Apple has some big plans for the future—and headphones may play a big role in it.
Over the last several days, we’ve been hearing rumors about Apple’s future plans. The company is reportedly hard at work on a new line of high-end, over-the-ear headphones that could improve the music-listening experience. There’s also a chance that Apple could unveil a new version of its diminutive MacBook Air with a cheaper price tag.
Meanwhile, this week, Apple published its Supplier Responsibility Report, a look at working conditions at its supplier facilities, with some elements of good and bad in it. And as it has each week for the past few months, Apple has once again been faced with reports that its iPhone X isn’t selling well.
Needless to say, it’s been a busy week for Apple and for those who keep a close eye on the company. Here’s a look at some of the biggest Apple headlines from the past several days:
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- Apple is working on a new MacBook Air that may be released sometime in the second quarter, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his note to investors, Kuo said that the MacBook Air would come with “a lower price tag” than previous models, but he didn’t say how much it may cost. The notebook computer might also come with some internal upgrades from its predecessor in processing power and other components.
- The iPhone maker is working on high-end, over-the-ear headphones, a report said this week. The headphones would wirelessly connect to iPhones and other music players and would likely cost significantly more than the $159 AirPods wireless earbuds, according to the report. Apple is reportedly hoping to release the headphones later this year, but could delay them if it can’t address some technical problems it’s dealing with. The report didn’t say exactly what those technical problems were.
- Cracking iPhones protected by passwords and biometric data like your fingerprint or face can be difficult. But a company believed to be run by a former Apple security engineer is now charging law enforcement $15,000 for a way to unlock iPhones without the owner’s consent. The $15,000 fee is available on up to 300 unlocks. The company, Grayshift, is charging $30,000 for an unlimited number of iPhone unlocks.
- In a note to investors this week, Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson released the results of a survey of 1,500 iPhone owners who revealed why they haven’t upgraded to an iPhone X. Olson reported that 44% of those respondents balked at an upgrade because their current “iPhone works fine.” Thirty-one percent of respondents said that Apple’s $999 iPhone X is too expensive.
- If you’ve had your Apple ID stolen, it’s likely being sold on the Dark Web for about $15. According to a new study from the website Top10VPN, hackers who have stolen Amazon usernames and passwords are able get about $10 for each stolen credential.
- Apple this week released its 2018 Supplier Responsibility Report, a product of hundreds of audits at Apple supplier facilities to check working conditions and address areas of concern. The company found that compliance among suppliers to its workplace requirements has risen (only 1% of them are considered “low performers”). But it also found that “core violations” doubled compared to the prior year to 44 instances. Core violations include everything from the use of underage workers to managers intimidating workers.
One more thing…Famed rock musician Axl Rose from Guns N’ Roses this week called Apple CEO Tim Cook “the Donald Trump of the music industry.” He didn’t say what he meant by it, but Rose is a Trump critic, suggesting he may not be happy with Cook and Apple.