MacRumors

Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business.

peloton tv workout cardio
Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a pressing need to control costs, and amplified competitor activity. In a confidential company presentation earlier this month, Peloton told employees that products such as the Bike, Bike+, and Tread will be out of production for between six weeks and six months.

As a business, Peloton has high customer acquisition costs, translating to high product pricing. Toward the end of last year, the company reduced the price of its entry-level bike by almost 20 percent to $1,495 in an attempt to drive up sales through the end of 2021. It then emerged that the company is planning to lay off 41 percent of its sales and marketing staff.

CNBC also revealed that the company's fiscal forecasts do not take into account new delivery and setup fees between $250 and $350 that customers will have to pay on top of the cost of the Bike or Tread. In addition, Peloton has seen low email capture rates for its upcoming $495 strength training product, "Peloton Guide."

In a press release preannouncing its upcoming financial results yesterday, Peloton CEO John Foley said that the company is now "taking significant corrective actions to improve our profitability outlook and optimize our costs." Peloton's stock has since plunged 24 percent, now floating around 85 percent below where it was trading this time last year, and even $5 less than when it went public in 2019. There are also indications that Peloton is losing market share in the connected fitness industry.

The Information reports that Peloton's production halt and the precarious state of its business looks like a prelude to an acquisition by a bigger company, positing that Apple is the ideal candidate to buy Peloton:

If Peloton is to have a future, it would be better off as part of a bigger, more diversified company. Apple is an ideal candidate to take on that project. It has the Fitness+ subscription service for classes and it markets the Apple Watch as a device that can help with jogging and other exercise activities. It could close Peloton's stores and sell the equipment through its own stores. And hey, after today, Peloton's market capitalization is down to $7.9 billion. Cook could pay for that by dipping into the change jar in his kitchen.

The idea of Apple acquiring Peloton is gathering steam among market observers, with the possibility being weighed up by The Motley Fool and Inc., among others.

Analyst Neil Cybart recently highlighted how Peloton is now actively threatened by Apple Fitness+, which is considerably cheaper, costing up to $388.01 less annually for digital classes alone. Cybart cautioned that without major changes in 2022, "Peloton is on track to be a Fitbit 2.0 - a company unable to compete with the giants subsidizing health and fitness tracking as an ecosystem feature."

Apple will no longer include EarPods with every iPhone sold in France, starting on January 24, according to a notice posted by a French carrier (via iGeneration). Apple was previously required to include EarPods in the box with the ‌iPhone‌ due to a French law that required every smartphone sold in the country to come with a "handsfree kit," but the law has now been changed in favor of reducing the environmental footprint of digital devices.

iphone 13 earpods


Starting with the iPhone 12 in 2020, Apple stopped including EarPods and the power adapter from the ‌iPhone‌ box, claiming it was doing so in part to reduce its environmental footprint. With both accessories removed, the ‌iPhone‌ box was made drastically thinner. Apple also removed both items from older ‌iPhone‌ models it continued to sell.

Despite Apple's announcement, the company was required to continue shipping iPhones with EarPods in France. Apple's lawful obligation to include the EarPods was based on the precautionary principle, because the risks of exposing developing brains to electromagnetic waves are not clearly known, according to French law.

Now, that's all about to change. According to a new bill passed in the French assembly, smartphone manufacturers will no longer be forced to include headphones in the box. Instead, they just need to ensure that compatible headphones are available separately as an optional accessory. According to a notice posted by French carrier Fnac, iPhones will no longer ship with EarPods in the box starting on January 24. A machine translation of the poster reads:

DEAR CUSTOMERS,
We would like to inform you that our manufacturers are no longer required to supply headphones/hands-free kits with their smartphones in France. This new law, adopted in late 2021, aims to reduce the environmental footprint in France.

The Xiaomi brand is concerned, for products purchased from the week of January 17, 2022. The same will be true for the Apple brand as of from the week of January 24, 2022
THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING

Apple's regional website for France continues to show EarPods as an item included in the box with the ‌iPhone‌ alongside a USB-C to Lightning cable, although this will likely be updated soon. While it did remove the EarPods from the box, Apple reduced the headphones' price to $19, down from $29, when the ‌iPhone 12‌ launched in September 2020.

Apple's decision to remove EarPods and the power adapter from the ‌‌iPhone‌‌ box was controversial in other countries, too. For example, Apple was fined $2 million in Brazil for not including the power adapter with iPhones.

