Archive of iPhone Rumors

Yesterday chipmaker Qualcomm announced that it posted €1.34 billion in security bonds required for the chipmaker to enforce a preliminary injunction on select iPhone models in Germany, after a court in the country found Apple to be infringing Qualcomm patents related to power savings technology in smartphones.


The injunction blocks the import and sale of infringing iPhone models in Germany while Apple appeals the verdict, and accordingly, Apple has now pulled the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus from sale in the country.

Those four iPhone models are no longer available to order via Apple.com in Germany and they have also been pulled from sale at all 15 of Apple's retail stores in the country until further notice. The latest iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR models are not impacted by the verdict and remain available.

Qualcomm's equivalent of $1.5 billion in security bonds will be put towards the cost of the lost sales if Apple successfully appeals the verdict.

Apple was also ordered to recall infringing iPhone models from third-party resellers in Germany, according to Qualcomm, but as noted by TechCrunch and Reuters, some German resellers continue to sell iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models.

In a statement, Apple said this verdict is another "desperate attempt" by Qualcomm to distract from the "real issues" between the two companies:
Qualcomm's campaign is a desperate attempt to distract from the real issues between our companies. Their tactics, in the courts and in their everyday business, are harming innovation and harming consumers. Qualcomm insists on charging exorbitant fees based on work they didn't do and they are being investigated by governments all around the world for their behavior. We are of course disappointed by this verdict and we plan to appeal. All iPhone models remain available to customers through carriers and resellers in 4,300 locations across Germany. During the appeal process, iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models will not be available at Apple's 15 retail stores in Germany. iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR will remain available in all our stores.
Apple and Qualcomm are engaged in a major legal battle spanning multiple countries. The spat began in early 2017 when Apple sued Qualcomm for an alleged $1 billion in unpaid royalty rebates, just days after an FTC complaint alleging Qualcomm engaged in anticompetitive patent licensing practices.

In defense, Qualcomm has said its "innovations are at the heart of every iPhone" and "enable the most important uses and features of those devices," adding that it "simply is untrue that Qualcomm is seeking to collect royalties for Apple innovations that have nothing to do with Qualcomm's technology."

Qualcomm has also accused Apple of making misleading statements, sharing its trade secrets with Intel, and numerous other infractions.

Qualcomm sought a similar injunction on iPhones in the United States, unsuccessfully, and in China, where a court did issue an import ban on select iPhone models over patent infringement last month. Apple made some tweaks in iOS 12.1.2 to address the patents and continues to sell all iPhone models in China.
In a memo to employees obtained by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple CEO Tim Cook provided additional commentary about the company's reduced revenue forecast for the first quarter of its 2019 fiscal year.


Cook said Apple is "disappointed" that its quarterly revenue will fall up to $9 billion short of its initial guidance, entirely due to the iPhone, but touted revenue records from other product categories including the Mac, services like the App Store and iCloud, and wearables like the Apple Watch and AirPods.

iPhone activations also set new Christmas Day records in the United States and Canada, according to Cook.

In a letter to shareholders on Wednesday, Apple disclosed that its revenue will be lower than its original guidance for the first quarter of its 2019 fiscal year, coming in at approximately $84 billion. Apple originally guided for revenue of $89 billion to $93 billion in the quarter on November 1.

The letter said lower than anticipated iPhone revenue, primarily in Greater China, accounts for the entire shortfall.

In his memo, Cook said "this moment gives us an opportunity to learn and to take action," starting with an all-hands meeting with employees today at 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time at Apple's Town Hall auditorium on its Infinite Loop campus.

The full memo:
Team,

Happy New Year — I hope everyone was able to rest and enjoy time with loved ones over the holidays.

This afternoon we issued a letter to Apple investors explaining that we are revising our financial guidance for the holiday quarter. I encourage you to read it. As you will see, our revenue shortfall in Q1 is from iPhone, primarily in Greater China.

While we are disappointed to be falling short of our quarterly revenue goal, our fiscal first quarter was also a record setter for revenue from Services, Wearables and the Mac. iPad revenue grew double-digits over the year-ago quarter, and iPhone activations in the U.S. and Canada set new Christmas Day records. We expect to set all-time revenue records in key markets including the US, Canada and Mexico, Western European countries including Germany and Italy, and countries across the Asia-Pacific region like Korea and Vietnam. Our worldwide installed base of active devices also hit a new all-time high, reflecting the loyalty of our customers and their appreciation for the work you do.

