Apple Loop: iPhone 12’s Embarrassing Secret, Latest iPad Air Revealed, New MacBook Pro Confirmed

Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the launch of the new iPhone 12 handsets, Apple’s secret iPhone 12 price rise, the value of MagSafe, new MacBook laptops confirmed, the latest T2 security details, a tenth beta for macOS Big Sur, the latest iPad Air is revealed, and a musical widget for your home screen. 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 ). Meet The iPhone 12 Family There’s really only one place to start this week, and that’s Apple’s announcements of the new iPhone 12 family and its associated peripherals. Apple has presented the handsets in two strands. The first is the pairing of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini : “The newly designed iPhone 12 models feature expansive edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR displays for a brighter, more immersive viewing experience, and a new Ceramic Shield front cover, providing the biggest jump in durability ever on iPhone. The Apple-designed A14 Bionic, the fastest chip in a smartphone, powers every experience on iPhone 12, and coupled with an advanced dual-camera system, delivers meaningful new computational photography features and the highest quality video in a smartphone.” SHANGHAI, CHINA – OCTOBER 14: An introduction about iPhone 12 is displayed on the computer screen on … [+] Moving up the portfolio you find the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max . These handsets also pick up the improved materials, A14 Bionic chip, but Apple is leaning heavily into the improved cameras on the Pro handset: “The reimagined pro camera systems include an expansive Ultra Wide camera, a Telephoto camera with an even longer focal length on iPhone 12 Pro Max, and new Wide cameras to capture beautiful professional-quality images and video in bright and low-light environments. iPhone 12 Pro models also introduce a new LiDAR Scanner for immersive augmented reality (AR) experiences and MagSafe, which offers high-powered wireless charging and an all-new ecosystem of accessories that easily attach to iPhone.” While the iPhone 12 family will be welcomed by many of the geekerati, many of the features that have been trailed since the iPhone 11 launch some thirteen months ago; features that have shown up in the supply chain – are nowhere to be seen. Worse still, many of these are already established on Android handsets. Adam Swimmer discusses what’s not there: “The interface on the iPhone 12 lacks a back button and support for a memory card. The phones also use Apple’s proprietary Lightning connectors instead of USB-C, which is the more standard option nowadays for smartphones — at least flagship ones. Like USB-C, a Lightning connector eliminates the need of a headphone jack as it combines it with the power port. While some people aren’t fans of the combination and still prefer phones with separate headphone jacks, it doesn’t change the fact that USB-C is the more accepted form factor.” The high end of sales estimates for the iPhone 12 family are eighty million, although noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the real world number will be a touch lower than this. In a change to previous years, he’s pegging the second tier model to be the best seller. Malcolm Owen has more : “Kuo also doubts reports that put iPhone 12 sales at around 80 million, believing actual iPhone sales will vary from that figure. The 80 million figure apparently relates to component orders, which do not directly correlate to iPhone sales. “…The prediction from Kuo that a mid-ranged model will be the highest seller goes against the last few generations of devices. For the iPhone X and iPhone 8 generation, the high-priced iPhone X was the best-selling device in that group for early 2018, but was beaten by the iPhone 8 by the end of the year.” Apple’s Shocking Sneaky Price Rise On The iPhone 12 One of the … curious discussions online during the Apple event was the prominence give to Verizon, its 5G network, and the stage time given to its CEO Hans Vestberg. One potential answer came later when we got to look at the small print. The price of the iPhone was widely reported as $699 for the 12 mini and $799 for the 12. Well that’s true…if you buy your handset from Verizon and AT&T. Otherwise you’ll be paying the full price of $729 and $829. Jason Snell sums up the mood in the room: “At the event, Apple referred to these products as starting at $699 (iPhone 12 mini) and $799 (iPhone 12), but those prices are not actually accurate unless you slap a big asterisk on there. (As Apple does on its marketing pages, because it must.) “…It’s embarrassing that Apple is hiding the real price of the iPhone 12. More troubling is the suggestion that Apple is now happy to join forces with its carrier partners to play marketing games—not just with the price of the iPhone 12 and 12 mini, but with the embarrassing amount of screen time Apple gave to Verizon’s CEO on Tuesday so he could flog his company’s 5G network.” UKRAINE – 2020/10/14: In this photo illustration a screenshot from Apple’s launch promotional MagSafe And The Power Of Peripheral Sales Once upon a time, Apple decided to launch its own proprietary wireless charging system. AirPower has been quietly forgotten about over the intervening years. This week, Apple decided to launch it’s own proprietary wireless charging system, with the added benefit of creating a new angle for peripheral makers to licence closed-standards technology from Apple. This isn’t your sister’s MagSafe that protected your MacBook, this is the all new MagSafe that will protect Apple’s ecosystem. Nick Statt looks at the numbers : “There is certainly a financial incentive for Apple to retain control of its charging ecosystem. Apple’s “wearables, home, and accessories” division, which includes major products like the Apple Watch and AirPods in addition to all cables and chargers, was the lowest earner in the company’s most recent financial quarter. But it’s basically neck and neck with the entire iPad business and earns close to $6.5 billion a quarter, making it still vital to Apple’s bottom line as its iPhone revenue growth continues to slow and Apple leans more on its ecosystem and services.” New MacBook And MacBook Pro Confirmed Recently filed documents from Apple with the EEC have confirmed that new macs are on the way. The majority of these machines will be the existing range but shipping with macOS 11 Big Sur rather than macOS Catalina. But that doesn’t cover all the machines listed. Looks like we have our two new MacBooks, and that means we have our two ARM-powered laptops : “These will be no ordinary MacBooks. They will be the first ARM-powered Macs to go on sale, meeting Tim Cook’s proclamation at WWDC 2020 that hardware with Apple silicon inside would be available to buy before the end of the year. “Hand-picked developers already have access to ARM hardware through the Developer Transition Kit. This is a modified Mac Mini using the A12X ARM chip designed for the iPad family. Distributed to allow developers to work on macOS apps under ARM, this should ensure that many key titles will be able to run natively on ARM when the laptops are released.” More Adventures In Breaking Into Your Mac Following on from last week’s discussions over the security flaws in Apple’s T2 chips, the team has revealed into more detail on the hack and demonstrated one possible real world attack on your Mac. “So far we’ve stated that you must put the computer into DFU before you can run checkra1n to jailbreak the T2 and that remains true, however today we are introducing a demo of replacing a target Mac’s EFI and releasing details on the T2 debug interface.” CUPERTINO, UNITED STATES – 2020/02/23: Mac Pro and iMac computers displayed at the Apple Park … [+] More Big Sur, But Not Quite Ready For Prime Time In previous years, the update to macOS would have been released publicly by early October, but, well, 2020. Still, there is progress on the Big Sur front, as Apple releases the tenth public beta to those signed up to the program. Juli Clover reports : “The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences. “macOS Big Sur introduces a refreshed design to the Mac operating system, overhauling the entire look from the curvature of the window corners to the dock icons to the system sounds. Everything features a lighter and more modern appearance. There’s a new customizable Control Center that mirrors the Control Center on iOS devices, putting key system controls right at your fingertips.” The […]

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