Apple has announced a new series of educational sessions running at Apple Stores. Starting in May, “Today at Apple” will provide hands-on experiences at all 495 Apple stores worldwide on a range of topics, including photo and video, music, art, design, and more. Some cities will have renowned artists taking the class, with the whole idea being that Apple Stores become the new town square where people come to connect, discover a new passion, or learn something new.
A dummy model of this year’s iPhone has surfaced, and it’s the first could-be-real hardware prototype that we’ve seen thus far. It’s hard to tell whether this is real or not — the chrome/raw aluminium and lack of a LED flash on the rear suggests it’s a fake, but even those points are countered by a follow up post saying that the aluminium will eventually be a Space Black, and according to schematics, the LED flash will be positioned between the vertically-aligned dual camera lenses.
Nike has announced the Apple Watch NikeLab, a special limited edition of the Apple Watch Nike+ that has no additional features or anything to differentiate it from the regular Apple Watch Nike+, but it does come with a special two-tone black and white Apple Watch Nike+ strap. Nike says the Apple Watch NikeLab will only be available from the Nike website, NikeLab stores, and an Apple Tokyo pop-up store starting April 27.
A leaked iPhone schematic appears to show us a proposed design for this year’s iPhone. Notably, there’s a dual camera arranged in a vertical fashion instead of the horizontally side-by-side arrangement of the iPhone 7 Plus, and what appears to be a hole on the rear below the Apple logo, speculated to be the new location of the fingerprint sensor.
Bloomberg summarises everything that we’re expected to see with this year’s iPhone refresh. A bezel-less OLED display featuring curved glass and stainless steel construction are expected to be the headlining features, with a display size that’s larger than the iPhone 7 Plus in a form factor that’s closer to the iPhone 7 being one of the benefits of going with a border-free design.
A new rumour from CNBC claims Apple has a team of biomedical engineers working on new methods for monitoring blood sugar. Ask any diabetic and they’ll tell you that keeping an eye on their glucose levels is a thing they have to be constantly aware of, and Steve Jobs wanted a new way to constantly and non-invasively monitor blood sugar in order to improve quality of life. The rumour says feasibility studies are already underway, with Apple now looking to hire consultants to sort out regulatory issues.
A research note claims all of Apple’s iPhones released this year will feature 3GB of RAM and Lightning connectors with faster charging. MacRumors notes that the iPhone 7 Plus already has 3GB of RAM, so the regular-sized model and whatever third size Apple release will be the only ones to get a bump in RAM. USB-C charging is likely on the cards also, at least replacing the end that was previously a regular USB connector.
Yet another Apple supplier may be dropped following rumours Apple may be developing its own power management tech. Analysts note the “strong evidence” Apple is developing its own power management ICs, with the intention of replacing chips currently made by Dialog and included in the iPhone. Although this change is unlikely to happen in the short term, isn’t it pretty wild how Apple can make and break businesses?
Rumour has it that the iPad Pro Smart Connector will be a feature on this year’s iPhone. Unlike the iPad Smart Connector, it’s said that the iPhone’s Smart Connector will be used for charging and potential VR/AR applications, possibly in the form of future accessories. While the Smart Connector has been used for keyboards on the iPad and not much else, I wonder if Apple will open up the Smart Connector to third parties in the future.
The ACCC are taking Apple to court over misleading consumers about their rights when it comes to getting devices repaired under warranty. Under Australian Consumer Law, free warranty service must be provided when goods don’t meet consumer guarantees, even when they’ve had repairs done by a third party. This all came about because Apple pushed an update which disabled devices that had unauthorised third party repairs. The ACCC investigated and found Apple telling consumers that they were no longer entitled to service, due to their unauthorised repair, and that “Apple cannot, by itself, extinguish the consumer’s right to a remedy for non-compliance with the consumer guarantees”. We’ll have to see how this all breaks down in court.