We are tremendously proud of the innovations we're delivering to our customers with iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. These are, without a doubt, the best iPhones we've ever made. We did not set a new record for iPhone sales in Q1, however, due to a number of factors — some macroeconomic, and some specific to Apple and the smartphone industry.

External forces may push us around a bit, but we are not going to use them as an excuse. Nor will we just wait around until they get better. This moment gives us an opportunity to learn and to take action, to focus on our strengths and on Apple's mission — delivering the best products on earth for our customers and providing them with an unmatched level of service. We manage Apple for the long term, and in challenging times we have always come out stronger.

With that in mind, please join me for an all-hands meeting on Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. PT. Be sure to check AppleWeb for more details. Due to construction at Apple Park, we'll be gathering at Town Hall on the Infinite Loop campus. Join us there in person, or via live stream through AppleWeb. I'll have more details about the quarter, and I'm looking forward to your thoughts and questions.

Hope to see you there.

Tim
AAPL shares are currently down around eight percent to $145 in pre-market trading following the disappointing news.
Apple is continuing to face scrutiny over the power management features it introduced in older iPhones last year, with the U.S Department of Justice and the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission launching an investigation into the company, reports Bloomberg.

The DoJ and the SEC are aiming to determine whether Apple violated security laws "concerning its disclosures" when it launched an iOS 10.2.1 update that throttled some older iPhones with degraded batteries in order to prevent unexpected device shutdowns.


According to Bloomberg's sources, the government recently requested information from Apple and the investigation is in the early stages.

Apple in iOS 10.2.1 introduced a new power management feature to address complaints of unexpected shutdowns in iPhone 6 and 6s iPhones. The shutdowns were caused by batteries below optimal health drawing too much power.

At the time, Apple did not make it clear that to solve the issue, it was throttling the iPhone's processor at times of peak usage to limit power draw, and that lack of information has led to the company's current predicament.

The full details behind the power management feature implemented in iOS 10.2.1 were not explained until benchmark testing revealed older iPhones with degraded batteries were being deliberately slowed down, and without an adequate explanation from Apple, customers were outraged and dozens of lawsuits were filed.

Apple has since apologized and made reparations in the form of a new no-questions-asked discounted battery replacement program available to customers who have an iPhone 6 and newer, and the company is planning to introduce much more detailed battery information in an upcoming iOS 11.3 update. iOS 11.3 will let customers know when their iPhones are being throttled due to battery degradation, and it will also allow them to opt out of the power management features.

Despite these efforts, Apple is still facing the aforementioned lawsuits and in addition to the U.S. investigation, the company will need to deal with inquiries in other countries including China, Italy, South Korea, France, Brazil, and more.

Update: Apple has confirmed to Bloomberg that it is responding to questions from some government agencies.
Apple today announced that iOS 11.3 will provide users with an iPhone 6 or newer with more information about the health of their device's battery, including a recommendation if it needs to be serviced. In the same menu, it will also be possible to see if Apple's power management feature is active and turn it off.


Apple is delivering on its promise to provide iPhone users with more visibility about battery health as part of an apology over its lack of transparency about power management changes it made starting in iOS 10.2.1. Apple is also delivering on its promise of allowing users to disable the feature, although it doesn't recommend it.

The power management changes fueled an argument that Apple intentionally slows down older iPhones at wholesale to encourage customers to upgrade to newer models. Apple denied it would ever do anything to "intentionally shorten the life" of any of its products, but some critics don't believe that to be true.

Apple also reduced the price of replacement batteries to $29 for iPhone 6 and newer through December 31, 2018, as another part of its apology, although supplies are running low for some iPhone models.

MacRumors put together a list of frequently asked questions about Apple's power management changes for those looking for more information.

The first beta of iOS 11.3 will be seeded to developers later today, followed by a public beta soon. The software update will be released to the public this spring for iPhone 5s and newer, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, the fifth-generation iPad, iPad mini 2 and newer, and the sixth-generation iPod touch.

Apple says the battery and power management features will be coming in a later iOS 11.3 beta release, so they won't be available today. The option to turn off the power management feature will be available on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone SE.
If you have a damaged iPhone 6 Plus that qualifies for a whole-device replacement, Apple may replace it with an iPhone 6s Plus through March, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers today.


Apple specifically states that "orders for whole unit service inventory of some iPhone 6 Plus models may be substituted to an iPhone 6s Plus until the end of March 2018." MacRumors confirmed the memo's authenticity with multiple sources, who requested to remain anonymous due to their positions.

