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Proposed Tech Export Ban in US Could Affect Apple iPhones

There has been no comment from Apple expressing concerns or opinions on the matter as yet

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Apple, Iphone XR, Apple Watch
Try these fitness apps on Apple Watch Series 4 for marathon season. Flickr Commons

A ban has been proposed in the US on the selling of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), computer vision and iPhone processor technology, which could majorly affect trade, working and research of many tech giants, including Apple.

In Apple’s case, such restrictions on AI technology could hypothetically prevent the company from selling iPhones in specific markets completely, or force it to produce a version with features cut to comply with licensing rules, Apple Insider reported on Monday.

According to a document shared on Twitter by former presidential technology and national security advisor R. David Edelman, the US Bureau of Industry and Security has requested for public comments about the idea of monitoring the sales of certain technologies to other countries.

The filing is a request for public comment on “criteria for identifying emerging technologies that are essential to US national security”, due to the potential of being used as conventional weapons, weapons of mass destruction, terrorist applications, intelligence collection, or “could provide the United States with a qualitative military or intelligence advantage”, the report added.

The technologies are being tested for national security impact including deep learning technologies, computer vision, speech and audio processing, AI cloud technologies, AI chipsets, and the potential for audio and video manipulation technologies.

Apple
An Apple store in Woodbridge, Virginia. (VOA)

Apple covers a number of products and services offered to consumers as well as the ones the company is working on which are based on AI — for example, the natural language processing and AI technologies relate to Siri, along with Apple’s other machine learning work, while computer vision would cover Face ID and vision systems used in Apple’s self-driving vehicle-oriented “Project Titan”.

Other general areas raised include navigation, quantum information, sensing technology, robotics, drones, brain-computer interfaces, advanced materials, advanced surveillance and microprocessor technology.

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American citizens can share their responses on the subject only by December 19 — giving only a one-month window for responses from the public before the Bureau starts pressing the matter further.

There has been no comment from Apple expressing concerns or opinions on the matter as yet. (IANS)

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Apple to Release 5G-equipped iPhone in 2020

In addition to Kuo’s predictions, the iPhone maker is also working on improving the cameras on its 2019 phone line-up

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Apple, women
The Apple logo is shown outside the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. VOA

Apple is expected to release a 5G-equipped iPhone in 2020 powered by chipsets from Qualcomm and Samsung that would take the total iPhone shipments to 195-200 million units in two years, according to Apple expert and predictor Ming-Chi Kuo.

Earlier in April, Apple and Qualcomm settled their long-drawn legal war over patents and licensing at an undisclosed amount and Apple agreed to buy chips from Qualcomm again as part of the settlement, CNBC reported on Monday.

“We expect Apple will likely adopt 5G baseband chips made by Qualcomm (focus on mmWave markets) and Samsung (focus on Sub-6GHz markets) for lowering supply risk, reducing costs and having better bargaining power,” the report quoted the TF International Securities analyst Kuo as saying.

According to him, the introduction of a 5G-enabled iPhone could create a wave of upgrades and purchases, especially for high-end models.

So far, 2015 has been Apple’s best year in terms of iPhone shipments when the company sold around 231 million smartphones. After facing a drop in sales, the company, in 2018, said it sold over 217 million iPhones.

Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

“We are positive on the high-end iPhone models’ replacement demand in the second half of 2020 thanks to the 5G iPhone. We expect the total iPhone shipment will respectively reach 188-192 million and 195-200 million units in 2019 and 2020,” Kuo said.

Apple is also working on redesigning the printed circuit boards to be included in 2019 iPhone models using a new kind of material to clear out space for a bigger battery, he added.

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In addition to Kuo’s predictions, the iPhone maker is also working on improving the cameras on its 2019 phone line-up.

While the front camera would be upgraded from 7MP to 12MP, the triple-camera set-up would be implemented in the upcoming 6.5-inch and 5.8-inch OLED iPhones, along with a new super-wide 12MP lens. (IANS)