iPhone: 2019 Buyer’s Guide


In 2007, Apple launched the original iPhone, kickstarting the modern smartphone era which is now dominated by the Apple iPhone and Google Android platforms. We've had 12 years of iPhones so far, with the latest models, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, having launched in October of 2019. Apple follows an annual update cycle, introducing new high-end flagship models while often discounting prior-year models and selling them at more affordable price points.

iPhone vs Android


Over the years, the Android and iPhone platforms have evolved to the point where feature-wise, they're similar in function. Android smartphones are made by multiple manufacturers, but the operating system is provided by Google, which leads to a wider variety of phones and price points to choose from, but poorer integration between software and hardware.


Apple's control of both the iPhone and the operating system (iOS) results in a more consistent experience plus ongoing support. With iOS 13, Apple supports all iPhones that were introduced in the last four years, so the majority of active iPhone owners can and do upgrade to the newest version of iOS that Apple rolls out each year.

Android updates, though, are are more inconsistent and often don't make it to all Android-based smartphones because each manufacturer has to implement support on an individual basis. So while Google also does yearly Android updates, the reality is that a lot of older Android smartphones don't get the new software.

With Apple's control and curation of the iPhone experience, the iPhone is largely considered to be the more secure platform, and Apple has made it a point to focus heavily on privacy. Apple's iOS is, however, less customizable than Android, so for individuals who prefer flexibility and customization options, the Android operating system may be worth looking at.

How do iPhone Updates Work?


Here are the basics you should know about how Apple updates the iPhone and the iOS operating system.

Each fall, usually in September, Apple releases a new series of flagship smartphones. These often come at high prices and feature the latest technologies, with Apple offering one super high-end model and one still high-end but more affordable model. Prior year iPhones often stick around with lower price points as cheaper alternatives to the latest and greatest technology.

At the current time, Apple's iPhone lineup includes the iPhone 8 (2017), iPhone XR (2018), iPhone 11 (2019), iPhone 11 Pro (2019), and iPhone 11 Pro Max (2019).


Apple also debuts an updated version of iOS at the same time that new iPhones launch, but new versions of iOS are pre-introduced every year at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference to give developers time to incorporate new features and technologies into their apps ahead of when the software becomes available to the public.

In 2020, Apple will introduce iOS 14 in June, letting developers and public beta testers try out the software early. iOS 14 will see its official public launch alongside new iPhones in the fall of 2020.

In this guide, we go over all of the iPhones that are in the current Apple lineup, offer up some buying suggestions, and provide tips and resources for both new and existing iPhone owners.

iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max ($999+)



The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are Apple's current flagship devices, with the top of the line features and the most bells and whistles.

Pricing on the iPhone 11 Pro starts at $999, while pricing on the iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at $1,099. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are identical with the exception of screen sizes and some minor differences in battery life.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.5-inch display and can accommodate a larger battery due to its bigger screen size, while the iPhone 11 Pro has a 5.8-inch display.

Both have edge-to-edge OLED displays with slim bezels, a notch with TrueDepth front-facing camera systems for Face ID biometric authentication, glass bodies with stainless steel frames, the latest super fast A13 chips, IP68 water resistance (the highest offered in an iPhone), and a triple-lens camera system.

The triple-lens camera system is unique to the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, offering a telephoto lens, a wide-angle lens, and a super wide-angle lens that gives you a lot of versatility when taking shots.

You can use the telephoto lens to take close up shots and portraits, and then zoom out to the ultra wide-angle lens for amazing landscape and architecture shots. Night Mode, a feature that lets you get awesome shots even in super low lighting conditions, is also included.

Key Features:

  • Highest End, Highest Price

  • Triple Lens Camera: Ultra Wide, Wide, Telephoto

  • OLED Screen
Bottom Line: The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are the iPhones to choose if you want the absolute best camera capabilities that you can get in an iPhone. If you value an OLED display, these are Apple's only current devices with OLED.

iPhone 11 ($699+)



The iPhone 11, being sold alongside the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, is a new 2019 iPhone that features many of the same capabilities as the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, but with some notable downgrades to keep the price tag lower.

