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iphone

First-generation iPhone Set to Sell for $50,000 at Auction

An unopened, factory-sealed 2007 first-generation iPhone went up for auction on Thursday. It is estimated to be worth around $50,000.

The owner of the phone, cosmetic tattoo artist Karen Green, appeared on the daytime television program “The Doctor & The Diva” in 2019 and said she was gifted the iPhone around its release but never broke the seal. At the time, she was happy with her current device. An appraiser on the show valued the phone at $5,000 at the time.

LCG Auctions listed Green’s phone with an opening bid of $2,500. In October 2022, another first-generation iPhone was auctioned off for over $39,000. The listing says the phone is almost 16 years old.

“The phone presents magnificently, showcasing sharp corners front and back, rich color, and ‘case fresh’ features.  The labels on the reverse are pristine beneath the seal, and shelf wear is minimal.  This is the first original iPhone in acceptable condition to hit the auction block since the record-breaking sale in October.  A truly remarkable piece with great appeal to both collectors and investors alike.”

The first Apple iPhone originally sold for $599 and offered a 3.5-inch screen, 2-megapixel camera, 4GB or 8GB of storage, internet access and iTunes. There was no app store, and it could only be used on AT&T’s 2G network. Despite its limitations, it was groundbreaking and was named Time’s Invention of the Year in 2007.

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Lev Grossman, the writer of the Time magazine article that awarded the phone with that title, accurately predicted that the iPhone would continue to rise in popularity for years to come.

“The iPhone has sold enough units—more than 1.4 million at press time—that it’ll be around for a while, and with all that room to develop and its infinitely updatable, all-software interface, the iPhone is built to evolve. Look at the iPod of six years ago. That monochrome interface! That clunky touch wheel! It looks like something a caveman whittled from a piece of flint using another piece of flint. Now imagine something that’s going to make the iPhone look that primitive. You’ll have one in a few years. It’ll be very cool. And it’ll be even cheaper.”

The introduction of the iPhone and smartphones more broadly altered so many facets of modern daily life. Technology has changed how we interact with one another socially and professionally. Many companies saw their popularity decline due to the rise of smartphones; this included manufacturers of camcorders, MP3 players, flip phones, and other portable electronic devices. However, the iPhone simultaneously spawned other businesses and startups.

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At the 2007 Macworld expo, former Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs began his keynote address with the words, “We’re going to make some history together today.” Jobs promised the attendees that the new smartphone was a “revolutionary mobile phone” that would include an iPod and would be able to communicate with the internet. The ability to use a phone as a full-fledged internet browser was a game-changer.

Of all the smartphones offered today, Apple’s iPhone still holds the largest share of the market at 28.43%. Unsurprisingly, some collectors want the original iPhone that ushered in a new era of communication and discovery.

The auction will be open until February 19 for bidders.

ipad

Apple Gearing Up For ‘Major iPad Pro Revamp’ For 2024

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman’s recent report in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Apple is preparing for a “major iPad Pro revamp” for next year after years of minor revisions and adjustments to the company’s tablet sector. 

Gurman reported that 2024 will be a “light year” for the new iPad lineup, while this year will likely see no major updates for the iPad Pro, as well as the entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and the iPad Air. 

In 2024, however, Gurman reports that Apple “is readying a major revamp for the iPad Pro” specifically that will likely debut in the spring. Gurman is expecting an updated design to the tablet, as well as display upgrades involving an OLED display for the first time. 

“I don’t see any major updates coming in 2023 to the entry-level models, the iPad mini or the Air. The iPad Pro for sure isn’t getting anything of note this year. Instead, look for a major iPad Pro revamp next spring, complete with an updated design and OLED screens for the first time.”

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Apple is likely going to focus on upgraded releases of their other popular devices, such as the iPhone and various Macbook lineups, within this year and leave the major iPad upgrades to next year. 

Other reports have indicated that the newest upgrade to the iPad Pro could use a glass backing instead of the current aluminum unibody design. 

