By Avery Hartmans for Business Insider US
Apple on Tuesday unveiled its new iPhone 12 lineup, which includes four new 5G phones starting at $699. But the launch of new devices means that Apple has officially stopped selling some older iPhones, bringing its total to four discontinued models in 2020.
Starting Tuesday, Apple is no longer offering the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, the high-end devices it launched in 2019. The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max were the first to carry Apple’s current “Pro” designation and the first iPhones to have three cameras.
Earlier this year, Apple stopped offering the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, two devices that launched alongside the iPhone X in 2017. The launch of the iPhone SE 2, a low-cost iPhone starting at $399, made the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus redundant, as it contains a fast chip and better camera than the 3-year-old phones, which Apple was selling for $450 up until April 2020.
While Apple has killed off some older iPhone offerings, it has continued selling several older devices, which means it now sells a phone at nearly every price point. Apple is still selling the iPhone XR — a 2-year-old phone as well as the iPhone 11, last year’s standard iPhone.
Apple no longer sells some of its older models online, but those devices will likely still be available to buy through carrier stores and other third-party sellers, and will still be able to receive software updates.
By Benjamin Mayo for 9to5Mac
A significant bug has been discovered in FaceTime and is currently spreading virally over social media. The bug lets you call anyone with FaceTime, and immediately hear the audio coming from their phone — before the person on the other end has accepted or rejected the incoming call. Apple says the issue will be addressed in a software update “later this week”.
Naturally, this poses a pretty big privacy problem as you can essentially listen in on any iOS user, although it still rings like normal, so you can’t be 100% covert about it. Nevertheless, there is no indication on the recipient’s side that you could hear any of their audio. There’s a second part to this which can expose video too.
9to5Mac has reproduced the FaceTime bug with an iPhone X calling an iPhone XR, but it is believed to affect any pair of iOS devices running iOS 12.1 or later.
The iPhone FaceTime bug could be reproduced by doing the following:
Start a FaceTime Video call with an iPhone contact.
Whilst the call is dialling, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap Add Person.
Add your own phone number in the Add Person screen.
You will then start a group FaceTime call including yourself and the audio of the person you originally called, even if they haven’t accepted the call yet.
It will look like in the UI like the other person has joined the group chat, but on their actual device it will still be ringing on the Lock screen.
Whilst the call is ringing, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and add yourself to the call.
The damage potential here is real. You can listen in to soundbites of any iPhone user’s ongoing conversation without them ever knowing that you could hear them. Until Apple fixes the bug, it’s not clear how to defend yourself against this attack either aside from disabling FaceTime altogether.
As it stands, if your phone is ringing with an incoming FaceTime request, the person on the other end could be listening in.
What we have also found is that if the person presses the Power button from the Lock screen, their video is also sent to the caller — unbeknownst to them. In this situation, the receiver can now hear your own audio, but they do not know they are transmitting their audio and video back to you. From their perspective, all they can see is accept and decline. (Another update: It seems there are other ways of triggering the video feed eavesdrop too.)
We have also replicated the problem with an iPhone calling a Mac. By default, the Mac rings for longer than a phone so it can act as a bug for an even longer duration.
Apple has taken Group FaceTime offline in an attempt to address the issue in the interim. They have said the issue will be fixed in a software update later in the week. Until then, if you are concerned, you should disable FaceTime in iOS Settings.