Apple may move assembly out of China | Inside Apple - June, 19th 2019

Inside Apple (Jun 19th, 2019)

Apple weighing manufacturing outside China / Best Buy gets certified Apple repairs / Tech firms hiring neuroscientists


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1. Apple has asked its suppliers to consider what it would take to shift 15 to 30 percent of its production capacity out of China to Southeast Asia. The U.S./China trade war is dragging on long enough that Apple wants a clear picture of the costs of moving the manufacturing of devices for sale in the U.S. Apple’s presence in China is huge; 5 million jobs depend on it in some way, including over 1.8 million software developers. A real economic breakup between the U.S. and China would have devastating effects, and Apple has decided it’s not worth the risk without a contingency plan. — NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW


2. Apple has announced a formal partnership with Best Buy for authorized device repairs. Nearly a thousand Best Buy stores are now staffed with 7,600 Apple-certified technicians who can perform same-day repairs. Apple’s 270 U.S. stores are spread thin and always busy, so this capacity increase is a big win. There are now 1,800 third-party authorized Apple service locations in the U.S. — TECHCRUNCH


3. Apple Stores are getting new product display fixtures that provide more descriptive details and encourage hands-on interaction. The iPhone displays now show specs like colors, storage capacity, and pricing right on the tables, rather than in an on-screen app, so shoppers can just pick up the device and try it with the critical info visible offscreen. Apple Watch tables are also getting updates to remove the glass barrier. — 9TO5MAC


4. A big reason Apple’s smartphone shipments are dropping is that users are holding onto iPhones longer than ever. Since the September 2018 iPhone event, though, Apple has been framing this as a good thing both in terms of environmental impact and customer loyalty. With subscription services forming an increasing share of its business, Apple is happy if its customers are happy enough to hang on to their phones for a while. That means they probably like the iPhone enough to get another one eventually. — CULT OF MAC


5. Sensor Tower estimates indicate that iOS apps bring in 64 percent more revenue than Google Play counterparts. The analysis of the top 100 publishers in both app stores showed that publishers averaged $83.8 million in App Store sales and $51 million in Google Play sales in Q1 2019. The gap is also growing; over the five-year analysis period, the compound annual growth rate for the App Store was 56.1 percent, versus 50.9% for Android, though Android caught up a bit from 2018 to 2019. — APPLEINSIDER


6. Major tech firms including Apple are hiring neuroscientists away from universities to help advance artificial intelligence. Some jobs are reported to bring seven-figure salaries. Mimicking the way brains learn seems like a reasonable approach to figuring out the kind of private, on-device machine learning Apple is using — and cloud companies like Google are starting to emulate — to do things like suggest shortcuts and identify things in photos. — BLOOMBERG


7. Nintendo’s next iOS game, Dr. Mario World, launches on July 10. — MACRUMORS

8. It looks like WatchOS 6 will, at last, get over-the-air OS updates, freeing Apple Watch users from a slow and painful phone-tethered update process. — MACRUMORS

9. Now WatchOS 6 will also let users delete built-in apps from their devices. — TECHCRUNCH

10. Amazon’s new Kindle Oasis has the ability to adjust color temperature for night reading, similar to Apple’s Night Shift feature. — THE VERGE


Jon Mitchell has been a tech journalist since 2010. He covered Apple, Google, and the societal effects of social media for the storied blog ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). He co-hosts Internet Friends, a podcast about life online with occasional lengthy digressions into Apple news. He’s the author of In Real Life: Searching for Connection in High-Tech Times from Parallax Press. He has recently, reticently returned to Twitter at @ablaze.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).


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