05/17 Update below. This post was originally published on May 14
Leakers have already revealed Apple’s controversial iPhone 14 release strategy, and now Apple itself has accidentally exposed its next big hardware upgrades.
In his popular Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that code in Apple’s second iOS 15.5 beta release refers to the company’s next generation of unannounced Macs. And they are coming a lot sooner than you think.
05/16 Update: Gurman has now leaked further details of Apple’s upcoming iOS software. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, he reveals that iOS 16 — Apple’s next generation of iOS, which will launch in conjunction with the company’s iPhone 14 range of smartphones — contains “major changes across the system”.
Gurman states that these include an array of “fresh Apple apps” as well as, intriguingly, “new ways of interacting” with the operating system. The first of these is well overdue with a number of Apple’s core iOS apps starting to look long in the tooth. But it is the latter which excites most.
Gurman offers no details, but with Google recently rolling out its ‘Look and Talk’ feature to its Nest Hub smart devices, I wonder if Apple may be working on something similar. Look to Talk uses facial recognition to see when you are looking at the device and eliminating the need for the clunky “Ok/Hey Google” command. Google warns results may be hit and miss, but iPhones (with their vastly superior Face ID recognition) should be far superior at this task and Siri desperately needs a win after falling far behind Google Assistant and Alexa in recent years.
05/17 Update: respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has shed further light on Apple’s hardware plans today, revealing that Apple is pressing on with its plans to develop a foldable iPhone. And, in typical Apple style, it is very different to anything we have seen in the so-called ‘follables’ space before.
Kuo states that Apple is currently testing a new Electronic Paper Display (EPD) made by E Ink for the cover screen on a foldable iPhone/iPad hybrid device. Unlike most EPD displays, which are monochrome, this is a color display which Kuo believes could be transformative with “the potential to become a mainstream solution” for all products in this space “thanks to its excellent power-saving.”
Speculation has been rife regarding Apple’s plans for a foldable iPhone, but this is the first time specific component information has leaked. Reports on the device have varied wildly from a 2023 to a 2025 timeframe, but with Samsung garnering increasing success (and market dominance) in the space and with sales growing rapidly, it would not expect Apple to let this go on for too much longer.
Of course, Apple faces a unique challenge with a foldable iPhone because it has the potential to cannibalise but iPhone and iPad sales. With Android tablets failing to really catch on, that is not a fear rivals must face. Apple’s route to market for the device is going to be one of its most important strategic decisions in years.
Gurman states that the spoilers within the iOS 15.5 code are because the update will quietly add compatibility for these next-gen Macs to all supported iPhones (6S and newer). And unlike, iOS product code leaks in the past which have been clear and obvious, feature driven, or pre-launch promo gaffs borderling on comical, these references were deep in the code and unlikely to be something users were meant to find ahead of time. Moreover, iOS 15.5 is expected to be released as soon as next week (05/17 update: it was released yesterday), showing Apple feels there is no time to lose.
So when and what are these mysterious new Macs? The big date to circle in your calendar is June 6, this is the start of Apple’s annual WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference). Here Apple will provide the first glimpse of iOS 16, watchOS 9 and macOS 13 and it is the latter which is expected to be shown off on new MacBooks based on Apple’s eagerly awaited M2 chipset.
Gurman himself has previously broken down the details of the M2 lineup, with new M2-based MacBook Air, entry-level MacBook Pro and Mac Mini models tipped to debut the chip. Further M2 Pro, M2 Max and M2 Ultra chips will follow for a new 14-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro and Mac Pro later in the year.
Given the acclaim Apple received for stunning M1 chip and the global interest in M2, it is understandable that Apple wanted to update iPhone support ahead of time — even if it came at the risk of leaking the release in its own software.
After all, it’s a gamble Apple has taken before and — with the iPhone 14 range under increasing pressure — is very likely to take again.
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