It was a busy week of rumors as we hit the middle of January, with reports about updates to Face ID in the iPhone 12 lineup later this year, signs of a new Mac notebook coming soon, and word that Apple is working on an iPad Pro with 5G support.

Other big news this week included an analysis of changes to audio performance made in an AirPods Pro firmware update late last month.

New AirPods Pro Firmware: Worse Noise Canceling, Improved Frequency Response and Bass Accuracy

Last month, Apple released a new firmware update for the AirPods Pro bumping the version number from 2B588 to 2C54. After the update, there were several anecdotal reports that the AirPods Pro noise cancelation may have been adversely affected.

AirPods Pro
Impacted users asked tech review site RTINGS.com to reevaluate its previous testing of the AirPods Pro with the new firmware to confirm if there are any changes, and the website did find a fairly significant drop in isolation performance.

The news is not all bad, however. In other areas of testing, the 2C54 firmware appears to improve performance in frequency response and bass accuracy. Nevertheless, Apple pulled the new version only days after its release, so it is presumably working on the issues described.

iPhone 12 Models Said to Have 'Refreshed' Face ID System, Lightning Connector Could Be Dropped in 2021

iPhone 12 models will feature a "refreshed" front-facing TrueDepth system, according to Barclays analysts, hinting at Face ID improvements.

face id scan
The biggest change of all could come next year, as the analysts see potential for Apple to remove the Lightning connector from at least one iPhone model in 2021, echoing a prediction shared by Ming-Chi Kuo last month. This could result in EarPods being removed from the box, they said.

Earlier this month, Kuo said four 5G-enabled iPhones are on track to launch simultaneously in the fall, including models with sub-6GHz-only and sub-6GHz-plus-mmWave compatibility.

Apple Files Unreleased Mac in Database, Possibly 13-Inch MacBook Pro With Scissor Keyboard

Apple this week filed an unreleased Mac with a model identifier of A2289 in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, as spotted by MacRumors. The computer is described as a portable Mac running macOS Catalina.

16 inch macbook pro scissor switch keyboard
As pure speculation, it is certainly possible that this listing could correspond with the rumored 13-inch MacBook Pro with a scissor keyboard, following in the footsteps of the 16-inch MacBook Pro last October. There is some hope that the 13-inch model will become a 14-inch model, but that remains uncertain.

Eurasian Economic Commission filings like these have foreshadowed the release of new Apple products on numerous occasions. They are legally required for any encrypted devices sold in Russia and a few other countries.

Evidence of a "Pro Mode" that boosts performance and overrides fan speed limits has also been discovered in the macOS Catalina 10.15.3 beta.

Apple Rumored to Be Developing 5G iPad Pro With mmWave Support

A pair of supply chain reports this week claim Apple is developing 5G-enabled iPads with mmWave support for release as early as fall 2020.

ipadprosizecomparison
With an iPad Pro refresh already rumored for March 2020, timing is the biggest question mark. Major new features often come to the iPhone before the iPad, but a notable exception was the third-generation iPad receiving LTE support in March 2012, prior to the iPhone 5 in September 2012.

mmWave or millimeter wave is a set of 5G frequencies that promise ultra-fast speeds at short distances, making it best suited for dense urban areas. By comparison, sub-6GHz 5G is generally slower than mmWave, but the signals travel further, better serving suburban and rural areas.

MacRumors Newsletter

Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

So if you want to have top stories like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter!

Popular Stories

iPhone 17 Plus Feature

iPhone 17 Lineup Specs Detail Display Upgrade and New High-End Model

Monday July 22, 2024 4:33 am PDT by
Key details about the overall specifications of the iPhone 17 lineup have been shared by the leaker known as "Ice Universe," clarifying several important aspects of next year's devices. Reports in recent months have converged in agreement that Apple will discontinue the "Plus" iPhone model in 2025 while introducing an all-new iPhone 17 "Slim" model as an even more high-end option sitting...
iPhone SE 4 Vertical Camera Feature

iPhone SE 4 Production Will Reportedly Begin Ramping Up in October

Tuesday July 23, 2024 2:00 pm PDT by
Following nearly two years of rumors about a fourth-generation iPhone SE, The Information today reported that Apple suppliers are finally planning to begin ramping up mass production of the device in October of this year. If accurate, that timeframe would mean that the next iPhone SE would not be announced alongside the iPhone 16 series in September, as expected. Instead, the report...
iPhone 17 Plus Feature Purple

These 5 Features Will Make the iPhone 17 the Biggest Update in Years

Monday July 22, 2024 4:02 pm PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 16 models that we're expecting to see in September are going to be quite similar to the iPhone 15 models, but rumors suggest that Apple is making big changes in 2025. We've been hearing hints of an all-new device in the iPhone lineup, and it may be the most expensive iPhone Apple has offered to date. New 'Slim' Design Rumors have taken to referring to the new iPhone 17...
Apple TV Plus Feature 2 Magenta and Blue

Apple TV+ Curbs Costs After Expensive Projects Fail to Capture Viewers

Monday July 22, 2024 5:11 am PDT by
Apple is scaling back its Hollywood spending after investing over $20 billion in original programming with limited success, Bloomberg reports. This shift comes after the streaming service, which launched in 2019, struggled to capture a significant share of the market, accounting for only 0.2% of TV viewership in the U.S., compared to Netflix's 8%. Despite heavy investment, critical acclaim,...
iPhone SE 4 Thumb 1

iPhone SE 4 Rumored to Launch Early Next Year With OLED Display, 48MP Camera, and More

Monday July 22, 2024 7:22 am PDT by
The fourth-generation iPhone SE will offer a series of major upgrades over the current model, the leaker known as "Ice Universe" claims. The information was listed in a post on Weibo, which also detailed the specifications of the iPhone 17 lineup. As previously rumored, the fourth-generation iPhone SE is expected to feature Face ID and USB-C, marking a major upgrade from current and previous ...
bsod

Microsoft Blames European Commission for Major Worldwide Outage

Monday July 22, 2024 11:55 am PDT by
Last Friday, a major CrowdStrike outage impacted PCs running Microsoft Windows, causing worldwide issues affecting airlines, retailers, banks, hospitals, rail networks, and more. Computers were stuck in continuous recovery loops, rendering them unusable. The failure was caused by an update to the CrowdStrike Falcon antivirus software that auto-installed on Windows 10 PCs, but Mac and Linux...
iOS 18 on iPhone Feature

Everything New in iOS 18 Beta 4

Tuesday July 23, 2024 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple released the fourth beta of iOS 18 today, introducing small changes to a number of features throughout the operating system. There are no big additions in this beta, but Apple is continuing to refine existing settings and design choices. Apple plans to continue updating iOS 18 over the next few months, with the update set to be released this fall. We've rounded up all of the changes...