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Inside Apple (Jan 20th, 2020)

$AAPL (9:33 AM EST January 20): $318.73 (+1.11%) // More info

How many of you out there bought your phone on the secondary market (see #8)? I think all the press angst in the past few years about slowing smartphone sales has obscured some of the ways in which the increased lifespan of devices on the secondary market is actually good for the industry. Not only does it expand the number of people who can get in, but it also takes the pressure off the most costly part of the process: digging stuff out of the ground and making physical devices out of it. If the devices stick around longer and Apple continues its full-court press into services as its path forward, that ends up looking like a much more sustainable business.

— Jon

1. Representatives from mid-tier tech companies, including Sonos and Tile, urged Congress to take action against big-tech practices they see as anticompetitive, such as Apple. Sonos had a pretty strong case against Google and Amazon, but Tile’s testimony against Apple was weak, hinging mainly on rumors of a competing product that has not been and may never be announced. Some lawmakers did seem to agree that Apple’s frequent practice of wiping out a third-party offering by introducing its own version can be unfair. — WASHINGTON POST

2. Today is a federal holiday in the U.S. commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Apple has posted its annual tributes. There’s a full-page tribute on the Apple website, bearing the quotation, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” CEO Tim Cook also tweeted a quote, encouraging us all to “be so audacious, and work to make MLK’s dream a reality for us all.” — MACRUMORS

3. By the numbers: Apple’s early 2019 transparency report. Like other major tech companies, Apple publishes annual reports detailing requests by governments for access to user data and the removal of apps and content from its stores. It’s required by the Justice Department to delay these reports by six months, so Apple just released its report covering January 1 to June 30, 2019. Apple says law enforcement agencies want to know the identities of customers associated with specific devices or services, and in some cases, want access to their personal data when a crime is suspected. — 9TO5MAC

Stats from January 1 through June 30, 2019:

Global government requests for devices: 31,778
Global requests for iCloud and iTunes account data: 6,480
U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests: 0–499 (it only reports a range for this type of data for national security reasons)

4. Jennifer Aniston won a Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for her portrayal of Alex Levy in “The Morning Show” on Apple TV+. Steve Carell and Billy Crudup were also nominated for SAG Awards for their roles in “The Morning Show,” but the male category went to Peter Dinklage for “Game of Thrones.” Aniston and co-star Reese Witherspoon were nominated for Golden Globes in this category but didn’t win. Crudup won a Critics Choice Award earlier this month, bagging the first awards win for Apple TV+. — MACRUMORS

5. Apple TV+ has shared its show lineup for the first half of 2020. The Steven Spielberg-produced “Amazing Stories” reboot will debut on March 6 with five episodes; it’s not clear whether that’s the whole first season or if more episodes will follow. “Central Park,” an animated musical comedy from the creator of “Bob’s Burgers,” is coming in early summer. A small-town crime drama called “Defending Jacob” debuts on April 24. Those are the headliners, but there are smaller announcements as well. — MACSTORIES

6. Apple’s breach-of-contract lawsuit against former chip engineer Gerard Williams III is going well for the company so far. Williams was a platform architect on the in-house A-series chips in iPhones for a decade before leaving Apple to found his own chip company, Nuvia. Williams says a provision in his contract conflicts with California law allowing workers to develop new businesses while employed, but a judge has ruled that the law doesn’t permit employees “to plan and prepare to create a competitive enterprise prior to termination if the employee does so on their employer’s time and with the employer’s resources.” — BLOOMBERG

7. Attorney General William Barr’s push to weaken encryption is a crusade decades in the making, and it’s troubling even to some within the FBI. Sources say some FBI officials were “stunned” that Barr is choosing the Pensacola shooter case to push this issue with Apple because “they believed Apple had already provided ample assistance to the probe,” and that burning bridges with the tech sector unnecessarily could set back law enforcement efforts across the board. — WALL STREET JOURNAL (paywalled) (Read in Apple News+

8. The secondary market for used and refurbished devices, especially smartphones, continues to grow at a clip. This is a factor often missed in reporting about the rising price of brand new devices; part of that price reflects value that can be recaptured through selling the device when upgrading, and the even lower-cost option of buying premium devices second-hand is becoming easier and more popular. With Apple’s business model shifting more towards less expensive wearables and subscription services, it’s in the company’s interests to make expensive phones that last a long time, because they’ll have multiple owners over their lifespan, each of whom will be able to attach their own wearables and services. — TECH.PINIONS

9. Linda Garrett, wife of Bernard Garrett Sr., subject of the troubled Apple TV+ film The Banker, has provided a detailed timeline of events and criticism of the film. Last week, Apple concluded its investigation of sexual assault allegations by her daughters against their half-brother, Bernard Jr., and decided to release the film. Garrett’s account supports her daughters’ allegations and characterizes the film’s portrayal of the family as incomplete and unfair. — DEADLINE

10. The first press account of Mojo Vision’s demo of an augmented-reality contact lens sounds pretty amazing. This reporter says it was possible to read text and see interface elements even with “my terrible myopic vision.” The demo even involved seeing in the dark! If this kind of demo is already possible with a contact lens, Apple’s rumored timeline for AR glasses in the next five years sounds more believable. — CNET

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.

Edited by Sheena Vasani, staff writer at Inside.

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