“Yes, we slow down older iPhones”: Apple admits intentionally slowing iPhones without telling customer

Apple has acknowledged what many iPhone owners long suspected: It has slowed older phones.

The tech giant issued a rare statement of explanation on Thursday, saying that it has used software updates to limit the performance of older iPhones that may have battery issues that would cause them to turn off suddenly.

Continue reading “Yes, we slow down older iPhones”: Apple admits intentionally slowing iPhones without telling customer

⚾️ Red Sox stole Yankees pitch signals using an Apple Watch, according to MLB investigators

For decades, spying on another team has been as much a part of the gamesmanship of baseball as brushback pitches and hard slides. The Red Sox have apparently added a modern — and illicit — twist: They used an Apple Watch to gain an advantage against the Yankees and other teams.

Investigators for Major League Baseball have determined that the Boston Red Sox, who are in first place in the American League East and likely headed to the playoffs, executed a scheme to illicitly steal hand signals from opponents’ catchers in games against the second-place Yankees and other teams, according to several people briefed on the matter.

The baseball inquiry began about two weeks ago, after the Yankees’ general manager, Brian Cashman, filed a detailed complaint with the commissioner’s office that included video the Yankees shot of the Red Sox dugout during a three-game series in Boston last month.

Former Apple CEO Tim Cook and Red Sox manager John Farrell
Former Apple CEO Tim Cook and Red Sox manager John Farrell

The Yankees, who had long been suspicious of the Red Sox stealing catchers’ signs in Fenway Park, contended the video showed a member of the Red Sox training staff looking at his Apple Watch in the dugout and then relaying a message to players, who may have then been able to use the information to know the type of pitch that was going to be thrown, according to the people familiar with the case.

Baseball investigators corroborated the Yankees’ claims based on video the commissioner’s office uses for instant replay and broadcasts, the people said. The commissioner’s office then confronted the Red Sox, who admitted that their trainers had received signals from video replay personnel and then relayed that information to some players — an operation that had been in place for at least several weeks.

The Red Sox responded in kind on Tuesday, filing a complaint against the Yankees, claiming that the team uses a camera from its television network, YES, exclusively to steal signs during games.

It is unclear what penalties, if any, Commissioner Rob Manfred will issue against the Red Sox and whether he will order a more expansive investigation to determine the extent of the Red Sox’ sign-stealing system. It is also unclear how he will proceed with the countercomplaint.

Boston’s Rafael Devers, right, celebrates with teammate Xander Bogaerts after hitting a home run in the second inning of a 9-6 victory over the Yankees on Aug. 18.

Pat Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball, declined to comment on the case. Attempts to reach the Red Sox were not successful. A Yankees official declined to comment on the Red Sox’ claim regarding the YES camera.

Stealing signs is believed to be most effective when there is a runner on second base who can watch what hand signals the catcher is using to communicate with the pitcher and then relay to the batter any clues about what type of pitch may be coming. Such tactics are allowed as long as long as teams do not use any methods beyond their eyes. Binoculars and electronic devices are prohibited to communicate about signs.

In recent years, as cameras have proliferated in major-league ballparks, teams have begun using the abundance of video to help them discern opponents’ signs. Some clubs have had clubhouse attendants quickly relay information to the dugout from personnel monitoring video.

With that approach, the information has to be rushed to the dugout on foot so it can be passed to the runner on second base. The Red Sox seemed to shorten the communication chain — and more quickly get the information to their batters — by sending information electronically to people in the dugout.

The Red Sox told league investigators that team personnel scanning instant-replay video were sending the pitch signs electronically to the trainers, who were then passing the information to the players.

As part of the inquiry, baseball investigators have interviewed the Red Sox team trainers and outfielder Chris Young, a former Yankees player. The Red Sox told league investigators that the team’s manager, John Farrell, general manager, Dave Dombrowski, and other front-office officials were not aware of the sign-stealing operation, the people said.

In the first game of the series in question, the first time the Red Sox got a runner on second was Xander Bogaerts, in the second inning. Rafael Devers promptly hit a home run, giving the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. The Red Sox went 5 for 8 in the first game when they had a man on second.

Their success when they had a runner on second in the other two games was mixed: 1 for 6 in the second game; and 3 for 10 in the third game.


Yankees pitcher Sonny Gray pitching in the first inning against the Red Sox on Aug. 20. The Red Sox won that game, 5-1. CreditAdam Glanzman/Getty Images

The video provided to the commissioner’s office by the Yankees was captured during the first two games of the series and included at least three clips. In the clips, the team’s assistant athletic trainer, Jon Jochim, is seen looking at his Apple Watch and then passing information to outfielder Brock Holt and second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was injured at the time but in uniform. In one instance, Pedroia is then seen passing the information to Young.

