Updated January 15, article originally published Friday, January 13.
Looking back on another week of Cupertino news and headlines, this week’s Apple Loop includes the massive iPhone 15 upgrade, pricey iPhone 15 Pro, cheaper AirPods Lite, display ambitions Apple’s mixed reality headset is really coming this year, Mac Pro’s disappointment and Apple’s entertainment success.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of some of the many, many discussions that have taken place around Apple over the past seven days (and you can read my weekly Android news roundup here on Forbes).
Apple takes control of your screen
Apple will use the Apple Watch Ultra and other high-end wearables to introduce its own microLED display designs, presumably with the goal of using its own designs on larger screens in more popular products:
“The displays upgrade the current OLED – organic light-emitting diode – standard to a technology called microLED, and Apple plans to eventually bring the displays to other devices, including the iPhone.”
Update: Sunday, January 15: Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has offered more details on Apple’s plans to bring this new display technology to its product line. As expected, the smaller displays in the Apple Watch lineup, particularly the high-end Apple Watch Ultra, will debut these brighter, more vivid displays before rolling them out to the rest of Apple’s portfolio:
“The displays will appear first in an update to the Apple Watch Ultra currently slated for late 2024. I expect them to then make their way to the iPhone a few years later, and maybe , one day, iPads and Macs.”
Massive iPhone 15 camera upgrade
Apple is preparing to make a major change in its approach to the iPhone camera; with the iPhone 15 family, the camera will be upgraded to a 48-megapixel primary camera…instead of the long-established 12-megapixel:
“…it will be a three-prong sensor, like its Pro predecessors, which is a major surprise given its extra cost compared to the long-lasting 12-megapixel sensors that Apple used. Pu also states that the models iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will switch to USB-C, an upgrade originally meant to be reserved for Pros.”
The dear iPhone 15 Pro
Those looking to upgrade to the iPhone 15 may have been hoping Apple would hold prices steady for another year, but the margins seem too tight. Be prepared for prices – especially of the Pro models – to rise dramatically.
“…prolific backer LeaksApplePro adds credence to claims last week that Apple will “aggressively” price iPhone 15 models. The big difference is that aggression was supposed to mean lower prices. iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus pricing to reverse disappointing sales. Instead, LeaksApplePro says Apple will simply make the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 UItra more inaccessible.”
Listening to AirPods Lite
Is Apple readying a new AirPods product to launch at $99, as opposed to a year-old product that’s discounted at $99? This is an intrusive possibility put forward by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. David Phelan of Forbes examines the potential:
“Given this projected price, it seems to me that we should imagine that Apple will introduce something reasonably basic, but not necessarily as simple as the second generation AirPods which, of course, will disappear when the budget version appears. Improved sound and other features introduced in the third generation AirPods would be absent. I would also expect the design to match the current second generation version. Kind of like how the iPhone SEs took an earlier design and updated technology on the interior.”
The helmet is really really coming this year
The final details on Apple’s mixed reality headset – the game-changer in this space if you read the runes the right way – will launch in the spring of this year – ahead of the Worldwide Developers Conference – ahead of a commercial release more late in the year. That should give developers time to find at least one good reason to buy the headset.
“Apple has been rumored to be announcing its AR/VR headset for several years, with 2023 looking like the year it will finally happen. [Bloomberg Analyst Mark] Gurman, Apple is already working with several “top developers” on experiences and applications for the new headset and the xrOS operating system. Apple’s first headset is expected to be a high-end, niche product, suitable for professionals and developers before more user-friendly headsets are released over the next few years.”
Disappointing Mac Pro design
While we wait for the first Apple Silicon Mac Pro (it would be the Mac Pro announced by Apple by the end of 2022), the desktop-related powerhouse design has leaked. Let’s just say 2019 is calling and wants its box back.
“In another disappointment, the new Mac Pro will be identical to the 2019 model. It will also lack a key feature of the Intel version: user-upgradable RAM. This is because memory is directly tied to the motherboard of the M2 Ultra. However, there are two SSD storage slots and [spaces] for graphics, multimedia and network cards.”
(Mark Gurman via MacRumors).
Apple continued to make waves in the entertainment industry in 2022 and was quick to highlight its successes. Citing 900 million subscriptions across all Apple services, many avid consumers are looking for content:
“When we launched Apple TV+ a few years ago, we did so to tell stories that reflect our broader humanity. And whether it’s CODA winning the Best Picture Oscar or Ted Lasso winning back-to-back Emmys for the best comedy we’ve seen, in many ways, the validation of that kind of storytelling and the strong desire for more.”
Apple Loop brings you seven days 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.