MacRumors Roundups

MacRumors Roundups are an overview summary of the all the rumors and expectations about a particular product. With the fast paced nature of the Apple news cycle, it can be difficult for even the most dedicated reader to follow every new development.

The goal of each roundup is to simply answer the question of "What are you expecting" for any given product. That opinion is certain to change over time as new rumors are revealed, and the roundups will be updated regularly to reflect that.

Over time, we hope to ramp up to have more roundups on more topics.

Apple TV

First introduced in 2007, Apple's set-top box has always been described as a "hobby project" for the company. Designed to provide consumers with access to movies, TV shows, sports, music, and more, the device has never been a top seller. Despite that fact, Apple has continually supported the Apple TV, introducing new versions on a regular basis.



Over the course of the last three years, Apple has taken an even greater interest in the Apple TV, heavily boosting its functionality through both content offerings and hardware improvements. In addition to content from the iTunes Store, the Apple TV now offers more than 40 different channels, ranging from HBO GO to Netflix, with further deals said to be in the works.


Apple's growing focus on content deals, along with specific comments from Steve Jobs on the company's interest in the television arena, has spurred countless rumors questioning the future of the device. Speculation has suggested that the Apple TV could be expanded into a gaming device, a cable box replacement, a full-blown television set, or a combination of all three.


Apple Pay

Apple Pay, aka Pay, is Apple's mobile payments service. As with the Apple Watch, Apple has adopted the Apple symbol () followed by "Pay" for the service's name, though the company also refers to it as "Apple Pay."


Available since October 20, 2014, Apple Pay is designed to allow iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users in the United States and the United Kingdom to make payments for goods and services with their iPhones in retail stores using an NFC chip built into the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, and the Apple Watch.


With the Apple Watch, Apple Pay is extended to the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s. To use Apple Pay with one of these devices, a paired Apple Watch is required. This is possible because the Apple Watch has the necessary NFC chip.


Apple Pay also lets users make one-tap purchases within apps that have adopted the Apple Pay API. Devices capable of using Apple Pay within iOS apps include the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, the iPad Air 2, and the iPad mini 3. All of these devices contain an NFC controller where the "Secure Element" of Apple Pay is located, keeping customer information secure.


Apple Watch

On September 9, 2014, Apple finally unveiled its long-rumored wearable device, the Apple Watch, aka Watch. While many expected the wearable to be called the "iWatch," Apple actually opted to use the Apple symbol () followed by "Watch" for the device's name. According to Apple's head of design Jony Ive, Apple has been working on the device for three years. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that Apple's objective with the watch is to "change the way you live your life."


The Apple Watch is designed to be both functional and fashionable, available in two sizes of 38mm and 42mm (1.5 and 1.7 inches), with six different casing materials and six separate interchangeable band options in a variety of colors. Organized into three separate collections, from the simple "Sport" to the high-end luxury "Edition," the Apple Watch has been created to appeal to a wide range of tastes.


Prices for the device, which is available in the first nine launch countries as of April 24, 2015, start at $349 for the aluminum Watch Sport collection. The stainless steel Watch collection starts at $549, while the the gold Watch Edition collection starts at $10,000 and goes as high as $17,000.


Designed with either an ion-strengthened or flexible sapphire display (depending on model), all of the Apple Watches include an HD Retina screen, sapphire-covered sensors built into the zirconia backing, and an NFC chip to allow the devices to work with Apple's Apple Pay mobile payment service.


iOS 9

iOS 9 is Apple's newest operating system for iOS devices like the iPhone and the iPad, introduced at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 8. iOS 9 builds on the content introduced with iOS 7 and iOS 8, bringing subtle design changes, refined features, improved functionality, and performance enhancements.


iOS 9's biggest focus is on intelligence and proactivity, allowing iOS devices to learn user habits and act on that information, opening up apps before we need them, making recommendations on places we might like, and guiding us through our daily lives to make sure we're where we need to be at the right time.


Siri is at the heart of the changes, and the personal assistant is now able to create contextual reminders and search through photos and videos in new ways. Swiping left from the home screen also brings up a new screen that houses "Siri Suggestions," putting favorite contacts and apps right at your fingertips, along with nearby restaurant and location information and important news.


Deeper search capabilities can bring up results like sports scores, videos, and content from third-party apps, and you can even do simple conversions and calculations using the search tools on your iPhone or iPad.


'Steve Jobs' Movie

On October 24, 2011, just weeks after former Apple CEO Steve Jobs passed away from pancreatic cancer, Walter Isaacson released his best-selling biography, "Steve Jobs." The book was crafted from more than forty interviews Isaacson had with Jobs over the course of two years, and it provided a deep, introspective look into the life of the man responsible for turning Apple into the world's most valuable company.


It also provided an honest look at Jobs -- Isaacson conducted over a hundred interviews with Jobs' family members, friends, colleagues, competitors, and enemies -- giving the clearest picture yet of the kind of man that Steve Jobs was.


