back to article New iPhone details leak: Yes, Apple is still chasing Samsung

Eagle-eyed code-jockeys have dug out some intriguing details about the new Apple iPhone – most notably that the company is still desperately chasing Samsung. Developers digging into a firmware upgrade of Apple's new HomePod discovered chunks of code that appeared to have nothing to do with the digital assistant. In particular …

  1. Prosthetic Conscience
    Trollface

    1400$

    Meanwhile the faces at apple HQ --->

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: 1400$

      I'll be happy to bet anyone $1400 that the iPhone 8 does not cost that much (in the US, I can't do anything about Apple's exchange rates in the UK and the 20% VAT hit) Then I'll get it for free and have hundreds of dollars left over!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 1400$

        You're on.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: 1400$

          So when I win does a random AC pay me, or do 1400 AC's each owe me $1?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 1400$

            Leave your bank details as a reply to this post and we'll see you right.

            1. WolfFan Silver badge

              Re: 1400$

              Leave your bank details as a reply to this post and we'll see you right.

              Here you go:

              Prince I. Breaka Y. Legs

              Account# 223109131

              Access Bank

              3 Alhaji Owokoniran Street

              Orile Coker

              Idi Oro100246, Lagos, Nigeria

  2. Youngone Silver badge

    Wrong Place

    I enjoyed the article, but the problem with The Reg is that there are not enough really proper rabid Apple fansboys here to fill the comments with outrage.

    I might whizz over to Slashdot with some popcorn.

    1. Credas Silver badge

      Re: Wrong Place

      the problem with The Reg is that there are not enough really proper rabid Apple fansboys here to fill the comments with outrage.

      There's always SuccessCase to rely on, at least. Doubtless spinning up the Cognitive Dissonance Generator as we speak...

    2. Tim99 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Wrong Place

      Ah, but we/they know that, unlike recent Samsung kit, the jesusPhone will work, and continue to work, and probably won't catch fire...

    3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Wrong Place

      Just don't let them follow you back.

    4. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Wrong Place

      El Reg approached the rabid Apple fansboys for comment.....

    5. Oh Homer Silver badge
      Trollface

      Apple fanboism ain't what it used to be

      Since Steve Jobs was upgraded to Dead Steve Jobs, the general quality, functionality and reliability of Apple fanbois has plummeted. I don't like their new style either, which is weak and rather pasty looking, like they might break if you sit on them too hard. My last Apple fanboi broke after just one comment!

      Apple fanboism is long overdue for a major upgrade. They're still using the same Reality Distortion Field from the Jobsian era, for Goat's sake, whilst comparable fanbois from competing manufacturers have long since moved on to advanced technology, such as multi-core postulating and high-definition screams with non-reflective gloating.

      I move that we crowdsource a new breed of Apple fanbois, to give us something more substantial to poke fun at.

      1. Ian Joyner

        Re: Apple fanboism ain't what it used to be

        So, you have nothing technical to say - so why not just resort to the insult of 'Apple Fanboi'?

        You are wearing your idiotic and irrational hatred of Apple on your sleeve. As you say you want something to 'poke fun at'. Does that make you feel 'oh so superior, just a 'bullyboi'?

        Take your idiotic and pathetic comments and put them somewhere else. I have some suggestions, which I won't put here.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If these rumours are true, hope that Samsung and Microsoft sue the hell out of Apple for infringing their patents! Apple just aren't inovating anymore, more of a copycat outfit with some arrogant sir thinking he's a magnificent designer...cough. splutter.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      You can't patent "facial recognition" as a concept, only a particular way of accomplishing it. Samsung in particular can't do so as they are hardly the first one to do it.

      If Apple's improves upon it by doing a 3D scan as the rumors suggest so it won't be possible to fool it with a simple photo like Samsung's, then it wouldn't count as copying.

      I'm still not sure how it will cope if say I'm wearing sunglasses, or pick it up while talking to someone so I'm facing away and my mouth is open... The more leeway you get for stuff like that, the easier it will be to fool (i.e. with a 3D printed mannequin head or whatever)

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        My Moto G4 supports facial recognition to log in. I don't use it because when I first tried to calibrate it ( show it my face ), I realised that holding the phone square to your face so it can "see" you is such a faff you might as well type in the bloody pin.

        Holding your phone like that isn't how you hold your phone normally - you normally point it at the ceiling behind your head.

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          I bet that because they're struggling to get the finger print reader to work under the glass like they said they would, they'll ditch fingerprint technology in favour of the "more secure" facial recognition thing.

