Monday’s big news about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was a claim by well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that the company was working on a foldable iPhone that would be released to the clamoring public in 2023. According to a report in 9to5Mac, Kuo also claims that Apple expects to ship some 20 million of the devices in its first year.
Well, maybe. Last year, Samsung led all vendors with an 87% share of the foldable smartphone market (an estimated 2.2 million units), according to market tracker Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC). That implies a total market of around 2.54 million units. In 2021, total shipments of foldable smartphones are expected to reach 5.1 million units, up 128% year over year and a 137% increase in revenue., Samsung is expected to grab about 81% of the market this year, or about 2.05 million units.
If the market for smartphones doubles in each of the next two years, the total available market will be around 20.4 million in 2023. According to Kuo, Apple would source its foldable display screens from Samsung. That means Samsung would need to more than double its production of display screens and sell as many to its leading competitor (Apple) as it sells to its own customers. The good news is that there’s still plenty of time to sort this all out.
Apple’s iOS 14.5, including the company’s controversial App Tracking Transparency feature (ATT), got its first bugfix release on Monday. The update, iOS 14.5.1, fixes a bug in ATT that may have interfered with some apps. According to Apple:
This update fixes an issue with App Tracking Transparency where some users who previously disabled Allow Apps to Request to Track in Settings may not receive prompts from apps after re-enabling it. This update also provides important security updates and is recommended for all users.
Apple describes the issue as a “memory corruption issue” that has been “addressed by improved state management.” The bug could have executed “maliciously crafted web content [that] may lead to arbitrary code execution. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.” In other words, iOS 14.5 could have been hacked and there is at least one report that it has been.
Apple also announced Monday that the company has blocked downgrades to iOS 14.4.2 now that the new iOS 14.5 has been released into the wild. What is the practical impact on iPhone owners? Once you upgrade your iPhone to iOS 14.5, you will not be able to download or install an out-of-date operating system.
According to AppleInsider, this is standard procedure for Apple, intended to protect people “from nefarious actors attempting to take advantage of newly discovered vulnerabilities. In addition to security, preventing users from downloading older code allows Apple to keep more iOS devices on the latest, feature-rich software.”
Finally, Monday marked the opening day of the courtroom battle between Apple and Fortnite developer Epic Games. Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic, spent three hours on the witness stand answering questions and is expected to answer more on Tuesday. The trial is expected to last about three weeks and, no matter which side prevails, an appeal is virtually guaranteed.