Inside Apple - July 29th, 2019

Inside Apple (Jul 29th, 2019)

Humans are listening to Siri activations / By the numbers: Q3 earnings expectations / AR maps and directions

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$AAPL (12:23 AM EDT July 29): $210.41 (+1.29%) // More info

From the responses I got, it sounds like y’all are mostly happy with Apple Music. Arthur J. says “my spouse and I are both so delighted with HomePod that we now have two,” and Ryan J. says “I absolutely love Apple Music!” I do, too, but I had a rough time getting started with it. Does anybody have any Apple Music horror stories, like iCloud eating your iTunes library? Write back, so we can commiserate. (Mine works great now, by the way!)


1. A whistleblower reports that Apple has human contractors manually review “less than 1 percent” of Siri activations to improve accuracy. This was already disclosed in Apple’s privacy documents, but the anonymous source named some salacious things — like fights and sexual encounters — that can sometimes be heard in the recordings, so the story has gone viral. The recordings are anonymized, but of course they could still contain personal information, and it’s still pretty easy to identify the owners of anonymized data anyway. Apple really should provide an opt-out for these reviews. If you’re concerned about this practice, turning off “hey Siri” will virtually eliminate unintentional activations. — THE GUARDIAN

2. President Trump has denied Apple’s request to waive import tariffs on the new made-in-China Mac Pro. “Make them in USA, no Tariffs!” [sic], the president tweeted. Apple’s appeal for tariff relief argued the company had no alternative but to source parts from China. “There are no other sources for this proprietary, Apple-designed component,” it said. — CNBC

3. By the numbers: Q3 earnings expectations. In summary, they’re consistent and devoid of surprises. The Thompson Reuters average of 32 analyst estimates is just below Apple’s guidance, and analysts expect Apple’s guidance for Q4 to drop year-on-year, presumably due to lower iPhone sales, which are no longer specifically disclosed. — 9TO5MAC

Apple’s Q3 guidance: $52.5B to $54.5B
Thompson Reuters average analyst estimate: $53.39 B
Expected earnings per share: $2.18 (down >10 percent)
Thompson Reuters expected Q4 guidance: $60.98B (down from $62.90B last year)

4. Supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo now believes all three 2020 iPhones will have 5G radios. His previous assessment in June was that only the XS and XS Max equivalents would get 5G, while the XR equivalent would stay 4G. He thinks the additional capabilities gained from the Intel purchase, plus increased pressure and competition in the market for 5G, have raised the stakes. — MACRUMORS

5. France has gone through with its 3 percent tax on American tech company revenues in the country, and President Trump has threatened to retaliate. “It might be on wine, it might be on something else,” Trump said. “I’ve always liked American wines better than French wines, even though I don’t drink wine.” — BLOOMBERG

6. ByteDance, makers of the unavoidable video sharing app TikTok, is making a smartphone. It says the project is a “continuation” of earlier plans created by Smartisan, a Chinese smartphone company from which ByteDance recently acquired patents and employees. — REUTERS

7. Strategically, Apple basically had to buy Intel’s mobile modem business. As these analysts explain, it was the only way Apple could execute on its strategy to control all aspects of its products. — FAST COMPANY

8. Today is the anniversary of the 1993 release of the Macintosh Centris 660av, one of the first Macs with specialized multimedia features. This machine was ahead of its time, because eventually all Macs would be sold as multimedia production studios anyone could learn to use. — CULT OF MAC

9. Apple’s latest Augmented Reality patent filings preview maps and directions for heads-up displays, showing your route overlaid on the world around you. These will probably be the defining features of using Apple devices — be they phones, glasses, or car windshields — in the 2020s. — PATENTLY APPLE

10. Spotify Untold, a new book about the music company’s rise, contains some creepy Steve Jobs anecdotes. Apparently he would prank call foudner Daniel Ek and just breathe heavily into the phone. — VARIETY

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.

Editor: Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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