Before Isaacson even published the book, Sony, knowing that it would be an undeniable hit, acquired the rights to produce a movie based on the biography, and that's the basis for the "Steve Jobs" film.


A lot of big names are attached to the movie, which is said to be a serious drama that covers three of Jobs' product launch events. Aaron Sorkin, famous for writing "The West Wing," "Newsroom," "Moneyball," and "The Social Network," wrote the screenplay, and Danny Boyle, known for films like "127 Hours" and "Slumdog Millionaire," will direct.


Apple Car

The Apple Car is what the media has taken to calling the electric car project that's rumored to be in development at Apple under the code name "Project Titan."


Apple is said to have hundreds of employees working on creating an electric vehicle at a secret location near its Cupertino headquarters. Little is known about the car, but sources have suggested it may resemble a minivan. The car may or may not include self-driving technology -- rumors have thus far disagreed on this point.


The Apple Car is in the very early stages of development, and Apple is still in the process of recruiting people for the project and meeting with car makers and automotive suppliers. The project is being led by Steve Zadesky, VP of Product Design, who has Cook's permission to recruit 1,000 employees, many from within Apple.


We don't know what the Apple Car will look like, but based on Apple's existing product line and its desire to expand iOS beyond the iPhone and the iPad, we can assume that any Apple-produced car will integrate deeply with the iPhone.


iPhone 6s (2015)

Rumors about the next-generation iPhone have been trickling in for months. It's expected that Apple will continue its 2014 trend, offering the 2015 iPhone in two separate sizes -- one larger and one smaller.


We expect Apple will stick to its long running "S" naming scheme (which has been around since 2009), calling the new phones the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. iPhone 6s Plus is a mouthful though, so it is possible that this might be the year that we get a new naming format. One analyst believes Apple might call its next-generation phone the "iPhone 7" due to the significance of the new changes being implemented, but it's far too early in development to know for sure.


Because it's an "S" year upgrade and because the iPhone was just redesigned, the next-generation version will focus on internal improvements rather than an updated external look. Screen sizes will remain at 4.7 and 5.5 inches, and Apple is not expected to introduce a new 4-inch model.


There may be a few exterior changes, though. There's been a rumor that Apple will add a new color option to its iPhone lineup in 2015 -- pink (which may be rose gold). We've also seen two rumors suggesting Apple might opt to use the same 7000 series aluminum used in the Apple Watch in the next-generation iPhone. The aluminum is 60% stronger than standard aluminum but still lightweight.


OS X El Capitan

OS X 10.11 El Capitan, introduced at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 8, is the next iteration of OS X, building on the features and design changes introduced with OS X Yosemite. OS X El Capitan might seem like a strange name, but it's meant to highlight the OS's position as an update that brings under-the-hood improvements and refinements to OS X Yosemite.


In real life, El Capitan is one of the most popular rock formations and landmarks located within Yosemite National Park. The "El Capitan" name for OS X 10.11 reflects a long-running OS X naming scheme that's used to denote updates that are refinements to previous updates, following in the footsteps of Leopard/Snow Leopard and Lion/Mountain Lion.



With El Capitan, Apple focused on two major areas: user experience and performance. Improvements to window management, apps, and Spotlight search enhance the way we use our Macs, while under-the-hood additions like Metal graphics technology make everyday activities like launching apps faster.


watchOS 2

watchOS is the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch, much like iOS runs on iPhones and iPads and OS X runs on Macs. While watchOS has taken design cues from iOS 8, it's been built from the ground up for the Apple Watch, with features and apps that take advantage of all of the hardware in the device.


Apps like Activity and Workout read data from the accelerometer and the heart rate sensor, while communication features let users send sketches, heartbeats, and animated emoji. Notifications are beamed from the iPhone and delivered with small haptic taps on the wrist, while Glances offer up quick tidbits of information that can be digested in just a few seconds.


As the Apple Watch has only been available for a few months, much of what watchOS can do may still be unclear to users who are new to the device. To learn more about watchOS features, make sure to check out our dedicated Apple Watch roundup.


The Apple Watch shipped with watchOS 1.0 and the operating system has received one minor update to introduce performance improvements and bug fixes. Apple has previewed the next-generation Apple Watch software, watchOS 2, and seeded five developer betas of the software thus far.


iPhone 6

Apple launched two new iPhones, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, in September of 2014. Along with larger screens and a completely new iPad-style design with an ultra thin body and rounded corners, the two new phones offer faster processors, better cameras, and NFC for Apple's new Apple Pay payment system.


Apple's latest iPhones come in Gold, Silver, and Space Gray, and are available in 16, 64, and 128 GB capacities. The iPhone 6 pricing starts at $199 on contract, while the iPhone 6 Plus pricing starts at $299.


While both models include the same 64-bit A8 chip and the same general design, there are several differences between the two phones. The iPhone 6 measures in at 6.9mm, while the iPhone 6 Plus is slightly thicker at 7.1mm. Apple's iPhone 6 Plus also has three major differentiating factors: optical image stabilization for the camera, and a longer battery life, and an iPad-style landscape mode that displays more content on the screen.