Priced starting at $699, the iPhone 11 features an LCD display instead of an OLED display and it has a dual-lens camera setup instead of a triple-lens camera setup. Size wise, the iPhone 11 is in between the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max at 6.1 inches, and it too supports Face ID with the TrueDepth camera system.

The LCD display doesn't offer the deeper blacks and HDR features available with the OLED display, but the iPhone 11's display is still quite good and one of the better smartphone LCD displays on the market. You can see a difference between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro when the two phones are side-by-side, but in everyday usage, the lack of OLED is less noticeable.

As far as the camera goes, the iPhone 11 has the wide-angle lens and the ultra wide-angle lens that's in the 11 Pro, but it does not have the third telephoto lens. The iPhone 11 has the same A13 chip that's in the iPhone 11 Pro, plus 4GB RAM.

The difference in the cameras doesn't matter much unless you're someone who often likes to take portraits and closer shots as it still has the ultra wide-camera, which is the new technology in 2019.

The iPhone 11 features a glass body but rather than the stainless steel frame of the 11 Pro, it has a less expensive aluminum frame. It also comes in a range of bright colors, while the 11 Pro is limited to Silver, Space Gray, Gold, and Midnight Green.

Key Features:

  • Dual Lens Camera: Ultra Wide, Wide

  • LCD Screen

Bottom Line: The iPhone 11 is a solid phone for a much more affordable price than the iPhone 11 Pro. The differences between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro are relatively minor for most people, but there's a $300 price difference.

iPhone XR ($599+)



Apple's iPhone XR was released in 2018, but Apple is continuing to sell it as a lower-cost alternative to the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.

Priced starting at $599, the iPhone XR has the same design as the iPhone 11, but with a single-lens camera instead of a dual-lens camera and a different range of color options.

Aside from these changes and some updates to the iPhone 11 display, the iPhone XR is identical to the iPhone 11 with TrueDepth camera system and Face ID, LCD display, glass body and and aluminum frame (with lesser water resistance), and wireless charging support.

It's using year-old technology, though, so it has an A12 chip instead of an A13 chip and cameras that aren't quite as good as the camera in iPhone 11, but at its price point, it's still a very capable device that's going to last for several years to come.

Key Features:

  • Previous Generation CPU

  • Single Lens Camera

  • LCD Screen

Bottom Line: The iPhone XR is a good choice if you like the feature set of the iPhone 11 but want to shell out slightly less money. We believe it's worth the $100 upgrade to the 11 if you take a lot of photos, but if you don't, there aren't too many differences between the 11 and the XR.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus ($449+)



The iPhone 8 was first introduced in 2017, so it's using two-year-old technology. It's the cheapest iPhone that Apple offers in its current lineup with pricing starting at $449, and it's also the sole iPhone that continues to offer a Touch ID Home button which uses fingerprint recognition for security.

The iPhone 8 has comparably thick bezels at the top and bottom of the device, housing the Home button at the bottom and the front-facing camera, speaker, and microphone at the top.

It features a 4.7-inch LCD display, but there's also an iPhone 8 Plus option (priced starting at $549) with a larger 5.5-inch LCD display. The iPhone 8 has a glass front and a glass back with an aluminum frame, and the glass body allows for wireless charging.

Inside, there's an A11 Bionic processor, which is two years older than the A13 processor in the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, but it's still capable of performing well for everyday tasks like gaming, watching videos, messaging, using augmented reality apps, and more. There's also 2GB of RAM, the lowest in any of the available iPhones.

The iPhone 8 uses a single-lens 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, while the iPhone 8 Plus has a dual-lens camera setup with a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens for portrait shots.

The cameras aren't as good as the cameras that you'll find in the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, and iPhone 11 Pro, but you still get Portrait mode (with the 8 Plus' telephoto lens) and some decent photographic capabilities with the wide-angle lens. LTE capabilities are also ultimately slower, but most people shouldn't notice this in day to day usage.