Glass backing to the iPad would be in line with the current line of iPhones that also have a glass backing design. MagSafe charging similar to current iPhone models will also likely be implemented in the new design. 

Tech Analyst Ross Youngalso recently reported that the first iPad Pro with an OLED display is on track to be released in 2024 as well as an upgraded Macbook Air model with the same display. 

It’s unclear whether or not Apple will also update the size options for the iPad Pro, but there have been reports that the company is considering a potential 14 inch display, as well as a potential whopping 16 inch display option. 

Additional tech leaks are likely to occur between now and the anticipated spring 2024 launch time, for now, however, the tech blogs and experts are anxiously awaiting what new information will be revealed regarding the future of the iPad, and Apple as a whole. 

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Apple Is Reportedly Bringing Touchscreens to MacBooks As Early As 2025

According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple is working on adding OLED touchscreens to MacBooks as early as 2025. In the past, the Cupertino company refrained from adding the feature to its MacBook product line, even as its competitors widely embraced the tablet-computer model.

Bloomberg released the report on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. Apple has added touchscreens to its other products, such as phones, tablets and smartwatches. However, many Apple execs did not support adding the capability to its MacBook line.

At a 2010 apple event, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs expressed that he found the concept of a laptop with a touchscreen tiring for a user.

“We’ve done tons of user testing on this, and it turns out it doesn’t work. Touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical. It gives a great demo, but after a short period, you start to fatigue, and after an extended period, your arm wants to fall off. It doesn’t work; it’s ergonomically terrible.

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In 2012, his successor as CEO, Tim Cook, ridiculed Microsoft for merging its tablets and laptops, comparing the move to fusing a toaster and a refrigerator.

In 2021, Apple hardware engineering SVP John Ternus said that the company made the “world’s best touch computer on an iPad.”

“It’s totally optimized for that. And the Mac is totally optimized for indirect input. We haven’t really felt a reason to change that.”

Even while it’s unclear whether Apple will release the touchscreen laptop, doing so would help the company meet the changing needs of its customers and boost sales of its Mac computers.

Apple’s defiance of its co-founder’s vision is likely due to the increasing number of competitors providing touchscreen laptops, including Dell, Lenovo, HP, Samsung and Microsoft. 

Tablet and laptop customers can find what they are looking for in several of these brands’ laptops thanks to their 360-degree hinges and multipurpose features.

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Apple had reservations that adding touchscreens to its Mac product line may cut into iPad sales, which declined in previous years.

However, Bloomberg reports that laptop sales have brought in more revenue. Therefore, it is not surprising that Apple has decided to use touchscreens. Interest in Apple computers has been growing due to Apple’s inclusion of its new in-house processor that improved battery life and performance. MacBook revenue increased 14% in Apple’s 2022 fiscal year to $40.1 billion. 

David McQueen, research director at ABI Research, commented that the distinction between high-end iPads and MacBooks is becoming increasingly hazy thanks to new chips, battery life, and thinner designs. 

By using an Apple Pencil with a 12.9-inch iPad Pro attached to a Magic Keyboard, there is “not much to tell it apart from a laptop experience,” according to McQueen.

“The market has embraced 2-in-1 laptop-tablet hybrids, and maybe now Apple sees the rationale for also adding one to its armory.”

ios16

Apple Releases iOS 16 Update, Twitter Celebrates

Apple released iOS 16 on Monday as a significant software update for iPhone users. Consumers are praising the company for implementing long-awaited requests. The new update comes with a host of new features.

New customization options for lock screens allow users to add widgets, use custom fonts and colors and apply themed filters. Users can assign lock screens to different “focus modes” or switch lock screens throughout the day by holding and swiping.

The lock screen can also now display a full-screen music player. Screens will show an album’s cover art set against a backdrop of hues pulled from the cover art’s palette.

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Apple released new collections of premade lock screens with the update. The astronomy collection allows users to see renditions of the “earth, moon or solar system” updated with live conditions.

