Apple Watch, AirPods & HomePod, Apple’s ‘other products,’ predicted to rake in $22B in revenue by 2019

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Fueled by a trio of new product categories, Apple’s all-encompassing "other products" are poised to become the company’s fastest growing segment, further fueled by the recent launch of HomePod.
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Rear-facing 3D sensing technology possibly slated for fall 2019 iPhone, allowing Apple to press AR advantage

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With the iPhone X just three months out of the gate, and discussions about the 2018 iPhone refresh starting, eyes are starting to look at 2019, with new supply chain discussion by an investment analyst firm suggesting that Apple is now working on a world-facing 3D sensor to assert dominance in augmented reality.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Apple’s iOS Overhaul: ‘Speed, Quality, and Bold New Features’ for 2019

Back in January, we reported that Apple plans to delay many of the biggest features rumored for iOS 12 as part of a move that would allow the company to focus on performance and quality improvements in its mobile operating system.

And while that means we’re unlikely to see many groundbreaking new features arrive on iPhone and iPad this fall — as the move effectively pushes the bulk of them into 2019, at the earliest — a new Bloomberg report published this morning appears to shed additional light on what we can expect.

The delayed features are reportedly part of an iOS build dubbed “Peace” internally, according to Bloomberg, who goes on to note the delays, themselves, were prompted by what Apple’s software chief, Craig Federighi, described as an “internal culture shift” — where software engineers are now free to work on new iOS features at their discretion without the added pressure of rushing and cramming them into its annual update.

New Animoji Characters & Capabilities

Apple is reportedly working on a mess of new Animoji features for iPad, facilitated by an upcoming model of the tablet equipped with Face ID and a TrueDepth camera. We previously shared a wealth of rumored specs and info about this device, which Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has pegged for a [potential] late 2018 release. Read more about the 2018 iPad here.

Not only will Animoji be arriving on iPad in the same capacity it’s currently employed on iPhone X, but Apple has even bigger plans to incorporate Animoji characters into FaceTime conversations, allowing users to place Animoji skins — much like a Snapchat, Facebook, or Instagram filters — over their natural face during a call.

Universal Apps and More

Apple is said to be working on a new ‘universal apps’ feature, which would allow iPhone, iPad and macOS apps to run seamlessly across a user’s range of connected devices.

Though details about the game-changing feature were absent in today’s report, the initiative sounds a lot like Apple’s previously rumored ‘Project Marzipan’, which should give us at least some indication of what to expect.

Theoretically, one could get a better idea of Apple’s planned ‘universal apps’ feature by noting how it works across Microsoft devices via the PC-giant’s Windows Universal Apps platform — though Apple’s initiative will likely be more advanced, simply given the time of its release.

Other notable features expected in iOS 12 include a revamped Apple Stocks app, providing users a new interface for viewing up-to-the-minute quotes and news, as well as improvements to iOS’ inbuilt Do Not Disturb function.

The next major iOS update is also expected to include a range of system, UI, and software enhancements, including a new “tabs within apps” feature for iPad allowing users to run several windows inside a single application box. We can even expect to see major changes, including a refresh of the aged iOS Home screen grid layout, for example.

Unfortunately, Bloomberg reminds us, we’ll just have to wait until 2019 for the majority of these features and upgrades — though much is still expected of iOS 12 this fall, including a new Digital Health tool allowing parents to see into how much time their children have been staring into the screen.

Why the Delay?

“The renewed focus on quality is designed to make sure the company can fulfill promises made each summer at the annual developers conference and that new features work reliably and as advertised,” said Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman of Apple’s new plans.

Gurman added that [iOS software chief] Federighi’s “army of engineers” will not only have more time to work on new features but also focus more on “under-the-hood refinements, without being tied to a list of new features annually simply so the company can tout a massive year-over-year leap” [in terms of features].

Worth pointing out, of course, is that while Apple’s new plan may appear to be of great benefit to the quality, stability, and integrity of iOS, only time will tell how these “forced delays” are received by consumers.

iDrop News

Xiaomi, Sony and 16 more OEMs to deliver 5G smartphones in 2019

Qualcomm has hit the gas pedal on the 5G connectivity with its latest announcements. The company will provide Snapdragon X50 modems that support the new standard to 18 OEMs, including smartphone manufacturers Asus, Fujitsu, HMD Global, HTC, LG, Oppo, Sharp, Sony, vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. The manufacturers are planning to commercialize 5G mobile devices by 2019. While Samsung struck a separate extended partnership last week, the one big company that is missing from the list is Apple. In a separate press release, the San Diego company also said that carriers such as AT&T, China…

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