Key Features:

  • Two Year Old CPU

  • Only the "Plus" size iPhone 8 has a Dual Lens Camera

Bottom Line: The iPhone 8 is still a capable phone for a cheaper price. Based on Apple's history of support, the iPhone 8 will likely be supported for at least two years with the latest version of iOS, and it's the only iPhone Apple sells with Touch ID support.

Frequently Asked Questions



There's no one single iPhone that's best for everyone, as picking the right smartphone for you needs to take into account factors like budget, desired battery life, preferred feature set, and more.

If, for example, you're not a fan of Face ID and want to use Touch ID, you're going to want to choose an iPhone 8 model. If you want the absolute best photographic capabilities, you're going to want the iPhone 11 Pro, and if you want something that has a solid feature set at a great price, the iPhone 11 is what you'll want to look at.

Below, we've outlined some of the best iPhone choices based on different scenarios or features that you might be looking for.

Which iPhone Has the Best Battery Life?


With their more efficient A13 processors, the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max have the longest battery life of Apple's iPhones.

Of the three, the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max has the longest battery life because it has the space for a larger battery. It offers up to 20 hours of video playback, 12 hours of streaming video playback, and 80 hours of audio playback.

Comparatively, the iPhone 11 Pro offers up to 18 hours of video playback, 11 hours of streaming video playback, and 65 hours of audio playback. The more affordable iPhone 11 offers up to 17 hours of video playback, 10 hours of streaming video playback, and 65 hours of audio playback.

The iPhone XR offers battery life close to the iPhone 11, but the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus fall far behind with up to 13 and 14 hours of video playback, respectively.

Which iPhone Has the Best Camera?


With their updated triple-lens camera systems, the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max have the best iPhone cameras that you can get.

There's a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera with a larger sensor and better autofocusing capabilities than previous iPhone models, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with an improved f/2.0 aperture for closer shots, and a new ultra wide-angle lens that offers up a 13mm focal length that's perfect for wide group shots, architecture, landscapes, and more.

The iPhone 11 Pro also features Night Mode for taking incredible photos in low lighting conditions, and Portrait Mode for shots where the background is blurred. Night Mode is easily one of the best camera improvements Apple has added in years, and it's an incredible feature to have for iPhone photographers.

The iPhone 11 gets an honorable mention here because it has the same wide-angle and ultra wide-angle cameras that are in the iPhone 11 Pro, but without the telephoto lens. It too does Night Mode, making this the best choice if you're looking for fantastic image quality on a budget.

Which iPhone Has Touch ID?


If you want an iPhone with Touch ID, your only option at this time is the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Apple stopped using Touch ID in 2017, and the 2018 and 2019 iPhone lineups have not included an updated Touch ID iPhone.

The good news is that rumors suggest Apple is working on an updated Touch ID iPhone, so it's possibly worth holding out for that if you want to upgrade to a Touch ID iPhone rather than a Face ID iPhone.

Which iPhone is the Best Value?


Unquestionably, it's the iPhone 11. Apple introduced a great feature set in the iPhone 11 while also keeping the price point below $700, and even less if you trade in an older model.

The iPhone 11 has the same camera setup as the iPhone 11 Pro (minus the telephoto lens) and the same super fast, super efficient A13 chip with 4GB RAM, Battery life is similar too (and incredible), plus it has the same TrueDepth front-facing camera system with Face ID, and it comes in a whole range of fun colors.

For most people, the iPhone 11 is a great deal and has all of the capabilities you could possibly want from an iPhone, so this is the best all-around iPhone to get if you want a modern feature set that will last.

The iPhone XR is fine if you're on a budget, but it's priced starting at $599. If you can swing the extra $100, the iPhone 11 is worth the upgrade for the updated camera technology, better water resistance, and the much-improved front-facing camera.

Which iPhone Has the Most Features?


If you want the iPhone with the most bells and whistles, that's the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. Compared to the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max offer OLED displays, triple lens cameras, a glass body with a stainless steel frame (compared to aluminum in the iPhone 11), better water resistance (four meters for up to 30 minutes), larger maximum storage capacities, and longer battery life.