Users have taken to Twitter to express their joy over the new music lock screen, media player, image depth filters and several other features.

“The iOS16 update lets you long press a picture and it automatically removes the background and you can drag the photo and post it on any app you want. This is so awesome.”

Apple’s iMessage app also got an overhaul. Users can now “unsend” iMessages for up to two minutes. The sender can edit a message for up to 15 minutes. While the recipient of a message will see that a message has been unsent, they will not be able to read it.

The company has also implemented a new privacy feature called “Safety Check” alongside other security features. This reset function stops sharing a user’s location, resets system privacy permissions for all apps and signs the user out of iCloud on all devices. Apple announced it created the feature to help people in domestic violence situations.

“This lets people in abusive situations quickly revoke abusers’ access to their data and location.”

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Other new features include visible battery percentages, passcode-locked hidden albums and multi-stop routing in Apple maps.

However, consumers seem unhappy with one feature—notifications are now at the bottom of the lock screen. One Twitter user wrote, “whoever was in charge of changing the notifications in iOS 16 to show at the bottom, I want you to know you are stupid and I hate you.”

The majority of people are excited about such a major update. In order to install iOS 16, users must have an iPhone 8 or later.

Iphone

Apple’s New iOS 16 Transforms The Texting Game With Edit, Unsend Features

It’s happened to all of us. You send a text, and then immediately regret it. Perhaps it wasn’t finished, or you should have worded it differently. Maybe you didn’t mean for it to ever see the light of day. Regardless, it’s done, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Until now, that is.

Unveiling their new iOS 16, Apple revealed that it will allow iPhone users to not only edit sent messages, but also unsend them at the same time for up to 15 minutes. Select users will be able to beta test the new features this month, while the iOS will hit everyone’s phones in September.

“Today we’re going to push our platforms further than ever,” Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook said in a prerecorded message for the WWDC 2022 event.  The iOS will also allow for recovering deleted messages for up to 30 days, while marking messages and threads as “unread.”

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While the feature is certainly intriguing — and helpful to those hasty texters — it doesn’t appear that all the kinks will be sorted out upon its debut, as explained by Apple software engineering senior vice president Craig Federighi.

“It’s not implemented properly,” Federighi told The Charlotte Observer. “If the other person doesn’t have iOS 16, the message won’t unsend for them.” The feature will also only be available for those who have the iPhone 8 and up.

Additionally, users will be notified if a text has been unsent or edited. Of course, the texting wasn’t the only big change the iOS is set to bring. You’ll notice another massive development as soon as you turn on your phone.

The lock screen will undergo several major updates, including the ability to customize the screen’s color, font, and placement of elements. iPhone users will also be able to display widgets — shortcuts to apps like weather, calendar, and alarms — to the screen, similar to the Apple Watch.

Apple is also adding “live activities” to the screen, which means you can keep track of a sports game or watch your workout in real time, instead of having to see updates through a series of notifications.

Speaking of notifications, they’re seeing alterations as well. Instead of piling up at the top of the screen, they’ll now roll in from the bottom, which the tech company states will make them easier to read at a glance.

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Apple will be attempting to build on their safety features by offering a Safety Check feature for those in an abusive relationship. The feature will allow users to review and change who has access to information like passwords, location, messages, and other apps.

Speaking at WWDC, Apple privacy engineering manager Katie Skinner explained just how impactful a feature like that can be to those in such a situation. “Many people share passwords and access to their devices with a partner. However, in abusive relationships, this can threaten personal safety and make it harder for victims to get help.”

Considering technology can heighten the danger of an abusive relationship — such as if the abuser sees the victim was searching or texting for resources or help, is at a location they don’t approve of — this is a feature that should go far beyond simply giving users more privacy.

Federighi explained the iOS 16 beta is still “buggy,” though it should be ready to go for the Apple masses come fall. “Occasionally, things will take a bit longer to load than usual, but it’s normal. It’s always like this when they launch the beta.”

