What's Up With Apple: Rising iPhone Production, App Tracking Effects and More

When Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) announces its latest iPhone models this fall, the company is expected to be on its way to producing 90 million of the new devices this year. That number represents an increase of 20% from Apple’s typical new-product production of around 75 million units.

According to Bloomberg’s unnamed sources, this year’s new iPhones will see incremental changes, refining and improving on the 5G-capable iPhone 12 series that was introduced last fall. The coming phones are said to focus on improvements to the camera, processor and display. Updates will be included for all four iPhone 12 series phones, and the announcement is expected to come in September.

Last year, Apple launched the iPhone 12 series last October with first deliveries of the top-of-the-line Pro Max model coming in mid-November. Moving this year’s release to September implies at least an additional month of sales and, according to Bloomberg analyst Matthew Kanterman, “[T]he growth expected in the initial production ramp is skewed by the fact that the iPhone 12 released later than normal in 2020, while the next iPhone is expected back to the normal late September release window.”

On Tuesday, Apple added a MagSafe battery pack to its iPhone 12 accessories. The $99 device offers “safe and reliable wireless charging” of an iPhone 12 series phone. According to Apple’s description, the battery pack “automatically charges, so there’s no need to turn it on or off. There’s no interference with your credit cards or key fobs either.”

The MagSafe battery pack snaps onto the back of an iPhone 12 with “perfectly aligned magnets” that keep the pack attached to the phone. The battery pack also can be used with a Lightning cable to give 15W of charging power from a wall outlet. More powerful 20W or 30W adapters are also available. Lightning cables cost $19 (1 meter) or $35 (2 meters). The 20W adapter costs $19 and the 30W adapter costs $49.

According to Brian Bowman, CEO of marketing services company Consumer Acquisition, Apple’s recently released App Tracking Transparency feature has had a “devastating impact” on social ad spending. In an interview with VentureBeat, Bowman said his company’s analysis of some $300 million in paid spending indicates that iOS advertisers “are experiencing a 15% to 20% revenue drop and inflation in unattributed organic traffic.”

Only 20% of iPhone users are permitting tracking when iOS displays the App Tracking prompt. Bowman acknowledges the Apple has been successful in positioning itself as a protector of personal privacy:

It’s not a question of privacy. It’s a question of personalization. Apple has done a phenomenal job of PR. They don’t offer privacy. What they’re doing is centralizing and curating data. You have to use their app store. You have to use their payment gateway. They understand your voice, your fingerprint, and your health data. They understand the way you purchase. That’s not privacy. Apple is defining privacy by saying they get all the data and therefore it’s private. It’s absurd.

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