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Last Build Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2017 06:24:11 PDT

 



iPhone X Parts Suppliers Reportedly on Schedule to Meet 2017 Production Demand

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 02:46:29 PDT

Yield rates for some iPhone X components have improved and become more stable, allowing for shipments of the upcoming smartphone to grow substantially after October, according to sources from Apple's supply chain.

Yesterday it was reported that Apple manufacturer Foxconn has started shipping its first iPhone X units from its main plant in Zhengzhou, China. The same sources are now reporting improved production yield rates for key parts such as the 3D sensing modules, signaling the first positive indicator from suppliers previously struggling to meet Apple's demand.

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The first batch of iPhone X devices has already been shipped out from Foxconn Electronics' site in Zhengzhou (Henan, China), said the sources. With production yield rates for certain key components such as 3D sensing modules improving, shipments of the device have increased gradually and will meet Apple's demand ahead of the Christmas and New Year's holidays, the sources indicated.
DigiTimes quoted sources at analog IC vendors who said that chip deliveries for the iPhone X have been on schedule up to now, with orders fulfilled on time for the device in the third quarter. The same sources claimed they were not aware of any production delays or shipment cutbacks, contradicting media reports and analyst claims of supply issues, particularly with respect to tricky-to-manufacture 3D sensing modules used in Apple's new TrueDepth camera.

Chip orders for the iPhone X are now expected to grow through the fourth quarter of 2017, before slowing down in the first quarter of the following year, said the sources.

At the same time however, other supply chain sources have sounded a note of caution over the late availability of the iPhone X and worries about pre-order demand for the device outstripping supply, with a supply/demand balance not achievable until the first quarter of 2018.

There are some suggestions that iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus sales have been lower than expected, as the public bides their time until the more feature-rich iPhone X hits stores, although with no actual sales figures at hand, this is still purely speculation.

Pre-orders for the iPhone X start on Friday, October 27, with the device's official launch the following Friday, November 3.

Related Roundup: iPhone X

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Greenpeace Gives Apple a B- in 'Guide to Greener Electronics'

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 21:01:53 PDT

Greenpeace today published its Guide to Greener Electronics, which provides insight into the environmental practices of 17 major companies including Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, and more. Among all of the companies Greenpeace evaluated for energy, resource consumption, and chemicals, Apple received the second best marks, trailing behind only Fairphone, a device designed with minimal environmental impact in mind. Apple was lauded for its commitment to renewable energy and reducing supply chain emissions and its efforts to be transparent about the chemicals that are used in its products. According to Greenpeace, Apple is the only company to have set a renewable energy goal for its supply chain, and several of its suppliers have already committed to using 100 percent renewable energy. Apple is also committed to renewable energy at its own facilities and is ultimately aiming for a closed-loop supply chain. As for chemicals, Apple is one of two companies (along with Google) that have eliminated all brominated flame retardants and polyvinyl chloride. Apple's overall Greenpeace "grade" was a B-, but broken down, the company received an A- for the aforementioned environmental efforts, a B for chemicals, and a C for resources, due in large part to the lack of repairability of its devices and its use of proprietary parts. Apple continues to design products with proprietary parts to limit access and actively lobbies against right to repair legislation in New York and Nebraska. It is reported that Apple and Sony have blocked attempts to strengthen environmental electronics standards that would encourage device designs that are easier to repair, upgrade, and disassemble for recycling.Greenpeace has previously targeted Apple in a repairability campaign to combat planned obsolescence, accusing Apple's difficult-to-repair devices of shortening device lifespan and leading to more electronic waste. Apple is not likely to make changes to the way its devices are manufactured to make them easier for third-parties to repair, but its efforts towards a closed-loop supply chain could eventually result in far less waste. Earlier this year, in Greenpeace's annual green report, Apple was ranked the most environmentally friendly technology company in the world. That report focused on factors like energy transparency, energy efficiency, renewable energy commitment, and advocacy. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues 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.Tags: Greenpeace, Apple environment, Right to RepairDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



New Car Buyers Increasingly Interested in Apple CarPlay

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:21:06 PDT

CarPlay is becoming an increasingly important feature that consumers look for when purchasing a vehicle, according to a new report released today by Strategy Analytics. In a survey querying future car buyers about their interest in Android Auto, CarPlay, and Baidu CarLife in the United States, Western Europe, and China, Strategy Analytics discovered the majority of consumers are interested in CarPlay. In the United States, 23 percent of respondents said CarPlay was a "must have" feature, while 56 percent said they were "interested." Just 21 percent were "not interested." In Europe and China, the numbers were even higher. 36 percent of respondents said CarPlay was a must have feature in China, and 29 percent said the same in Europe. No fewer than 30 percent of consumers surveyed said they were willing to pay more for a smartphone mirroring feature like CarPlay or Android Auto, provided it's offered at a reasonable price point. For existing customers who have access to mirroring systems like CarPlay, they're often used exclusively over the existing in-car infotainment options. From Strategy Analytics' Derek Viita, author of the report"All of our research suggests that consumers will soon be ready to adopt CarPlay and Android Auto for their infotainment needs, which is another round of bad news for embedded navigation suppliers and OEMs that want to sell upgraded navigation systems." Continued Viita, "It also shows a missed opportunity: OEMs have been including these systems 'as standard,' when our research suggests that consumers would actually be willing to pay for them, even to the price of traditional navigation options."For the survey, Strategy Analytics queried 1,503 consumers in the United States, 1,607 in Western Europe, and 2,003 in China. To participate, respondents were asked to confirm whether they owned or leased a motor vehicle and a smartphone, and they were only asked about in-car mirroring systems available in their regions and compatible with their smartphones. Though CarPlay has been available since 2015, car manufacturers didn't begin widely adopting the feature until mid-2016. CarPlay is now included in many new 2016 and 2017 vehicles from a wide range of car makers like Ford, Cadillac, Honda, Kia, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Fiat-Chrysler, and more. CarPlay in the new Nissan Leaf More than 200 vehicles include CarPlay support, with Apple offering an official master list of all the CarPlay vehicles available in the United States on its website. CarPlay is also available in many aftermarket infotainment units from companies like Pioneer and Alpine.Related Roundup: CarPlayDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Responds to Senator's Request for Info on Face ID Privacy and Security

