The Wall Street Journal reports that former Apple executive Bob Mansfield is now overseeing the Apple Car project. The Wall Street Journal notes that Mansfield stepped away from day-to-day duties at Apple a few years ago, after heading up the hardware departments responsible for the MacBook Air, iMac, and iPad. Mansfield also wanted to leave the company entirely in 2013, but Apple CEO Tim Cook convinced him to stay to work on special projects, one of which now includes Apple’s Project Titan.
Rumour has it this year’s iPhone will come with a Lightning to headphone jack adapter, instead of a set of Lightning-equipped EarPods. Supply chain sources indicate that with the lack of a headphone jack on the device, Apple will go down the path of Lightning to audio adapters instead of going all-in on Bluetooth, potentially easing the pain of switching away from a near-ubiquitous port in favour of whatever other innovation this year’s iPhone will bring.
Photos and video of new iPhone mockups show off the device in the three colour choices it may be available in. Gone is the “Space Grey” colour option, replaced with a much darker “Space Black” that is probably what people were mistaking for a “Dark Navy” a few months ago. Along with the redesigned antenna bands, larger camera cutout, and no headphone jack, it’s the best look at possible designs we’ve seen thus far.
Apple’s latest acquisition is cloud-based music provider Omnifone, or at least so it appears. There’s been no confirmation from Apple about it buying the music service used by many telcos for partnerships, and even the original report only hinted at the suggestion Omnifone had been purchased for $10 million. Omnifone previously powered Sony’s Music Unlimited service and BlackBerry’s BBM Music, as well as Samsung’s Milk music service, but all Apple was after were its patents.
AppleInsider casts doubt on recent iPhone part leaks, which were supposed to show the redesigned camera holes and antenna bands of this year’s iPhone. Instead, they claim that recent part leaks are simply mockups of a design from an Apple manufacturing partner and not an actual part, throwing their entire authenticity into doubt. Note that all of this is pretty normal for Apple rumours.
Rumours of separate iPhone “Plus” and “Pro” models have surfaced. The Plus in this case is pretty standard in that it will be like the current Plus-sized model — minor improvements, but with a larger 5.5-inch display. The Pro version of the iPhone then features the same sized display as the Plus, but with that dual-lens camera system we’ve been hearing about, as well as a Smart Connector for accessories. While it seems unlikely Apple would want to fragment the iPhone lineup into three distinct models, anything is possible at this stage.
A video of what’s purported to be the new case design for this year’s iPhone has surfaced. In a comparison to the design of the current iPhone, the differences of a larger camera lens cut-out, redesigned antenna bands, and no headphone jack become apparent, although the changes are still fairly subtle. Whether this turns out to be the finalised design is still anyone’s guess.
In a Q&A piece over at the Hollywood Report, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue reveals a little about Apple’s media strategy. He wants Apple to be a platform for companies to get content to consumers, whether that’s via the Apple TV or via apps on the iPhone and iPad. He thinks the Apple TV is better than the cable set-top box (although he doesn’t know whether it will replace it) and doesn’t think of Netflix as a competitor to what Apple is doing with streaming media.
Another pair of Lightning-enabled EarPods has show up on the internet, which MacRumors has quickly labelled as fake. Even so, they say that the somewhat unsightly plastic sheath around the Lightning connector provides room for a digital to audio converter, which would otherwise have to be built into the remote or somewhere else.
An iPhone rear case has been leaked to the internet, confirming previous rumours which claim no major design changes for this year’s iPhone. Repositioned antenna bands and a larger camera cut-out seem to be the go, while separate photos appear to show a lack of hardware mute switch. I’m ambivalent about Apple removing or keeping the headphone jack, but the hardware mute switch should stay.