The Red Sox’ tactics will add to their intense rivalry with the Yankees, who closely trail them in the standings. Outside of New England, the case will be reminiscent of the Spygate controversy that erupted a decade ago when the world-beating Patriots were found to have violated N.F.L. rules by spying on opponents to gain an edge.

Mr. Manfred is in a difficult position as he decides how to discipline the team and whether to continue investigating to try to determine if the Red Sox violated rules in other games this season and whether Farrell and other team personnel knew about the scheme.

A decade ago, the N.F.L. commissioner, Roger Goodell, hastily took away a first-round draft pick and fined the Patriots and their coach, Bill Belichick, before conducting a thorough investigation. When more evidence of cheating later emerged, Goodell was accused of trying to minimize the damage and protect one of the sport’s premiere franchises. Congress eventually got involved.

In baseball, the most infamous incident involving sign stealing played out in 1951, when the New York Giants overcame a 13 and one- half game deficit in the standings over the final two months of the season to catch the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Giants went on to beat the Dodgers in a playoff for the pennant when Bobby Thomson hit a home run remembered as the “ Shot Heard Round the World.” Fifty years later, The Wall Street Journal revealed that the Giants had spies in the center-field clubhouse at the Polo Grounds who used a telescope to steal signs from the opposing catcher, which were then relayed to Giants’ players from a backup player in the bullpen.

In 1997, teams accused the Mets of planting small cameras near home plate in Shea Stadium to spy on catchers. The Mets denied that they had used the cameras to try to steal signs, and the league did not take any action.

More recently, the Philadelphia Phillies faced sign-stealing accusations in 2011, when they were one of the best teams in baseball. Several teams logged complaints with the commissioner’s office that the team used binoculars and other unauthorized methods to steal signs. The Phillies were never sanctioned by Major League Baseball.

Some in baseball would like for Mr. Manfred to take away some of Boston’s victories, a move that would be highly unusual. Others believe that a significant fine and the docking of draft picks would be sufficient.

iPhone 8 📱 Everything you need to know: Release date, Tech, Price, Pics

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a date. And if our expectations are fulfilled, Apple will unveil a trio of new phones in about a week.
On Sept. 12, at 10 a.m. PT, the company will hold its inaugural event at the Steve Jobs Theater at its newly built headquarters in Cupertino, California. The official invitation, distributed to media on Aug. 31, follows tech blog Mac4Ever’s report (later corroborated by the Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch) that Apple plans to bring out new phones at an event on Sept. 12. 
As we count down the days until then, it remains clear that, despite a rush of rumors, leaked images and firmware clues, we still know next to nothing officially. Including what these phones will be called. 
To wit: This weekend, veteran leaker Evan Blass tweeted that he’s “heard” the new flagship called the iPhone X — and others report that what we’ve been calling the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus may actually be the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. (The case makers’ lobby has doubled-down on the iPhone Edition for the 10th anniversary model, via MacRumors.)
Whatever they’re called, Apple hopes the new phones will cast a big iPhone-shaped shadow over Samsung’s brand new Galaxy Note 8 — and drive up sales before its financial quarter closes on Sept. 30. (The premium model is reported to start at around $1,000.) In addition to a redesigned flagship iPhone with an OLED display, new UI and facial recognition technology, we also expect see other products introduced, including the Apple Watch 3 and a new 4K Apple TV.
If the rumors are true, Apple’s new iPhones will see the light of day in about a week. We’ll continue to count down the days, assembling all of the rumors below.

iPhone 8 specs we might see:

  • Three new models including two minor “S” upgrades and an all-new flagship
  • Curved, edge-to-edge OLED display with True Tone technology and/or Ion-X glass
  • Virtual home button
  • Facial recognition alternative to Touch ID
  • “Wireless” charging (i.e. inductive charging) and/or faster USB-C charging
  • Dual-lens camera, possibly in a vertical configuration
  • AR capabilities featuring rear-facing 3D laser for enhanced depth perception
  • Support for the Apple Pencil
  • Stainless steel and glass body
  • Multiple color including a reflective, mirror-like finish
  • Upgraded storage and memory, possibly starting at 64GB and 3GB of RAM
  • Intel or Qualcomm modem
  • iOS 11 (preview)
  • Enhanced water resistance or waterproofing
  • Higher quality earpiece for louder, clearer audio
  • Apple’s next-generation processor (the A10X or A11)
  • Priced between $1,000 and $1,200 in the US, available in limited quantities to start

Counting down the days

Despite months of rumors about turbulence in Cupertino and manufacturing issues in the supply chain, it appears we can stick with the Sept. 12 release date for the three new iPhones. The initial report by Mac4Ever that was corroborated by TechCrunch and the Wall Street Journal added an intriguing detail: that the new Steve Jobs Theater was unfinished — and that its “construction timetable could affect the timing or location of the event.”

