Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes five new iPhones leak, the iPhone 12 is delayed, massive security problems with iOS and MacOS, the MacBook Pro’s sneaky price rise, the success of the iPhone SE, updates to the iPad Air, and an obsolete MacBook.
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).
Five New iPhones Leak
Apple is widely expected to be launching four models in the iPhone 12 family this year. More confirmatory evidence has arrived this week, with Macotakra obtaining 3D Prints of the new handsets (presumably used for testing fit in the hand, protective cases, and packaging). Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reports:
“The models show Apple will stick with the large display notch introduced with the iPhone X, retain the Lightning port and exclude the LiDAR sensor first seen on the new iPad Pro and tipped to be introduced on the iPhone 12 Pros. This means the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max stick with triple cameras in a triangular array, though the new entry-level 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max will get dual cameras whereas the iPhone 11 has just a single module.”
That’s not the only handset that was obtained. The presumptively named iPhone 13 for 2021 was also in the bundle. While the iPhone 12’s radical changes are all on the inside, it’s Lucky Thirteen that actually brings the magic to the outside:
“For 2021, Macotakara states Apple will replace the notch with a tiny punch hole for the front camera and hide all other FaceID sensors under the display…the Lightning port will finally be replaced by USB-C. Lastly, the back of the phone shows space reserved in the camera bump for up to five modules.”
So, pick up a boring looking handset with new internals, or wait a year for something spectacular (at least by Apple’s standards)?
iPhone 12 Delayed
As well as the design and specs of the new smartphone, one of the most important questions that many fans have is when they can get their hands on any of the iPhone 12 handsets. Tim Cook is still expected to announce the handset in early September (as is tradition) but with production starting later, you may have to wait longer. Ben Lovejoy reports:
“The report [from Digitimes] goes on to say that production of the lower-end 6.1-inch model will begin earlier than the rest. Displays for this model are reportedly being made by LG rather than Samsung.
“There are two possible explanations for the earlier start on these models. First, a contingency to ensure LG can meet quality standards during volume production. LG has experienced glitches with one of its production lines earmarked for OLED iPhone screens and has reportedly struggled to meet both quality and volume requirements. Second, the higher-end displays made by Samsung have a more advanced design which eliminates a separate touch layer, simplifying assembly.”
Apple Fights Nightmare Security Holes In Rapid OS Releases
Last week saw Apple release updates to its various operating systems, including iOS/iPadOS and MacOS. This week saw ‘supplementary’ updates pushed out at very short notice to address a number of security issues that lie at the heart of the platforms. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly on the iOS update:
“So what is in iOS 13.5.1? It contains an urgen fix for the major unc0ver jailbreak. This was clearly a fast tracked release since it contains no other patches and, while jailbreak fans were thrilled, the vulnerability unc0ver exploits has the risk of being exploited for less positive gains.”
More details on the iOS update here. The same issue – that could allow an application to run code with kernel privileges – has also been addressed by an update to he MacOS 10.15.5 release.
“The nature of the changes and the inclusion of MacOS High Sierra suggests that either something has slipped through the quality control net, or a serious exploit has come to Apple’s attention in the last few days.”
MacBook Pro’s Sneaky Price Rise
Apple has quietly increased the price of the entry level MacBook Pro machine launched in May. While the model with 8 GB of RAM remains at the same list price, the RAM upgrade to take it from 8 GB to 16 GB has doubled in price to $200. I looked at the issue earlier this week:
“If [the 8GB logic board] has suddenly become more expensive [than the 16 GB logic board] due to supply and demand, you have to ask how Apple’s legendary ability to understand the market and meet the sales expectations managed to get this wrong. After all, the new MacBook Pro machines went on sale less than a month ago. Pushing a price increase so soon suggests a mistake has been made.”
The iPhone SE’s Popular Success
As expected, Apple’s iPhone SE is racking up interest ahead of the expected jump in sales, with traffic reportedly three times higher than the current flagship. Gizmochina has more:
“According to a report from iPrice, Apple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone SE 2020, has come out on top, with the highest number of searches online. The new iPhone model retained the highest demand across 7 countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Hongkong) in April 2020. The Apple mid ranger witnessed a search interest rise of a massive 206 percent, which was over triple of the Cupertino based giant’s flagship, iPhone 11 Pro.”
More New Computer For A Lower Price
Apple’s iPad Air could be set to pick up two key features of the iPad Pro, namely an increase in display size and the adoption of a USB-C connector rather than the lightning port. Given Apple’s push of the iPad as ‘your next computer’ this could create a lower tier entry into the platform. Tom Bedford reports:
“The third-generation iPad Air has a 10.5-inch display, but apparently the upcoming version will have an 11-inch display. That’s the same size as the smaller iPad Pro – in fact, MyDrivers states Apple will literally use the same mold for the screens for both devices.
…The use of USB-C would arguably be a bigger change as currently most portable Apple devices, including iPhones and many iPads, use the company’s proprietary Lightning port, which is generally slower for data transfer and charging.”
The original MacBook Pro with Retina Screen is expected to become obsolete at the end of this month. The mid-2012 15-inch laptop will no longer be serviced by Apple come June 30, according to reports. Joe Rossignol reports:
“In an internal memo today, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that this particular MacBook Pro model will be marked as “obsolete” worldwide on June 30, 2020, just over eight years after its release. In a support document, Apple notes that obsolete products are no longer eligible for hardware service, with “no exceptions.”
Apple Loop brings you seven days worth of highlights every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future. Last week’s Apple Loop can be read here, or this week’s edition of Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit, is also available on Forbes.