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Everything we know (and don’t know) about Apple’s rumored iPhone SE 2

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At this point, it’s starting look more and more likely everyday that Apple has a refreshed iPhone SE up its sleeve, likely launching sooner rather than later. However, over the past few months, there have been several contradicting reports as to what the so-called iPhone SE 2 will feature.

Read on as we attempt to make sense of all the iPhone SE 2 rumors and speculation…

In terms of what to expect, things can be broken down into three scenarios. One is a modest overhaul with features such as wireless charging, a glass back, and more. Second, it could be that the ‘iPhone SE 2’ is nothing more than a small processor upgrade to make performance smoother with iOS 12. The third, and perhaps the most unlikely scenario, is a major overhaul with an iPhone X-like design.

Possibility #1 |

The first possibility for the iPhone SE 2 is that we’re looking at a moderate overall, similar to what you might get with a traditional ‘S’ series upgrade.

A report in January suggested that the iPhone SE 2 will feature a glass back for wireless charging, similar to the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. This would also seemingly make the iPhone SE compatible with Apple’s upcoming AirPower charging mat.

January’s report was corroborated last month, when a set of images claimed to show the iPhone SE 2 with a glass back in all of its glory. The overall design here is the same as the current iPhone SE, with the only difference being that new glass back. Note that the headphone jack was shown in these images.

Separately, a Macotakara report from last month indicated that the iPhone SE 2 would feature an Apple A10 processor. That report, however, also claimed that the iPhone SE 2 will ditch the headphone jack, but keep the overall body design of the current iPhone SE.

Dropping the headphone jack would mean Apple could tout the iPhone SE 2 as water-resistant, like it has done for other iPhones since the iPhone 7.

Read more of our iPhone SE 2 coverage right here:

Possibility #2 |

The second possibility for the future of the iPhone SE 2 is an internal update. Once rumors of an iPhone SE 2 picked up steam this year, KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo issued an investor note downplaying features such as a glass back or wireless charging support.

Kuo believes that, based on supply chain trends, Apple isn’t prepping a major iPhone SE 2 overhaul. The most likely scenario, according to KGI, is that the device will receive a moderate spec-bump in order to improve performance on the forthcoming iOS 12 update.

Kuo has a generally strong track record. It’s important to note that he monitors supply chain trends for his information. Thus, it’s likely that he hasn’t seen any signs of an impending iPhone SE 2 release through his channels – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not happening.

More about the iPhone SE 2 spec bump update:

Possibility #3 |

Last but not least, there’s the possibility that Apple will give the iPhone SE a major overhaul, with an iPhone X-like design. This possibility really picked up steam this week thanks to a pair of leaks from case maker Olixar, who claims to have received detailed schematics from “Chinese factory sources.”

The device imagined here is akin to the iPhone X on the front, with an edge-to-edge display and notch cutout along the top. The rest of the device, however, is identical  to the current iPhone SE.

The big issue with this design, however, is how authentication is handled. The schematics show the notch cutout at just 1.87 cm wide, which one would think is too small to house Face ID components. Furthermore, with an edge-to-edge display, there’s no Home button and thus no Touch ID.

This week’s leaks weren’t the first time we’ve heard of the iPhone SE 2 getting a dramatic overhaul, though. The idea was first suggested by a leaked video in March, which claimed to show the device in all of its glory.

There’s a case to be made that the iPhone SE isn’t meant to be the ‘budget’ iPhone model, but rather one that is smaller in form factor for a certain segment of the market. Whether or not Apple thinks that way, however, is unclear.

While this possibility is certainly the most exciting of them all, it’s important to treat it with skepticism.

iPhone SE 2 release date |

It’s likely that the iPhone SE 2 is coming soon rather than later. Several reports have indicated a May or June release, meaning we could be just days away at this point.

Furthermore, a flurry of regulatory filings last month seemingly indicated that Apple has a handful of new iPhone models in the works. These filings were with the same Eurasian regulatory database that prematurely tipped off the AirPods, iPhone 7, new MacBooks, and iPad.

