Broadcom Inks Multi-Year Supply Deals With Apple to Provide Wireless Components and Modules

Longtime Apple supplier Broadcom today announced that it has signed two multi-year deals with Apple that cover a "range of specified high-performance wireless components and modules" that Apple will use in its products.

According to Broadcom, these new agreements are in addition to a prior agreement it established with Apple in June 2019 for RF components and modules. The new agreements will last for three and a half years beginning in January 2020.


Broadcom says that the two new deals combined with its existing 2019 deal could generate aggregate total future revenue of approximately $15 billion.

As pointed out by Bloomberg, Broadcom's announcement allows potential purchasers to know that they're getting an established business relationship with Apple. Broadcom has been exploring a sale of its radio frequency chip unit since last year.


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WSJ Profiles ‘The Blevinator,’ Apple’s VP of Procurement Who Handles Supplier Negotiations

The Wall Street Journal today published a profile of Tony Blevins, Apple's vice president of procurement, providing an inside look at Apple's corporate culture and what Blevins does for the company.

As Apple's vice president of procurement, Blevins' job is to get suppliers to cut their prices, and he will apparently stop at little to score a favorable deal for Apple, which has earned him the nickname "the Blevinator."


Blevins was, for example, the key driver behind encouraging Apple suppliers to deprive Qualcomm of royalty payments during Apple's ongoing dispute with the chipmaker. He negotiates with suppliers, enforces manufacturing details, and manages semiconductor suppliers.

His negotiating skills are so important to Apple that Cook tapped him to manage negotiations for Apple's spaceship-shaped Apple Park campus. When getting bids for the curved glass used for the structure, he invited glass makers to Hong Kong, put them in separate conference rooms, and went from room to room to get the lowest price, ultimately saving Apple hundreds of millions of dollars.

Blevins does not hesitate to drop suppliers, and in one example, after STMicroelectronics refused to lower the price of gyroscope sensors in 2013 despite Blevins' threats to find a different supplier, STM lost Apple's business.

Blevins is also the go to for making sure that suppliers adhere to Apple's nondisclosure agreements, which can carry fines. In 2017, Japan Display disclosed that it had received orders for liquid crystal displays, and The Wall Street Journal subsequently confirmed that Apple was one of the smartphone makers that had expressed interest in LCDs, leading to trouble for Japan Display.
Mr. Blevins called a top Japan Display executive and accused him of violating Apple's nondisclosure agreement. "Are you stupid?" he said, according to a person familiar with the call.
Apple demanded Japan Display pay $5 million for breaching the non-disclosure agreement. Japan Display didn't pay, but promised to submit news conference materials to Apple before events so Apple can review it. A Japan Display executive told The Wall Street Journal that Apple's supplier agreements are "torturous."

When asked for comment, Blevins opted not to speak to The Wall Street Journal, saying "I'm a loyal company guy." The full profile on Blevins, which goes into much more detail, can be read over at The Wall Street Journal.


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Apple Revamps Jobs Site With New Design and Video Featuring Animated Apple Logos

Apple today overhauled its Apple jobs website, introducing a new look and a new video in an effort to better recruit employees. The updated video on the site features the different Apple logo designs that Apple first created for its Mac-centric event in October 2018.

The site displays different Apple logo designs whenever it's reloaded, and the video also features animated logo designs with a recruiting message spoken over the designs.

To the constant beginners who sing off-key against the beat. To those unfamiliar with convention, unmoved by rules, and reborn with every new discovery. Those open to daydreams and night dreams and visions and mirages. Who can see the millions of shades of green in a field of grass. Whose days are filled with mysteries that cannot be solved with facts. You are more powerful than you think... and you are welcome here.
As with before, the jobs site features sections outlining the different Apple teams, opportunities for students, Apple's philosophy, and jobs at retail locations, with an overview of all of the locations where Apple operates stores, as well as a section for creating a profile for job hunting.

Apple's new site design is up and running now and anyone who is interested in checking it out.


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Top Stories: AirPods Pro Firmware Changes, Mystery MacBook Filing, 5G iPad Pro?

