AWT News Update: December 16, 2016

It's Friday, and if you haven't checked out the latest Apple news before you head to the theatre to see Star Wars: Rogue One, we have a short update that you can listen to while standing in line at the theater:

  • You're not imagining things; Super Mario Run is using a lot of data
  • Apple has made a small R&D investment in Indonesia, one benefit of which will be that it can sell iPhones in the country
  • AirPods will be available in Apple Stores starting on Monday, December 19
  • Have a 4th-generation Apple TV? There are new Aerial Screensaver videos to watch!

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 December 16, 2016.

If, like most of the rest of the world, you downloaded Super Mario Run and you’re playing it on a cellular network, you may have noticed that you’re using a lot of data. The app uses a large amount of data if you play it a lot, with some testing showing that the game was using anywhere from 60 to 150 megabytes of data per hour. Even Pokémon GO only uses about 30 megabytes of data per hour of usage. However, an engineer at Apple’s App Store says that data usage will drop after the tons of initial game downloads dies down. According to the engineer, “The game is chatty. Nintendo’s doing a lot of fat-packet data shuffling back-and-forth to its own back-end, and if a packet fails, it’ll keep trying for a bit until it gives up and errors out. This is all data use.” When played for the first time, Super Mario Run downloads level data packs. Nintendo is basically suffering from overloaded servers causing downloads to fail, then your device is trying to re-download the data. The solution? Don’t play when you’re not on a Wi-Fi network, at least for a week or so. After that point, you should be able to play anywhere without going over 30 megabytes of data per hour. By the way, Super Mario Run was downloaded 2.85 million times on its first day of availability.

Many developing nations are starting to make demands of smartphone manufacturers, asking them to build their devices locally if they want to sell them in a particular country. Reuters reported today that starting in January of 2017, all 4G phones sold in Indonesia must have at least 30 percent local content inside of them. A similar rule exists in India, and Apple partner Foxconn is said to be opening a plant in the country. Well, in Indonesia, that 30 percent local content can be met with software or investment, not just physical components. Apple has already received a local content certification in Indonesia by making a $44 million R&D investment in the country, which will allow the company to sell iPhones priced at $448 or above. Apple doesn’t have much of a market share in Indonesia; together, Samsung and Oppo have tied up almost 50 percent of the market. Apple does have the opportunity to get some of the high-end market, however, in this country of over 250 million people.

Did you get a chance to order a pair of Apple AirPods this week for delivery next week? Probably not. But there are rumors that you will be able to get them at Apple Retail stores on Monday, December 19. Now they’ll probably be in limited quantities, but you might be lucky enough to snag a pair before Christmas.

If you have a fourth-generation Apple TV, be sure to check out the new Aerial screensaver videos available in tvOS. The video screen savers include beautiful photography of Dubai, Greenland, Hong Kong and Los Angeles, as well as three new videos of Chinese landmarks and a single clip of the Liwa Desert in Abu Dhabi. Altogether, there are 21 new clips, all of which will cycle through your Apple TV over time if you use the Aerial Screensaver. To get new videos faster, select “Every Day” in Apple TV settings and the new videos will be downloaded.

That’s all for today; I’ll be back Monday afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.