Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes a shocking iPhone leak, the return of TouchID, the price of the iPhone 14, MacBook Pro audio problems, MacBook production delay, Apple’s impact on advertising, and goodbye to the iPod Touch.
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).
Lock Me In
In what fees both inevitable and shocking, will Apple finally be waving goodbye to its proprietary lightning port for USB-C? The iPhone 14 family won’t be, but there are more indications from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that the presumptive iPhone 15 will finally join the rest of the world:
“If Kuo is correct it could be the biggest transformation for iPhone since the adoption of Lightning, and bring an end to the misery of having to hold on to multiple chargers because of the differing standards. The EU is also planning to mandate USB-C charging across all devices including mobile phones in the near future, however, it was thought that this would prove irrelevant to Apple, with the company choosing a portless iPhone over USB-C.”
Hold Me Closer
The iPhone 13 is packing in the design changes, but many of them are very small. How much of an impact will these all have on the final product? That remains to be seen, but it looks like an invisible but useful change is coming… the return of TouchID. The latest Apple patent suggests that something special is going to be under your thumb:
“The patent itself describes the use of optical fibers positioned behind the display, which can capture fingerprint data at much higher rates and with greater accuracy than anything we have seen before. Moreover, with reports Apple tested the iPhone 13 with an in-display reader only to pull it before mass production, there has been a lot of speculation that the iPhone 14 will finally bring this pandemic-friendly authentication method back to iPhones in addition to Face ID.”
The iPhone 14 family is already expected to be more expensive than previous iterations, but there might be another factor that increases the prices for those Apple fans not living in the US. The exchange rates could push up the local price:
“one analyst warned that iPhone prices may rise outside the US when the iPhone 14 lineup is launched in the fall. Chris Caso warned that the exchange rate problem may be a long-term one, and that while Apple product prices may increase across the board beyond US borders, the timing may be particularly unfortunate for the iPhone 14.”
(9to5Mac via Gordon Kelly).
The Sound Of Beauty
The shiny high-end MacBook Pro laptops launched last year – the 14-inch and 16-inch variants – may be posting boasting great benchmark numbers, but there are a growing number of reports of audio issues in the speakers on both Apple’s Forums and other communities:
“The 2021 MacBook Pro was introduced only six months ago, and yet a number of users seem to be experiencing audio issues. More specifically, they complain about the speakers crackling and popping when there’s any sound output being played. …At this point, Apple is yet to acknowledge that there’s a problem with the 2021 MacBook Pro, whether it’s a hardware or software malfunction.”
This is of course assuming you can find a new MacBook Pro to experience the popping. With ongoing supply chain restrictions, the MacOS laptops continue to be harder to pick than Apple would hope.
“Quanta is the sole assembler of Apple’s 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros and the machines are primarily made at the ODM’s Shanghai plant. Quanta vice chairman CC Leung on April 30 pointed out that the company’s Shanghai plant has restored around 30% of its capacity and is eyeing to raise the percentage to 50% gradually.”
With Facebook’s reliance on targeted advertising, and Apple’s severe limitation of this as an option for developers, Facebook’s parent company Meta has faced a loss of over $12 billion dollars. This week Apple has suggested that Apple’s privacy-focused Search Ads are just as effective as Facebook’s tightly focused approach:
“Apple has revealed to advertisers that App Store search ads served in a non-targeted fashion are just as effective as those relying on targeting via first-party data. The company made the claim in a presentation to advertisers that was obtained by AppleInsider. That presentation focused on the effectiveness of privacy-preserving technologies in Apple’s own Search Ads business.”
Apple has announced the iPod Touch is no more. The standalone media player has been discontinued, and if you are looking to buy the ground-breaking hardware, you have until stock runs out:
“But in its time, the iPod Touch was extraordinary. It debuted as a surprise in early September 2007, just 10 weeks after the original iPhone went on sale. It was, basically, spec-for-spec an iPhone without the phone. Alongside the debut of the iPod Touch, Apple cut the prices of the original iPhone — which had only been on sale for a little over two months — by $200. An 8 GB iPhone cost $400, and an 8 GB iPod Touch cost $300. But the iPhone still required a two-year contract with AT&T — with the iPod Touch, you paid $300 (or $400 for 16 GB) and owned it free and clear.”
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.