It was a busy week of rumors as we hit the middle of January, with reports about updates to Face ID in the iPhone 12 lineup later this year, signs of a new Mac notebook coming soon, and word that Apple is working on an iPad Pro with 5G support.

Other big news this week included an analysis of changes to audio performance made in an AirPods Pro firmware update late last month.

New AirPods Pro Firmware: Worse Noise Canceling, Improved Frequency Response and Bass Accuracy


Last month, Apple released a new firmware update for the AirPods Pro bumping the version number from 2B588 to 2C54. After the update, there were several anecdotal reports that the AirPods Pro noise cancelation may have been adversely affected.


Impacted users asked tech review site RTINGS.com to reevaluate its previous testing of the AirPods Pro with the new firmware to confirm if there are any changes, and the website did find a fairly significant drop in isolation performance.

The news is not all bad, however. In other areas of testing, the 2C54 firmware appears to improve performance in frequency response and bass accuracy. Nevertheless, Apple pulled the new version only days after its release, so it is presumably working on the issues described.

iPhone 12 Models Said to Have 'Refreshed' Face ID System, Lightning Connector Could Be Dropped in 2021


iPhone 12 models will feature a "refreshed" front-facing TrueDepth system, according to Barclays analysts, hinting at Face ID improvements.


The biggest change of all could come next year, as the analysts see potential for Apple to remove the Lightning connector from at least one iPhone model in 2021, echoing a prediction shared by Ming-Chi Kuo last month. This could result in EarPods being removed from the box, they said.

Earlier this month, Kuo said four 5G-enabled iPhones are on track to launch simultaneously in the fall, including models with sub-6GHz-only and sub-6GHz-plus-mmWave compatibility.

Apple Files Unreleased Mac in Database, Possibly 13-Inch MacBook Pro With Scissor Keyboard


Apple this week filed an unreleased Mac with a model identifier of A2289 in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, as spotted by MacRumors. The computer is described as a portable Mac running macOS Catalina.


As pure speculation, it is certainly possible that this listing could correspond with the rumored 13-inch MacBook Pro with a scissor keyboard, following in the footsteps of the 16-inch MacBook Pro last October. There is some hope that the 13-inch model will become a 14-inch model, but that remains uncertain.

Eurasian Economic Commission filings like these have foreshadowed the release of new Apple products on numerous occasions. They are legally required for any encrypted devices sold in Russia and a few other countries.

Evidence of a "Pro Mode" that boosts performance and overrides fan speed limits has also been discovered in the macOS Catalina 10.15.3 beta.

Apple Rumored to Be Developing 5G iPad Pro With mmWave Support


A pair of supply chain reports this week claim Apple is developing 5G-enabled iPads with mmWave support for release as early as fall 2020.


With an iPad Pro refresh already rumored for March 2020, timing is the biggest question mark. Major new features often come to the iPhone before the iPad, but a notable exception was the third-generation iPad receiving LTE support in March 2012, prior to the iPhone 5 in September 2012.

mmWave or millimeter wave is a set of 5G frequencies that promise ultra-fast speeds at short distances, making it best suited for dense urban areas. By comparison, sub-6GHz 5G is generally slower than mmWave, but the signals travel further, better serving suburban and rural areas.

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Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

So if you want to have top stories like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter!


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Apple and Apple Employees Donated $100 Million to Various Charitable Causes in 2019

In a news story about an Apple employee who has started a barbershop for at-risk youth, Apple today said that between its own donations and employee donations, it donated more than $100 million to charitable causes in 2019.

Apple says that 21,000 Apple employees donated their time and donated $42 million to causes they care about. Combined with Apple's 1-for-1 donation match and $25 match per volunteer hour, the total amount donated climbed to over $100 million.


Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson said the company has a mission to "change the world for the better, and give back to the communities in which we live and work."
"Apple employees like Jaz embody this culture of giving every day, volunteering over a quarter of a million hours last year. We share a deep commitment to our local communities and doing what we can to cause more good."
Much of Apple's story focuses on Jaz Limos, an Apple Park Visitor Center manager in Cupertino who launched Saints of Steel, a nonprofit pop-up barber shop for at-risk youth and people looking for employment and housing.

