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.
New iPhone rumours claim this year’s iPhone will retail for slightly less than US $1000. Contrary to previous rumours which speculated an over-$1000 pricing model, one analyst is now claiming that the model with 256GB storage will retail for between $950 to $1000. A new report from a Chinese blog also states that it’s possible the launch will be pushed back to October or November, due to issues in manufacturing the next big thing.
The good news is, Apple is working on a totally-redesigned Mac Pro that will be the Mac of my dreams. It will be able to accommodate high-end CPUs and GPUs, in a modular design that’s easy for Apple to push out updates for on a regular basis. Apple says they’re also working on releasing Apple-branded pro-level displays to go along with this mythical xMac that we’ve wanted for years.
In a small roundtable discussion about the Mac, John Gruber, Matthew Panzarino, Lance Ulanoff, Ina Fried, and John Paczkowski were invited to discuss the Mac lineup with some top Apple brass, including Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, John Ternus, and Bill Evans. According to Gruber, Phil Schiller broke the news on the Mac Pro by telling us about how Apple is currently rethinking the Mac Pro, so they can re-architect it to be the flagship it has always intended to be, as well as keep it up to date with regular updates and spec bumps, just like every other Mac in the lineup.
For years now, Apple’s iOS devices have used graphics processors from Imagination Technologies. Now Apple has announced that it has been developing its own graphics processors, and will be moving away from Imagination products within the next two years, causing Imagination’s shares to fall dramatically as a result. Imagination says they think it’s unlikely that Apple could go it alone after using the company’s PowerVR series of GPUs for so long, at least without violating Imagination’s patents or IP.
Just before we hit publish on the news on the Friday, the ACCC issued their statement denying authorisation for the banks to collectively bargain with Apple and boycott Apple Pay. ACCC Chairman Rod Sims notes “the ACCC is not satisfied, on balance, that the likely benefits from the proposed conduct outweigh the likely detriments”, saying that “while the ACCC accepts that the opportunity for the banks to collectively negotiate and boycott would place them in a better bargaining position with Apple, the benefits would be outweighed by detriments”.