          Just good luck using it in the dark, and don't be shocked if someone opens it by using your Facebook profile photo.

          1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            Just good luck using it in the dark

            The article did mention "references to infra-red facial recognition" so perhaps it's possible to map the thermal signature of one's face which would make it less reliant on ambient light. Of course that brings a whole bunch of other problems like when you're out on a cold winter day and can't quite feel your nose anymore while at the same time suffering from the flu and have a fever of 104 °F / 40 °C or some such.

        2. Fursty Ferret

          Not entirely sure how it works on my S8, but the camera is clearly pointed in the right direction as the phone unlocks so quickly you don't even get to see the lock screen.

      2. Naselus

        "You can't patent "facial recognition" as a concept, only a particular way of accomplishing it."

        Unlike truly original ideas, like 'rectangle with rounded corners'.

    2. wolfetone Silver badge

      "Apple just aren't inovating anymore"

      Apple have never innovated. They were just really good at marketing old ideas.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        "Apple have never innovated. They were just really good at marketing old ideas."

        In a way that is much like posting this comment on a web forum.

        Or the one about rounded corners, or holding it wrong etc.

        We've all read them a million times yet people still make the same comment as if they are telling us something new.

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          "We've all read them a million times yet people still make the same comment as if they are telling us something new."

          Sorry, it isn't Apple making that same comment.

      2. Mark 65 Silver badge

        @wolfetone: Apple have never innovated

        Remind me how well Android/Samsung pay is going right now? Apple may not be the "innovator" and may have been late to market with NFC and tap to pay but they sure as shit knew how to make it work, unlike some.

    3. robin thakur 1

      ...and if it wasn't for the first iPhone and the App Store changing up people's expectations for what was possible on a phone, how do you think the Samsung Galaxy S 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8 would ever even exist in their current form? Not to mention the fact that Samsung does Iris recognition, Apple does 3D Facial recognition, and they also have a we-will-not-sue-you deal with MS for yonks now, and your post looks even weaker. It's lucky for MS that they have the deal in place otherwise the Surface laptop would have landed them in hot water...

      Hopefully Apple accomplish what Samsung couldn't and embed the fingerprint reader under the glass, not having to place it in the damn inconvenient position on the back of the phone. I also don't want a curved screen or one with round corners, thanks Apple. I do want a second gen set of Airpods to go with my 8 :)

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Supposedly the fingerprint reader anywhere than the normal place has been ruled out, so the only question is whether there will be one at all. If they believe the 3D facial recognition is significantly better I suppose they could drop the fingerprint reader. Personally I'd rather have both options since each would have their disadvantages (i.e. gloves, sunglasses) but we'll see. My money is on it under the glass, though maybe it doesn't work quite as well as it did previously as a result.

        1. YARR

          Facial + fingerprint recognition

          Maybe the facial recognition is so good that you don't need a dedicated fingerprint reader? Just hold your finger steady a few inches away from the sensor and it sees your fingerprint in 3D.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Onanism

    Had to look that one up. Excellent.

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: Onanism

      Never took Religious Knowledge in high school, eh? The 'Sin of Onan' was one of the things they really went to town on.

      1. Michael Thibault
        Windows

        Re: Onanism

        "Never took Religious Knowledge in high school, eh? The 'Sin of Onan' was one of the things they really went to town on."

        The kids, you mean?

        How times change -- benefits for everyone these days. Apparently.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Onanism

        The 'Sin of Onan' was

        Noting to do with masturbation.. It was about refusing to do his duty under the Law of Moses.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Onanism

      For the lazy: "Onan. \ˈō-nən\ , Biblical character. In the Book of Genesis Onan was commanded by his father to impregnate the widow of his slain brother and to raise the offspring of the union. In order to avoid raising descendants for his late brother, however, Onan engaged in coitus interruptus."

      Charming.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Onanism

        Onan engaged in coitus interruptus.

        That's a quaint translation. As I learned it he "spilled his seed upon the floor", giving generations of priests & the like the opportunity to tell us that we'd all go to hell if we masturbated. Interesting that they took away that message, rather than the one about raping one's sister-in-law.

        1. steveking1000

          Re: Onanism

          Hmm.

          I've been a youth leader for over 15 years, and this one often comes up (as one might say...).

          Completely agree that the link to masturbation is complete rubbish. For me as a religious nut (YMMV), one of the joys of reading the Bible is reading what is actually there, and trying not to put a veneer of Victorian values or my own prejudice on it. Sometimes very liberating, other times very uncomfortable if I'm honest.

