Once again, the iPhone dominated Apple’s week.
In recent days, two reports said contradictory things about when Apple’s next iPhone, to be called the iPhone 8, iPhone X, or iPhone Edition, may be released. One of those reports said that the iPhone is on schedule to debut in September. Meanwhile, the other report said the phone is likely delayed.
However, the company did announce a few concrete things this week including plans to invest $200 million in Corning’s glass division so that Corning can ramp up its research and development into glass screens for smartphones and tablets. Apple also finally decided to make iTunes available by the end of the year through Microsoft’s Windows Store—the first time the music streaming service will be available on Windows machines.
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- Apple’s rumored iPhone 8, which may feature an all-glass design and bigger screen, will be unveiled in September, on schedule, the Economic Daily News reported this week, citing sources said to have knowledge of the company’s plans. The Chinese media outlet said that the iPhone 8 will be shipped soon after.
- Just a couple of days after that report, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo poured cold water on it by saying that there’s now a greater likelihood than not of Apple facing a “worst case scenario” delay. After checking with sources in Apple’s supply chain, he said the company may ultimately face a two-month iPhone production delay and, therefore, be forced to postpone shipping the iPhone 8 until the late fall.
- In an interview this week, Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller said that any smart home hub, or devices that let users control their smart homes, play music, and create calendar events by giving voice commands, should feature a screen. His comments followed reports that Apple is working on a smart home hub that may be unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif. on June 5. It also came just days before Amazon premiered the new Echo Show smart home hub, the first of the company’s hubs to come with a screen.
- Just a couple of days after Schiller made his comment, a Bloomberg report said that Apple employees were testing an Amazon (AMZN) Echo rival that would be powered by the company’s virtual personal assistant Siri. It’s unclear, however, whether the device has a screen.
- UBS analyst Steven Milunovich told investors in a research note this week that Apple may not make a big acquisition worth many billions of dollars. Instead, he thinks that most “mega-mergers” that have been floated involving Apple and others like Netflix don’t make much sense. While Apple has enough cash to acquire those companies, Milunovich told investors, Apple’s culture is “unusual” and difficult for employees from other companies to fit into.
- Microsoft (MSFT) confirmed this week that Apple would bring its iTunes app to the Windows Store, allowing Windows users to download the music software directly from Microsoft’s marketplace. The announcement is good news for Microsoft, which has tried to pitch to customers that its Windows Store is the best source of software. Previously, Windows users could only download iTunes from Apple’s website. Apple’s iTunes will be available to Windows Store users by the end of the year.
- Finnish startup Beddit this week confirmed that Apple acquired it. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Apple is rumored to be planning to integrate Beddit’s app services, including sleep tracking and analysis, into its own products later this year.
- Apple said on Friday that it’s investing $200 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund into Corning’s glass processing division. The news comes nearly a week after Apple announced that its new Fund would focus on improving advanced manufacturing worldwide. Corning produces a variety of glass products, including hardened glass that reinforces iPhone and iPad screens.
One more thing…Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a better iPhone photographer? Apple has published videos that are intended to help you improve your photo-snapping skills with the iPhone 7.