Apple Loop: New iPhone 8 Leaks, iOS Fights Annoying Calendar Spam, Apple’s Major iPhone Problem – Forbes
Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the complications of OLED screens in the iPhone 8, details on the wireless charging and unibody chassis for the next iPhone, Apple’s battery issues with the iPhone 6 family, a larger iPad for the education markets, the patents for a circular Apple Watch, the rise of annoying calendar spam in iCloud, the throttled iPhone 7 GPU, and Apple’s mapping push.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read our weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).
OLED Issues for iPhone 8
Following on from last week’s look at the iPhone 8 screen technology, more details on the screen technology Apple hopes to use in 2017’s flagship smartphone have been published by the Wall Street Journal. The move to OLED screens has been long-discussed, but there are complications, as Forbes’ Amit Chowdhury reports:
One of Apple’s biggest suppliers for displays is also one of its biggest competitors: Samsung. Samsung Display is just one out of several technology companies that can mass produce OLEDs. So to reduce its dependence on Samsung for smartphone components, Apple has been selecting other companies to build its displays such as LG Display, Japan Display and Sharp.
But LG Display is far from Samsung Display at OLED production capabilities. And Sharp’s parent company Foxconn has been focusing less on OLEDs due to the higher manufacturing costs. Plus Japan Display is reportedly talking to Innovation Network Corp. of Japan for a financial bailout. Interestingly, Japan Display is also investing in advanced LCD panels known as “Full Active.” The Full Active LCD panels use film instead of glass so that it could offer better flexibility and image quality.
More Good News For Wireless Lovers
The screen is not the only part of the iPhone 8 package under the leaky microscope. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly looks at some of the other powerful rumors of the week, including how you are going to charge 2017’s iPhone, a new flagship size, and the unibody chassis:
1. Three (not two) premium 2017 iPhone models will be launched, including a new flagship 5.8-inch model
2. All three new models will switch to glass unibody chassis
3. Wireless charging will be introduced across the range (thanks to the conductivity in their glass chassis)
4. LCD screens replaced by thinner, brighter, more efficient OLED panels
Apple’s Battery Issues Are Growing
The China Consumer Association has had some stern words with Apple over the battery issues affecting a range of handsets in the iPhone 6 family. Apple acknowledged a small number of iPhone 6S devices with this problem at the end of November (Forbes Brad Moon has details on the replacement service being offered). The Chinese authorities believe that the issue is more widespread, and want a better explanation from Tim Cook.
After Apple published the “iPhone 6s Program for Unexpected Shutdown Issues,” many consumers continued to send replies to the China Consumers Association reporting their situation. After collecting these reports, we discovered the shutdown malfunction also exists in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, in addition to iPhone 6s devices produced between September and October 2015. The aforementioned models were among the devices suspected of malfunction problems in the China Consumer Associations’ letter sent out on November 15. Meanwhile, consumers have opinions and suggestions about the execution of Apple’s “iPhone 6s Program for Unexpected Shutdown Issues.”
Right now Apple appears to have engaged in a potentially dangerous stand-off with both angry customers and a Chinese government watchdog but – in the same mould as its infamous “Just avoid holding it in that way” response to what became Antennagate with the iPhone 4 – it appears to be one that cannot last.
In short: unless every affected user has already come forward and the China Consumers Association is prepared to make a U-turn on its claims, then the pressure will build on Apple to concede the problem is wider than a two month manufacturing spell on a single iPhone model.
A Larger iPad For Schools
Last week’s Apple Loop reported on a potential ‘educational model’ of the iPad. This week the supply chain has some more details on what could be a ten-inch iPad model. With some nifty engineering, the larger screen will be surrounded by smaller bezels, leaving the 10.9 inch iPad taking up the same footprint as the traditional 9.7 inch model. And that’s not all that’s different:
That leads to the second change, which is the removal of the home button. This has been a point of discussion for some time and its removal is expected to be part of the visual change the iPhone 8 will make when it is presumably launched in September 2017. Many consumers (especially in the BRIC countries where repair costs run high) already use the virtual home button that can be found under iOS accessibility options to protect the physical home key.
There is no word if Apple will move to this virtual button, if a new form of virtual home button will be devised, or if there will be a ‘hot’ area in the user interface to act as an on-screen button. It’s already possible to call up the task switcher by pressing at the side of the screen, so a press at the lower edge could conceivably be used as a ‘home’ function.