2018 iPhones to Feature Upgraded Antenna Design to Boost LTE Transmission Speeds

Apple’s upcoming 2018 iPhones will feature upgraded liquid crystal polymer (LCP) antenna modules that will contribute to faster LTE transmission speeds, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said tonight in a note that was sent out to investors.

Kuo says new iPhone models will use at least two LCP LTE antenna modules, much like the iPhone X, but with improvements to support 4×4 MIMO standards.

Antenna design upgrade a key factor in anticipated boost to LTE transmission speed in new 2H18F iPhone models. As a LTE antenna FPCB material, LCP is superior to PI in properties related to high-frequency, thermal performance and moisture resistance. We predict 2H18 new iPhones will be equipped with two LCP LTE antenna modules same as iPhone X or more, but with higher specs to support 4×4 MIMO standards.

Last week, Kuo said Apple is expected to use Intel XMM 7560 and Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 modems in its next-generation iOS devices, enabling faster LTE transmission speeds. Both of those chips support the previously mentioned 4×4 MIMO technology, compared to 2×2 MIMO in the current iPhone models.

4×4 MIMO, or Multiple-Input Multiple-Output has the potential to significantly improve LTE transmission speeds by increasing the number of data paths between a cellular tower and an iOS device to four.

In previous notes, Kuo has said Apple is working on a total of three iPhones for 2018, including a 5.8-inch OLED model that’s similar to the current iPhone X, a 6.5-inch OLED model that can be thought of as a sort of “iPhone X Plus,” and a new 6.1-inch LCD model, designed to sell at a lower price point. All three, says Kuo, will include edge-to-edge iPhone X-style displays and Face ID support.

Kuo believes Apple will ship an estimated 100 to 120 million iPhone units in the second half of 2018, something he has previously said will fuel an upgrade “supercycle” during the year.

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Foxconn and Apple face controversy over student worker overtime claims

A report in the Financial Times claims Apple has employed teenaged students to manufacture iPhone X components and that those students worked illegal overtime. Additionally, according to one of the students cited in the report, a school had students working at the factory as part of their educational programs.

The report cited only six workers out of the thousands working at the facility. But Apple and Foxconn have acknowledged that cases of illegal overtime did occur and that they are taking action to address the situation.

Apple provided the following statement to Ars:

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Apple Taking Action After Students Worked Overtime to Assemble iPhone X at Foxconn

Apple and its manufacturing partner Foxconn have confirmed instances of students working overtime to assemble the iPhone X, and both companies are now taking remedial action, as reported by the Financial Times.

A technician inspecting iPhone components at a factory


Apple conducted an audit and confirmed “instances of student interns working overtime at a supplier facility in China,” according to the report. “We’ve confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits, but they should not have been allowed to work overtime,” it added.

Foxconn said that “all work was voluntary and compensated appropriately,” but admitted that the interns “did work overtime in violation of our policy,” which reportedly prohibits interns working more than 40 hours per week.

The statements from Apple and Foxconn come after six high school students told the Financial Times they routinely work 11-hour days assembling the iPhone X at Foxconn’s factory in Zhengzhou, China.

“We are being forced by our school to work here,” said Ms Yang, an 18-year-old student training to be a train attendant who declined to use her first name for fear of punishment. “The work has nothing to do with our studies.” She said she assembled up to 1,200 iPhone X cameras a day.

The students, aged 17 to 19, reportedly said they were told that a three-month stint at the factory was required “work experience” that they had to complete in order to graduate from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School.

Foxconn is believed to hire a significant number of seasonal workers each year to assemble the latest iPhone models in time for the busy holiday shopping season. The report, citing an anonymous Foxconn employee, said there can be up to 300,000 workers producing up to 20,000 iPhones per day.

