Appleviews – 13th January 2023
It’s actually been busy
Apple has been kind to me this week.
I’d assumed that I would be treading water for a few months, waiting for the spring event, but there has actually been a load to keep up with this week.
So, let’s start off with, of course, iPhone 15 news.
iPhone 15 – the good news
Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo this week doubled-down on his belief that iPhone 15 will do away with the current ‘clicky’ buttons, in favour of solid-state volume and power buttons. It seems that once launched on iPhone, iPads, and even the Apple Watch Ultra may be next in line for the same treatment.
The main benefits of the solid-state types of buttons, are they are far more water-resistant, and also due to less wearing parts, should stand the test of time better. The change in button tech, would only apply to the Pro phones, though – the two non-pro phones will retain physical buttons, for the moment.
To give you the feel, and touch of actual buttons, Kuo reports that the 15 Pros will be equipped with two extra Taptic Engines. These would be similar to buttons that were used on iPhone 7, and the trackpads on recent MacBooks.
iPhone 15 – the bad news
Apple will increase the price of the iPhone 15 Pro models.
The extent of the price hike remains unclear. As the iPhone 14 Pro currently starts at $999, any price increase would put both 2023 Pro iPhone models over $1,000, that is, according to a rumour from the website Weibo.
iPhone 15 – in production
Foxconn, of whom we shall hear more about shortly, has, this week, begun the first stage of iPhone 15 production – New Production Introduction (NPI).
Having just caught up with production of iPhone 14, assemble plants are now fully focused on this year’s iPhone 15. Until this point, only a handful of prototypes will have been produced. At the NPI stage, though, this all changes.
The purpose of NPI is to ensure that everything involved in the assembly process works as planned, and to identify anything that might pose a problem in the mass production stage. NPI use a full-blown production line, and uses the exact processes that will be used.
Fancy some iPhone 16 news?
Yup, looking into the crystal ball, there are already stories circling about iPhone 16 – geez!
According to The Elec, Apple are looking to bring a new under-display Face ID to the Pro model of iPhone 16. They are seeking virtually to eliminate the notch, or Dynamic Island, having only a single cutout for the front camera.
In a move to bring iPhone 16 Pro up-to-date, it could have its Face ID components hidden under the screen, similar to the way Android phones have done for some time now.
The camera would be visible, but that would be the only noticeable cutout on the display. Backing up these claims, this week, was LeaksApplePro. He claimed the Dynamic Island will be 50% smaller on the iPhone 16 Pro and still have a “small pill” on the top.
Other stories floating around the ether for iPhone 16 include that it may have a minimum storage of 256GB on the iPhone 16 Pro, topping out at 2TB.
The camera will still be a 48MP camera lens, but with 8K video on the iPhone 16 Pro.
Project Titan latest
…that’s Apple Car to me and you!
The project, undoubtedly Apple’s most ambitious to date, has been beset with difficulties. Over 1000 engineers have so far been deployed on the project, with many comings and goings at management level too.
Early on, stories lead us to believe that Apple would hop in to bed with a major auto manufacturer such as Hyundai and BMW. Now, it looks more likely that Apple’s ally will be one far more familiar to them, and close to home – Foxconn.
Apple has collaborated with Lexus to produce some custom-made cars with LiDAR sensors, which Apple is using to test the sensors and collect data for Project Titan in California. But, there is no suggestion that Apple Car will eventually be some kind of Lexus/Apple hybrid.
One concern that Apple has, is that it that they have no presence in the auto market, unlike, say, Tesla. This will affect the price that Apple feels they will be able to place on the vehicle. The best information on that, currently, seems to be suggesting that the entry-level price will be around $90,000.
The plans within Cupertino are to start production of the car in 2025, with an aim to bring it to market, late 2026, since the process of making a car takes much longer than creating an iPhone or Apple Watch.
This is earlier than first rumoured, and that is due to the fact Apple has finally realised that delivering a fully autonomous car, is far too ambitious. The car, which relies on your iPhone, and the CarKey app, is now likely to ship with a conventional steering wheel.
It’s in the Air tonight
It is looking ever more certain that Apple will release a 15-inch MacBook Air this year.
The device could well end up being one of Apple’s best-selling Macs once it finally comes to market.
The design will closely resemble the current M2 MacBook Air, but because of the larger footprint, it may ship with the new M2 Pro chip. The MacBook Air’s configured with the basic M2 chip would be sold with Apple’s dual-port 35W power adapter, while those with the M2 Pro chip would ship with a 67W adapter.
The Mac will retain the display, notch, keyboard, and trackpad of the existing device, but the bezels will be slimmer. The speakers, too, will be improved. Whilst they may still not be as good as those found in the MacBook Pro line-up, they will be better.
I/O is yet to be confirmed, but there will be multiple USB-C ports, MagSafe, and may be even space for an SD card slot too on the M2 Pro models.
Production is expected to start in the first quarter of 2023. Although they could unveil it at the spring event, I think that unlikely. That event will be centred around the Mac Pro and, may be, even the AR/VR headset. That being the case, it would seem more sense to delay launching the 15-inch MacBook Air until the fall.
Prices will start at around $1500.
Watch this space
Don’t be surprised, if Apple ships an Apple Watch with a MicroLED display…by spring 2025.
The current organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, whilst great, have limitations. Ross Young this week shared details in a tweet that Apple will implement MicroLED in the Apple Watch with a spring 2025 launch.
The main benefits of switching to a MicroLED display is that it would offer a higher pixel density on the small display, and both increased brightness & sharpness. It would also help Apple Watch users with sharper text, brighter displays in the sun, and reduce the chance for burn-in.
Leaker Jeff Pu backed up Young’s tweets, saying that the Apple Watch Ultra could get a 2.1-inch MicroLED panel next year.
A dollar short
Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, is to have his salary nearly halved…at his own request!
In a US stock market filing yesterday, the tech company said that Cook, 62, will have a “target compensation of $49 million in 2023, a decline of around 40 per cent compared to what he earned in 2022”.
My heart bleeds…
AirPods Max news
If you, like me, are waiting for the second generation of AirPods Max, to ship, don’t hold your breath.
According to our friend Ming-Chi Kuo, he believes that they won’t ship in mass, until the later half of 2024. But, there is a shaft of good news too.
It looks likely that Apple is aiming to reduce the price of the standard AirPods to only $99.
Imitation, they say, is the highest form of flattery.
That being said, Italian-based designer, Obi Fidler has created a Google tracking device, very similar to Apple’s AirTags. A Google tracker seems an obvious idea, right? They have the ecosystem, maps, a hardware infrastructure in place, and the more-than-capable, Tensor chip.
Sadly, this device is currently only a concept, but let’s hope it finally comes to market – particularly with the name that Obi has given the device.
As I mentioned, looking virtually identical, to the small, round disk shape of the now familiar AirTag, the Google equivalent is named – G Spot!
And on that point, I shall bid you farewell for the week! Have a wonderful weekend.
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