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An Apple a Day: Waiting On the Big Announcements

August 20, 2016, 1:00 PM UTC
Photograph by Johannes Eiseler—AFP/Getty Images

An Apple a Day is a weekly roundup of the biggest Apple news this week. To see last week’s roundup, click here.

While nothing major came out of Cupertino this week, speculation continues to run rampant over what hardware Apple (AAPL) will eventually announce, and when. All signs are pointing to an early September unveiling for at least the iPhone, but rumors also suggest Apple might showcase a new MacBook Pro with an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touch bar above the keyboard, as well as a new Apple Watch.

Of course, Apple isn’t saying what it has up its sleeve, and likely won’t until the company officially announces an event. So until then, we’ll keep going with our Apple-tracking and keep you abreast of what’s happening inside the company’s universe before it makes its big announcements.

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Here’s what happened in Apple’s world this week:

  1. In a wide-ranging interview with the Washington Post, Apple CEO Tim Cook was frank about his tenure as the company’s chief executive. Acknowledging he has made several mistakes during his time as Apple’s CEO, Cook celebrated his belief that Apple, unlike most other big companies, is willing to admit when it’s wrong and move on. “If you’re honest, people will give you the benefit of the doubt,” he said.
  2. Have you ever wondered how rich you’d be if you bought Apple stock with all the money you spent on your child? A new calculator has surfaced online showing just how much a person would be worth if they gave up on their dreams of having a child decades ago and simply bought Apple stock instead. Not surprisingly given how much Apple’s stock has risen in the last several years, you’d probably be a multi-millionaire had you invested all that cash in Apple instead of your child’s education, clothes, food, and everything else. But would it really make you happier?
  3. In an odd partnership, Apple and Google (GOOG), which compete with each other across operating systems, apps, and more, have signed a deal with mobile network AT&T (T), among others, to launch a new anti-robocalling “strike force.” The companies, along with several others, including Comcast (CMCSA), will work together to put a stop to unwanted, automated marketing calls. They plan to overhaul caller ID standards and several call-blocking technologies to limit robocallers from getting through to you. The FCC says it’ll monitor the strike force “closely” over the next two months to ensure it will “deliver” on its promises.
  4. Target (TGT) took a beating in the second quarter, as sales fell and the company said that it needs to rethink how it appeals to customers buying electronics. In an earnings call, Target CEO Brian Cornell said that his company is facing “meaningful pressure” on electronic sales, which declined by double digits in the second quarter. He added that a third of that “pressure” was due to Apple products, which saw sales tumble 20% in Target stores during the second quarter. Looking ahead, Cornell says he plans to work with Apple to improve the iPhone maker’s appeal across its stores.
  5. Microsoft hasn’t taken kindly to Apple’s claims that its iPad Pro is really a computer. In an ad published this week, Microsoft took a jab at the iPad Pro, saying that its own tablet-computer combo, the Surface Pro 4, can actually do more. In fact, Microsoft’s (MSFT) ad ends with a simple message: “Surface does more. Just like you.” It was a response to ads Apple started airing during the Olympics last week, illustrating how the iPad Pro, with help from its cover-keyboard combo, can do all the things a computer can.
  6. If you were hoping to get the next iPhone, believed to be known as the iPhone 7, on Sept. 16, you might need to wait a bit longer. Apple-tracking site 9to5Mac this week obtained a leaked AT&T retail schedule that appears to show a “merchandising reset” for Sept. 9 and Sept. 23. Such resets are often used to handle preorders and when a device actually goes on sale, and follow similar “resets” from other Apple devices in the past. Apple hasn’t said when it’ll launch iPhone 7, but earlier reports suggested the device would launch on Sept. 16.
  7. Although Apple’s China sales have been slumping for the last two fiscal quarters, the company isn’t giving up on the market. Quite the contrary, Apple announced this week that it would build a new research-and-development center in China, the first of its kind from Apple in the Asia-Pacific region. The center will be built by the end of the year and Apple hopes it’ll play a role in expanding its presence in critical markets like China and India.
  8. Apple’s ultra-secretive car project suffered a setback, after a report surfaced this week saying one of its key technologists has moved on to Chinese-backed electric car startup Faraday Future. According to a Faraday Future spokesperson, Bart Nabbe, who previously worked on the not-so-secret Apple Car project, joined Faraday Future in July as director of its strategic partnerships for automated driving. Apple hasn’t publicly acknowledged it’s working on a car, but some, including would-be competitor Tesla CEO Elon Musk, says it’s the “worst-kept secret” in Silicon Valley.

The Apple Watch Might Not Be a Flop After All.

One more thing… Apple could be planning to add a new screen size to its iPad lineup, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note this week, Kuo, who is often right about Apple rumors, says that Apple will introduce a 10.5-inch iPad Pro model next year to complement the 9.7- and 12.9-inch models it already sells. The new 10.5-inch version, along with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, would come with new processors. The smallest of the bunch wouldn’t feature a better processor.