Typically, devices appear in this database about a month before shipping. Thus, with that report having been shared in April, the device could be announced any day now.

Wrap up |

As you can tell, there is still a lot of gray area surrounding the future of the iPhone SE. Personally, I would place my bets on possibility #1  – a moderate overhaul with some speed improvements, wireless charging, and perhaps a few other minor changes. While option #3 is certainly exciting, I just can’t wrap my head around it – much like my colleague Ben Lovejoy.

What do you want to see in the iPhone SE 2? What do you think is most likely? Let us know down in the comment section!

Writer, DJ and coffee lover currently living in Chicago. Interests include getting random tattoos, eating ice cream and getting what I want. I also have wayyyy too many pairs of sneakers.

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Ralph Nader pens open letter to Tim Cook criticizing $100B buyback, suggests lowering prices & more instead

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During its earnings release over a week ago, Apple announced a new $100 billion share buyback program. The move, while praised by some investors, has been controversial among some who say Apple should put its profits to use in another manner. Now, American politician Ralph Nader is joining those criticizing the new buyback program…

This week, Nader published an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, explaining how there are better ways for Apple to put that money to work. Nader opens the letter by criticizing Tim Cook for not consulting Apple stockholders for their approval:

Last week, you announced the largest single stock buyback in corporate history, amounting to $100 billion.  Probably no more than you and two other Apple executives made this decision prior to receiving the expected rubber stamp from your congenial board of directors.  Your company’s owners – Apple stockholders– were neither consulted nor asked for their approval.

Nader also notes that the success of stock buybacks is a mixed bag – pointing to Cisco as an example. “Cisco, after huge buybacks and much greater profits and size, has its stock about one-half of its March 2000 value,” Nader writes.

Perhaps most notably, however, the politician outlines the other ways Apple could have used its profits that “would receive positive public reactions.”

First, Nader says that for 2 percent of that $100 billion buyback – or $2 billion – Apple could “award a full year’s pay bonus to the 350,000 Foxconn workers. Such a move would provide “economic relief and happiness” to the workers who “sweat for your immense wealth in difficult workplace conditions, unable to afford the Apple phones they manufacture.”

Nader then suggests Apple use some of the $100 billion on research and development, specifically relating to improving supply chain conditions:

You can invest in research and development on ways you can diminish the effects of your company’s toxic supply chain that stretches from the dangerous mines in Africa to the hazardous solid waste disposal when users discard them.  Many serious illnesses, fatalities, and injuries associated with manufacturing your products can be prevented.

Next up, he says some of the money could be used to “reduce some of the collateral damage from excessive iPhone use by youngsters that comes with a sedentary life of obesity.” While Apple has already promised stronger parental controls to help overuse of its technology, Nader suggests the company “invest in needed neighborhood recreational facilities all over the country.”

Nader writes that Apple would also cut prices for consumers, alleging that its current profit margins used to be a signal of market collusion and antitrust:

Of course, you could always cut your prices for consumers. In the 1960s and ‘70s, such profit margins as Apple’s would have been an antitrust signal of possible monopolistic practices or market collusion.

Finally, Nader says the conventional uses of corporate cash would also be acceptable, such as increasing salaries and pensions, improving hiring, and more:

Then there are the conventional applications of a cash-rich company to consider: productive new investments, raising employee salaries and pensions, improving hiring practices, and workforce training and consumer services.

The important thing to note here is that Apple announced a $350 billion investment in the United States economy – so the $100 billion buyback program accounts for less than one-third of that. Thus, it’s possible that the company will use the remainder for things like Nader outlined.

Do you agree with Nader that the $100 billion that Apple will use for the buyback could have been better put elsewhere? Let us know down in the comments.

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There’s nowhere your smartphone can’t see with this awesome wireless camera accessory

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If love cool new smartphone accessories, prepare to be wowed. The Depstech 1200P Semi-rigid Wireless Borescope Camera is a 16-foot borescope that connects to your iPhone or Android phone wirelessly. You can then snake the camera into any tight space and your smartphone becomes a remote viewfinder. Use it to look inside your walls, help run cable, poke around in holes dug by animals, or even retrieve lost keys courtesy of the include hook attachment. You can even record video and save it on your phone! It’s an awesome accessory that you’ll end up using all the time, and the new and improved version is available right now on Amazon.