In More Depth


Still not sure? We have deeper dives directly comparing the iPhone 11 vs iPhone Pro and the iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR. For full details on each phone, explore our roundups:

Upcoming iPhone Rumors


Apple is working on a few new iPhone products, including the 2020 flagship iPhone 12 devices and a new low-cost device that's being referred to as the "iPhone SE 2" because of its rumored price point.

In reality, the new "iPhone SE 2" is expected to be an iPhone 8 followup with an A13 chip, a single camera, and an affordable price tag. It's said to be coming in early 2020, while we can expect the iPhone 12 lineup in September 2020.

Guide Feedback


Have questions about choosing an iPhone, notice something we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.


This article, "iPhone: 2019 Buyer's Guide" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple’s First New Low-Cost iPhone Since the iPhone SE Expected to Launch Early Next Year

Apple plans to launch a new-generation "iPhone SE" in the form of a low-cost 4.7-inch iPhone this coming spring, sources in Asia have claimed.


Nikkei reports that the new model will be Apple's first low-cost smartphone since the 2016 launch of the popular iPhone SE, which started at $399, and while the name and price of the new model hasn't been decided, "it is viewed as the latest generation of the iPhone SE," according to the paper's sources.
The size of the new model will be similar to the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 that was introduced in 2017, three sources said. The model will share most of the same components with the flagship iPhones this year, and it will feature the lower-cost liquid crystal display that will help Apple achieve the lower starting price-tag, although the final pricing for the model is not yet settled, the people said.
Rumors of a new low-cost 4.7-inch iPhone modeled on the iPhone 8 first appeared in April via Economic Daily News. EDN's sources also claimed the device coming in early 2020 will include an LCD display. In addition, they also claimed it will feature a new PCB design to house Apple's A13 processor, a single-lens rear camera, and 128GB of base storage.

It's not clear if the rumored 4.7-inch iPhone would inherit the notched design and Face ID features of Apple's flagship smartphones, but Nikkei's references to 2017's iPhone 8 suggest it could retain the bordered screen and Touch ID-equipped Home button of that device to keep costs down.

Apple's iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR devices dominate its marketing, but the company continues to offer the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus (starting at $599) as lower cost options alongside the even cheaper iPhone 7 series (starting at $449).

Apple could end sales of the iPhone 7 when its new flagship models launch later this month, which would leave a space in its line-up for a new device that could boost its share of the mid-tier smartphone market. But apart from being new and coming in at a lower price, we'll have to wait and see if comparisons can be legitimately drawn with the much-loved 4-inch iPhone SE of yesteryear.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8

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Corephotonics Sues Apple Again Over Dual-Lens Cameras in iPhone 7 Plus and Later [Updated]

Update: Corephotonics has filed an additional lawsuit against Apple in August 2019, alleging that the dual-lens camera systems in the iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max infringe on 10 of its patents.

Original story from November 2017 follows.



Corephotonics, an Israeli maker of dual-lens camera technologies for smartphones, has filed a lawsuit against Apple this week alleging that the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus infringe upon four of its patents.


The patents, filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office between November 2013 and June 2016, relate to dual-lens camera technologies appropriate for smartphones, including optical zoom and a mini telephoto lens assembly.

U.S. Patent No. 9,402,032
U.S. Patent No. 9,568,712
U.S. Patent No. 9,185,291
U.S. Patent No. 9,538,152

Corephotonics alleges that the two iPhone models copy its patented telephoto lens design, optical zoom method, and a method for intelligently fusing images from the wide-angle and telephoto lenses to improve image quality.

iPhone X isn't listed as an infringing product, despite having a dual-lens camera, perhaps because the device launched just four days ago.

Corephotonics showed off some of its technologies at Mobile World Congress last year. In particular, it demonstrated software capable of combining the images of two separate camera lenses to create a more detailed picture, including the ability to optically zoom up to 5x with no moving parts.


Corephotonics, founded in 2012, describes itself as a pioneer in the development of dual camera technologies for mobile devices. The company's founders, led by Tel Aviv University professor Dr. David Mendlovic, have decades of experience in the fields of optics and miniature digital cameras.

