AWT News Update: March 16, 2016

Get today's top Apple news stories in just three minutes:

  • Imagine an Apple Watch band that can tell you of impending heart issues; it's on the way
  • Shares of AAPL rose this morning after an RBC Capital Markets analyst said he thinks that the new 4-inch iPhone will appeal to those who haven't upgraded to the larger iPhones
  • Apple wants to make encryption so good that even they can't break it

The text edition of the podcast is just below the audio version!

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for March 16, 2016.

Imagine having a band on your Apple Watch that could tell you if you’re having atrial fibrillation or a heart attack. A medical device startup named AliveCor has developed a watch band they call the Kardia Band that has an integrated electrocardiogram module that makes it possible for heart patients identify issues and get themselves to a doctor sooner. Kardia Band works with a companion iOS app to let wearers determine when they should get to a doctor, and the sensor analysis can be emailed along with a voice memo to the doctor. The app has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, and once the FDA has completed its review of the band, it will be released to the public. At this time, there’s no set release date and price has not been determined.

Yesterday we mentioned some of the products that we expect to be announced at next Monday’s Apple Event, and one of those was the iPhone SE — or whatever the new 4-inch screen iPhone will be named. Shares in Apple soared this morning after analyst Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets issued a note to investors saying that Apple could sell up to 15 million of the 4-inch devices annually, primarily to people who have resisted a move to the larger 4.7 and 5.5 inch screen models. What’s more important, though, is that this group of upgraders can provide a revenue buffer for Apple between now and September, when the company is expected to release the next-generation iPhone 7. Daryanani also believes that the 4-inch iPhone will command a price premium over the iPhone 5s that it is expected to replace, also driving revenues.

Despite various world governments trying to get more access to private data stored on your devices and in the cloud, the Wall Street Journal says that Apple is in the process of trying to improve encryption to protect information in iCloud. How good would the encryption be? Well, if the company does what it is setting out to do, they’ll no longer be able to unencrypt user information stored in iCloud. However, the Journal says that the company is trying to figure out how they can make data recovery easy for customers since Apple won’t be able to do the job for them. At the present time, Apple can help customer recover their accounts by going through a series of steps. If Apple no longer has any access to customer data, recovery of documents and photos suddenly becomes a much more difficult prospect.

We’ll be back tomorrow with another edition of the AWT News Update.