Though the iPhone 6 Plus has optical image stabilization, both phones got some major camera improvements in form of sensor upgrades, improved tone mapping, better noise reduction, and new "Focus Pixel" technology, which improves the phone's ability to select autofocus points. For videos, there's a new 240fps slo-mo option, along with support for shooting in 1080p at 60fps. The front-facing camera was also upgraded, with an f/2.2 aperture that lets in more light and new burst mode capabilities.


iPad Pro

Apple is planning to expand its iPad lineup with a larger tablet, which the media has taken to referring to as the "iPad Pro." Expected to measure in at 12.9 inches, the iPad Pro will be Apple's largest tablet, dwarfing both the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 and the 7.9-inch iPad mini 3. At 12.9 inches, the iPad Pro would be closest in size to the 13-inch MacBook Air.


It is unclear what moniker Apple plans to bestow on its larger-screened iPad, but the media has taken to calling it the "iPad Pro. A recent report from Mac Fan suggests it might be called the "iPad Air Plus," after the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPad Air.


While rumors on the larger iPad are somewhat scarce, it's believed the tablet will closely resemble the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3, offering a thin chassis and slim bezels. The iPad Pro may measure in at 7mm, and it will likely include several iPad Air 2 features like 2GB of RAM, Touch ID, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.


It may also ship with an "ultra" high-resolution display and speakers and microphones at both the top and bottom edges of the device, creating an improved stereo audio experience. It could also feature an optional stylus accessory, and perhaps even USB 3.0 ports.


CarPlay

CarPlay, at its core, is Apple's way of bringing iOS to in-car infotainment systems and dashboards. It's designed to display information from the iPhone on a car's built-in display, giving drivers a safe way to make phone calls, send text messages, listen to music, and access Maps -- all of the things a driver might want to do with an iPhone in a car.


When connected to an in-dash system via the iPhone's Lightning port, CarPlay gives the user in-car access to information stored on the iPhone, like contacts for phone calls and messages, music playlists in apps, previous Maps searches, calendar events, and more. Because CarPlay draws its information from the iPhone, there's virtually no setup involved.


Many automobile manufacturers are building CarPlay support into cars that are set to be released in 2015 and 2016, but there's also a way to get CarPlay in existing vehicles -- some aftermarket in-dash systems from companies like Pioneer, Kenwood, and Alpine are compatible with CarPlay and are readily available.



OS X Yosemite

Apple released OS X Yosemite to the public on October 16, 2014, following a media event that saw the unveiling of new iPads, a new Retina iMac, and a new Mac mini.


OS X Yosemite can be downloaded from the Mac App Store at no cost. Prospective users will need 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage space, along with Snow Leopard at a minimum as Mac App Store access is required.


Originally unveiled during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 2, 2014, Yosemite went through several months of beta testing before it saw its public release. Apple also launched a public beta for OS X Yosemite for the first time, allowing more than a million users to test the software before its release.


OS X Yosemite introduces a number of visual changes, including a flatter, more modern look that emphasizes translucency, streamlined toolbars, and smarter controls.


iOS 8 Features

While our main iOS 8 roundup focuses on the major changes announced by Apple, this iOS 8 roundup highlights some of the more interesting but smaller additions and refinements made to Apple's mobile operating system throughout its lifespan.


Apple released iOS 8 to the public on September 17, 2014, two days ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Prior to the public launch, the software went through five developer betas before a golden master was released on September 9.


The current version of iOS 8 is iOS 8.4.1, a minor update that introduced security improvements and bug fixes. Prior to iOS 8.4.1, Apple introduced iOS 8.4, which brought a revamped Music app and support for the new Apple Music service.


Revamped Music app - iOS 8.4 introduces a new look for the Music app with a revamped design that shows pictures of artists in the Artists view and offers personalized playlists. It also offers a new MiniPlayer, a redesigned look for "Now Playing," global search capabilities that make it easier to search from anywhere within the Music app, and access to the new on-demand streaming music service and Beats 1 radio.


iOS 8

iOS 8 was unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June of 2014 and launched to the public on September 17, 2014. The release for existing devices came two days ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.


Improved integration between Apple devices, both mobile and desktop, is a major focal point of both iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. Apple introduced several new "Continuity" features that are designed to connect the iPhone, iPad, and Mac "like never before."


AirDrop, Apple's peer-to-peer file sharing protocol, now works between iOS and Mac devices. Handoff, a newly introduced feature, works on the same sharing principles and lets users start a task on one device and instantly pick it up on another.


Along with sharing tasks with Handoff, iPads and Macs can both place and answer phone calls using the iPhone as a relay. Using this same functionality, Macs and iPads are able to receive SMS messages via the Messages app, which was previous limited to iMessages on those platforms.


iPad Air 2

Apple's original iPad Air was impressively thin, measuring just 7.5 mm thick, similar to the pencil that it was compared to in an array of advertisements. On October 16, 2014, Apple introduced the iPad Air 2, which is significantly thinner, at just 6.1 mm thick. According to Apple execs, it's the thinnest tablet in the world, and it's even thinner than both the iPhone 6 (6.9 mm) and the iPhone 6 Plus (7.1 mm).


