Apple Vs the World

Facebook attacks Apple for protecting your privacy.

Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature in iOS 14 has caused quite the kerfuffle. Apple has hung its hat on the idea that they’re THE privacy focused tech company, but there could be some unintended consequences to their actions. This is not quite as clean cut as you might expect.

While Facebook has a comedically long Data Privacy nutrition label in the iPhone App Store, their biggest issue is with the App Tracking Transparency that Apple introduced at WWDC and has given the affected companies longer than originally planned to.

This is the pop over that asks users if they’re okay with apps tracking them outside of the specific app, through the use of Apple’s user identification. Not opting into this will mean you’ll likely be shown less relevant ads, but its not an ad blocker, just reduces how your activity in other apps can be tracked.

From Facebook’s side, they say that removing this ability to provide personalised ads will hurt small businesses trying to recover from sales losses during Covid 19, which is probably true. If advertisers can’t target their ads as well, they’ll probably sell less for each person who sees the ad. That means each view will be worth less to them, so the rates businesses will be willing to pay for those ads will drop. And here, we find why Facebook is “championing the little guys”, because if people don’t pay such high CPMs, Facebook loses revenue. I’m not saying they’re doing this cynically, but its certainly not because they’re concerned for the wellbeing of small business.

What side do you come down on this? Its not as clear cut as is seems, so I’m interested to know. For me personally, I’d prefer to see ads about stuff I’m vaguely interested in than completely irrelevant ones.

EpicFails – Epic Games want Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi to testify under oath.

In the ongoing and frankly pretty dull feud between Epic not wanting to pay Apple their commission to be in their App Store, and Apple, actually wanting to be paid for the service they provide, we have what might be an interesting twist.

Epic now wants depositions from Eddy Cue and Craig Hairforce One Federighi. At this point its not clear what questions they would have for the duo, but the judge in the case said that Apple would have to prove extraordinary circumstances to avoid them being deposed.

 The trial centres on Apple’s removal of Fortnite from the App Store after Epic included direct payment methods in the fortnite app, breaching their contract with Apple, and is due to be tried in May 2021.

Apple TV coming to ChromeCast with Google TV early in 2021

Following on from Apple TV’s app coming to many third party platforms including PlayStation, Xbox, Roku and Amazon Fire TV, GoogleTV on Chromecast will be added early next year, further growing Apple’s penetration. This fits perfectly with their strategy of pushing their services platform, including the recently launched Apple One bundle.

Apple is constantly now adding more and more content to the service, as well as curating content within the app from other streaming services. But have you found a show on Apple TV Plus that’s grabbed your attention? Let me know in the comments.

iPhone mini sales are low. But should Apple worry? 

Reports are emerging that Apple’s new iPhone 12 mini has not performed as well as expected in terms of sales, capturing only around 5% of iPhone sales from the iPhone 12 range. As the lowest priced entry point into Apple’s current generation of iPhones, should we be worried that people don’t seem to want it?

There are a few factors there, first, the smaller form factor does mean a shorter battery life than the rest of iPhone 12’s range, which could be putting of some users. Beyond this battery limitation however, reviewers in general seems to have been very pleased with the phone, but I don’t think the slow start is really surprising.

First of all, this is not the iPhone that most enthusiast users will be heading for, and the initial rush of orders are by their very nature, those who are most excited about the new hardware. Because the iPhone 12 mini is exactly the same in terms of features as the larger iPhone 12 which also launched several weeks earlier than the mini, I think that is partially to blame for the Lower sales.

The whole launch was delayed by about a month later than most other years because of Covid, meaning there was a number of buyers who’d held on for the new release. That said, because the mini wasn’t a part of the initial launch, just the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro at the beginning, a lot of buyers perhaps just wanted what they could get right away. The Pro also performed better than expected, with additional camera tech, a brighter display, more ram, higher starting storage and more premium materials.

I do think that now the full range is available the mini is likely to start pulling back some of that lead as more casual buyers may well just go for the lowest price option as their default option. Once the stores are back to business as usual (or whatever the new normal is) and customers are able to see it in person and hold it in their hands, I think that smaller form factor will do well. A number of female tech reviewers like Sara Dietchy and Lory Gil from iMore (who is now working over at Apple) mentioned how much they love the smaller size, not only because ladies’ jeans have obscenely small pockets that struggle with bigger devices, but generally just for being able to have a full flagship phone in such a small form factor. 

Did you pick up an iPhone 12 generation phone? If so, did the mini even come into your decision making?

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