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Inside Apple (Dec 6th, 2019)

$AAPL (10:14 AM EDT December 6): $269.12 (+1.33%) // More info

I’d like to start off today with a very important correction: In the intro about yesterday’s #ThrowbackThursday, I referred to the iBook as a “glowing orange frisbee of a computer.” This was wrong. As Mark S. wrote in to point out, “Frisbee of a computer? I thought they were toilet seats… :)” Upon reflection, an iBook looks 0 percent like a frisbee and 100 percent like a toilet seat. I sincerely regret the error.

— Jon

1. Supply chain whisperer Ming-Chi Kuo is really going for it this time, predicting five new iPhones in 2020 and one in 2021 with no ports — like, at all. It seems like 2020 will work like this: There will be one 4.7-inch LCD phone with one camera, the low-cost iPhone 8 successor/“SE 2” we’ve read about. There will be two dual-lens iPhones 12, one at 5.4 inches (smaller than the XS/11 Pro) and one still at 6.1. Then there will still be two triple-lens iPhones 12 Pro, one at the same 6.1 size as the larger 12 (bigger than the XS/11 Pro it replaces), and one at a new, extra-Max 6.7 inches, which we heard about earlier this week. I think the bottom line is, 2020 iPhone sales are going to be massive. — MACRUMORS

2. Apple has explained this week’s mystery about the iPhone 11 Pro still collecting some amount of location data with the system location services toggled off. It has to do with the 11 Pro’s ultra-wideband radios, which is required to be turned off by international regulations in “certain locations,” according to an Apple spokesperson. The phone legally has to check if it’s in one of those locations and turn off UWB if so, which it does without any identifying data or even sending location data off device to a server. It’s something Apple should have thought harder about presenting to users, but it isn’t actually a privacy problem. — TECHCRUNCH

3. #FollowFriday: @ablaze

Every once in a while (and it has been a while), I want to take a moment to encourage you to follow me on Twitter. That’s where I post my personal Apple-specific thoughts that pop up throughout the day (believe it or not, that happens a lot), and where you can post public replies, which I will retweet, and which often spark interesting side conversations. I also talk about stuff other than Apple there, but you know, as Apple moves into more and more parts of our lives, there’s usually an Apple angle on pretty much anything.

Don’t get me wrong, I love when y’all write back to the email, which you do with delightfully high frequency, but it’s also fun to talk about Apple in public, amongst the broader Apple community. It’s especially fun because you Inside Apple readers are a shrewd, sober-minded, thoughtful bunch — more so, dare I say, than the audiences for other Apple publications? — and it’s a good look when we engage publicly on the day’s Apple issues. So come follow — and mention, and reply to, and quote-tweet, etc. etc. — @ablaze, and I’ll do the same for you. I’ll see you out there!

4. State-owned oil company Saudi Aramco is about to go public in what will be the biggest IPO in history, instantly toppling Apple’s position as most valuable company in the world. Apple’s market cap is currently around $1.15 trillion, but at Saudi Aramco’s price of $8.53 per share, it will go public at a $1.7 trillion market cap on December 11. — FAST COMPANY

5. Apple has bought the world’s first carbon-free batch of commercial aluminum from Elysis, a joint venture between two of the world’s largest aluminum suppliers. Apple, along with the governments of Canada and Quebec, is a funder of the venture, alongside the two companies, Alcoa Corp and Rio Tinto. Traditional aluminum smelting is a carbon-intensive process, and Elysis says this new technique has lower operating costs than the traditional method, so aluminum could quickly become a carbon-free commodity. — REUTERS

6. Remember when BMW decided to distinguish itself by being the only car manufacturer on earth to charge owners a monthly fee to use CarPlay, which there is no reason (other than abject greed) to do? Starting in the U.K., it is now going back on that decision and making CarPlay free. It hasn’t said it will make the change worldwide, but that’s hopefully just for PR reasons, so it can deaden the repeat of the bad press from last time by rolling out the fix in stages. — AUTOCAR

7. Apple’s stock price is still getting jerked around by political posturing about the U.S./China trade war, so analysts at Loup Ventures have decided to do a sober analysis of how much this month’s round of tariffs could actually affect Apple. In short, there are five indications that they won’t really. We’ll find out for sure in the next earnings call in January. — LOUP VENTURES

8. Apple Music rolled out its own year-end retrospective playlists to rival Spotify, but by not building it for sharing on social media, it lost the opportunity for free viral marketing, and Spotify didn’t. Enough people shared their Spotify Wrapped round-ups that it became a Twitter Moment. Apple got no such bump because it didn’t engineer its feature for that. — THE VERGE

9. Apple bumped up the level of ceremony this year for its annual celebrations of the best music and apps, but it didn’t seem to put much thought into the actual selections. The custom trophy for Apple Music Awards is gorgeous, but the choices were predictable, as were the app and game award recipients. Apple didn’t even bother to create an Apple Watch category for the app awards even though this is the first year of a dedicated Apple Watch App Store. — BENJAMIN MAYO

10. Yep, the Apple Watch has saved another life of someone with atrial fibrillation. Roy Robinson of Lake Worth, Florida, says he “had no idea what A-fib was” when his watch told him he was in it, and he went to the hospital in time. Apple CEO Tim Cook sent him a personal email to wish him well. — WPBF PALM BEACH

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.

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