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.
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.
While I confirm new models not affected, Reuters is WRONG about appeal. The injunction is enforceable even during sn appeal. They misunderstood the judge.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
To change Siri's default news source, you can say "Switch to Sky News" or "Switch to Washington News," for example.
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.
To hear a news brief for a specific topic, you can say "Play business news" or "Play sports news," for example.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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:
We are aware that some people are encountering issues with our iOS app. We're rapidly preparing an update we believe solves the issue and are making our app temporarily unavailable for download to limit the number of potentially affected users.
iPhone XR pre-order demand in the first three days of the device's availability was "better than that" of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus during the same period last year, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
In a research note obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that although pre-order demand immediately after launch has been lower for the iPhone XR versus the flagship iPhone XS models, overall iPhone XR shipment momentum is "more stable" because it will drive more customers to upgrade than the iPhone 8 series over time.
Kuo added that iPhone XR shipping estimates on Apple.com (many models remain available for launch day delivery on Friday) do not indicate exact demand, as the type of customers interested in the device are more general users, with many ordering through carriers to take advantage of promotions.
With the launch of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X last year, Apple made some changes to the way a forced restart is performed and also to the way the devices are put into DFU mode. These changes remain in place for Apple's latest iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR devices.
A forced restart can be used if an iPhone is freezing, throwing up errors, or has stopped responding completely. DFU mode (standing for Device Firmware Update) on the other hand restores an iPhone if a restart or standard Recovery Mode doesn't solve the problem you're experiencing.
DFU mode lets the device interface with iTunes, update the firmware, and restore the OS without automatically installing the last downloaded version. It's useful for installing older versions of iOS if a beta persistently hangs your phone, or if a jailbreak goes bad.
How to Enable DFU Mode
Before following the steps below, make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer.
Turn on your iPhone if it isn't already.
Connect it to your computer using a Lightning to USB cable.
Launch iTunes on your computer, and check that your iPhone appears in the list of devices.
On your iPhone, press the Volume Up button immediately followed by the Volume Down button.
Next, press and hold the Side button (or power button) until your iPhone's screen turns black.
Release the Side button and then hold down both the Side button and Volume Down button together for approximately five seconds.
Now release the Side button, but continue to press the Volume Down button.
Wait for at least five seconds for iTunes to recognize DFU recovery mode has been enabled.
You should see a message dialog saying "iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode. You must restore this iPhone before it can be used with iTunes". If you don't see the message, repeat the steps above.
Once you've closed the iTunes recovery prompt you can go ahead and restore your iPhone back to factory settings by selecting Restore iPhone on the iPhone Recovery Mode screen. Once restored, your iPhone will automatically exit out of DFU mode and boot up to its activation screen.
How to Exit DFU Mode
If you enabled DFU mode and want to manually exit out of it, here's how it's done.
Press the Volume Up button on your iPhone and quickly release it.
Press the Volume Down button and release it.
Press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears on your iPhone's screen.
Your iPhone should now have exited DFU recovery mode.
Apple today announced the launch of a new logic board repair program, which will see the company offering free repairs for iPhone 8 models that are affected by an issue that can cause restarts, freezing, and unresponsive devices.
According to Apple, a "very small percentage" of iPhone 8 devices have logic boards with a manufacturing defect that are eligible for a free repair.
To check if you have an iPhone 8 that can be repaired under this new repair program, Apple has created a website where your serial number can be entered.
Apple says that affected units were sold between September 2017 and March 2018 in China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Macau, New Zealand, and the U.S.
The problem does not affect the iPhone 8 Plus or other iPhone models, so it's just select iPhone 8 models that are eligible for a free fix.
Apple says that repairs may be restricted to the original country or region of purchase, and customers who are affected are recommended to back up their iPhone to iTunes or iCloud before seeking a repair.
An iPhone 8 that has damage that impairs the ability to complete the logic board repair, such as a cracked screen, will need to be fixed prior to Apple providing service.
The new iPhone 8 Logic Board Repair Program covers affected iPhone 8 devices for three years after the first retail sale of the unit.
Logitech has announced a new wireless charger for iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X that aims to make it easier to use your smartphone while charging it at the same time.
Designed "in collaboration with Apple", Logitech's POWERED Wireless Charging Stand can be placed on a desk or bedside table, and can hold your iPhone in an upright position – ideal for unlocking Face ID and reading notifications without removing the device from the U-shaped cradle.
Two additional features distinguish the POWERED from most other charging stands on the market: First, your device doesn't have to be in exact alignment with the stand to complete the charging circuit, so you can "drop your iPhone on the cradle and go", according to Logitech.
Second, the POWERED also supports landscape orientation, so you can watch video on your smartphone's screen while it's charging. The stand also charges iPhones wearing a protective case up to 3mm thick.
Logitech says the POWERED delivers up to 7.5W charging for iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X only, and up to 5W charging for all other Qi-enabled devices. The stand will be available this month in an "off-white" color for $69.99 at Logitech.com and Apple's online store. Stay tuned for a review of the POWERED here on MacRumors.
Today's announcement shouldn't affect Apple's plans to launch its multi-device AirPower charging mat before or in September.