In its complaint, a copy of which was reviewed by MacRumors, Corephotonics said one of its first acts as a company was to contact Apple. Despite receiving "many encouraging reports" and "positive feedback" from the iPhone maker, the companies never reached a license of any kind.
As one of its first acts as a company, Corephotonics reached out to Apple in the hopes of establishing a strategic partnership. Corephotonics received many encouraging reports and positive feedback from Apple about its technology, but the parties never concluded a license to the Corephotonics technology.
Corephotonics said Apple proceeded to release the iPhone 7 Plus with a dual-lens camera in September 2016, and has been willfully infringing upon its patents since that time. Corephotonics says Apple has knowledge of its patents, one of which the iPhone maker allegedly submitted as prior art in a patent application.

Corephotonics even claims Apple's "lead negotiator" said it "would take years and millions of dollars in litigation" before Apple might owe anything.
In fact, after one failed effort to negotiate a license, Apple's lead negotiator expressed contempt for Corephotonics’ patents, telling Dr. Mendlovic and others that even if Apple infringed, it would take years and millions of dollars in litigation before Apple might have to pay something.
It's worth noting that Apple acquired another Israeli camera company, LinX Imaging, back in 2015. LinX also specialized in creating multi-aperture camera equipment for mobile devices, and Apple presumably incorporated some of its technologies into the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus cameras.

Corephotonics is seeking damages of an amount to be proven in a jury trial, plus permanent injunctive relief. The complaint was filed with a U.S. District Court in Northern California, where Apple is headquartered.

Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone 8

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Apple Reportedly Plans to Launch Revised 4.7-inch iPhone 8 in March 2020 to Boost Share of Mid-Tier Smartphone Market

Apple will launch a new version of the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 early next year with updated internals in a bid to boost its share of the mid-tier smartphone market, according to a report out today by the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) [Google Translate].


Citing sources from Taiwan-based Fubon Securities Investment Trust, EDN claims Apple's revised iPhone 8, launching in March 2020, will retain its 4.7-inch LCD display but will include a new PCB design featuring an A13 processor, a single-lens rear camera, and 128GB of base storage.

Production units are expected to reach 20 million, with all orders going to manufacturer Pegatron. EDN believes the new 4.7-inch iPhone 8 will have an aggressive price tag of around $649, as Apple attempts to boost its share of the mid-tier market, where it has lost out to Chinese rivals like Oppo and Vivo.

Apple's flagship iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR devices dominate its marketing, but the company continues to offer the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, originally launched in 2017, as lower cost options alongside the even cheaper iPhone 7 series.

Current prices for the existing iPhone 8 series, which include a Home button and thick top and bottom bezels, start at $599 for a 64GB iPhone 8 or $699 for an iPhone 8 Plus. Both older iPhones are more affordable than the $749 iPhone XR, the $999 iPhone XS, and the $1099 iPhone XS Max.

(Via DigiTimes.)

Related Roundup: iPhone 8

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Apple to Sell Modified iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in Germany to Skirt Sales Ban

Apple today confirmed rumors that it will start selling modified iPhone models in its German stores to comply with a patent infringement lawsuit Qualcomm won against the company in December.

The California-based company said it had "no choice" but to replace Intel chips in the iPhone models with chips from Qualcomm in order to allow them to be sold again in the country.

"Qualcomm is attempting to use injunctions against our products to try to get Apple to succumb to their extortionist demands. In many cases they are using patents they purchased or that have nothing to do with their cellular technology to harass Apple and other industry players," an Apple spokesperson said.

"To ensure all iPhone models can again be available to customers in Germany, we have no choice but to stop using Intel chips and ship our phones with Qualcomm chips in Germany. Qualcomm is working to eliminate competition by any means they can, harming consumers and stifling industry innovation along the way."
Sources in German retail hinted last week that Apple was working on new versions of the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, and 8 Plus with updated modem hardware that does not violate the injunction levied against it in Germany that resulted in a sales ban on the devices.

Mobile chip supplier Qualcomm sued Apple in Germany alleging that some older iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models violated Qualcomm patents related to so-called "envelope tracking," which helps mobile phones save battery power while sending and receiving wireless signals. The German court sided with Qualcomm and demanded Apple stop selling the offending iPhones in the country.