Google has internally kickstarted the development of an augmented reality headset that will "blend computer graphics with a video feed of the real world" to deliver an immersive AR experience, with a launch tentatively set for 2024, according to a report from The Verge.

google logo
The report describes the headset, codenamed Project Iris, as a "tightly kept secret" at Google with around 300 employees working on the project. Project Iris will use an array of sensors and cameras to project computer-generated content onto the real world.

One technical challenge of such headsets is being able to compute complicated 3D environments using high-performance mobile chipsets. A custom Google processor will reportedly power Project Iris, but even that may not be enough as the report suggests Google could offload some performance to data centers to render content.

On the software side, the headset will be powered by Android, although Google job listings indicate a new operating system specifically designed for AR could be under development.

Google's past attempts at augmented and virtual reality include Google Glass, Google Cardboard, and Daydream, but none ever went mainstream. The development of Project Iris comes as competition builds in the emerging AR industry as Meta, Apple, and now Google begin planning for future dominance.

Apple has been hard at work on its first AR headset. The headset will be Apple's first major new product category since the Apple Watch and will also be the company's first major push in the VR and AR space.

Apple's headset, yet to be named, could see a public launch as soon as this year, but recent reporting suggests Apple is facing thermal concerns with the headset, threatening a delay until 2023. Learn more about Apple's VR and AR plans with our dedicated roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses
Tag: Google

Apple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced in March 2016. Apple designed the ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview Feature
‌Safari Technology Preview‌ release 138 includes bug fixes and performance improvements for Web Inspector, CSS, Experimental Model Element, Media, Web Animation, WebAuthn, SVG, Web API, Service Workers, WebRTC, WebAssembly, and Web Extensions.

The current ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ release is built on the Safari 15.4 update and it includes Safari 15 features introduced in macOS Monterey.

The ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ update is available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

Apple's aim with ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.

Apple today shared a pair of iPhone 13 ads highlighting key features like battery life and the durable Ceramic Shield front display. In the first spot, titled "Doin' Laps," a child sets his ‌iPhone 13‌ up on his bike and then cruises around the neighborhood capturing a long video.


At the end of his journey, which lasts for five hours, the iPhone is still recording and has not run out of battery. "What will you do with even looooooonger battery life? Relax, it's ‌iPhone‌," reads the video description for the ad.

In the second spot, titled "Run Baby Run," a toddler plays with an ‌iPhone 13‌, running around with it, dropping it on the floor, banging it on various items, and dropping it in the sink. The ‌iPhone‌ survives intact, and the video ends with the tagline "Toddler resistant. Relax, it's ‌iPhone‌."


The "Relax, it's ‌iPhone‌" series is not new, and Apple has shared other videos in this series to preview Find My, the ‌iPhone‌'s durability, and other features. Apple has used the "Relax, it's ‌iPhone‌" tagline for both the iPhone 12 and the ‌iPhone 13‌.

The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch.

apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg
Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about third-party chargers not functioning as expected.

For many users, third-party chargers would refuse to charge an ‌Apple Watch Series 7‌ at all, and some others saw problems where the charger would appear to work normally, and then quit working after a few minutes.

Many of the reports focused on more affordable third-party chargers from Amazon, but there were also complaints about higher-end chargers from brands like Belkin. Some people even had charging issues with Apple's own Apple Watch charging pucks.

According to Apple's release notes for the watchOS 8.4 update, the software specifically fixes a bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work, suggesting the charging issues will come to an end when watchOS 8.4 sees a release.

Apple seeded the release candidate version today, and the release candidate represents the finished version of the software that will be provided to the public. We could see a watchOS 8.4 release as soon as next week.

Related Roundup: watchOS 8

Apple today shared a short film called "The Comeback," which has been released in celebration of Chinese New Year. Created by director Zhang Meng, the video kicks off the Year of the Tiger with the story of a father, a son, and a forgotten village with an "out-of-this-world dream."


The 23 minute film was shot using the latest iPhone (which is the iPhone 13 Pro) like all of the videos in Apple's ongoing "Shot on ‌iPhone‌" series. Though filmed in Chinese, Apple has also added English subtitles for those who do not speak the language.

Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year, begins on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, and it is a major holiday in China and other countries. Apple previously shared a Chinese gift guide on its websites in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao that features iPhone 13 models, AirPods, and more.

