Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes a worrying iPhone 15 leak, tweaks to iOS crash detection, the iPhone price rises, a bigger MacBook, disappointing iMac news, Apple Classical still missing, and Windows 11 unlocked for your Mac.
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).
Locking Down USB-C On The iPhone 15
Will Apple limit the power of USB-C if the connector reaches the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro handsets later this year? It’s an intriguing discussion… the USB-enabled iPads have no restriction, yet Apple has a proprietary grip on any lightning-equipped hardware. Would Tim Cook and his team add authentication into the iPhone, allowing only Apple-approved products to access the full feature set?
“…Apple plans to integrate a Lightning-like authenticator chip into the USB-C ports of all iPhone 15 models. And if the company follows the playbook it used for Lighting, expect this to add significant cost to all iPhone 15 accessories and potentially even restrict performance and functionality.”
Tweaking Crash Detection
Apple’s latest iOS update has addressed many features, but one that will catch the eye of many is the improvements to the Crash Detection software, which registers a potential a. There has been a significant number of false positives, many of which make the news. Could that be, if not over, but set to diminish?
“Crash detection, as you’ll know, is a clever feature found on the latest iPhones which recognize when you’ve been in a crash and can alert emergency services. However, there have been reports of the phones throwing up false positives from non-crash situations (skiing and rollercoasters were early culprits for this). Nevertheless, emergency services were generally in favor of the feature being left on, except when on a theme park ride. This update will address this issue, and hopefully solve it.”
Speaking of that update, should you be upgrading to iOS 16.3.1? This can be triggered manually, although users of Google Photos need to know that they must update the Photos app, or the new iOS will cause the app to crash. While there are other issues, the biggest reason to upgrade is a critical security patch:
“CVE-2023-23529 is the chief threat. The vulnerability impacted Webkit (the engine behind all iOS web browsers, including Safari), potentially allowing hackers to execute code on your iPhone or iPad… Yes, there are isolated reports of bugs in the release (notably signal strength complaints), but the security of your device comes first.”
Apple’s Rising iPhone Costs
Apple’s costs to manufacture the iPhone has been rising. Taking a closer look at the supply chain this week, Counterpoint Research estimates an overall rise of $17 on the raw handset cost… a cost that then starts to magnify as the iPhone goes through the retail chain to the consumer:
“Producing a 128GB iPhone 14 Pro Max mmWave smartphone costs Apple up to $474, according to Counterpoint Research’s BoM analysis. The BoM cost of the sub-6GHz model comes to $454. Assuming a 44% mmWave mix (by the end of 2022), the blended materials cost for the iPhone 14 Pro Max is about $464, a 3.7% increase over that of the iPhone 13 Pro Max.”
Big News About A Bigger MacBook Air
With production ramping up of the larger display and the first models rolling down the production line, Apple is set to offer a brand new product that, frankly, has been a long time coming. The consumer-focused MacBook Air is finally growing up
“…the Air was the lightweight portable, and the Pro had the extra size and performance. Thankfully Apple is accepting that it needs more than two options for laptops. The MacBook Air is set to offer a bigger option to sit between the current top-specced MacBook Air and lowest-specced MacBook Pro. Apple’s MacBook Air is finally getting a model with a 15-inch display.”
The iMac May Skip Its M2 Update
Also on the macOS front, it looks like an update to the iMac will not be arriving during 2023. The first Apple Silicon iMac was launched in 2021, and at the 18-24 month refresh cycle that is starting to appear in the laptop world isn’t carrying over to the fully deskbound Macs.
“The 24-inch iMac was launched by Apple in May 2021, but it has yet to receive any major updates to its specification. Approaching two years after its introduction, it seems the wait could end up being a lot longer, with Apple apparently timing it for the M3 chip launch… Apple is expected to completely skip the M2 generation of chips for the updated iMac. Instead, a launch is anticipated for the M3.”
The long-teased Apple Classical – a music subscription for classical music – is still nowhere to be seen, even though there are hooks and hints when you go beyond the display of your iPhone. The latest release of iOS has been closely examined… and there’s still no sign of the service debuting:
“Even though iOS 16 includes some internal mentions of Apple Classical, there are still no signs that strongly suggest that the app will be released any time soon. It’s unclear at this point what happened to cause Apple to delay the Apple Classical release.”
Microsoft has opened up Windows on ARM in a small but significant way. Previously, Windows 11’s ARM version was only available to OEMs; Microsoft has now authorized virtualisation tool Parallels to use the OS… which means Windows on your Mac has returned as a supported option:
“Microsoft is officially supporting Windows 11 on Apple’s M1 and M2 Macs thanks to a partnership with Parallels to allow the operating system to run in a virtual environment. Parallels Desktop version 18 is “an authorized solution” to run Arm versions of Windows 11 on Apple’s latest M1 and M2 Macs,”
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.
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