New Stylus-Supported Phablet for Apple

One area in which Apple has traditionally lagged behind Samsung is that of stylus-supported phablets, like Samsung's Note series, with only the pricier iPad Pro models and the new 9.7 inch iPad offering stylus support. However, all this could be set to change, according to Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst from KGI Securities.

Stylus-Supported Phablet

Kuo says Apple is probably going to equip one of its flagship smartphones with stylus support. Including support for Apple Pencil on a larger model of smartphone could see a sharp uptick in Pencil sales. The irony, of course, being that Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, famously hated styluses, quoted by biographer Walter Isaacson as saying “once you need a stylus, you're dead”, and telling a 2007 conference “you have to get ‘em, put ‘em away. You lose ‘em, yuck. Nobody wants a stylus”.

stylus for Macs

However, were he alive today, he would no doubt see that the computing environment has changed, and that stylus support is a big draw for a lot of consumers - consumers Apple has been losing to Samsung.

In the meantime, the 9.7 inch iPad, launched last week, has been getting positive reviews. The new device is basically a more powerful version of last year's iPad, boasing a 2.3GHz A10 processor and 2 gig of RAM, but retailing at the same price. The pad outperforms all other iPhones and iPads with the exception of last year's Pro models and the iPhones 8, 8 Plus and X. Apple also claim it will have the same 10 hour battery life as al the other current iPads.

It was created with educational use in mind and is aimed at teachers and students, but it is available to everyone. On the schooling front, Apple claim it can switch users in less than a minute, which would obviously be handy in the classroom, and the Apple School Manager feature can manage individual devices as well as bulk-creating Apple IDs.

So is it worth upgrading? Well, if you have one of last year's models it's probably not necessary, unless you are sold on the idea of stylus support. But anyone else thinking of buying a new device could certainly do a lot worse.

If you any questions about Apple products in general, please contact the team here at iRepairs Harlow. We’d be delighted to help.
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New Screens To Feature MicroLED Technology

According to a report by Bloomberg, anonymous sources claim that Apple is beginning development on its own displays at a secret manufacturing facility in Santa Clara, California. Apple's intent to increase its supply chain beyond Samsung has been rumoured for a while now, and it has apparently spent billions of dollars to aid LG's OLED production. According to Bloomberg's sources, however, the new screens will feature MicroLED technology, which uses different light-emitting compounds and would enable Apple to produce lighter and slimmer devices which require less battery power.

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Apple's acquisition of MicroLED firm LuxVue in 2014 indicated an early interest in the technology, and while the California facility is said to be too small for mass production, Apple is thought to be keen to keep this proprietary tech away from its competitors for as long as possible, and is making a small amount of samples for test purposes. It seems unlikely that Apple will be shipping products with the new technology for a while yet, with analysts suggesting that it will feature on the iWatch in about two years, and on the iPhone in the next three to five years, with full-scale production likely to be outsourced.

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Apple was reported to be working on MicroLED technology at a facility in Taiwan until last year, when it scaled down production- presumably to transfer it to the Santa Clara operation.

MicroLED screens can contain millions of pixels, with each pixel having three sub-pixels in green, blue and red, each of which has to be individually created and calibrated. It gives engineers a much finer level of control over individual colours.

Apple's move into making its own displays has the potential to cause significant harm to an array of suppliers, including Samsung and LG, as well as companies producing chip-screen interfaces such as Synaptics Inc.

If Apple can take control of MicroLED it would give it a significant advantage in a crowded marketplace- although the timescale involved means it is quite an expensive gamble. If a new technology supplants MicroLED in the meantime, or problems become insurmountable, that's a lot of money down the drain.

If you any questions about Apple products in general, please contact the team here at iRepairs Harlow. We’d be delighted to help.

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The Biggest iPhone Yet?

It's only a few years ago that the drive in mobile phone technology was for ever-smaller devices. But recently we've seen a shift in that, as the amount of things we use them for has increased. Where once they were designed for making and receiving calls, sending text messages and taking the occasional photo, now they have become miniature computers in their own right, used for everything from personal organisation to watching movies or reading comics. All of this has of course necessitated bigger screens, as well as larger batteries and processors to handle the extra workload.


what's the biggest iPhone?

Nowhere is this more apparent, of course, than in the never-ending stream of technological wonders that stream out of Apple. And it looks like this trend is going to continue in a major way with Apple's 2018 lineup of new iPhones. According to an anonymous source reported by Bloomberg, Apple is running production tests on three new models of its iconic iPhone with suppliers. And one of the three looks set to be its biggest phone yet.

iREP(30) - 2.jpgwhere can i find a big screed phone?