Apple also introduced special edition AirPods Pro and special edition Beats Studio Buds with custom-designed tiger themes as 2022 is the Year of the Tiger on the Chinese calendar.

Apple today announced a series order for a live-action Godzilla and the Titans TV series that's based on Legendary's Monsterverse franchise. The Monsterverse is a story universe that includes movies like "Godzilla," "Kong: Skull Island," and "Godzilla vs. Kong."

monsterverse tv show
The untitled Monsterverse series will take place after the battle between Godzilla and the Titans leveled San Francisco.

Following the thunderous battle between Godzilla and the Titans that leveled San Francisco and the shocking new reality that monsters are real, the series explores one family's journey to uncover its buried secrets and a legacy linking them to the secret organization known as Monarch.

Apple's Godzilla TV series will be produced by Legendary Television with co-creator Chris Black serving as executive producer and showrunner. Black is known for his work on "Star Trek: Enterprise" and "Outcast."

The macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 release candidates that came out today appear to address a Safari bug that could cause your recent browsing history and details about your identity to be leaked to malicious entities.

safari icon blue banner
As shared last week by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS, there is an issue with the WebKit implementation of the IndexedDB JavaScript API. Any website that uses IndexedDB can access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during the same browsing session.

The bug permits a website to spy on other websites that the user visits while Safari is open, and because some websites use user-specific identifiers in their IndexedDB database names, personal information can be gleaned about the user and their browsing habits.

Browsers that use Apple's WebKit engine are impacted, and that includes Safari 15 for Mac and Safari for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. Some third-party browsers like Chrome are also affected on iOS and ‌iPadOS 15‌, but the macOS Monterey 12.2, iOS 15.3, and iPadOS 15.3 updates fix the vulnerability.

FingerprintJS constructed a demo website to let users check to see whether they're impacted, and as 9to5Mac notes, after updating to the new software, the website detects no security holes.

The website is designed to tell users details about their Google accounts. On iOS 15.2.1 and ‌macOS Monterey‌ 12.1, we tested and the demo website was able to detect our Google account. After updating to the ‌macOS Monterey‌ 12.2 RC and the iOS 15.3 RC, the demo website no longer detects any data.

Apple earlier this week prepared a fix for the bug and uploaded it to the WebKit page on GitHub, so we knew that Apple was working to address the vulnerability. With the ‌macOS Monterey‌ 12.2 and iOS 15.3 release candidates now available, we could see these updates be made available to the public as soon as next week.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey
Tag: Safari
Related Forums: iOS 15, macOS Monterey

Apple today announced that Kristin Huguet Quayle has been appointed Apple's new vice president of worldwide corporate communications, with Huguet Quayle replacing former communications VP Stella Low.

kristin huguet
In a statement, Apple said that Huguet Quayle has played an important role at Apple for over 15 years.

Kristin has played an instrumental role sharing Apple's story of incredible innovation and strong values for more than 15 years. With an extraordinary depth of experience and a long track record of principled leadership, Kristin is uniquely suited for her new role overseeing worldwide communications.

Huguet Quayle has been at Apple since 2005 and has been on Apple's communication team. She joined Apple when the company had fewer than 20,000 employees, and was responsible for leading communications during Apple's encryption fight with the FBI.

Prior to joining Apple, Huguet Quayle led PR for Sun Microsystems and worked at Burson Marsteller. Stella Low, who Huguet Quayle is replacing, was with Apple for under a year having been hired in May 2021. Prior to Low's hiring, the PR chief role has been empty since Steve Dowling departed Apple.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today approved the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which means it will now move on to the Senate floor for a vote, reports The Wall Street Journal.

iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue
The bill, which was first introduced over the summer, would require major changes to the App Store if passed in its current incarnation. It is designed to prevent "dominant platforms" from "abusing their gatekeeper power" by favoring their own products and services over those of competitors.

It would enable sideloading, a process by which iPhone and iPad users would be able to use alternate app stores or other means to install apps on their devices outside of the ‌App Store‌. Earlier this week, Apple's Senior Director of Government Affairs Timothy Powderly said that implementing such a change would cause consumers to face "malware, ransomware, and scams."

Sideloading would "hurt competition and discourage innovation" by making it "much harder" to protect the privacy and security of personal devices in the United States, according to Apple.