          But, this is the first time I've heard someone assert that the woman was not willing - I don't know that you can support that as I don't think the text says either way. I'll have to go read it again.

          1. Bloodbeastterror

            Re: Onanism

            @steveking1000

            I'd be interested in your review of the passage in Genesis 19 (KJV) ("these men" being visiting angels):

            "Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof."

            Some may think that this is off-topic, but since we're discussing The Church of Jobs I think this is a reasonable extension of the argument.

            Much as I despise Apple & Jobs, "genuine" religion beats them hands-down.

            1. steveking1000
              Pint

              Re: Onanism

              Hi Bloodbeastterror,

              I'm old enough to know that debates about the failures of religion (or similar ones about what atheist regimes have done to people) are better done face to face rather than online.

              Have a virtual beer. If you are anywhere near London, you can trade it for a real one and we can talk.

              Regards,

              Steve

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Onanism

            I don't know that you can support that as I don't think the text says either way.

            True, there's no mention of consent, but that may reflect the translations, for much of history a woman's consent was regarded as irrelevant, she was property.

            Given that afterward she seduced her father-in-law by acting like a prostitute she doesn't come out of it too well anway (at least not in the Authorized King James, I don't read Hebrew or Aramaic)

        2. Baldrickk Silver badge

          Re: Onanism

          Related: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUspLVStPbk

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Onanism

        Was Onan a barbarian? :-)

        1. Tim99 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Onanism

          Was Onan a barbarian? :-)

          No, a librarian - You really don't want your books to be overdue.

  5. whoseyourdaddy

    "chasing" Samsung? Who will forever be in the shadows of Google?

    Ok, whatever helps you sleep at night.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Personally, I like iPhone's, it allows me to identify people that can't be arsed learning anything new or are so comfortable with their existence that a phone makes them better than everyone else.

    Dance, then, wherever you may be,

    I am the Lord of the iPhone, said he,

    And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be,

    And I'll lead you all in the dance, said he.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Personally, I like iPhone's

      Gives you somewhere to keep spare apostrophes, I suppose.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        somewhere to keep spare apostrophes

        They bain't spare, they be feral. Careful how you approach them - you could lose your fingers..

  7. WolfFan Silver badge
    FAIL

    Farcial Recognition

    My ancient Asus laptop allegedly did facial recognition five years ago when I first bought it. It was very first thing that I turned off once I had the laptop at home.

    I'm not a fan of the fingerprint readers built into too many electronic devices, either.

    1. jeffdyer

      Re: Farcial Recognition

      5 years old is "Ancient" now is it? Grief.

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: Farcial Recognition

        Yes. The battery has problems, the keyboard has problems, Asus doesn't want to admit that they ever sold this model, it's way out of warranty and even if it were still in warranty Asus would want me to ship it to Taiwan for them to fix it. Intel and nVIDIA don't want to admit that the CPU and GPU it shipped with ever existed, much less support them. It shipped with Win7, which Microsoft also doesn't want to admit existed. The hard drive died; I replaced it with a new, bigger, faster, one. I've maxed the RAM. It shipped with 802.11n, which is slow nowadays. It actually has (be still my heart!) a DVD burner and a VGA port. When last I checked, it has a resale value of under $100 (I paid $700 for it, on sale from $950+, the new generation machines were coming).

        It's ancient.

      2. Naselus

        Re: Farcial Recognition

        "5 years old is "Ancient" now is it? Grief."

        Unlike the good old days, when 3 years was ancient.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Typo

    Sources 'close to the matter' indicate that Apple is actually introducing faecal recognition. Users will be required to clamp the iPhone 8 between their expectant butt-cheeks, then push and quickly suck back in a small sample of 'internal matter' - this will penetrate the iPhone through the small holes on the bottom edge, and the on-board 'motion' processor will analyse the sample, allowing the phone to be unlocked or not. Every three weeks, the iPhone's haptic engine will buzz to emit trapped matter, much like the Apple Watch does with water. Users are advised not to have the iPhone in their pockets or bags when this occurs.

    1. Scroticus Canis Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Typo - FTFY

      "... then push and quickly suck back in a small sample of 'internal matter'" - Que?

      "... then prairie-dog a turd" - is much shorter.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love Apple.

    1. Oengus Silver badge

      I love Apple.

      in pies, as juice...

  10. Your alien overlord - fear me
    Pint

    So, if you see someone with this phone, a good hard punch to the nose will stop the 3D unlock feature !!

  11. TeleC
    Flame

    $1400?

