It’s been a bruising few months for Apple. The company is one of the world’s largest technology firms and has a devoted army of fans all over the globe who’ll buy almost anything they release, but it also has detractors. Recently, those detractors have been getting louder and causing more problems. In case the news has somehow passed you by in recent weeks, here’s why a few large app and game making companies are angry with them. Epic Games, the company that’s responsible for “Fortnite,” has decided that it’s no longer happy with Apple taking a 30% cut of everything the game makes. Other companies have decided to back Epic’s stand, and now the company has found itself locked in a PR battle.
Those who think the current App Store system is unfair have two main gripes with it. They believe the 30% cut is excessive, and they’re not happy that Apple doesn’t allow developers to use any other method to install apps on iPhones or other iOS devices. We’ve heard the situation compared to an online slots website. That comparison might not be entirely accurate. The arrangement with online slots websites is that gamblers come to play games on the website, and every time money is spent, profits are split between the people who own the website and the people who developed the game. That’s precisely how the 30/70 split with App Store works. The difference is that no online slots developer has to do business with a website they don’t want to work with. They can take their PayPal slots elsewhere and offer online slots to players another way. People who want to create apps for iPhones don’t have that luxury. The situation is likely to be resolved in court, so Apple could do with a media-friendly distraction until that happens. They’ve just created one.
For what feels like forever, iPhone users and fans of the Apple brand have been waiting for news on the development and release of the iPhone 12. There have been numerous rumors about the device – including suggestions that it will ship without chargers or headphones but will be 5G ready – but no concrete information. Many people hoped that Apple’s recent fall event would bring the official iPhone announcement, but that came and went with no sign of the company’s iconic flagship product. We got news of new-generation products for both the Apple Watch and the iPad, but no phone news. That was back in September, and the lack of news since then had some people worried that there was a problem with the phone, and the launch event might not happen this year. That was always unlikely – no tech company would miss the opportunity to put a new product out in time for Christmas if they had the means to do so. We still don’t know for sure that the iPhone 12 will be with us by Christmas – but we do finally know when we’re going to find out.
Following on from the September hardware launch, Apple has announced a new ‘special event’ on October 13th. The event will be held online because of the current global restrictions on large gatherings, but numerous reputable sources have confirmed that this will be the day on which Apple officially announces the launch of the iPhone 12. We should finally get confirmation of the device’s specifications and capabilities, and we should get a solid launch date at the same time. The smart money says that the launch date will be within one month of the announcement and that pre-orders will open almost immediately.
Somewhat enigmatically, the company is using the catchphrase “Hi, Speed” in connection with the event. That could have one of two meanings. It might be confirmation that the new iPhone will contain the new Apple Silicon chip, which also features in the new iPad Air 4 and is believed to be faster than anything currently available from Intel. Alternatively, it might be confirmation that the new iPhone will come with 5G connectivity by default. As 5G is a high-speed network, the “Hi, Speed” catchphrase would make sense in either context. On the probability of balance, it’s likely that they’re referring to the chip. The company is especially proud of Apple Silicon, as the feat of packing 11.8bn transistors into a single chip was thought to be impossible until they did it. The transistors are so small that they’re measured in atoms rather than micrometers. However, this is not to say that the phones won’t also be 5G-ready. All of Apple’s major competitors in the mobile phone market are making that transition, so it would be potentially disadvantageous for the company if they didn’t follow suit.
Numerous details about the new phone handsets are alleged to have leaked to social media, including schematics that say the largest version of the phone will come with a 6.7-inch display, compared to 5.4 inches for the smallest. This smaller device, said to be called the iPhone 12 Mini, won’t come with some of the more advanced technological components that will be found inside the larger phones. The handsets are believed to have a steel frame rather than a plastic one, and the decision not to include a charger is said to signal a move toward wireless charging as the company’s preferred method of powering up a battery.
For now, all of this is speculation. We’ve been speculating about what the newest iPhone will or will not be capable of doing for several months, and we’re all about to find out whether we’ve been right or wrong. The time for speculation is almost over. In a few short days, we’ll all find out what Apple’s hiding up its sleeve, and when we can get our hands on one. Prepare for news coverage of people queuing up outside Apple stores overnight to be the first in line when the product arrives at stores, and if you’re a parent or someone with a tech-enthusiastic partner, prepare to receive an expensive request for their Christmas list. The iPhone 12 is almost here, and with it might come the next phase in the evolution of mobile phone technology. Let’s hope it proves to be worth the long wait!