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:31:59 PDT

Shortly after the iPhone X was unveiled, United States Senator Al Franken, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook to ask several questions about the security and the privacy of Face ID. Franken asked Apple to address his questions by October 13, 2017, which Apple did through a letter sent by Cynthia Hogan, the company's Vice President for Public Policy in the Americas. In the letter, Hogan highlights its recent Face ID security paper and Face ID support document, which outline how Apple protects customer privacy and keeps customer data secure. She also addresses several of Franken's questions, reiterating much of the information that's in the two documents and that's been previously published about Face ID. One of Franken's questions, for example, concerned how Face ID was trained, with Apple's response below:The accessibility of the product to people of diverse races and ethnicities was very important to us. Face ID uses facial matching neural networks that we developed using over a billion images, including IR and depth images collected in studies conducted with the participants' informed consent. We worked with participants from around the world to include a representative group of people accounting for gender, age, ethnicity, and other factors. We augmented studies as needed to provide a high degree of accuracy for a diverse range of users. In addition, a neural network that is trained to spot and resist spoofing defends against attempts to unlock your phone with photos or masks.Hogan ends the letter with an offer to provide Senator Franken with briefings on Apple products should additional information be required. Following his receipt of the letter, Franken today issued a statement where he said he appreciates Apple's willingness to provide information on Face ID.All the time, we learn about and actually experience new technologies and innovations that just a few years back were difficult to even imagine. While these developments are often great for families, businesses, and our economy, they also raise important questions about how we protect what I believe are among the most pressing issues facing consumers: privacy and security. I appreciate Apple's willingness to engage with my office on these issues, and I'm glad to see the steps that the company has taken to address consumer privacy and security concerns. I plan to follow up with Apple to find out more about how it plans to protect the data of customers who decide to use the latest generation of iPhone's facial recognition technology.In addition to offering up a Face ID white paper and detailed support document, Apple has also provided information on Face ID through a series of interviews software engineering chief Craig Federighi did with various media sites. Face ID will be available to consumers starting on November 3, the official launch date for the iPhone X. Apple plans to begin accepting pre-orders for the iPhone X on October 27. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues 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.Tag: Face IDDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Considered Buying Medical Clinic Startup Crossover Health

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 15:52:51 PDT

Apple considered purchasing medical clinic startup Crossover Health as part of its push into healthcare, reports CNBC. Apple is said to have participated talks with the healthcare company up until recently, but after months of discussion, no deal materialized. According to its website, Crossover Health works with major companies to provide employees with on-site medical clinics. Some of its existing customers include Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Square, and Apple, with many of these companies offering on-campus medical care. Citing three sources with knowledge of the talks, CNBC says it's not clear why no acquisition ultimately happened between the two companies. Apple also talked to One Medical, another startup that offers patient clinics in several different cities. Whether Apple would use such a startup to develop public-facing actual medical clinics or use existing facilities to sell products and gather data is not known.The discussions about expanding into primary care have been happening inside Apple's health team for more than a year, one of the people said. It is not yet clear whether Apple would build out its own network of primary care clinics, in a similar manner to its highly successful retail stores, or simply partner with existing players.Apple has made serious inroads into medical care with the introduction of CareKit and ResearchKit. CareKit is aimed at helping app developers create health-related apps to allow consumers better access to healthcare data, while ResearchKit is aimed at helping medical professionals develop studies to further medical research using data gathered from Apple customers. Apple is said to be aiming to make the iPhone a "one-stop shop" for medical info, offering a centralized way to store all of a person's health data. In the past, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that health is an area that interests Apple because it's where hardware, software, and services can come together into "something that's magical." "We believe that health is something that is a huge problem in the world," said Cook in 2016. "We think it is ripe for simplicity and sort of a new view, and we'd like to contribute to that."Tags: HealthKit, ResearchKit, CareKit, healthDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple's Mac Mini is Now Three Years Old, No Refresh Date in Sight

