The Circumstances-Seen-and-Unseen Edition Friday, February 3, 2023

Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Supply Problems Sank Its Holiday Revenues, by Chris Welch, The Verge

Apple reported its Q1 2023 earnings this afternoon. During the holiday quarter, the company took in $117.2 billion of revenue, down 5 percent year over year, and earnings per share of $1.88. It was the first such YOY for Apple since before the covid pandemic. Most of the curiosity around this quarter’s numbers was tied to iPhone sales; in early November, Apple warned of “longer wait times” for its flagship iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Both phones were hard to come by during the height of the holiday shopping season, though stock has since leveled out.

But the supply issues, combined with consumers being extra mindful of spending amid an uncertain economic outlook, led to an 8 percent drop in iPhone revenue. “As we all continue to navigate a challenging environment, we are proud to have our best lineup of products and services ever, and as always, we remain focused on the long term and are leading with our values in everything we do,” CEO Tim Cook said in Apple’s earnings press release.

Tim Cook Confirms Q1 iPhone Revenue Would Have Grown If Not For Supply Issues, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Speaking to analysts during Apple’s earnings call, CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that had it not been for iPhone 14 Pro supply shortages, iPhone revenue would have grown in Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2022.

Apple Hits Milestone Of 2 Billion Active Devices As Services Set New Revenue Record, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

As for the Services, it saw a record $20.8 billion in revenue for the quarter, slightly beating the $19.5 billion estimate. That was delivered by 935 million paid subscriptions, up 150 million from a year ago.

Tim Cook On The Possibility Of Apple Layoffs: 'A Last Resort Kind Of Thing', by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Cook acknowledged that Apple has made changes to its spending and hiring plans due to broader economic conditions. The company, for instance, is “managing costs very tightly and is curtailing hiring in certain areas, while continuing to hire in others.”

Cook went on to say that layoffs are a “last resort kind of thing” and that the company would rather manage costs in other ways.

This Is Tim: Apple Q1 2023 Analyst Call Transcript, by Six Colors

"As a result of a challenging environment, our revenue was down 5% year over year. But I’m proud of the way we have navigated circumstances seen and unforeseen over the past several years, and I remain incredibly confident in our team and our mission and in the work we do every day."

Ramping Up the Smarts

Apple's Hardware VP On The HomePod’s Return, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

The timing of the new HomePod’s arrival as Matter is beginning to ramp up is presumably not a coincidence. An Apple spokesperson tells TechCrunch it’s “really excited” about the new standard. “The new Matter smart home connectivity standard gives users more choice and interoperability to connect a wide variety of smart home accessories across different ecosystems,” says Costello. “With support for Thread, the new HomePod can serve as a border router and securely enable communications to Thread-based accessories located throughout the home.”

Apple Doesn't Need A New HomePod, It Needs An Assistant That's Actually Smart, by David Price, Macworld

In short, Siri is a bad voice assistant. And this is all the more tragic because other than Siri the HomePod is great. It’s exactly the sort of product to suit me, with excellent audio quality and a smart, compact look. With a family subscription to Apple Music (a service with which I am extremely happy) and HomePods in every room, I should be living my best life. But Siri–arrogant, pushy, frequently wrong Siri–ruins it all.

Notification Management

‘My Watch Think’s I’m Dead’, by Matt Richtel, New York Times

Lately, emergency call centers in some ski regions have been inundated with inadvertent, automated calls, dozens or more a week. Phone operators often must put other calls, including real emergencies, on hold to clarify whether the latest siren has been prompted by a human at risk or an overzealous device.

“My whole day is managing crash notifications,” said Trina Dummer, interim director of Summit County’s emergency services, which received 185 such calls in the week from Jan. 13 to Jan. 22. (In winters past, the typical call volume on a busy day was roughly half that.) Ms. Dummer said that the onslaught was threatening to desensitize dispatchers and divert limited resources from true emergencies.


Apple Shares New 'Shot On iPhone 14 Pro' Short Film: 'Fursat', by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple is out with its latest “Shot on iPhone 14 Pro” video, this time a short film entitled Fursat. The short film is 30 minutes long and comes from director Vishal Bhardwaj.

Raycast Adds Deeplinking Of Commands, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The app’s existing system of hotkey and alias triggers is still the best way to send a command to Raycast in most circumstances, but with deeplinks, Raycast has opened up new automation possibilities.


Apple Is Dropping Industrial Design Chief Role In Post-Jony Ive Era, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The iPhone maker’s vice president of industrial design, Evans Hankey, won’t be replaced when she leaves the company in the coming months, according to people with knowledge of the decision, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

Instead, the company’s core group of about 20 industrial designers will report to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. The company will also give larger roles to a group of Apple’s longest-tenured designers. Hankey has reported to Williams since taking the job in 2019, when top designer Jony Ive left to start his own firm.

Apple Pay Can Be Launched In S. Korea: Financial Regulator, by Yonhap, The Korea Herald

The launch of Apple Pay is expected to strengthen competition in the local mobile payment market, currently dominated by Samsung Electronics' Samsung Pay, based on the magnetic secure transmission technology.

The FSC expressed hope that the introduction of Apple Pay could enhance convenience to customers and bolster the development of new payment services based on the NFC technology going forward.

Bottom of the Page

I was debating, somewhat half-serious, whether I want to subscribe to the new MLS football channel from Apple. I don't follow football, and I definitely don't follow football in U.S. But, I thought, this may be something new and exciting, I can pick up and follow.

Turns out, Apple made the decision for me. MLS is not available where I live.


Thanks for reading.