Today in Apple history: Apple unseats Nokia as top smartphone vendor

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Nokia
Remember when Nokia was on top of the world?
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

July 21: Today in Apple history: Apple unseats Nokia as top smartphone vendor July 21, 2011: Apple officially passes Nokia to become the world’s top smartphone vendor.

It’s a major milestone for Apple, which launched the iPhone just four years earlier. For Nokia, the Finnish company that dominated the cellphone market during the 1990s and early 2000s, it marks the end of an era.

Netflix confirms it will take on Apple Arcade — and it won’t cost extra

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Netflix could get into gaming
Interested in a Netflix gaming service?
Image: Netflix/Cult of Mac

Netflix seemingly isn’t content to compete with Apple (spoiler: it’s winning) over streaming video subscription services only. The media giant has now confirmed that it is planning to launch an Apple Arcade rival — and at no extra cost to its subscribers.

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix noted that it is still “in the early stages of the initiative,” but that it views it as a major piece of the puzzle in terms of dominating the entertainment landscape.

iPhone 13 event rumored for September 14, Apple expectations sky high

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Apple_Keynote-Event_Phil-Schiller-iPhone-11-Pro_091019
Get ready for the next iPhone keynote!
Photo: Apple

The iPhone 12 has been a major success for Apple, but Wedbush analyst Dan Ives thinks the company’s expectations are even greater for the iPhone 13.

In a Wednesday note to clients, seen by Cult of Mac, Ives suggests Apple is gearing up to produce between 90 million and 100 million iPhone 13 units. That’s a 15% increase year-on-year over the iPhone 12, whose initial orders were for 80 million units.

The analyst also sheds light on when he thinks the iPhone 13 event will take place.

Kanye West’s next album debuts with livestream on Apple Music this week

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Kanye West's new album Ye drops today on Apple Music (and elsewhere).
Kanye has long been an outspoken Apple fan.
Photo: Mark Azali/Flickr CC

Apple Music will exclusively livestream a special “sold-out listening event” for Kanye West’s 10th album, Donda, on July 22. The event will take place at 5 p.m. PDT, with the album launching the following day.

Donda is West’s first album since 2019’s Jesus Is King, which won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Album. It also achieved the No. 1 position on the Rap Album, Gospel Album and Billboard 200 charts.

Listen up! AirPods 3 could enter mass-production next month

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AirPods 3 might borrow some features of AirPods Pro.
Coming soon to a pair of ears near you.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

Apple’s next-gen AirPods, the third iteration of the company’s regular AirPods, will go into production next month, Nikkei Asia reported Wednesday.

This would be the first upgrade for Apple’s standard issue AirPods since the second-gen version debuted March 2019. The original AirPods made their debut in December 2016.

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Hello World
An intrepid hacker gets the iPhone to say "hello." While the message is simple, the meaning is profound.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

New UK antitrust rules could fine tech giants big bucks for breaking rules

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New antitrust measures are brewing in the United Kingdom.
New U.K. antitrust rules are brewing.
Photo: Colin Watts/Unsplash CC

The United Kingdom is developing new antitrust measures and could fine tech giants up to 10% of their annual revenue for breaking the rules. The Digital Markets Unit’s plan is intended to make it easier for U.K. businesses — such as startups, news publishers and advertisers — to compete with established giants like Apple and Amazon.

“Tech has transformed our lives for the better, whether it’s helping us to stay in touch with our loved ones, share content, or access the latest news,” said Kwasi Kwarteng, the U.K.’s secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, in a press release Tuesday. “Nobody wants to see an unassailable monopoly, and our common sense reforms will help protect consumers, support ground-breaking new ideas and level the playing field for businesses.”

Apple aims to lease massive production campus in LA for Apple TV+

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Apple TV app lands on PlayStation
Apple is ramping up its Apple TV+ footprint.
Photo: Apple

Apple is looking to lease a massive production campus in movie capital Los Angeles for future Apple TV+ productions, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The Cupertino company is looking at several possible locations for the hub, which could exceed half a million square feet. Apple already leases several soundstage in LA and elsewhere.

AirPods manufacturers sleep in factory ‘bubbles’ to avoid COVID-19

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Apple has big plans for the AirPods lineup.
It's all part of the effort to contain COVID.
Photo: Omid Armin/Unsplash CC

In order to quell the spread of COVID-19, at least one Apple supplier set up coronavirus “bubbles” for employees on its production lines, essentially sealing off workers from the outside world.

According to a Tuesday report by Nikkei Asia, several factories in Vietnam — including one owned by AirPods manufacturer GoerTek — took this precautionary measure as COVID-19 cases ramp up in the country.

Coronavirus pushes back Apple’s plans for employees to return to the office

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apple park
Apple Park won't be getting back to normal just yet.
Photo: Duncan Sinfield

Apple has delayed its call for employees to return to the office by at least a month, Bloomberg reported Monday. Employees will now return to Apple Park and other locations by October at the earliest.

In June, CEO Tim Cook said that employees should get ready to return by early September. This would be according to a hybrid model in which employees would work at least three days a week in the office, and the rest working from home. But COVID-19 has seemingly (temporarily) scuppered those plans.