iPhone Delay Due To Coronavirus
Coronavirus has affected Apple’s ability to supply its products. The New York Times states that Apple’s reliance on Chinese factories has limited their production, and is taking longer to get back to normal than previously expected. In addition, testing of the new iPhones was likely delayed due to travel restrictions and working from home.
The new iPhone 12 lineup which was originally planned for launching in September is suspected to be delayed. Speculation from Bloomberg suggests that the iPhones will be released roughly a month later than originally planned, while The Wall Street Journal anticipates that the new iPhone will be launched in September, however it may not be available for purchase until later in the year.
API for Contact Tracing
There have been a lot of rumours that Apple and Google automatically uploaded a tracking app onto all iPhones in order to improve contact tracing. This is not the case. What they did install as part of the last iOS update was an application programming interface (API).
This API is the outcome of rare collaboration between Apple and Google. It is part of a two-phased plan to help improve contact tracing. Essentially, the API has the ability to use Bluetooth on devices to send and receive identifiers, and when received they will be stored. The identifiers are composed of random numbers, and change every 10-20 minutes for the user’s privacy. At least once per day, these identifiers are checked to see if they belong to someone who has identified as positive for coronavirus.
In the first and current phase of the plan, users must download a contract tracing app for this API to be utilized to let them know if they have been in contact with someone who is infected. Otherwise, this the API has no effect. In the second phase an additional app will not be required in order to receive notifications regarding contact with infected people, however it will still only function with the user’s permission.
Expanding iPhone Repair Services
In other news, Apple launched its Independent Repair Provider Program in the US last fall, and due to its success Apple has now announced that it will be expanding. Since its launch, 140 repair companies have joined the program. With this expansion, Apple is planning to grow even more across the US, and is also opening up to Canada and 32 countries across Europe.
Independent repair companies looking to join must have an Apple-certified technician for executing the repairs. Once companies qualify for the program, the training is free, and they receive genuine Apple parts for repairs. Apple is also increasing the amount of Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs) in the US. Last year the number of AASPs in the US tripled as a result of every Best Buy store in the US becoming an AASP.
Apple is working to make the repair process as easy as possible during this time of coronavirus. The company has done this by providing further mail-in options and ways to repair while adhering to social distancing guidelines.