Products Revealed At Apple’s Spring Loaded 2021

Products Revealed At Apple’s Spring Loaded 2021

Apple recently wrapped up its “Spring Loaded” 2021 event, which talked about the release of new iPads, iMacs, AirTags and more. Let’s get the top bytes about the most intriguing announcements that were made.

Crux of the Matter

Apple Card Family 
It will enable people to share their Apple Card, track purchases, manage spending, and build credit together with their Family Sharing group.

AirTags
AirTag is a compact accessory that can be personalized with free engraving. It enables iPhone users to securely locate and keep track of their valuables using the ‘Find My’ app. 

Reduced Carbon Footprint By 40% In 6 Years
Apple also said that it saved 861,000 metric tons of copper, tin, and zinc ore in a year by removing adapters from iPhone boxes.

M1-powered Ipad Pro 
 M1 is an ARM-based system on a chip (SoC). It is the first Apple-designed processor deployed in iMac and the first personal computer chip built using a 5 nm process. 

New iMac
This version of iMac can intelligently improve its colours, shadows, noise and dynamic range on the video feed to improve conference quality.

Apple Podcast App And New Shade Of iPhone 12
The in-app podcast subscription service will be launched in 170 regions and countries from next month.

For all the Apple fans out there, watch the recorded event here: https://youtu.be/TWIHE9yEdOw​

Curiopedia
  • The original American female voice of Siri was given by Susan Bennett. Siri was started as a spin-out from SRI International before being acquired by Apple in 2010.
  • Siri means “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”.
  • Headquartered in Taiwan, Hon Hai Precision Industry (Foxconn) is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer. Foxconn is renowned for manufacturing iPhones for Apple.

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.