Apple Loop: New iPhone 8 Design Leaks, Apple Watch’s Secret Power, Anger Over MacBook Pro Update – Forbes
Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the impossible iPhone design, the cost of Apple’s new smartphone, what’s happening with the new MacBooks, angry Mac customers, the patent deal between Apple and Nokia, improvements to the Apple Watch, the Apple Pencil’s new frontier, and Apple’s change of direction with its web browser.
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).
Making The Impossible iPhone Possible
How do you reconcile the idea of Apple’s new iPhone having an almost bezel-less front display, and still have forward facing cameras and sensors at the top of the device? Forbes’ Gordon Kelly matches up some leaks and rumors to find out if there is an answer:
What both illustrate is the iPhone 8 will indeed have a near bezel-less design, but the front camera (or cameras) will not be under the display. Instead a cutout will be made which still leaves space for permanent information like the time, date and signal strength.
…while all this appears to add-up (and leaks have correctly revealed all major iPhone details ahead of launch for many years), the definitive word will only come when Tim Cook takes to the stage in September.
Are You Saving Up For Your iPhone Yet?
Don’t get too excited about the presumptively titled iPhone 8, because it’s going to come with a little bit of sticker shock. According to analyst reports, the flagship handset costs will start at $1,000. Gordon Kelly has more:
After all long overdue wireless charging and quick charging are also expected to arrive with this generation along with Touch ID integrated into the display. So given a 256GB iPhone 7 Plus already sells for $969 (and Apple needs to maintain its industry leading profit margins), $1,000 actually seems conservative….
Of course Apple isn’t shy about raising prices. The company increased MacBook Pro prices dramatically (and controversially) with the most recent generation and both sales and brand loyalty for the range continue to be strong. Furthermore iPhones have the considerable benefit of their cost being spread out via long term carrier contracts.
What’s Happening With The MacBooks
There’s a certain inevitability that next week’s WWDC will include updates to the Mac range of laptops. With Intel’s Kaby Lake architecture now part of the mainstream, Apple has little choice but to react if it wants to be seen as cutting edge. Brooke Crothers takes a look at what we can expect at WWDC:
12-inch MacBook: “This product is getting an updated processor, an Intel Kaby Lake-Y.”
MacBook Pro, 13.3-inch and 15.4-inch versions: “The 13-inch product will incorporate a Kaby Lake-U processor. The 15.4-inch Pro will feature a Kaby Lake-H processor*.”
MacBook Air: 11.6-inch model: “While this model no longer shows as active on the US website, we are seeing further production, potentially for special orders (education) or select markets.”
13.3-inch Macbook Air: “A refresh of this product is in the works but it is unclear at present whether that update will occur in June or later in the year. No specific details on what changes may occur there but expect it will focus on processor improvements, rather than display updates.”
Prepare For Some Angry MacBook Customers
The MacBook refresh comes at a tricky time, because anyone who picked up a new MacBook at the end of last year – when the product line was refreshed – could feel put out that their powerful machine will be bumped from the top of the pile and both the ticket price and the resale value will be depreciated. I’ve taken a look at the risk Apple is taking here:
If Tim Cook and his team do refresh the three main product lines, then those who have bought into the ‘new Macs’ are going to be facing a curious slice of buyers remorse. If they bought for power then the new machines – with the aforementioned Kaby Lake architecture – are going to be faster, more efficient, and better equipped to handle high workloads. If they bought because of price and value for money, the new machines are going to depress both the retail price of the late 2016 models and the price of the machines on the second-hand market.
Technology moves on and anyone buying any hardware will know that at some point in the future their hardware will be bumped down to a lower tier – that’s the nature of the digital beast – but for Apple to bump the its laptops down in such a short period of time feels like a break in the covenant between consumer and manufacturer.