Apple Loop: iPhone 6S Frustration, Anger At iPad Pro Battery, Microsoft Storms Apple

Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes data loss on the iPhone 6S, comparisons of the iPad Pro and the MacBook, more rumors on the iPhone 6C, a look at Apple’s share of smartphone profits, the lack of data from Apple News, Bing’s next step on iOS, and a look at six great cases for your iPhone.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days

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Missing Data On iPhone 6S

There are a growing number of reports of user data being lost on Apple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone 6S.  Forbes’ Gordon Kelly looks over the evidence, including Apple Insider’s initial details and the vocal posters on Apple’s own support boards.

I’ve also been contacted personally by iPhone 6S owners, including several friends, who’ve been hit by this issue. Right now there’s no fix as the common option of a Factory reset only results in having to restore from these broken backups. Meanwhile users of older iPhones are not reporting any issues at all, so this is squarely impacting the iPhone 6S and some (though seemingly fewer) iPhone 6S Plus owners.

I’ve also been contacted personally by iPhone 6S owners, including several friends, who’ve been hit by this issue. Right now there’s no fix as the common option of a Factory reset only results in having to restore from these broken backups. Meanwhile users of older iPhones are not reporting any issues at all, so this is squarely impacting the iPhone 6S and some (though seemingly fewer) iPhone 6S Plus owners.

Apple may look to roll out a fix with iOS 9.2 (currently in testing) or a smaller patch update in a minor iOS 9.1.1. As yet the official answer from Apple is ‘no comment.’

 

The iPad Pro And The MacBook Will Never Meet

As the iPad Pro reaches consumer’s hands, Tim Cook once more has stressed that Apple is not looking merge the lines between the high-end iPad devices and the low-end Mac products. While the physical hardware in the MacBook and the iPad Pro are comparable, don’t expect to see a two-in-one in the near future. Tim Cook’s quote to the Irish Independent makes this view clear:

“We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad.

“Because what that would wind up doing, or what we’re worried would happen, is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants. So we want to make the best tablet in the world and the best Mac in the world. And putting those two together would not achieve either. You’d begin to compromise in different ways.

iPad Pro Power Problems

What the iPad Pro does have is an acknowledged problem in terms of power and charging. Users of the new tablet are finding that a number of units of the twelve-inch screened device is refusing to turn back on after being charged. The immediate answer in Apple’s support forums is to force a hard reset (yes, turn it off and on again):

To get back to using your iPad Pro, force restart it by pressing and holding both the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons for at least ten seconds, until you see the Apple logo.

Apple is aware of this issue and is investigating.

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Bing’s Next Step On iOS

Microsoft continues to increase its presence on iOS with a major update of its Bing application (reports Engadget), with a focus on delivering the right answer, be it from a search engine result, a web page, or a deep link into an application.

That means that when you search for San Francisco, you don’t just get a list of webpages, you get images, relevant info from Wikipedia, related news articles and facts like population, nearby airports, travel tips and more. This style search is particularly relevant on mobile so you can get info without having to click through to other websites, and it lets search engines answer natural-language questions (like “what is the population of New York City?”) without you having to dig through a list of search results.

While Google and Bing’s knowledge graphs give you similar info, the new Bing app for iPhone steps things up by integrating search results with the iOS app ecosystem. If I tell Bing to show me coffee shops nearby, I get the expected list of options based on my location — but clicking through to a specific option pulls in a variety of data from the internet as well as a list of apps you can use to complete various tasks.

Here Comes The iPhone 6C… Honestly

Is Apple looking at a refreshed iPhone 5C for next year? There are some small indications from the supply chain that a four-inch screened version of the iPhone 6S family could be on the cards for a mid-2016 launch. James Rogerson and John McCann believe so:

Several different sources have spoken of an iPhone 6C, though there are still some voices of dissent. When it does arrive it will probably have a lot in common with the iPhone 5C, as there’s talk and even an image of a plastic shell.

If it does launch with a plastic body then there’s no doubt that it will be cheaper than Apple’s flagship phones, though how much cheaper remains to be seen.

 

Does Apple Need To Make Any More Profit?

While the iPhone 6C is a good story and one that the budget buyer (and Wall Street analysts chasing market share numbers) can believe in, it’s unlikely to have a significant impact on Apple’s bottom line. According to a study this week, Cupertino already takes 94 percent of the available profits in the smartphone ecosystem. Given that, why would Apple think that cannibalizing handsets at a higher price with increased profit for a less profitable handset that forces Apple to consider market share?

…the view that Apple should move into the low-end market to gather unit share is a popular one, but you have to ask why a company that is built around the perception of quality at a high cost would want to cannibalize that image and market with a cheaper device in the chase of a numerical target that does not figure in its business plan.

In all of this, if Apple keeps on increasing its share, it won’t be long till it takes one hundred percent.

Where’s The Data From Apple News?

Apple News promises a new homepage for publishers to reach out to iOS users, but the current offering is not finding universal acclaim. The lack of real-time data from Apple and the lack of hooks into existing measurement systems is one obvious sticking point:

Apple is providing weekly data reports including basics like the volume of page views and shares, but publishers want a dashboard that they can use to analyze data on demand, and more demographic data on users. To appeal to publishers, Apple was supposed to let them count the views toward their traffic and let publishers sell ads into the app. But publishers said Apple has been delayed in adding measurement firm comScore tags to the content.

It may not be an issue for publishers that aren’t getting much traffic from Apple News now, but if the app becomes a significant source of traffic, not having comScore’s independent tracking makes advertising a hard sell. An Apple spokeswoman wouldn’t say how much traffic the app was sending publishers but that it planned to integrate comScore into the app and a data dashboard “very soon.”

The software is still in beta, but it seems curious to release the app when one of the key benefits (data) is not included in the package.

 

And Finally…

No matter the design cues of the iPhone, the cost of the hardware means that people naturally look to put the handset into a case. With a huge range to choose from, I’ve taken a look at six of the best cases for the iPhone 6S, all packed with the latest technology from batteries and balsa wood to playful graphics waterproof ratings.

Apple Loop brings you seven days worth of highlights every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future. Last week’s Apple Loop can be read here, or this week’s edition of Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit

 

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