In its ongoing legal dispute with Qualcomm, Apple has also had some iPhone models banned in China. However, Apple was able to get around that ban with a software update and has continued selling iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models in that country.

Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone 8

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Apple to Stop Selling iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 Models in Germany While Appealing Broader Sales Ban [Updated]

In a statement issued to CNBC, Apple has indicated that it plans to appeal a German court's decision to issue a preliminary injunction—aka sales ban—on select iPhone models containing chips from Intel and Apple supplier Qorvo.


In the meantime, Apple said iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models will not be available for purchase at its retail stores in Germany:
Qualcomm's campaign is a desperate attempt to distract from the real issues between our companies. Their tactics, in the courts and in their everyday business, are harming innovation and harming consumers. Qualcomm insists on charging exorbitant fees based on work they didn't do and they are being investigated by governments all around the world for their behavior. We are of course disappointed by this verdict and we plan to appeal. All iPhone models remain available to customers through carriers and resellers in 4,300 locations across Germany. During the appeal process, iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models will not be available at Apple's 15 retail stores in Germany. iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR will remain available in all our stores.
Earlier today, reports said a German court ruled that select iPhone models containing a combination of chips from Intel and Apple supplier Qorvo violated one of Qualcomm's patents around so-called "envelope tracking," a feature that helps preserve battery life when sending and receiving wireless signals.

In its statement, Apple said the latest iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR models remain available for purchase at all of its stores in Germany. The older iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models will also remain available for purchase at authorized resellers and carriers in Germany, according to the company.

Reuters reported that the preliminary injunction will not go into immediate effect if Apple appeals, but legal expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents informed MacRumors that the injunction "is enforceable even during an appeal," which perhaps explains why Apple pulled iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models from its shelves in the country.


Mueller also said the ruling applies up to the iPhone X, which Apple no longer sells in Germany, which would explain why the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR remain available for purchase in the country.

Qorvo's intellectual property lawyer Mike Baker via CNBC:
We believe our envelope tracking chip does not infringe the patent in suit, and the court would have come to a different conclusion if it had considered all the evidence. We're disappointed that the inventor and designer of our chip, who attended the hearing, wasn't given the opportunity to testify or present other evidence that disproves Qualcomm's claim of infringement. The International Trade Commission has already determined that our envelope tracker chip does not infringe the U.S. counterpart to the patent at issue in this case. We currently do not expect that this decision will have any impact on our business with Apple.
Intel's general counsel Steven Rodgers:
Qualcomm's goal is not to vindicate its intellectual property rights, but rather to drive competition out of the market for premium modem chips, and to defend a business model that ultimately harms consumers.
Apple and Qualcomm are engaged in a major legal battle spanning multiple countries, including China, where a court issued a similar preliminary injunction on select iPhones last week over two separate Qualcomm patents.

Apple continues to sell the affected iPhone models in China and believes it is in compliance with the ruling. Earlier this week, it made some minor changes in iOS 12.1.2 to address the Qualcomm patents in China, including introducing a new animation for force closing apps.


Last year, Apple accused Qualcomm of anticompetitive business practices over chip-related licensing fees, while Qualcomm has accused Apple of sharing its trade secrets with Intel among other illegal actions. In the U.S., the FTC is also taking Qualcomm to court next month over the alleged monopolistic behavior.

Update:: In a press release, Qualcomm said the judgment is immediately enforceable once Qualcomm posts the necessary bonds and that Apple's request to the court for a stay of the injunction was denied. Qualcomm says the court also found Apple liable for monetary damages in an amount to be determined.

Qualcomm's general counsel Don Rosenberg issued the following statement to MacRumors:
Two respected courts in two different jurisdictions just in the past two weeks have now confirmed the value of Qualcomm's patents and declared Apple an infringer, ordering a ban on iPhones in the important markets of Germany and China.
Qualcomm expects to post the required bonds within a few days.

Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone 8

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How to Get Siri to Play a Daily News Digest

If you own an Alexa smart device, you'll likely have used the "What's new?" or "What's happening?" voice command to hear your daily news briefing, which can be customized to include your own interests.


Siri has a similar feature that uses the Podcasts app to bring you a daily news digest, which you can also customize to an extent. It can be invoked on HomePod, Apple Watch, and any iPhone or iPad running iOS 11.2.5 or later.

There are a couple of things to note before using Siri's news brief feature. The last time we checked, it was limited to users based in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia, and it isn't available on Siri for Mac, regardless of where you're based. With those caveats in mind, here's how to get it working.

  1. To get a news briefing on your Apple device, say "Hey Siri, tell me the news." Alternatively, on an iOS device, hold down the Home button or Side button and say "Tell me the news" or "Play the news."

  2. On iPhone and iPad, tap Open Podcasts to launch the Podcasts app and see which news show is currently playing or to pause the episode. You can also control audio playback from the Control Center.

  3. To change Siri's default news source, you can say "Switch to Sky News" or "Switch to Washington News," for example.

  4. To hear a one-off news brief from a different source, you can say "Play news from NPR" or "Play news from Fox News," for example.

  5. To hear a news brief for a specific topic, you can say "Play business news" or "Play sports news," for example.

  6. To hear a topical news brief from a specific source, you can say "Play business news from Bloomberg" or "Play sports news from the BBC," for example.
As you might have guessed, news sources can differ depending on your region. If you're in the U.S. for example, Siri will happily play news from a range of media outlets including ESPN, NPR, Fox News, CNN, Washington Post, CNBC, and Bloomberg. As with most Siri features, improvements and additions are likely ongoing, so it's worth requesting your preferred news source just to see if it can find the relevant daily digest for you.

Tag: Siri

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Apple Now Selling Refurbished iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Models

Apple today added the 2017 iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus to its online store for refurbished products in the United States, offering the smartphone at a discount for the first time.

The refurbished store has a selection of 64GB iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray for sale, all of which are discounted by 14 to 16 percent.


The 64GB iPhone 8 models are priced at $499, a discount of $100 off of the regular price of $599, while the 64GB iPhone 8 Plus models in the refurbished store are available for $599, also a $100 discount off of the regular $699 price.

Apple sells the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus as lower-cost alternatives to the flagship iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. The devices feature a fast A11 Bionic chip, a Touch ID Home button, and a glass body for wireless charging.

There are no iPhone 8 or 8 Plus models with higher storage capacities available from the refurbished store at this time, but refurbished stock fluctuates frequently based on the available devices that Apple has on hand.

Refurbished stock is also limited in quantity and can sell out. Checking the refurbished site often or using a tracking site is the best way to figure out when a particular model that you might want is in stock.

Apple has been offering iPhones in its online refurbished store since 2016, but it often takes some time for new models to show up there. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, for example, were released in September 2017 but have just shown up on the refurbished site.

Purchasing a refurbished iPhone from Apple is a good way to get a like-new device at a lower price point. All of Apple's refurbished products are tested, certified, cleaned, and guaranteed with a one-year warranty that can be extended with AppleCare+.

For refurbished iPhone models, Apple provides a fresh battery and a new outer shell, ensuring peak performance and no scratches or other cosmetic damage on the device that you receive.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8

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iOS 12.1 Extends Battery-Related Performance Management Feature to iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X

Apple on Tuesday released iOS 12.1 following six weeks of beta testing. As mentioned in the release notes, the software update extends Apple's performance management feature to the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.


From the release notes:
Adds a performance management feature to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down, including the option to disable this feature if an unexpected shutdown occurs, for iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
Apple has reflected this change on its iPhone Battery and Performance website, noting that performance management "may be less noticeable" on those iPhone models due to their "more advanced hardware and software design."

The performance management system was first enabled in iOS 10.2.1, but it was limited to the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus until yesterday's release of iOS 12.1.