    ..and I bet they still won't put a headphone socket on it.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: $1400?

      ..and I bet they still won't put a headphone socket on it.

      Headphone socket!? Don't be absurd!

      It will have no ports of any kind, wireless charging only and be encased in a solid crystal sphere mounted on a tasteful mahogany stand. Can't have those nasty fingers besmirching it now, can we?

      It is to be admired from afar (at least 3 meters), and once it has recognised its possession (IE; user), it will permit them to access it's functions with tasteful hand gestures and voice.

      (Just be sure to speak up, that crystal really muffles the sound!) ☺

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: $1400?

        People who have a spare $1,400 to spend on a phone are the same who have enough spare cash to buy wireless headphones, Lightning wired headphones or just a dongle for each one of their existing headphones.

        It's the people who buy a $140 phone who are most likely to require a 3.5mm socket.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: $1400?

          People who have a spare $1,400 to spend on a phone are the same who have enough spare cash to buy wireless headphones

          I thought they just paid someone else to listen to the music for them?

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: $1400?

            There was a great cartoon on a 1980's Beezer comic annual: a lad walking down the street with his fancy new Walkman, put out to see Richie Rich strolling along with a hi-fi speaker each side of his head, each suspended from a helicopter above him.

            (It might not have been the Beezer, it might not have been Richie Rich)

        2. robin thakur 1

          Re: $1400?

          Spare cash?!? You've been able to buy a pretty decent set of Bluetooth headphones on Amazon by Mpow and the like for £15 for literally years now. You don't need to buy AirPods unless you desperately want siri integration, the battery life and the automatic pairing etc. If you can't affor £15 on top of your "£1400" phone then you can just use the free adaptor in the box.

          1. jeffdyer

            Re: $1400?

            Well, if you're ok listening to a tinny bassless drone, I suppose £15 BT headphones might do the job.

          2. Leathery Hawkeye

            Re: $1400?

            BBluetooth is an awful lossy format to transmit audio. Fine for podcasts, but if you even remotely care about audio quality, bluetooth is pretty terrible

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: $1400?

            It's bad enough having to charge up my phone every night (sadly, I doubt we'll ever see Nokia battery life again, but 3 – 4 day battery life really ought to be a design objective), I really don't want my headphones to be similarly tied down too! The ability to use Bluetooth headphones, if you actually want to, is indeed useful, but removing the ability to use standard and universal wired headphones is just completely unnecessary and is a poor design choice.

      2. Barry Rueger Silver badge

        Re: $1400?

        What? Crystal? Every iPhone that I've ever seen has been wrapped in a nasty, cheap plastic case.

        Hello Kitty and Bedazzling optional depending on your region.

  12. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Project Tango

    Project Tango. Currently pricey. RAM intense. Google hiring SoC engineers.

    Apple ARkit currently power hungry. Apple has been hiring GPU engineers for some time.

    Microsoft boast of custom silicon in their HoloLens.

    I look forward to seeing the results of experiments in this field.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Project Tango

      Basically, I've been wanting to mess around with this 3D machine vision malarky since that MIT student got a MS Kinect connected to a PC with two days of its release.

      Like a camera, the tech might really come into its own once it's available on a handheld - or at least portable - device.

      1. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: Project Tango

        AR? For what? I can't thing of a single reason for it in my world. I can think of some industrial, military or gaming uses, but as I said - not a single use for it in my world.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Project Tango

          That's fine Mark, don't buy it, or just don't use it if it happens to be incorporated into your next phone.

          Personally, I'd get a lot of use out of being able to wave my phone around, massage the data in CAD, then pick up some CNC machined plywood from my local timber merchants. Perhaps it's the irregularly shaped walls of this old cottage I live in.

          But hey, more power to you if you can wield the dividers, saws plains and chisel and create something beautiful.

          Wave your phone over your next PCB project, and receive a custom 3D printed enclosure through your letter box the next day.

          Even if you don't use it yourself, it might still benefit you indirectly - just as CAD helped to reduce the cost of cars and factories.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Project Tango

            "But hey, more power to you if you can wield the dividers, saws plains and chisel and create something beautiful."

            A life on the open range....?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Project Tango

              Sole comercial use: porn with ads.

  13. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Wut?

    a frenzy of Steve-Bannon-like onanism

    What is this I don't even.

    Was an editor absent or too plastered at the downstairs pub?

    Anyway this bezel-less phone may be a step in the direction of handhelds that can be assembled during meeting or class into a bigger screen / computer, an idea found in Alastair Reynolds "Pushing Ice" and probably elsewhere. Might be nice.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Wut?

