7 pm if the temperature falls below/rises above 10° at any time/during the day/overnight.

I’m excited about such functionalities coming to the native iOS Weather app which hasn’t seen any significant improvements since iOS 7. This is good news as I continue my shift to using native apps on iOS and iPadOS.

Fortune’s 100 Iconic Designs of Modern Times Features Eight Apple Products

Fortune Magazine is celebrating the 60th anniversary of putting together a project aimed at discovering and listing the 100 best-designed products of the ‘modern era’ by recreating the same survey in 2019. The survey, according to Fortune, took over a year to complete, again partnering with the IIT Institute of Design (ID) to compile the list of the top 100 iconic designs of this modern era.

Top of the list, is yours truly, the original Apple iPhone (2007):

“An iPod, a phone, an Internet communicator” was how the late Steve Jobs announced the iPhone to the world in 2007. At the time it was an impressive claim. Now it seems like a massive understatement for a device that changed how we live.

Followed by the Macintosh (1984) in second place:

Apple started the personal computer revolution with the Apple II, but the Macintosh defined the category.

“The Macintosh was not the first personal computer, nor was it the first one with a graphical user interface, but it was the first complete product that took all these ideas and more into a complete package. It became a computer one could understand and interact with using both language and vision, typing and drawing. It changed the way we relate to a computer.” — Johan Redstrom, professor, Umeå University.

The rest of the Apple products featured on the list are scattered but all remain in the top 65:

  • Original iPod (2001)
  • MacBook Pro (2006)
  • App Store (2008)
  • iOS (2007)
  • Apple Watch (2015)
  • Apple Pay (2014)

You can see the full list from the source below.

Source: Fortune

A Timeline of Apples Handling of COVID-19

The outspread of COVID-19 and the impact it is having on everyday life cannot be understated. Governments, Businesses, Health Organisation entities are doing what can be done in efforts to delay and hopefully halt the outspread, for the sake of humanity.

Below is an updated timeline of Apple’s efforts combating the outspread.

Updated with new developments…

FEB 17, 2020 — Investor update on quarterly guidance:

Our quarterly guidance issued on January 28, 2020 reflected the best information available at the time as well as our best estimates about the pace of return to work following the end of the extended Chinese New Year holiday on February 10. Work is starting to resume around the country, but we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated. As a result, we do not expect to meet the revenue guidance we provided for the March quarter due to two main factors.


MAR 13, 2020 — Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2020 kicks off in June with an all-new online format :

Cupertino, California — Apple today announced it will host its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Now in its 31st year, WWDC 2020 will take on an entirely new online format packed with content for consumers, press and developers alike. The online event will be an opportunity for millions of creative and innovative developers to get early access to the future of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS, and engage with Apple engineers as they work to build app experiences that enrich the lives of Apple customers around the globe.

Apple also announced it will commit $1 million to local San Jose organizations to offset associated revenue loss as a result of WWDC 2020’s new online format.


MAR 13, 2020 — Apple’s COVID-19 response:

Giving Back:

Apple’s committed donations to the global COVID-19 response — both to help treat those who are sick and to help lessen the economic and community impacts of the pandemic — today reached $15 million worldwide.

We’re also announcing that we are matching our employee donations two-to-one to support COVID-19 response efforts locally, nationally and internationally.

Offices and Stores:

We will be closing all of our retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27.

In all of our offices, we are moving to flexible work arrangements worldwide outside of Greater China.

All of our hourly workers will continue to receive pay in alignment with business as usual operations. We have expanded our leave policies to accommodate personal or family health circumstances created by COVID-19 — including recovering from an illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges due to school closures.


MAR 14, 2020 — Ensuring the Credibility of Health & Safety Information:

To help fulfill these expectations, we’re evaluating apps critically to ensure data sources are reputable and that developers presenting these apps are from recognized entities such as government organizations, health-focused NGOs, companies deeply credentialed in health issues, and medical or educational institutions. Only developers from one of these recognized entities should submit an app related to COVID-19. Entertainment or game apps with COVID-19 as their theme will not be allowed.


MAR 16, 2020 — Temporary Retail Store Closures FAQ:

Q: I want to return a product I recently purchased but the 14-day return period will end before March 28—what should I do?