Saints of Steel was largely funded by Apple. 80 percent of the donations for the first year came from Benevity, a corporate giving program used by Apple, and 74 percent of that donation was made by Apple.
In its first year, the organization was almost fully funded by volunteers and donations from Apple. "Our board, when we first started, was primarily made up of Apple employees who just jumped in and rolled up their sleeves," Limos says. "We saw the power of Benevity and the company match program, because it funded the majority of our ability to run this program."
More info on Saints of Steel and Apple's donations can be found in the full Apple Newsroom article on the topic.


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FBI Successfully Unlocks iPhone 11 Pro in Ohio, Casting Doubt on Claims it Needs Apple’s Help in Florida Mass Shooter Case

New questions have been raised about the FBI's latest request that Apple break its iPhone encryption, after Forbes uncovered a search warrant strongly indicating that federal agents already have tools that can access data on Apple's latest ‌iPhone‌ models.


The report says that FBI investigators in Ohio recently used the GrayKey hardware box to unlock an iPhone 11 Pro Max. The ‌iPhone‌ belonged to Baris Ali Koch, who was accused of helping his convicted brother flee the country by providing him with his own ID documents and lying to the police. He has now entered a plea agreement and is awaiting sentencing.

Koch's lawyer confirmed to Forbes that the ‌iPhone‌ was locked with a passcode when it got in the hands of the FBI and that the code was never revealed to law enforcement, nor was the defendant forced to use his face to unlock the phone via Face ID.

Created by a company named Grayshift, GrayKey is a portable gray box that has previously been used by law enforcement to crack the passcode on iPhones. Complete details on how the latest GrayKey works are not known, although Apple continually works to fix the kinds of exploits used by such devices.

Ohio FBI search warrant

Forbes has previously revealed a GrayKey brochure that showed it worked on older devices, and the two iPhones acquired by the FBI in the most recent Pensacola case are an ‌iPhone‌ 5 and an ‌iPhone‌ 7, which strongly suggests that investigators are already capable of unlocking them.

President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr have also weighed in on the latest ‌iPhone‌ encryption stalemate between Apple and the FBI, with both urging the tech giant to assist in unlocking the iPhones used by the Pensacola shooter.

Justice department officials claim to need access to the iPhones to see messages from encrypted apps like Signal or WhatsApp to find out if the shooter discussed his plans or had help. Apple says it has already provided law enforcement officials with information from Alshamrani's iCloud account, which amounts to all the data in its possession.

Statements by Apple suggest it is gearing up for a battle similar to the one it faced in 2016 in the San Bernardino shooter case, indicating the company has no plans to create a backdoor in its software, regardless of the U.S. government's motives. Apple has previously said that doing so would create "new and dangerous weaknesses" and that weakening security "makes no sense."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


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CloudApp for Mac Expands to iPhone With New App

CloudApp, a Mac app designed for visual collaboration and content sharing, today launched a new iOS app that expands CloudApp's capabilities to the iPhone and the iPad. The app has been in testing with a soft launch since December, but is now being officially announced.

CloudApp for iOS mirrors what CloudApp for Mac is able to do, allowing customers to upload images, videos, and files from an ‌iPhone‌ or download CloudApp "drops" that include screenshots, videos, screen recordings, and GIFs to the ‌iPhone‌. Uploading to CloudApp can be done from other iOS apps, such as the Photos app.


The new iOS app supports screen recording of the ‌iPhone‌ for creating tutorials or collaborating regardless of location, and there are options for previewing and sharing files, screenshots, screen recordings, and more.

There's a customized thumbnail view for quickly scrolling through available files, and key content can be favorited for easy access. Collections can also be created, letting users sort their content into different folders for better organization.

CloudApp for ‌iPhone‌ can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]


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AirPods Pro 2C54 Firmware: Worse Noise Canceling, Improved Frequency Response and Bass Accuracy

On December 16th, Apple released a new firmware update for the AirPods Pro bumping the firmware from 2B588 to 2C54. After the updates, there were several anecdotal reports that the AirPods Pro noise cancelation may have been affected adversely by the update. Adding to the confusion is that Apple has since pulled the 2C54 update, so not everyone with AirPods Pro may have the latest update.

