Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes iPhone 15 Pro design and specs leak, iPhone 13 Mini defeated, Apple’s USB charging problem, AirPods improvements, iPad fights MacBook, and Russia bans the iPhone.
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 Pro’s Missing Bezels
More details on the design of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro are coming out, and as expected, the important and stand-out changes are being kept for the larger and more expensive Pro models. The latest gift to the premium version? Significantly smaller bezels.
“A smaller bezel is more immersive and allows for either a larger screen to be fitted into the same size chassis or a more compact device to be made with the same screen size as its predecessor. Based on recently leaked iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro dimensions, Apple has opted for the latter with slightly more pocket-friendly devices.”
Removing The Buttons and Switches
There’s another major design change as well. The iPhone is not only losing the two volume buttons for a single rocker button, but the mute switch is also finally being removed:
“Instead of separate buttons for volume up and volume down, the iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to have a single elongated button for adjusting the volume up or down. Meanwhile, the mute switch that has been present since the original iPhone in 2007 is expected to become a mute button that can be pressed to turn the iPhone’s ringer on or off.”
Going Big Gets You More
While sales are dwarfed by the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, the iPhone 14 Plus has proven itself to be a strong seller, beating out the ‘fourth’ model in the mix when compared to the smaller iPhone 13 Mini that took up the spot in previous years. No doubt this will have an impact on the product mix of the iPhone 15 family, and the fourth generation iPhone SE due in 2024:
“According to the DSCC report, which compares iPhone panel shipment data from June 2022 through April 2023 (allocating a two-month forecast), shipments for the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus are 59% higher than they were for the 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini over the equivalent period year-on-year.”
USB Charging For All… Mostly
Apple looks set to move to USB-C, but maintain its grip on the hardware port by limiting certain features – such as charging – to cables certified by Apple. This may cause problems with iPhones sold to the European Union, where upcoming laws around standard charging ports mandate the use of USB-PD for fast chargers:
“Apple will optimize the performance of fast charging with USB-C on iPhone 15 models. Currently, iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 support up to 20W of maximum charging speed, while Pro models support up to 27W. This means that users will be able to recharge their iPhones faster, but only if they have the right charger… [Analyst Ming-Chi] Kuo claims that the faster charging speeds will only work with Apple-certified USB-C cables. So even if you have a compatible plug adapter, it may not deliver its full power to the iPhone without the right cable.
The iPhone may not be the only Apple product moving towards a universal charging socket. While it’s not confirmed, there’s growing evidence that the AirPods are moving toward the standard USB-C
“…One possibility is that Apple will update the case for, say, the current AirPods Pro to power it with a USB-C cable rather than Lightning. Apple has changed AirPods cases in the past without changing the model number. For instance, the AirPods Pro charging case introduced in 2019 had the model number A2190… This suggests that when a model number changes, it indicates a substantial change, like a size or shape change. A switch from Lightning to USB-C might qualify as well.”
Making An iPad Out Of A Mac
Apple’s continued attempts to push the iPad into the Mac space have been cute, but are still falling short. If the iPad is not going to be a good Mac replacement, then should Apple consider the other direction and give more iPad features to the mac? Chance Miller highlights the core argument:
“In a world where the Mac is better than ever thanks to Apple Silicon, and the iPad Pro is teetering right on the edge of crossing into the so-called “promised land,” it’s time for the walls to come down.”
Government officials in Russia have been told to stop using their iPhones due to security concerns, with many directed towards handsets using software and hardware developed in Russia:
” The Kremlin told officials involved in preparations for Russia’s 2024 presidential election to stop using Apple iPhones because of concerns that the devices are vulnerable to Western intelligence agencies, the Kommersant newspaper reported.”
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.