AWT News Update: September 5, 2017

Tim Cook (center) with the lovable mascots of the despicable Boston Red Sox

Tim Cook (center) with the lovable mascots of the despicable Boston Red Sox

Welcome back to a shortened week of podcasts from Apple World Today. On today's podcast, we bring you another reason to hate the Boston Red Sox:

  • The Red Sox are caught using Apple Watches to steal signs from opposing catchers
  • Apple sets up another bond offering, this one for $5 billion
  • tvOS 11 beta 10 has arrived for developers
  • All signs point toward next year's iPhones with higher resolution camera modules

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for September 5, 2017. Hopefully I won’t sound too off kilter; I had a molar yanked out of my jaw this morning.

I’ve detested the Boston Red Sox ever since they swept my beloved Colorado Rockies in four games during the 2007 World Series, but now the rest of the world can have a reason to dislike the team. About two weeks ago, the general manager of another team everyone should dislike — the New York Yankees — filed a complaint with the MLB commissioner’s office that the Sox were stealing signs using Apple Watches. MLB investigated and found that the Red Sox did indeed “execute a scheme to illicitly steal hand signals from opponents’ catchers.” Apparently, team personnel were watching instant replay video and using that to send the pitch signs to trainers using the Apple Watch. The trainers would then use hand signals to pass the information along to the players. What’s even worse is that the Red Sox have apparently been using this scheme for a few weeks. In a case of stupidly trying to cover up their wrongdoing, the Red Sox accused the Yankees of using cameras to steal signals as well. It’ll be interesting to see if the Red Sox are fined for this heinous act; it will be even worse if players, managers, and other personnel are banned from wearing Apple Watches because of the Red Sox. 

Apple often sells bonds to raise cash for shareholder dividends and buy back stock. Bloomberg today reported that Apple today started offering a new round of bonds worth $5 billion, to be offered in four parts. This debt offering is Apple’s seventh this year. Why does Apple sell debt instead of using all that $261.5 billion in cash that it has? About 94% of that cash reserve is located outside of the United States, and in order to repatriate the cash, Apple would have to pay taxes on the cash. It’s really cheaper for Apple to sell debt instead of repatriating cash. There has been some talk of the US government to offer a tax holiday to get Apple and other companies to bring their cash hordes home, but until that happens Apple will continue to sell debt to finance its shareholder dividends and stock buyback. Analysts believe such a tax holiday would result in close to a 16% leap in profits for Apple.

Here’s a surprise — just when we thought that Apple wouldn’t send out another beta version of any of its operating systems, out comes the tenth beta of tvOS 11. The corresponding public beta should be out shortly. As with the earlier beta versions, tvOS 11 beta 10 brings home screen sync, automatic dark and light modes, full support of AirPods, and AirPlay 2 support.

If you’re not going to be picking up a new iPhone this year, your wait until 2018 may be rewarded with a camera or cameras with more than 12 megapixels of resolution. Taiwanese trade journal DigiTimes says that Apple has booked production capacity for higher resolution camera lens modules at a Largan Precision factory in Taichung, Taiwan. The new plant will start building the modules in October, then increase capacity towards the end of 2017. It’s thought that the new modules could feature 16, 18 or even higher megapixel counts. 

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