Apple Watch Takes Center Stage Amid iPhone Excitement

In Apple’s universe, it’s usually iPhone news and rumors that takes center stage. But this week, it’s Apple Watch that hogged the attention.

First, a report said the Apple Watch come with a new feature that would allow it to connect to cellular networks without having to be tethered to an iPhone. It was quickly followed by an analyst report providing more information about the LTE chip. And most recently, a report detailed how many Apple Watches the company may sell this year.

 Story image for Apple from Fortune

Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter

But the news didn’t end on the wrist. There was also talk this week of Apple’s (AAPL, -0.21%) efforts in entertainment, and surprisingly, it mulling over a change to the design of App Store icon after years of leaving the image alone.

Read on for a quick look at this week’s biggest Apple news:

This is Fortune’s weekly roundup of the biggest Apple news this week.

  1. The next Apple Watch, which could be announced in September, may come with an LTE connection, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors this week. The feature would provide Apple Watches with a cellular connection, eliminating the need for it to be linked to an iPhone for an Internet connection. It would be the first Apple Watch to come with LTE since the smartwatch was introduced in 2015.
  2. Just a day later, Kuo wrote another note to investors to clarify that the LTE compatibility won’t mean that Apple Watch will be capable of placing and receiving calls on its own, as some users had hoped. Instead, the LTE connection will only allow for data transfers, meaning people who want to place calls through the Watch must tether it to an iPhone.
  3. Although Apple won’t reveal the number of Apple Watches it sells, unidentified suppliers told supply chain news site DigiTimes on Friday that the company is expected to ship 15 million units in 2017. That figure could jump to 20 million in 2018, the suppliers say.
  4. In response to last weekend’s Charlottesville, Va. rally and violence, Apple this week stopped allowing far-right sites integrate Apple Pay in websitesthat used the mobile-payment service to take payment for merchandise. According to a report, Apple blocked access to Apple Pay on three white supremacist websites. It was part of a broader effort by Apple to speak out against hateful speech and violence.
  5. Apple CEO Tim Cook blasted President Donald Trump this week for his comments following Charlottesville. Cook said that he didn’t agree “with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights.” Cook also said that Apple would donate $1 million to both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.
  6. Apple has allocated $1 billion in its budget to acquiring original video content, according to The Wall Street Journal. Apple will try to buy shows to bolster a video service the company is reportedly working on that would compete against Netflix and Amazon Video. The Journal‘s sources said Apple wants to use the money to produce 10 TV shows.

One more thing…Apple has used the same App Store icon, featuring an “A” made up of a pencil, paintbrush, and ruler, for years. The new design features three sticks all arranged in an A. It’s a simple change, but it’s one that people have been chatting about on social media all week. And some are not too happy.


8 Apple iPhone 8 Alternatives To Buy That Are Also Apple


For a moment between the leaks and rumors, when I was actually able to consider it all — I thought about saving up and buying an Apple AAPL +0.37% iPhone 8. The Apple iPhone 8 could finally be the iPhone that looks less like an iPhone and more like a Samsung. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 screen leaks are pretty close in size and OLED greatness as the iPhone 8 screen leaks. My point is, that even with a insanely high price point and an inter-dimensional quandary, the iPhone 8 could be worth it.

Then again, it might not. $1200 for a cell phone? That’s a little wild. I literally just bought a 1998 Subaru Legacy for $1200. Of course, the price point is not only what the market will bear, but come the September keynote, something that tech journalists and fans will be cheering. Even with production delays, the iPhone 8 is still expected to be released at the same time as the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus.

Also see: Apple Finally Invents Instagram, Revolutionizing Your iPhone Photos

Gordon Kelly, who writes most of the iPhone leak articleshere at Forbes, suggests auctioning the iPhone 8 if you are able to get one before Christmas. He says this is the sensible option. While I’ve done that type of thing before (with a pair of Yeezy Boosts), perhaps you are just better off spending your $1200 on something else. Though, you’d still want something Apple related right? Well, here are eight Apple products well under $1200 you might want to buy instead of an iPhone 8:

  • Apple Newton MessagePad 2000. You can get one on eBay for under $200 in working order. Stylus pens are making a comeback, so why not be a total tech hipster and attend your morning stand-up meetings with this retro device in hand?
  • Apple Bandai Pippin. One of the worst video game systems of all time was limited to under 42,000 units actually released before it royally failed. Still cheaper than many modern cell phones. Plus you know you have a hankering to play Gus Goes to the Kooky Carnival in search of Rant.
  • Apple MacBook Air. Sure, we like our computing power in our pockets, but you can get two refurbished MacBook Air laptops for the price of one iPhone 8. Totally worth it and perfect for back to school.
  • A bag full of iPod Shuffles. Recently discontinued, now is the time to stock up on used iPod Shuffles. You can probably get about 40 4th generation iPod Shuffles for the cost of one iPhone 8. This was a great little device, I still have two. One of my favorite Apple products ever.
  • Macintosh Portable. I figure if typewriters are making a comeback, it’s only a matter of time before people start lugging around 16 pounds of 1 MB SRAM.
  • An Apple Watch. Just kidding. Apple Watches are terrible devices. Buy a Swatch instead.
  • Apple iPod Touch. Oddly enough, even with phones on the market with more storage than a base model iPod Touch, Apple still makes this. It’s not like you use your phone for actual phone calls anymore. If you hate your data plan and use WiFi like a boss, save some coin and get an iPod Touch for a fraction of the cost.
  • Around 3600 actual apples. It’s August, which means apple season is starting. Let’s say at 99 cents a pound, about three apples to a pound, you can get more than 3600 hundred apples for the price of an iPhone 8. That is some quality fiber and vitamin C right there.