A: Don’t worry. We’ll accept your return up to 14 days after we reopen.*

*Exclusions: Contracted iPhones (US, CA, JP, AU); Carrier financing (US only); Trade-in devices (value of device can be given in form of gift card)


APR 5, 2020 — Apple Sourced 20M Masks, Designing and Producing Face Shields for Medical Workers:

How to assemble the Apple designed Face Shield:


APR 7, 2020 — Apple Music Quietly Starts $50 Million COVID-19 Advance Fund for Indie Labels:

These are difficult times for the music industry globally. Livelihoods are at risk, with multiple sources of income that our industry relies on vanishing overnight. Apple has a deep, decades-long history with music, and we are proud to be in close partnership with the best labels and artists in the world. We want to help.

Today Apple Music is announcing the creation of a $50 million-plus fund available as advances on future royalties to independent labels, to help them pay artists and maintain operations.


APR 10, 2020 — Apple and Google Partner on COVID-19 Contact Tracing Technology:

Across the world, governments and health authorities are working together to find solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect people and get society back up and running. Software developers are contributing by crafting technical tools to help combat the virus and save lives. In this spirit of collaboration, Google and Apple are announcing a joint effort to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus, with user privacy and security central to the design.

Since COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health officials have identified contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread.

[…]

All of us at Apple and Google believe there has never been a more important moment to work together to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems.

Privacy-Preserving Contact Tracing.


APR 14, 2020 — Apple makes Mobility Data Available to aid COVID-19 Efforts:

Apple today released a mobility data trends tool from Apple Maps to support the impactful work happening around the globe to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This mobility data may provide helpful insights to local governments and health authorities and may also be used as a foundation for new public policies by showing the change in volume of people driving, walking or taking public transit in their communities.

Apple Maps Mobility Trends Reports.


MAY 7, 2020 — Apple Awards $10M from Advanced Manufacturing Fund to COPAN Diagnostics:

Apple today announced it is awarding $10 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to COPAN Diagnostics, a market leader in sample collection kits that play a critical role in COVID-19 testing. This funding will allow COPAN Diagnostics to rapidly accelerate their supply of sample collection kits for hospitals across the United States, expanding production from several thousand today to more than one million kits per week by early July.


WWDC 2020 ‘All-new Online Format’

Apple Newsroom:

“We are delivering WWDC 2020 this June in an innovative way to millions of developers around the world, bringing the entire developer community together with a new experience,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The current health situation has required that we create a new WWDC 2020 format that delivers a full program with an online keynote and sessions, offering a great learning experience for our entire developer community, all around the world. We will be sharing all of the details in the weeks ahead.”

As expected, Apple joins the ever-expanding number of tech companies cancelling planned live interpersonal events this year. The current measures put in place to combat the spread of COVID–19 of the novel Coronavirus outbreak inevitably made holding its annual Worldwide Developer Conference in its usual standard format an impossibility.

Giving the vagueness of the announcement with more details to be revealed in the ‘weeks ahead’, seems to me work on the new format is still an on-going process. I’m intrigued to learn more about how exactly Apple will present this ‘all-new online format’, and how it will compare to the efficacy of their live in-person events. The success of this ‘all-new online format’ will no doubt fuel the discussion on the necessity of WWDC being a live event going forward.


Update: MAY 5, 2020 — Apple to host virtual Worldwide Developers Conference beginning June 22:

Apple today announced it will host its annual Worldwide Developers Conference virtually, beginning June 22, in the Apple Developer app and on the Apple Developer website for free for all developers. The company also announced the Swift Student Challenge, an opportunity for student developers to showcase their love of coding by creating their own Swift playground…

Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing:

WWDC20 will be our biggest yet, bringing together our global developer community of more than 23 million in an unprecedented way for a week in June to learn about the future of Apple platforms.

Project Connected Home over IP (CHoIP)

Apple Newsroom:

The goal of the Connected Home over IP project is to simplify development for manufacturers and increase compatibility for consumers. The project is built around a shared belief that smart home devices should be secure, reliable, and seamless to use. By building upon Internet Protocol (IP), the project aims to enable communication across smart home devices, mobile apps, and cloud services and to define a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification.

The project aims to make it easier for device manufacturers to build devices that are compatible with smart home and voice services such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and others. The planned protocol will complement existing technologies, and working group members encourage device manufacturers to continue innovating using technologies available today.

When companies take a step back from their efforts to cement their different standards and protocols as the best in-class and work together for the greater good to provide a universal standard, then consumers reap the benefits. This project undoubtedly will help the growth and stability of home automation and eradicate the current levels of shoehorning solutions to make platforms compatible, which is a massive deterrent for many potential adopters.

I hope to see more of these kinds of collaborations from tech giants going forward. It’s a win for everyone.

