A look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino: this week’s Apple Loop includes bad news on the iPhone 15, Brazil calls for USB-C iPhone charging, Mac Pro delay, AirPods as headline aids, Apple’s advertising backlash, a sneaky cut for trade-ins and to test the new satellite emergency call SOS.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of some of the very large amount of discussion that has taken place around Apple over the past seven days (and you can read my weekly roundup of Android news here on Forbes).
Bad news on iPhone 15 prices
Apple’s next-gen iPhone may not be unveiled until September next year, but the design and specs need to be decided much earlier in the cycle, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that details are emerging about what’s next. And in terms of pricing, it’s bad news for Apple buyers and customers:
“LeaksApplePro has provided more information on the increased manufacturing cost of the iPhone 15 Ultra. Speaking to me, the leaker says the new BOM will go up by as much as $100. While this may not sound “significantly more,” it’s important to remember that this is a cost to Apple, not the buyer. For comparison, last month Nikkei Asia revealed that the components of the iPhone 14 Pro Max Apple 501 US dollars, and prices for the smartphone start at $1099. Still, it’s too easy to say $1 component cost is $2 more than the asking price.”
India follows EU on USB-C requirements
Following the European decision to mandate USB-C charging ports for small electronic devices – a move Apple has tacitly acknowledged means at least replacing the Lightning connector on European models – the Indian government this week has a similar one process initiated that could lead to a functionally identical law.
In a government press release, Indian Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Rohit Kumar Singh said various government and private agencies had held a meeting and “there was a broad consensus among stakeholders on the adoption of USB Type-C evolved as a charging connector for electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.”
Mac Pro release date pushed back to 2022
The announcement of Apple’s move to ARM-based computing for the Mac platform at the 2020 Worldwide Developer Conference came with the promise that all new Macs would run Apple Silicon by the end of 2022. If all other boxes are ticked, where is the Mac Pro? beautiful new world?
“Apple rarely gives any indication of when new products will be released. Those waiting for the ultimate Mac are still holding on to that 2022 deadline. There may be a press release in the next few weeks and a handful of machines going up for sale through the Apple Store to a select few… but the deadline is fast approaching and the Mac Pro looks set to be ready for 2023.”
Apple’s hearing aids
They might not be sold as hearing aids, but Apple’s AirPod range certainly ticks some of the criteria and relevant standards. A Taiwanese study listened (ahem) closely to the performance of audio peripherals. They are not yet ready to be certified from a medical point of view, but the product has advantages and there could be a future where they can:
“AirPods are not sold or approved by the Food and Drug Administration as devices for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. But with cheaper, over-the-counter hearing aids now commercially available, there’s renewed interest in non-medical companies stepping into the space to help people who don’t need expert care — including from Apple itself.”
Advertising reaction within Apple
Advertising across its services isn’t one of Apple’s top revenue drivers — although I’m sure many people would welcome a $4 billion-a-year advertising business — but Apple’s plans to boost that to $10 billion do caused a lot of internal criticism within Cupertino about how it could damage the perception of “Brand Apple”:
“While Apple is showing a unified front publicly for ads, particularly those in the App Store, designed to help developers get more users and customers discover more apps, internally, employees aren’t happy with the current approach. In internal chat rooms, at least seven employees who work on Apple’s ads team have expressed concern that the company is going too far in its ad business and will degrade the premium experience when using an iPhone.
(The information about Mac Rumors).
Apple cuts trade-in discounts
While not a direct increase in hardware prices, many Apple fans who upgrade their devices take advantage of Apple’s trade-in offers to reduce the amount they have to pay. With that in mind, the reduction in trade-in value will be reflected in the price paid by many loyal fans:
“The sweet spot in all of these prices is for two-year-old devices, particularly iPhones — with Apple targeting owners who are reaching the end of their contracts. However, before you rush off and trade in your old device, note that these are all up to prices, meaning they apply to devices in pristine condition (beware of caseless owners!).”
Apple’s “Emergency SOS” satellite service opened to the public this week. As with many services, there will be an eagerness to try it, but as with many services geared toward emergencies, this is not to be trifled with. Apple set up a special test session for DC Rainmaker to experience the service in real-life conditions… (no doubt closely monitored by the press team):
“First – note that this test was coordinated with Apple, specifically they knew not to send rescuers to my location. But everything else is as is, using the real satellite systems for all communications, and I show where it works well and where it struggles a bit. However, it goes without saying that if you go through and dial/send 911 for Realz, real people will show up to try and rescue you. So don’t do that unless it’s a real emergency – instead, Apple specifically has a demo mode you can try that also actually uses the satellites but doesn’t broadcast any emergency responders…”
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 future coverage. 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.
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