What's Up With Apple: Bad Rumors, Streaming, Patent Lawsuit and More

Now that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has launched new iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches, what is there left to talk about? A couple of things: what didn’t Apple introduce and what will Apple introduce at an event expected in October?

First, the rumors that went missing included a completely redesigned smartwatch with flat sides and a flat screen. The new Apple Watch pretty much looks pretty much like the prior versions, only slightly bigger (that rumor was true). Next-generation AirPods, rumored by such luminaries as Ming-chi Kuo and Mark Gurman, were also missing. Gurman also thought that the new iPhone display technology would include an always-on feature. That didn’t make it either.

The biggie was satellite connectivity. Kuo said last week that the new iPhones would include a feature that would allow people stuck outside cell coverage to send a text or make an emergency call to a satellite network. Mark Gurman said it wouldn’t happen and he was right.

Will any of the missing features make it into a second fall event that most observers figure will take place next month or in early November? New AirPods may be the best bet. They were expected at Tuesday’s event and have probably been delayed, not abandoned. Otherwise, the focus of the rumored event will be new MacBooks, with a variety of wished-for features like smaller screen bezels, mini-LED displays and ditching the Touch Bar in favor of standard function keys. A new Mac mini based on an updated M1 chip (the M1X) is also rumored as is a mixed reality headset.

One product that got a featured spot in Tuesday’s event was Apple TV+, the company’s two-year-old streaming service. Catie Keck at The Verge said that the positioning of Apple’s streaming service “underscore Apple’s increasingly aggressive push to dominate streaming.” The company is planning to spend $500 million on marketing Apple TV+, but unless the company spends 10 times that on content, it will make little difference in Apple’s market share.

At the end of 2020, Apple TV+ had a 3% share of the streaming market, according to Just Watch. That was even less than NBCUniversal’s Peacock (6%) and not even in the same time zone as Netflix (31%) or Amazon Prime (22%). Apple is counting on its coming SharePlay feature to help close the gap.

A so-called non-practicing entity, aka a patent troll, filed suit against Apple on Tuesday alleging that the company is infringing on two of the firm’s technology patents that cover modem power output and its effect on call quality.

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