Blockbuster new Product Expectations from Apple

Walt Mossberg, The Verge:

The pressure was on for Cook’s Apple to bring out the next beautiful, premium, innovative product to maintain Apple’s streak, its margins, and its growing ecosystem of devoted users.

Cook’s first big all-new product was the Apple Watch, which was released in 2015. But it took until the third generation of the Watch in 2017 for Apple to find the right hardware, software, and functionality. It was essentially a reboot.

The other major hardware success under the Cook regime has been AirPods, the wireless earbuds released in 2016 that seem to be everywhere, looking like white plastic earrings.

Respect to Mossberg. A calculated fair assessment from a seasoned veteran with a solid understanding of the consumer tech industry.

One can argue the AirPods and Apple Watch could’ve been the blockbuster new products of the past decade considering how they’ve dominated their respective categories. What they lacked, perhaps, is Steve Jobs’ mind-blowing marketing gasconade that would’ve elevated them beyond their current status. Tim, isn’t a product guy, as Uncle Walt describes him. Jobs, as he was known, was an astute salesman. And perhaps that’s one of the missing puzzle pieces why none of the new product categories released in the past decade had the same blockbuster effect as say, the iPhone.

I’m not the least worried about Apples ability to produce another blockbuster product in the coming decade. What I’d rather see first and foremost as we enter that period, is stability across the board; from company culture to products and services.

Bill Atkinson on Joining Apple Computer 40 Years ago

There’s a lot of fine nerdery in this story reflecting on his 12 years spent at Apple Computer ‘making tools to empower creative people’. The story started with the recruitment process:

Toward the end of the day, Steve took me aside and told me that any hot new technology I read about was actually two years old. “There is a lag time between when someting is invented, and when it is available to the public. If you want to make a difference in the world, you have to be ahead of that lag time. Come to Apple where you can invent the future and change millions of people’s lives.”

The part I also find fascinating is Steve Jobs’ ability to cap off a lengthy recruitment day with a visual analogy in helping persuade him. Bill flipped from his initial staunch desire to finish off his PhD in neuroscience, to dropping ten years of college education and joining Apple Computer:

Then he gave me a visual: “Think how fun it is to surf on the front edge of a wave, and how not-fun to dog paddle on the tail edge of the same wave.” That image persuaded me, and within two weeks I had quit my graduate program, moved to Silicon Valley, and was working at Apple Computer.

Very reminiscent to the more commonly known story about recruiting John Sculley. Steve, also painted a visualisation that made Sculley take a more in-depth look into the level of fulfilment his current job offered him: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?”

Steve’s ability to tactfully deliver soul searching closing questions and remarks during the recruitment process was admirable.

I love reading these types of stories.

Source: Michael Tsai.

Apple to Expand Authorised Repair Service Network

Apple Newsroom:

Apple today announced a new repair program, offering customers additional options for the most common out-of-warranty iPhone repairs. Apple will provide more independent repair businesses — large or small — with the same genuine parts, tools, training, repair manuals and diagnostics as its Apple Authorised Service Providers (AASPs). The program is launching in the US with plans to expand to other countries.

One of the first lessons I learnt about third-party repairs happened a decade ago when I dropped and smashed my iPhone 3GS’ LCD and the touchscreen digitiser to smithereens. The ensuing experience putting my faith in a third-party repair shop instead of the certified Genius Bar technicians at an Apple store is one that shaped my approach to repairs ever since. To cut a long story short, the iPhone came back worse with more damages than it went in with following the ‘repairs’; issues with the front-facing camera and speaker, unresponsive touchscreen and Home button to name but a few. The lack of robust training know-how and the use of low-quality parts were unquestionably apparent in this repair saga.

Following that experience, my default process has been Apple support, book a Genius Bar appointment, take the device to my nearest Apple Store - lucky to have two stores both within a 25-30 minutes drive - even though there a few Apple Authorised Service Providers (AASPs) within the same footprint. My full trust lies with Apple and the Apple Store experience, despite costs of repairs.

To better meet our customers’ needs, we’re making it easier for independent providers across the US to tap into the same resources as our Apple Authorised Service Provider network,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. When a repair is needed, a customer should have confidence the repair is done right. We believe the safest and most reliable repair is one handled by a trained technician using genuine parts that have been properly engineered and rigorously tested.

Despite the usual brouhaha with increasing accusations of making life difficult for anyone but Apple to carry out repairs on some, if not all of the devices in its portfolio, Apple continually upholds its safety-first approach regarding consumers right to repairs using third-party providers.