Users asked tech review site RTINGS.com to reevaluate their previous testing of the AirPods Pro with the new firmware to confirm any changes in the new firmware.


RTINGS published its findings today and does confirm that the 2C54 firmware objectively worsens the AirPods Pro active noise canceling feature:
Update 01/10/2020: After updating to Firmware 2C45, we retested the headphones and our results showed a fairly significant drop in isolation performance, primarily in the bass-range. This means that with ANC turned on, these headphones won't do nearly as good a job blocking out the low engine rumbles of planes or buses as they did before this update. This review reflects these changes.
The news is not all bad, however. In other areas of testing, the 2C54 Firmware appears to improve performance in frequency response and bass accuracy. Note: RTINGS incorrectly refers to the firmware as version 2C45, not 2C54.

Apple pulled the 2C54 firmware only days after its release, so it is presumably working on the issues described. You can tell what firmware version you have by going to Settings -> General -> About -> AirPods Pro.


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Upcoming Fall 2020 5.4-Inch iPhone Will Be Similar in Size to iPhone 8

Japanese site Mac Otakara today shared a somewhat confusing rumor about Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, suggesting the 5.4-inch ‌iPhone‌ that Apple is working on will be sized similarly to the iPhone 8.

Citing Apple suppliers exhibiting at CES, Mac Otakara says that Apple "might be developing Face ID models beside Touch ID models as an updated version of ‌iPhone 8‌."


This confusingly seems to refer to the low-cost "iPhone SE 2" or ‌iPhone 8‌ successor Apple has in development, but a further mention of the 5.4-inch ‌iPhone‌ with Face ID suggests that it actually refers to the higher-end 5.4-inch device rumored for the fall of 2020.
The body size returns to ‌iPhone‌ 7, and the receiver size is in between the iPhone 11 series and the iPhone XS series. The rear camera is much bigger compared to ‌iPhone 8‌, and the LED True Tone flash size returns to ‌iPhone‌ 7.

By employing TrueDepth camera, the verticle width of the active area size for the display expands and thus becomes 5.4-inch size, and the possibility of it being the model buzzed about increases.
Prior rumors have indicated that Apple is working on devices in multiple sizes for its flagship 2020 ‌iPhone‌ lineup, including a 5.4-inch ‌iPhone‌, a 6.1-inch ‌iPhone‌ (or two devices in this size, based on one rumor), and a 6.7-inch ‌iPhone‌.

Mac Otakara says that the 5.4-inch ‌iPhone‌ will have an ‌iPhone‌ 7 body size and a rear camera that's "much bigger compared to ‌iPhone 8‌." By using the TrueDepth camera system and eliminating the Home button, the display's active area measures in at 5.4 inches, though the device's size will be similar to the ‌iPhone 8‌.

The ‌iPhone 8‌ (and the ‌iPhone‌ 7) features a 4.7-inch display along with thick top and bottom bezels that provide room for the front-facing camera and the Home button. By eliminating the bezels, Apple can offer a larger display in a smaller body. The 5.4-inch ‌iPhone‌ will be the smallest ‌iPhone‌ Apple has offered since the 2017 ‌iPhone 8‌.

There are mixed ‌iPhone‌ rumors right now, but in a nutshell, it seems that Apple will release four to five new iPhones in 2020. The first will come in the spring of 2020 and will be an "‌iPhone SE 2‌" or ‌iPhone 8‌ successor is meant to be a low-cost ‌iPhone‌ with ‌Touch ID‌ and a single-lens camera. This ‌iPhone‌ won't have Face ID and will continue to have thick top and bottom bezels.

In the fall, Apple will introduce three or four new flagship iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and 6.7-inch size options, and these iPhones will feature edge-to-edge displays, 5G connectivity, multi-lens cameras, and more. Most rumors have suggested we can expect three iPhones in the fall of 2020, but a JPMorgan analyst recently said there could potentially be two 6.1-inch iPhones, though this has yet to be confirmed by another source.