Yet Apple continues to move forward with its standard early September event, despite months of reports about potential postponement and even panic. The presumption is that Apple will deliver a plentiful supply of the two LCD models, while the OLED iPhone 8 may be more difficult to come by, at least initially.
The iPhone TBD

Apple usually doesn’t label its phone models, so despite an accumulating pile of authentic-looking images, we still don’t know officially what the new ones will be called. Until recently, we thought the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus were sure things; and then came new reports suggesting that Apple may call them the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. If so, the new flagship would have to be called something else. Evan Blass’ tweet only said he’s “heard” it referred to as the iPhone X, while others are guessing the iPhone Edition, and the iPhone 10 and iPhone Pro remain viable alternatives.
Bye-bye, home button?

The new iPhone may replace the home button with a new UI.
Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, among the most credible sources of Apple news, reports that the iPhone 8 may dispatch the home button concept completely, replacing it with a new gesture-based user interface. He suggests that the new phone will have an app dock similar to the one found on the iPad, with a thin software bar anchored along the bottom of the display.
Last month, Steve Troughton-Smith tweeted that the iPhone 8 will have a virtual home button, which can change its size or disappear entirely, depending on the app or task. And Ming-Chi Kuo has long insisted that the iPhone 8 would have a virtual home button but not Touch ID.

$1,000 base model

The New York Times reports that the “premium model” iPhone 8 will start at roughly $1,000. That squares with earlier predictions from Morgan Stanley, Fast Company and Goldman Sachs, who have suggested that the new flagship could cost as much as $1,200 in the US (roughly £950 or AU$1,450), which would account for upper-end models with more storage capacity (more on that below). Earlier this year, a UBS analyst reported that Apple could price the 64GB iPhone 8 as low as $850 (roughly £655 and AU$1,110) to better compete with the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. The iPhone 7S and 7S Plus are expected to be priced comparably with the current generation 7 and 7 Plus, so $649 (£500 and AU$850) and $769 (£580 and AU$980), respectively.
Pencil support for the iPhone 8?

Apple could undercut one of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8’s greatest strengths by adding Pencil support to the iPhone 8. The long-simmering iPhone stylus rumor boiled up, as Apple filed new patent applications connecting the Apple Pencil with the iPhone (via PatentlyApple). We think this one’s a long shot for the iPhone 8 — there hasn’t been much chatter or photographic evidence to support it — but inevitable in the long run.
The game-changer: Face ID

According to developer Steve Troughton-Smith, the HomePod firmware leak confirms the existence of the iPhone 8’s facial-recognition technology; if true, you’ll be able to use your face to unlock the iPhone 8, pay for stuff and much more. Mark Gurman, the Bloomberg News technology reporter with a strong record on Apple stories, says that the company’s pitch will be that “Face ID is quicker, more secure, and more accurate than Touch ID.” 
A purported image of the iPhone 8’s rumored dual camera array, which is said to enable new facial recognition technology.  

Face-seeking cam on the front

To support the new facial-recognition technology, Apple has arranged the front-facing cameras in a new configuration within a cutout atop the new edge-to-edge display. According to veteran Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the setup will support AR and 3D modeling with a trio of components — a front-facing camera, infrared transmitter and infrared receiver.
Dual cams on the back

The growing consensus among the rumor watchers is that the iPhone 8 has two rear cameras arranged vertically with an LED flash in the middle. Fast Company has reported that Apple has developed a rear-facing 3D laser system that supports AR depth detection and autofocusing.
LCD or OLED displays?

The iPhone 8 may have an edge-to-edge OLED display, with a cutout along the top bezel.
Both. The 7S and 7S Plus are expected to stick with the iPhone’s current LCD technology. The next flagship is almost certain to have an OLED. (We’ve also heard that the entire iPhone lineup could go OLED in 2018.) Ironically, those OLED screens will almost certainly be supplied by archrival Samsung, which is said to control around 98 percent or more of current phone-sized OLED manufacturing capacity.
iOS 11 + iPhone hardware = big leaps in AR
We know iOS 11 is going all-in on AR. Apple delivered the public beta of the next generation mobile operating system in June (here’s how to install it) and the HomePod leak has expanded the list of cool stuff we’ve discovered. Beyond facial detection, highlights include a smarter, more capable Siri, screen recording and AR software that will overlay the virtual world on to the physical one. Read more about iOS 11 in our preview.
3 phones, 3 colors

Could this be what the iPhone 8 looks like in black, silver and gold(ish)?