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:28:12 PDT

Today marks the third anniversary of the last update of the Mac mini, Apple's most affordable and compact desktop computer. The Mac mini was refreshed on October 16, 2014, and since then, the machine has seen no additional updates. The Mac mini is positioned as a "bring your own" machine that comes without a mouse, keyboard, or display, and the current version is still running Haswell processors and integrated Intel HD 5000/Intel Iris Graphics. Pricing on the Mac mini starts at $499 for the entry-level base configuration, making it far more affordable than the iMac, which starts at $1,099 for a non-4K 21-inch version. With the 2014 refresh, fans were disappointed as Apple ceased offering a quad-core processor option and support for dual hard drives, features that have not returned. At this point, it's not clear if and when Apple will introduce a new version of the Mac mini. Prior to the 2014 refresh, the Mac mini was updated in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, so it's never before gone three years sans update. Many Apple customers are eagerly awaiting a new Mac mini, including businesses that rely on the machine, like Brian Stucki's MacStadium. When Apple announced plans for a modular Mac Pro, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said the Mac mini "is an important product" in the company's lineup, suggesting Apple doesn't have plans to abandon the machine. He declined to offer up any information on a potential refresh, though. Aside from a single rumor from Pike's Universum hinting at a new high-end Mac mini with a redesign that "won't be so mini anymore," we've heard no details at all about work on a possible Mac mini refresh. If a new Mac mini is in the works, though, it could use either Seventh-Generation Kaby Lake chips or Eighth-Generation Kaby Lake Refresh chips, both of which are available now. The Mac mini typically uses the same 15W U-series chips that are found in the 13-inch MacBook Pro. With Intel's Eighth-Generation chips, the U-series all feature four cores, so should a future Mac mini adopt Kaby Lake Refresh chips or later, quad-core performance will return. Given that it's October and there are no rumors, it's not likely we're going to see a Mac mini refresh in 2017, but sometime in 2018 is fair game.Related Roundup: Mac miniBuyer's Guide: Mac Mini (Don't Buy)Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Says 'KRACK' Wi-Fi Vulnerabilities Are Already Patched in iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS Betas

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 11:46:38 PDT

Apple has already patched serious vulnerabilities in the WPA2 Wi-Fi standard that protects many modern Wi-Fi networks, the company told iMore's Rene Ritchie this morning.

The exploits have been addressed in the iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS betas that are currently available to developers and will be rolling out to consumers soon.

src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Oh4WURZoR98" width="560" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen">
A KRACK attack proof-of-concept from security researcher Mathy Vanhoef

Disclosed just this morning by researcher Mathy Vanhoef, the WPA2 vulnerabilities affect millions of routers, smartphones, PCs, and other devices, including Apple's Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

Using a key reinstallation attack, or "KRACK," attackers can exploit weaknesses in the WPA2 protocol to decrypt network traffic to sniff out credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, photos, and other sensitive information. With certain network configurations, attackers can also inject data into the network, remotely installing malware and other malicious software.

Because these vulnerabilities affect all devices that use WPA2, this is a serious problem that device manufacturers need to address immediately. Apple is often quick to fix major security exploits, so it is not a surprise that the company has already addressed this particular issue.

Websites that use HTTPS offer an extra layer of security, but an improperly configured site can be exploited to drop HTTPS encryption, so Vanhoef warns that this is not a reliable protection.

Apple's iOS devices (and Windows machines) are not as vulnerable as Macs or devices running Linux or Android because the vulnerability relies on a flaw that allows what's supposed to be a single-use encryption key to be resent and reused more than once, something the iOS operating system does not allow, but there's still a partial vulnerability.

Once patched, devices running iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS will not be able to be exploited using the KRACK method even when connected to a router or access point that is still vulnerable. Still, consumers should watch for firmware updates for all of their devices, including routers.

Ahead of the release of the update that addresses the vulnerabilities, customers who are concerned about attacks should avoid public Wi-Fi networks, use Ethernet where possible, and use a VPN.


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iMac Pros With Custom Xeon Chips Possibly Appear on Geekbench Ahead of December Launch

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 11:18:13 PDT

While the iMac Pro doesn't launch for another six weeks or so, possible benchmarks for the computer may have already surfaced on Geekbench. The results provide us with an early look at just how powerful Apple's $4,999-and-up desktop workstation will be when it is released in December. Interestingly, the iMac Pro models benchmarked appear to have custom, downclocked Xeon chips that Intel hasn't publicly announced yet. There is a benchmark result for a model with a 3.2GHz 8-core Xeon W-2140B processor, while a third listing exists for a model with a 3.0GHz 10-core Xeon W-2150B chip. All of the models are identified as "AAPJ1371,1," and unlike other Xeon chips, the processors have a "B" suffix. A few of the benchmark results are from late August, while the rest are from October. MacRumors spoke with Geekbench founder John Poole, who speculated that the iMac Pro may require chips with lower thermal design power, and thus lower frequencies, due to its all-in-one form factor. He noted that the other chips in the Xeon Processor W family have relatively high TDPs of up to 140W. The multi-core Geekbench score for the 8-core model averages out to 23,536, which is the highest performance of any iMac ever. It's nearly 22 percent faster than the latest 5K iMac equipped with a maxed-out 4.2GHz quad-core Core i7 processor, which has an average multi-core score of 19,336. The higher-end 10-core iMac Pro has a multi-core score of 35,917, which is roughly 41 percent faster than the latest Mac Pro maxed out with a 2.7GHz 12-core Xeon E5 processor. Even its single-core score of 5,345 is faster than all but the highest-end 5K iMac released earlier this year. All in all, the benchmarks point to the iMac Pro being unsurprisingly powerful from top to bottom. And that's not even looking at the 18-core iMac Pro, which hasn't been benchmarked yet and will surely blow every other Mac out of the water—at least until the modular Mac Pro is ready. Apple said the iMac Pro will also feature top-of-the-line Radeon Pro Vega graphics, up to 4TB of SSD storage, and up to 128GB of ECC RAM. The computer will share the same design as the standard iMac, but with an all-flash architecture, a new thermal design, and four Thunderbolt 3 ports.Related Roundup: iMac ProTags: Intel, Geekbench, benchmarksDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Seeds Third Beta of iOS 11.1 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:06:00 PDT

