TechInsights estimates HomePod manufacturing costs around $216 per unit, Apple aiming for lower profit margin than found on iPhone line

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Date: Friday, February 16th, 2018, 03:38
Category: Hardware, HomePod, iPhone, News

The guesstimates are in and it looks like Apple shells out $216 to build each HomePod unit, meaning margins from the tech giant’s first smart speaker are much slimmer than those of its flagship iPhone line.

If the estimate is correct, this means Apple generates a profit margin around 38 percent with each $349 HomePod sold. This stands as lower than competing smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home, which boast margins of 56 percent and 66 percent, respectively.

The component breakdown found that the HomePod’s microphones, tweeters, single woofer and power management hardware add up to $58, while other miscellaneous parts like the OLED panel come out to another $60, the report said. TechInsights pegs Apple’s A8 chip at $25.50, as the housing and other unmentioned components run another $25. Manufacturing, testing and packaging tack on $17.50 to the final cost according to the firm’s estimates.

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Apple confirms that HomePod may leave white rings on wooden surfaces with oil or wax finish

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Date: Thursday, February 15th, 2018, 03:28
Category: Hardware, HomePod, News

As nifty as the HomePod may be, it can possibly leave white rings on wood surfaces with an oil or wax finish.

The discovery was noted in reviews by Wirecutter and Pocket-lint as well as highlighted by VentureBeat, with at least one user sharing the problem on Twitter.

Pocket-lint’s Stuart Miles offered the following statement about the issue in his review:

“For our tests we placed the speaker on a solid oak kitchen worktop treated with Danish oil.

Within 20 minutes the HomePod had caused a white discoloured ring to appear on the wood that some days later has faded, although still hasn’t completely disappeared.

We subsequently tested the HomePod on other materials: the same wood that hadn’t been treated with Danish oil and a regular lacquered desk and haven’t seen the same issues.”

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AppleCare+ for HomePod priced at $39, covers two accidental damage incidents

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Date: Tuesday, February 13th, 2018, 03:31
Category: AppleCare+, Hardware, HomePod, iOS, MacBook Pro, News, retail

If you’re looking to snag AppleCare+ for your new HomePod, it’ll run you $39.

The extended warranty and accidental damage repair program offers two out-of-warranty repairs like accidental damage from a drop.

Without AppleCare+, the repair will run $279.

The checkout process for a HomePod has said since the pre-order process that AppleCare+ coverage extending the warranty to two years, granting a longer customer support window, and providing for reduced-cost out-of-warranty repairs would cost $39. However, a new support document published on Friday breaks down the HomePod repair process, as well as costs associated with the repair.

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iFixit completes teardown of HomePod, posts findings

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Date: Tuesday, February 13th, 2018, 03:37
Category: Hardware, HomePod, News

When in doubt, use a hacksaw.

The cool cats at iFixit have taken it upon themselves to crack into the newly-released HomePod to find out what’s inside.

The outfit, which used an actual hacksaw to crack the smart speaker open, discovered an A8 processor, seven tweeters, six far-field microphones, and a high excursion woofer. The speaker dynamically adapts to its placement in a room to improve audio output and to create a stereo-like sound from a single unit.

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Apple may be considering full rebates for full-priced iPhone battery repairs following speed throttling controversy

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Date: Wednesday, February 7th, 2018, 03:44
Category: AppleCare, battery, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, News

Apple may be looking to offer rebates to customers who purchased a full-cost replacement iPhone battery only to get around throttled performance.

One of the questions submitted in January by Senator John Thune, chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, was whether Apple was exploring the possibility of rebates. Apple’s response was released on Tuesday.

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Patent application highlights ideas for next-gen Apple Pencil, including ability to write on almost any surface

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Date: Tuesday, February 6th, 2018, 03:33
Category: Hardware, News, Patents

The next-gen Apple Pencil could be capable of writing on any flat surface or in the air.

A recently-published patent application, numbered 62/363,172 and titled “Content Creation Using Electronic Input Device on Non-Electronic Surfaces” describes the use of an Apple Pencil-like device, in conjunction with some form of motion or orientation sensor external to the stylus on any surface, like a desktop.

The documentation associated with the patent is intentionally vague as to how this will be executed. Still, it highlights how the stylus’s movement can be tracked by “a motion and orientation sensor, a camera, or an electromagnetic- or sound-based triangulation scheme.”

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Apple offering 32GB replacement units to some customers bringing 16GB iPhone 5c units in for repair

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Date: Tuesday, February 6th, 2018, 03:02
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, retail

If your 16GB iPhone 5c is headed into the shop, Apple might be replacing it with a 32GB model instead.

A new directive sent out to Apple Authorized Service Providers this morning offered the following guidance:

“Orders for whole unit service inventory of iPhone 5c (16GB) models may be substituted to iPhone 5c (32GB) models until further notice.”

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Apple launches repair program for iPhone 7 units affected by the “No Service” bug

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Date: Monday, February 5th, 2018, 03:18
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, retail

This might help you out.

Apple on Friday launched a repair program for iPhone 7 devices that are impacted by an ongoing bug that causes them to have no available service even when cellular coverage is available. Apple says the problem is caused by a component that has failed on the main logic board.

The company has stated that the issue affects “a small percentage” of iPhone 7 devices and causes them to display a “No Service” message instead of properly connecting to an available cellular network.

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Some iPhone X users report difficulty accepting, declining calls, Apple currently investigating the issue

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Date: Monday, February 5th, 2018, 03:23
Category: Hardware, iOS, iPhone, News, Software

The iPhone X may be having trouble answering phone calls.

A recent report states that a growing number of users are unable to answer phone calls with their iPhone X because the display does not wake up while the phone is ringing, thus meaning they can’t access the accept and decline buttons.

Since December, the issue has been a hot topic on Apple’s support forums. At this point, it’s unclear if the issue is software or hardware related. One user stated that restoring iOS fixed the issue for a few days, but it later surfaced again. Another user stated that Apple replaced their iPhone X, but the problem also emerged on the replacement unit.

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Review: Cardhop, Contact management jedi for macOS

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Date: Friday, February 2nd, 2018, 10:15
Category: Review, Software, Software

Apple’s Contacts app (formerly Address Book) hasn’t changed much over the years. It’s pretty much a loose database of friends and family, offer the required functionality to support a centralized locations for email addresses, contacts, and phone numbers. But it feels like Apple was forced to make it, against its will.

Luckily, Flexibits’ Cardhop picks up where Contacts leaves off. Cardhop organizes your contacts via an easy menu in the macOS menu bar, then adds quick actions to message, email, place a call. Other neat features include quick access to groups of contacts (for sending a group email) and the ability to send Facebook messages without having to switch over to a web browser.

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