Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes Apple’s powerful iPhone 14 Pro decision, increased iPhone 14 orders, the second Mac Mini is delayed, important iOS changes, USB-C for AirPods Pro, Apple slows acquisitions, and Google challenges aim at iMessage.
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).
Will Apple Perform Some Sleight Of Hand Games Over iPhone 14 Chip?
March saw news leak that Apple would be restricting the new A16 chip for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models, leaving the smaller and cheaper iPhone 14 and 14 Max models to last year’s A15. That would create a bit of a marketing quandary with no Apple Silicon annual update.
Industry insider LeaksApplePro has suggested a potential solution; we might see some sleight of hand over the branding, with the appearance of a tweaked A15 badged as the A16 chipset for the lower specced iPhones and an A16 Pro for the more expensive models. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reports:
“Speaking to me [LeaksApplePro said] Apple is fixed on using the iPhone 13’s year-old A15 chipset in its standard iPhone 14 models… “The iPhone 14 has the A15 even though Apple will call it A16,” explains LeaksApplePro. “The 14 Pro has the real A16 [tipped to be called the ‘A16 Pro’]; there are a lot of differences.”
More iPhones Heading Your Way
Nevertheless, Apple is hopeful for an upswing in iPhone sales, with production orders bumped up ahead of the September launch:
“A Taiwanese report says that Apple had told its suppliers to boost initial iPhone 14 production from 90M units to 95M, an increase of more than 5%. In response, lead iPhone assembler Foxconn is said to have substantially increased its recruitment bonus for iPhone workers.”
Mac Mini The Second
The M1 Mac Mini was launched alongside the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Many wondered if the Mac Mini would follow the MacBook Pro with its own M1 Pro version – a scenario that has yet to happen. Indications are this model was planned but has been cancelled. Instead, the Mac Mini is going straight to the M2 Apple Silicon later this year, with a base M2 and a more powerful M2 Pro being prepared:
“Apple’s new M2 chip will power the updated Mac Mini, while the Pro version will include an as-yet unreleased M2 Pro chip with eight performance cores and four efficiency cores. This M2 Pro will, we assume, have significantly improved graphics over the M2 with extra GPU cores.”
How Much Battery Has Your New iPhone?
Another round of developer betas for iOS (and macOS) sees more tweaks and stability changes in the code. In addition, some UI changes will benefit consumers. It may have taken several beta versions to get there, but it will be there for the public launch of the iPhone 14:
“For the first time since the debut of Face ID iPhones, notched iPhone users can now view the battery percentage in the status bar — thanks to iOS 16 beta 5. Though, the feature seemingly doesn’t work on the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, and iPhone 13 Mini.”
Who Is Listening About USB-C Charging
The tide of USB-C charging is turning, with European legislation and discussion in the US putting Apple’s lightning port on notice. One product that may soon join the move to the port are the AirPods Pro. While that may not happen with the AirPods Pro 2 when they launch, a USB-C-equipped charging case may be available in the future:
“Many people have been clamoring for Apple to switch to USB-C, but that apparently won’t happen with AirPods Pro 2. According to a recent tweet by TF International Securities analyst and leading Apple tipster Ming-Chi Kuo, AirPods Pro 2 may not ship with USB-C charging cases. However, even though AirPods Pro 2 could stick to Lightning, Kuo claims that Apple is planning to launch USB-C charging cases for all AirPods models next year.”
Apple Slows Acquisitions
With the economy slowing down, Apple has also slowed down the rate it acquires companies and brings them into the mothership. Perhaps it has all the features it needs for the future, maybe the rapid expansion with Apple Silicon is slowing down, or maybe there’s nothing interesting that fits Apple’s future plans?
“Apple Inc., which used to acquire a company every three or four weeks, has dramatically slowed its dealmaking in the past two years, a sign the tech giant is being more choosy in the face of a shaky economy and heightened government scrutiny. The company spent just $33 million on payments connected to acquisitions in its last fiscal year and $169 million in the first nine months of the current year, according to regulatory filings. That’s down from $1.5 billion in fiscal 2020.”
Google has been subtly pushing its agenda of bringing the RCS messaging standard across all smartphones and platforms. One of the biggest hold-outs in this look towards universality is Apple, whose iMessage proprietary methods remain at the forefront on the iPhone. Jon Porter looks at the reasons Apple may well be reluctant to adopt RCS:
“So, will Google’s new publicity campaign finally be the thing that pushes Apple to see the light and roll out RCS support on its phones? Given the huge incentives Apple has for not playing ball, I have to say the search giant’s chances don’t look good. At this point, Apple adopting RCS feels about as likely as the US collectively ditching iMessage and moving to an encrypted cross-platform messaging service like WhatsApp or Signal.”
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.