By: Michael Carey
Welcome to Apple Apex. This weekly column will feature the biggest need-to-know stories for fans and users of all things Apple. Check back weekly for the latest news, rumors, and leaks on everything Apple.
Apple’s purchase of Shazam under investigation
The EU has launched an investigation following the acquisition of music identification service Shazam by Apple.
According to the Verge, multiple countries including Austria, France, Iceland, and Spain requested that the EU look over the acquisition to see if it violates the EU Merger Law. According to the EU, the deal “may have a significant adverse effect on competition in the European Economic Area.
In December, Apple publicly confirmed that it was going to buy Shazam for a whopping $400 million – which is actually less than what Shazam was valued for, at $1 billion.
One of the main concerns falls under Spotify’s daily traffic. Both Spotify and Apple Music gain about 1 million clicks a day through Shazam. When a user identifies a song through Shazam, the app gives the user an option to go to Spotify, or Apple Music to listen to the song on the respective streaming services. With the acquisition, Apple could potentially use the app to encourage users to use Apple Music over any other streaming service.
EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager released a statement regarding the matter: “The way people listen to music has changed significantly in recent years, with more and more Europeans using music streaming services. Our investigation aims to ensure that music fans will continue to enjoy attractive music streaming offers and won’t face less choice as a result of this proposed merger.”
The EU has until September 4th of this year to investigate the purchase and publish their review.
iPhone SE 2 could arrive soon, lacking controversial feature
According to Japanese leak site Macotakara, Apple is allegedly gearing up for the public reveal of the iPhone SE 2.
Eurasian regulatory filings, obtained by 9to5Mac, point to a May release window for the next generation iPhone SE, standard NFC usage with Apple Pay, as well as a new engine inside – the A10 chip. This is the same chip that powers the iPhone 7.
While design-wise the iPhone SE 2 is not expected to change out of its 4-inch form factor, a leaked image has been posted to Macotakara, revealing the first look of the new iPhone SE 2.
Judging by the photo, it appears that the new iPhone SE 2 will lack the aluminum backing that was synonymous with the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5S, and SE. The new iPhone SE 2 is rumored to have a glass back, that would potentially enable wireless charging as Apple is now implementing this feature in the current iPhones, the 8. 8 Plus, and iPhone X. The photo also depicts that the side volume buttons will be more spread out, as compared to past iterations.
However, the biggest change to the iPhone SE 2 may be a change that has plagued every iPhone, and smartphones in general, in the past three years. According to 9to5Mac, the iPhone SE 2 will follow similar fate to its older siblings, and drop the headphone jack all together, despite having the exact same dimensions of the iPhone SE, and the iPhone 5S.
KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has proved to be a reliable source with leaked Apple information, refutes the wireless charging claim based on his sources. KGI believes that the wireless charging feature is more “premium”, and does not see this feature making its way into a budget iPhone.
Expect a reveal of the iPhone SE 2 by WWDC in June.
6.1 inch LCD iPhone to be priced around $550, feature dual-SIM configuration
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is reporting that the new 6.1 inch iPhone that will be revealed in September could feature dual-SIM technology, as well as a much cheaper price tag than the iPhone X.
His findings add more pieces to a Bloomberg report that was published earlier in the year, which claim that Apple was considering dual-SIM technology for the 6.5 inch OLED iPhone. The dual-SIM feature would be an exclusive to this iPhone in particular, and not the 5.8 inch OLED iPhone.
As far as pricing goes for the models, KGI is predicting the single SIM model to be priced between $550 and $650, which is nearly half of the price of the current iPhone X. The dual-SIM model would be priced roughly $100 more between $650 and $750.
As for the new iPhones that will be coming in 2018, KGI has inside information on three potential new iPhones Apple is developing. a 6.5-inch OLED iPhone, a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, and a 5.8-inch OLED iPhone. Likely, the two OLED iPhones will be dubbed as the iPhone X Successor (potentially 11) , and the iPhone X+ (or 11 Plus).
If Apple follows traditional Apple vocabulary, the new iPhones are expected to be revealed in September at a yet-to-be-announced event.
Thank you for checking out Apple Apex. Check back weekly for the latest news, rumors, and leaks on everything Apple.
Disclaimer – Michael Carey and WHIP Radio are in no way affiliated with Apple.
Michael is an award-winning radio host at WHIP Radio. He has been a staple host on WHIP’s Wake Up Call, and has recently occupied the role of Program Director for the station.