Top Apple Stories of the Week: Apple Allows Facebook to Track User Activity, Agreed to Invest $275 Billion in China, More

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 11 Dec 2021

In case you missed events and exciting news from the world of Apple this week, check out this roundup of top stories, so you’re all caught up with everything Apple.

This week, a report claimed that Apple allows social media companies like Facebook and Snap to track user activity in batches, even if individual users opt to keep their advertising IDs confidential. Another report claimed that the iPhone maker agreed to invest $275 billion into the Chinese economy to arrest slipping iPhone sales in the country. The week was also packed with a few leaks about the Apple headset, upcoming iPhone 14, and iPhone SE.

Apple Allows Facebook, Snap to Interpret App Tracking Transparency Laws Rather Liberally

This week a report from the Financial Times claimed that Apple has allowed developers of Big Tech social media apps to collect data from around 1 billion iPhone users for targeted advertising, even when the users specifically ask apps not to track their activities. In principle, this leniency allows the developer to bypass App Tracking Transparency’s safeguards introduced with iOS 14.

FT claimed that the developers would not target individual users based on their activity. However, they can collect data to identify groups of users with similar interests and target the ads at these groups called “cohorts.” The groups reportedly have typical behavior that cannot be traced back to the IDFA tags of individual users.

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Apple ‘Secretly’ Agreed to Pour $275 Billion into Chinese Economy to Save iPhone Sales

This week, a report from The Information claimed that Apple CEO secretly signed a deal with Chinese government officials in 2016. According to the agreement, Apple would invest $275 billion in the Chinese economy through various avenues over five years. The deal includes provisions for investing in Chinese tech companies, research facilities, government causes, retail stores, and renewable energy projects, among other things.

Apple allegedly used the deal to save its iPhone sales from falling further amid pressure from the Chinese manufacturers in their local market. Company executives were worried that the iPhone maker’s poor relations with the Chinese would inflate negative publicity for Apple in China. Interestingly, this contract is set to automatically renew for a year if none of the parties have any objections.

iPhone 14 Pro Could Sport Hole-Punch Display, iPhone SE Rumored to Get Larger Screen

A report from Korea suggests that Apple could switch to a hole-punch display for the 2022 iPhone 14 models, thereby ending the era of notched iPhones. Apple retained the bathtub notch to incorporate hardware required for Face ID. With the notch gone, it remains to be seen how the requisite hardware will be concealed. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the iPhone SE will also feature a hole-punch LCD panel.

This week, Kuo speculated that the 2022 iPhone SE would launch in the first half of that year and mimic the design language of the current model. He added that the iPhone SE could also have 4GB RAM compared to the current 3GB and feature a display larger than the current generation, coming in at 5.7-inch to 6.1-inch.

Apple’s Mixed Reality Headset Could Feature Advanced Gesture Detection with Focus on Gaming, Content Enjoyment

After a brief pause, rumors about Apple’s mixed reality and AR headset resumed this week. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said that the headset wouldn’t be a replacement for an existing Apple product like an iPhone or a Mac. He added that the device could have a strong focus on content consumption, communication, and gaming-related applications.

Kuo added to speculation and said that the device could detect hand gestures using four 3D sensors compared to iPhone’s single unit. The analyst noted that the sensors would help the headset detect the general position of virtual objects and even capture their dynamic details. Previous rumors suggest the device may feature iris recognition, eye tracking, voice control, skin detection, and facial expression detection.

Other Top Apple Stories This Week:

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