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It ought to have been a quiet month, but July 2022 saw plenty of action from Russia trying to hijack Apple’s internet traffic, and the M2 MacBook Air proving to be a big hit.
Apple used to be known for how it would announce a new product and then say, with a pretty big flourish, “available today.” Those days are long gone and now there is always a gap between the announcement and preorders, then about a week’s gap before we get the devices.
But compare that to someone putting up their money in July 2022 for a computer they can’t get until August — and which was made 46 years ago. Someone is likely to spend half a million dollars on it, too, as Steve Jobs’s owning “Apple Computer A” — not even an Apple-1 — goes up for auction.
Before you look at your newly-shipped M2 MacBook Air with anything other than pleasure, though, remember that Jobs’s computer is broken.
But the move to a more consistently flat device was done for practical reasons that you can understand, such as cooling and ventilation.
Generally harder to understand was the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Initial reviews in June were a bit perplexed as to why anyone would buy it over the then-forthcoming M2 MacBook Air, and in July it looked like perhaps few people did.
For the shipping dates for the M2 MacBook Air slipped instantly, the moment it went on sale. And they had not for the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
There was one other kind of Mac shipped in July without a great deal of attention, but that’s more because if you needed it, you knew about it. Amazon added M1 Mac mini instances to its AWS cloud service, so now developers could remotely use one or two or as many of them as you need to test anything on.
The point of that service is to have as many Macs available as demand needs, so there was no apparently slipping delivery dates for that one.
Hardware dates slipping
Whereas there was some serious slippage in the dates for the forthcoming Apple Car — unless there wasn’t. One reason Apple doesn’t usually make very early announcements of major products is that dates change, but that doesn’t stop people guessing when something will come.
And then it doesn’t stop people claiming major problems when dates they guessed were passed without a car coming out. Or when there are reports that show progress is less than rapid.
This month, we were told in quite some detail about how Apple Car demos had gone badly, and that generally management didn’t have a certain schedule.
But then by the end of July, we learned that Apple was doing something about that. It has hired Luigi Taraborrelli, a Lamborghini veteran, to work on the project.
Apple of course did not announce this, and it’s going to be a long time before we see an Apple Car in the middle of an Apple Store.
Visiting and revisiting Apple Stores
As of the very end of July 2022, you can now shop for Apple products in one of London’s most prestigious areas. Knightsbridge has long been home to the world-famous Harrods department store, and now it’s also where you can find Apple Brompton Road.
The new store is a three-minute stroll from Harrods. Or to put it another way, a 17-minute walk from Apple Covent Garden, where armed thieves just did a daylight raid.
About 4,500 miles away from London, there was disappointing news for people waiting for the new Apple Store in Mumbai, however. Already delayed from its original 2021 launch, it now looks like it will be 2023 before it opens.
If you spent July waiting for Mumbai or queuing for London, however, you could at least now go back in time to visit famous Apple Stores of the past. It’s not very far into the past, to be fair, but the “Apple Store Time Machine” will still seem like delicious history.
This new Mac app provides a virtual walking tour of four iconic Apple Stores, including the very first one on its opening day. Apart from the fact that there are no people, it’s a delightful app that is going to bring back a lot of memories as you play with it.
Not playing nice
Someone had a very good go at playing with the online Apple Store and all of Apple’s online services for a roughly 12-hour period in July 2022. For someone, read Russia’s Rostelecom internet provider, and for playing, read hijacking the traffic.
Or at least trying to hit it. Exploiting weaknesses in how the internet routes traffic around the world, Rostelecom effectively posed as Apple. Apple turned out to be better at posing as itself, and used details of the same weakness to block Russia.
There’s more to it than that, but after around half a day, Rostelecom gave up.
Russia didn’t suddenly decide to abandon attacking Apple, though, and it reportedly still intends to fine the company over alleged antitrust violations. And it has fined Apple for reportedly breaking local storage laws with iCloud.
As yet, though, no one has been fined or charged or arrested over the alleged hacking of Hunter Biden’s iCloud account. It’s not going to turn out that anyone cracked iCloud, it will be that there was some social phishing going on, if indeed it really is Biden’s data.
Either way, the secret service says it is aware of the issue, which is probably code for how it’s being investigated. Or may be code for how the secret service will get around to investigating it after they’ve found their missing text messages.
Apple and the law
It’s not as if Apple, Google or others could prevent the European Union progressing its legislation, but perhaps they had hopes of persuading it to lighten up.
As it is, we’re at the stage now where it’s not certain quite how Apple and others are expected to comply with the forthcoming laws — but the penalties are clear.
Companies that fall foul of the laws, when they’re fully in place, could be fined up to 10% of their annual turnover. Their annual global turnover.
There must be politicians, lawyers, and accountants crossing their fingers that Apple will break the law. Or at least that Apple will break the law — and pay up.
On the more positive side, one of the consequences of the new EU legislation could be that users would be able to choose and use a Siri rival. You could be able to say “Hey, Google,” instead.
Apple might as well shut up shop, then
What with the EU on its back, various US states and countries investigating various antitrust claims, Apple is quite clearly doomed.
It always is. No matter how well Apple does, or in quite which context Elon Musk changes his mind on Twitter today, it will never be enough.
It’s true that one thing is doomed, in fact it’s true that 15 things are. Specifically, 15 games in Apple Arcade will soon be toast.
July 2022 is the first time games have been removed since Apple Arcade was announced in March 2019. Or at least, the first time that it’s been noticed.
Apple initially revealed the news by adding a “Leaving Soon” section to the arcade, without any explanation. Later it said it was to do with rights issues, and held out a hope that developers would release their games on the App Store instead.
Presumably if the games were popular enough, Apple would have re-upped its rights with the developer. So perhaps these first 15 are not significant, even if the fact that Apple is now a player in the complex world of rights, certainly is.
Chris Evans has knives out for Apple
It also can’t be significant when one person dislikes an iPhone and millions do. Still, actor Chris Evans got a lot of notice in June when he upgraded his iPhone 6s — and more in July when he complained.
Evans has moved to an iPhone 12, but says he wishes he still had his old one. Specifically, he says the newer iPhone is too heavy, and he misses the home button.
You’re thinking he’s the right market for an iPhone SE, but no.
“I’m like, no, I don’t want [that]I want the iPhone 6,” he said. “I want something from before to work until it doesn’t work anymore.”