Questionable Rumor Says Apple May Introduce New iPhone SE at Event in Late August

A questionable rumor has surfaced today suggesting Apple could unveil a new iPhone SE next month, but it might just be more noise in iPhone silly season.

The rumor comes from French-language blog iGeneration, which cited an unnamed source claiming Apple will hold a product event in late August to introduce an updated version of the 4-inch smartphone.

Mickaël Bazoge, the author of the article, told MacRumors that he received the info from a "new source" with an unproven track record. He expressed some skepticism, but added that the source "seems reliable."

The timeline is immediately questionable given Apple has never introduced any new iPhone model in August. Beyond the current iPhone SE and iPhone 4s in March 2016 and October 2011 respectively, Apple has officially debuted all other iPhone models at events in June or September each year.

Moreover, given the current iPhone SE essentially has iPhone 6s tech specs, the next model's tech specs would likely be closer to the iPhone 7. And if that happens in August, then the new iPhone SE would be nearly as powerful as the iPhone 7 with a much cheaper price tag, potentially cannibalizing Apple's sales.

There have also been few if any rumors about a new iPhone SE. Back in November 2016, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said it was unlikely that Apple would release a new iPhone SE in the first half of this year. That claim proved to be accurate, but Kuo hasn't outlined any new predictions since then.

When introducing the iPhone SE, Apple acknowledged that some people simply love smaller phones, and revealed that it sold 30 million 4-inch iPhones in 2015. The device looks like an iPhone 5s, but it has newer tech specs, including a twice-as-fast A9 chip and a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera.

iPhone SE remains Apple's cheapest smartphone, starting at $399 in the United States. Today's rumor claims the next-generation model could start at €399 in Europe, down from €489 currently. The rumor also says Apple will hold a second event in October to introduce the supposedly delayed "iPhone 8."

Apple doubled the current iPhone SE's storage capacities to 32GB and 128GB, up from 16GB and 64GB, in March.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE
Tag: igen.fr
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Caution)

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Apple Paying Freelancers to Improve the Accuracy of Apple Maps

In an effort to improve Apple Maps, which many iPhone users still consider to be inferior to Google Maps, Apple has enlisted the help of contracted freelancers to validate the accuracy of points of interest and other information, in exchange for micropayments, according to French blog iGeneration.


For the past year, through a platform called TryRating, Apple has reportedly paid freelancers 54 cents per task on average, with each task often only taking a few minutes to complete. The fine print allegedly limits freelancers to 600 completed tasks, and no more than 20 hours worked, per week.

The report doesn't specify how freelancers are selected, but they appear to be recruited through a third-party subcontractor.

A typical task, for example, could be verifying the accuracy and relevance of the search results that Apple Maps shows for a "McDonald's" query for a particular location. The freelancer's task would be to ensure the McDonald's restaurants listed are within a close distance, have accurate addresses, and so forth.

Apple's so-called TryRating platform with a typical verification task

Apple supposedly has a 200-page Maps Search Evaluation Guidelines document that freelancers are required to follow.

One of the examples Apple provides is a search from Somerville, Massachusetts for "Machu Picchu," a well-known historical site in Peru, but also the name of a local restaurant in the city. A freelancer's task would be to ensure all of the search results for "Machu Picchu" are contextually relevant.

iGeneration's in-depth report provides further details about Apple's so-called TryRating platform, which it likens to Amazon's Mechanical Turk.

Apple Maps launched in 2012 and was quickly criticized for having incomplete and inaccurate mapping data, which led some iPhone users on dangerous routes. Apple CEO Tim Cook offered a rare public apology for the frustration it caused customers, and then iOS chief Scott Forstall was ousted just one month later.

Apple Maps still gets a bad rap among some users, but Apple's continued efforts to improve the app should help reverse some of those opinions.


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