eXtensions - Sunday 25 July 2021
Sunday Notes: Speculation Special; Plus a Few Hard Facts
By Graham K. Rogers
If history repeats itself, within a week or two (sometimes a day or so) after this event, there could be some updates from Apple: a product adjustment, an update, a tweak. If it is a large change, such as new Macs, that would require a video introduction so I would expect at least a week before the announcement about the announcement. Some products are put out with no more than a press release. With time running short before the holiday season, there is certain to be a video from Apple on the next iPhone, but other devices are also likely before and after that event.
In recent yeas it has changed into a mini-industry of its own, with three or four influencers who put out rumors that are immediately taken up by almost all the rest of the online commentators. Several of these are also taken as truths by Wall Street, affecting the share price; and there have been one or two notable gaffes, most notably the threat that Apple was doomed (there are a lot of these anyway) if it did not announce a Watch within a few weeks.
Apple did not meet the deadline set by Trip Chowdry and yet still survives, going on now to existence as a $2.5 trillion company. As a note, when Apple announced the iPhone the shares were at $200 they are now a touch under $149, but there has been a 7-way stock split since. Those original shares would have been $28.57 (521.43%) at current prices: boom, not doom.
One of the rumor creators is Ming-Chi Kuo of DigiTimes. Many regard this source as gold, but it is not always accurate and may only be sourcing information from specific sources. My approach is to look at the rumor, nod or frown, depending on whether I like the idea, and wait for the Apple announcement. There have been strong rumors of late concerning the iPad mini. If it is to continue - and I hope it does - it is due an update. For some, that has translated into there will be a new iPad mini. Wait and see. Additional to that, DigiTimes claimed that the new device would be produced with min-LED (see below).
A flurry of news reports, like Chicken Little, followed up with their own versions of the same rumor. Now Stephen Warwick (iMore) writes that this rumor is not to be. Citing Ross Young of DSCC (Display Supply Chain Consultants), we are now told the report was incorrect. Although the source has strong links to the industry, this seems to me that another rumor has superseded the one from DigiTimes. I do hope that other parts of the rumor, concerning the USB-C port and the A15 chip are still in play. Several other sources also repeated the "no mini-LED" rumor.
The current model: iPhone 12 - Image courtesy of Apple
I would not be surprised if 13 was not used as triskaidekaphobia is common in several countries, although not (apparently) in China or India, two of the largest markets in which Apple sells iPhones. I looked through several web pages using Google search (in which countries is 13 considered unlucky) and much of the fear is north European, Christian and through those cultures to North America. With more than 50% of its sales outside the USA these days, I am not convinced either way. Warwick has a number of other ideas about what the next iPhone will have, including comments on the camera, battery, and of course the expected A15 chip.
M1 Macs: iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro - Image courtesy of Apple
Even with the notebooks there are a number of ways that Apple could provide updates and the obvious advance is for an evolution of the M-1 chip. That was the first step on the ladder and I would not expect this to be used in updates to (traditionally) more powerful computers in the line, such as the current 16" MacBook Pro versions that use 2.6GHz 6-core and 2.3GHz 8-core Intel processors. Speculation has already suggested M1X or M2 nomenclature, and this expected power improvement from the increased number of cores is about right. It might also be expected that the 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports would be increased to 4 and there would be other features that befit such high end notebook computers.
Having only recently updated the MacBook Air, there have been rumors in the last few days that this is to be updated again, but with external design changes including the end of the iconic wedge shape. Using one of the well-known rumor sources as source, several articles, including from Stephen Warwick (iMore) also suggest that the display will be enhanced and a different keyboard is to be used. This would also benefit from different Apple silicon which I find odd. The article here also mentions two other rumor-mongers: Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo.
Intel MacBook Air - May 2020
Loyola claims not to like the Touch Bar and cannot wait for it to go. His main argument seems to be that it does not suit his way of working. He uses the MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar and a Mac Pro without. Like a lot of power users he has learned the efficient use of Key commands. I use the MacBook Pro and the iPad Pro most and there is a similarity with the way, when I am writing or editing text that suggestions appear: Touch Bar on the Mac; bottom of the screen on the iPad Pro. Loyola grudgingly accepts that suggestions here are useful when filling in forms online. These need active input from the user to be inserted into the text which is far safer than the lazy, passive use of autocorrect when writing.
Touch Bar on 13" M1 MacBook Pro
As a reminder, it is easy to take a screen shot of the Touch Bar using similar commands to other screenshots. Those available are:
I looked on the Mac first and FaceTime had the right information, so it was back to the iPhone. I found that the iCloud account details were not entered, so added them to the Phone settings panel and signed in. After a short delay, panels began to appear on other devices telling me of a new sign in. I presume now that when someone phones me this might again appear on the Mac, but when a call did come later about an online food order, the Mac was not running, so I missed that chance.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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