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming iOS 11.1 update to developers, one week after releasing the second iOS 11.1 beta and a month after releasing the iOS 11 update to the public. Registered developers can download the iOS 11 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center. iOS 11.1 introduces a range of new Unicode 10 emoji like crazy face, pie, pretzel, t-rex, vampire, exploding head, face vomiting, shushing face, love you gesture, brain, scarf, zebra, giraffe, fortune cookie, pie, hedgehog, and more. Several emoji have also seen some small design changes in iOS 11.1, including the dolphin, octopus, bee, snail, and whale characters, among others. The new designs are more detailed and realistic than existing designs. The update also brings back the 3D Touch App Switcher gesture that has been missing from iOS 11 since its release. With the return of the gesture, iPhone users can once again 3D Touch at the left edge of the display to bring up the multitasking App Switcher interface. A few other small features are included in the iOS 11.1 beta. The built-in keyboard in iOS 11.1 now offers up multiple emoji symbols when using an emoji-related word like "cake" or "happy," with each of the suggestions displayed at the end of the predictive text suggestions. There's also an updated camera icon under Restrictions, a new animation when tapping the status bar to scroll upwards, and a faster unlock animation. iOS 11 marks a major update to the operating system with systemwide design tweaks, a new Lock screen experience, a revamped Control Center, ARKit, new app features, and an entirely new interface for the iPad that includes a Dock, Drag and Drop support, and a redesigned App Switcher for better than ever multitasking. Update: Today's beta fixes a Reachability bug that prevented the iOS 11 Cover Screen with Notifications from being accessible in the middle of the iPhone's display. Apple engineering chief Craig Federighi recently said a fix for the issue, which has been present since iOS 11 launched, would be coming soon. Update 2: The new beta is now available for public beta testers. Related Roundup: iOS 11Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Plans to Appeal $439M 'Final Judgment' in FaceTime Patent Lawsuit With VirnetX

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 08:46:09 PDT

VirnetX today announced that the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has denied all of Apple's motions in a longstanding FaceTime-related patent lawsuit between the two companies.

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The court also granted all of VirnetX's motions in the retrial and increased the royalty rates that Apple owes during the infringement period, resulting in a revised final judgment amount of $439.7 million.

"We are elated with the Court's Final Judgement of $439 million in that not only did it affirm the jury's verdict of $1.20 per infringing iPhone, iPad and Mac Product, but also added for willful infringement, interest and attorney fees. This is the third time a jury has ruled in our favor against Apple," said Kendall Larsen, VirnetX CEO.

VirnetX originally sued Apple in 2010 over allegations that FaceTime's peer-to-peer connection technology infringed upon its patents. VirnetX won its case in 2012, and Apple was hit with a $368.2 million judgment, but the appeals and retrial process has dragged on for over seven years until now.

Of note, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas is a hotbed for patent infringement lawsuits given several favorable outcomes for patent holding entities like VirnetX. Some would even call the company a patent troll, although it does appear to offer at least one product of some kind.

A spokesperson for Apple confirmed that it plans to appeal this final judgment, according to TechCrunch. It noted that the motions can still be appealed even if the original case was already appealed and lost.


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Eddy Cue Says He 'Disagrees Vehemently' With Those Who Believe Apple's Pace of Innovation Has Slowed

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 07:35:04 PDT

Just over a decade after the iPhone launched, and six years after Steve Jobs passed, some critics believe that Apple's pace of innovation has slowed. Unsurprisingly, Apple's services chief Eddy Cue doesn't share that opinion. "I disagree vehemently with that and I think we've been incredibly innovative," said Cue, in a recent interview with Indian publication Livemint. Cue pointed out that both the iPad and Apple Watch launched after the iPhone, while noting that revolutionary products take time. He also believes that Apple's work on Mac, macOS, and iOS has led the market.Apple historically has a track record of coming out with industry-defining products, whether it's the Mac or iPhone or iPod. But over the past decade, there's a been perception that the pace of innovation and the pace at which Apple has come out with game-changing, breakthrough products has slowed somewhat. What do you have to say about that? No way! First of all, the iPhone is 10 years old. That is the last decade. The iPad came after that and the Watch came after that. So, I disagree vehemently with that and I think we’ve been incredibly innovative. That doesn’t even take into account the work that has been done on the Mac, iOS and MacOS, from that standpoint where I think we’ve led the market. When you think of the products that we’ve built over time, you own a lot of them. And you just assume that every year was a new product. But it wasn’t. You can’t do revolutionary new products, every two months or six months or whatever. They take time.The rest of the interview was primarily focused on Apple's roadmap for India, which Cue described as a "very long-term opportunity." Cue said Apple is focused on three areas in India, including the App Store, Apple Maps, and a bundle of other services such as iCloud and Apple Music. Of note, he said Apple is "working on" bringing Apple Pay to India.The digital payments business is widely being seen as the biggest battleground in India now and in the near future. What are Apple's plans on that front? Our head of Apple Pay, Jennifer Bailey, is here with me. And Apple Pay is something that we definitely want in India. The challenge with payment mechanisms is that there isn't really a lot of global scale. You deal with individual markets at a time … but India is one of those markets where we hope to bring Apple Pay to.Cue said Apple doesn't have an exact launch date to announce for Apple Pay in India at this point since it's not "a 100 percent" yet. In the full-length interview, Cue also reflects upon the leadership styles of past and present Apple CEOs Tim Cook and Steve Jobs, and on Apple's increasing efforts to produce original content.Related Roundup: Apple PayTags: Eddy Cue, IndiaDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Major Wi-Fi Vulnerabilities Uncovered Put Millions of Devices at Risk, Including Macs and iPhones

