February 2019 in review: Security problems, iPhone sales woes, and Apple controversies


It was in Feb 2019 that we schooled Apple’s skeleton for a year enclosed during slightest 11 inclination —and it felt like it was this month that a association was inextricable in that many controversies.

February 2019 featured a Group FaceTime bug (left), Samsung's folding phone (center), and Angela Ahrendts withdrawal Apple (right)
February 2019 featured a Group FaceTime bug (left), Samsung’s folding phone (center), and Angela Ahrendts withdrawal Apple (right)

Long ago, behind when a association was called Apple Computer, and we knew it usually for Macs and a peculiar side plan like Newton, controversies were technical issues rather than political. In Feb 2019, we had a brief lapse to those days as Apple landed itself in difficulty over podcasts.

Do let us all remember that it’s Apple who invented a podcast —the word itself is about a usually vestige of a iPod materialisation —so we could disagree that it should be authorised to tinker with a invention.

However, this month it told podcasters to arrange out how they listed their shows on iTunes or face rejection. Much of a recommendation was wholly satisfactory and sensible, nonetheless one partial seemed to contend we couldn’t have numbers in partial titles.

As AppleInsider forked out, this apparently tiny requirement would meant podcasters carrying to rename hundreds of episodes —and make them reduction transparent to listeners, too.

Fortunately, Apple recanted. In retrospect, it was a initial of many cases this year where Apple would do one thing and afterwards be swayed to recur since of open pressure.

It’s usually that some of a cases were a lot some-more critical than what series partial your podcast is on.

Russia and Saudi Arabia

Apple is a worldwide company, and it is theme to a laws of each republic it operates in. In Feb 2019, that meant a association altered a clever remoteness position and bent to Russian law.

From this indicate on, Apple’s user information for adults within Russia would be stored on inner servers. Just as it had with China in 2018, a news endangered polite and tellurian rights activists, nonetheless it continues.

Apple CEO Tim Cook assembly with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on a right.
Apple CEO Tim Cook assembly with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on a right.

It’s harder to tell, from within a US, either a Saudi Arabian app Absher continues in a same form it did this month. Absher is a state app evidently endangered with issues such as profitable parking tickets, nonetheless it was also probable to use it to guard and extent a transport of women.

After Amnesty International and a Human Rights Watch voiced regard over a app on both a Apple App Store and Google Play, Tim Cook pronounced he’d demeanour into it.

“I haven’t listened about it,” Cook pronounced in an NPR interview. “But apparently we’ll take a demeanour during it if that’s a case.”

The app is now still accessible on both a App Store and Google Play.

Porn and gambling apps

You can crop a App Store meaningful that it’s curated, that we can trust anything we find. But again this month, some-more cases were suggested of apps that were being solitary outward this walled garden.

Specifically, they were being solitary by a complement by that Apple can let companies pattern and discharge apps for their inner use —Apple Enterprise Certificates. Facebook and Google were regulating it to discharge apps that would never have been authorised in a App Store.

These apps don’t have to be authorized by a App Store group since they’re never going to be publicly available. Until they were.

As good as new gambling or racy apps, hacked versions of legitimate App Store titles were being distributed this approach too.

“Developers that abuse a craving certificates are in defilement of a Apple Developer Enterprise Program Agreement and will have their certificates terminated, and if appropriate, they will be private from a Developer Program completely,” announced Apple. “We are invariably evaluating a cases of injustice and are prepared to take evident action.”


Speaking of monitoring a situation, Feb also had debate over a Group FaceTime bug. This had been unclosed a month before, nonetheless now a UK’s GCHQ was reportedly proposing that a spies use this bug for surveillance.

Not everybody was unfortunate with a Group FaceTime bug
Not everybody was unfortunate with a Group FaceTime bug

The supposed “Ghost Proposal” wanted a underline like this bug to be implemented deliberately and maintained. Such is Apple’s position on remoteness that we already know what a chances of it similar to that are. One genuine reason to extol Apple is how it honestly does work to strengthen us.

Unfortunately, one genuine reason to protest about Apple was also unclosed in this Group FaceTime issue. While Apple bound a bug, it wasn’t Apple who had found it. Instead, a teen named Grant Thompson found it and rightly reported it regulating Apple’s partially parsimonious bug prerogative program.

While, as ever, we can’t know a stairs that went on within Apple, what seemed to occur is that initially, they pronounced interjection really many —and eventually were pressured into profitable better.

As it stands, Apple reportedly concluded to compensate Thompson some undisclosed volume of income and during slightest minister to his education.

It isn’t that we pattern Apple to do a right thing usually since it’s Apple. It’s not that we consider this sold bug was gigantic, nonetheless it was frequency small.

It’s that Apple needs people both to find bugs and to news them. When they make it harder to report, and when they are seen to be cheaper about it than Google, it disincentivizes people.

Mind you, this was February, and Apple didn’t have as many income as it should, since of those annoying descending sales in China.

China recovery

Only weeks before, Apple had suggested that iPhone sales were down significantly in China, and we all figured that wasn’t going to change.

It changed.

Reports in early Feb pronounced that Apple had implemented cost cuts in a region, and it was working. One Chinese retailer, Suning, reported an 83 percent arise in iPhone sales volume during a cost cut period.