Apple urged the Senate Judiciary Committee not to approve the act, but it will now advance. Several senators have suggested that they want to see changes implemented before voting in favor of the measure, so it could ultimately be toned down.

Senator Dianne Feinstein criticized the bill and said that it targets a "small number of specific companies," and Senator Alex Padilla said that it was difficult to "see the justification for a bill that regulates the behavior of only a handful of companies while allowing everyone else to continue engaging in that exact same behavior."

Other senators have complained that the bill in its current incarnation is not specific enough and could ultimately result in "collateral damage."

The bill is aimed specifically at Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon, but amendments will see it also including large foreign-owned tech platforms like TikTok. The Senate Judiciary Committee will also soon hear additional bills that also target tech companies.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Epic Games today kicked off its appeal of the judge's decision in the Epic v. Apple lawsuit, filing an opening brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

fortnite apple logo 2
Both Apple and ‌Epic Games‌ have decided to appeal the original ruling as neither company was satisfied with the outcome. ‌Epic Games‌ wanted the court to force Apple to support third-party App Stores, which did not happen.

‌Epic Games‌ CEO Tim Sweeney said that the ruling wasn't a "win for developers or for consumers," and ‌Epic Games‌ confirmed that it planned to appeal shortly after the verdict was delivered. In the appeal, ‌Epic Games‌ asked whether Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers had made mistakes with some of her findings, including that Apple is not a monopolist.

In the filing, ‌Epic Games‌ again argues that Apple's App Store restrictions and fees are harming developers and consumers, calling the ‌App Store‌ unnecessary.

Absent these restrictions, iPhone users and app developers could use alternative app stores, and users could get apps directly from developers. Developers could procure payment mechanisms with additional features and lower costs for their apps. Epic wants to but cannot compete with Apple to fulfill that demand by providing an iPhone app store and in-app payment solution. Epic would charge developers much less than Apple's 30% commission, increasing innovation and reducing costs.

Apple prevents Epic and other potential competitors from offering those choices. That is why Epic brought this antitrust suit. The district court's factual findings make clear that Apple's conduct is precisely what the antitrust laws prohibit.

‌Epic Games‌ argues that the court made an error when it found no Sherman Act violation against Apple, which would have painted Apple as a monopolist and would have likely resulted in a very different ruling.

The goal with the appeal is to get the judgment against Apple reversed, and much of the rest of the document goes over the original arguments from the initial lawsuit.

The district court's judgment on Epic's Sherman Act claims should be reversed and judgment of liability entered in Epic's favor with a remand to determine the appropriate injunctive remedy. The district court's judgment on Apple's breach of contract and declaratory judgment counterclaims should be reversed and judgment entered in Epic's favor

Epic's full opening brief can be read on Scribd for those who are interested in the company's anti-Apple arguments.

Apple today seeded the release candidate version of an upcoming macOS Monterey 12.2 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming one week the second beta and more than a month after the release of macOS Monterey 12.1.

macOS Monterey on MBP Feature
Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and after the appropriate profile is installed, betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences. Apple has also released a macOS 11.6.3 release candidate version for Big Sur users.

We don't yet know what's included in ‌macOS Monterey‌ 12.2, and no new features were found in the first beta. We'll update this article should anything new come up in the second beta.

As of now, there's one major feature that Apple has yet to add to ‌macOS Monterey‌ -- Universal Control. Universal Control is designed to allow a single mouse and trackpad to be used with multiple Macs and iPads, and Apple has said it will be launching this spring.

Related Roundup: macOS Monterey
Related Forum: macOS Monterey

Apple today seeded the release candidate versions of upcoming iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming one week after the launch of the second betas and over a month after the launch of iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2.

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iOS and iPadOS 15.3 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or an iPad.

There's no word yet on what's included in the iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 betas, suggesting that it likely focuses on under-the-hood improvements and bug fixes. The release notes for the update state that iOS 15.3 includes "bug fixes and security updates for your ‌iPhone‌" with the software recommended for all users.

There are a few features that Apple has yet to implement, such as Universal Control and support for IDs in the Wallet app. Universal Control will let multiple Macs and iPads be controlled with the same keyboard and mouse, and Apple recently said that the feature will come out in the spring. There were no signs of Universal Control in the betas, so it looks like it will instead come in iPadOS 15.4.

