Future Apple iPhones could be awfully interesting, if recent rumors turn out to be correct.
Over the past several days, several news reports have suggested that Apple may be considering a new iPhone design that includes the ability to fold the device. The company is also said to be working on a new chip for next year’s iPhones that would dramatically improve battery life.
But the news didn’t stop there. Apple Watch is gaining momentum, and the patent battle between Apple and chipmaker Qualcomm is escalating.
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Read on for more about everything Apple-related this past week:
- A patent application that Apple filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last week described a technology that would allow users to fold and unfold electronic devices like a piece of paper. Some market watchers wondered whether Apple is considering testing the technology on an iPhone that users could fold and take up less space in their pockets. But like other technology companies, Apple frequently files patent applications for ideas that it never brings to market, and this may be one of them.
- Apple is said to be working on a chip that would reduce the iPhone’s power consumption and boost its battery life. According to the Nikkei report, Apple’s chip could be added to next year’s iPhones.
- Apple was the third-largest wearable-device maker during the third quarter, behind competitors Fitbit and Xiaomi, according to researcher IDC. Apple shipped 2.7 million Apple Watches, just behind Fitbit and Xiaomi, which each shipped 3.6 million of their devices. Apple’s shipments rose 52% year-over-year. Meanwhile, Fitbit and Xiaomi shipments slipped 33% and 3%, respectively, compared to third quarter 2016.
- This week, Apple filed a complaint alleging that Qualcomm’s processors that are used to power a variety of Android-based devices infringe upon the iPhone maker’s patents. The complaint was a countersuit to a Qualcomm filing in July accusing Apple of infringing on Qualcomm patents related to processor technology that improves battery life. Both companies have rejected the other’s accusations.
- A security researcher this week discovered a flaw in Apple’s latest macOS High Sierra desktop operating system. The flaw allowed malicious hackers to input the username “root” into a login pane in High Sierra with a blank password. After users clicked to “unlock” an account, the operating system would accept the credentials and give hackers full control over the operating system. Apple quickly fixed the problem in a software update that’s available now as a free download to High Sierra users.
One more thing…The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a wearable device called the KardiaBand that can predict and analyze a person’s heart rate. The data is then shared with Apple Watch, allowing people to track their heart rates and get alerts about possible problems in real time.