Top Stories: iPhone 13 Front Glass Leak, Rugged Apple Watch, HomePods With Screens?

With March drawing to a close and no sign yet of an Apple media event, rumors are continuing to dominate the news cycle. This week saw a number of new reports about the iPhone 13, a potential "rugged" Apple Watch model, a HomePod with a screen and camera, and more.

Top Stories 54 Feature

The competitive dispute between Apple and Intel also took an interesting turn this week, with Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger announcing a new strategy for the chipmaker that will see it pursuing other companies like Apple in hopes of manufacturing their custom chips. Read on for all of the details on these stories and more!

iPhone 13 Front Glass Reveals Smaller Notch With Earpiece Relocated to Top Bezel

iPhone 13 models are widely expected to feature a smaller notch, and now we have a first look at the potential design.

iphone 13 front glass
Greek repair provider iRepair this week provided MacRumors with an alleged photo of front glass panels for iPhone 13 models, with the same three 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch display sizes as the iPhone 12 lineup. The notch on each iPhone is visibly smaller as a result of the earpiece speaker being moved up into the top bezel, a design choice that was first rumored for iPhone 12 models last year but failed to materialize.

Multiple sources have claimed that iPhone 13 models will feature a smaller notch, including analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

After shrinking the notch this year, Kuo said that Apple plans to switch to a hole-punch display design for at least some 2022 iPhone models, similar to Samsung's Galaxy S21 and other recent smartphones, followed by an iPhone with a true all-screen design without a notch or holes and an under-display fingerprint scanner as early as 2023.

Apple May Launch Rugged Apple Watch Model for Extreme Sports as Soon as This Year

Apple is weighing up the possibility of launching an Apple Watch with a rugged casing that's made for use in extreme environments, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

apple watch ads
The latest Apple Watch models are water-resistant to 50 meters, but Gurman suggests that Apple could make a new device more "rugged" by giving it a rubberized casing, making it more resistant to damage in extreme environments compared to the current lineup of aluminum, titanium, and stainless steel cases.

Despite actively considering such a model, Gurman includes the usual caveat about rumored future products by noting that his sources say it could be ultimately canceled or delayed.

Apple is also working on new swim tracking features for the Apple Watch, according to the report, although no additional details were given.

After Anti-M1 Ads, Intel Wants to Make Apple Silicon Chips

Just days after launching an advertising campaign against M1 Macs, Intel has expressed interest in manufacturing future Apple silicon chips.

intel manufactured m1
In an interview with the BBC, Intel's new CEO Pat Gelsinger said "everybody wants multiple suppliers" for chips, adding that there is "very real potential" for a renewed partnership.

When asked why Intel chose to run an advertising campaign against M1 Macs while hoping to win Apple's business, Gelsinger said "we have great respect for Apple as a company" but added "at the same time, we're going to be aggressive competitors and we're out to reinvigorate the PC ecosystem."

Apple currently relies on Taiwanese manufacturer TSMC for all of its custom-designed chips for the Mac, iPhone, iPad, and other devices.

Apple Developing New 'HomePod' Models With Screens and Cameras

In a report focused on an unactivated temperature and humidity sensor uncovered in the HomePod mini this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman briefly mentioned that Apple has "been developing new speakers with screens and cameras."

HomePod FaceTime 3D Blue
This reporting suggests that Apple could be at least exploring the idea of new HomePod models with a display and camera to compete with the likes of Google's Nest Hub Max, Amazon's Echo Show, and Facebook's Portal, but Gurman cautions that "a launch isn't imminent," so there is no guarantee that Apple will release such a product.

Earlier this month, Apple announced that it is discontinuing the full-sized HomePod and shifting its focus to the HomePod mini. Gurman said that Apple still lacks a "unifying strategy" for the smart home market, with some people within the company apparently blaming the lack of progress on Siri's shortcomings compared to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Apple Discontinues 512GB and 1TB SSDs for 21.5-inch iMac

Apple this week discontinued 512GB and 1TB SSD storage configurations for the 21.5-inch 4K iMac, leaving a 256GB SSD or 1TB Fusion Drive as the only options available for the computer.

2019 imac home
Apple also removed the iMac Pro from its online store this week after announcing that the computer would be discontinued earlier in the month. Now that supplies of the iMac Pro have run out, the computer is no longer available to purchase from Apple's online store, except for some refurbished models.

Both of these moves likely foreshadow the introduction of a redesigned iMac with an Apple silicon chip later this year. Rumors suggest the new iMac's design will resemble Apple's high-end Pro Display XDR, with thinner bezels around the display, no metal "chin" below the display, and a flat back. Two unreleased iMacs were referenced in the latest macOS 11.3 beta.

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!

