Apple’s Biggest News Moments From 2022
Apple has undoubtedly had its fair share of triumphant moments in 2022, from releasing new products and features that continue to stir consumer demand even in a recession. And the rather trying moments, such as circumventing certain policies threatening its capacity to meet those demands.
As 2022 draws to a close, the time has come to reflect on some of the biggest Apple moments that made the headlines. Here are some of the news that caught our attention.
Apple Pays $14.8 Million Over iCloud Settlement
Many of us maintain our monthly iCloud subscription, assuming that our data is hosted exclusively on Apple’s servers and hence relatively secure.
It turns out that Apple was not, in fact, totally relying on its independent cloud infrastructure to store consumer information. The company occasionally outsourced consumer data storage to cheaper third-party storage services and failed to inform subscribers.
This spurred a class-action lawsuit in 2019, where the plaintiffs accused Apple of false advertising and breach of consumer trust. While Apple purports that it did not breach its promise to consumers, the company agreed to a settlement of $14.8 million in March 2022.
Apple now lists third-party servers in its iCloud legal agreement. And individuals who had active paid iCloud subscriptions from September 16, 2015, to January 31, 2016, may be eligible to receive a payout according to the storage tier they opted for.
Apple Pays $50 Million Over Faulty MacBook Keyboards
Apple settled yet another class-action lawsuit in July 2022. This time, over “butterfly” MacBook keyboards that several consumers found to be defective. Some MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro owners complained about certain keys feeling sticky, being unresponsive, trapping debris, or causing characters to repeat unexpectedly.
If you bought a MacBook with a defective keyboard between 2015 and 2019 in the United States, you might be eligible for a slice of the $50 million settlement. If you want to confirm your eligibility status, check out the dedicated keyboard settlement website and learn the steps to receive your allocated payout.
While Apple denies the allegations leveled against it in the lawsuit, it has discontinued the sale of MacBooks with butterfly keyboards. Customers can expect to enjoy a reliable keyboard in its latest Mac models.
The Apple Watch Ultra Arrives
Is Apple’s focus merely on technology or also on health and wellness? Well, CEO Tim Cook has explained that Apple is a company that wants to enrich people’s lives with its products. In September 2022, Apple reaffirmed this position with the release of the Apple Watch Ultra.
This is Apple’s attempt at ramping up the performance and quality of its smartwatch. The Apple Watch Ultra goes several steps beyond tracking your vitals; it becomes a computer on your wrists that offers a slew of interesting functions and safety features suited to divers, hikers, and athletes even on their most grueling and extreme adventures.
The EU Forces Apple to Ditch Lightning Connectors
Why can’t we use a single charging cord with the iPhone, Mac, and iPad? This is a question nearly every Apple consumer has asked. And a debate that has lasted for about a decade.
However, following the legislative directive of the European Union, Apple finally has to ditch the Lightning connectors dedicated to iPhones by the fall of 2024 if it wants to keep selling its products in Europe. This seems to mark the beginning of an era of iPhones with the USB-C port, perhaps starting with the iPhone 15 to be released in 2023.
The EU estimates customers would save about 250 million euros by switching to a common connector for mobile phones, tablets, and cameras. While we wonder how Apple plans to respond to the USB-C ruling, the company has expressed concerns about the e-waste bound to occur when consumers abandon the billions of Lightning cables they already have.
Apple Subscriptions Services Get More Expensive
In November 2022, Apple subscription services, primarily Apple TV+, Apple Music, and Apple One, went up in price. Apple TV+ now costs $6.99, a 40 percent increase from the original pricing of $4.99 per month. Apple One went up 13 percent with a price change from $14.95 to $16.95. And Apple Music gets a 10 percent price hike, with subscription fees rising from $9.99 to $10.99.
A large reason for Apple hiking the prices is the increase in licensing costs. However, the price change, albeit slightly more expensive for users, has a ripple effect on the income of artists and songwriters. With the increase, they are expected to earn more per stream. And they already earn more on Apple’s platform at 1 cent per stream, which is double what Spotify presently pays.
As it stands, Apple Music now costs $1 more than its competitor Spotify. But Apple tries to justify this rising cost by offering a premium listening experience with features such as lossless audio and Spatial Audio at a corresponding premium price.
COVID Restrictions Stall iPhone 14 Pro Production
In late September, a COVID-19 outbreak in Zhengzhou, China, spread to Foxconn’s manufacturing site. This facility is responsible for about 85 percent of the iPhone 14 Pro’s production. Following strict COVID regulations culminating in a series of lockdowns and frustrated workers, the facility is presently facing a staff shortage.
This has put a massive strain on production capacity for the iPhone 14 Pro models. This means that if you ordered the iPhone 14 Pro or the iPhone 14 Pro Max in October or November, it might not arrive in time for Christmas. The wait time has increased, becoming the longest Apple has seen in its 15-year history of the iPhone.
To manage this problem, Foxconn is working to increase production while maintaining the safety of its workers. So, it’s expanding production to other sites in the country. And Apple is looking beyond China and onto India and Vietnam.
Apple Music Comes to Tesla Vehicles
Elon Musk and Apple might have their differences when it comes to Twitter, but not with Tesla vehicles. Apple Music is now natively available to Tesla owners with the newly rolled out holiday software update—the 2022.44.25 update.
Apple Music subscribers can now enjoy the streaming service on their Tesla vehicles once they install the latest software update. While the navigation experience is relatively cleaner and easier to use than Spotify, Apple Music on Tesla vehicles seems to lack lossless audio and Dolby Atmos.
Apple Encrypts iCloud Backups
Apple, as a company, has expressed its strong belief that privacy is a fundamental human right. It takes that commitment to the next level with Advanced Data Protection in iOS 16.2, which secures your iCloud backups with end-to-end encryption.
This extra security means that Apple can’t access your user data; only you can. And while privacy advocates have lauded this move, the FBI isn’t particularly pleased about Apple’s iCloud encryption.
While this new security feature comes with extra benefits, it also comes with even more responsibilities for you, the user. You may be able to recover your data if you lose access to your account unless you set up a viable plan B which includes printing out and keeping a pretty lengthy recovery code in a safe place.
What’s Next for Apple in 2023?
As we set our sights on a new year, we can only wonder what awaits Apple in 2023. Would there be more lawsuit settlements or even more policies forcing Apple to conform to certain standards?
On the flip side, what can we expect from Apple in the coming year? More surprising product releases? We can only wait and see or, in the meantime, speculate based on what we already know.