Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes iPhone 15 Pro’s hobbled USB-C port, the return of the iPhone SE, tuning your AirPods, Chrome’s MacBook battery problem, Apple increases battery replacement cost, and how Apple left the mobile market behind in 1998.
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 15’s Disappointing USB-C News
While the iPhone 15 family will switch over to USB-C ports (according to the latest leaked details), Apple has apparently decided to ignore the ‘universal’ part of the acronym. The iPhone’s physical connectivity port will require cables and peripherals to be ‘authenticated’ by Apple’s licensing program to access the full range of features, with only slower charging speeds and data transfer permitted by Apple.
“This will be a blow given USB-C opens the door for iPhones to introduce much faster charging and data speeds, and leaks claim iPhone 15 Pro models will deliver over 40x faster performance. But now, seemingly only via MFi-approved accessories. Not the most environmentally friendly option for anyone who already has a drawer full of USB-C cables.”
PALO ALTO, CA – NOVEMBER 03: Apple CEO Tim Cook signs the box of a new iPhone X at an Apple Store … [+]
Apple Prepares Another Piece Of The Puzzle
Qualcomm, Apple’s current supplier of 5G modems for the iPhone, is not expecting to supply new modems to Apple beyond 2024, with the expectation that Apple’s own model will power the iPhones from 2024 onwards. That would make the iPhone 15 the last Qualcomm iPhone… if all goes to plan:
“Apple has long been working on making its own 5G modem chipset to replace the ones it buys from Qualcomm. While there have been many rumors of when that will happen, previously it was confirmed that Qualcomm will continue for at least the next iPhone 15.
“Now Qualcomm CEO and President Cristiano Amon has spoken publicly about when Apple will replace his company’s product…”[We] expect that Apple will do their own modem in 2024,” he said, “but if they need ours they know where to find us.”
iPhone SE Is Coming Back
Previously reported as canceled (presumably due to the iPhone Mini’s poor sales), the iPhone SE looks to have returned to the 2024 product mix:
“[Analyst Ming-Chi] Kuo said the new iPhone SE will be similar to the standard iPhone 14, which features a 6.1-inch OLED display with thinner bezels. The current iPhone SE is equipped with a 4.7-inch LCD display with thicker bezels.
“The new iPhone SE will be equipped with Apple’s custom-designed 5G modem, with connectivity limited to sub-6GHz bands of 5G, the analyst said. The current iPhone SE already supports 5G, but uses Qualcomm’s custom Snapdragon X57 chip.”
Tuning Your AirPods
Everybody’s ears are a different shape, so the rise of the true wireless earbuds has meant finding ways to offer a more universal fit in this unique part of the body. Apple’s latest patent suggests a new trick in software to help AirPods sound better in the future… tuning the sound to each individual ear:
“Apple notes that equalization filters could be used to increase or attenuate levels of different frequencies in an audio signal. The audio signal can be used to drive speakers of a headworn speaker device. Headworn speaker devices include AirPods Max, AirPods, Head Mounted Display (HMD) devices, smartglasses (e.g., located on the temples or temple tips of the eyeglasses).”
Google Addresses MacBook Battery Problems
“The test conducted by Google showed that users can watch 18 hours of YouTube videos or browse the web for 17 hours on the new M2-powered MacBook Pro running macOS Ventura with the new version. Google didn’t provide any data indicating how much difference the new version would make on older MacBook models with Intel chipsets.”
iPhone Battery Replacement Price Rise
Staying on batteries, as previously announced, March 1 saw Apple raise the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement. Dropped back to $29 in 2018 in a response to battery-gate, Apple’s price rise this week is both expected and disappointing… especially in a week where Nokia’s new handsets are promoting the user-exchangeable batteries at WMC.
“With these changes, you’ll now pay $89 for battery replacements on the iPhone X, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13. This is an increase from the previous pricing of $69. For the iPhone SE, iPhone 8, and earlier models, prices are rising from $49 to $69. The iPhone 14 is not included in today’s price increases for battery service. That being said, iPhone 14 battery replacements have been more expensive since day one at $99.”
25 years ago this week, Apple walked away from the mobile devices market as it killed off the Apple Newton platform. Launched into the same PDA-driven market as the Palm Pilot and the Psion Series 3. At the time, it looked like the future was being avoided, and both the community and the staff were vocally against the change.
“In hindsight, it’s easy to poke fun of the Newton, but its user base was passionate about the platform, and didn’t take the news well. A small crowd of them showed up at Apple’s Inifinite Loop campus to make their point known, as was reported by CNET at the time:”
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.