Apple doesn't specify which iPhone 6 Plus models are eligible, nor does it provide a reason for the substitution, but it likely relates to Apple's shortage of iPhone 6 Plus replacement batteries until late March to early April.

A previous internal document obtained by MacRumors states that Apple no longer manufactures the iPhone 6 Plus, so it likely has to reboot its production lines to replenish its supply of both the device itself and batteries, which would certainly take time. Apple did not respond to our request for comment.

It's possible that some customers who have visited a Genius Bar recently opted for a whole-device replacement rather than waiting until March or April for a new battery, which may have depleted the little supply of iPhone 6 Plus replacement units that Apple had, but this is only speculation on our part.

Apple and most Apple Authorized Service Providers can replace an iPhone's display, battery, speakers, rear camera, or Taptic Engine individually, while a defective Lightning connector, faulty logic board, and most other repairs are generally eligible for a whole-device replacement, our source said.

Your mileage may vary depending on the exact damage to your iPhone and the results of Apple's diagnostic tests. Apple Support can be reached on the web or by scheduling a Genius Bar appointment. Apple Authorized Service Providers can be searched for on Apple's Find Locations page under Service & Support.
Office Depot and OfficeMax today informed us they have lowered their iPhone battery replacement fee to $27.99 at select stores across the United States through February 4, 2018, undercutting Apple's $29 price by one dollar.


The lower price, down from $49.99 regularly, is applicable to the iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone SE, subject to battery availability and while supplies last.

Office Depot and OfficeMax promise same-day battery replacements. If the order is not completed by the end of regular store hours, the customer receives a repair discount of $25, according to fine print on its website.

One very important caveat is that Office Depot and OfficeMax are not Apple Authorized Service Providers, meaning their replacement batteries are not supplied by Apple, and having an aftermarket battery installed can void your iPhone's warranty, although iFixit argues that Apple cannot do so under U.S. law.

A spokesperson for Office Depot and OfficeMax informed us that their iPhone batteries are built to Apple's specifications for each iPhone model and added that all of their batteries carry a one-year warranty against defects.

We still highly recommend only having an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider replace your iPhone's battery, but Apple is currently running low on some batteries, and Office Depot and OfficeMax may be an option worth considering for customers with an iPhone that is already past its warranty.

Office Depot and OfficeMax offer iPhone battery replacements at hundreds of locations across the United States. Those interested can enter their ZIP code on Office Depot's website to find a participating location near them.

iFixit has also discounted its iPhone battery replacement kits to $29 or less as a do-it-yourself option, but again, we recommend letting a professional at Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider complete the process.

For customers who want to keep things official, read our guide on how to get your iPhone's battery replaced with an appointment at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. Apple also offers a mail-in option.
iPhone 6 Plus users hoping to take advantage of Apple's discounted $29 battery replacements may have to wait a few months.


Apple says iPhone 6 Plus replacement batteries are in short supply and won't be available until late March to early April in the United States and other regions, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers this week and later obtained by MacRumors.

Apple's internal document quotes a shorter wait of "approximately two weeks" for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s Plus battery replacements, and adds that batteries for all other models like the iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone SE are expected to be available "without extended delays" in most countries.

Apple noted that lead times may vary in some regions, including the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Russia, and Turkey.

MacRumors has already received a few emails from readers with an iPhone 6 Plus who were quoted a late March to early April timeframe for the replacement service to be completed at Apple Stores in New York and North Carolina, in line with the information outlined in Apple's document.

A reliable source at an Apple Authorized Service Provider indicated that they recently received a package with dozens of replacement batteries, the majority of which were for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models.

Apple lowered its battery replacement fee to $29 last month for any customer with an iPhone 6 or newer as part of an apology over its lack of transparency about slowing down some older iPhone models to prevent unexpected shutdowns. Apple noted that initial supplies of some batteries may be limited.

As with any supply-demand situation, availability of replacement batteries will likely vary by location. Keep in mind that many Apple Authorized Service Providers like MacMedics and ComputerCare are able to replace iPhone batteries, so this may be an option worth considering beyond an Apple Store.

A source adds that Apple Authorized Service Providers are permitted to set their own prices for out-of-warranty parts and repairs, so some third-party repair shops are charging more than $29 for battery replacements, even if Apple might not prefer it, to ensure they are being fairly compensated.

Also keep in mind that Apple's discounted rate is available until December 31, 2018, so unless you absolutely need a battery replacement now, you may wish to consider waiting until later in the year to initiate the process.

