Trivia Thursday: 7 Forgotten Apple Products

Trivia Thursday: 7 Forgotten Apple Products

As yesterday was the 66th birth anniversary of Steve Jobs, in this week’s Trivia Thursday we look back to 7 products by Apple which did not take off. This will also give us a possible glimpse behind what influenced Jobs’ design towards all the Apple products, and his personal fashion too.

Crux of the Matter

In this week’s Trivia Thursday, let us have a look at some of the forgotten products launched by Apple.

Macintosh Bashful (1983)
This was a tablet prototype dedicated to one of the 7 Dwarfs from Disney and Apple’s “Snow White Industrial-Design Language”.

Apple Clothing (1986)
One year after Steve Jobs resigned as the chairman, the company launched a line of Apple-branded clothing, accessories, and lifestyle items.

Apple Time Band (1991)
Featured in Japanese magazine Axis, it resembled the personal digital assistant, Apple Newton, worn on a wrist.

Adjustable Keyboard (1993)
It had the ability to split in half for better ergonomic typing.

iPod Socks (2004)
Apple sold them in 6 catchy colors as the iPod protector.

iPod Hi-Fi (2006)
Apple designed this speaker system, specifically for the iPod.

Flower Power iMac
It was a throwback edition to Steve Jobs’ hippie roots in the late ’60s and early ’70s.

Job’s Koumpounophobia
Steve Jobs suffered from koumpounophobia (phobia of buttons). Some have speculated that his condition influenced the trend towards touch screens and virtual keyboards in the design of Apple devices.

Take a look at our last week’s Trivia Thursday here: Quirky Things About Bitcoin

How Do Foldable Smartphones Work?

How Do Foldable Smartphones Work?

Our needs from a phone have changed drastically from just calling and texting to becoming our pocket-sized, office cum entertainment centre. With Apple working on the foldable iPhone screen prototypes, let’s see how smartphones would further evolve in this decade, with flexible displays.

Crux of the Matter

What Is A Foldable Phone?
It is a phone with a folding form factor. This means it uses a rigid-flex printed circuit board (PCB), which integrates elements from both hardboard and flexible circuits. So, the rigid layer carries the bulk of the components, while the flexible layers make the hinge work between the two screens.

Display Material Used
The foldable smartphones use flexible, plastic OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) displays instead of gorilla glass displays, as the former is capable of sustaining the bend radius required for bending. 

Types Of Foldable Displays

  • The display that wraps around to the back of the device when folded. Eg: Royole FlexPai and Huawei Mate X.
  • A booklet-like display, with an inner screen, which is larger + folded and a cover screen, which lets the user interact with the device without opening it. Eg: Samsung Galaxy Fold.
  • Double folding display, wherein the left and right portions of the screen can be folded to transform into a compact device. Eg: Xiaomi Mi Mix Flex.
  • Swivelling Display is a dual-screen that includes a swivel screen, which can rotate clockwise in 90°, along with the second screen behind it. Eg: LG’s WING swivel.

What About Rollable Phones?
The screen in these smartphones shall behave like a paper on a scroll, actuated by the user’s input as intended. Eg: OPPO X 2021. Also, LG and TCL’s respective rolling phones announced at CES 2021.

Problems Faced by Consumers
Eg: One Fold, Vertical Flip screens – Samsung Z-Flip’s advertised glass screen scratched like plastic and Motorola Razr’s units got easily broken by users.

Curiopedia
  • The Motorola Razr was a series of flip mobile phones by Motorola. On November 14, 2019, Motorola again revived the Razr brand, this time for an Android-based foldable smartphone styled after the original Razr, which carried the same name.
  • The first-generation iPhone was announced by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007. Since then Apple has annually released new iPhone models and iOS updates. As of November 1, 2018, more than 2.2 billion iPhones had been sold.
  • With the first iteration of the Samsung Fold, there were multiple issues that reviewers encountered, like dust getting into the hinge and damaging the display, nicks and dings on the soft plastic, and the accidental removal of a thin display layer that looked like (but was not) a screen protector. As a result, Samsung had to delay the commercial release of the device and collect back all the initial units.

Apple’s Next Is A Self-driving iCar?

Apple’s Next Is A Self-driving iCar?

As per Reuters, the world’s most valuable electronics company, Apple is making plans to launch its first-ever passenger vehicle. Fondly being called ‘Apple iCar‘ by its fans, it is speculated to have a ‘next level’ battery, to take on rivals like Tesla, Volkswagen, and others. Let’s see how Apple will hit the roads by 2024.

