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
Get Ready To Hear Every Surprise You Already Know
Tuesday will see Tim Cook take to the stage in Apple’s traditional September event. Along with updates to the Apple Watch and MacBook line up, the new iPhone family will be revealed (or at least confirmed, almost every detail is already known).Larry Dignan looks at what to expect, what not to expect, and the elephant in the room:
At the event, it is widely expected that Apple will unveil three new iPhones including a Pro version that will have triple cameras. What is likely missing is a 5G iPhone.
In other words, expectations for Apple’s new iPhones are pretty low. It’s a gap year for smartphones and 5G is a big reason why. Whether it’s Samsung, Apple or any other smartphone maker, tech buyers are likely to hold out for compatibility with the latest network. In addition, high prices for premium devices are stretching out the upgrade cycle.
Revenue Reasons For The Apple iPhone Pencil
Also leaking this week is the expectation that Tim Cook will finally bring Cupertino’s stylus to the iPhone. The Apple Pencil was introduced with the iPad Pro, but has not moved to the smartphone since then. With Apple chasing higher and higher revenue per customer, is it now time to play this card? I looked at the financial benefit to Apple earlier this week:
The iPhone 11 Pro Max will be the most expensive iPhone yet, which means that it will have one of the highest margins of Apple’s smartphones on a per user basis. As sales fall, Apple needs to counter that by increasing the average revenue per user. One of the long term plans for this is an increase in subscription based services, another is to raise margins and increase the attachment rate of peripherals.
I would suggest that this is the Apple Pencil’s role. Those who want the $99 peripheral are going to need to purchase the highest priced model, then purchase the stylus separately. That boosts Apple’s bottom line, it hands Tim Cook and his team a talking point at the event, and it provides momentum to the iPhone family in the face of Android devices that genuinely push the envelope.
New iPhone Performance Promises Parity But No Party
We also have a better idea of the performance of the upcoming iPhones, and it’s not a huge jump up. Apple’s new chips have kept pace with the industry, but there’s no appearance of a quantum leap. This is simply marking time. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly looks over the numbers:
Inevitably, this ‘accident’ will be questioned because Apple has a track record of similar convenient blunders at this time of year. But I suspect this one is genuine. Why? Because the iPhone 11 was just benchmarked and I can’t imagine Apple would have wanted anyone to see these numbers.
Picked up by the ever-excellent MacRumors, we learn that the iPhone 11 only achieves single and multi-core scores of 5415 and 11,294 on Geekbench. The former is just 12% higher than the iPhone XS while the latter shows no tangible improvement whatsoever. This despite Geekbench showing the iPhone 11’s new A13 chipset is clocked at a higher 2.66GHz Vs 2.49GHz from last year’s A12.
Apple’s iPhone SE 2 Risks The Osborne Effect
But there could be another iPhone that consumers will be drawn to. There’s going to be a new iPhone SE arriving in six months time. The problem? This presumptively named iPhone SE 2 knocks the legs away from the upcoming iPhone 11 family, as I noted earlier this week:
A second iPhone SE would likely be a popular handset and increase the user base, which would benefit Tim Cook’s stated strategy of moving Apple towards a software and services.
Yet all of these are subtle reversals of Apple’s attitudes. The iPhone’s status is derived from its high price, the screen size has followed design trends (which are continuing to grow), and Apple has rarely followed consumer demand.
55-Inch MacBook Pro Airport Ban Extended
The fallout from the recall of faulty MacBook Pro batteries in a number of 15-inch models has seen aviation agencies and airlines ban the macOS powered laptops first from checked luggage, and now from carry on. Air India is the latest to ban Apple’s laptop. BGR reports:
Air India is now requesting passengers not to carry the older generation 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro models. The airline is the latest to join a growing list of airlines from around the world. The airlines took action after Apple recalled the 15-inch MacBook Pro models citing potential fire safety hazards. On Sunday, the national carrier of India, tweeted that passengers should not carry 15-inch MacBook Pro either as checked-in or hand baggage.
Stay Sleeping Through The Apple Watch Announcement
Much like the iPhone portfolio, the updates to the Apple Watch are expected to be minimal – although a new range of watch straps is pretty much nailed on. One thing that many will be watching for is new software, specifically sleep tracking software from Apple (rather than third-party options). Guilherme Rambo looks at one option and how to get over the obvious problem of power:
While asleep, the Apple Watch will track the user’s quality of sleep using its multiple sensors and inputs, including the person’s movement, heart rate, and noises. Data about the user’s quality of sleep will be made available in the Health app and a new Sleep app for the Apple Watch
One of the issues with wearing an Apple Watch during sleep is that many users choose to charge their Apple Watch at night. Apple thought about this and developed a feature that will remind users to charge their Watch beforehand so they can get through the night.
Apple has made a huge amount of PR noise about its titanium credit card (one example: “Request and use your titanium Apple Card”) but how much titanium do you need to be a titanium card? Mark Gurman looks at the chemistry:
But how much titanium? To find out, a Bloomberg Businessweek reporter sent his card to a mineralogist, University of California, Berkeley professor Hans-Rudolf Wenk. Professor Wenk used what’s known as a scanning electron microscope, or SEM device, to determine the card’s atomic makeup. He found that the answer is about 90%. The rest of the card is aluminum, according to the analysis.
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.