Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the latest iPhone 13 details, a new MacBook Pro colour, more keyboard problems for Apple, improvements to the iPhone trade-in program, new iMac and iPad Pro details, and Apple’s Australian App Store argument.
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).
Latest iPhone 13 Details
Details on the presumptively-named iPhone 13 continue to leak out – even thought it is (checks) six months away from a potential launch. This week we have two key details on the display. The first is around the external design; the wide notch at the top used to house the FaceID, sensors, and selfie camera, is expected to be reduced in size:
“In addition to the smaller notch, it looks the the iPhone 13’s earpiece has been moved to the top bezel instead. This is a stark change from what Apple has typically gravitated toward over the years, though many iPhone users have asked the manufacturer to reduce the size of the notch as new iterations of the iPhone hit the market. ”
Tom’s Guide. The display is expected to be the first iPhone to use LTPO which offers a ‘throttleable’ frame rate to improve the user experience and extend battery life:
“LTPO screens can already be found on a number of high-end Android smartphones, including Samsung’s own Galaxy S21 handsets and the recently launched OnePlus 9 Pro. The technology offers reduced power consumption alongside a variable refresh rate from the now flagship level of 120Hz to much slower values – the OnePlus 9 Pro will drop to 1 Hz when reading text.”
This MacBook Goes To Eleven
Spinal Tap fans should enjoy one of the details in a recently published patent. Apple is working on a technique to allow for better color dye to be used in the anodising process, offering a much deeper matte finish. Part of me hopes that Apple launches a blacker than black MacBook at Stonehenge:
“the described embodiments relate to techniques for etching the surface of the dyed anodized part such as to form light-absorbing features that are capable of absorbing generally all visible light incident upon the external surface such as to impart a black appearance.”
More Keyboard Problems For Apple
MacBooks may have changed to the ‘Magic’ Keyboard, but the saga of the butterfly keyboard is not over, with a class action suit now certified in California. It alleges that Apple was aware of the unreliable design for a number of years while continuing to sell hardware with the keyboard:
“Judge Edward Davila certified the case with seven subclasses on March 8th in California, but the order remained sealed until late last week. It raises the stakes for a suit that was first filed in 2018, three years after Apple added the controversial butterfly switches to its laptops.”
The program that offers a discount to a new iPhone purchase when trading in an older smartphone has been expanded, with Apple adding Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20, Google’s Pixel 5, and Pixel 4a to the list:
“As part of Apple’s trade-in program, customers can trade in a Google Pixel 5 and receive up to $350 of credit towards purchasing a new product, the Google Pixel 4a for a value of up to $180, or the Galaxy Note 20 for up to $425.”
New iMac Details Leak
It looks like we are getting two new iMac models in the near future. Tucked away in the developer beat of the next macOS update are references to ‘iMac21,1’ and ‘iMac21’2’. There’s already chatter of a 24 inch iMac coming in 2021, with two models listed I’d assume the second is a larger screened model. Traditionally this has been 27 inches, let’s see if the team bump that screen size up as well:
“…”iMac21,1″ and “iMac21,2″ correspond to iMacs codenamed J456 and J457. In January, Bloomberg outed those designations as next-generation replacements for the current 21.5-inch iMac and 27-inch iMac, which are due for a refresh this spring.”
And The iPad Pro Follows
That’s not the only new product found in beta code. The latest iOS beta for version 14.5 brings up the A14X system on chip, a variant of the current A14 Bionic processor that could bring similar performance levels as the M1 powered MacBooks to the iPad Pro:
“According to our research, we also found that the A14X is based on the T8103, which is the codename for the Apple M1 chip used in the first Apple Silicon Macs. This corroborates a recent Bloomberg report that claims the next-generation iPad Pro will have “an updated processor that is on par with the faster M1 chip.””
Apple has made a courageous argument to the Australian Consumer Watchdog (ACCC); the App Store is “not the most dominant app marketplace” because developers have alternative channels to reach iOS users such as websites. There’s been some spirited debate on Reddit around this, One question from me…can anyone point to a website that will install an iOS app on my iOS app that doesn’t go through Apple’s App Store?
“”Apple perceives and treats other distributors of apps, for platforms other than iOS, as significant competitors whose pricing and policies constrain Apple’s ability to exercise power over developers,” the iPhone maker said in a submission [PDF] to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC)”
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.