Top Stories: iPhone 13 Leaks, OLED iPads and Macs, New AirTags Evidence
iPhone rumors are heating up, with noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo this week releasing a wide-ranging report outlining his expectations for the iPhone lineup over the next three years.
This week also saw rumors about OLED displays potentially coming to iPad and Mac starting next year, increasing signs of AirTags functionality in iOS 14.5 betas, and more, so check out all of the details below!
iPhone 13 Rumors: Smaller Notch and Larger Batteries, 120Hz Display for Pro Models, and More
Well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo this week shared a lengthy list of expectations for future iPhones over the next few years.
Kuo said this year's iPhone 13 lineup will consist of the same four models as the iPhone 12 lineup, all with a smaller notch, larger batteries, Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 modem with 5G enhancements, upgraded cameras, a Lightning connector, and more. Exclusive to iPhone 13 Pro models will be a long-awaited 120Hz display and Ultra Wide lens improvements with a wider aperture and autofocus, he added.
After shrinking the notch this year, Apple may remove it entirely next year, with Kuo predicting that at least some 2022 iPhone models will switch to a hole-punch display design like many of Samsung's latest Galaxy smartphones, but he did not explain how this will work given that the notch currently houses the front camera and Face ID components. Some under-screen camera and facial recognition solutions do exist now.
Apple also plans to release a new iPhone SE with a similar design as the existing 4.7-inch model in the first half of 2022, with key new features to include a faster chip and 5G support, according to Kuo. And in 2023, a 7.5-8 inch foldable iPhone may become a reality.
iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'
As part of his wide-ranging research note about future iPhones this week, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo downplayed the possibility of a portless iPhone launching this year, noting that Apple will continue to use its proprietary Lightning connector for the "foreseeable future."
"We believe that USB-C is detrimental to the MFi [Made for iPhone] business's profitability, and its waterproof specification is lower than Lightning and MagSafe," wrote Kuo. "Therefore, if the iPhone abandons Lightning in the future, it may directly adopt the portless design with MagSafe support instead of using a USB-C port. At present, the MagSafe ecosystem is not mature enough, so the iPhone will continue to use the Lightning port in the foreseeable future."
It was Kuo himself who originally predicted that Apple would launch a high-end iPhone without a Lightning connector in 2021. He also expected a lower-end iPhone with a Touch ID power button to launch this year, but he now said timing is unclear for introduction of such a feature.
OLED 10.9-Inch iPad Rumored for Early 2022, 12.9-Inch iPad Pro and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Could Follow
Apple is rumored to be transitioning to mini-LED displays on some of its upcoming iPad and Mac models, but it looks like there may be another display technology coming to these devices: OLED.
According to DigTimes, the first of Apple's larger portables to adopt an OLED display is likely to be a 10.9-inch iPad, presumably an updated version of the iPad Air. The updated iPad is said to be planned to go into production in the fourth quarter of this year with a launch coming in early 2022. In addition to the 10.9-inch iPad, Apple is also said to be considering using OLED displays for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
iOS 14.5 Beta 3 Introduces 'Item Safety Feature' Ahead of AirTags Launch
Apple's long-awaited AirTags item trackers have been rumored for nearly two years now, and there are signs that an announcement may finally be nearing.
In the third beta of iOS 14.5 seeded this week, a new "Items" tab has been enabled by default in the Find My app. This section will allow users to keep track of select non-Apple-branded products like Beats headphones and upcoming Belkin wireless earbuds, and it is expected that AirTags-equipped items like a backpack or luggage will also be managed from this tab.
There's also a new "Item Safety" toggle in the Find My app. When this feature is enabled, iPhone users will receive a notification when an unknown item is found moving with them, likely to help prevent a person from being stalked by another person with AirTags or similar.
March is a common month for Apple product announcements, so there is hope that AirTags will finally be unveiled this month, but a release date is still unclear. Apple previously said iOS 14.5 will be released in the "early spring," suggesting the update will be released the week of Monday, March 22 or later, and perhaps AirTags will be released around the same time.
HomeKit Essentials Worth Checking Out
HomeKit was slow to take off after its 2014 launch, but now that it's been around for seven years, there are hundreds of HomeKit products available, ranging from doorbells and speakers to TVs, lights, and cameras. In one of our latest YouTube videos, we rounded up some of our favorite HomeKit products that we find most useful.
- Logitech Circle View Doorbell ($199) - The Circle View replaces your existing doorbell with a version that offers video, so you can see who is at your door and keep an eye on package deliveries. It features HomeKit Secure Video, so the only plan you need is a 200GB or 1TB iCloud Storage plan to record video. It offers HD video, color night vision, and an unobtrusive design.
NASA's Mars Perseverance Rover Uses Same PowerPC Chipset Found in 1998 iMac G3
NASA's Perseverance rover that landed on Mars last month is equipped with a more durable variant of the PowerPC 750 processor, the same chip used in the colorful iMac G3 in 1998.
Designed by Jony Ive, the iMac G3 is widely considered to be the computer that saved Apple, which had flirted with bankruptcy in the late 1990s until Steve Jobs returned to the company. Following the iMac G3, Apple went on to introduce iconic products like the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007, and the iPad in 2010, which helped it become the world's most valuable company.
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.