Apple’s Most Affordable 5G iPhone Projected To Get A Billion Android Users To Switch 

Apple is currently rumored to launch a third-generation of their iPhone SE in early 2022, this time with 5G support. According to analyst’s from JP Morgan, the upgrade “has the potential to attract more than a billion non-premium Android users.”

According to Reuters, the third-generation of the iPhone SE could lure nearly 1.4 billion low-to-mid-end Android phone users to switch, as well as around 300 million older iPhone model users.”  

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“Apple’s trade-in program for non-iPhones is admittedly not as attractive as the iPhone trade-in values, it could nonetheless lead to an average starting price range of $269 to $399 for the 5G iPhone SE, which is still very competitive,” analyst Samik Chatterjee, said.

In a separate note, J.P.Morgan said “consumer demand for major upgrades like 5G models is expected to remain strong and also a priority for supply, even as it wanes for most hardware products including smartphones, TVs and PCs.”

According to online rumors, the iPhone SE third-generation is expected to feature the same physical form as it currently has; the equivalent of a 2017 iPhone 8. The phone will likely have a 4.7 inch LCD display, an upgraded processor, and of course, 5G capabilities. 

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Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the new phone will likely have either an A15 Bionic processor, as seen in the iPhone 13, or an A14 Bionic chip, as seen in the iPhone 12. Either way, it will be a major upgrade for the SE models. 

JP Morgan’s analysis also found that for the fiscal 2022 year, iPhone SE “unit sales are expected to rise to 30 million units and annual iPhone shipments are expected to reach 250 million units; 10 million units higher than a year earlier.”

The report itself doesn’t specify exactly how or why the potential “billion” Android users will switch, but based on past market trends when it comes to switching from Android to Apple every time a new device is released, it makes sense that more users would be making the switch this time around to take advantage of a much cheaper 5G capable smartphone. 

There is currently no predicted date as to when Apple will release the next generation of SE models, however, it will likely take place at some point in the spring.

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Apple Reveals New 14″ and 16″ MacBooks, AirPods, And Music Streaming Plan

On Monday, Apple held their “Unleashed” virtual event, and unveiled a number of new and updated products. The belle of the ball was the new MacBook Pro laptops that use M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, which the company couldn’t help but fluster over.

According to Apple, the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips help by providing more CPU and GPU cores, faster graphic processing, increased memory bandwidth and unified memory, and are a major step up from Apple chips.

The MacBooks will come in two screen sizes – 14-inch, which will retail for about $1,999; and 16-inch, which will retail for a hefty $2,499. Those are incredible jumps up from previous versions, such as the MacBook Pro 13″ ($1,299) and the MacBook Air ($999).

The MacBooks see increases in features such as battery life (21 hours, which is disappointingly only up one hour from the MacBook Pro 13″) and graphics. They will also have denser screens, an HDMI port, and an SD card slot – which many are happy to see return. The MacBooks will also utilize a MagSafe magnetic connecter.

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Apple also made several additions to the keyboard. TouchID has a ring that allows for easier unlocking, and the power button will have a fingerprint sensor. Webcam capabilities have also been dialed up a notch, with an 1080p FaceTime camera, far superior to the 13″‘s 720p scopes.

However, those who are prone to drops, beware: the laptops will be heavier than previous versions, with the 14-inch coming in at 3.5 pounds and the 16-inch weighing 4.7 pounds.

Apple’s third-generation AirPods will go for around $179 – $50 more than their second-generation AirPods, but still $70 less than the AirPod Pros. The AirPods (which also utilize MagSafe along with the case) are sweat and water resistant, have greater battery life than prior versions, and possess “spatial audio.”

As NBC News notes, Apple’s add-ons, such as the AirPods, have since become some of the tech titan’s biggest holiday sellers – which could be a solid reason for Apple junkies to pre-order them now in order to avoid any potential shortages.

The AirPods, like the MacBooks, are now available to pre-order and will be made available in-store starting on Oct. 26.