As part of its supplier responsibility efforts, Apple requires its manufacturing partners like Foxconn to limit working hours to no more than 60 hours a week, with a mandatory rest day once every seven days.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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TIME Ranks iPhone X and Apple Watch Series 3 Among Top 10 Best Gadgets of 2017

After previously earning the designation of one of the overall best inventions of 2017, the iPhone X has today been placed at the #2 spot on TIME‘s “Top 10 Gadgets of 2017” list. According to the magazine, Apple’s new smartphone placed so highly because many of its features — including Face ID and edge-to-edge display — “will undoubtedly set a new standard for phones to come.”


Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, you’ll probably have a hard time getting your hands on one. And yes, Android did it first. But the iPhone X’s edge-to-edge screen and facial recognition system will undoubtedly set a new standard for phones to come. For one, Apple’s Face ID system, even despite the security concerns, is already being used in more creative ways than Samsung’s facial identification tech. Third-party apps like Snapchat and Warby Parker are taking advantage of the iPhone X’s face-mapping technology to project realistic masks over your eyes or select glasses that suit your face’s shape. That, combined with a sharp camera, long battery life, and large screen packed into a more palatable size, make Apple’s iPhone X a top pick.

Below the iPhone X, the following gadgets round out the top five spots: Microsoft Surface Laptop (#3), DJI Spark (#4), and Samsung Galaxy S8 (#5). TIME‘s #1 gadget of 2017 is the Nintendo Switch, which it says is a “true knockout” thanks to its games library and ability to transform from portable gaming to playing on a TV at home. There is some overlap with the devices mentioned on TIME‘s new list with the Top 25 Best Inventions of 2017 article from last week, including the iPhone X, DJI Spark, and Nintendo Switch.

Sitting further down the list is another Apple product, the Apple Watch Series 3, which earned the #9 spot. TIME said that the advantages introduced in the new version of the Apple Watch, like a faster processor and barometric altimeter, were great additions. But the magazine said the truly notable addition was LTE: “the freedom to leave your phone at home when you step out to walk the dog or go on a run may be just enough to persuade smartwatch skeptics that the Apple Watch is worth considering, especially for athletic types.”

To see more of the items listed by TIME, check out the Top 10 Gadgets of 2017 ranking right here.

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iPhone X Case Review Roundup 5: Pad & Quill, Spigen, OtterBox, LifeProof, Totallee and Sena

The fifth review of my iPhone X Roundup series focuses on Pad & Quill, Spigen, OtterBox, LifeProof, Totallee, and Sena. If you’ve missed my previous posts, I’m taking a close look at iPhone X cases from a range of manufacturers. We don’t often feature case reviews on MacRumors, but with the launch of the iPhone X and its new design, we felt it was worth exploring some of the available case options.

My previous reviews are below:

For all of these reviews, I’m looking at the general usability of iPhone X cases. Extreme drop tests and in-depth testing aren’t covered because those factors are less important than how a case works on an average day, and it’s often fairly easy to tell from design how protective a case is going to be.

Factors like bulk, button accessibility, general protection, grip, thickness, and appearance are what I focused on. All of the cases in this review roundup work with wireless chargers unless otherwise mentioned.

OtterBox

OtterBox used to be known primarily for its super bulky, ultra protective cases, but these days, OtterBox makes a lot of other cases that are still just as protective but add less bulk than the traditional Defender series.

Priced at $44.95, the Symmetry series offers OtterBox’s slimmest cases. When I say slim, though, I mean in comparison to other OtterBox cases, not “slim” cases in general. The Symmetry is still a very thick case with a hard shell back and a rubber interior that wraps around all sides of the iPhone X.



Symmetry cases are not unattractive, but they’re much thicker than I prefer for my iPhone. There is a thick lip that comes up over the display, and while a lip this thick protects the screen, it makes it undeniably more irritating to swipe up from the bottom of the display if you’re a person who swipes from the very bottom. The mute switch is difficult to get to because of the thickness of the case, and it may not work with some docks. On the plus side, the volume and power buttons are easy to press. This is definitely a case that feels like it’s going to offer a lot of protection from drops.



The Pursuit, priced at $69.95, is thicker and more protective than the Symmetry. It has a hard plastic body with a thick rubber that wraps around the side of the case. It snaps apart into two pieces so you can get your iPhone X inside, and snapping it back together can take a few minutes of attempting to align it.