Aside from a thinner body, the iPad Air 2 retains the same general design elements of the original iPad Air, but it has gained some impressive under-the-hood improvements. For one, the tablet now comes with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor first introduced in the iPhone 5s, and it also includes an upgraded A8X processor that's even faster than the A8 in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and 2GB of RAM. There's an M8 motion coprocessor as well, which pulls in data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and a new barometer.


Using a laminated gapless display let Apple shed unnecessary bulk from the iPad Air 2, and it also let the company improve the display, offering enhanced contrast and more vibrant colors. Apple also added an anti-reflective screen coating that cuts down on up to 56 percent of glare.


The iPad Air 2 has gained an 8-megapixel rear camera that includes an Apple-designed image signal processor, an f/2.4 aperture, and support for 1080p HD video. For the first time, the iPad can capture large panoramas up to 43 megapixels, it can capture 720p 120FPS Slo-mo video, it has time-lapse video capabilities, and it can take burst mode photos.


MacBook Air

Apple's MacBook Air is best known for its compact size and portability. The notebooks were last redesigned in 2010, and weigh just 2.38 pounds and 2.96 pounds for the 11-inch and 13-inch models, respectively.


On March 9, 2015, Apple unveiled updated 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air models. As an internal-only update with no chassis redesign, the new notebooks received Intel's Broadwell processors with Intel HD Graphics 6000 and an upgrade to Thunderbolt 2 connectivity. The 13-inch model was also upgraded with faster flash storage.


With Broadwell processors, MacBook Air battery life has continued to improve. The 11-inch model now offers 9 hours of wireless web browsing and 10 hours of iTunes movie playback, while the 13-inch model offers 12 hours of wireless web browsing and 12 hours of iTunes movie playback.


Neither MacBook Air features a Retina display. The 11-inch MacBook Air has a resolution of 1366 x 768, while the 13-inch MacBook Air has a resolution of 1440 x 900. Both of Apple's more expensive notebook lines, the MacBook and the MacBook Pro, feature Retina displays.


iPad mini 4 (2015)

Apple is expected to introduce a major update to the iPad mini in the fall of 2015, bringing it on par with the larger-screened iPad Air 2. Though the iPad mini was updated in 2014, the refresh was a minor one that only added Touch ID to the existing Retina iPad mini internals.


The iPad mini's 2014 update was largely disappointing to consumers, especially compared to the iPad Air 2 update that introduced a slimmed-down design, an A8X processor, and 2GB of RAM to the iPad Air. Since the 2014 iPad mini update was so unimpressive, rumors about a next-generation iPad mini with a more substantial upgrade started up early in 2015.


The iPad mini 4 will essentially be a smaller version of the iPad Air 2, with an ultra-thin 6.1mm body and iPad Air 2 improvements like an 8-megapixel rear camera and a laminated gapless display with the same anti-reflective coating. According to Apple, the laminated display results in both a thinner body and "more vivid colors and greater contrast," so the iPad mini's screen should see a notable improvement.



iPhone 6c (2015)

Apple's plastic iPhone 5c, released in September 2013, was not refreshed alongside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, leading to speculation that the budget smartphone may be discontinued soon. Nevertheless, rumors began circulating in December suggesting Apple is planning to launch a new 4-inch iPhone and were further fueled by both a leaked iPhone 6c casing and a report in March claiming three new iPhones will be released later this year: the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and so-called "iPhone 6c."



While there were some hints that a new "iPhone 6c" could be coming in 2015, it's best to look at these rumors skepticism at the current time, as there have also been numerous reports indicating the 4-inch iPhone rumors are not true. In January, Chinese site Feng.com claimed that Apple had not made any orders in its supply chain for a 4-inch iPhone, and in March, reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chu Kuo said that a new 4-inch model is unlikely to be released this year.


In a follow-up report, Kuo reiterated his belief that there will be no new 4-inch iPhone in 2015, but he believes an updated device is a possibility for 2016. Specifically, such an update might bring Apple Pay compatibility. For 2015, he believes Apple is likely to continue to offer the iPhone 5s as an entry-level 4-inch device while discontinuing the iPhone 5c.


iMac

At its October 16, 2014 media event, Apple introduced the new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display as a high-end addition to the iMac lineup, with the new machine carrying a 5120 x 2880 display and starting at $2499. On May 19, 2015, Apple introduced a new $1999 27-inch Retina 5K iMac and dropped the price of the high-end stock model to $2299, but the remainder of the iMac lineup is unchanged in specs or pricing.


The Retina iMac is very similar to the non-Retina version in most respects, with the obvious exception of the display and higher-end processor and graphics options to help drive the massive screen. As had been rumored, the Retina iMac adopts AMD graphics and high-end Haswell processors as it appears Intel will be releasing very few Broadwell desktop processors and skipping straight to its upcoming Skylake family later in 2015.


