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July 1, 2021
☕ Good morning! It’s July 1, and it’s only been a week since Windows 11 was launched. Feels like a lifetime!
iPhone 12 is scary
iPhone 12 Pro Max screen with neon 1
David Imel / Android Authority

Credit where it’s due: Apple’s iPhone 12 series sales crossed the 100 million mark after just seven months, beating the iPhone 11 series to 100 million by two full months.

It means around 476,190 of the devices were sold per day. So much for a chip shortage, eh?

The detail:

  • Per Counterpoint Research, “the iPhone 12 series’ cumulative global sales crossed the 100 million units mark in April 2021.”
  • Of that share, somehow, Apple convinced more people than ever to go for the $1,099 top-spec device (not including the 256/512GB variants). 
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max sales were 29% of the total series sales. That’s up four percentage points over the iPhone 11 Pro Max last year, and at the same price.
  • That’s even with the iPhone 12 Mini being a “failure.” For any other company, having a top 10 selling device in a given month would be an enormous success. For Apple, that means halting production(MacRumors)
  • Overall, it is the fastest-selling iPhone since the iPhone 6, which was a monster.
apple iphone 12
Counterpoint Research
  • What made the iPhone 12 such a seller? 5G? The A14 Bionic chip? M1 chip halo effects from the Mac range? 
  • Remember, it didn’t come with a charger or headphones in the box.
  • Counterpoint Research says it’s a little simpler than that: The series was “supported by aggressive operator promotions,” in the US, which made up 40% of total iPhone 12 series sales.
  • The point is:

    • I’ve said it before: Apple is completely incomparable in the smartphone industry. The iPhone is the world’s most valuable physical product, for any company, possibly ever, given the volume.
    • Apple’s margins are higher than anyone else. Its profits have ranged from 60-70% of the entire smartphone industry over the past decade, with Samsung the other major player, leaving the rest of the market fighting for scraps.
    • It means buying Android devices (outside of Samsung flagships, and perhaps Sony’s relentless commitment to high prices) means you’re getting a device much closer to the sum of its parts, with very little fat leftover, especially anything in the mid-range or lower spec.
    • But all that profit for Apple, which never ceases to leave me in awe, means Apple can keep building its ecosystem, its platforms, its stores, its ridiculously profitable services …and its only real worries are around how to keep supplying parts for 500,000 flagship smartphones being sold per day.

    📂 There’s a leaked video of Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3, though the external screen isn’t switched on (Android Authority).

    Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic leaks in full, just hours after we heard it exists (Android Authority).

    🤔 Google sunsets the APK format for new Android apps, which means smaller app sizes; good news for on-device storage savings and downloads, but bad news for sideloading as redistribution will require an extra step (Android Authority).

    🔋 Tested: 160W fast charging that won’t melt your phone, basically by not charging at 160W for long through temperature-aware charging, which is a good step (Android Authority).

    📈 Xiaomi phones and TVs in India jump in price as supply chain shortages hit: 3-6% more expensive (Android Authority).

    😬 Erm: Google reportedly admits that Assistant sometimes records your audio secretly (Android Authority).

    🍎 Apple releases iOS 15 public beta, and features like SharePlay, Focus, Safari’s revamp, and more are now out. Also, iPadOS 15 (multitasking!), watchOS 8 (more controls!), and tvOS 15 are now available (9to5Mac). To get any or all of them, you’ll need to head to Apple’s beta software portal and enroll your devices (

    🎫 Spotify is reportedly thinking about expanding into ticketed events (Engadget).

    📹 Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, says it is no longer a photo-sharing app as it pivots towards video, calling YouTube and TikTok competitors. I don’t know, a bunch of people probably don’t want their nice photo-sharing app turned into a video play, but the Zuckerberg playbook doesn’t allow for anything other than hyper-aggressive growth (The Verge).

    🔋 Volvo’s new electric concept car is a ‘manifesto’ for the future (The Verge).

    💸 Robinhood’s $70 million fine: $57M in fines, $12.6M to be paid out as restitutions (FINRA).

    📡 Starlink’s “next-generation” user terminal might cost as little as $250, down from $500 says Elon Musk (who says a lot of things) (Ars Technica).

    😮 Drop everything and see these air-to-air supersonic shock wave interactions of jets burning through the air from NASA (Instagram).

    ⚡ “Since there isn’t any resistance in space, is reaching lightspeed possible?” The question is a little basic but the answers in the thread are wonderful (r/askscience).

    Throwback Thursday
    hotmail5 1

    Hotmail was launched this week back in 1996, a July 4th release from two colleagues who met while working at Apple, Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith.

    The idea was to move on from ISP-locked email to an inbox available anywhere, hence the Independence Day launch.

    There’s a write-up on Wired from 1998, post-Microsoft acquisition, which was a $400M sale at the time — the S-3 filing from Microsoft revealed 2,769,148 shares were paid to acquire Hotmail, worth, I think, more than $6B now if you consider stock splits?

    Anyway, quotes:

    • “From the first moment I met him, Sabeer Bhatia has given credit to the power of the idea. The idea was so powerful that when his friend and coworker Jack Smith, who was driving home to Livermore, called Sabeer on his car phone to brainstorm the pregnant thought that had just occurred to him, Sabeer heard one sentence of it and said, “Oh my! Hang up that cellular and call me back on a secure line when you get to your house! We don’t want anyone to overhear!”
    • “He stayed up all night writing the business plan, which he brought to his day job the next morning to show to Jack, looking so haggard that his boss stopped him and said, “You’ve got to cut out the partying, Sabeer,” and Sabeer — afraid the idea might pop out of his mouth if he opened it at all — just nodded. He was afraid to even make a single photocopy of the plan he had printed out, lest a stray page find its way into the recycling bin and then into someone else’s gaze.”


    Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.

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