Crux of the Matter

Timeline Of Project Titan

  • 2014: CEO Tim Cook approves Apple electric car project, codenamed ‘Titan’. It was assigned to a former Ford engineer, VP Steve Zadesky. Later on Johann Jungwirth, former-president of Mercedes-Benz was rumoured to join the R&D
  • 2016: Tesla Motors CEO, Elon Musk hinted at Apple making a ‘compelling’ electric car.

Significant Developments Of 2018

  • Apple registers 27 self-driving vehicles with California’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Doug Field, former VP of engineering at Tesla, heads Titan.
  • One of their prototypes gets involved in a crash during road-testing.
  • They have patented a system, which warns riders ahead of time, about what an autonomous car can do.

2019-2020

  • 2019: Apple lays off 200 employees from Titan and acquires autonomous vehicle startup Drive.ai.
  • 2020: Apple has not made it official but Reuters has quoted two sources, that state the iPhone manufacturer wants to roll out ‘iCars’ by 2024 with its AI lead, John Giannandrea, monitoring it.

With Good Design, Come Good Batteries
Apple is inclined towards the “monocell” design, which bulks up the individual cells and makes more space inside the battery pack by eliminating pouches that hold battery materials.

LFP Batteries
Apple is studying chemistry for lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, as it overheats less, is inherently safer and gives longer car range, than just li-on batteries.

Lidar Sensor Companies’ Stocks Rise
After reports that Apple will partner with outside companies for iCar parts, Luminar and Velodyne, both companies that produce lidar sensors, had their stocks jump to 10% and 14% resp. on 22 December.

What Is Lidar?
Light Detection and Ranging is a mechanism for measuring distances, by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection via a sensor. The Lidar will act as the “eyes” for iCar, as it will continuously scan a 3D image of nearby surroundings and help them navigate. 

iCar may feature multiple lidar sensors for scanning different distances. Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro models from this year featured lidar sensors.

Challenges Ahead For Apple
For profit, automotive manufacturers often ask for volumes that could be challenging even to Apple, as a newcomer in the automotive market. One of the managing partners at Apple investor Gullane Capital Partners, Trip Miller, said it could be tough for Apple to produce large volumes of cars out of the gate.

Chief economist at Apple shareholder Capital Investment Counsel, Hal Eddins, says “Apple has a history of higher margins than most automakers.”

Existing Self-Driving Car Competitors 

  • Tesla (Autopilot mode)
  • Cruise
  • Waymo
  • Voyage
  • Swift Navigation
  • Embark Trucks
  • CARMERA
  • Zoox
  • Nauto

Curiopedia
  • Alphabet Inc’s Waymo is an autonomous driving technology company that has built Robo-taxis to carry passengers for a driverless ride-hailing service. Waymo is run by CEO John Krafcik and has raised $3 billion in two outside funding rounds.
  • Tesla Autopilot is an advanced driver-assistance system offered by Tesla that has self-driving features. The driver is responsible and the car requires constant supervision. The company claims the features reduce accidents caused by driver negligence and fatigue from long-term driving.
  • Elon Musk said in a tweet that he reached out to Apple during the ‘darkest days’ of the development of Tesla’s Model 3 to talk about a possible deal. Musk said he planned to discuss the possibility of selling Tesla to Apple for ~$60 billion, but the Apple CEO refused to take any meeting.

Attack At Apple’s Wistron Plant In India

Apple's Wistron Corporation Attacked By Protestors

Wistron Corporation is one of Apple’s global manufacturing contractors. Recently, the manufacturing plant of Wistron in Bangalore, India was under attack reportedly over the matter of wages. This attack comes at a time when India is inviting global players to produce in India and many companies are looking to shift their base out of China. Let’s take a look at the matter in detail.

Crux of the Matter

Wistron Corporation
Wistron Corporation is one of Apple’s global manufacturing contractors. In India, it manufactures iPhone 7 handsets and second-generation iPhone SE devices. Wistron Corporation headquarter is situated in Taiwan.

Violence At Plant
On 12 December, workers at Wistron Corp.’s manufacturing unit near Bengaluru turned violent over the issue of the wage dispute. “The company was defrauding workers on overtime payments, salary and had even resorted to assault,” said a company worker. The company has registered an FIR against 7,000 unknown people on charges of violence and vandalism.