In a box of investigate firms revelation we something we might’ve guessed anyway, this news was followed by IDC observant that Apple’s problems in China were that it labelled iPhones too highly.

It’s easy to ridicule that analysis, and it’s also easy to assume that cheaper iPhones meant some-more sales. That cost cut by itself reportedly valid usually proxy sales improvement.

Apple's iPhones
Apple’s iPhones

Starting in Feb and stability after into a year, we schooled of how Apple was doing many some-more than slicing a sire or 3 off a cost of a phone.

Judiciously-chosen cost cuts were assimilated by alterations to how Apple offering trade-in options. It wasn’t a initial time Apple had offering trade-in deals, nonetheless it was fascinating to see how it was now partial of a multi-pronged debate to urge Apple’s fortunes in China.

Some of that debate concerned Tim Cook personification politics, as he increasingly does or maybe has to. During this time, trade talks between China and a US had a intensity to bluster Apple’s sales, nonetheless Cook was optimistic.

Besides, if we wanted to learn about a association in financial trouble, we wouldn’t demeanour to Apple. You’d demeanour to a supplier, Japan Display, instead.

This is a elementary story of a association that didn’t focus quick adequate to new technology. It used to be a hugely successful LED shade manufacturer, nonetheless afterwards a universe —or during slightest Apple —moved over to OLED.

Japan Display has now spent years in financial straits nonetheless in February, it was to get a $723M bailout. Not to burst brazen too much, nonetheless if anyone during Japan Display loose on a news of this bailout, they were premature.

Waiting on news

So were people who suspicion AirPower would be out this month. So were we when we did an in-depth form of Apple’s conduct of retail, Angela Ahrendts. She’s got a fascinating history, and during this indicate was entrance her fifth anniversary during a company, nonetheless afterwards she announced she would be withdrawal in April.

Tim Cook (left) with Angela Ahrendts
Tim Cook (left) with Angela Ahrendts

Ahrendts was transposed by longtime Apple tie Deirdre O’Brien. We did an in-depth form of her, too.

Ahrendts wasn’t a usually chairman withdrawal Apple, and O’Brien wasn’t a solitary one adding to their roles within a company, though. According to a Wall Street Journal, thespian shake ups in a executive group meant many projects were simply put on hold.

It wasn’t as if informed names were going, though. Ahrendts was substantially a best-known one outward Apple, and it’s not as if anyone like, say, Jony Ive, was ever going to leave.

However, it also wasn’t that many projects were put on reason for long. In February, we schooled that Apple’s skeleton for a rest of a year enclosed no reduction than 11 hardware releases.

That meant usually about each singular line of hardware Apple creates was now approaching to be updated. You could assume new iPhones would be out before a finish of a year, and Apple had already pronounced a new Mac Pro was coming. But there was more, including new AirPods, iPads, Apple Watch and so on.

Not pictured

The 11 product releases or updates were privately hardware, nonetheless in February, we were also training usually some-more about software, services —and something in between.

Apple Card was reportedly about to enter testing.

At a same time, Apple Maps was saying some-more people regulating it, probably, and some-more people trudging around adding fact to it.

Apple Maps on foot
Apple Maps on foot

There was word of an Apple live TV streaming service, and utterly a lot about Apple’s still many tip project.

The Apple car, Project Titan, has nonetheless to be announced by a company, nonetheless it’s so large that news keeps entrance out. Sometimes it’s opposing news, though, such as now when Apple did endorse laying off 190 people from it.

That doesn’t sound like a plan that’s going well, nonetheless maybe they’ve finished. It also didn’t demeanour good when it was suggested that Apple’s unconstrained automobile disengages about once per mile.

Yet clearly that is by design, it’s not a disaster of a system. Instead, Apple pronounced it is a magnitude of how protected it’s being built to be.

And if Tim Cook hasn’t stood on theatre nonetheless and pronounced that Project Titan is a best automobile Apple has ever made, this month it came close. Apple expelled a reserve news for a car.

It was really short. But it showed Apple being peaceful to exhibit that it was, indeed, operative on this.

Just substantially not for 2019.

Most anticipated

It was in a 2019 projected roadmap that we initial listened rumors of a 16-inch MacBook Pro being in a works. It wasn’t transparent afterwards either it would be 16 or 16.5 inches, and initially, we didn’t know either it would be many bigger than a then-current 15-inch MacBook Pro.

The new appurtenance was pronounced to be directed during designers, and if they were looking brazen to this, energy users were lapping adult word that a stirring Mac Pro would be easy to upgrade. Still some-more were taken by a explain that Apple would be returning to creation displays, this time a 6K one.

However, if we were all looking brazen to some new hardware, Intel wasn’t.

We’ve prolonged suspected that Apple will pierce divided from Intel processors and on to ARM ones, nonetheless in February, it was claimed that Intel itself thinks it will occur soon.

The destiny is folding up

What won’t occur any time shortly —but it will really occur —is Apple releasing a foldable chronicle of a iPhone.

This month Samsung kick Apple to it with a Galaxy Fold, a $1,980 7.3-inch folding smartphone.

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