With a body roughly the same size as the iPhone8, the new model looks like it will boast a 6.5 inch screen, using the same full screen design as the iPhoneX. Also shared with the iPhoneX is an OLED display, with a resolution of 1248 by 2688 pixels and a facial ID scanner, all running on an A12 processor, which is also expected to be utilised in the upgraded edition of the iPhoneX. The third iPhone will keep the design of the iPhoneX but make a few compromises to bring its eye-watering price down a little, for example by using an LCD display and cutting out all the stainless steel, as well as the 3D Touch feature.

Despite a massive hype machine and favourable reviews, the iPhoneX hasn't sold as well as expected, with its $1000 price tag putting many customers off. This new lineup seems to be a way of rekindling sales by offering models for various budgets. According to Long Ventures' Gene Munster, history has shown that when the screen size increases, so do sales- so Apple are both providing a model for those on a tighter budget and a new bells-and-whistles large screen model for their high-end customers.

If you any questions about Apple products in general, please contact the team here at iRepairs Harlow. We’d be delighted to help.

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New Models for Later this Year?

It's been a pretty turbulent few months for Apple, what with the uproar over its decision to ‘hobble’ earlier models of its iPhone devices (ostensibly to save battery power on older machines) and software problems with recent iterations of iOS. The waters don't seem to show any signs of calming just yet. The latest problems also revolve around software - last week it was reported that many users were having problems with calls locking out the touchscreen, which can lead to the alarming scenario of being unable to hang up on calls to the emergency services which have been made automatically.

Now a new problem has emerged, and it's a vulnerability issue. IOS11 apparently allows users to send a specific character to another phone which will crash the phone and block access not only to iOS's Messages app but also to popular apps including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Gmail. Apple has issued a statement saying the problem will be fixed in an update before this spring sees the rollout of iOS11.3.

iphone touchscreen frozen

The beta of iOS11.3 promises to give users more control over how battery power is managed, but testers say that when choosing between performance or stability in the new Battery menu any changes made are only temporary, and it will automatically default to stability mode the next time it powers up, which could prove annoying.

iphone software update

Apple's main hope at the moment is on the launch of three new models of iPhone later in the year, at which point the iPhoneX will be discontinued, the only other option being to sell it at a lower price. They are hoping to sell these on size, with one model retaining the iPhoneX's 5.8 inch notched display, but the other two clocking in at 6.1 and 6.5 inches. It's a strategy that makes sense- the last time Apple saw a decent increase in sales and revenue was when it introduced the larger “plus” units. The new tech that it has been loading its devices with has failed to grab the public's attention, and Q1 2018 orders for the iPhoneX have halved while iPhone sales continue to fall.

If you any questions about Apple products in general, please contact the team here at iRepairs Harlow. We’d be delighted to help.

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More News from Apple

The controversy over Apple's admission that it has been deliberately slowing down older models of the iPhone continues to rage as its hasty attempt at damage limitation seems to have run into problems itself. The slowdown was due to power management issues with older batteries, and as a gesture of goodwill Apple said it would reduce the price of replacement battery packs. Although they warned at the time that initial supplies might be limited over the holiday period, now it looks likely that many customers will be waiting until at least March to take advantage of the reduced price offer. While packs should be available for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s Plus in the next couple of weeks, owners of the iPhone 6 Plus are realistically looking at late March or even early April for their replacements.

iPhone slowdown

Apple is also facing government investigation in France as a result of action by the consumer group HOP, which campaigns against planned obsolescence. While Apple denies that the purpose of the slowdown was to encourage sales of its newer devices, French competition authorities are investigating whether or not this is true, programmed obsolescence being a criminal offence in France.

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Meanwhile US senator John Thane has called on Apple to provide more information on the affair, arguing that even if it is true that it was merely a way of circumventing power management issues in older models, the way the company has responded has left a lot to be desired. He is calling for greater transparency from the firm in the face of huge amounts of customer criticism.

There is also bad news concerning its latest iOS update, iOS 11.2.2, which is an essential patch as it deals with the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. However early testers are reporting that it causes a significant hit in performance, and there are no change log notes to explain to customers exactly what has changed in the OS.

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None of this, of course, has harmed Apple's punishing release schedule- along with a newly updated iPhone SE, the latest ads for the iPad Pro show an increased focus on augmented reality.

If you any questions about Apple products in general, please contact the team here at iRepairs Harlow. We’d be delighted to help.

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