Top Stories: Apple Car Rumors, Windows on an M1 Mac, AirPods Max Compared
The holiday season is in full swing, and we'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of our readers for having joined us in another year that was jam-packed with Apple news and rumors.
The calendar will shortly be turning over to 2021, and Apple has a lot more on its plate, as we've seen in rumors over the past week about the long-rumored Apple Car, next year's iPhone 13 lineup, and a new Apple TV. For highlights on these stories and more from the past week, read on below!
Apple Car Production Slated for 2024 With 'Next Level' Battery Technology
Apple's long-rumored electric vehicle plans made headlines again this week. Shortly after a questionable supply chain report out of Taiwan claiming that the so-called "Apple Car" will debut next year, Reuters reported that Apple is targeting 2024 for production of the vehicle.
The report claimed that Apple's self-driving vehicle will feature a unique "monocell" battery design that "frees up space inside the battery pack by eliminating pouches and modules that hold battery materials," potentially resulting in longer range per charge.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reacted to the news on Twitter, claiming that a "monocell" battery is "electrochemically impossible." Musk also claimed that "during the darkest days" of Model 3 production, he reached out to Apple CEO Tim Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla for a fraction of its current value, but Cook apparently declined the meeting.
Meanwhile, in a LinkedIn post, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said "we look forward to new competitors who will certainly accelerate the change in our industry again and bring new skills."
iPhone 13 Lineup May Support Wi-Fi 6E, Larger iPhone SE Unlikely in Early 2021
Following discussions with multiple Apple suppliers, Barclays analysts this week outlined a few expectations for future iPhones and iPads.
First, the analysts said iPhone 13 models may support the new Wi-Fi 6E standard, which offers the same features and capabilities of Wi-Fi 6 — higher performance, lower latency, and faster data rates — extended into the 6 GHz band. The additional spectrum will provide a lot more airspace beyond existing 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi, resulting in increased bandwidth and less interference for devices that support Wi-Fi 6E.
As for the iPhone SE, the analysts believe Apple has no plans to refresh the device in the foreseeable future. While they had heard about a larger iPhone SE, rumored to feature a 5.5-inch or 6.1-inch display, the device was not mentioned in any of their discussions with Apple suppliers. In April, well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the larger iPhone SE was delayed until the second half of 2021.
Last, the analysts said that an iPad with an OLED display is unlikely to launch until 2022 at the earliest. Apple is still expected to release at least one iPad Pro model with Mini-LED backlighting next year.
Video: Testing Windows on an M1 Mac With Parallels 16
Last week, Parallels launched a preview version of its virtualization software with support for Apple Silicon. Paired with a preview version of Arm-based Windows available through the Windows Insider program, it is possible to get Microsoft's operating system up and running on M1 Macs.
In a recent YouTube video, we installed Parallels on the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 chip and tested out Windows, but it didn't exactly go smoothly. Of course, there are some issues to be expected with beta software that is still in development.
It remains unclear if Microsoft will ever make a licensed release version of Arm-based Windows available to customers.
Comparison: AirPods Max vs. Sony/Bose/Sennheiser Options
It's been a little over a week since the AirPods Max launched, marking Apple's entry into the higher-end over-ear headphones market.
Priced at $549, the AirPods Max are hundreds of dollars more expensive than many highly-rated noise cancelling headphones from other brands, which can make for a tough purchase decision.
In a recent YouTube video, we compared the AirPods Max to Sony's WH-1000XM4s, Bose's Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, and the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless to see if they're worth the premium price tag. In a separate video, we covered five reasons you might want to consider buying AirPods Max despite their high price tag.
AirPods Max still face lengthy shipping estimates on Apple.com, although delivery times have improved somewhat to mid-February for the Space Gray and Silver colors and 8-10 weeks for the Pink, Green, and Sky Blue options, compared to 12-14 weeks for all of the colors recently.
Apple's A14 Chip Outperforms New Snapdragon 888 Chip Coming in Future Android Phones
Qualcomm this week shared benchmark results for its new Snapdragon 888 chip that will be used in flagship Android smartphones coming out in 2021, and not only is it unable to keep pace with Apple's A14 chip in iPhone 12 models, but it is even slower than the last-generation A13 chip used for the iPhone 11 lineup.
While the Snapdragon 888 delivers significant performance improvements over the previous-generation Snapdragon chip, this means that future Android smartphones like Samsung's rumored Galaxy S21 will be slower than already-released iPhone models.
Apple's mobile processors have led the industry in performance for years, and the company recently extended this expertise to the Mac with its new M1 chip, which also delivers industry-leading performance per watt.
New Apple TV With Gaming Focus, Updated Remote, and Faster Chip Expected Next Year
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman this week briefly reiterated that Apple plans to release a new Apple TV with a stronger gaming focus, an updated remote, and a new processor at some point next year.
Gurman has previously indicated that Apple is working on a new remote with Find My-like capabilities, which would make it easier to find when misplaced. As part of the gaming focus, there have also been rumors that Apple may introduce a dedicated gaming controller for the Apple TV.
Earlier this year, an anonymous leaker known as "Fudge" on Twitter indicated that Apple has prototyped new Apple TV models with variants of the A12 and A14 chips for faster performance; if true, it's unclear if Apple will ultimately settle on one chip or release two different models. The new Apple TV may also have larger 64GB and 128GB storage capacity options.
The current Apple TV 4K model was released over three years ago, so odds are looking good for an update next year.
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.