Rumors ahead of Apple's October event accurately predicted at least the 27-inch model would move to a Retina display at 5120 x 2880 pixels, but it did not appear a similar upgrade was in store for the smaller 21.5-inch model, and that did turn out to be the case. A Retina update for the 21.5-inch machine could appear later in 2015.


References to all-new iMac models first began appearing in OS X Mavericks 10.9.4 betas earlier this year, but the release schedule at that time was unclear. Apple's brand-new operating system launching alongside the new iMacs, OS X Yosemite, also suggested that Retina iMacs may be in the works. A file included in the OS offers a series of resolution options for a machine identified as an iMac, maxing out at 6400 x 3600 pixels, or 3200 x 1800 as a Retina display.


Mac mini

The Mac mini is Apple's smallest desktop computer, positioned as a "bring your own" machine that comes without a mouse, keyboard, or display.


As Apple's least powerful desktop, it only comes equipped with a dual-core processor like much of the company's lineup of portable computers, while its more powerful siblings, the Mac Pro and the iMac, are available in quad-core and higher configurations.


Apple last updated the Mac mini on October 16, 2014, after the compact desktop went more than two years without a refresh.


While the machine did gain several upgrades like Haswell processors with integrated Intel HD 5000/Intel Iris Graphics and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, the upgrade was a disappointment to many Mac mini fans as Apple ceased offering both a quad-core processor option and support for dual hard drives.


MacBook Pro

At its "Spring Forward" media event on March 9, 2015, Apple released an updated 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. The new machine offers several improvements over the 2014 model, including a Broadwell processor, improved Intel graphics, a "Force Touch" trackpad, faster flash storage, and improved battery life. Apple followed up with an update to the 15-inch lineup on May 19, incorporating the Force Touch trackpad, faster flash storage and graphics, and longer battery life.



While the 13-inch models moved to Intel's latest Broadwell processors, the 15-inch models continue to use the same Haswell processors from the previous generation, as Intel has yet to release quad-core Broadwell processors suitable for the larger model.


The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is currently the only notebook in the MacBook Pro family to run Intel's new Broadwell processors, offering increased performance and battery life compared to the previous generation. Though there were many other internal upgrades, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro continues to have the same design as the previous-generation versions, with a 2560 x 1600, 227 pixels-per-inch Retina Display. It weighs 3.48 pounds and is 0.71 inches thick, as it is focused on performance over portability. Three base configurations are available, priced at $1,299, $1,499, and $1,799 depending on processor and storage space.


iPod touch

Apple updated its iPod touch lineup on July 15, 2015, introducing new colors and significant internal upgrades to the same A8 chip used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as an improved 8-megapixel rear camera. The iPod touch is available in 16, 32, 64, and 128 GB sizes and is priced at $199/$249/$299/$399, with all three models available in six different colors.



The imminent update to the iPod lineup was revealed several weeks early by images discovered within iTunes 12.2 depicting the iPod touch in several shades that did not exist at the time.


The current sixth-generation iPod touch maintains the same form factor introduced in September 2012 with the fifth generation of the family but includes significantly improved internals led by a jump from the A5 chip used in the previous chip to the A8 chip also used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.


iPod nano

On July 15, 2015, Apple introduced a new color lineup for its entire family of iPods, including the iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle. The new color options include space gray, gold, silver, pink, blue, and red.


No other changes were made to the iPod nano, which continues to offer 16 GB of storage and sell for $149.


The imminent update to the iPod lineup was revealed several weeks early by images discovered within iTunes 12.2 depicting iPods in several shades that did not exist at the time.


Perhaps more than any other iPod product, the iPod nano has been the subject of significant experimentation by Apple, with the company trying out a number of different form factors based on a click wheel interface before moving to an iPod shuffle-shaped design centered around a multi-touch screen and eventually settling on a design more like a miniature iPod touch with the current seventh-generation models released in October 2012.


iPod shuffle

On July 15, 2015, Apple introduced a new color lineup for its entire family of iPods, including the iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle. The new color options include space gray, gold, silver, pink, blue, and red.


No other changes were made to the iPod shuffle, which continues to offer 2 GB of storage and sell for $49.


The imminent update to the iPod lineup was revealed several weeks early by images discovered within iTunes 12.2 depicting iPods in several shades that did not exist at the time.


Apple's iPod shuffle has gone through several design changes since its introduction in January 2005, with the current form factor having been introduced in September 2010. Priced at $49 and offering 2 GB of storage, the only changes made to the device over the past five years have been in color options.


Retina MacBook

The 12-inch MacBook is Apple's thinnest, lightest Mac product to date. Unveiled during the company's March 9 "Spring Forward" media event, the MacBook is a standalone product that is distinct from the existing MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro lineups.


Measuring in at 13.1mm thick, the new MacBook is 24 percent thinner than the existing MacBook Air, and it weighs just two pounds, lighter than both the 2.38 pound 11-inch MacBook Air and the 2.96 pound 13-inch MacBook Air. It has a 12-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2304 x 1440.


