Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes Apple’s confirmation of the three new iPhones, the poorly designed iPhone XR2 leaks, China’s embarrassing iPhone, some subtle MacBook Pro updates, searching for the missing Mac Pro, and Microsoft invading macOS.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).
Apple Confirms New iPhone Numbers
They may not be seen on stage until September, but regulatory fillings made by Apple have confirmed the new iPhone models are on their way. Although the latest public listings show a large number of serial numbers, these will be to cover a number of variants of the three new models, the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Max, and the iPhone XR2. Benjamin Mayo reports:
Like clockwork the past few years, Apple devices have been showing up in the Eurasian Economic Commission regulatory database ahead of their official announcement and release. The 2019 iPhones have just appeared in this database with model numbers A2111, A2160, A2161, A2215, A2216, A2217, A2218, A2219, A2220, A2221, and A2223.
The database logs devices that rely on encryption technologies which means almost all of Apple’s hardware products show up in it at some point.
More at 9to5Mac.
Apple Continues With Its Design Mistake
Following last week’s renders of this year’s presumptively named iPhone 11, the update to the iPhone XR will also come with the improved camera technology, and the ugly ‘camera hump’ design from the iPhone XS. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reports on the disappointment:
Koroy’s 3D renders are superb, but they only serve to showcase the polarising new rear camera design of the iPhone XR2. The good news is Apple has upgraded the phone to dual cameras, and the specs are promising. The bad news is what surrounds them. In a baffling decision, Apple has decided to give the iPhone XR2 the same huge, square camera hump as the iPhone 11, despite that phone justifying it with a new triple lens array.
More here on Forbes.
Why The iPhone Is Embarrassing
These design changes are unlikely to have an impact on the market – the 2019 iPhones will be the third year of the ‘X’ design and that lack of updates is having an impact in key markets such as China, with Tim Cook’s handset being labeled as an embarrassment.
“For Sam Li, who works at a state-owned telecom company in Beijing, switching from Apple to Huawei was also driven by an emotion. “It’s kind of embarrassing to pull an iPhone out of your pocket nowadays when all the company executives use Huawei.” ”
It should be noted that these sentiments are coming from people in management roles of large organisations, but these choices are being publicised and will likely lead to a trickle-down effect in the market.
I look at the problematic presentation issues here.
Subtle MacBook Pro Update
This week saw Apple sneak out a small update to the MacBook Pro family. It keeps the platform in touch with some of the features of the latest Windows 10 hardware, but does it advance the macOS laptops? No. Jason Snell reports:
Apple on Tuesday announced an update to its 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro Touch Bar models ten months after the previous announcement. These updates don’t bring any changes to the exterior of the MacBook Pro—it’s the same base design introduced in late 2016—but they do bring 9th-generation Intel processors with up to eight cores to the MacBook Pro for the first time. There’s also been yet another tweak to the controversial butterfly keyboard Apple first introduced in 2015.
More at SixColors.
But What About The Macs?
Aside from the laptops, Apple’s latest campaign for the Mac focused on the UK music industry, but there’s something curious about the commercial. If it’s all about the Mac, where are the new Macs for the music makers?
It’s a curious campaign for two reasons. One is that it is focused on the UK music scene (presumably there’s a marketing segment that needs addressing?), but the second is the one that sticks in my mind. Why launch an advert that is pushing the use of the Mac as a music maker… without having any genuinely new Macs to sell.
Of course, with the delights of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference coming up next month, we may not have long to wait. Although WWDC will be focused on software (primarily the changes to iOS, and I would expect a raft of macOS features to increase the ties between the desktop and mobile portfolios of Apple’s empire), there’s a very good chance that Tim Cook and his team could take the opportunity to launch some new hardware.
More thoughts here on Forbes.
Microsoft has announced a preview build of its Edge web browser for macOS. Unlike previous browsers, Edge will blend in with the macOS UI to match the rest of the platform. There are three ‘channels; where you can download different version, the beta channel (updating every six weeks), the dev channel (with weekly releases) and the Canary channel (with daily builds). Microsoft’s blog has more:
We are committed to building a world class browser with Microsoft Edge through differentiated user experience features and connected services. With this initial release, we have made several changes to the user interface to align with the Microsoft design language whilst making it feel natural on macOS.
Examples of this include a number of tweaks to match macOS conventions for fonts, menus, keyboard shortcuts, title casing, and other areas. You will continue to see the look and feel of the browser evolve in future releases as we continue to experiment, iterate and listen to customer feedback. We encourage you to share your feedback with us using the “Send feedback” smiley.