If you are replacing your iPhone's battery for the first time, the $29 price is available regardless of whether the device passes or fails Apple's battery diagnostic test. To be eligible for any additional replacements at the discounted rate, however, the device must explicitly fail the test or the standard $79 applies.

To get started, read our guide on how to get your iPhone's battery replaced with an appointment at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. There's also a mail-in option, but we've heard that Apple's repair center may only be replacing batteries that fail a diagnostic test, and sending back devices that pass.
French consumer fraud group DGCCRF, part of the country's economy ministry, last week launched a preliminary investigation into Apple over "alleged deception" and "planned obsolescence" of Apple products, reports Reuters.

The investigation follows Apple's admission that it slows down some older iPhones with degraded batteries during times of peak power usage in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns.


Apple introduced the power management feature in iOS 10.2.1 following complaints of unexpected shutdowns in the iPhone 6s, but Apple did not make it clear to consumers that it was due to battery deterioration nor did Apple inform customers that it could cause occasional performance slowdowns.

Apple has since apologized for its lack of communication and introduced a new policy that allows iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE owners to receive a one-time no-questions-asked $29 battery replacement for their devices, as a device with a depleted battery that is affected by throttling will return to normal performance with a battery replacement.

According to Apple, the power management features that prevent unexpected shutdowns by occasionally throttling older iPhones with batteries in bad condition are designed to preserve the life of the iPhone for as long as possible and were not implemented to force upgrades. From Apple:
First and foremost, we have never -- and would never -- do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.
Despite Apple's efforts to correct the issue, in addition to the French inquiry, the company is now facing more than two dozen lawsuits accusing it of intentionally slowing down older iPhones and failing to disclose the changes that it introduced in iOS 10.2.1. One of those lawsuits also stems from France, filed by French consumer group "HOP," which translates to "Stop Planned Obsolescence."

The French watchdog's investigation could take months to complete, and based on the findings, the issue could be escalated to a judge for a more in-depth inquiry or dropped all together.

If Apple is found guilty of planned obsolescence in France, the punishment could be a fine of up to five percent of its annual sales.
iPhone users hoping to double dip on Apple's discounted $29 battery replacements this year may find themselves out of luck.


While we previously confirmed that Apple is offering $29 battery replacements to any customer with an iPhone 6 or newer regardless of diagnostic result, Apple has indicated that this policy can only be taken advantage of once, according to new fine print on its iPhone service pricing page.

In other words, after you've had your iPhone's battery replaced once this year, the device must explicitly fail the diagnostic test to qualify for any additional battery replacements for $29. If the test passes, a customer can still choose to have the battery replaced, but Apple's standard $79 fee applies.

Apple says iPhone batteries are designed to retain up to 80 percent of their original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles, and this is likely the primary benchmark for its diagnostic test, but results may vary.

While it's unlikely customers would need to have their iPhone battery replaced more than once in a year, some people may have planned on taking advantage of the $29 deal now, and then again near the end of 2018, as the combined $58 cost for two replacements would still be cheaper than the standard $79.

Apple reduced the price of iPhone battery replacements as part of its apology over a lack of communication about the power management changes it made starting in iOS 10.2.1. The discount is effective immediately and available worldwide through December 31, 2018. Prices vary outside of the United States.

To initiate the process, read our guide on how to get your iPhone's battery replaced with an appointment at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider, or by mailing the device to an Apple Repair Center.
Apple now faces over two dozen lawsuits around the world that either accuse the company of intentionally slowing down older iPhones, or at least of failing to disclose power management changes it made starting in iOS 10.2.1.


The lawsuits include 24 class action complaints in the United States, with the latest two filed on Thursday by Marc Honigman and Lauri Sullivan-Stefanou in New York and Ohio respectively, according to electronic court records reviewed by MacRumors. Apple is also being sued in Israel and France.

An excerpt from Sullivan-Stefanou's complaint:
Unbeknownst to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone 6s owners, Apple inserted code into iOS 10.2.1 that deliberately slowed down the processing performance of these phones by linking each phone's processing performance with its battery health. Absent the code inserted by Apple, the reduced battery capacity of these phones would not have negatively affected processing performance.
Many of the lawsuits demand Apple compensate all iPhone users who have experienced slowdowns, offer free battery replacements, refund customers who purchased brand new iPhones to regain maximum performance, and add info to iOS explaining how replacing an iPhone's battery can prevent slowdowns.