It includes a full-size edge-to-edge keyboard with a speaker grille above, and it has Retina MacBook Pro-style black bezels. It comes in three colors that match the iPad and the iPhone -- silver, gold, and space gray.


There's a new Force Touch trackpad that incorporates technology from the Apple Watch, bringing a new pressure-based gesture called "Force Click." With a click followed by a harder press, users can do tasks like pulling up a word definition, seeing a map, or looking at a file preview. The trackpad also incorporates haptic feedback for a tactile response when it's used.


iPhone 7 (2016)

We don't expect to see the iPhone 7 until the fall of 2016, so it's quite a ways off. Apple's next-generation iPhones, coming in the fall of 2015, are likely to be named the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, in line with Apple's long-running "S" naming scheme.


Apple has used the "S" naming formula to mark years where the iPhone does not receive a major redesign since the debut of the iPhone 3GS in 2009. Releases have been as follows:


2007 - iPhone
2008 - iPhone 3G
2009 - iPhone 3GS
2010 - iPhone 4
2011 - iPhone 4s
2012 - iPhone 5
2013 - iPhone 5s
2014 - iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus


KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested that it's possible Apple will call the successors to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus due to the significance of the features being introduced with the next-generation devices, so there is a slight possibility we will see these names being used for the 2015 devices instead of the 2016 devices. We believe it is more likely Apple will continue on with its existing naming policy, however, launching the actual iPhone 7 in 2016.


Mac Pro

Intel launched new "Grantley" Xeon E5 v3 processors appropriate for a next-generation Mac Pro in 2014. The chips are the successors to the current "Romley" Xeon E5 v2 chips used in the existing 2013 Mac Pro.


Both E5-2600 v3 series chips that could be used as an upgrade to the top-of-the-line 2.7GHz 12-core E5-2697 chip in the high-end Mac Pro and E5-1600 v3 series chips that are successors to the E5-1600 v2 chips used in the rest of the Mac Pro lineup are available, with the lineup as follows:


- 4-core: 3.7 GHz E5-1620 v2 moves to 3.5 GHz E5-1620 v3 or 3.7 GHz E5-1630 v3
- 6-core: 3.5 GHz E5-1650 v2 moves to 3.5 GHz E5-1650 v3
- 8-core: 3.0 GHz E5-1680 v2 moves to 3.2 GHz E5-1680 v3


Both the E5-2600 and E5-1600 v3 series chips come with higher thermal ratings than their predecessors and they all support faster DDR4-2133 memory, which will provide improved performance.


Thunderbolt Display

Apple's Thunderbolt Display is almost four years old now, having been announced in July 2011 but not shipping until two months later. Apple display updates have always been very hard to predict due to their erratic update cycle, and while Apple's 2013 Mac Pro launch seemed like an opportune time for Apple to launch an upgraded standalone display, no such product surfaced.


At the extreme end of possibilities would be a true Retina Thunderbolt display, offering four times as many pixels as the current Apple Thunderbolt Display, coming in at the same 5120 x 2880 pixels seen on the new 27-inch Retina 5K iMac. A display at this size would be able to offer the same amount of screen real estate as the current display but with a much sharper appearance, using the same technology as in the Retina MacBook Pro.


A alternative goal would be "4K" resolution of either 4096 or 3840 x 2160 pixels. Apple has touted its new Mac Pro as being able to drive three such displays simultaneously, leading to speculation that the company is planning to launch its own 4K display at some point in the relatively near future.



AirPort

Apple's AirPort Express is its entry-level AirPort base station, designed to be easy to use and affordable. Priced at $99, it offers dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi along with AirPlay for wireless music playback and wireless printing.


At $199, the AirPort Extreme is Apple's mid-level base station, offering dual-band higher-speed 802.11ac Wi-Fi, printer and hard drive sharing, and a stronger signal due to its high-rise design and six antennas.


Apple's AirPort Time Capsule, priced at $299 to $399, is essentially an AirPort Extreme with a built-in hard drive that facilitates automatic wireless backups using Apple's Time Machine software. It offers 802.11ac and all of the features of the AirPort Extreme, with the addition of a 2 or 3 TB hard drive.


All of Apple's AirPorts include a built-in Network Address Translation (NAT) firewall to create a barrier between a network and the Internet, along with password encryption and closed network options.



Archived Roundups

WWDC 2015

Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference keynote for 2015 was held on Monday, June 8, with the company introducing the next versions of its iOS, OS X, and watchOS operating systems, as well as an all-new Apple Music streaming service. A full transcript of our live blog coverage of the event remains available, and Apple has shared a video stream for on-demand viewing.


The next version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 9, was introduced at the keynote event with developer access starting immediately, to be followed by a public beta in July and public availability in the fall, mostly likely in the September timeframe when Apple typically introduces its new iPhone hardware.



iOS 9's biggest focus is on intelligence and proactivity, allowing iOS devices to learn user habits and act on that information, opening up apps before we need them, making recommendations on places we might like, and guiding us through our daily lives to make sure we're where we need to be at the right time. Siri and search improvements drive those new capabilities, with other improvements including transit directions for Maps in select cities, a much more robust Notes app, a new News app, and Apple Pay enhancements such as support for store-brand cards and rewards programs.


