Rumors

Siri could soon recognize your voice & let you customize “Hey Siri” hotword

The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) recently published a patent application from Apple, uncovered by PatentlyApple, that’s interesting on many levels. It basically hints at a new security feature that may or may not come to Siri in the future. In a nutshell, Apple’s proposed solution would let Siri recognize the voice of the device owner.

The invention has the potential to prevent unauthorized Siri interactions on the Lock screen and across CarPlay and HomeKit devices.

Apple Watch Series 3 to release in second half of 2017, older models likely to be discounted

A third-generation Apple Watch is expected to be announced in the fall with battery life and performance improvements. Today, DigiTimes said Apple had asked its suppliers to begin shipping parts for the device in the second half of 2017.

The tentatively named Apple Watch Series 3 should be assembled by Compal Electronics, with Quanta Computer taking over production of current models.

In other words, existing Apple Watch Series 2 and 1 models should be kept on sale at reduced prices after Apple Watch Series 3 hits.

Analyst: iPhone 8 to be priced relative to Galaxy S8+

Two months ago, Fast Company reported that iPhone 8 would start at above $1,000 due to costlier components and advanced technologies, such as wireless charging, VR capabilities, revamped industrial design, a curved AMOLED screen and more. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich begs to differ, telling CNBC that the device will come in for less than $1,000 as new models are expected to see a “bulge of buying”.

Apple’s tightly-knit industrial design group loses another longtime member

In what could be described as a shakeup to Apple’s vaunted design team, its longtime industrial designer Christopher Stringer has left the company.

He was with the iPhone maker for 21 years, as per a new article Monday by The Information.

About a year ago, Danny Coster, another member of Apple’s elite industrial design team, has left the firm for greener pastures at GoPro. The design team at Apple’s gone through multiple changes in the last two years as Jonathan Ive stepped back from running the team, with Richard Howarth taking over day-to-day management of the group.

Nikkei: Apple places order for 70 million bendable OLEDs for iPhone 8 with Samsung

Apple has placed a huge order for seventy million bendable organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels with Samsung’s display-making arm for use in iPhone 8, Nikkei reported Monday. Apple and Samsung Display, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, signed a deal last year to supply 100 million OLEDs for iPhone 8. In February 2017, Apple contracted Samsung to build an additional 60 million OLEDs for a total of 160 million units in 2017.

Apple is developing its own GPU chips

In a bombshell press release issued Monday, UK chip designer Imagination Technologies said Apple told it that it would end a fruitful deal to use Imagination’s blueprints for customized graphics cores in its own A-series chips powering iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch and Apple TV devices.

Apparently, the Cupertino company is now looking to create independent GPU designs that could be ready in about two year’s time. Shares of Imagination immediately plunged over 70 percent to their lowest level since the financial crisis in 2009, wiping over $625 million off the company’s market value.

Apple may offer HBO, Showtime and Starz in a combined premium TV bundle

Recode reported Sunday that Apple is considering offering a “premium TV bundle” with content from the networks HBO, Showtime and Starz.

As I’m sure you’ll recall, the Cupertino company’s long been rumored to have been interested in creating a $30-$40 per month skinny bundle of top TV programming from multiple content owners.

While App Store offers apps from each of those channels individually, Apple has reportedly approached the three networks about rolling them up into a single package, as conventional pay TV operators sometimes do.

Barclays: iPhone 8 to sport 3D sensors on both front and back

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, along with a few other sources, believes Apple will bet heavily on augmented reality with iPhone 8. He predicted the device’s front-facing camera will use a bespoke 3D sensor to let users take 3D selfies, map their surroundings, scan nearly any real-world object in three dimensions and more.

Analysts Andrew Gardiner, Hiral Patel, Joseph Wolf, Blayne Curtis and Mark Moskowitz reported in a Friday research note, obtained by 9to5Mac, that iPhone 8 may use a second 3D sensor out the back for augmented reality features.

Barclays: 2017 iPhones will have True Tone display

According to research note from Barclays, obtained by MacRumors, all three iPhone models this year will adopt True Tone technology that’s currently available only on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

The research notes states that both Apple’s rumored all-new iPhone 8 model with an active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) display and the iterative LCD-based iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus will each include a “full spectral sensing” ambient light sensor to support a “True Color” screen.

Silly rumor claims iPhone 8 will feature vertical dual-cameras and Touch ID on the back

iDropNews, a blog without a proven track record, is claiming that Apple will move its Touch ID fingerprint reader to the back of iPhone 8. Citing an unnamed source who allegedly spoke privately with a Foxconn employee, the blog made other bold claims, saying iPhone 8 would come outfitted with vertical cameras, while reiterating some of the previously mentioned features, including “iPhone Edition” branding.

iPhone 8’s augmented reality 3D sensor could be built by Himax Technologies

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that iPhone 8’s front-facing camera would take advantage of a new sensor for “revolutionary” features such as augmented reality applications, advanced facial recognition, 3D selfies, 3D object scanning/modeling and more. Tuesday, Barron’s noted that Apple may have contracted a company called Himax Technologies to build the rumored sensor for Apple’s OLED-based iPhone 8.

FT: Apple stepping up efforts in augmented reality eyewear

The Financial Times ran a paywall’d story Monday, in which it reported that Apple is “stepping up” its augmented reality efforts across the company, especially in augmented reality eyewear, with the ultimate goal of releasing a consumer-facing accessory. Augmented reality is now reportedly the most important development project within Apple, after iPhone.

The report notes that both Apple with its yet-to-be-announced product and Facebook with its tethered Oculus headset are gearing up to challenge the secretive Florida-based startup Magic Leap and Microsoft, which more than two years ago debuted its praised augmented reality accessory, called HoloLens.