Apple also announced a $4.99 monthly subscription for Apple Music titled “Voice Plan.” That makes it $5 less than either Apple’s regular music subscription plan or Spotify’s subscription cost. However, as with anything cheaper, there are limitations. CNBC reported that users can only access the “Voice Plan” through Siri, and that it doesn’t have spatial audio.

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According to Digital Music News, in a survey that was conducted in Jan. 2021, the most popular streaming platform among all U.S. adult age demographics was YouTube, with Spotify decently behind in second (the only category that possessed a close margin between YouTube and Spotify was adults 18-34).

Meanwhile, Apple Music sat in fifth place among all demographics, while not standing out in any particular bracket, either. Perhaps the lower-cost plan could help them make up some ground in the music streaming industry.

Apple’s $99 HomePod Mini speaker (An Alexa-style device), which was unveiled around this time last year, will now come in new colors – orange, blue, and yellow. The new editions will be made available sometime in November.

Previously, the only colors the HomePod Mini speaker came in were white and dark grey. This continues Apple’s age-old tactic of re-releasing older products in newer colors.

Last year, Apple obliterated Wall Street estimates for their holiday 2020 quarter. They fetched a record total of $111.4 billion, well above the projections of $103.3 billion. That was also up 21% from the same quarter in 2019. Suffice to say, it’s not unreasonable to expect Apple to once again break the bank.

Apple Addresses Privacy Concerns, Says Siri Will No Longer Send Requests To Main Servers 

Apple announced this week that they will no longer be using Siri to send requests to its servers as a means of speeding up how quickly the AI voice assistant is able to respond, as well as addressing multiple privacy concerns from users. 

It was revealed a couple of years ago that Apple’s staff regularly listens in on confidential details spoken to Siri while carrying out quality control for the assistant. The company made the announcement at their worldwide developers conference.

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“From this autumn onwards, Siri will proces audio on device, meaning that a majority of the queries won’t be recorded or uploaded to any of Apple’s servers.” 

“With on-device speech recognition, the audio of users’ requests is processed right on their iPhone or iPad by default. This addresses one of the biggest privacy concerns for voice assistants, which is unwanted audio recording. For many requests, Siri processing is also moving on device, enabling requests to be processed without an internet connection, such as launching apps, setting timers and alarms, changing settings or controlling music,” an Apple spokesperson said. 

Back in 2019 the Guardian published an investigative report that revealed “Siri ‘graders’ regularly heard confidential information as part of their job assessing the voice assistant’s responses for quality. The company apologized and, after a three-month pause to the grading program, allowed users to opt out of having their speech analyzed by humans.”

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Apple also announced that they would be introducing a slew of new privacy featured across all of its products to make users feel more secure in their experience using these devices. Mail Privacy Protection is being implemented to block emailers from tracking whether or not users open up an email and consume the content within it. 

Apple will also be making improvements to their FaceTime app as a means of competing with Zoom, Google Meet, and other digital forms of communication that are thriving in this pandemic world. 

Apple recently released a software update as well that forces every third-party app to ask for a user’s permission to be able to track what they do on their device. These tracking features are traditionally used by social media applications to track what kind of products you like so that they can make your advertisements more personalized. 

The goal of all of these updates is to give smart device users the comfort of knowing they are not constantly being tracked and watched by these major corporations. 

Apple Store Logo

Apple Invests $45 Million In Gorilla-Glass Maker For Future Products

Apple announced this week that they will be investing an additional $45 million in US-based Corning Incorporated, the maker of Gorilla Glass. 

Apple posted a news release regarding the investment claiming it will help “expand Corning’s manufacturing capacity in the US and drive research and development into innovative new technologies that support durability and long-lasting product-life.  

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The investment will be pulled from Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund which is valued at about $5 billion. The fund was initially established back in 2017 so that Apple could invest in new manufacturing jobs, as well as infrastructure in the United States.

Up until this point Corning had already received $450 million from that fund, and that initial investment worked to develop Apple’s newest ceramic shield screen technology which is found in the new iPhone 12 lineup. This new technology was created to make these iPhone’s even more drop resistant than previous iPhones which are already equipped with strong Gorilla Glass. 