Before you start taking out my knee-caps in the comments, I agree, this is total fluff. I just told myself at the start of the week that I needed to write some sort of silly tech listicle. I understand that I am no better today than the junk advertorial articles you see grouped together at the bottom of a Huffpo article.

Disclaimer aside, we are an always connected culture, consuming content in pace with our breathing. The Apple iPhone 8 will be another consumption device, programmed to be beautiful and wallet draining. It’s luxurious and smooth. So consider this instead — you can buy some nostalgia, or fruit.

Or you could just buy an iPhone 7S or iPhone 7S Plus. These will most likely be cheaper phones with a more traditional Apple iPhone design. There is a bit of wariness when considering the total sea change in design elements of the iPhone 8. I think I’ll stick to drawing on my MessagePad 2000.


Apple Shares Jump on Excitement for Next iPhone

Story image for Apple from New York Times

Apple reported impressive profit and revenue growth in its just-completed fiscal third quarter, helping send its shares up 5% in morning trading on Wednesday.

But most Wall Street analysts were more focused on the bread crumbs Apple offered about expectations for its next line of iPhones expected to be announced in September. And on that score, the news was very good indeed. Apple said it expected to pull in as much as $52 billion of sales for the upcoming quarter, well ahead of Wall Street’s $49 billion average forecast from before the earnings announcement.

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty pointed to the strong revenue forecast and what she termed confident-sounding remarks by Apple executives. “Strong results and guidance clear the path for AAPL shares to outperform in the early innings of an iPhone supercycle,” Huberty wrote.

Longtime Apple follower Toni Sacconaghi at Bernstein Research was a bit more cautious. By his read, updated basic models, what he dubs the iPhone 7S line, will be available on time in September. But he gave only a 10% chance that Apple will have enough stock on hand to meet demand for a rumored new highly-desirable, high-end model, perhaps called the iPhone 8, at a higher price. He sees a 50% chance that the high end model won’t reach customers at all until October or later and a 40% chance of “limited quantities” in September. Rumors of a possible delay have been emanating from Apple’s Asian supply chain for months.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter.

“Apple’s Q3 results were strong and broad-based, particularly since they came on the eve of Apple’s potentially biggest iPhone introduction in years, and at the outset of new software offerings,” Sacconaghi wrote. “That said, we didn’t learn much about the iPhone 8 and its timing–other than the iPhone business itself is stronger going into the cycle that most had thought, and that new offerings won’t all be materially delayed.”

Such delays for a higher end model, likely with an OLED display, won’t hurt Apple much, according to J.P. Morgan analyst Rod Hall, who also pointed to Apple’s strong revenue guidance. Many customers will snap up new LCD-screen models while other wait for the OLED model to arrive.

“We believe this strength relates to the iPhone and probably to the two new LCD models which we believe are likely to begin contributing meaningfully in September while the OLED ‘iPhone Pro’ model looks more likely to materially impact December quarter numbers,” Hall wrote.

Still, some analysts saw an much less impressive picture for the upcoming iPhones. Andy Hargreaves at KeyBanc Capital Markets said the rate of iPhone sales from the past quarter were about in line with the prior four years. To Hargreaves that indicated no large build of customer demand for the upcoming new iPhones.

“While it is generally positive that Apple continues to sell iPhones at a healthy clip, the stable demand pattern suggests pent-up demand for the new iPhone is not building,” he wrote. “This raises questions about the ability of Apple’s new iPhones to drive the outsized upgrade rates and growth in new users that consensus estimates anticipate.”

Apple sells many things besides iPhones of course. The company reported its first increase in iPad sales in more than three years and also showed a strong 22% jump in revenue from services including sales of digital media, subscriptions to Apple Music, and purchases of online storage space on iCloud. And Mac computer sales rose modestly even as the overall PC market contracted. For Barclays analyst Mark Moskowitz, those three areas could also bolster Apple’s (AAPL, +4.73%) share price.

“Overall, these three factors could be the bigger reason for the brighter Sep-Q outlook,” he wrote. “In such a case, we think it is important for investors to consider the outlook may not be rosy just because of the next iPhone.”


This AR gaming demo has me seriously excited for the iPhone 8

iOS 11 FeaturesAugmented reality is one of the main features of iOS 11, Apple confirmed at its WWDC event last month. The iPhone maker already released the tools developers need to come up with various AR apps that will work on a variety of supported devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and we already saw a bunch of impressive demos of ARKit apps. A short video shows us what it’ll be possible for games when AR is included, and the iPhone 8 might offer us a gaming experience that’ll have no rivals.Posted on Twitter, the following video shows us a game built on the Unreal Engine platform, and adapted to work with Apple’s ARKit:

The app uses ARKit to overlay game graphics over an object in the real world, turning the entire game into an unparalleled experience.