Here’s what you need to know from the product page:

  • Innovative WiFi Endoscope with great compatibility: different from endoscope camera in the market, this wireless wifi inspection camera will work with Android devices( Android 2.3+), as well as iPhone IOS system(iOS 6.0+). This makes the endoscope appeal to many users with various kinds of devices.
  • True 1200P Resolution Camera: reaching 1600×1200, this endoscope is able to capture HD snapshot of the unknown, mysterious places where the human eyes are difficult to catch the image, along with recording a vivid live- video in AVI format, available to be stored on your devices upon enabling the app to accessible to the Photo App.
  • CamTele Technology Seeing further & Wider: many professional technicians spare no efforts to develop the new technology, so this new product will have longer focal distance than common endoscope, getting rid of the limit within 1-3 inch, and the scope for a clear image can be extended to 15.7 inch, which will be more user-friendly in your inspection work.
  • Simple Operation Method – Turning on WiFi box to generate endoscope WiFi, connect your working device with the endoscope WiFi, and then just enjoy the expected view with our unique app “Depstech”.
  • Featuring 16.5FT cable, waterproof and 8.5mm diameter camera, 6 adjustable LED light on the camera, applicable for kinds of scenarios , regardless of dark area, damp or wet area etc. The semi-rigid cable can bend and hold it’s shape to access confined place, such as curved holes or pipes. Furthermore, it has a durable lithium battery, capacity up to 1800mAh which support 3-4h working time without LED light on, outshining other endoscopes with working time less than 1h.
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Apple faces class action lawsuit over failing MacBook butterfly keyboards

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Apple’s polarizing butterfly keyboard design is now causing the company some legal issues. A new class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple, alleging that the company knew about the reliability issues of the design before launch, yet released it anyway…

As outlined by AppleInsider, the lawsuit was filed in the Northern District Court of California and includes both the 12-inch MacBook and the MacBook Pro.

The lawsuit alleges that “thousands” of users have suffered from problems with the butterfly keyboard device that render it ultimately useless. The lawsuit says that even “minimal amounts of dust or debris” causes the keyboard to fail, thus rendering one of the “core functions” of the MacBook broken. This makes the device “inoperable and unsuitable for its ordinary and intended use.”

Apple’s butterfly keyboard and MacBook are produced and assembled in such a way that when minimal amounts of dust or debris accumulate under or around a key, keystrokes fail to register. The keyboard defect compromises the MacBook’s core functionality.

As a result of the defect, consumers who purchased a MacBook face a constant threat of non-responsive keys and accompanying keyboard failure. When one or more of the keys on the keyboard fail, the MacBook can no longer serve its core function: typing. Thus, when this defect manifests in the MacBook, the computer becomes inoperable and unsuitable for its ordinary and intended use.

The lawsuit goes on to allege Apple “knew that the MacBook is defective at or before” the release. Furthermore, it knew of the issues uses of the 12-inch MacBook were having, yet still brought the butterfly keyboard to the MacBook Pro and sold it at “premium prices.”

Additionally, the suit takes issues with Apple’s marketing – which touts that the butterfly keyboard offers “four times more key stability than a traditional scissor mechanism.”

The 1-year warranty Apple offers to users is acknowledged in the lawsuit, but it argues that “Apple routinely refuses to honor its warranty obligations,” instead instructing MacBook users to “try self-help remedies that it knows will not result in permanent repair.

Ultimately, the lawsuit seeks damages, legal fees, and alls for Apple to disclose the keyboard flaws and replace defective units, including reimbursement for the initial laptop purchase.

This certainly isn’t the first time Apple has come under fire for its butterfly keyboard mechanism. Earlier this month, a petition called for Apple to recall and replace defective MacBook keyboards – that petition has since accumulated over 17,000 signatures.

You can join the class action lawsuit here. 

 

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