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 06:54:18 PDT

Mathy Vanhoef, a postdoctoral researcher at Belgian university KU Leuven, has discovered and disclosed major vulnerabilities in the WPA2 protocol that secures all modern protected Wi-Fi networks. Vanhoef said an attacker within range of a victim can exploit these weaknesses using so-called KRACKs, or key reinstallation attacks, which can result in any data or information that the victim transmits being decrypted. Attackers can eavesdrop on network traffic on both private and public networks. As explained by Ars Technica, the primary attack exploits a four-way handshake that is used to establish a key for encrypting traffic. During the third step, the key can be resent multiple times. When it's resent in certain ways, a cryptographic nonce can be reused in a way that completely undermines the encryption. As a result, attackers can potentially intercept sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, passwords, emails, and photos. Depending on the network configuration, it is also possible to inject and manipulate data. For example, an attacker might be able to inject ransomware or other malware into websites. Note that the attacks do not recover the password of any Wi-Fi network, according to Vanhoef. They also do not recover any parts of the fresh encryption key that is negotiated during the four-way handshake. Websites properly configured with HTTPS have an additional layer of protection, but an improperly configured site can be exploited to drop this encryption, so Vanhoef warned that it is not reliable protection. Since the vulnerabilities exist in the Wi-Fi standard itself, nearly any router and device that supports Wi-Fi is likely affected, including Macs and iOS devices. Android and Linux devices are particularly vulnerable since they can be tricked into installing an all-zero encryption key instead of reinstalling the real key.This vulnerability appears to be caused by a remark in the Wi-Fi standard that suggests to clear the encryption key from memory once it has been installed for the first time. When the client now receives a retransmitted message 3 of the 4-way handshake, it will reinstall the now-cleared encryption key, effectively installing an all-zero key.As a proof-of-concept, Vanhoef executed a key reinstallation attack against an Android smartphone. In the video demonstration below, the attacker is able to decrypt all data that the victim transmits. width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Oh4WURZoR98" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> iOS devices are vulnerable to attacks against the group key handshake, but they are not vulnerable to the key reinstallation attack. Fortunately, the vulnerabilities can be patched, and in a backwards-compatible manner. In other words, a patched client like a smartphone can still communicate with an un-patched access point like a router. Vanhoef said he began disclosing the vulnerabilities to vendors in July. US-CERT, short for the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, sent out a broad notification to vendors in late August. It is now up to device and router manufacturers to release any necessary security or firmware updates. Despite the vulnerabilities, Vanhoef says the public should still use WPA2 while waiting for patches. In the meantime, steps users can take to mitigate their threat level in the meantime include using a VPN, using a wired Ethernet connection where possible, and avoiding public Wi-Fi networks. Vanhoef is presenting his research behind the attack at both the Black Hat Europe and Computer and Communications Security conferences in early November. His detailed research paper (PDF) is available today.Tags: security, wi-fiDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Extends Internal iOS 11.1 Apple Pay Cash Testing to Retail Employees

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 15:17:21 PDT

Starting in early October, Apple corporate employees in the United States began testing Apple Pay Cash internally in the iOS 11.1 beta, suggesting the person-to-person Apple Pay feature could be introduced in iOS 11.1 despite its current absence from the iOS 11.1 developer beta. Apple has now expanded its internal Apple Pay Cash feature to its retail employees, making it available to a much wider range of people for testing purposes. Retail employees gained access to the feature today and have been asked to install both the iOS 11.1 beta and an additional internal-only beta profile to unlock the Apple Pay Cash feature. According to the retail employee who spoke to MacRumors, Apple is also requiring iCloud accounts to be whitelisted to use Apple Pay Cash. The Apple Pay Cash setup process can be seen in the screenshot below -- it asks customers to verify their identity with name, address, and social security number. Apple Pay Cash works through the Messages app and is designed to allow for quick person-to-person money transfers, much like Square Cash or Venmo. It's available as a dedicated iMessage app in the built-in Messages app, with cash transferred through iMessage transactions. Though most Apple Pay Cash coverage has focused on the iPhone, money can also be sent using an Apple Watch. When sending cash, it can be sent from a linked debit or credit card, while received cash is stored in an Apple Pay Cash card in Wallet that can be used for purchases or sent to a bank account. Sending cash through a credit card incurs a 3% fee, while sending cash from a debit card is free. The Apple Pay Cash card available in Wallet is being made available through a partnership with Green Dot, a company that offers prepaid Discover cards. For Apple Pay Cash to work, both parties need to have the feature enabled and activated. Money can only be sent in a one-on-one message, with Apple Pay Cash not available in group messages. On the Apple Watch, the interface requires you to scroll past the Scribble icon in the Messages app to access the Apple Pay button. Tapping on it allows users to enter a dollar amount using the Digital Crown or on-screen buttons. Payment is then confirmed via a double click on the Digital Crown, but scrolling down allows for users to choose a different payment source than the default. Apple first announced person-to-person Apple Pay as an iOS 11 feature at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, but it was not implemented in any of the iOS 11 betas and towards the end of the beta testing period, Apple confirmed it would be coming in a future iOS 11 update. Apple Pay Cash is not present in the current iOS 11.1 beta available to developers and public beta testers, but given the expanded internal beta test, it appears Apple is nearly finished with the feature and is gearing up to release it as part of the iOS 11.1 update.Related Roundups: Apple Pay, iOS 11Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple's Beddit 3 Sleep Monitor 'Sold Out,' Suggesting It's Been Discontinued