Police FIR report says that the company suffered damage worth over ₹400-500 crores. However, as per the report submitted to Taiwan Stock Exchanges by the company revised its estimated damage to ₹25-50 crores. Attackers damaged the company’s buildings & vehicles by setting them on fire, damaged costly equipment including machines and computers. Wistron also said that it was likely that the vandalism was carried out by outsiders hired by employment agencies

Apple is dedicated to ensuring everyone in our supply chain is treated with dignity and respect. We have teams on the ground and immediately launched a detailed investigation at Wistron’s Narasapura facility in India.

Apple on Wistron Plant Attack in India

What Global Times Said About the Incident?

Business and academic circles hold high hopes for growth on the back of India’s cheap labor, but now it seems far from certain that low labor cost will eventually translate into manufacturing advantage in India. Instead, the rising wealth inequality in India is pushing a huge pool of cheap labor to the verge of social conflict and violence, damaging the country’s manufacturing sector and ruining its reputation.

Global Times, China on Wistron Plant Attack in India

Who Said What In India?

It is unfortunate that Wistron manufacturing plant was violently attacked by agitating workers near Kolar. At a time when many companies are shifting base from China to India, such attacks give a bad name for the State. I request CM B S Yediyurappa to order a probe into this incident.

C T RAVI, BJP National General Secretary

Help To Restart Operations

This is an unfortunate incident, and we are in touch with the company and the Union government and are doing all we can to help restart the factory within the next 10-15 days.

Shivaram Hebbar

Read about iPhone’s latest model here: Apple IPhone 12: Most Powerful Phone Yet?

Curiopedia
  • Offshoring is the relocation of a business process from one country to another—typically an operational process, such as manufacturing, or supporting processes, such as accounting. Lower cost and increased corporate profitability are often the motivation.
  • Global labour arbitrage is an economic phenomenon where, as a result of the removal of or disintegration of barriers to international trade, jobs move to nations where labour and the cost of doing business is inexpensive. Often, a prosperous nation will remove its barriers to international trade, integrating its labour market with those of nations with a lower cost of labour.
  • Wistron Corporation was the manufacturing arm of Acer Inc. before being spun off in 2000. Wistron employs over 80,000 people worldwide. As an ODM (original design manufacturer) Wistron designs and manufactures products for other companies to sell under their own brand name.

DOJ’s Concerns Over Google-Apple Collusion

DOJ's Concerns Over Google Apple Collusion

Google has been alleged with one of the biggest antitrust allegations so far by the Department Of Justice (DOJ), US. Let’s take a look into it and understand the collusion between Google and Apple.

Crux of the Matter

Google’s Bargain
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has claimed that Google has been paying $8 billion to $12 billion since 2017 to be the default search engine for iPhone and its services like Siri. The DOJ further alleged that Google and Apple work on the agreement as “one company”.

Mobile Safari is a web browser designed by Apple for iPhones. According to the 2014 court documents, Google paid $1 billion to secure the default position on the browser in the US. Due to the arrangement, the iPhone plays a major role in generating revenue for Google’s mobile advertisement business, which gives Google an edge over the competition.

Allegations Against Google
Regulators have shown concern over Google’s pay for US placement, as it was 50% higher than what was paid six years ago. This increment may be done to curb the competition. Other browsers like, Microsoft’s Bing and DuckDuckGo, may not be able to pay a similar amount for prime placement, which gives an unfair advantage to Google.

Google’s Response
The senior vice president of Global Affairs, Google, Kent Walker responded against the allegations and called the case deeply flawed.

Walker further argued that their agreement is similar to other traditional company agreements.

Read More: Can Apple Remove 450,000 Cars From Road From This Year?

Curiopedia
  • An oligopoly is a market form wherein a market or industry is dominated by a small group of large sellers. Many business and tech gurus believe that this group of major tech giants is an oligopoly, coming to dominate the online market through anti-competitive practices, ever-increasing financial power, and intellectual property law.
  • BATX stands for Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi, the acronym for the four biggest tech firms in China, counter-standing by GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) in the United States. BATX are few of the first tech companies started in the 2000s, in the rise of Chinese tech revolution and became widely used among Chinese netizens.
  • In 2002, Yahoo had the chance to buy Google for $1 billion, but executives dragged their feet; by the time they decided to pursue the offer, Google’s price had soared to $3 billion. In the late ’90s, search was only generating six percent of Yahoo’s income stream, and the company believed it was not worth improving.