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Spotify App Updated With Support for iPhone X Displays

Spotify updated its iOS app today with support for iPhone X, exactly two weeks since Apple’s latest smartphone launched. The update removes the letterboxing of Spotify’s interface on the iPhone X’s 5.8-inch OLED display, which should come as welcome news to heavy users of the app, allowing them to see more of track lists and search results on the screen, and more artwork when browsing albums and playlists.

“Stranger Things Mode” before (left) and after Spotify iPhone X update


The music streaming service is unusually late to the game on this front, with many top App Store apps already having updated their interfaces for the iPhone’s 1,125 × 2,436 resolution display, which results in roughly 20 percent additional vertical space for content compared to the 4.7-inch displays of the iPhone 6, 7, and 8.



Apple was naturally quick to publish human interface guidelines for developers coding iPhone X apps. The documentation explains the changes that need to be made to ensure apps make the most of the additional space. At the same time, the guidance warns developers away from encroaching on certain areas of the screen, including the rounded corners, sensor housing, and indicator for accessing the Home screen.

Spotify is a free download for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

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Apple Working With Intel on 5G Hardware for Future iPhones

Apple is “leaning heavily” towards choosing Intel’s 5G modems for its future iPhones, according to Fast Company. Apple engineers are said to be already working with Intel on upcoming 5G technology.

Apple’s discussions with Qualcomm about 5G modems, meanwhile, have been described as “limited.”



Citing a source with knowledge of Apple’s plans, Fast Company says that while Qualcomm 5G modems will offer more specialized carrier features, many of those features will not be adopted by carriers, leading Apple to believe Intel’s hardware will be sufficient for future devices.

The end game, multiple sources have said, is to build the Intel modem onto an integrated system-on-a-chip (SoC) that would also contain the CPU, GPU, and other iPhone components. The SoC would be co-designed by Intel and Apple and would be fabricated at an Intel facility.

Intel reportedly has “multiple thousands” of people working on 5G technology in an effort to catch up with Qualcomm and win the contract from Apple.

Intel this morning said that it had made “substantial advances” in its wireless product roadmap to accelerate the adoption of 5G. According to Intel, an end-to-end 5G call based on early 5G silicon has been completed successfully, which Intel says is a “key milestone in its development.”

Intel expects its first 5G chips to roll out in 2019, ahead of the wide rollout of 5G networks. T-Mobile just today said that it is planning to roll out its fifth-generation network across the United States by 2020, and most of the carriers in the United States are already experimenting with limited trials.

5G is expected to deliver speeds that are 10 to 100 times faster than the average 4G connection, at a gigabit per second or higher, along with lower latency and other benefits.

Rumors that Apple is considering Intel’s 5G technology are in line with previous reports that have suggested Apple is considering eliminating Qualcomm chips from its 2018 iPhones and iPads.

Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in a bitter legal battle since the beginning of the year, which has continued to escalate over the months. Apple believes Qualcomm charges unfair royalties for “technologies they have nothing to do with,” while Qualcomm claims its technology is “at the heart of every iPhone.”

Apple and Apple suppliers have ceased paying royalties to Qualcomm amid the dispute, while Qualcomm has filed several patent infringement lawsuits against Apple and has asked for import/export bans in the United States and China.

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Tags: Intel, Qualcomm, 5G
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Apple’s iOS 11.1.2 fixes the cold weather input bug on the iPhone X

Apple released iOS 11.1.2 for iPhones and iPads this afternoon. It’s a minor, bug-fix update that benefits iPhone X users who encountered issues after acquiring the new phone just under two weeks ago.

iOS 11.1.2’s patch notes are short and sweet. The update fixes just two problems. The first is “an issue where the iPhone X screen becomes temporarily unresponsive to touch after a rapid temperature drop.” Last week, some iPhone X owners began reporting on Reddit and elsewhere that their touchscreens became temporarily unresponsive when going outside into the cold.

Apple shared the following statement with The Loop:

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