AWT News Update: August 11, 2016

There won't be an AWT News Update tomorrow (Friday), but today we've got a short update with something fun, something inconsistent, and something rumor-ish. 

  • Siri speaks Pokémon GO!
  • Iran flip-flops, now wants to let iPhones into the country
  • A flurry of photos seem to show convergence of rumored iPhone 7 design features

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below.

Text Version

Hi, this is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for August 11, 2016. Please note that the AWT News Update will not be published tomorrow, so we’ll be back on Monday afternoon.

Have you been asking Siri about Pokémon GO lately? The Apple folks have updated the intelligent assistant to provide answers to the question “Do you play Pokémon Go?”. You’ll get one of ten random responses, and of course I’m going to tell you all of them. The answers include:
• "Chance! Go!"
• "Confining virtual beings inside powerful devices makes me feel funny for some reason."
• "I like playing peekaboo with Pikachu."
• "I like pocket monsters. Pocket assistants, too."
• "I've been looking in the muck for Muk."
• "Just make sure to look both ways. And up and down, too."
• "Oh, is that why everyone keeps asking what color a Geodude is?"
• "Of course. That's what it's all about. Oh, wait, that's the hoké Pokémon."
• "PokéStop!"
• "Snorlax. Zzzz. Sorry, what was the question?

That app has over 100 million downloads between the App Store and Google Play, and although it’s a free app, it is generating about $10 million daily revenue from in-app purchases.

Last month, Iran threatened to ban the import of iPhones into the country in what it called an anti-smuggling move. What happened is that the threat drove up the price of iPhones that were already in the country, and increased smuggling as a result. So what is the country doing now? Allowing nine Iranian companies to request licenses to import the iPhone. Iran is allowing more smartphones into the country, and by legally allowing iPhones they’ll be able to register all of the phones. Frankly, and this is an editorial comment, I’m surprised that Apple hasn’t decided to ban the sale of all of its products in the predominantly extremist Muslim country. It seems rather inconsistent that a company like Apple that spends so much time and effort promoting LGBT rights would want to sell products in a country that routinely penalizes LGBT individuals with fines, jail terms, lashes, and the death penalty.

On a lighter and less political note, new iPhone 7 photos showing alleged parts from the upcoming phone seem to back the rumors of the 5.5-inch model coming equipped with a two-lens camera, while both models appear to use a haptic home button that does away with a physical home button for the first time. The photos, from a variety of sources, could of course just be well-done mockups as none show an actual working device. But the design leaks — if that’s what they are — are beginning to become quite consistent.

That’s all for today; We’ll be back on Monday afternoon, August 15, with another edition of the AWT News Update.