WWDC 2014

Apple just completed their 2014 keynote address at WWDC and introduced a number of new features in both OS X and iOS. A full transcript of the event is available, as well as a video stream of the keynote address.



Apple today announced the latest version of its Mac operating system, OS X Yosemite. The sequel to last year's OS X Mavericks, Yosemite includes a user interface redesign, as well as major new features focusing on seamless integration between Mac and iOS devices, a new cloud storage system called iCloud Drive, as well as the ability to make phone calls and send text messages through an iPhone.


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Black Friday

Black Friday, which takes place on November 28th this year, is a major shopping holiday in the United States. During the event, retailers around the country drop their prices on thousands of items, hoping to lure shoppers to their stores.


Apple products on the cheap are highly desired, and in recent years, retailers have offered some fantastic deals. We're gathering up a list of all the retailers, both online and in-store, offering discounts on iPhones, iPads, iPods, MacBooks, Beats headphones, Apple accessories, software, and more.


This roundup will be updated on a daily basis as Black Friday approaches, and closer to the end of the week, we'll highlight the very best deals that are being offered this year so MacRumors readers know where to go for the best deals. If you spot a good deal or have a site offering a Black Friday discount, make sure to send us an email at tips@macrumors.com.


It's important to note that many of the deals listed below will be limited, especially those that are "doorbusters," or specific sales designed to draw people into a store. Deals like $100 off the iPad Air 2 at Best Buy will likely go quickly, as supplies tend to be limited, and some of these deals are limited to in-store purchases only.


Black Friday 2013

Black Friday, which takes place on November 29 this year, is a major shopping holiday in the United States. During the event, retailers around the country drop their prices on thousands of items, hoping to lure shoppers to their stores.


Apple products on the cheap are highly desired, and this year, retailers are offering some fantastic deals. We’ve gathered up a list of all the retailers offering discounts on iPhones, iPads, iPods, MacBooks, and more. Each entry lists the item and the savings off of the price that the store normally sells the product for.


As it is still early, we are expecting additional information on other notable Black Friday sales to surface, from retailers like Apple. We will continue to update this roundup to add deals as they become available.


The best deals thus far are from the major retailers, as seen in the chart below (which includes gift cards). Target is offering the best price on the iPad Air at $379 ($479+$100 gift card) while Walmart has a $199 iPad mini available. Walmart also has the best deals on both the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c. It remains unclear which stores might offer the Retina iPad mini, but if Target has stock on hand, they will be available for $399 with a $75 gift card. Make sure to check out our detailed guides on where to get the best prices on Apple's lineup of iPads and Macs.


iPod classic

The iPod classic was the direct descendent of Apple's original iPod released in 2001 and offers the traditional click wheel interface introduced nearly a decade ago on the iPod mini before making its way into the fourth-generation iPod. With the iPod classic lacking iOS and touchscreen support, the device's main function over its last few years was to provide customers with an iPod product option offering significant amounts of storage for their music collections. The final version of the iPod classic contained a 160 GB traditional hard drive, offering significantly more capacity than the 64 GB of flash memory found in the high-end iPod touch. With the iPhone starting to offer a maximum of 128 GB of storage with the iPhone 5 and 6 Plus, however, Apple discontinued the iPod classic on September 9, 2014, five years to the day after its final update.


The final generation of the iPod classic was introduced in September 2009, and while the product's demise was rumored a number of times over the years, the product lasted a full five years with silver and black color options at a $249 price point before being discontinued.



Back in early 2011, Toshiba introduced a 220 GB 1.8-inch hard drive that could have allowed Apple to increase the capacity of the iPod classic, and tightening supplies very soon after led to speculation that the device could see an update or discontinuation. By September 2011, Apple had removed its click wheel iPod games from the iTunes Store. No such games had been added to the store since February 2009, but the complete removal of the games section from the iTunes Store fueled rumors that the iPod classic would soon be discontinued. Ultimately, however, it was not until 2014 that the iPod classic was finally retired from Apple's lineup.


OS X Mavericks

OS X 10.9 Mavericks introduces a number of new features aimed at extending both battery life and responsiveness. Apple has promised 200 changes in Mavericks, including both minor cosmetic updates and major performance enhancements. The new operating system was released just after Apple's October 22, 2013 media event and is a free upgrade from the Mac App Store for all OS X Mountain Lion, Lion, and Snow Leopard users.



Mavericks has several new features developed for power users, with enhanced multi-monitor support and expanded finder capabilities. All users will experience improved power usage, a new iCloud Keychain function for secure cross-device passwords, and better Safari performance.