I have had reservations trusting most vendors beyond Apple for a very long time when it comes to repairs. Over the years, the quality of repairs with some independent repair shops - small and large - slowly began to gain my trust, based on evidence from friends and family members who have had their devices repaired by third-party. However, my faith in such establishments using high-quality Apple certified parts and specifically the safety of battery replacements remained the biggest reasons why I cannot fully entrust them. No responsible human should entrust the repair and installation of a new device battery from an untrained, uncertified independent repair service. It is too high a risk to take.

I have long wished to be able to walk into any shopping centre repair kiosk or shops on the High street, confidently hand over my iOS device for repairs knowing they are fully certified with the same training, using the same tools and genuine Apple parts as existing AASPs and the Apple store itself.

Apple expanding its authorised service network, with the provision of a free independent repair program certification to qualifying repair businesses, goes a long way in confirming their firm believe they have the safety of its users in mind, amongst other reasons.

I will still throw caution to the wind and continue to visit the Apple Store while the program expansion in the UK solidifies its reputation.

Upcoming Changes to Siri Privacy Protection

Apple Newsroom:

We know that customers have been concerned by recent reports of people listening to audio Siri recordings as part of our Siri quality evaluation process — which we call grading. We heard their concerns, immediately suspended human grading of Siri requests and began a thorough review of our practices and policies. We’ve decided to make some changes to Siri as a result.

Following the suspension of using human contractors to listen to Siri audio snippets for its Siri grading program to improve Siri’s effectiveness in providing accurate responses to queries, Apple have now temporarily terminated the program and offered its apologies for failing to live up to their high ideals and upholding the level of privacy its users are accustom to.

However, the practice will resume in-house when upcoming software updates are released, and a few evaluation process changes have been made:

First, by default, we will no longer retain audio recordings of Siri interactions. We will continue to use computer-generated transcripts to help Siri improve.

Second, users will be able to opt in to help Siri improve by learning from the audio samples of their requests. We hope that many people will choose to help Siri get better, knowing that Apple respects their data and has strong privacy controls in place. Those who choose to participate will be able to opt out at any time.

Third, when customers opt in, only Apple employees will be allowed to listen to audio samples of the Siri interactions. Our team will work to delete any recording which is determined to be an inadvertent trigger of Siri.

I’m glad to see Apple continue to take ownership of its responsibilities in addressing the situation, offering its apologies, and putting forth changes that align with their strong privacy stance and the respect it has for its users. I will be sure to opt-in to help with improving Siri.

Source: Apple Newsroom.

Apple Suspends Siri Data Analysis by Contractors

In a statement to TechCrunch:

“We are committed to delivering a great Siri experience while protecting user privacy. While we conduct a thorough review, we are suspending Siri grading globally. Additionally, as part of a future software update, users will have the ability to choose to participate in grading.”

Despite the delayed response to the criticisms of potential privacy concerns surrounding the use of contractors to analyse and grade Siri search query data - a concern made more prominent by The Guardian’s reporting of the situation - am glad to see Apple take action nonetheless.

Albeit, only a suspension of the program worldwide and not a total cancellation, probably due to needing time to assess better operable options in how to continually process such data without the need of contracted human helpers.

It is great to see Apple take ownership of its responsibilities and holding themselves accountable.

Siri Data Analsysis by Humans

“Often masqueraded under the thin veil of ‘anonymous data collection to improve your experience’, every tech company is susceptible to using data in ways users might not be fully aware of, we are, after all, in a digital age of ubiquitous data harvesting. Whether users tolerate the unethical amassing of data to be sold off without consent is a decision a user should regularly review.”

- Excerpt from a post on Privacy published on Chambyte on 22 July 2019.

A week or so after publishing a post about Apples Privacy Stance in which I stated the reason why I trust the tech giant in defending our right to privacy, UK publication The Guardian published an article about how Apple contractors ‘regularly hear confidential details’ on Siri recordings.

The Guardian:

Although Apple does not explicitly disclose it in its consumer-facing privacy documentation, a small proportion of Siri recordings are passed on to contractors working for the company around the world. They are tasked with grading the responses on a variety of factors, including whether the activation of the voice assistant was deliberate or accidental, whether the query was something Siri could be expected to help with and whether Siri’s response was appropriate.

Apple says the data “is used to help Siri and dictation … understand you better and recognise what you say”.

But the company does not explicitly state that that work is undertaken by humans who listen to the pseudonymised recordings.c

Not the first time such a revelation came to light, as Apple Analyst Rene Ritchie points out on Twitter; Bloomberg published an article back in April of 2019 which cited Apple’s use of human helpers to listen to and assess Siri data.