      >Was an editor absent or too plastered at the downstairs pub?

      Have you been living under a rock the past 4 days?

      C.

    2. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: Wut?

      @Destroy All Monsters

      "a frenzy of Steve-Bannon-like onanism"

      http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/07/27/anthony_scaramucci_disses_steve_bannon_with_expletive_laden_rant_leak.html

  14. artem

    "The new bezel-less iPhone. Look close enough and you can see an evolution, or should we say a rip-off?"

    FTFY

  15. cb7

    I would actually have a bit more respect for Apple if ONLY THEY PAID UK CORPORATION TAX ON THE MONEY they earn here in the UK and not side swindle it out through some nefarious loophole.

    If I did what they, Google, Amazon et al do wrt taxes I'd soon find myself in the brig. Cnuts

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      They only pay what they are legally required to do. Do you pay more taxes than you have to?

      If you don't like it, complain to the governments whose idiot tax laws make it possible.

      1. cb7

        Do you really think I haven't tried? They don't give a hoot.

        If governments were really interested in reducing the size of the black holes in public finances, this stuff is low hanging fruit. Yet they've been letting these $Bn multinationals take the piss for years.

        I guess letting the likes of Apple & Google expand uninhibited is the easiest way to keep an eye on what individuals are up to across the whole globe through data slurping

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      All corporations do this and IT contractors

      Apple, Google, Amazon, Starbucks they all pay the tax they are legally obliged to.

      I dont really blame them, I blame the governments that allow this to happen.

      I work with IT contractors that swindle the government by paying themselves min wage then paying corporation tax on "profits". Just as bad in my opinion but it is legal to do so under the rules.

  16. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Meh

    AR

    GPUs get really powerful and deliver beautiful photo realistic games that have no point but to ask you to buy powerups and share achievements with your friends. They get immediately uninstalled. GPUs get even more powerful and deliver beautiful AR games that have no point...

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: AR

      Low latency machine vision (i.e object recognition etc) has applications beyond games. Engineers, architects, designers and tinkerers will get at least something out of it (just as they have from CAD which benefitted, like games, from GPUs. CAD, to my mind, allows ideas to escape the computer and exist in meatspace. AR may similarly. )

      No doubt people will use AR as a way of selling stuff, too - try a jacket on virtually, capture your shirt size from your body, see what your kitchen looks like painted blue. It might prove to be these type of applications that gets AR onto popular handsets.

      1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

        Re: AR

        Headset AR is very useful and it already exists. AR on a phone screen is a different thing - you have to hold the phone to your face so you lose one hand and you lose stereoscopic vision.

        1. LosD

          Re: AR

          No, you don't hold it to your face. You point it at whatever the app should overlay information/graphics/whatever onto.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: AR

            Much like the Google Night Sky app, but more so.

        2. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: AR

          "Headset AR is very useful and it already exists. AR on a phone screen is a different thing - you have to hold the phone to your face so you lose one hand and you lose stereoscopic vision."

          I suspect you are thinking of (V)irtual, rather than (A)ugmented, Reality.

  17. aaaa
    Happy

    Apple excels in iterative technical improvements, and marketing

    When Apple released the iPod - there were also a furore about it not being anything new. But it was successful, and the features missing in the first release were iteratively built upon.

    I remember hearing the CEO of Nokia interviewed on Radio 5Live (Wake up to money) just after the iPhone was released, he said something like 'nothing to worry about - no one wants an iPhone and Apple won't be able to mass manufacture'.

    In addition to excelling at iterative technical improvements, and marketing, they are also pretty good with manufacture/supply-chain-management and hardware design (including silicon now). Their processors are iterative improvements on reference designs - but they are way ahead of the pack on power/performance.

    Yes - all this tech is not 'new' - but Apple are iteratively building on what others did, but making it more usable* and will market it very very well.

    Note: * certainly this is somewhat subjective. As others have said here - fingerprint readers - blah - disable please! Done that for years until I got an iPhone with 'touch id' - it's so easy to use, and stops my nephews and nieces from watching me enter a passcode then re-use it when I'm out of the room. Sure - it won't stop a determined criminal or law enforcement - but that's not what I need it for.

    1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      Re: Apple excels in iterative technical improvements, and marketing

      You are correct in that Apple is a technical marketing company more than a technical innovator.

