Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes new iPhone 13 display leaks, the iPhone SE vs the iPhone 12 Mini, Apple’s secret security update, Mac and Windows back together, iPad and MacBook chip problems, and a look ahead at Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ event.
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).
The New iPhone Screen Becomes Clear
More details on the upcoming screen in the iPhone, with the geekerati obtaining images of iPhone parts showing the new design of the notch at the top of the iOS-powered smartphone. As expected the speaker is moving up into the top bezel, reducing the amount of screen real estate that needs to be sacrificed for the other sensors:
“Apple is achieving the reduction in width by hoisting the earpiece upwards and into the top screen bezel. The Infrared and camera components remain in the visible notch region. The photos show how the screen protectors accommodate for that change by intentionally not occluding the earpiece.”
The iPhone SE vs The iPhone Mini
Apple currently has two ‘small’ iPhones in the iPhone SE and the iPhone 12 Mini. With the iPhone 13 Mini expected to launch this year, you might think the Mini is the winner given the lack of updates to the SE, but the latest analyst reports suggest the iPhone 13 Mini will be the last in the line and the iPhone SE will be updated in 2023 to be the ‘small iPhone’ of choice:
“Apple’s 2022 iPhones could come in four different models with significantly improved cameras, TFI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a Wednesday note to investors… If accurate, Kuo’s prediction would suggest that Apple is backing away from its lowest-cost new device, the iPhone 12 Mini, which was released in 2020 after years of user requests for a smaller iPhone.”
Massive Security Update Revealed By Apple
Details published by Apple have brought to light last year’s ‘secret’ upgrade to the hardware design of older iPhones. Apple made the decision to upgrade the Secure Enclave section of the A12 and A13 processors; the presumption being that significant security issues were discovered int he hardware that could not be negated by a software update.
“The Secure Enclave is part of the Axx processor design that offers a specific hardened area to store and process sensitive data, for example the device’s passcode, TouchID data, and FaceID data. First launched with the A7, all of the current iOS and iPadOS devices sport the Secure enclave.”
MacBook And Windows Are Back Together
This week saw Windows 10 arriving on the Apple Silicon flavour of the Mac. Yes, the ever popular Parallels Desktop virtual machine software released a native version for the M1 Macs. Admittedly you need the ARM versions of Windows, so you’ll have the same restrictions as Surface Pro X users, but this potentially offers Microsoft far more ARM users of Windows 10 than anything the Surface range can offer this year.
“Note that when it comes to the M1-powered Macs, you can only run Windows 10 for ARM64, and that flavor is currently in the technical preview stage. Also, you can’t run 64-bit (x64) applications, and are limited to 64-bit (ARM64), 32-bit (ARM32), and 32-bit (x86) apps. On top of that, Microsoft has listed a number of other limitations for this platform worth bearing in mind.
As far as compatibility is concerned, more than 100,000 M1-powered Mac users tested the Technical Preview of Parallels Desktop 16.5 for M1 Mac, along with tens of thousands of different Intel based Windows applications.”
When The Chips Are Down…
The worldwide component shortage is impacting consumer electronics across the board, and Apple is no exception. While the size of its order books grants it priority, many believe that Apple’s output is going to be impacted, including the iPad and MacBook ranges:
“Production of some MacBooks and iPads has been postponed due to the global component shortage… Chip shortages have caused delays in a key step in MacBook production — the mounting of components on printed circuit boards before final assembly — sources briefed on the matter told Nikkei Asia. Some iPad assembly, meanwhile, was postponed because of a shortage of displays and display components, sources said.”
Next week will see Apple’s ‘Spring Laoded’ event. The traditional ‘first half of the year’ launch typically brings with it the new iPads and educational focused products. Last year saw the iPhone SE and the final Intel powered MacBooks launched around the same time. What can we expect this year? Will we finally see the Air Tags?
“Serial leaker Jon Prosser said in October that “AirTags” were being pushed back to March 2021, which he reiterated in February. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo offered in January that “AirTags” would be on the way sometime in 2021, though didn’t advise of when it would be… The appearance of these features in the beta, as well as the third-party Find My support, certainly increases the chances of an upcoming “AirTags” launch at an event.”
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.