A mysterious malware has affected nearly 30,000 Apple Macs. Researchers, alarmingly, has no idea of how the malware is going to infected the laptops. Named ‘Silver Sparrow’, the malware comes with a mechanism to self-destruct itself, making it high-stealth operations. It has been, so far, reported in 153 countries, mainly in the US, UK, Canada, France and Germany. Silver Sparrow also runs on Apple’s new M1 chips but lacks payload.
Apple has released a Platform Security guide that takes its security-built-into-hardware approach to a new level. The new Platform Security works with M1 silicon chips. System security is designed to maximise the security of the OS on 1 bn iPhones and millions of other Apple devices without affecting the usability. All Apple devices with a T2 chip have an AES hardware engine to power line-speed encryption as files are written or read which ensures data protection.
Apple has joined hands with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co to develop micro OLED displays for its yet to launched augmented reality devices. Apple is partnering with TSMC, the sole supplier of iPhone processors, as micro OLED displays are thinner, smaller and consume less power, making them more suitable for use in wearable AR devices. The displays under development are less than 1 inch in size, reports said.
Data firms are likely to creative and intrusive to source data for AI-driven behavioural analytics systems in 2021. This is after users have become aware of personal data safety. Apple, Google and Microsoft are adopting new privacy tech to give users strict privacy guarantees while continuing to make use of data. Apple has clashed with Facebook saying it has to protect its users’ privacy, while FB is wrestling with regulators to implement E2E in its messaging apps.
Apple has released iOS 14.4 and said in its update pages for iOS and iPadOS 14.4 that the three bugs affecting iPhones and iPads “may have been actively exploited.” Details of the vulnerabilities are scarce, and Apple declined to give any information beyond advisory. Two of the bugs were found in WebKit, the engine that powers the Safari browser, and the Kernel, the core of the OS. It’s a rare admission by Apple which claim itself on its security image.
Apple shipped over 1.5 mn smartphones in India in the quarter ending in Dec 2020, up 100% YoY. This makes it the best quarter for Apple till date in India, according to research firms Counterpoint and CyberMedia. Credit goes to rise in demand of old generation phones — iPhone 11, XR, and the newer iPhone SE, iPhone 12. Its market share in the country doubled to 4% in the quarter. Overall, Apple shipped over 3.2 mn units in India in 2020, up 60% YoY.
Apple’s hardware engineering chief, Dan Riccio, will step down to oversee a new project. He will report to CEO Tim Cook and will be replaced by John Ternus, who will join the executive team as senior VP of hardware engineering. Riccio joined Apple over 20 years ago as VP product design and was named VP of hardware engineering in 2010. Apple has been focusing on newer projects including self-driving car tech, targeting 2024 to produce a vehicle.
5G smartphone shipment is expected to rise over 9x to touch 38 mn units in 2021, driven by brands like OnePlus and Apple, according to research firm Counterpoint. The firm said that India’s smartphone market was one of the fastest to recover after pandemic and recorded its best quarter ever in the quarter ending Sept 2020 in terms of shipments. India’s 5G shipments stood at 1.7 mn in the period and are projected to cross 4 mn by the end of 2020.
Samsung revealed its flagship processor – the Exynos 2100, which will power its most powerful phones this year. The 5nm chip built on an advanced EUV process will deliver 10% higher performance while using 20% less power than its 7nm predecessor – Exynos 990. This is also Samsung’s first 5G integrated processor. It also sports a Mali-G78 GPU which boasts improvements to AI tasks, thanks to a three-core neural processing unit for on-device processing.