Top Rated Comments

mamadore_the_keen Avatar
26 weeks ago

I really would prefer a HomePod without a camera. Why does everything have to have a camera.
Because the NSA wants cameras and microphones on everything possible to spy on you.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Azeroth1 Avatar
26 weeks ago
I really would prefer a HomePod without a camera. Why does everything have to have a camera.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RickDEGH Avatar
26 weeks ago
I see the notch as a signature look of the iPhone; reducing it brings disharmony to that look - different iPhones with different look notches. This particular one looks like that of the Google Pixel 2 (ugly). Either the current horizontally elongated notch or perhaps hole punch like the Samsungs, or nothing at all. Seeing that the latter is impossible given the functionality of the notch, I say leave it as it is, to create harmony in design.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tonie walker Avatar
26 weeks ago
i expect an announcement this coming week...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
otternonsense Avatar
26 weeks ago

I really would prefer a HomePod without a camera. Why does everything have to have a camera.
It's like every app that just has to have "stories"..

Personally I'm waiting for the smaller notch though it's no big achievement after 5 whole years.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The_Martini_Cat Avatar
26 weeks ago
Technically, rumors are not really part of the news cycle, they’re part of the rumors cycle!?? But some SSD parts no longer being on some iMacs IS news. It means ... new macs & they might be iMacs! (The parts could also go into MacBook Pros). Either way, I’m sure I’ll have many great new Apple products to choose from for my birthday this summer!?? (in rumor calendar terms, can I make the case that the summer crosses into the iPhone 13 announcement???
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
HomePod With Screen and Arm FaceTime Feature 2

Gurman: Combined HomePod/Apple TV Device Remains in Early Development

Friday May 28, 2021 5:57 am PDT by
Apple's work on a new combined HomePod and Apple TV device is ongoing, according to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. As has been previously reported, Gurman reiterated that the new device will feature a built-in screen and a camera for FaceTime calls.As part of its broader home, audio and accessories strategy, Apple has also begun early development of a HomePod speaker with a built-in...
iMac Pro Alert Feature

Apple Releasing New iMac After Discontinuing iMac Pro

Wednesday March 31, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
After months of rumors from multiple sources about Apple's long-awaited iMac redesign, Apple has discontinued the iMac Pro, in what appears to be another sign that more powerful iMacs with Apple silicon chips are on the way. Apple is reportedly planning to equip the 2021 iMacs with next-generation Apple silicon chips, potentially with as many as 16 power cores and four efficiency cores, but...
google nest hub max

Apple Developing New 'HomePod' Models With Screens and Cameras

Monday March 22, 2021 8:16 am PDT by
In a report today focused on an unactivated temperature/humidity sensor in the HomePod mini, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman briefly mentioned that Apple has "been developing new speakers with screens and cameras." This reporting suggests that Apple could be at least exploring the idea of new HomePod models with a display and camera to compete with the likes of Google's Nest Hub Max, Amazon's Echo...
top stories 13mar2021

Top Stories: Apple Event Rumored for March 23, iMac Pro and HomePod Discontinued, and More

Saturday March 13, 2021 6:00 am PST by
Rumors about a potential Apple event are starting to heat up as we're getting close to the time of year when Apple frequently hosts an event, so stay tuned for more information on that front in the coming days and weeks. This week also saw Apple confirm it has discontinued both the iMac Pro and the original HomePod, while rumors are continuing to look forward to new Apple silicon MacBook Pro ...
duan rui iphone 12 13 notch

New Images Show Smaller iPhone 13 Notch Compared to iPhone 12

Saturday April 17, 2021 11:38 pm PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has shared more images that could give us our best look yet at Apple's redesigned notch for the iPhone 13. The new pictures follow similar images shared by the leaker last week, but the latest shots include a comparison with the existing iPhone 12 notch. DuanRui posted three images on Twitter that apparently originate from Weibo, although source details remain...
conceptsiphone imac 20211

New iMac Concept Takes Design Cues From iPad and Pro Display XDR

Tuesday April 20, 2021 2:32 am PDT by
While we wait to see if rumors of a new iMac announcement today are accurate, popular 3D concept channel ConceptsiPhone and Khahn Design have taken a stab at envisioning what Apple's redesigned all-in-one desktop Mac could look like. Check out the pictures and video embedded below. According to Bloomberg, Apple's redesigned iMac models will feature slimmed down bezels around the display and...
iphone 13 front glass

iPhone 13 Front Glass Reveals Smaller Notch With Earpiece Relocated to Top Bezel

Tuesday March 23, 2021 9:34 am PDT by
iPhone 13 models are widely expected to feature a smaller notch, and we are able to share a first look at the potential design. Greek repair provider iRepair has provided MacRumors with an alleged photo of front glass panels for iPhone 13 models, with the same three 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch display sizes as the iPhone 12 lineup. The notch on each iPhone is visibly smaller as a result ...
apple watch 6s 202009

Bloomberg: Apple May Launch Rugged Apple Watch Model for Extreme Sports as Soon as This Year

Friday March 26, 2021 3:24 am PDT by
Apple is weighing up the possibility of launching an Apple Watch with a rugged casing that's made for use in extreme environments, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: Apple Inc. is considering launching an Apple Watch with a rugged casing aimed at athletes, hikers and others who use the device in more extreme environments, according to people familiar...