Apple's 2020 fall lineup will be similar to the 2019 ‌iPhone‌ lineup, with iPhones available at multiple price points starting at around $700, while the rumored early 2020 ‌iPhone 8‌ successor could be priced as low as $399.


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Top 10 Most Discussed MacRumors Stories of 2019: AirPower Canceled, Apple Card Launches, and More

MacRumors published thousands of stories in 2019, as part of our continued coverage of the latest Apple news and rumors. Below, we look back at the top 10 most discussed stories of the year in our forums, with topics ranging from the AirPower mat being canceled to the launch of the Apple Card.


  1. Apple Officially Cancels AirPower (1,948 comments): At its iPhone X event in 2017, Apple previewed a new wireless charging mat called AirPower that would have been able to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods simultaneously, regardless of each device's position on the mat. Apple failed to release the mat in 2018 as promised, however, leading to relentless rumors and speculation. In March 2019, Apple's hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio finally came out and said the AirPower was canceled due to the product's inability to meet its high standards.
  2. Apple Card Rolling Out Today to Limited Number of Customers (1,920 comments): After being previewed at its March 2019 event, Apple rolled out its all-new credit card to select users in the United States in the first week of August 2019, followed by a wider launch later in the month. Built into the Wallet app on an iPhone, the Apple Card features Apple Pay support, up to 3% daily cashback, color-coded spending summaries, zero fees beyond interest, and much more.
  3. Live 2019 iPhone Event Coverage: 'By Innovation Only' (1,855 comments): Live coverage of Apple's September 2019 event at Steve Jobs Theater, where the company unveiled the iPhone 11 lineup, Apple Watch Series 5 models, and 10.2-inch iPad.
  4. Live Apple Event Coverage: 'It's Show Time' (1,537 comments): Live coverage of Apple's March 2019 event at Steve Jobs Theater, where the company unveiled four new services: Apple News+, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and Apple Card.
  5. Live From WWDC 2019: Coverage of Apple's Keynote with iOS 13, macOS 10.15, and More (1,494 comments): Live coverage of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference from the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. Apple announced iOS 13, iPadOS, macOS Catalina, tvOS 13, and watchOS 6, in addition to previewing its new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR.
  6. AirPods Pro Launching on October 30 for $249 (1,173 comments): With a press release, Apple introduced higher-ends AirPods Pro with several improvements over regular AirPods, including active noise cancellation, improved sound quality, and water resistance.
  7. Spotify on Apple's Response to App Store Dispute: 'Every Monopolist Will Suggest They Have Done Nothing Wrong' (1,094 comments): Last year, Spotify filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in Europe over unfair App Store practices. Apple labeled the complaint as "misleading rhetoric" and argued that "Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free." Spotify fired back, claiming that "every monopolist will suggest they have done nothing wrong."
  8. Apple to Release Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR on December 10 (1,037 comments): Over two years after confirming that it was working on a new Mac Pro, Apple finally announced that the new Mac Pro and companion Pro Display XDR would be available to order starting December 10, 2019. Watch our hands-on video!
  9. Intel Expecting Apple to Transition to Custom Arm-Based Chips Starting in 2020 (1,007 comments): Apple is planning to ditch Intel processors and transition to custom Arm-based chips starting in 2020, according to Bloomberg. Axios then cited multiple unnamed sources within Intel who said the rumor is true.
  10. Apple Reveals All-New Mac Pro With Up to 28-Core Processor and 1.5TB of RAM, Starting at $5,999 (989 comments): After years of anticipation, Apple previewed its new Mac Pro at WWDC 2019 with up to 28-core Intel Xeon processors, 1.5TB of RAM, and 8TB of SSD storage. Base pricing of $5,999 was announced, but it was not until months later that maxed-out pricing of over $50,000 was revealed.
MacRumors will celebrate its 20th anniversary next month, having been founded on February 24, 2000. We look forward to another year of sharing the latest Apple news and rumors and we thank all of our readers for their support.


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