Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes iPhone 15 price shock, iPhone SE leaks, Apple’s realityOS headset plans, touchscreen MacBook details, the bigger MacBook Air, iPadOS vs macOS, and a surprising iPhone 13 offer.
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).
iPhone 15 Price Rise
If you’re saving up for a new iPhone this year, then you’re going to need to save a little harder. Apple is expected to lift the price of the new models by up to $200. Every year has seen the technology step up, but the price has remained steady… until now:
“A new report from Haitong International Securities tech analyst Jeff Pu (via MacRumors), claims Apple will increase prices for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max worldwide. Pu cites hardware upgrades, including a new titanium chassis, solid-state volume and mute buttons, the barnstorming A17 chip, increased RAM and a periscope zoom lens as the primary drivers.”
New iPhone SE Leaks
If you’re looking at the other end of the portfolio, then the iPhone SE has been positioned as the cheaper way into Apple’s ecosystem. The next iPhone SE is going to make a number of significant changes, including a move to the iPhone XR design:
“A phone that matches the broad feature set of the competition but is integrated into Apple’s services; a refreshed design echoing one of the most popular models from the back catalog; and an aggressively competitive price. There’s a lot to love about the fourth-generation iPhone SE. We just need to wait a year for it to arrive.”
Do You Really Want To Build A Headset?
Apple is launching a mixed-reality headset, and the first public details are likely going to be revealed at WWDC 2023. Is Tim Cook launching this just to have something shiny on his resume? While the team at the FT are framing this narrative as a high-stakes move by Cook (“The headset will be Apple’s first new computing platform to have been developed entirely under his leadership. The iPhone, iPad and even Watch were all originally conceived under Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs, who died in 2011”), long-time Apple watcher Jon Gruber is not so sure:
“But let’s say for the sake of argument that Cook is preoccupied with thoughts of his legacy. If that’s true, he’d likely be overly cautious about launching this new platform, not rushing it out the door against staunch internal opposition. I say “John Sculley”, you hear “Newton”. Launching a high-profile expensive dud would cause more harm to Cook’s legacy than launching a successful headset would do it good. He can stand pat with his accomplishments to date and surely be remembered for decades as one of the best CEOs not just in technology history, but business history.”
(FT and Daring Fireball)
Reach Out And Touch Mac
Mobile computing turned to touchscreen laptops more than a decade ago, but Apple has resolutely refused to follow, instead leaving the tactile moments to the iPhone and iPad ranges. The macOS team may be ready to reconsider this decision, with work on a touchscreen-enabled MacBook Pro leaked:
“[Mark] Gurman also suggests that the first MacBooks with an OLED screen and touchscreen support will be available in 2025. Touchscreen support would be a significant departure from Apple’s traditional design philosophy. Which has focused on offering a seamless user experience through its trackpad and keyboard.
(Power On newsletter via GizChina).
Your Larger MacBook Air Option
Before that MacBook arrives, if you are looking for a stop-gap laptop, then WWDC 2023 is expected to have some great choices with the next Apple Silicon family launched and packaged into the MacBook Air M3:
“The launch times of these laptops are bit of a mystery, however. Apple may introduce the 15-inch MacBook Air as early as April or at least before the company’s annual WWDC in June this year. The 13-inch MacBook Air may have to wait until Apple officially makes the M3 chip official during the developer event.”
When OS’ Collide
With more consumer focus, larger screens, and the introduction of touch… the Mac platform is getting closer and closer to the iPad platform; just as the iPad platform brings in dual screen support, keyboards, trackpads, and other laptop-esque elements. At some point, these worlds are going to crash together:
“For years now, Apple has pushed the iPad Pro up into a neither-fish-nor-fowl space where, as hard as it tries, it can’t ever be a Mac. Meanwhile, the Mac can’t ever be an iPad. It feels like the time has come for the barriers to come down and for Apple to let these two product lines spread their wings. As long as the Mac and the iPad aren’t allowed to use the strengths of one another, I fear that neither will become the best version of themselves.”
The moment that budget-conscious iPhone fans have been waiting for is here. The iPhone 13 has arrived in Apple’s refurb store…. reconditioned handsets, Apple’s own warranty, and the ability to enroll the handsets with Apple Care, all at a reasonable discount:
“Apple is charging $619 for the refurbished 128GB iPhone 13 , which is a 12 percent discount off of the $699 price of a brand new iPhone 13 . Apple is no longer selling the iPhone 13 Pro or the Pro Max, but prices are around 25 percent lower than the original price when the devices were new. The refurbished store is the only way to get an iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max from Apple.”
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.