Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes Apple’s iPhone 12 plans, the iPhone SE 2 Plus leaks, a wire-free iPhone for 2021, new screen technology for iPad and MacBook, Apple’s privacy warning, a new Apple Music award, Intel’s 5G modem woes, and all the music from your favorite Apple adverts.
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).
The iPhone 12 Plans Exposed
Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reported on Apple’s upcoming iPhones for 2020 with their provisional launch dates in early September. The iPhone 12 family is expected to be based on the older and boxy iPhone 4 design, but featuring 5G technology on every model. Chance Miller has the details:
Kuo predicts that Apple will introduce 5.4-inch, two 6.1-inch, and a 6.7-inch OLED iPhone models in 2020. He says that all four of these iPhones will also feature 5G connectivity. The difference between all of these models, other than screen sizes, will be camera technology.
According to Kuo, the 5.4-inch OLED iPhone will feature a dual-camera setup on the back. The lower-end 6.1-inch iPhone will feature a similar dual-camera system. The higher-end 6.1-inch model and the 6.7-inch model will include triple-lens camera setups as well as time-of-flight 3D sensing technology.
The iPhone SE 2 Plus Leaks
As well as the new suite of iPhone 12 handsets, the iPhone SE is executed to be revived, although not as quickly as next . The current imaginative thinking is this will be the iPhone SE 2 and will be derived from the iPhone 8 design. Mike Wutherlee looks at the options:
For the first time, though, Kuo is predicting an “iPhone SE2 Plus” in the first half of 2021, in 5.5- or 6.1-inch sizes, with a full-screen design. It is predicted to feature a smaller notch, because of no Face ID support, and Touch ID integrated in the power button on the side.
More at Apple Insider.
Look Steve, No Wires
Looking further ahead, Apple’s plans for the 2021 iPhone have the lofty ideal of being completely wire free. That means no headphone jack (done) and no lightning port for charging or peripheral access… which means a total reliance on Qi-compatible wireless charging both at home, while travelling, and with portable battery packs. Joe Rossignol reports:
Apple plans to launch a high-end iPhone without a Lightning connector in the second half of 2021, according to a new prediction from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The device will supposedly offer a “completely wireless experience,” suggesting that Apple is not switching to USB-C, but rather dropping the port entirely.
Apple’s New Screen Technology For 2020
Apple is working on MiniLED screens for a number of its devices in 2020, primarily for the iPad and MacBook machines. This should offer the advantages of OLED panels, such as wider color gamut and higher contrast, without the drawbacks of burn-in. Napier Lopez reports for TNW:
MiniLED screens, on the other hand, are similar to regular LCD displays in that they instead shine a backlight through pixels, which act as filters to display specific colors. The main benefit of Mini-LED is that you can stuff a lot more LEDs into a display than on a typical panel. This allows you to use local dimming – turning off or dimming the LEDs in certain areas – for greater contrast.
As for the arrival times, the iPad update is pencilled in for Q3 2020 and the MacBook Pro for Q4 2020. Which should not come as a surprise to anyone following Apple’s favoured hardware.
Apple Issues Location Data Privacy Warning
Following extensive research and documentation, Apple has confirmed that a user’s location data could be used by a number of applications even if a user had denied permission – specifically the software controlling ultra-wideband communication that requires geo-fencing in some locations. Gordon Kelly reports:
Apple was caught red handed and now the company has admitted that the settings in millions of iPhones are misleading users about their use of location data, and promised to fix it.
Apple has now confirmed that the next version of iOS will allow users to switch off this function. More here on Forbes.
A New Shiny Shiny From Apple Music
This week saw Apple host an event at its New York location that showcased some of the musical acts that have had an impact in the Apple Music store this year. The awards went to:
- Global Artist of the Year Billie Eilish.
- Songwriter of the Year Billie Eilish O’Connell.
- Breakthrough Artist of the Year 2019 Lizzo.
- Album of the Year “When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” – Billie Eilish.
- Song of the Year “Old Town Road” – Lil Nas X.
As for the awards itself, Apple couldn’t quite present a Gold Disc to the winners, but it came close with a stylised circle of silicon mounted on some classic Apple materials. Forbes’ David Phelan reports:
…the Award has a circular panel of silicon chips at its center, a super-flat, extremely thin wafer of chips. These are the exact same chips that go into an iPhone, for instance. It has over 500 of these chips in the panel. (Dear winners, don’t try taking the ward apart and jimmying out the chips. They won’t work.)
The design process is explained in some detail on the back of the award, so to find out more, all you need to do is win one.
More here on Forbes.
Intel, Qualcomm, and Apple’s 5G Modems
Apple’s purchase of Intel’s 5G modem operation gives Cupertino a chance to be self-sufficient and (eventually) not beholden to Qualcomm, but it’s not been as comfortable ride for Intel. Court filings this week highlight the actions of Qualcomm and Intel’s belief that it was pushed out of the modem space. Stephen Nellis reports:
In its court filing and an accompanying blog post published on Friday, Intel said it was forced out of the market because of Qualcomm’s patent licensing practices and supported the FTC’s case against Qualcomm.
“We invested billions, hired thousands, acquired two companies and built innovative world-class products that eventually made their way into Apple’s industry-leading iPhones, including the most recently released iPhone 11,” Steven R. Rodgers, Intel’s general counsel, wrote in the post.