A new iBooks app and a new Maps app are both bundled into Mavericks, allowing users to read books and access maps within native apps for the first time. While Mavericks has not gotten the same drastic visual overhaul found in iOS 7, a number of skeuomorphic elements introduced with Mountain Lion have been removed.


iWatch Rumors

Apple Watch Announced!: See details in our Live Coverage on MacRumors.com.




Apple has been rumored to be working on its "iWatch" smart watch since late 2012, but the company has begun accelerating work on the project as it tries to expand its family of mobile devices to the wrist. Apple has already started work on trademarking the name in a number of countries in preparation for an introduction reportedly taking place September 9 alongside the iPhone 6. Apple has confirmed the event date, but not whether the iWatch will be introduced at that time.


Because we don't yet know what an Apple iWatch will look like, the photos we've included in the roundup are either mockups or existing non-Apple products. For example, the red watch at the top of the page is the Lunatik iPod nano watch.


iOS 7

Apple revealed iOS 7 during the WWDC keynote on June 10, 2013, featuring a brand new design and a number of new features. iOS 7 launched publicly on September 18, 2013. Users can obtain the update either by connecting their devices to iTunes and clicking the "Check for Update" button or checking for over-the-air updates on their devices via Settings -> General -> Software Update.


iOS 7 is available as a free upgrade for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch (16GB/32GB/64GB) and the iPad 2, iPad with Retina display (third- and fourth-generation), and iPad mini. iOS 7 will come pre-installed on the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c devices. Owners of the iPhone 5s will also find several new features that are specific to that device. These include: 64-bit support, Touch ID fingerprint sensing, Camera image stablization, Burst Mode and Slow-Mo video.


iOS updates are generally recommended for all users, but in the past, users of older hardware have found that performance of the latest iOS versions on their devices can be sluggish. If you are on older iPhone hardware (iPhone 4), you may want to wait to see how will iOS 7 runs on your device. Our discussion forums are a good resource for specific questions/answers, and we've also gathered some tips to help users discover less well-known features. Over time, we expect new apps and updates will start requiring iOS 7 to take advantage of the new features and interface.


iOS 7 was designed to be compatible with all existing iOS 6 apps, and user testing has found this to generally be true. If you rely on a specific "mission critical" app, it would still be prudent to make sure that that app runs before upgrading.


iPhone 5c

The iPhone 5c is essentially a repackaged iPhone 5 with a new plastic enclosure. The new device is available in five different colors -- green, yellow, blue, white, and pink.


The phone uses the same A6 processor and rear-facing camera as the iPhone 5, but does contain a few upgraded parts -- such as an improved front-facing FaceTime camera and support for more wireless LTE bands.


The new iPhone 5c starts at $99 (with 2 year contract) in the U.S. and is now available for order from Apple, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Retail stores, such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Radio Shack and Target are also offering the iPhone 5c, and many have been discounting the price of the 16 GB model to $50 or less with a two-year contract.


On Friday, October 25, Apple launched the iPhone 5c in 35 additional countries, including Russia, Spain, and Mexico, and a third wave launch took place on November 1. The iPhone 5c is now available in more than 60 countries, online, via Apple resellers, or through brick and mortar Apple Stores.


iPhone 5s

The iPhone 5s is the same size and design as the current iPhone 5 but features improved specifications and is available in three colors: Silver, Gold, and Space Gray.


The iPhone 5s uses a 64-bit A7 processor which is as twice as fast as the previous generation. The new device also incorporates a "Touch ID" capacitive fingerprint sensor built into the home button that's capable of scanning sub-epidermal skin layers. Touch ID can be used to unlock an iPhone and authorize iTunes purchases.


The rear camera in the iPhone 5s has a new 5-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture and a sensor that is 15% larger than the current iPhone 5, as well as a dual-LED "True Tone" flash that will adapt to the existing lighting to provide better colors and more accurate skin tones. Other new camera features include Burst Mode, capable of capturing 10 pictures per second and automatically selecting the best shot, and Slo-Mo 720p video capture at 120 frames per second.


Apple launched the iPhone 5s in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the UK on September 20, 2013. In the U.S., the iPhone 5s costs $199, $299, and $399 for the 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB models respectively with a 2-year contract. Non-contract, unlocked SIM free devices are available for $649/$749/$849. Pricing for other individual countries is available on Apple's online store.


iPhone 6 Rumors

iPhone 6 Announced!: See details in our Live Coverage on MacRumors.com.


Apple's new iPhone 6 devices will be introduced at a September 9 media event at the Flint Center, the same location where Apple debuted the original Mac 30 years ago. An overwhelming number of iPhone 6 rumors and part leaks have given us a near-complete look at the two devices ahead of their launch.


With the iPhone 5, Apple increased the screen size of the device from 3.5 inches to 4 inches, and with the iPhone 6, the phone's display is going to grow even larger. Though Apple experimented with a range of screen sizes, the company settled on 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches for its two devices, which will bring the next iPhone in line with competing Android and Windows phones that have adopted larger displays.


Over the course of the last several years, consumer preference has shifted towards bigger screens, and Apple is now prepared to meet consumer demand for larger devices.