Apple released a statement about the new ceramic shield technology and how it specifically works:

“The new material was enabled by a high-temperature crystallization step which forms nano-crystals within the glass matrix. Those specialized crystals are kept small enough that the material is transparent. The resulting material makes up the revolutionary Ceramic Shield.”

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Apple initially used the Ceramic Shield “to fashion the new front cover featured on the iPhone in the iPhone 12 lineup. Prior to Ceramic Shield, embedded crystals have traditionally affected the material’s transparency, a crucial factor for the front cover of the iPhone because so many features, including the display, the camera, and sensors for Face ID, need optical clarity to function.”

Corning and Apple have been in business together since the original iPhone hit the market. Initially, Apple wasn’t even going to use Gorilla Glass technology in their phones, and instead were going to go with a scratch-prone plastic screen. However, when the invention of Gorilla Glass first emerged from Corning, the company made a last minute switch, and Gorilla Glass has been the staple of all iPhones ever since. 

Gorilla Glass itself has since been refined multiple times to become even more durable than it was 10 years ago. Beyond Apple the glass is found in many other popular mobile products from companies like Samsung, LG, and more. 

Apple hasn;t announced yet how exactly Corning will be using this new investment, however, the Gorilla Glass inventors have been working on new forms of bendable glass that could potentially work for a future foldable iPhone. 

While we may not know the specifics of the investment, it’s an exciting step for Apple and their future product line ups.

Apple Software

New iOS Update From Apple Includes App Tracking ‘Transparency’ Feature 

iPhone users will now be able to prevent advertisers from tracking them and their search activity across all the apps on their phone thanks to a new software update from Apple. Despite protests from advertisers and Facebook, the company introduces the new feature as a part of its iOS 14.5 update. 

The setting is listed in your phone as “app tracking transparency,” which will require all applications to ask for a user’s consent before they’re able to track their activity across all other apps and websites on their device. 

If a user decides to decline, the applications won’t be able to access the digital footprint that they normally can automatically, which allows them to track you from app to app. The prompt reads: “Allow [insert app name here] to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?” The prompt will appear with any app that requests access to that digital footprint. 

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Apple initially announced that app tracking transparency would be implemented in all iPhones last summer, and was originally projected to be implemented in fall 2020, however, the company decided to delay the release of the update six months to give advertisers and other industry leaders time to prepare. 

Dan Levy, Facebook’s head of advertisements and business products, spoke out greatly with Facebook this past winter about Apple’s new policy. “The app transparency setting is about control of the entire internet. This is about a long-term view that is anti-personalized advertising and we think is trying to take the world back 10 to 20 years.” 

Facebook even went as far as to launch an advertising campaign arguing that “the real victim of the changes are your neighborhood coffee brewery, your friend who owns their own retail business, your cousin who started an event planning service and the game developers who build the apps you use for free. Those small businesses would lose out if they were no longer able to target customers with personalized adverts.”

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Facebook’s not alone either, digital publishing house Axel Springer has filed a complaint on behalf of Germany’s biggest tech, media, and advertising companies, to the German competition regulator in which they argue that the new rules could lead to a 60% fall in advertising revenues for app developers. 

In France, consumer group Noyb argued the complete opposite, claiming that Apple should not only roll out the privacy tools as soon as possible, but also remove the ability for advertisers to see what you’re doing on your phone all together. “With our complaints we want to enforce a simple principle: trackers are illegal, unless a user freely consents,” said Stefano Rossetti, a privacy lawyer at Noyb.

Apple’s director of global privacy, Jane Horvath, wrote a letter to a slew of privacy and advertising groups to address these criticisms.

“We developed [app tracking transparency] for a single reason: because we share your concerns about users being tracked without their consent and the bundling and reselling of data by advertising networks and data brokers. Facebook and others have a very different approach to targeting. Not only do they allow the grouping of users into smaller segments, they use detailed data about online browsing activity to target ads.”