Digital IDs in the Wallet app has been in the works since Apple introduced the feature at WWDC in June. Arizona, Georgia, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah are expected to be the first states to implement digital ID support, and Florida is also in talks to support the feature.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

Apple today seeded the release candidate version of an upcoming watchOS 8.4 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming one week after the launch of the first betas and over a month after the release of watchOS 8.3.

watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature
To install watchOS 8.4, developers will need to download the configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once installed, ‌‌‌‌watchOS 8‌‌‌‌ can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software update.

To update to new software, an Apple Watch needs to have 50 percent battery life, it must be placed on the charger, and it needs to be in range of the ‌‌‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌‌‌.

According to Apple's release notes, watchOS 8.4 fixes a bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work as expected. Since the launch of watchOS 8.3, Apple Watch users have been experiencing charging issues with some third-party Apple Watch chargers, so we can expect the watchOS 8.4 update to address this problem.

Related Roundup: watchOS 8

Apple today seeded the release candidate version of an upcoming tvOS 15.3 update to developers for testing purposes, with the software coming one week after the second beta and over a month after the release of tvOS 15.2.

Apple TV tvOS 15 Feature
Developers can download the new tvOS 15.3 beta by downloading a profile onto the ‌Apple TV‌ using Xcode.

tvOS updates are often minor in scale, focusing on under-the-hood bug fixes and improvements rather than major outward-facing changes. We don't yet know what's included in the tvOS 15.3 update, but we'll update this article should anything new be found.

Though we don't often know what's new in tvOS during the beta testing process, we let MacRumors readers know when new updates are available so those who are developers can download it upon release.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)

Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April.

Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature
Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are likely to be unveiled, including a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the new iPad mini, a new iPhone SE with 5G, and two new Macs powered by the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.

New iPad Air

A fifth-generation iPad Air is in the works with features that will bring it to parity with the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, a 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G support for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara.

iPad Air Feature 2
The report said the new iPad Air will have the same overall design as the current model, including a single-lens rear camera. Released in October 2020, the current iPad Air features a 10.9-inch display with slim bezels, a Touch ID power button, and a USB-C port, with color options including Space Gray, Silver, Green, Rose Gold, and Sky Blue.

The report, citing reliable sources in China, claimed that the new iPad Air could be announced alongside the third-generation iPhone SE this spring.

New iPhone SE

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed that the third-generation iPhone SE will feature the same design as the current model, with a 4.7-inch display, Touch ID home button, and thicker bezels. Kuo said key upgrades to the device will include 5G support and a faster processorreportedly the A15 Bionic chip found in iPhone 13 models.

iphone se 2020 red
Bigger changes to the iPhone SE are not expected until at least next year. Apple plans to release a fourth-generation iPhone SE with a larger 5.7-inch display in 2023 or 2024, according to display industry consultant Ross Young, who has proven to be a very accurate source of display-related information for future Apple products.

Redesigned 27-Inch iMac

Apple is rumored to be planning a redesigned 27-inch iMac with a mini-LED display for release in the first half of 2022. The new 27-inch iMac is expected to support ProMotion, enabling a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz for smoother content and scrolling.

iMac Pro 2022 27 and 24 iMac
The new 27-inch iMac is rumored to be powered by the same M1 Pro and M1 Max chips that debuted in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro last year. The switch to Apple silicon should result in a thinner design similar to the 24-inch iMac.

High-End Mac Mini

Apple is also expected to release higher-end Mac mini models with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips this year, and while a specific timeframe has not been rumored, a March or April announcement would make sense alongside the new 27-inch iMac.

m1 mac mini screen
Apple already updated the Mac mini with the M1 chip in November 2020, but only for lower-end configurations, with higher-end models still using Intel processors.

For more, read our What to Expect From Apple in 2022 and Upcoming Apple Products guides.

Related Roundups: iMac, iPad Air , iPhone SE 2020, Mac mini
Related Forums: iMac, iPad, iPhone, Mac mini

Amazon's Gold Box deal of the day today is focusing on a collection of Anker chargers and cables, with prices starting at $16.99 for a 2-pack of Anker Powerline USB-C to USB-C cables.

anker quickieNote: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

There are eight total accessories on sale in today's Gold Box, and they range from cables to power strips, MagSafe-compatible chargers, and high-capacity portable chargers. As with all Gold Box sales, the prices listed below will last only for one day, so be sure to browse the sale before the end of the day.

Be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup to shop for even more Apple-related products and accessories.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals