Leaked iPhone 15 Pro Max specifications added, September 9th; article originally posted September 8th
Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes September launch dates confirmed, iPhone 15 details leak, iPhone Pro Max disappointing delay, iPhone 15 Pro price rise, Apple’s budget MacBook, App Store faces gatekeeping restrictions, and Apple’s Chinese ban hits stock price.
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).
Update: September 9th: A Closer Look With The iPhone 15 Pro Max
One final weekend ahead of the iPhone 15 launch and details on Apple’s upgrades to the camera have leaked. While all four models will pick up new hardware – such as the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus moving to a 48-megapixel sensor, and new telephoto and ultrawide lenses for the iPhone 15 Pro – there is a significant upgrade for the top-end flagship. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is doubling the optical zoom:
“The iPhone 15 Pro models will continue to have three cameras, including a 48-megapixel sensor. There are new telephoto and ultrawide lenses with more megapixels than in last year’s Pro sensors, and the company is planning to tout the enhancements as the premier additions in this year’s phones.
“The biggest camera upgrade will come exclusively to the iPhone 15 Pro Max: an updated telephoto system with enhanced hardware zoom capabilities. This will double the iPhone’s ability to zoom into images — with the physical lens itself, rather than software — from 3X magnification to around 6X.”
New Availability Issues Around iPhone 15, Delays Possible
Apple’s iPhone launch event takes place next week, and while the four smartphones in the iPhone 15 family will take to the stage, it may take longer than expected for customers to buy their new handsets. Because of various production issues, the number of handsets available is going to be lower than expected:
“[Apple analyst] Ming-Chi Kuo reveals that Apple is experiencing significant issues with producing camera sensors for standard iPhone 15 models and the titanium chassis of the Pros, plus delays in manufacturing the flagship iPhone 15 Pro Max. Perhaps the biggest shock is the new stacked CIS primary camera for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. Kuo states that Apple tried to resolve its production issues by increasing volume, but up to 15% of regular models are still affected.”
Not only are stocks going to be lower across the board, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max – which Apple expected to make up 30 to 40 percent of the combined iPhone 15 sales – is going t to be delayed by up to a month, leaving it until late October before going on wide retail sale:
“The yield issues with Sony, the supplier of image sensors for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, are severe. As a result, the release date of the iPhone 15 Pro Max could be delayed by up to approximately 4 weeks.”
14 Days To Go
The delays aren’t stopping Apple’s marketing machine spooling up to get the attention of everyone outside of the usual geekerati circles. One of those is the now-tradition YouTube countdown clock to the moment the Apple Store doors open:
“It’s another small step down the road that ends on Friday, September 22 with the release of the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra second generation. That’s when they’re all expected to land on Apple Store shelves. It also looks like new AirPods Pro will be revealed at the keynote and put on sale with the iPhones and Watches.”
…and if you are looking for a comprehensive timeline for the launches, David Phelan has you covered (Forbes).
Get Ready For A Price Rise
Fans of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are getting ready to pay a little more for their new iOS smartphones. The latest leaked price details suggest that there is going to be a significant mark-up on the handsets, with the new build materials and optical hardware shouldering much of the blame:
“In previous reports, titanium has been cited as a big cost increase for Apple, but with claims that the iPhone 15 Pro would not jump in price, it appeared this wouldn’t be passed on to end users. Throw in the cost of Apple’s first 10x optical zoom camera, and this aligns with claims that the iPhone 15 Pro Max could rise by as much as $200, becoming the most expensive iPhone ever released.”
Would Apple Risk Launching A Cheaper MacBook
This week, a few signs were picked up from the supply chain suggesting that Apple is preparing a cheaper MacBook to take on the Chromebook. Scheduled for late next year, it would be a courageous choice for Apple to go below the recognised $999 mark:
“The most significant risk would be to Apple’s brand. While there have been ‘cheaper’ products built around the value proposition launched in the past – the iPhone 5C immediately spins to mind – the lure of Apple is to be a part of the in-crowd, to buy into the dream of products that offer more than the norm, and to feel that your money is purchasing a quality product.”
Apple’s European Gatekeepers
Three of Apple’s key properties have been marked as “gatekeepers” by the European Union. In essence, the App Store, the Safari browser, and iOS have a market strength that will attract more regulations to ensure they do not distort the competition.
“The EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) seeks to curtail the power of major tech companies. Designated “gatekeeper” platforms will now face prohibition against favoring their own services over those of rivals. These platforms will also be prevented from combining personal data across different services and will have to allow users the option to download apps from alternative platforms.”
Apple’s stock has seen a notable fall this week following restrictions placed on Chinese government officials’ use of iPhones.
“Investors are fretting over the ability of the world’s most valuable public company to do business in the world’s second-largest economy. Apple notched its largest daily fall in over a month on Wednesday. The company lost about $200 billion in two days, and its stock is currently the worst performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.”
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.