Kuo reports that each of the three new models will be available in three colors — black, silver and gold. This runs counter to previous reports of an expanded palette of options that included a mirror-like, reflective finish, jet black and rose gold. 

In August Troughton-Smith refined his initial leak of the iPhone 8 glyph with some precise measurements of the front of the device, with a camera cut-out along the top edge. An increasing number of images and video of dummy phones and molds show an iPhone 8 that’s bigger than the iPhone 7 and smaller than the 7 Plus; the iPhone 8’s display, rumored to extend from edge to edge, with very narrow bezels, would likely be more comparable with that of the 7 Plus. The iPhone 8 is likely to feature a combination of curved glass and stainless steel, according to Bloomberg.

Charging forward

Will Apple bring wireless charging to all three new models or just the iPhone 8?

Ming-Chi Kuo reports that all three new models, both the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus as well as the flagship, will support faster “plugged-in” charges, though you’ll need an add-on USB-C power adapter to take advantage of it. Noted Apple watcher John Gruber tweeted in July that “wireless” charging — that is, an inductive charge pad accessory, which, technically, still has wires — may be “sold separately” and not until later in the year, as part of a future iOS 11 update, similar to Apple’s rollout of the iPhone 7 Plus portrait mode in 2016.
Enhanced audio

According to analysts at JPMorgan (as reported by MacRumors), Apple may equip the iPhone 8 with an “enhanced receiver,” which is housed within the slit on the front of the phone where you put your ear during calls. This upgrade would ostensibly deliver louder, clearer audio as well as superior waterproofing (more on that below).
The AirPods are a $159 accessory. Could Apple include them for free with the iPhone 8?

AirPods included? Don’t bet on it
JPMorgan has also postulated that the iPhone 8 will come with AirPods included. These Bluetooth-enabled headphones currently sell as a $159 accessory (£159 in the UK and AU$229 in Australia). And so this one is a stretch. But if Apple prices the new phone high enough, there could be margin enough to make it happen. Which brings us to…
Gigabyte LTE

One area the iPhone 8 may end up trailing the Galaxy S8 is cellular network speed. The Samsung phone features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor or, in some markets, Samsung’s own Exynos 8895 chip — both of which support Gigabit LTE. According to CNET’s Roger Cheng, Apple uses Qualcomm and Intel modems and, at the moment, the Intel version can’t deliver Gigabit LTE speed. This could force Apple to slow down the Qualcomm version to ensure all iPhones are on the same footing.
Apple waved goodbye to the analog headphone jack with the iPhone 7. And it’s probably not coming back.
Return of the headphone jack? Nope
A Barclays analyst (reported by MacRumors) has suggested that Apple will stick with its Lightning connector — and include a 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter — for the next phone. Highly doubtful. Despite the shade being thrown by competitors like OnePlus, whose new newest phone has the legacy connector, Apple is very unlikely to reverse its position on this one.
Enhanced waterproofing

That same Nikkei Asian Review article also claims that at least one of the forthcoming iPhones will be waterproof. This follows earlier rumors, reported by the Korea Herald and others, that the next iPhone will have a higher water-resistance rating of IP68 compared with the current generation’s IP67, meaning it could be immersed in water for longer and to greater depths.
Next-gen components

The iPhone 8 is expected to run on Apple’s A11 CPU. There’s a rumor that the company is developing its own graphics chips, too. But the time frame for phasing out its current supplier is 15 to 24 months, so it’s unlikely that an Apple-manufactured GPU will make it into the next iPhone. We’re probably looking at 2018 or 2019 for this one.
According to a listing on Chinese blogging site Weibo, Apple may dump its 32GB model, at least for the iPhone 8, and offer three storage tiers: 64GB, 256GB and 512GB; this is consistent with an earlier rumor reported by TrendForce. These reports also suggest that the company will boost the amount of memory to 3GB, though the 7S and 7S Plus will get only 2GB. These incremental bumps for the flagship would follow last year’s precedent of Apple ditching its outcast 16GB model when it released the iPhone 7.
And what about the iPhone 9?

From the outer frontier of the iPhone hype cycle, The Bell (via Korean site The Investor) reports that Apple will supersize its future phones, with the iPhone 9 featuring two variations with an OLED display — a 5.28-inch model and a 6.46-inch one. And Nikkei Asian Review suggests that all of next year’s iPhones could adopt new screen technology, not just the most high-end model.