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 12:41:40 PDT

Apple in May purchased Beddit, a company that develops health-related hardware. It was an unusual acquisition because Apple continued to sell the company's Beddit 3 Sleep Monitor on Apple.com, and collected sleep data from the device. As of early October, though, the Beddit 3 Sleep Monitor has been listed as "Sold Out" on Apple's website, suggesting it has perhaps been quietly retired. When an Apple product is sold out, that typically means it's not going to be restocked. Since the Apple acquisition, the device has only been sold at Apple.com and is not available elsewhere either. With the Beddit 3 Sleep Monitor no longer available, it's not known what Apple will do with the Beddit sleep technology in the future. Apple could be planning to use the data it's collected to add more advanced health tracking and sleep monitoring into the Apple Watch, or it could roll the technology into some other kind of wearable device or hardware product similar in design to the Beddit 3. Sleep tracking could be a planned feature for a future Apple Watch, but it remains to be seen if Apple thinks a wrist-worn sleep tracking device is the optimal solution. It is also not clear how Apple would overcome charging and battery life issues in that scenario, as Apple currently expects the device to be charged overnight. Given those limitations, other hardware solutions could be under consideration. Apple is presumably continuing to collect, analyze, and utilize sleep-related data from the existing Beddit 3 sleep tracking devices that are in the hands of consumers, even if no additional devices will be sold. Priced at $149 when it was available, the Beddit 3 Sleep Monitor pairs a thin, pliable under-sheet sleep sensor with an app that's designed to help users analyze and improve their sleeping habits. It uses ballistocardiography (BCG) to measure the mechanical activity of the heart, lungs, and other body functions, a non-invasive monitoring technology that's similar to the light-based photoplethysmography the Apple Watch uses to monitor heart rate. BCG is able to measure the mechanical impulse generated by the acceleration of blood through the circulatory system, providing a wealth of data about the body. The sleep monitor is able to track metrics like sleep time, sleep efficiency, heart rate, respiration rate, movement, snoring, room temperature, and room humidity. Following Apple's Beddit acquisition, we did an in-depth review of the Beddit 3 Sleep Monitor and concluded that there are still many hurdles Apple needs to overcome to create a sleep tracking device that's truly accurate, if a hardware solution is the ultimate goal of the purchase. We've contacted Apple for comment on the availability of the Beddit 3 Sleep Monitor and will update this post should we hear back.Tag: BedditDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Qualcomm Asks China to Stop Manufacturing and Selling iPhones via New Lawsuits

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 10:28:36 PDT

Qualcomm recently filed lawsuits in China in an attempt to stop Apple from selling and manufacturing iPhones in the country, reports Bloomberg. Much of Apple's iPhone assembly process takes place in China, as does the manufacturing of many iPhone components. China is also an important market for Apple, accounting for 22.5 percent of Apple's sales in 2016. In a filing with the Beijing intellectual property court on September 29, Qualcomm claimed patent infringement and requested injunctive relief. "Apple employs technologies invented by Qualcomm without paying for them," said a Qualcomm spokesperson about the filing. According to Qualcomm, the lawsuits are based on three non-standard essential patents covering power management and the Force Touch technology that Apple uses in its touch screens. Qualcomm and Apple have been embroiled in an escalating legal battle since the beginning of this year after the FTC complained that Qualcomm engaged in anticompetitive licensing practices. Shortly after, Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion and accused the company of charging unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with" and failing to pay for quarterly rebates. Apple stopped paying licensing fees to Qualcomm at that time, as did Apple suppliers. Apple maintains that Qualcomm charges excessive licensing fees by requesting a percentage of an iPhone's entire value, while Qualcomm says its technology is "at the heart of every iPhone." Qualcomm has since countersued and filed several patent infringement lawsuits against Apple. Qualcomm has also asked the United States International Trade Commission to block imports of some iPhone and iPad models. Qualcomm is also facing an FTC lawsuit in the U.S. for using anticompetitive tactics to remain the dominant supplier of baseband processors for smartphones and was recently fined $773 million in Taiwan for violating antitrust rules.Tag: QualcommDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Still Offering Free Delayed Battery Repairs for Some 2012 and Early 2013 MacBook Pros

