Looking back on another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes Apple’s powerful iPhone 14 Pro decision, iPhone 14 order surge, second Mac Mini is delayed, big iOS changes, USB-C for AirPods Pro, Apple slows acquisitions, and Google challenges target iMessage.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of some of the many, many discussions that have taken place around Apple over the past seven days (and you can read my weekly Android news digest here on Forbes).
Will Apple perform sleight of hand games on the iPhone 14 chip?
March saw news leaks that Apple would restrict the new A16 chip to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models, leaving the smaller and cheaper iPhone 14 and 14 Max models to last year’s A15. It would create a bit of a marketing dilemma without an annual update from Apple Silicon.
Industry insider LeaksApplePro suggested a potential solution; we could see a sleight of hand on the brand, with the appearance of a modified A15 badged as the A16 chipset for lower-spec iPhones and an A16 Pro for more expensive models. Gordon Kelly of Forbes reports:
” Talk to me [LeaksApplePro said] Apple is fixated on using the A15 chipset from the iPhone 13 in its standard iPhone 14 models… “The iPhone 14 has the A15 even though Apple will call it A16,” says LeaksApplePro. “The 14 Pro has the real A16 [tipped to be called the ‘A16 Pro’]; there are many differences.
More iPhones on your way
Nonetheless, Apple is hoping for an uptick in iPhone sales, with production orders rising ahead of the September launch:
A Taiwanese report said that Apple had asked its suppliers to increase initial iPhone 14 production from 90 million units to 95 million, an increase of more than 5%. In response, main iPhone assembler Foxconn reportedly dramatically increased its hiring bonus for iPhone workers.
(United Daily News via 9to5Mac).
Mac Mini the second
The M1 Mac Mini was launched alongside the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Many wondered if the Mac Mini would follow the MacBook Pro with its own M1 Pro version – a scenario that has yet to happen. Everything suggests that this model was planned but was canceled. Instead, the Mac Mini goes straight to the Apple Silicon M2 later this year, with a basic M2 and a more powerful M2 Pro on the way:
Apple’s new M2 chip will power the updated Mac Mini, while the Pro version will feature a never-before-seen M2 Pro chip with eight performance cores and four efficiency cores. This M2 Pro will, we assume, have vastly improved graphics over the M2 with additional GPU cores.
How much battery does your new iPhone have?
Another round of developer betas for iOS (and macOS) sees more tweaks and stability changes to the code. Also, some UI changes will benefit consumers. It may have taken several betas to get there, but it will be there for the public launch of the iPhone 14:
“For the first time since the debut of Face ID iPhones, users of notched iPhones can now view the battery percentage in the status bar, thanks to iOS 16 beta 5. However, the feature apparently does not work on the iPhone. iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 13 Mini.
Who listens on USB-C charging
The tide of USB-C charging is turning, with European legislation and discussions in the US putting Apple’s Lightning port on hold. One product that could soon join the move to port are the AirPods Pro. While this may not happen with the AirPods Pro 2 when they launch, a charging case equipped with a USB-C port may be available in the future:
“A lot of people have been clamoring for Apple to switch to USB-C, but that apparently won’t happen with the AirPods Pro 2. According to a recent tweet from Ming-Chi Kuo, TF International Securities analyst and top Apple tipster plan, AirPods Pro 2 may not come with USB-C charging cases. However, even though the AirPods Pro 2 might stick, LKuo claims that Apple plans to release USB-C charging cases for all AirPods models next year.
(Grumbling on screen).
Apple is slowing down its acquisitions
With the slowing economy, Apple has also slowed the rate of acquiring companies and bringing them into the mothership. Maybe it has all the features it needs for the future, maybe the rapid expansion with Apple Silicon is slowing down, or maybe there’s nothing interesting to match. Apple’s future plans?
Apple Inc., which used to acquire a company every three or four weeks, has slowed its deals significantly over the past two years, a sign that the tech giant is more demanding in the face of a shaky economy and a increased government scrutiny. The company spent just $33 million on acquisition-related payments in its most recent fiscal year and $169 million in the first nine months of the current year, according to regulatory filings. That’s down from $1.5 billion in fiscal 2020.
Google has subtly pushed its agenda to bring the RCS messaging standard to all smartphones and platforms. One of the biggest holdouts in this striving for universality is Apple, whose proprietary iMessage methods remain at the forefront on the iPhone. Jon Porter examines why Apple might be reluctant to adopt RCS:
So, will Google’s new ad campaign finally be the thing that gets Apple to see the light and roll out RCS support to its phones? Given Apple’s huge incentives not to play ball, I have to say that the search giant’s chances don’t look good. At this point, Apple’s adoption of RCS seems about as likely as the US collectively ditch iMessage and switch to an encrypted cross-platform messaging service like WhatsApp or Signal.
Apple Loop brings you seven days 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.