All posts in “iPhone”

Apple will release two 5G-ready iPhones in 2020, according to analyst

Mobile 5G internet is still a dream for most, but Apple could help make it a reality next year.

That’s what TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks. He said Monday in a research note that two of Apple’s three iPhones released in 2020 will be 5G-compatible for the first time.

Kuo’s note said Apple will release three OLED iPhones next year, backing up an earlier DigiTimes report. If you want 5G, you’ll need to get the 5.4-inch or the 6.7-inch model; the 6.1-inch model will still only go up to LTE, per the research note.

In clearer terms, that means Apple will basically do what it did last year. The company will release two higher-end phones like the XS and XS Max, while a more affordable option brings up the rear like the XR. If those sizes are accurate, it means the successor to the XS will be slightly smaller and the successor to the XS Max will be slightly bigger.

Meanwhile, the follow-up to the XR should be the same size. If these reports hold true and iPhone lovers can access 5G networks next year, they could see crazy network speeds in supported markets like this.

It’s possible that Apple can only make 5G iPhones happen next year thanks to a recent settlement with Qualcomm. The two tech giants ended years of legal fighting in April, agreeing to work together once again. Qualcomm is best equipped to put 5G modems in iPhones right now, so former partner Intel backed out not long after the settlement was reached.

Kuo’s note also indicated every iPhone released in 2021 would support 5G. On top of that, the company might be able to make its own 5G modems and stop relying on Qualcomm in the years after that. 

Hopefully 5G is available to more people by then.

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5G reportedly coming to premium iPhones in 2020, all models in 2021

The latest report from renowned Apple leaker Ming-Chi Kuo already has an eye on 2020 and beyond. The news lines up with other reports around future iPhones, noting that the high-end versions of the handset are set to get 5G in the second half of next year. By 2021, all models are set to be on-board with the next-gen wireless standard.

The report is inline with recent rumors that have the company holding off on 5G until 2020. That puts Apple somewhat behind the curve of a number of Android manufacturers who have been racing to get the technology to market. Of course, those companies (including Samsung, LG and even OnePlus) may be putting the cart before the horse, with wireless carriers providing extremely limited access to the tech through the end of 2019.

Apple’s push into 5G is believed to be a primary driver behind the company’s recent decision to make nice with Qualcomm, though Kuo believes that the company is shooting for 2022/2023 to begin manufacturing its own wireless chips. That would help Apple further divorce itself on reliance from third party component makers, which seems to have been the plan all along.

The report has Apple continuing to release three models of iPhone later next year. The list includes a 5.4 inch and 6.7 inch OLED models, making the smaller iPhone even smaller and the larger even larger. The XR successor, meanwhile, would maintain a 6.1 inch display, getting upgraded to OLED next year, while only offering up an LTE modem — a move that could muddy the waters a bit for consumers.

This is Our Dream iPhone

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Facebook collected device data on 187,000 users using banned snooping app

Facebook obtained personal and sensitive device data on about 187,000 users of its now-defunct Research app, which Apple banned earlier this year after the app violated its rules.

The social media giant said in a letter to lawmakers — which TechCrunch obtained — that it collected data on 31,000 users in the U.S., including 4,300 teenagers. The rest of the collected data came from users in India.

Earlier this year, a TechCrunch investigation found both Facebook and Google were abusing their Apple-issued enterprise developer certificates, designed to only allow employees to run iPhone and iPad apps used only inside the company. The investigation found the companies were building and providing apps for consumers outside Apple’s App Store, in violation of Apple’s rules. The apps paid users in return for collecting data on how participants used their devices and understand app habits by gaining access to all of the network data in and out of their device.

Apple banned the apps by revoking Facebook’s enterprise developer certificate — and later Google’s enterprise certificate. In doing so, the revocation knocked both companies’ fleet of internal iPhone or iPad app offline that relied on the same certificates.

But in response to lawmakers’ questions, Apple said it didn’t know how many devices installed Facebook’s rule-violating app.

“We know that the provisioning profile for the Facebook Research app was created on April 19, 2017, but this does not necessarily correlate to the date that Facebook distributed the provisioning profile to end users,” said Timothy Powderly, Apple’s director of federal affairs, in his letter.

Facebook said the app dated back to 2016.

TechCrunch also obtained the letters sent by Apple and Google to lawmakers in early March, but were never made public.

These “research” apps relied on willing participants to download the app from outside the app store and use the Apple-issued developer certificates to install the apps. Then, the apps would install a root network certificate, allowing the app to collect all the data out of the device — like web browsing histories, encrypted messages, and mobile app activity — potentially also including data from their friends — for competitive analysis.

A response by Facebook about the number of users involved in Project Atlas. (Image: TechCrunch)

In Facebook’s case, the research app — dubbed Project Atlas — was a repackaged version of its Onavo VPN app, which Facebook was forced to remove from Apple’s App Store last year for gathering too much device data.

Just this week, Facebook relaunched its research app as Study, only available on Google Play and for users who have been approved through Facebook’s research partner, Applause. Facebook said it would be more transparent about how it collects user data.

Facebook’s vice-president of public policy Kevin Martin defended the company’s use of enterprise certificates, saying it “was a relatively well-known industry practice.” When asked, a Facebook spokesperson didn’t quantify this further. Later, TechCrunch found dozens of apps that used enterprise certificates to evade the app store.

Facebook previously said it “specifically ignores information shared via financial or health apps.” In its letter to lawmakers, Facebook stuck to its guns, saying its data collection was focused on “analytics,” but confirmed “in some isolated circumstances the app received some limited non-targeted content.”

“We did not review all of the data to determine whether it contained health or financial data,” said a Facebook spokesperson. “We have deleted all user-level market insights data that was collected from the Facebook Research app, which would include any health or financial data that may have existed.”

But Facebook didn’t say what kind of data, only that the app didn’t decrypt “the vast majority” of data sent by a device.

Facebook describing the type of data it collected — including “limited, non-targeted content.” (Image: TechCrunch)

Google’s letter, penned by public policy vice-president Karan Bhatia, did not provide a number of devices or users, saying only that its app was a “small scale” program. When reached, a Google spokesperson did not comment by our deadline.

Google also said it found “no other apps that were distributed to consumer end users,” but confirmed several other apps used by the company’s partners and contractors, which no longer rely on enterprise certificates.

Google explaining which of its apps were improperly using Apple-issued enterprise certificates. (Image: TechCrunch)

Apple told TechCrunch that both Facebook and Google “are in compliance” with its rules as of the time of publication. At its annual developer conference last week, the company said it now “reserves the right to review and approve or reject any internal use application.”

Facebook’s willingness to collect this data from teenagers — despite constant scrutiny from press and regulators — demonstrates how valuable the company sees market research on its competitors. With its restarted paid research program but with greater transparency, the company continues to leverage its data collection to keep ahead of its rivals.

Facebook and Google came off worse in the enterprise app abuse scandal, but critics said in revoking enterprise certificates Apple retains too much control over what content customers have on their devices.

The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission are said to be examining the big four tech giants — Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google-owner Alphabet — for potentially falling foul of U.S. antitrust laws.

6 iPhone Apps You Need Right Now

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