The Current State of iPhone in China and the Latest iOS 17.4 Beta Release
It cannot be denied that iPhones are currently facing significant challenges. For instance, Apple has lowered the estimated shipments of key semiconductor components for the 2024 iPhone to around 200 million units (a 15% decrease from the previous year).
Many users have also expressed that, apart from the operating system, iPhone’s design, battery life, camera, and signal are all lagging behind those of domestic smartphone brands. This has raised questions about the value of purchasing an iPhone.
In recent weeks, Apple’s weekly shipments in China have decreased by 30-40% compared to the previous year, and this downward trend is expected to continue. The primary reason for this is Huawei’s return to the market, including the significant impact of foldable screen technology.
As a result, iPhones are currently being heavily criticized, but their performance in the future market remains uncertain.
However, Apple’s iPhones are still evolving, especially the iOS system, which is currently undergoing vigorous development and will see further updates in the future.
Currently, the public beta version of iOS 17.4 has been released, with an internal version number of 21E5184k. Additionally, a reissued iOS 17.4 Beta1 update with the same version number as the public beta version has been provided to developers.
This update introduces new emojis, podcast transcriptions, adjustments to Safari, and prompts for the next generation of CarPlay. The effect of these updates has been quite positive.
Furthermore, this release has introduced a series of changes aimed at the European market, allowing users in this region to use third-party app stores, alternative payment methods, reminders to switch default browsers, and opening up NFC to banks and other financial institutions.
In summary, the upgrade process for the iOS 17.4 public beta version is somewhat easier, and the user experience is similar to that of the iOS 17.4 beta test version.
Many Apple fans have noted a significant improvement in system fluidity after the update, as well as a positive impact on battery life. Those who are keen to experience the iOS 17.3 official version and experiment with it can do so, but it is not recommended for users who prefer a stable system.
Even in the public beta version, some instability may exist. For those seeking utmost stability, it is advisable to wait for the official version to be released.
On one hand, the public beta version of iOS 17.4 is only an initial release, and there are some detailed issues that will need to be addressed in subsequent updates.
On the other hand, even after updating to the new version, Chinese Apple fans may not experience significant changes, with many features and characteristics remaining the same as the previous version.
For instance, in order to comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, Apple will allow sideloading of apps on iPhones and the use of third-party app stores in the EU region.
However, Apple’s so-called open sideloading does not allow users, like those with Android, to freely install software using installation packages. Instead, it opens up third-party app markets, where all applications must undergo Apple’s review before being available for download.
Additionally, users are subjected to fees when downloading software from these third-party app stores, leading to widespread complaints.
Apart from the iOS 17.4 public beta version, Apple has also announced the cessation of signing for the iOS 17.2.1 update, preventing users who have upgraded from downgrading to this version.
This move to cease signing updates is not unusual for Apple, as the company typically stops signing older versions of the iOS system some time after a new version is released, in order to encourage users to promptly update their operating systems and prevent downgrading to less secure older versions. Apple enthusiasts who regularly update their systems are likely familiar with this process.
Therefore, it is advisable to carefully consider updates each time a new version is released, and if an unfavorable version is encountered, downgrading is recommended.
Delayed downgrading would result in continued updates to new system versions, which may potentially lead to some user experience issues.
However, it is worth noting that since the update to iOS 17, there has not been notably improved stability, and certain detailed bugs remain unresolved. On the contrary, the stability of operating systems in current domestic smartphones has significantly improved, while there have been substantial advancements in features and characteristics.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the market enthusiasm for iPhones is gradually being overtaken by domestic smartphones, as there are indeed significant issues to be addressed.
In conclusion, in order to gain high enthusiasm in the domestic smartphone market, iPhones must introduce some surprises. If they continue to develop at the current rate, the results are unlikely to be particularly favorable.
So, what are your thoughts on the current iOS system and iPhones? Your input and feedback are welcome.