[Update: Bloomberg cooberates.]
Apple appears to be taking original content production very seriously. Building on significant talent hires, the Wall Street Journal writes Apple has readied a $1 billion budget to ‘procure and produce’ content over the next year.
The report says the sum is about half what HBO spent on production last year. Apple could launch up to ten new shows, with Apple SVP Eddy Cue said to have ambitions to offer shows that rival Game of Thrones.
The Unicode Consortium this week has outlined 67 new emoji that are currently under consideration for inclusion in the Unicode 11 standard set for release next year. The new emoji are currently in draft status, meaning they could change or be cut before the public release next year…
In this week’s top stories: Firmware from Apple’s HomePod speaker offers a slew of iPhone 8 details, AAPL reports its earnings for a strong Q3 2017, and reports offer insight on the next-generation Apple Watch. Read on for all of this week’s news… expand full story
[Update: John Gruber adds that a new form factor is coming this year too:
“It’s hard to overstate just how big a deal this could be. No mention in Businessweek’s report, though, of the all-new form factor that I’ve heard is coming for this year’s new watches.”
This would mark the first external change since the Apple Watch debuted.]
[Update 2: Gruber has backtracked that claim a bit: “That tidbit came from an unconfirmed little birdie, though, so I wouldn’t bet the house on it.”]
Bloomberg reports that Apple is planning to release an updated Apple Watch model by the end of this year with built-in cellular connectivity. Bringing cellular connectivity to the Apple Watch has been rumored before but didn’t ship with the last revision which instead focused on GPS.
Beyond Portrait Mode … next-generation computational photography technique demonstrated [Video]
A former Google SVP recently praised Apple’s use of computational photography to achieve shallow depth of field shots with the dual camera on the iPhone 7 Plus. A research team has now developed a next-generation computational photography technique that allows you change the perspective of a photograph after it has been taken – including achieving effects not possible with conventional cameras …
Apple releases star-packed Carpool Karaoke trailer ahead of debut next week
We’re just over a week away from the debut of the new Carpool Karaoke series on Apple Music, and Apple is ramping up promotion with a new celebrity-packed trailer.
Anything in this range would represent a year-on-year improvement over Q3 2016’s number of $42.36B, but most analysts are expecting the company to get close to the high end …
I wasn’t alone in expressing disappointment when Apple discontinued the Apple Thunderbolt Display without announcing a replacement.
The company did later announce that it does now have some display plans in the works – but possibly only a very high-end one designed specifically for use with a much more powerful (and modular) Mac Pro.
We’re hoping that it will be offering something more mainstream as well. I wasn’t impressed by the LG 5K UltraFine Apple was pushing as its official recommendation, and haven’t yet seen anything else that grabs me. Indeed, the wishlist I posted at the time still doesn’t seem to exist …
Even though we are still well in the midst of iPhone 8 rumor season, a new report from The Korea Economic Daily flashes forward a year to the so-called ‘iPhone 9.’ The report claims that Apple has reached an agreement with LG Chemical for it to be the sole provider of the iPhone 9’s battery.
Apple used to split its A-series chip production between Samsung and TSMC, until switching exclusively to the Taiwanese company for the iPhone 7. TSMC kept its exclusive contract for the upcoming iPhone 8, but Samsung has reportedly succeeded in winning orders for the 2018 iPhone thanks to two factors …
The sound quality of the HomePod has been a key focus for Apple in its marketing for the smart speaker device, openly comparing it to the inferior audio of the Amazon Echo at WWDC. However, the HomePod isn’t launching until the end of the year and Amazon isn’t standing still.
Engadget sources report that the next Echo will include multiple tweeters inside, which should result in a dramatic improvement in sound. It also seems like the device will look more like a HomePod than the current Echo, substituting hard plastic cylinder for ‘cloth-like’ rounded shell.
Apple has announced a new Apple Pay initiative to raise funds for the National Parks Foundation, running for the first half of July.
From July 1 through 15, Apple is donating $1 to the National Park Foundation for every purchase made with Apple Pay at any Apple Store, on apple.com or through the Apple Store app in the US
Tim Cook explained why the company is doing it …
Foxconn says that it is still planning to set up U.S. manufacturing plants in ‘several’ states, in a deal worth $10B. Some $7B of that investment is earmarked for display production, with the balance allocated to a mix of other products.
Foxconn chairman Terry Gou initially said that the company was looking at midwest states, before later naming seven states as candidates …
Heads Up: Gyms will soon be closing temporarily for remodeling. Any Pokémon you’ve assigned to Gyms will be returned to you at that time.
While that might not seem much of a clue, it is when viewed in context …
Former iPhone software lead Scott Forstall is set to publicly discuss the origin of the iPhone next week (via MacRumors) at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. Forstall has generally traveled under the radar since Apple CEO Tim Cook fired him in late 2012 following the rocky Apple Maps rollout.
Apple suppliers are reportedly mass producing components for the upcoming next-generation 2017 iPhones, via Digitimes. Corroborating the consensus rumors, Apple will introduce two ‘iPhone 7s’ phones, iterative updates to the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 7 models with a ‘reinforced glass’ chassis and aluminium frame.
Apple will also debut a major redesign ‘iPhone 8’ with 5.8-inch AMOLED display, metal frame (believed to be stainless steel) and the same reinforced glass chassis. Samsung will apparently supply 80 million panels for the iPhone 8 in 2017 alone.
Niantic is celebrating Pokémon Go’s launch anniversary next month with the first official real-world event taking place in Chicago. Pokémon Go will also kick off another in-game event next week leading up to the first day of summer.