Last December, Apple did mention that the design of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X allows for a "different" performance management system that "more precisely" prevents unexpected shutdowns, but prior to iOS 12.1, no performance management feature of this kind had been enabled on the trio of iPhones:
iPhone 8 and later use a more advanced hardware and software design that provides a more accurate estimation of both power needs and the battery's power capability to maximize overall system performance. This allows a different performance management system that more precisely allows iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected shutdown. As a result, the impacts of performance management may be less noticeable on iPhone 8 and later. Over time, the rechargeable batteries in all iPhone models will diminish in their capacity and peak performance and will eventually need to be replaced.

Why is Apple slowing down some iPhone models if necessary?


From our January 2018 article What to Know About Apple Slowing Down iPhones to Prevent Unexpected Shutdowns:
iPhones, like many other consumer electronics, are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which have a limited lifespan. As the battery in your iPhone ages, its ability to hold a charge slowly diminishes.

A chemically aging battery can also have increased impedance, reducing its ability to provide a sudden burst of power when demanded by other components in an iPhone, such as the CPU and GPU. A battery's impedance will also temporarily increase when it has a low charge and/or in cold temperatures.

A battery with a high enough impedance may be unable to provide power quickly enough to the iPhone when needed, and Apple safeguards components against the drop in voltage by shutting down the device.

Apple recognized that iPhones unexpectedly shutting down on users is not a good experience, and starting with iOS 10.2.1, it quietly implemented a power management feature to prevent these shutdowns. The update was released in January 2017, and a month later, Apple said it saw a major reduction in shutdowns.
The performance management feature can be disabled if desired in the Settings app, under the Battery Health menu, also new to the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X in iOS 12.1. At this time, the feature does not appear to extend to the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8

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Apple Identifies Issue With GasBuddy App Causing Some iPhones to Become Unresponsive [Updated]

Apple has identified an "issue" with the GasBuddy app that may result in some iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max devices becoming "unresponsive," according to an internal announcement shared with Apple Stores today. The memo was obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source.


Apple says affected iPhones will have a black screen with an endlessly spinning wheel—aka a respring loop. In its memo, Apple says it is working with GasBuddy to "resolve" the issue, which started "sometime after October 18, 2018."

If a customer reports the issue at an Apple Store, Apple has instructed its Genius Bar employees to force restart the iPhone, and then ask the customer to uninstall the GasBuddy app. If the device is still unresponsive, Genius Bar employees are instructed to continue with the standard service process.

It's unclear why the GasBuddy app is crashing some iPhones. A spokesperson for GasBuddy said its team "has been and continues to investigate," and delayed further comment until the company has more insight about the matter. A spokesperson for Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment.

GasBuddy is a popular app for locating gas stations with the lowest-priced gas near you. The app, which claims to have 70 million users, relies on users submitting gas prices when they fill up to help alert others. GasBuddy also provides price hike alerts so that you can fill up before the increase.

According to GasBuddy's release notes, the app was updated on October 17 with support for iOS 12. The update also "fixed some crashes." On October 19, the app was again updated with bug fixes, including one that caused some location-based information to not appear, and another related to gas station details.

Update: A spokesperson for GasBuddy has issued the following statement to MacRumors, indicating that it is "rapidly preparing an update" that it believes "solves the underlying issue." In the meantime, GasBuddy will be temporarily removing its app from the App Store to limit exposure.
On Friday (October 19), Apple approved the latest version of the GasBuddy app. This was subsequent to our app going through Apple’s typical, thorough review process that, as you know, Apple requires before releasing any app into its store.

Over the weekend, we heard from a single user that encountered an issue that resembles the one you described.

We had not heard anything from Apple about GasBuddy causing unresponsive phones, or that a new app build would be required, until maybe 10 minutes before we received your inquiry.

We absolutely regret any association with a poor user experience. We are committed to doing our part to address this quickly and completely.

Thus, we are rapidly preparing an update we believe solves the underlying issue and are making our app temporarily unavailable for download to limit the number of potentially affected users.
GasBuddy has also tweeted about an incoming fix:
MacRumors will update this article if and when we receive any new information from Apple or GasBuddy.

Related Roundups: iPhone 8, iPhone XS
Buyer's Guide: iPhone XS (Buy Now)

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