Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the latest iPhone 12 details, the danger of the iPhone SE2, ProMode for you MacBook Pro, iPhone battery problems, Apple forced to explain encryption once more, the EU threatens the lightning port, and the opening of The Apple Archive.
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).
How Will Apple Deliver The 5G iPhone 12?
2020 is the year that Apple should bring 5G to the iPhone. Previously, it was reported that the full iPhone 12 range would be picking up 5G capability. The latest analyst reports not only back tho up, but provide more details on the two types of 5G that could be available. Joe Rossignol reports:
“[Analyst ig-Chi] Kuo said iPhone models with mmWave would be available in five markets, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom, adding that Apple may disable 5G functionality in countries that do not offer 5G service or have a shallow 5G penetration rate to reduce production costs.
“Kuo has now doubled down on his prediction. In a follow-up research note today, viewed by MacRumors, he said Apple is still on track to release both sub-6GHz and sub-6GHz-plus-mmWave iPhone models simultaneously in the second half of 2020, with shipments beginning in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter.”
The Delightful Gamble Of The iPhone SE2
Does the upcoming release of the iPhone SE2 (or is it the iPhone 9) represent a deliberate decision by Apple to move forward with its software and services strategy, and reduce its reliance on hardware margins? I argue that very case here:
“It’s no longer just about the hardware, it’s about software and services. It’s about generating recurring revenue from iCloud storage, Apple Music subscriptions, the ongoing push into ‘TV’ and video. That’s a strategy that needs a wide user base to sell subscriptions. The iPhone SE2, while not the cheapest of smartphones, will be the cheapest iPhone of this generation on the market when it is launched. That means an increase in sales, an increase in the user base, and an increase in subscription sales.
“And that is the delight of the iPhone SE2.”
Stand By For Action, As MacOS Picks Up ProMode
The next beta for MacOS Catalina has revealed some interesting secrets inside the code. Apple is preparing a ‘Pro Mode’ that looks to ramp up the speed of the processor and widen the thermal limits for more performance. Amber Neely reports:
“The new mode can be toggled on and off by users, and suggests that it may be designed to boost performance of MacBooks, such as the new 16-inch MacBook Pro.
“When toggled on, some strings state “Apps may run faster, but battery life may decrease and fan noise may increase.” Additionally, toggling on Pro Mode activates a string that reads “Fan speed limit overridden.” “
iPhone Battery Problems With The Smart Case
Apple confirmed that a number of Smart Battery Cases (those for the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max) are suffering charging problems and will need to be replaced, which will be a free service for those affected. Samuel Axon reports:
“The battery cases in question sometimes either charge intermittently or do not charge at all when plugged into a power source, and they may also fail to charge the iPhones to which they are attached. Apple was careful to clarify that this problem is not a safety issue; that’s a necessary clarification, given that there have been battery-related issues with other gadgets that were safety concerns.”
More at Ars Technica. Details on the process can be found at Apple’s support pages.
Apple Explains Encryption One More Time
Following the recent Pensacola shooting, the FBI is once more turning to Apple for help in obtaining information. Although Apple has in its words “the queries resulted in many gigabytes of information that we turned over to investigators. In every instance, we responded with all of the information that we had”, the government agency has demanded Apple unlock the phone – something that is not possible because Apple has no way into a locked iOS device. Joshua Topolsky and Raymond Wong report:
“Despite pressure from the government, Apple has long held that giving anyone the keys to users’ data or a backdoor to their phones — even in cases where terrorism or violence was involved — would compromise every user. The company is clearly standing by those principles.”
More at Input, where you can read Apple’s statement in full.
Goodbye Lightning Port
European regulators are turning once more to amount of electronic waste created by chargers for consumer electronics, including smartphones, proposing a universal charging method. Apple is, understandably, reluctant to give up the lightning port if any such regulation is voted through. BBC News reports:
“If the regulator enforces its proposed regulation, Apple devices sold in Europe would be required to have a new charging method. It is likely Apple would then adopt USB-C, considering the company’s 2019 iPad Pro ditched Lightning in favour of the technology.
Another possible option would be to remove charging ports and cables entirely and use wireless charging instead. A new cable would mark the tech giant’s third in 13 years. The majority of newly-manufactured Android phones already feature USB-C ports.”
The last time around, Apple used a loophole that allowed adaptors to be used – a micro-USB to lightning port was made available. This time I suspect the regulations will be a little tighter.
How do you archive the creativity of a company? That’s a question asked by Sam Henri Gold, who has opened up ’The Apple Archive’ this week that looks back at Apple’s long history of marketing and promotion. We all know the ‘1984’ advert, but what about ’Snowglobe’? Michael Steeber reports:
“The full collection spans over 15,000 files and just under 1TB of data. PDFs, print ads, WWDC sessions, obscure clips from the ‘80s, and an unabridged collection of macOS and iOS wallpapers are among the additions still on the way. New content will be announced on Twitter.”
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.