Inside Apple - July 9th, 2019

Inside Apple (Jul 9th, 2019)

Apple cleans up laptop line / 5G iPhones expected to sell well in 2020 / Huge security flaw in Zoom

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$AAPL (2:25 PM EDT July 9): $201.18 (+0.58%) // More info

1. Apple reshuffled the laptop lineup today, eliminating the tiny 12-inch MacBook and old-model Air, clarifying the rest of the line, and lowering prices. The low-end 13-inch MacBook Pro got all the advanced screen and keyboard technologies (including the TouchBar) its beefier siblings have, as well as quad-core processor options, and retained the same $1,299 price point. The retina MacBook Air got a True Tone display and the recently improved keyboard materials, and the entry price has dropped to $1,099. Both laptops are an additional $100 off for college students in Apple’s annual Back to School promotion. This Air update calls into question yesterday’s rumor about an Air with a new keyboard this year, so maybe that’s a 2020 thing. — SIX COLORS

2. Apple has lowered the price of high-end storage options across the Mac line. The 1TB SSD upgrades for iMac, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini have dropped by $200; and 2TB upgrades for Mac mini and MacBook Pro have dropped by $400. The crazy 4TB SSD upgrade for top-shelf MacBook Pros was knocked down by $1,200. — MACRUMORS

3. J.P. Morgan analysts believe 2020 iPhones with 5G modems will spur significant sales growth. They expect four iPhone models, including a new low-cost model in the iPhone 8 size class, and upgrades to all X-class models with 5G modems and an OLED display for the middle size. They gave the stock a sizable 19 percent year-end price target increase, from $233 to $239. Will 5G really motivate consumers this much? All phone makers seem to think so. — CNBC

4. Apple’s services revenue is expected to surge in Q3, Evercore ISI analysts say, thanks to App Store revenue and renewed growth in China. Services accounted for 20 percent of Apple’s revenue in Q2, a 16 percent increase from the past year. Strong services results this quarter would be strong momentum for the year, since Apple plans to launch a credit card and subscription gaming and streaming video services in Q4. — REUTERS

5. Apple is starting mass production of a new 10.2-inch iPad and 16-inch MacBook Pro, according to Chinese supply chain reports. We’ve been hearing a lot about this 16-inch MacBook Pro, and today’s reorganization of the laptop line does straighten out the story enough to add another model at the top (we’ll see about the keyboard). The new 10.2-inch iPad size has been rumored previously and would replace the low-end 10.5-inch iPad with a new chassis. — 9TO5MAC

6. Shares in Apple’s Asian component suppliers fell across the board today. Overall Asian market signals were also down. An analyst at Rosenblatt Securities published a widely reported downgrade of Apple’s stock yesterday, and Apple’s own shares fell over 2 percent, in advance of the selloff for suppliers. Now Tuesday’s analyst news (see item 3) is that the 2020 iPhones will be big, so the bottom line is that the market is confused about Apple right now. — CNBC

7. If you’ve ever had the Zoom video chat app installed on your Mac, you’re exposed to a gaping security hole that could allow any website to turn on your webcam. Jonathan Leitschuh tried really hard to get Zoom to take care of this vulnerability before publicizing it, and its response was upsettingly blasé. — MEDIUM

8. Apple COO and second-in-command Jeff Williams told a great story about Steve Jobs at a joint press conference with glass manufacturer Corning in 2017. It’s about Jobs’ complaints about scratches on the plastic screen in the first batch of prototype iPhones. This is a good opportunity to get to know Williams’ style, since he’s expected to be CEO someday. — THE LOOP

9. An original Apple-1 manual has gone up for auction starting at $10,000. You probably aren’t going to buy it, but it’s still cool to see what it looked like. — CULT OF MAC

10. Apple’s classic Texas Hold’em game is back on the App Store, featuring a bunch of new real-life Apple employees to play against. Apple says it’s to celebrate 10 years of the App Store, which was actually last year, but who’s counting? This poker game launched in 2006 for the iPod and then came to the App Store when it launched in 2008. — 9TO5MAC

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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