The Supply-Constraints Edition Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Apple’s Q3 2021: Still Making Money Hand Over Fist, by Michael E. Cohen, Josh Centers, TidBITS

Apple reported all-time records in every geographic sector in which it does business and significant gains in every product category it reports; the phrase “all-time high” kept recurring in CFO Luca Maestri’s description of the quarter’s results.


In a slight return to normalcy, Maestri offered guidance for the September quarter, something Apple has not done since the beginning of the pandemic. Apple expects double-digit revenue growth in the next quarter, but less growth than in Q3 due in part to the impact of foreign exchanges. Services growth will also appear slower because Q3 2020’s lockdowns made for greater contrast with this quarter. Finally, the most alarming harbinger of future revenue slowdowns brought up during the conference call are anticipated supply constraints.

Tim Cook On Apple Deciding To Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better', by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Cook went on to explain that the M1 chip is a great example of that. “We have the ability within our silicon team to make a product that’s appreciably better than what we could buy,” he said.

Even iPhone Chip Shortages Can't Slow Down Apple's Money Train, by Jason Snell, Macworld

In the wake of the COVID pandemic, Apple has put up some shockingly good financial numbers. As I’ve detailed here this past year, Apple has seemed almost sheepish about doing so. Analyst Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley thought she’d ask Cook and Maestri directly about the issue: “There’s a debate in the market around how much Apple benefited from the pandemic… was your business helped or was it hindered?” Great question, but a thorny one for Apple’s executives, because the last thing you want to do is get quoted as gloating about how great a worldwide disaster has been for your shareholders. I think Maestri handled it well.

This Is Tim: Apple’s Q3 2021 Call With Analysts (Transcript), by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Our greatest source of inspiration isn’t technology itself, but how people use it in their own lives in ways great and small. To write a novel or to read one. To care for an ailing patient, or see a doctor virtually. To track their heart rate on a jog, or to train for the Olympics. Every day, I’m grateful for the dedication of our teams to the simple mission of creating technology that improves people’s lives. And I want to thank everyone at Apple for the purpose and passion they bring to that mission.

On Health

Apple Watch’s Data ‘Black Box’ Poses Research Problems, by Nicole Wetsman, The Verge

A Harvard biostatistician is rethinking plans to use Apple Watches as part of a research study after finding inconsistencies in the heart rate variability data collected by the devices. Because Apple tweaks the watch’s algorithms as needed, the data from the same time period can change without warning.

Coming Soon

Live Text Comes To Intel Macs In macOS Monterey Beta 4, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Unlike iPhones and iPads, which are commonly used to take pictures which might immediately need to be analyzed for Live Text, on the Mac there’s a little more leeway for slightly less-than-instantaneous processing of text.

Some Siri Commands For Third-party Apps Will Stop Working With iOS 15, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Affected Siri domains include ride booking, configuration of vehicles via Siri over CarPlay, and third-party Photo Search. Many of these SiriKit intents were introduced when third-party Siri support was first added to the system back in iOS 10. Apple didn’t provide a reason for their abrupt removal.


Sofa 3.0 Adds New Ways To Manage Your Media Lists Along With A New Business Model, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Users who maintain long lists of media will appreciate the search functionality, stats, and filters. However, in the long run, I think the Shelf will prove to be the most useful addition. That’s because the feature adds a manual override that, along with Sticky Notes, allows users to prioritize, reorganize, and annotate their media queue.

6 Features Of Serene App To Help You Stay Focused At Work, by Satyarth Shukla, Makeuseof

Identifying frequent work-from-home distractions is crucial to maximizing the benefits of working from home. By using the Serene app, you can avoid distractions and stay productive.

Parallels Toolbox 5.0 Arrives On Mac With Brand New Tools, by Stephen Warwick, iMore

A brand new version of Parallels Toolbox is now available, bringing five new tools to users on macOS including a Recognize Text feature that's very similar to Live Text on macOS Monterey.

Nintendo Killing 'Dr. Mario World' iOS Game In November, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Just over two years since its launch on the App Store, "Dr. Mario World," Nintendo is shutting down the Tetris-inspired game that originally debuted on the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. From Monday, November 1, 2021, the game will cease to be available — and existing users will no longer be able to play.


Apple Pulled From List Of NAB Show 2021 Attendees, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Apple's return to the NAB Show after a ten-year absence is in doubt, after the trade show's website removed a mention of Apple as one of the companies taking part in 2021.

Apple Tells Leaker To Snitch On Sources Or It Will Report Them To The Police, by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Motherboard

In the letter, Apple asked the seller to stop acquiring, advertising, and selling leaked Apple devices, and requested a list of anyone who provided them with the leaked devices. In other words, Apple wants the reseller to say who gave them the devices.

Workers Who Fix Apple's Laptops Say Their Workplace Is A 'Sweatshop,' With Broken Air-conditioning, Feces-covered Toilet Seats, And 13-hour Workdays, by Rachel Premack, Business Insider

In response to a list of questions, an Apple spokesperson told Insider that they would investigate the claims in this story.

"We uphold the highest standards in the industry and regularly assess our suppliers to ensure they comply," the spokesperson said. "We have undertaken three assessments at CSAT in Houston in recent years, and Apple members regularly visit the site. We take all allegations seriously and will investigate. As always, our focus is on making sure that everyone in our supply chain is protected and treated with dignity and respect."

Apple Floats Above China Technology Crackdown — For Now, by Angel Au-Yeung, Forbes

The Chinese government under President Xi Jinping has rattled investors in Chinese technology companies by announcing regulatory measures meant to curb the country’s fast-growing economy while reasserting control over some of its biggest companies. But the big U.S. technology company most exposed to China — Apple Inc. — is likely insulated from the turmoil for the time being.

Bottom of the Page

On the one hand, doing UI experiments on an open beta is fun. On the other hand, it is messy. I'm not an iOS or macOS developer, so I can afford to ignore all these to-and-fros. But I am a little worried: this Safari redesign doesn't really translate to new capabilities afforded to users, it seems to me. Perhaps Apple should have conducted a few more hallway (or WebEx) usability studies among Apple employees before doing this in the open.

I wonder if all these to-and-fros have been planned, or if it is something unexpected that may delay the actual releases?


Thanks for reading.