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 07:58:20 PDT

If you own a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display released in Mid 2012 or Early 2013, and your notebook qualifies for battery service, the repair should be free if you are willing to wait for around one month. Apple has advised Genius Bar employees and Apple Authorized Service Providers to offer these customers a free battery repair if they are willing to wait until at least November 15 for the service to be completed. Apple has offered this option since August 25 due to a continued shortage of the aluminum enclosure that the battery is glued into on the aforementioned MacBook Pro models, according to an internal memo obtained by MacRumors. Top case with glued-in battery for Mid 2012 15-inch MacBook Pro via iFixit If a customer does not wish to delay the repair, Apple says that standard out-of-warranty prices for battery service apply: $199 in the United States, £199 in the United Kingdom, $289 in Australia, or $259 in Canada. The policy doesn't apply to any other Mac, including the 13-inch MacBook Pro, 12-inch MacBook, MacBook Air, or models without Retina displays. To check if your qualifying MacBook Pro needs battery service, click on the Apple logo in the menu bar. Then, click on About This Mac > System Report > Power. In the Health Information section, the condition should say "Service Battery." Apple will confirm if the MacBook Pro qualifies for battery service by performing a diagnostic test at the Genius Bar at most Apple Stores. Repairs are allowed for failed, consumed, and swollen batteries. Apple is no longer offering customers the option to exchange their MacBook Pro for a functionally equivalent model, as it did for repairs initiated between March 2 and July 25 due to the same part shortage. During that time, many customers were able to exchange a 2012 MacBook Pro for a much newer model, such as a maxed-out refurbished 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, for just the cost of an out-of-warranty battery repair. Update: There's been some confusion about Apple's battery replacement options in the forums. There is no official repair program or free replacement policy for 15-inch MacBook Pro batteries. Apple will let you pay to replace a faulty battery in any MacBook Pro, but because of part constraints for 15-inch MacBook Pro models, some users have been offered a free replacement due to the wait. It appears some users have been able to successfully get a free battery replacement while others have not, so though Genius Bar employees have been advised to offer free battery repairs in situations where parts are constrained, some Apple Stores may not provide the option.Related Roundup: MacBook ProBuyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Neutral)Discuss this article in our forums [...]



iOS Gained Market Share in Most Countries This Summer, Although Samsung Drove Gains for Android in UK

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 06:50:10 PDT

Apple's portion of the mobile ecosystem market increased in eight major territories in the three months ending August 2017, according to new data collected and shared by Kantar Worldpanel. Over the summer of 2017, iOS saw growth in the following territories compared to the same year-ago period: Spain (4.4 percentage point increase), followed by China (4.3), the United States (3.7), Germany (2.3), France (1.7), the European Union (1.2), Australia (0.9), and Italy (0.4). Specifically, iOS grew from 31.3 to 35 percentage points year-over-year in the U.S., and although Android still dominates the U.S. smartphone OS market at 63.2 percentage points, it has dipped slightly from its hold of 66.1 percentage points in the same year-ago period. Dominic Sunnebo, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's Global Business Unit Director, said that "Apple maintained strong momentum in the US one month before the release of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus," so iOS should continue to see positive growth in future data that measures the holiday months. Galaxy S8 compared with iPhone 8 However, Apple's iOS decreased slightly in the United Kingdom/Great Britain in the summer months this year. The drop in iOS market share is said to be due to Samsung's "significant" promotional activity for its Galaxy S8 and J3 smartphones eating into Apple's pre-iPhone 8 sales. In total, Apple devices running iOS accounted for 33.9 percentage points during this summer period in the UK, dropping 2 percentage points from 35.9 one year prior. Although this was "offset slightly" by strong sales of the iPhone SE, Samsung itself saw a 6.4 percentage point increase in the June-August 2017 period in the UK. Overall, Android OS grew from 58.9 in 2016 to capture 65.3 percentage points in the three month period. Of course, once Apple's sales of new iPhones are accounted for in future data by Kantar Worldpanel, iOS should see a resurgence. A few Galaxy S8 owners mentioned both promotional materials put out by Samsung and a "good deal" on the device as key factors to their purchases. At the time of its launch, Samsung said the S8 marked its "best ever" pre-order period for a smartphone. “Samsung took full advantage of the weeks just before the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were released in Great Britain, with significant promotional activity that helped drive its overall share to a three-year high of 38.4% for the three months ending August 2017,” explained Dominic Sunnebo, Global Business Unit Director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “More than one in four Galaxy S8 buyers cited a specific promotion as a key purchase influencer, and almost half said that a good deal on the price of the phone was key to their purchase. Both of these metrics experienced a large increase over the last two months of the period.” Otherwise, the only other regression centered in Japan and accounted for just 0.1 percentage points lost by iOS between 2016 and 2017. Global smartphone OS shares data via Kantar Worldpanel iOS market share is expected to see another boost thanks to the launch of the iPhone X, which has caused many people to put off ordering the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in anticipation of Apple's greatly redesigned smartphone. Pre-orders for the device go up two weeks from today on October 27, while the official launch date will come three weeks from today on November 3. For more data on the global market shares of smartphone operating systems, check out Kantar Worldpanel's research right here.Tag: Kantar WorldpanelDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



iPhone With Apple Pencil Support Could Launch 'As Early As 2019'

