Ahrendts out, iPad robust growth and Srouji modems

Today at Apple creator leaves the company after five years

Angela Ahrendts leaves Apple after five years

During her tenure Ahrendts started a frenzy of renovations and created the Today at Apple courses. — Taking her place is Deirdre O'Brien, a 30 year veteran of Apple, who also leads Apple's HR division.

A few notes:

  • Ahrendts said in 2017 the company referred to the stores as "town squares". 

  • Apple has 506 stores worldwide. And plans to open their first in two important markets: Thailand and Israel.

  • I will try to gather data, but my impression is that the pace of new store openings is now slower than ever. 

  • Eddy Cue and Phil Schiller are now the only SVPs in the same position today as they were when Tim Cook became CEO.

The iPad commandeers the tablet market

With a 26% share of the market in 2018. The iPad grew from 44 to 45 million units sold this year, while the overall tablet market shrunk another year from 185 million units to roughly 174 million according to Strategy Analytics. 

A few notes:

  • The iPad share of total sales hit rock bottom in mid 2015 just before the iPad Pro was released.

  • Apple has sold around 440 million iPads to date. Less than one for every iPhone (28%)

Apple puts modem engineering unit into chip design group

It looks like Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies, took over the company’s modem design efforts in January. The A series chipset is going to be complete.

HomePod struggles against the smart speaker duopoly

While Google and Amazon keep releasing cheap and cheaper versions, the HomePod has already sold around 4 million units in the US. — That’s around 6% of the 66 million total installed base (PDF).

Apple modifying iPhone 7 and 8 to work around Qualcomm's German patent injunction

According to the rumour, Apple will purportedly start shipping in about a month from now some new variants of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in Germany. Those new models won't contain Qorvo's accused (though most likely non-infringing) envelope tracker chip, but some other chipset replacing it.

More from the Orchard

  • TechCrunch: Apple tells app developers to disclose or remove screen recording code.

  • CNBC: Apple recently hired a prominent obstetrician, signaling interest in women's health.

  • Foreign Policy: How Russia Is Strong-Arming Apple

  • Apple Insider: There is no difference between how Apple is handling Roger Stone's or the San Bernardino shooter's iCloud data.

  • Gizmodo: I Cut Apple Out of My Life. It Was Devastating.

  • Variety: The Inventor of the Hololens Just Left Apple.

  • Apple: The company released iOS 12.1.4, a security update for the FaceTime bug and a full audit of the system.

  • Reuters: Apple agrees to pay back-taxes to French authorities. — Around $570/€500 million.

  • 9to5Mac: ‘1984’ ad factoid: the pre-test results were so bad the ad agency hid them from Apple.

  • Reuters: Apple to contribute to U.S. teen's education for spotting FaceTime bug.

  • 9to5Mac: Apple is taking its in-store iPhone push too far by promoting upgrades instead of repairs.


  • Samsung reports big fall in profit but expects Galaxy S10 to ‘prop up’ performance.

  • Huawei Sting Offers Rare Glimpse of the U.S. Targeting a Chinese Giant.

  • Google Maps Starts Testing AR-Powered Navigation.

  • Spotify buys podcast firms Gimlet and Anchor.

  • Amazon’s Home Security Company Is Turning Everyone Into Cops.

  • Microsoft rolls out healthcare bot service, new health-record integration feature.

  • Waymo CTO on the company’s past, present and what comes next.

  • Aurora gets $530 million investment from Sequoia and Amazon.

  • Samsung is making 1TB storage chips for phones.