Apple Loop: iPhone 14 Design Documents, iPad Air Audio Review, Apple’s Self-Repair Program Detailed – Forbes
Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes Apple’s quarterly results, new iPhone design leaks, a more expensive iPhone, the popular iPhone 13 Pro, amazing Mac Studio performance, iPad Air 5 review, the problem with Apple’s iPhone repair, and a portable M1 Mac Mini.
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 Results Up Nine Percent Year On Year
Apple’s results for the second fiscal quarter of 2022 show increasing revenue in the iPhone, Mac, and Wearables divisions, although iPad numbers were down – CEO Tim Cook has cited supply constraints impacting the latter:
“We are very pleased with our record business results for the March quarter, as we set an all-time revenue record for Services and March quarter revenue records for iPhone, Mac, and Wearables, Home and Accessories. Continued strong customer demand for our products helped us achieve an all-time high for our installed base of active devices,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “Our strong operating performance generated over $28 billion in operating cash flow, and allowed us to return nearly $27 billion to our shareholders during the quarter.”
COPPELL, TX, USA-JAN 4, 2022: Apple box and iPhone 13 with Hello text welcome screen. Brand new … [+] iPhone in new midnight color isolated on yellow background.
All The Corners Are The Same
Apple has updated the design of the upcoming iPhone 14 family, according to leaked CAD files reported on by Ian Zelbo. It’s a subtle change, but one that fixes an annoying visual distraction on the iPhone 13. The radius of the corner of the handset, the camera island, and the screen will finally match each other:
“[There] is a quirk with the iPhone 13 Pro design,” Zelbo explains. “The radius of the phone’s corners do not match the radius of the camera bump (obviously, an odd decision for a company like Apple, who is known for their cohesiveness)… Apple has rounded the corners of the iPhone 14 Pro significantly, finally addressing the odd look on the iPhone 13 Pro.”
(AppleTrack via Gordon Kelly).
Your iPhone Is Going To Get More Expensive For Less iPhone
The suggestion that Apple will be cutting the price of the iPhone 14 Pro Max by $200 may be welcomed by some, but the ripple effect down the portfolio could see the lower specced iPhone 14 models be priced higher than the equivalent iPhone 13 models. And this is on top of a spec sheet that is expected to weaken the appeal of the entry-level iPhones:
“Multiple leaks have claimed that rising component costs and Apple’s determination to differentiate Pro and non-Pro iPhones, will see the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max increase to $1099 and $1199 respectively. That $200 gap now potentially pushes the iPhone 14 Max as high as $999 — $300 more than an iPhone 13 Mini.
The Popular Pro
Meanwhile, Apple has enough confidence in the iPhone 13 Pro that the order book has been opened up and more units have been ordered. Demand has been higher than expected across the board (not just with the iPhone, but with the whole smartphone market – as the consumer market finds a new “normal”:
“In the first quarter of this year, Apple ordered just a million of the smaller iPhone 13 Pro while the Max was produced in 3.5 million units. Starting Q2 2022, however, the standard Pro sees a whopping increase to 8 million orders, whereas the Pro Max sees a bump to 6.5 million. That makes a 10 million increase over the last quarter. This is good news for Apple as the average selling price of the iPhone 13 family will increase and investors will be happy with the extra revenue.”
(The Elec via GSM Arena).
Mac Studio Goes Off The Charts
Although we are still waiting on the Mac Pro, the recently launched Mac Studio offers a glimpse at how much power Apple can tap into with the Apple Silicon powered M1, specifically the M1 Ultra. Craig A. Hunter has been testing the hardware against his own computational fluid dynamics benchmark, and the results are stunning:
“Now we see that the Mac Studio shot up to just over 180 GFlops performance on 16 cores (using only performance cores), over twice the performance that the 2019 Mac Pro reached with 28 cores. What’s more, the slope of the performance curve is dramatically different. Whereas the 2019 Mac Pro labored to add additional performance past about 14 cores, the Mac Studio shows very little fall off, indicating that the 16 cores had plenty of bandwidth for memory access and parallel communication without competing with each other very much.”
The main focus of my reviews has always been about CPU performance in real world engineering benchmarks, and this is where things take a dramatic turn with the Mac Studio. To really convey my experience, I want to set the stage with previous results from the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) benchmark I’ve been running for the last 10 years. These results cover four generations of pro desktop Mac systems running Intel CPUs:
Reviewing The iPad Air For Movies
launched alongside the third-generation iPhone SE in March, the iPad Air 5 caught the attention of the geekerati with the inclusion of the same m1 chip as the MacBook Air. With so many people using tablets like the iPad as media consumption devices, the team at What Hi-Fi set out to review the screens and speakers. Basically, it’s “same again” compared to the iPad Air 4, but that’s not a bad thing:
“Of course, our prime concerns are the picture and sound quality and the specs suggest that nothing has changed here. Apple’s own data sheet indicates that the new iPad Air has the same two-speaker sound system as its predecessor, as well as the same display, with no changes to size (10.9 inches), resolution (2360 x 1640), pixel density (264ppi) or peak brightness (a quoted 500 nits). It’s always a shame when specs stay static across device generations, but the iPad Air 4 was a superb video playback device so it’s little surprise that Apple hasn’t sought to make big changes here..”
Apple’s Self Repair Program Has A Catch
Following moves from Android manufacturers, Apple has finally followed up on last year’s press release with details on its Self Service Repair program for iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and iPhone SE (third-generation) owners:
“The new online store offers more than 200 individual parts and tools, enabling customers who are experienced with the complexities of repairing electronic devices to complete repairs on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups and iPhone SE (3rd generation), such as the display, battery, and camera. Later this year the program will also include manuals, parts, and tools to perform repairs on Mac computers with Apple silicon.”
As with any program like this, the small print is important. In the case of Apple’s repair program, the controversial gotcha is in the process of pairing parts. Once fitted, you have to use Apple’s own software to digitally lock the part to your iPhone, a process that gifts Apple control over how the parts are used and for how long:
“Requiring parts pairing essentially puts an expiration date on iPhones. When a refurbisher gets a functioning phone with no parts support, there will be no way for them to fully restore a product that needs a display replacement—even if they have an original Apple display from another phone. That’s why it was important to us that the parts we are selling for Google, HTC Vive, Motorola, Samsung, and Valve do not require a serial number to purchase or use software to pair the part to the device.”
Apple may have promised the earth when the M1 Macs arrived, but Scott Yu-Jan wanted more. So with a bit of tinkering, he’s put together his own portable FrankenMac. Meet the 100 per cent portable Mac Mini:
“To him, the ideal laptop is just a desktop without wires. It should be portable, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be sleek. Hacked together to ironically (or not) prove his point, Scott’s MacMiniBook (or MacBook Mini if you’re pedantic) is the perfect solution for people who want a truly powerful zero-compromise laptop. Sure, it isn’t sleek, but it doesn’t pull punches. With an M1 chip on the inside that lifts well above its weight, Scott’s creation comfortably bridges the gap between the laptop and desktop experience. In fact, parts of the video above were even edited on Scott’s MacGyvered MacBook Mini.”
(Youtube Via Yanko Design).
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.
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May 15, 2022 at 12:30AM