Moving around the table or getting closer to the action will change the whole perspective, far beyond the zoom in and zoom out features that would be available in a traditional non-AR game.

These experiences should be available on a variety of devices, not just the iPhone 8. But Apple’s 2017 iPhones will feature faster chips and better graphics, which should turn them into devices that are even better suited to consume graphics-intensive AR content like the game above.

The only downside to the whole experience is that you still have to hold the iPhone in front of you and touch the screen to interact with objects. But even so, AR gaming already looks incredible in these demos.


Non-Apple chip suppliers seeing slowdown as Apple chain builds up to ‘iPhone 8’

Although chipmakers in the Apple supply chain saw their orders accelerate in June, suppliers for non-Apple devices have encountered unexpectedly slow orders this year —possibly because device makers are waiting to see what the “iPhone 8” and/or “iPhone 7s” will bring to the table, according to a report.

Story image for Apple from AppleInsider (press release) (blog)

Supply firms like MediaTek and HiSilicon have been dealing with decelerating orders, and are warning about disappointing phone chip shipments outside the Apple sphere in the third quarter, DigiTimessources said on Monday. The people claimed that orders for non-Apple devices should have gathered steam between April and August, but that instead, suppliers don’t expect orders to rise significantly until the fourth quarter —after a likely September announcement of new iPhones.

Apple’s main processor manufacturer, TSMC, has seen its non-Apple clients favor 12-nanometer chips instead of 10-nanometer ones, the sources added. The “iPhone 8” and/or the “iPhone 7s” are expected to use a 10-nanometer “A11” processor, and in fact the sources suggested that iPhone sales will likely fuel demand for TSMC’s 10-nanometer technology through the first quarter of 2018.

Multiple reports have hinted at production delays for new iPhones, particularly the “iPhone 8.” That device is expected to have an edge-to-edge, 5.8-inch OLED display, swapping out a physical home button for a virtual one. Flexible circuit boards as well as embedding Touch ID into the display may be creating issues —it has even been suggested that Apple could replace Touch ID with the phone’s rumored 3D facial recognition technology.

While a September announcement is widely predicted, it’s possible that Apple won’t actually deliver the “iPhone 8” until October or later —or it might only have a small number of units ready in September.


The most accurate Apple analyst says the next iPhone will have face recognition and a giant screen

CNBC Tech: iPhone 7

KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo — often cited for his insider knowledge on A’s movements — recently published a new investor note laying out his predictions for the iPhone 8.

Kuo’s track record has been pretty solid recently; he noted Apple’s plans to release a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro and a standard 9.7-inch iPad earlier this year.

According to StreetInsider, Kuo said he believes that Apple’s most premium iPhone, which has been referred to as the iPhone 8, will feature a home button that hides under the screen.

Speaking of the display, it’s supposed to take up most of the entire front of the iPhone 8, according to Kuo, which means a design similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S8.

Kuo said the iPhone 8 will feature support for facial recognition, meaning a user should be able to look at his or her phone to unlock it. The device reportedly won’t support a fingerprint reader, though earlier rumors had suggested Apple was trying to embed one into the screen. The sacrifice has helped Apple avoid delays, Kuo suggested.

Kuo said Apple will also release “iterative” updates to the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, which means we shouldn’t expect drastic changes to the devices, though will likely see updated processors as Apple tends to do each year.


More :SAI Apple is preparing for the death of the iPhone

The iPhone may be the most successful product of all time, selling over 1 billion units and making Apple the most valuable publicly traded company in the world.Yet Apple already has to face the possibility of a world where new kinds of computers supplant the iPhone, just as the iPhone replaced iPods, and other computers, a decade ago.

The smartphone is the dominant computing platform today, but Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and now even Apple are already starting to invest heavily on augmented reality technology, which integrates computer graphics into the real world.

The thinking is that one day, this technology will end up in light and portable smart glasses, which will be able to replace all the screens in our lives – even the iPhone.

Apple sees what other tech companies are seeing: The smartphone market is not the growth engine it was a few years ago, and tech companies need something to replace it.

Apple CEO Tim Cook loves to talk about augmented reality. “I am so excited about it, I just want to yell out and scream,” Cook told Bloomberg earlier this month .

It’s not the first time he’s teased a big new product related to AR.

“AR is going to take a while, because there are some really hard technology challenges there. But it will happen, it will happen in a big way, and we will wonder when it does, how we ever lived without it. Like we wonder how we lived without our phone today,” Cook said last year.


iPhone 10th anniversary: looking back at how Apple changed the mobile landscape

As the Apple iPhone officially turns 10, we look back at how the introduction of Apple’s touchscreen smartphone influenced the rest of the mobile industry and society as a whole. From bringing us the emoji by conquering the Japanese market to turning the modern world