Apple Criticized Amid Mixed iPhone Sales Reports

January 21, 2017, 3:09 PM UTC
Apple Holds Event To Announce New Products
CUPERTINO, CA - OCTOBER 27: Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks on stage during an Apple product launch event on October 27, 2016 in Cupertino, California. Apple Inc. is expected to unveil the latest iterations of its MacBook line of laptops (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
Stephen Lam — Getty Images

Another week down and Apple has once again dealt with some blows from critics—and market researchers.

Over the last week, two reports surfaced suggesting the iPhone had a strong end to 2016, but couldn’t quite keep Android alternatives down. Meanwhile, questions abound over the iPhone 7’s popularity and whether customers are waiting until later this year to see what Apple has up its sleeve.

This is Fortune’s weekly roundup of the biggest Apple news this week. To see last week’s roundup, click here.

Apple (AAPL) also found itself the subject of criticism this week, after a former engineer said Apple CEO Tim Cook has changed the company’s culture for the worse.

But Apple also fought back this week, launching a lawsuit against Qualcomm (QCOM) and issuing a “wishlist” to India before it commits to producing products in the country. Like every other week, the past seven days in the Apple universe have been eventful.

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Read on for the biggest Apple news in the last week:

  1. Bob Burrough, a former Apple engineer, this week took aim at Tim Cook, saying that he’s converted the company “from a dynamic change-maker into a boring operations company.” He added that Apple’s corporate culture has changed for the worse in the last five years Cook has been leading the company. During Cook’s tenure, however, Apple has grown its revenue and cash coffers considerably. And Apple executives have long argued that Cook has had just as much an impact on innovation as late co-founder Steve Jobs.
  2. Apple’s iPhone accounted for 34% of all smartphone activations in the U.S. in the fourth quarter, according to data from research firm CIRP. While that was enough to lead the market, it was down from a 40% activation share in the same period in 2015. CIRP said Apple’s activation share was down due in no small part to competitive and attractive Android smartphone alternatives.
  3. In a separate announcement this week, CIRP said that Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus accounted for 72% of all iPhone sales in the fourth quarter. However, just 15% of those customers came from Android, suggesting Apple is having a difficult time convincing Android smartphone owners to invest in its handsets.
  4. In more iPhone news, a report out of Japan this week said Apple is at least considering expanding its battery replacement program to the iPhone 6. The company last year announced free battery replacements on the iPhone 6s after customers said their iPhones would turn off when the battery level would reach 30% capacity. Apple has blamed the problem on a fail-safe to protect the device. Earlier reports had suggested the iPhone 6 should also be included in Apple’s iPhone 6s battery replacement program.
  5. Apple on Friday slapped Qualcomm with a $1 billion lawsuit, alleging the chipmaker overcharged for its processors and never paid $1 billion in rebates the iPhone maker was owed. The move came after the U.S. government filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm, accusing the company of anti-competitive practices.
  6. Apple has been rumored to be working on new iPads, and this week, its plans might have come into focus. A report out of the company’s supply chain said Apple is working on three iPads, including a new 10.5-inch version to complement its existing 9.7- and 12.9-inch tablets. Apple is expected to begin mass production on the iPads later this quarter and could announce all three new tablets in the second half of this year.
  7. Apple has compiled a wishlist for India regulators to consider as the company prepares to meet with the government and assess whether it would be possible to start iPhone production in the country. Apple has long regarded India as a critical market, but regulations in the country require foreign companies to build a percentage of their products within its borders. Apple is seeking tax and policy concessions, among other requests, but doesn’t expect to get everything on its wishlist, according to reports. India has said it will evaluate the requests with an “open mind.”

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One more thing…It was an end of an era this week after AT&T announced it has turned off its 2G network. The move means Apple’s original iPhone, released in 2007, is officially useless and can no longer place calls. Now, it’s officially a technology artifact.

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