      I'm not so sure about the "easy to use" thing. That's been the mantra from many folks since the Mac launched, but over the past decade or so, I feel it's become more of an article of faith than an objective fact. As the article pointed out, many of Apple's "innovations" are not new to the market (e.g. I read the news about the iPhone's launch on my Nokia E61; came as a bit of a surprise to learn that the Nokia didn't have a proper web browser, it managed to properly render the news about the iPhone!!). Objective observers would agree that some of the iOS or MacOS ways of doing things are every bit as cryptic as those of their competitors, and in many cases it just comes down to personal preference which way is easier.

      As to the finger print reader: yes, I appreciate my LG's reader for the same reasons you like your iPhones... but I prefer mine to be where LG put it (on the back) rather than where Apple wants in (on the front) -- I'd argue I can unlock my phone more easily with one hand than an iPhone owner could, but might be just my preference and habit and the way I hold it. For security, if I shut the thing down, you need a password for it to even boot, so I turn it off when concerned about that sort of thing.

      1. SpiderPig

        Re: Apple excels in iterative technical improvements, and marketing

        Well the first "smartphone" was actually the Nokia 7650, but if you wanted to really push the case you could say it was the Nokia 9000 which entered the market a good 10 years before the iPhone and you could cut & Paste, access the internet, send& receive emails etc. etc.

        So, Apple is no innovator, just a good copier who takes all the credit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Apple excels in iterative technical improvements, and marketing

          So, Apple is no innovator, just a good copier who takes all the credit.

          Apple's innovation with the iPhone was not about integrating services, it was about making it actually work for the average end user, a simplified UI development that started with the iPod. After the hard work was done and the market responded, Google started Android - that was the original me-too. I had plenty of smartphones, and my favourite was the Sony Ericsson P1i (yes, I had the Nokia 9000 but that was too much of a brick).

          However, the simple UI they introduced then is not what iOS is now - it too is getting complicated with swipe left/right, lock screen apps, notifications - it's not quite as bad as Microsoft yet but I'm not sure there is a way to KEEP it simple.

          That said, I thought that too about smartphones until the iPhone came along.

          The second innovation, however, was that Apple was able to push the mobile operators off their comfy monopolists' perch. Before Apple, the operators dictated which phone could operate on their networks and which didn't, but Apple's marketing prowess left them no options but to go along. In effect, part of the liberalisation of phone networks was started by Apple. Obviously it was in Apple's interest to make that happen, but it's a nice side effect that we still benefit from. I reckon the next will be the death of the SIM card.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Apple excels in iterative technical improvements, and marketing

            The death of the SIM card will not be to customers' benefit.

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. D@v3

        Re: Malcom (unlocking phones)

        With my iphone, when i am at my desk, it is (generally) sitting face up within reach. If a message or email comes in, i can reach over, and with one finger press the home button with enough force to unlock it and slide it towards me, then still using that one finger open, read and reply to that message. Not sure how well that would work with the reader on the back.

        I don't think i have ever used two hands to unlock my phone, either when it was 'slide to unlock', complicated password, or print reader.

        Yes, i have seen people that hold it in one hand and very carefully apply a finger to the reader with the other, but i have also seen people who type on a PC keyboard with a single finger, so.....

      3. Ian Joyner

        Re: Apple excels in iterative technical improvements, and marketing

        >>You are correct in that Apple is a technical marketing company more than a technical innovator.<<

        That statement is completely wrong. Rest of what you say doesn't make much sense either. Fingerprint reader on the back - but Apple forces it to be on the front (where it makes more sense) - I don't think so.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Apple excels in iterative technical improvements, and marketing

      You are allowed to iterate through thesaurus entries, there are plenty online available for free.

    3. Tikimon Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Apple excels in iterative technical improvements, and marketing

      "but Apple are iteratively building on what others did, but making it more usable*"

      I beg to differ. Apple is leading the charge to obfuscate useful commands behind complex gestures and unlabeled icons. This becomes necessary as they remove the last physical means of controlling devices. One button was always too many for Jobs. Sorry fanbois, but "two finger swipe" and "two finger swipe left" is nothing more than Ctrl-Alt-F3 for touchscreens. Scrolling a document with one finger was well-established and intuitive, so going to "two finger swipe" is a step BACKWARD.

      It's nothing new. Back when I was a rabid Apple fan, I envied the Windows users their ergonomic multi-button scrolling mice. My beautiful Apple design? One button in a carpal-tunnel inducing puck shape. Pretty is pointless if it's not functional.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Apple excels in iterative technical improvements, and marketing

        You do know you can use generic multi-purpose mice with OSX, right? It does require you to purchase a mouse though, and the really covetable mice are expensive - but, in my opinion, totally worth it.

