Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) kicks off on Monday in San Jose, Calif., but that doesn’t mean the company’s past week was uneventful.
At WWDC, Apple executives are expected to unveil improvements to the iOS, macOS, and watchOS operating systems. They may also announce some tweaks to magazine-subscription app Apple News+ along with providing more details about the upcoming Apple TV+ streaming video service.
Additionally, Apple executives will likely talk about their sometimes-strained relationship with developers by highlighting the value developers get from access to one billion iOS users. And like in past years, there’s always the possibility of a “one more thing” surprise.
Still, lets look back at Apple’s past week, which was marked by an update to iPod Touch, a new public explanation about why its App Store policies are reasonable, and reports about a planned update to iPhone 11.
Read on for more:
- Apple this week unveiled a new iPod Touch. It has the same design as the iPhone 7, circa 2016, but it also comes with a high-powered A10 Fusion chip that should work well with most apps and up to 256GB of storage. With a starting price of $199, Apple is clearly trying to keep the price low compared to its other products. But a fundamental question remains: Does many consumers really want a new iPod Touch?
- Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that app developers and consumers could sue Apple for “alleged monopolistic” practices in its App Store. This week, Apple responded by publishing a web page about the App Store and why it believes it’s not a monopoly. On the page, Apple lists its competitors in mobile and discusses how developers can generate revenue without needing the App Store. Suffice it to say, it’s Apple’s opening argument in pending legal battles over its business practices.
- We’ll hear plenty about Apple’s future operating systems on Monday, but this week, Apple news site 9to5Mac published screenshots of what it says are some of the new features coming to iOS 13. The screenshots show a new “Dark Mode” that Apple is reportedly planning that would reduce eyestrain for consumers while using iOS 13. The site also published screenshots of the new Reminders app that Apple is said to be planning.
- Another Apple news site, Macotakara, reported this week that Apple may add a new music-sharing feature to iPhone 11 later this year. The feature would let iPhone 11 users beam audio from their phones to two wireless devices connected via Bluetooth. That could be especially useful for people who want to listen to the same song at the same time.
- Apple’s China woes continued this week. Citi analysts told investors this week that if anti-Apple sentiment increases in China and consumers there boycott the company’s products, Apple’s sales in China could be halved. Analysts, whose comments were reported on by Business Insider, slashed their 12-month price target for Apple shares from $220 to $205.
- If Apple faces opposition in China, the company could have a supporter in Huawei. In an interview with Bloomberg this week, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei predicted that the Chinese government would not target Apple. And if it did, he told Bloomberg, he would be “the first to protest.” He called Apple his “teacher” and said he wouldn’t “go against my teacher.”
- Earlier this year, Apple unveiled a new credit card, Apple Card, for later this year in partnership with Goldman Sachs. But CNBC reported this week that Apple had pitched the idea to Citigroup and was close to partnering with it on Apple Card before Citigroup backed out. According to the report, Citigroup feared it couldn’t make enough profit.
One more thing…In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Justin Long, the star of Apple’s iconic “I’m a Mac” ads, said that he filmed nearly 300 commercials in that series. However, just 66 of them aired. Why keep so many of them on the shelf? Long said the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs vetoed the other ads for fear that they were too funny and could steal the spotlight from Apple products.