Apple hasn’t even confirmed it’s planning a new iPhone, but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from churning out an endless stream of reports on what the company’s next big handset might offer.
Over the last week, iPhone talk once again dominated Apple news. Apple has reportedly decided that at least one of this year’s iPhones will come with a curved screen. Meanwhile, a report suggested that Apple won’t remove a proprietary port to take advantage of industry-standard connectors in the next iPhone.
Beyond that, Apple’s week on the corporate side was a bit of give-and-take. Apple won a key ruling over patents, but watched as its ranking in a reputation study slipped.
Finally, Apple held its annual shareholders meeting this week. It revealed little, but CEO Tim Cook had a few interesting things to say that could hint at what his plans are for the future.
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Read on for our roundup of all the biggest Apple news this week:
- Apple has decided to offer a curved iPhone this year, according to a report. The company is said to have signed off on organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens for an iPhone that could be named iPhone 8 or iPhone X. It would be the first time the feature would make its way to an iPhone. Aside from the curved screen, Apple is expected to deliver an all-glass design and could remove the handset’s physical home button in favor of a virtual option baked into its software.
- Despite earlier reports that Apple might remove the Lightning port in upcoming iPhones in favor of industry-standard USB-C, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said this week that the Lightning port is alive and well in future iPhones. Kuo added, however, that Apple plans to deliver fast-charging capabilities to its iPhones this year.
- Apple’s annual shareholders meeting revealed little this week, but Tim Cook shared his thoughts on the future. He hinted that Apple has plans to release new iPads and Macs this year and said that his company might be working on products and services that aren’t “visible yet.” He added that Apple is committed to the U.S. and wants to make the world a better place.
- Several Apple executives are said to be meeting with Hollywood for unidentified reasons. Some reports have suggested Apple is trying to poach top Hollywood talent to build out an entertainment content business, and others say the company could be eyeing an acquisition. Apple has previously said it wants to create its own content and not rely upon a big acquisition to deliver entertainment to users.
- Apple this week told the Washington Post that it has stopped sourcing cobalt from mines in Congo where workers extract the mineral by hand. The move came after a Sky News report said Congo mines have harsh working conditions and child labor. Apple uses a Chinese supplier that sources cobalt from Congo mines for use in the company’s lithium-ion batteries that power the iPhone, iPad, and other devices. Apple says it will start sourcing cobalt from Congo only after it’s sure the mines eliminate child labor and stick to strict fair labor regulations.
- Apple has broadened its war with Qualcomm by launching a lawsuit against the chipmaker in the U.K. Apple accuses Qualcomm of violating patents and design concepts it owns, though further details on the lawsuit were not made public. Apple and Qualcomm are engaged in a bitter dispute over claims Qualcomm owes Apple $1 billion in rebates tied to royalties Apple paid for use of Qualcomm’s processors. Qualcomm (QCOM), which is facing anticompetitive investigations from the U.S. and European Union, has said Apple has “intentionally mischaracterized” their agreements.
- Apple joined a coalition of 53 companies this week backing transgender rights in the U.S. Apple was part of a brief filed with the Supreme Court, saying “gender identity discrimination is a form of sex discrimination.”
- A federal appeals court this week threw out a jury verdict against Apple that would have required the company to pay $533 million in damages to a company named Smartflash. In the previous case, Apple’s iTunes was said to have violated patents Smartflash owns related to data storage. A three-judge panel said that Smartflash’s patents are too “abstract.”
- Apple landed in 20th place in Reputation Institute’s 2017 Global RepTrak 100 study on corporate reputations. Apple in 2016 was in 10th place and in 2011 was a close second in the study, which examines a company’s reputation among customers and other stakeholders. Apple was topped by several competitors, including Google, Sony, and Microsoft.
For more about Tim Cook, watch:
One more thing…Tim Cook this week attended a small gathering in Silicon Valley where he introduced An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, the as-yet released sequel to former vice president and Apple board member Al Gore’s documentary film An Inconvenient Truth. The film, which you can watch here, was published to YouTube.