A citation on a publication is not enough, however. Apple can and should do better in explicitly disclosing the use of sub-contracted human helpers in this process.

Relating to Siri - On Apples Privacy Policy page under the Collection and Use of Non-Personal Information:

We may collect and store details of how you use our services, including search queries. This information may be used to improve the relevancy of results provided by our services. Except in limited instances to ensure quality of our services over the Internet, such information will not be associated with your IP address.

The glaring omission here; no explicit mention of who analyses this data in its pursuit of improving the relevancy of results, and in continuing its tradition of accountability, Apple should rectify and update this omission on its Privacy documentation.

With their journalistic responsibilities, The Guardian et al., are right in publicising this distinct lack of disclosure along with any potential possibility of misuse of such data by people trusted to examine it, regardless of how anonymous the data is. The Guardian’s sex and drug lede designed to entice readers and raise undue concern rather than taking the educative approach is of no surprise, however.

Sex and Drugs sell in the world of tabloid headline-grabbing ‘news’ for clicks.

Apple Acquiring Intels Smartphone Modem Business

Acquiring majority of Intels Smartphone modem business is a massive step towards the goal of owning and controlling the primary technologies that are core to the operation of its product lineup that utilises modems, even more so for future products.

“We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make.”

Tim Cook

During the 2009 Earnings call to investors, Tim Cook reiterates Apples long term goal of being the sole proprietor of primary technologies that are the heart and soul of its products:

Tim Cook is a logistics guy, and it should come with no surprise that he is leading the charge in Apple being completely independent in owning and controlling the primary technologies in its products. In the grand scheme of things, financially, it is not a huge burden for Apple to enter licensing agreements with independent companies, like the recent six-year license and multi-year chipset supply agreement with Qualcomm.

The considerable benefit with Apple seeking ownership of intellectual property, however, is Apple, going into the future, will not have to rely on independent companies that may not be able to deliver on its promises. By safeguarding against such failures, Apple can control development pace to ensure its future product roadmap is in line with technological advancements, in this case, advancements in cellular technologies - 5G, which is essential.

No technology company should be too far behind such advancements; it is detrimental to business, and any company with the business acumen and vast workforce such as Apples should endeavour to be the sole proprietor of components that are core to its products.

Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies, Johny Srouji:

Apple is excited to have so many excellent engineers join our growing cellular technologies group, and know they’ll thrive in Apple’s creative and dynamic environment. They, together with our significant acquisition of innovative IP, will help expedite our development on future products and allow Apple to further differentiate moving forward.

Apple, by now, has the expertise to build its modems in-house based on the experience of working with Qualcomm. With the newly acquired Intel staff now set to work on Apple standards, and the continuity of receiving modem supplies from Qualcomm for the foreseeable future, it gives Apple time to independently custom make its modems ready for its future devices by the time 5G reaches maturity.

As a mobile tech consumer who mainly uses Apple products, I am glad to see Apple continue its stride towards controlling its destiny, which benefits both Apple and consumers.

Apples Privacy Stance

“I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will. Our commitment to protecting your privacy comes from a deep respect for our customers. We know that your trust doesn’t come easy. That’s why we have and always will work as hard as we can to earn and keep it.”

Tim Cook

The above quote is an excerpt from a letter by Tim Cook published on Apple’s website back in 2014, detailing Apples commitment to user privacy.

It is with this stance that the initial attraction I have for Apple products based solely on my love of their hardware elevated by the respect shown in protecting my privacy with the use of the accompanying software.

The Apple ecosystem can be a beautiful convenience, and many users love the seamless integration of software and hardware across the platform. What has become even greater importance in many peoples use of Apple products and services is the undying protection of our privacy as a Fundamental Human Right that Apple vehemently defends.

Ask a lot of Apple services and product users why they have invested their time and energy in Apple beyond the beautiful hardware and stellar OS’s and top responses will more than likely be one of two reasons or both - ecosystem and privacy. The latter has garnered quite a lot of attention in recent years with privacy advocates relentlessly calling out companies that potentially misuse customer data with a fraction or non-existent transparency.

Often masqueraded under the thin veil of ‘anonymous data collection to improve your experience’, every tech company is susceptible to using data in ways users might not be fully aware of, we are, after all, in a digital age of ubiquitous data harvesting. Whether users tolerate the unethical amassing of data to be sold off without consent is a decision a user should regularly review.