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 04:51:53 PDT

Apple is reportedly "mulling" the idea of launching a stylus compatible with iPhone, believed to be a new iteration of the Apple Pencil, which is currently only supported by the iPad Pro. The rumor comes from industry sources speaking to The Korea Herald (via The Investor), which claimed that Apple engineers "have recently been working" on a new iPhone device that "comes with a digital pen," aiming for a potential launch in 2019. The sources said that the iPhone stylus is likely to adopt a "supercapacitor stylus type" for price benefits, contrasting with Samsung's Galaxy Note pen which is based on electromagnetic resonance technology that needs additional panel components to be installed underneath the smartphone display. "A supercapacitor type is cheaper to make compared to the EMR stylus. It also offers a more pen-like feel," according to the industry sources. Notably, Apple's current A-series chip would see a "drastic upgrade" as well in order to fuel a better handwriting experience for the stylus on iPhone. Apple is mulling something that its late founder Steve Jobs had outright rejected -- adding a stylus to its iPhone, according to industry sources on Oct. 13. “Apple is preparing to launch the phone as early as 2019,” an industry source told The Investor on condition of anonymity. “It is also in talks with a couple of stylus makers for a partnership.” The Apple Pencil launched nearly two years ago in November 2015 alongside the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Apple's first stylus was designed specifically to work with the iPad Pro, and gives users the feel of using a real pen or pencil with sensors that determine the orientation and angle of the Apple Pencil, and pressure sensitivity allowing for darker or lighter pen strokes. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was famously against launching a stylus for iPhones, during the original iPhone event stating: "Who wants a stylus? You have to get them, and put them away, and you lose them, yuck. Nobody wants a stylus." width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4YY3MSaUqMg?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Apple executives and current CEO Tim Cook have repeatedly avoided referring to Apple Pencil as a "stylus" over the years, with Cook commenting in an interview last year that "we launched a pencil not a stylus." The Apple CEO further stated, "I think that Steve would have loved" the Apple Pencil, and even gave early mention of a pencil device potentially supporting iPhones in the future: "if you’ve ever seen what can be created on an iPhone or an iPad with that pencil is really unbelievable."Tag: Apple PencilDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Kuo: All iPhone Models in 2018 Likely to Abandon Fingerprint Recognition

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 17:38:02 PDT

All of the iPhones Apple plans to produce in 2018 are likely to abandon the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in favor of facial recognition, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors in a note sent out this evening. According to Kuo, Apple will embrace Face ID as its authentication method for a competitive advantage over Android smartphones. Kuo has previously said that it could take years for Android smartphone manufacturers to produce technology that can match the TrueDepth camera and the Face ID feature coming in the iPhone X. We predict all new 2H18F iPhone models will likely abandon fingerprint recognition. We believe this change will allow all new models to realize a competitive advantage via differentiation, on the back of an integrated user experience of full-screen design and TrueDepth Camera/ Facial recognition/ Face ID/ AR applications.Face ID, says Kuo, will continue to be a major selling point of the new iPhone models in 2018, with Apple planning to capitalize on its lead in 3D sensing design and production. Kuo's prediction suggests that all upcoming 2018 iPhones will feature a full-screen design with minimal bezels like the iPhone X, meaning no additional models with the iPhone 8/iPhone 8 Plus design would be produced. That would spell the end of the line for Touch ID in the iPhone, which has been available as a biometric authentication option since 2013. It's not clear what that means for the Mac and the iPad, but Kuo has said he expects next year's iPad Pro models to transition to Face ID. Should Apple decide to abandon Touch ID, it also means development would potentially end on a rumored under-display Touch ID solution. Back in September, Kuo predicted 2018 iPhones would fully adopt the TrueDepth camera and facial recognition if Face ID was "well received" by customers, but further research conducted by KGI Securities has led him to believe it will indeed be successful, leading to today's more definitive prediction. Kuo believes that Apple's transition away from Touch ID will also turn Android smartphone manufacturers away from fingerprint recognition. As he said in an earlier note, he expects high-end Android smartphones to "ditch" under-display optical fingerprint recognition in favor of 3D sensing techniques. Despite Kuo's prediction, Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi recently hinted that Apple may not be ready to abandon Touch ID across all its products just yet. While he said Face ID is the future of biometric authentication, he also noted that there are settings where different biometric techniques or combinations of biometrics could make sense.Related Roundup: iPhone XDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



iOS 11 Overtakes iOS 10, Now Installed on 47% of Devices

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 12:37:53 PDT

A little over three weeks after being released to the public, iOS 11 adoption has reached its 47 percent, successfully overtaking iOS 10, according to data collected by analytics company Mixpanel.

With iOS 11 installed on 47 percent of devices, iOS 10 is now installed on 46 percent of devices. 6.7 percent of devices also continue to run iOS 9 or earlier.

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iOS 11 adoption has been much slower than iOS 10 adoption during the same timeframe last year. It took just two weeks for iOS 10 to overtake iOS 9, while iOS 11 was only installed on 38.5 percent of devices at the two week mark.

Adoption rates have been steadily increasing, though. At 24 hours, iOS 11 was installed on 10 percent of devices, and at one week, it was installed on 25 percent.

Apple has released three minor updates to iOS 11 so far to fix bugs and issues discovered since its launch. The most recent update, iOS 11.0.3, came out just yesterday.

The first major update to iOS 11, iOS 11.1, is in the works and that update may spur people running iOS 10 to upgrade to iOS 11. iOS 11.1 introduces new emoji characters, often popular with users, and it reintroduces a 3D Touch gesture that lets the App Switcher be accessed with one hand.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

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