The legal action comes after Apple's revelation it may at times dynamically manage the maximum performance of some older iPhone models with chemically aged batteries in order to prevent the devices from unexpectedly shutting down, an issue that can be made worse by cold temperatures or a low charge.

Apple never mentioned the power management changes, which it calls a feature, when it released iOS 10.2.1 nearly a year ago. A month after the software update became available, Apple still only vaguely mentioned that it made "improvements" that resulted in a significant reduction in unexpected shutdowns.

Apple only revealed exactly what the so-called "improvements" were after Primate Labs founder John Poole visualized that some iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 devices suddenly had lower benchmark scores starting with iOS 10.2.1 and iOS 11.2 respectively despite operating at maximum performance on previous versions.

Poole's analysis was in response to a Reddit user who claimed his iPhone 6s was significantly faster after replacing the device's battery. The discussion generated over 1,000 comments, and reinforced an opinion held by some that Apple purposefully slows down older iPhones so customers buy newer ones.

Honigman's complaint, edited very slightly for clarity, echoes this opinion:
Apple's intentional degradation of the iPhone's performance through the release of iOS impacted the usability of the device. Effectively, Apple has forced the obsolescence of iPhones by secretly diminishing their performance. Thus, Apple's admission has confirmed what iPhone users have long suspected – i.e., that Apple deliberately degrades the performance of older iPhone models through iOS updates to encourage users to buy new iPhones.
Apple has since issued an apology for its lack of communication, and it has reduced the price of battery replacements to $29 for iPhone 6 and newer through the end of 2018. Apple has also promised to release an iOS update early this year that will give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone's battery.

Keep in mind that Apple is not permanently or persistently slowing down older iPhones. Even if your iPhone is affected, the performance limitations only happen intermittently, and only when the device is completing demanding tasks.

We recently answered many frequently asked questions about Apple's power management process, which can't be disabled, but can be avoided by replacing your iPhone's battery if necessary. Read our guide on how to get an iPhone's battery replaced at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

Update: Yisroel Brody on Friday filed at least the 24th class action complaint against Apple in a New York district court.
Apple has reduced the price of battery replacements for the iPhone 6 and newer to $29, down from $79, as part of its apology over a lack of communication about the power management changes it made starting in iOS 10.2.1. The discount is effective immediately and available until the end of 2018.


iPhone users in most countries can initiate the battery replacement process online by scheduling an appointment with the Genius Bar at an Apple Store. The reduced price is also available at some third-party retailers and repair shops, as long as they are designated as an official Apple Authorized Service Provider.

After this article was published, MacRumors received a tip claiming Apple has reduced the price it charges Apple Authorized Service Providers for iPhone batteries to $5, down from $55, but some repair shops are still charging more than $29 for replacements to maintain reasonable profit margins for time and labor.

To get started, head to the Contact Apple Support page, click on See Your Products, and sign in to your Apple ID account.
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By now, you've probably seen headlines about Apple slowing down your iPhone, but it's not nearly as simple or corrupt as it sounds. In this Q&A, we've taken the time to explain exactly what's going on.


Why is Apple slowing down some older iPhone models?


iPhones, like many other consumer electronics, are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which have a limited lifespan. As the battery in your iPhone ages, its ability to hold a charge slowly diminishes.

A chemically aging battery can also have increased impedance, reducing its ability to provide a sudden burst of power when demanded by other components in an iPhone, such as the CPU and GPU. A battery's impedance will also temporarily increase when it has a low charge and/or in cold temperatures.

A battery with a high enough impedance may be unable to provide power quickly enough to the iPhone when needed, and Apple safeguards components against the drop in voltage by shutting down the device.

Apple recognized that iPhones unexpectedly shutting down on users is not a good experience, and starting with iOS 10.2.1, it quietly implemented a power management feature to prevent these shutdowns. The update was released in January 2017, and a month later, Apple said it saw a major reduction in shutdowns.

How does Apple's power management feature work?


Apple says it looks at a combination of an iPhone's internal temperature, battery percentage, and battery impedance, and only if a certain criteria is met, iOS will dynamically manage the maximum performance of some system components, such as the CPU and GPU, in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns.

Does my iPhone have this feature if needed?


Apple said the power management feature applies to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE models running iOS 10.2.1 or any newer software version. The feature was also expanded to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models running iOS 11.2 or any newer software version.

Any older iPhone models are currently not affected, including the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 3G, and the original iPhone, even though some of those models have also experienced shutdowns. The latest iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X are also currently not affected.
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