        You can also reduce your carpel tunnel syndrome by varying your input methods - consider a mouse *and* graphics tablet, or touchpad, or trackball, or LeapMotion...

    4. Ian Joyner

      Re: Apple excels in iterative technical improvements, and marketing

      Yes, Apple do iterative improvements really well. But they have also done the great leaps forward as well. These are - by nature - further in between. This is not just marketing - in fact, the ultimate marketing is to build excellence in products and then sell them. Most others just go into marketing mode to sell shoddy products. Samsung has become the ultimate case in point. Recently in Asia, I noted Samsung banners hung all over airports and just about every street corner. Apple subtly have a few Apple logos.

      Apple have quite often picked up on what others have done, but made it useful - like WiFi (invented where I work). Xerox PARC stuff - well Apple were also doing similar, but actually got what PARC was doing while others - including Xerox management - missed it. If it weren't for Apple, we'd all still be doing CLI and MS-DOS - ugh!

  18. SpiderPig

    "Apple continues to play catch-up, although it always paints its ability to do something for the first time as if it is a first everywhere – and the legions of devoted followers for some reason play along."

    Always has and alway will do. Go back to the original "dumb as a brick" iPhone and Steve Jobs made out it was first to do everything and that has continued.

    If you believed their hype, Apple invented the cellular phone and if they said it their fanboys would believe that as well.

  19. James-K
    Joke

    Apple have been doing this for years, it should come as no surprise that they are following the market, but dare I say it in some cases refining it. I actually think we need someone like Apple in the marketplace, as it forces the other manufacturers of high end devices to care about quality, well at least that's my thoughts on the matter.

    I've come to quite like the more recent iPhones, although I don't feel strongly enough about them to start bashing other peoples devices, or praising the ghost of Steve Jobs for his forward thinking.

    I'll leave that kind of strange cult esque, protective phone behaviour to those darned android users. :)

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      That echoes my thoughts very well

      Apple does indeed take others ideas and put them in their iDevice. However many of the ideas they take are rush and/or poorly implemented. Apple do a lot of work on them to make them work better. That takes patience and time. They get it right more times than they don't.

      Being first is not always the best.

      Just look at what happened to the first Comet aircraft and how Boeing by being second were able to not make the mistakes the De Haviland did.

      A phone is a tool to me not some fashion accessory. As a fully paid up member to the GOM (Grumpy Old Man) Club fashion is just not on my radar and hasn't been since the advent of Glam Rock. But, I use an iPhone because it does what it says on the tin, with a minimum of fuss and I get iOS updates unlike the majority of Android devices (with the android OS).

      Using an iPhone is not PC around this place but I really don't care so downvote this post all you like. It won't stop me from replacing my iPhone 6 with an iPhone 7 in Oct/Nov when the fashioistas sell theirs to secondhand dealers etc so that they can be seen with the latest iToy.

      Apple might be evil but nowhere near as dangerous as Google (IMHO)

  20. Slx

    I know it's uncool to say anything positive about Apple, but...

    I know everyone loves to hate iOS and iThingies but I have to say that I find my iPhones have outlasted almost any other mobile hardware I've ever had. I'm currently using an iPhone 6S+ with a beta of iOS 11 running at the moment and it's a very solid device that just gets the job done. iOS is a bit locked down and conservative with features, but it works and tends to be very well laid out and consistent. They've also finally addressed a few major peeves like lack of a file manager in iOS 11 and it seems to be capable of talking to a lot more than iCloud Drive ... Dropbox, Google Drive etc seem to be supported.

    I've a Nexus 6P of the same age, and it has lumps out of the bezel, the screen's chipped, there's a hump at the side of it, it turns itself off at random because of badly designed button placement / excessively easy to switch off software.

    Meanwhile, the iPhone just keeps working despite having been dropped, thrown in bags, dumped into my pocket, sat on, played with by toddlers, slept on by a cat...

    Also, I find Siri works very well in the car, in a way that Google Assistant doesn't - i.e. I can easily get it to play music, podcasts, deal with spotify, etc etc.

    Also the notion that Google is ending Nexus 6P support in September 2017 has made me swear I will never buy another Google device again. Absolutely shocked that they're just going to dump the device like that. I've much older Apple stuff still getting regular updates.

  21. Ralph the Wonder Llama
    Joke

    "even Microsoft has device unlock using your face in Windows 10."

    Banging your head against the screen is not the same thing.

    1. Tim Seventh
      Joke

      Re: "even Microsoft has device unlock using your face in Windows 10."

