5 ways Apple will rule Mobile World Congress (without even showing up)

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Everyone who is anyone in mobile (except Apple) will be at Mobile World Congress 2018.
Everyone who is anyone in mobile (except Apple) will be there.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

When the entire mobile phone industry heads to Barcelona next week for Mobile World Congress 2018, there will be one notable absence: Apple.

Cupertino doesn’t do trade shows. Not even really big ones like MWC. Yet, despite its absence from the massive Spanish trade show, Apple’s influence will loom large over Barcelona’s beautiful horizons.

Here are five things Apple fans should look out for at MWC next week.

Apple seeds third betas of iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4

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iOS 11.3 Beta 1
iOS 11.3 adds Messages on iCloud, new animojis and more.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple developers received a fresh batch of new beta builds this morning, including the third beta of iOS 11.3, which is set to bring a host of new features and emoji to the public later this year.

Other new beta builds seeded today includes macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 beta 3 and tvOS 11.3 beta 3, both contain a number of bug fixes, under-the-hood improvements and other changes for the Mac and Apple TV.

Apple named world’s most innovative company for 2018

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AirPower
2017 was a terrific year for Apple fans.
Photo: Apple

Who said innovation was dead at Apple? Certainly not Fast Company, which just named the iPhone-maker the world’s most innovative company for 2018.

Apple secured the top spot “for delivering the future today.” AirPods, Apple Watch Series 3, ARKit, and iPhone X were recognized as its best products from the past year.

Rivals like Google and Samsung didn’t make the list.

iPhone X shipments this quarter could be a big disappointment

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iphone
Shipments for the quarter could be 20 million "or fewer."
Photo: Apple

Apple has reportedly reduced its number of iPhone X orders for the January-March quarter from a maximum 50 million to “20 million or fewer,” a new report claims. Further reductions are possible for the April-June quarter.

The figures are having a knock-on effect on Apple’s suppliers. Samsung, which makes OLED displays for the iPhone, saw its stock fall as much as 2.3 percent in morning trade, while shares of Japanese OLED component makers, including Hodogaya Chemical and Hirata Corp also declined.

Falling iPhone X demand leaves Samsung Display in the lurch

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iphone x
Samsung is suffering the brunt of falling iPhone X demand.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s decision to slash iPhone X production has reportedly left Samsung looking for new customers to sell its OLED panels to.

Samsung ramped up production capacity in order to meet Apple’s demands, only to find itself sitting on excess production capacity now that Apple has reduced its iPhone X orders. While Samsung hopes to sell OLED displays to other manufacturers, many have been slow to adopt the technology due to the expense of changing from LCD screens.

Developers must ensure apps are optimized for iPhone X

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Guidelines
The notch isn't going away anytime soon!
Photo: Apple

Apple wants iOS developers to make sure that they are creating their new apps with the iPhone X in mind.

According to the company’s newly updated developer guidelines, all apps submitted to the App Store from April 2018 onwards must be sure to support the iPhone X’s edge-to-edge Super Retina display, as well as accommodating the still-controversial “notch.”

iPhone’s controversial notch could shrink in 2018

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Apple Watch
Apple is working to make the 'notch' smaller.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The iPhone’s controversial “notch” will get smaller this year, according to one group of investors.

Apple is expected to integrate Face ID into all three handsets it has planned for 2018. A smaller TrueDepth sensor means the cutout at the top of the iPhone’s display won’t need to be quite so big.

Zens brings super-fast wireless charging to your iPhone

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zens wireless stand
Did you ever dream that wireless charging could be up to 50% faster?
Photo: Zens

Ever since the iOS 11.2 update back in November 2017, the iPhones 8 and X have supported “wireless” fast charging. This allows inductive charging mats to pour 7.5 watts of battery-juicing power into Apple’s latest iPhones. Previous to that, Qi charging mats could only supply a pathetic five watts of charging power. To take advantage of this, you’ll need a charger capable of Apple Fast Charging. Zens has a few new gadgets that will do just that. Let’s take a look.