AirPods USB-C Plans updated September 3rd; article originally posted September 1st.
Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes September’s launch event confirmed, iPhone 15 Pro details leak, iPhone 15 Pro Max facing a delay, MacBook Pro design notes, AirPods turn to USB-C, and why Apple can’t crack top-tier gaming.
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).
Apple Confirms Launch Event
As expected, Apple will hold a launch event on the second Tuesday of September. It’s the traditional time slot to launch this year’s interaction of the iPhone X. Four models are expected – the iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, and 15 Pro Max – with potential for new peripherals to launch alongside the iOS smartphones.
“First of all, it re-confirms the date and time found in the invites sent out on Tuesday, saying, “Watch on 9/12 at 10 a.m. PT. And it now reveals how you can watch it: “View online at apple.com or on the Apple TV app.” This is useful, even if not unexpected. It may be that Apple will announce more ways to watch between now and the day of the keynote.”
iPhone’s Leaked Design Choices
Given that the launch is less than two weeks away, there are many more opportunities for the final product to be spotted and leaked. The latest details include not only Apple’s preferred colour for 2024, but also the materials used, weight, exact dimensions, and more:
“[Industry insider Majin] Bu agrees with recent leaks regarding iPhone 15 Pro colors and adds further detail, explaining that the silver gray finish has a gray back panel and edge, which “is similar to silver.” In addition, the new black version is lighter than the Space Black finish on the iPhone 14 Pro, and the new dark blue hero color will be darker than Apple’s previous blue hues.”
Update: September 2nd: A number of new iPhone models have been spotted in regulatory filings in India. These filings are a legal requirement before a device can go on sale. Previously a single model was spotted (A3094), but this weekend a raft of new model numbers appeared (A2649, A2881, A2882, A2883 and A2884), giving us an official look at Apple’s plans:
“Moreover, the sequencing suggests the two new models are the base-level iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro Max, but component variants (suppliers for memory, storage, etc) mean — as with the iPhone 14 series — there are likely to be more model numbers than the four official models.”
(MySmartPrice via Forbes).
iPhone Sales Breakdown
With so many consumers expected to order a new iPhone, Apple needs to get its predictions in order (something it over-estimated with the 15-inch MacBook Air). Reports from the supply chain suggest that Apple is putting a lot of emphasis on the high-end model of the Pro Max:
“iPhone 15 Pro Max, the most expensive iPhone, accounts for 35–40% of iPhone 15 series shipments, the highest share,” he explains. “iPhone 15 Pro Max shipments in 2H24 also grew 10–20% YoY compared to iPhone 14 Pro Max in the same period. It means Apple is optimistic about the selling point of the periscope, which is only available in iPhone 15 Pro Max.”
(Medium.com via Forbes).
The Pro Max Delay
One issue with the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which will impact Apple’s sales reporting, is an expected delay on the main order of units. It could take up to four weeks to fulfil the bulk of orders.
“The highest end iPhone with the most advanced camera system may face delays into October, however, due to image sensor readiness. Camera parts supplier Sony will not be able to provide the image sensor used by the iPhone 15 Pro Max in time for it to ship alongside the other new models.”
Future MacBook Plans New Design
While Apple’s Mac plans are not in the front seat (but will be in October), it’s worth remembering that the current crop of MacBooks are at the end of the product cycle. Not only would you be getting old specs if you buy now, but also an old design:
“The construction of the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops may not be as spectacular as microLED screens or improved I/O features. Still, changes at this level allow more flexibility for the Buck Rogers design flair many are looking for.”
AirPods Pro USB-C Leak
A new set of AirPods is also expected to launch during Apple’s September 12th event, thankfully with a more universal connector than the current lightning-enabled cases.
“The next iPhones will almost certainly switch Lightning connectors for USB-C. This rumor has been so prevalent that everyone believes it. Gurman says that AirPods will make the same switch, this September. Gurman says, “To match the new iPhones, Apple will introduce updated AirPods at the event that include a USB-C charging port.””
Update: September 3rd: While there has been a lot of discussion over Apple’s move to USB-C to satisfy European Union legislation designed to reduce e-waste, there are a lot of AirPods out there, and there has been a question on which model will be first to pick up the convenient upgrade. Now we have the answer. Writing for this weekend’s Power On newsletter, Mark Gurman reveals the decision but also notes that there won’t be any other hardware changes. The change to USB-C is pretty much it:
“Gurman had already indicated new AirPods were coming a few days ago, but had not specified which model would be updated. After all, with the AirPods second generation, AirPods third generation, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, there’s a lot of Lightning sockets to be updated. Now, he’s clarified that it’s the AirPods Pro second generation—the newest update in the range, released last September—which will specifically get the new connector.”
(Power On via Forbes).
The constant gaming issue on Apple’s platforms, especially macOS, has yet to be solved. Old titles, a lack of AAA releases, and a subscribe-once play anywhere philosophy remains out of reach:
“Apple is bringing Game Mode and a porting toolkit to macOS Sonoma. It’s a good start, but Apple needs to do far more to attract gamers and game makers to the Mac. Apple Arcade is, in theory, a great concept — Pay one low monthly fee and have unlimited access to a stable of games across a variety of genres, unencumbered with any sort of in-app purchases. And in theory, they’re all playable across Apple TV and the Mac. Unfortunately, Apple Arcade hasn’t quite lived up to the ideal.
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.