      "Banging your head against the screen is not the same thing."

      Well, it did help crack open unlock the device, right?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can have the hardware but without good software, doesnt work very well

    If you look at Apple devices they tend to have lower spec hardware than some more "powerful" Android phones yet they still actually perform better.

    This is mainly down to the optimisation of software and hardware which really only Apple can do as they control all elements of the phone. With other platforms this cannot be done as well.

    Apple might not be first but they tend to actually make a feature usable and that it works.

    I'll reserve my full judgement on any product when it is actually released and not on speculation.

  23. Simon Harris Silver badge
    Coat

    Farcical recognition...

    It won't work unless you put on a clown costume first.

  24. Spanners Silver badge
    Boffin

    Not "devoted" followers

    They are generally gullible and uninformed.

    "But my iThing just works!"

    So does a Nokia 3310

    "It does GPS"

    So did my work Blackberry Bold.

    "It's really easy to use"

    Not as easy as a Nexus 5

    and so on...

    Originality has never been Apples thing. That's not a bad thing. Good ideas should be used. Just stop lying about it.

  25. Karlis 1

    Frankly this post is a pile of crap.

    "most notably that the company is still desperately chasing Samsung."

    Yeah... By offering a far far far superior mobile OS and features that actually work and are not crippled by operators malware / manufacturers (poorly coded and even worse designed) ideas of "enhanced user experience and market differentiator".

    I get it, piling shit on Apple is fashionable, but it's both foolish and rather ignorant. I would LOVE to see Android based devices approaching a tenth of software and ecosystem maturity, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Kids will like cheap plastic toys. For some of us things that actually work are important.

  26. Dave 15 Silver badge

    Can hardly wait for BBC Rory CJ to get on the wagon

    By the time he has regurgitated the Apple press release, licked their collective bottoms and added to its claims I reckon the phone will save a life every nanosecond and the government should force everyone to buy 2 (just in case they drop the first from shock, awe and total amazement)

  27. the-it-slayer
    Facepalm

    "Apple continues to play catch-up..."

    Yes. Fine. Other manufacturers can put features in first, but that doesn't mean it's the best at doing that feature. Samsung's implementation of most new features suck first time round and take a second attempt (after Apple's first attempt) to get it right. Why do you think Apple like to wait a little bit? And why do you see the painful Samsung ads painting a picture of their G8 phone doing unrealistic things with the phone? Because they like to paint a euphoric picture of themselves, with their users and using their products in a ridiculous way.

    That's a terrible bit of journalism El Reg. Come on. I'm in a mood to rant.

    And I thought I'd try pushing the title of this post to the max. Could only leave in a part of the ridiculous sentence. Boo.

  28. MOV r0,r0
    Joke

    iPhones are cancer - but don't worry, I have this weird nut diet cure!

  29. Ian Joyner

    You must be joking

    Samsung the ultimate purveyor in substandard copyware, and you accuse Apple of chasing Samsung? And this is just a rumour of a leak! Let's be clear - Samsung make stuff that looks cool when one walks into a shop and examines it for 30 seconds, but does not bear up under any scrutiny. Let's also be clear that Samsung contributes absolutely nothing to this industry and yet Reg talks them up and Apple down. Read my guide as to why this model is bound to failure:

    http://ianjoyner.name/Open_Source.html

  30. KG6EAR

    Fanboy? No, just practical.

    I don't like malware. I don't like phones that suffer common defects that go unaddressed like the receive text phone reset bug on 7 Edge, the your note 7 catches fire for no reason bug, or the loose camera clang of death noise. Yeah, there are some places Apple will not follow SamSung. They will proudly let Samsung's overly hyper development schedule proudly be the first to engineer such flaws into their phones. Not to be repeated by Cupertino.

    And shall we really speak of corporate misbehavior? Apple's record despite unfounded accusations of declining conditions in iPad factories (the opposite is true), speaks well for itself as a company that operates under ethical guidance, but look at all the articles about Samsung having bribed the President of South Korea and several top Samsung officials being indicted for bribing officials. What about the hundreds of people Samsung employs to do nothing but troll the Internet and post bogus replies about competitor's products to down their reputation and boost that of Samsung? Yeah there's actually a lot of things Apple will never copy from Samsung.. and thank God for that! I trust that my money employs a lot of locals in my state when I offer it up to Apple for their latest and greatest. And my conscience doesn't have to worry about profiting a company that works by strong arm thug tactics like the ilk of Samsung. look them up. They're really not very nice people. They are criminals.

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