Top Stories: iPhone SE Camera Comparison, iPhone 12 Pricing Rumor, Apple Earnings, iOS 13.5 Beta, and More
It was another big week for Apple news and rumors as we learned more about the new iPhone SE, heard some new rumors about the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, and saw that Apple's financials have been holding up reasonably well despite the current global crisis.
This week also saw a new iOS 13.5 (yes, 13.5!) beta release with support for upcoming exposure notification apps, as well as some tweaks to make it easier to unlock an iPhone while wearing a mask and to turn off the sometimes annoying tile behavior on Group FaceTime calls.
Read on below and check out our video above for recaps of all of this week's most important stories!
Camera Comparison: 2020 iPhone SE vs. iPhone 8 and iPhone 11 Pro
Apple's new iPhone SE is now available, and after going hands-on with the budget phone last week to share our impressions, this week we did a deep dive on the iPhone SE's camera, comparing it to the iPhone 8 and iPhone 11 Pro to see how it stacks up.
On the technical side, we've seen several teardowns of the iPhone SE, including comparisons to the iPhone 8 and even some tests of which components can be swapped between the two devices.
If you're a current owner of an iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 7, make sure to check out our guide to help you decide whether it's worth upgrading to the new iPhone SE. (Spoiler: It almost certainly is.) There is one warning though: If you're a frequent user of 3D Touch or Haptic Touch to help process notifications on your Lock screen, you'll find that it doesn't work on the iPhone SE.
iPhone 12 Lineup With OLED Displays Predicted to Start at $649, Breaking the $999 Barrier
We're starting to hear information about possible pricing for the iPhone 12 lineup later this year, with Front Page Tech's Jon Prosser quoting a source stating pricing will start at $649 for the 5.4-inch model, while the larger 6.1-inch model will start at $749.
Stepping up to the more advanced iPhone 12 Pro lineup, Prosser says the 6.1-inch model will start at $999 and the 6.7-inch model will start at $1,099. With Apple reportedly shifting to an all-OLED display lineup for the iPhone 12, that means you'll be able to get a new iPhone with an OLED display for under $999 for the first time, and well under at that.
Looking at availability, we're continuing to hear that at least some models may see delayed launches, with The Wall Street Journal saying that mass production has been pushed back a month. So we'll have to see how things play out as we get closer to the traditional September announcement.
Finally, a rumor out of left field claims that at least some of the iPhone 12 models will include an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor under the display. We're not putting much stock in this rumor, although it's something we may see in 2021.
iOS 13.5 Beta Makes It Easier to Unlock an iPhone With Passcode When Wearing a Mask
Apple this week threw a bit of a curveball by releasing the third beta of iOS 13.5. Yes, you read that correctly...iOS 13.4.5 has been renamed iOS 13.5 midstream in order to accommodate the new exposure notification functionality that will support apps designed to notify you if you've been in proximity to someone who later tests positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. For more on exposure notification, check out our guide covering every aspect of it.
The new beta also includes a couple of other tweaks related to the new reality we've all been living in, with Face ID on devices running iOS 13.5 quickly recognizing if you're wearing a mask and switching to passcode entry for authorization.
And for those of you who have been using Group FaceTime a lot more lately, there's a new option to turn off Automatic Prominence, the feature that expands the tile of whoever is speaking at the moment. It can be a bit annoying, especially if there are a lot of people on the call, so the new option will be a welcome addition when iOS 13.5 officially launches in a few weeks.
Apple Reports 2Q 2020 Results: $11.2B Profit on $58.3B Revenue, All-Time Record for Services Revenue
After announcing back in February that it wouldn't meet its financial guidance for the March quarter due to coronavirus impacts, Apple this week released its earnings for the quarter and they weren't as bad as many as feared. Revenue and earnings per share were actually up slightly compared to the year-ago quarter as Apple's booming services and wearables segments helped maintain momentum.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company has its "head down and working" on upcoming products and is well-positioned to recover. As with many other companies, Apple didn't provide any financial guidance for the current quarter, but said it expects to see growth in iPad and Mac as people have focused on working and learning from home.
Intel Unveils 10th-Generation 'Comet Lake' Processors Appropriate for Updated iMacs
Amid some rumors of an update for Apple's iMac lineup at some point this year, potentially including a redesign and a new 23-inch size option, Intel has released its latest 10th-generation "Comet Lake" processors appropriate for Apple's mainstream desktop.
A number of the new chips are natural successors to the ones currently found in the iMac lineup, but it remains to be seen how things might change for the family with a potential refresh. The new chips continue to be manufactured on Intel's 14nm++ process, so performance gains are likely to be modest.
Newly Discovered macOS Image Capture Bug Can Fill Up Hard Drives With Empty Data
A recently discovered bug with Apple's Image Capture app for macOS could lead to users seeing gigabytes of storage space disappearing when transferring photos from an iOS device.
The issue occurs when Image Capture or any other app using the Image Capture framework converts HEIF photos taken on an iOS device to the more standard JPG format. If the option to "Keep Originals" is selected upon copying, 1.5MB of empty data is added to each and every file.
Apple has been notified about the bug, but it's not clear when we can expect a fix to be rolled out.
Apple Expecting to Reopen 'Many More' Stores in May
All of Apple's retail stores outside of Greater China have been shuttered since March, with the exception of the company's lone store in South Korea which reopened in mid-April, but the company is looking toward opening "many more" of its stores as the calendar flips over to May.
Apple's vice president of retail and people Deirdre O'Brien shared the news in a weekly update to employees, and Tim Cook followed up in an earnings-related interview to note that Austria and Australia would likely be the next countries to see store reopenings.
As stores reopen, Apple will take into account local conditions and recommendations, likely focusing on repairs and purchase pickups while limiting browsing and customer counts and enforcing social distancing.
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.