Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes new iPhone 13 camera leaks, iPhone 12 Pro sales, iPad success, MacBook Pro beaten by Surface Pro, Apple vs Facebook over privacy, iOS 14.5 beta, and recognition for Ted Lasso.
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).
iPhone 13 Camera Leaks
As always, the improved camera technology is one way to help a new smartphone stand out form the pack. That means the new features and techniques are going to be hotly debated before the reveal, during the launch, through the reviews, and beyond. This year’s iPhone 13 will not be an exception, and the latest leak brings a new ultra-wide camera into play as one of the key specs:
“In an investor note with TF International Securities in November, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also claimed that the Ultra Wide lens will be upgraded to an ƒ/1.8 aperture, but only on iPhone 13 Pro models, so there is conflicting information as to exactly how many models will get the lens upgrade. Kuo expects the upgraded Ultra Wide lens to expand to the rest of the flagship iPhone lineup in the second half of 2022.”
More iPhone 12 Pro In 2021
Following up on reports last week, JP Morgan’s supply chain analyst has bumped up the project sales of the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max in the back half of 2021. Not only does he pick out the drop in iPhone 12 numbers, he floats the idea that iPhone 12 Mini production may haunt in the third calendar quarter of the year:
“…Yang has revised the mix of iPhone models to include a much higher percentage of iPhone 12 Pro Max devices, along with larger numbers of iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 11 devices. The analyst has revised iPhone 12 Pro Max build numbers up by 11 million units; iPhone 12 Pro build numbers up by 2 million units; and iPhone 11 build numbers up by 8 million units.”
Tablet Sales And iPad Sales Climb
The iPad family has benefited from the global rise in tablet sales. With the market up 19.3 percent year-on-year, Digitimes believes Apple is on its thirteenth consecutive record quarter:
“Shipments reportedly rose in part due to concerns about chip shortages expected in the first half of 2021. The other reason for the massive rise was Apple’s new eighth-gen iPad, released in September 2020. The entry-level tablet was professed by Apple to be its most popular tablet at the release of the seventh-generation model in 2019.”
Surface Pro 7+ vs MacBook Pro
Has Apple missed a trick with the MacBook Pro design? Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7+ has a number of great features for enterprise customers, and that offers a distinct advantage over the Mac; although with a redesign expected during 2021 we may yet see Apple’s laptop fitted with a removable SSD:
“The reason is tucked away at the back of the respective hardware. The new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops have perfectly smooth cases, with no access or options to reach the internals. The Surface Pro 7+ has a hatch, behind which you can pop in a SIM card for 4G LTE data and a removable SSD.”
How Privacy Will Define 2021
Apple vs Facebook is going to be one of the most significant stories of 2021. Reducing it down to a soundbite removes many of the shades of grey between the positions of Tim Cook’s Apple and Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, but the battle around who controls your personal data is going to be visible, ugly, and relevant to every one of us. I suspect that Apple is going to find its stance far easier to justify in public:
““Technology does not need vast troves of personal data, stitched together across dozens of websites and apps, in order to succeed,” [Apple CEO Tim Cook speaking the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection conference]… “Advertising existed and thrived for decades without it. And we’re here today because the path of least resistance is rarely the path of wisdom. If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, then it does not deserve our praise. It deserves reform.””
New Features in iOS 14.5 Beta
The public beta of iOS 14.5 will allow iPhone users to use Face ID to unlock their device while wearing a face mask; the twist is that the user must have an Apple Watch, which acts as secondary check through proximity to go along with the reduced biometric data available. That’s not the only significant feature in the iOS 14.5 beta. It may have been there at launch, but this version is expected to switch on 5G support to both SIM cards in the iPhone 12:
“At present, trying to use the Face ID feature with part of the face covered triggers a screen asking users to type in their passcode, which many find frustrating. The iOS 14.5 upgrade should solve that. But users also need to be wearing one of Apple’s more recent smartwatches.”
Apple TV+’s ’Ted Lasso’ has pick dup Emmy nominates for ‘Best Comedy’ and ‘Best Actor’. The awards ceremony is on Feb 28th. More at Apple Insider.
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.