Editor’s Desk: Tons of iPhone news and Spatial Audio may be a hit for Apple

Airpods 3 With Case Right Earbud Lying In Front Of Case

Source: Luke Filipowicz / iMore

As I stare out the window of my home office at yet another blizzard ripping through my city (we’ve had multiple this year), I can’t help but wish for spring to come sooner. Yes, I want the warmer weather and the mountains of snow to melt — pleasures of living in Canada — but I’m also ready for Apple to kick its spring off with an event.

The past couple of months has somewhat felt like we’ve been in a holding pattern. Knowing an Apple event is coming, hearing it’s coming quite soon, but never actually knowing anything. Of course, that is the nature of covering the tech industry (especially Apple), but I think the cold day and dark nights of winter have started to get to me a little bit. The good news is there’s always news, and this week we’ve got some interesting data I’d like to point out.

More iPhone 14 rumors

Did you think we could go a week without an iPhone 14 rumor?

The iPhone 14 is expected to improve on the iPhone 13 models, but it’s the Pro models that may see a significant boost in performance. A new rumor suggests the iPhone 14 Pro models will have 8GB of RAM, which is 2GB more than what the current iPhone 13 Pro models have.

Apple doesn’t often state the RAM of iPhones directly in its keynotes, but various tech enthusiasts usually figure it out pretty quickly. This is a move that makes sense, seeing how the latest Samsung flagship — the Galaxy S22+ is currently sporting 8GB of RAM.

iPhone’s had a great year in 2021

There’s no doubt that the iPhone is one of Apple’s most popular products worldwide, but specifically in the U.S., 2021 was an excellent year for the iPhone.

According to new data from analytics firm Counterpoint Research, iPhone’s market share in the country reached as high as 56% by the end of the year. A big part of that seems to be because of the iPhone 13 release.

Market share changes throughout the year, and in 2021, Apple was down to 47% in the third quarter of last year but still leagues ahead of the other manufacturers like Samsung, OnePlus, and others. However, the release of the iPhone 13 models seemed to have caused a significant spike in their market share in the last part of the year.

It’s not hard to see why people love the iPhone 13 so much. It’s pretty clearly the best iPhone, especially if you spring for the Pro models. The battery life is so stellar on the Pro models and still surprises me to this day.

Spatial Audio might be taking over, and Kanye is having none of it

Even though Spatial Audio is still relatively new to Apple Music, Apple says that more than half of Apple Music subscribers have tried it out.

Now when any new feature is announced, there’s obviously going to be a fair amount of people to try it out, but Apple also notes that the amount of music offered in Spatial Audio is also on the rise. Roughly 42% of the Top 100 songs on the global Daily Top 100 are offered in Spatial Audio.

Anecdotally, I remember when it first launched, finding Spatial Audio content wasn’t always easy. Apple had put together a playlist or two, but I often didn’t come across Spatial Audio while I was exploring music on my own. Recently, however, I do notice that a lot more of the newer music I listen to has started to become available in Spatial Audio.

It’s cool to see that artists are getting involved and trying out Spatial Audio mixes, and I certainly enjoy listening to them, but this data is clearly more of a PR move. The cynical side of me wants to say that, of course, people are trying out a new feature — especially when it’s available for free with their current subscription.

Still, it’s encouraging to hear that more Spatial Audio is coming to the platform, and it will be interesting to see if it’s a fad or the future of music producing altogether.

Kanye snubbing Apple Music (and other platforms)

In some unique news, famous artist Kanye West has announced his upcoming album — Donda 2 — will not be streaming on Apple Music or any of the other major streaming services. Instead, it will be launching solely on Kanye’s Stem Player.

Kanye’s Stem Player is a $200 physical device that lets users remix songs using their ‘stems’ such as drums, bass, vocals, and more. Fans are unhappy about the announcement after it became clear that buying West’s $200 device would be the only way to listen to ‘Donda 2’.

It seems like a good way for Kanye to make people pay $200 to listen to an album; however, the artist did say he’s doing this because of the “oppressive system” that the music industry has become.

He’s not wrong — streaming is very lucrative for companies like Apple and Spotify, but barely any money trickles down to the artists that prop up on those platforms for what they are. It’s hard to fault him for trying to find a different approach. I’m not sure this approach is the greatest plan, but Kanye has a lot of diehard fans.

That’s all for now

That’s what’s been happening around iMore this week. I hope you have a splendid weekend, and if you are a reader from the Great White North, I hope it’s not too cold out there like it is for me!

Take care,

- Luke

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