MacRumors Roundups

MacRumors Roundups are an overview summary of the all the rumors and expectations about a particular product. With the fast paced nature of the Apple news cycle, it can be difficult for even the most dedicated reader to follow every new development.

The goal of each roundup is to simply answer the question of "What are you expecting" for any given product. That opinion is certain to change over time as new rumors are revealed, and the roundups will be updated regularly to reflect that.

Over time, we hope to ramp up to have more roundups on more topics.

HomePod

At the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple unveiled its much-rumored Siri-based speaker, the HomePod. HomePod, which has been in the works for years, is designed to reinvent the way music is enjoyed in the home, and, according to Apple, it does something that no other company has managed to do -- combines a smart speaker with incredible sound.


To differentiate the HomePod from competing products like the Google Home and the Amazon Echo, Apple is focusing heavily on audio quality. HomePod is just under seven inches tall, but Apple has packed a lot of technology into the device's body. It features a 7 tweeter array, with each tweeter outfitted with its own driver, and an Apple-designed 4-inch upward-facing woofer for crisp, clear, distortion free sound even at loud volumes.


We think we can do a lot to make this experience much better. Just like we did with portable music, we want to reinvent home music. -- Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller


The internal components in HomePod are controlled by an A8 chip, making it much more powerful than competing smart speakers. HomePod is equipped with spatial awareness, allowing it to intelligently analyze a room and adjust accordingly for the best possible sound. Included touch controls at the top of the device allow for simple navigation, and there's 1GB of RAM.


Apple Deals

Our Apple Deals roundup is designed to be a one-stop destination for finding a great deal on Apple products like Macs, iPads, and iPhones, or accessories related to Apple products. In the first section of the roundup, you'll find deals on accessories that range from iPhone cases and cables to docks, bags, software, and more.


Our weekly deals section is updated regularly, with new deals added as we discover them. We'll be adding and removing deals as they expire, so make sure to bookmark this page and check back often to find some of the best discounts available on Apple accessories. This section will also highlight significant Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch deals, along with our weekly giveaways and app sales.


Below our deals section, you will find price comparison charts for all of Apple's Macs and iPads. This is a great tool to use when shopping for a new product because it will allow you to compare the prices from five of the biggest apple resellers: Best Buy, Amazon, MacMall, Adorama, and B&H Photo. It's a useful way to find the lowest price at a glance and keep an eye out for sales. Prices highlighted in green denote significant discounts. When you're looking for a new device, make sure to take a look at our price comparison chart so you make sure you're getting the best possible deal.


Come across an amazing deal you'd like to see added to the Buyer's Guide Deals Roundup? Send us an email so we can share the best discounts with all of our MacRumors readers.


iOS 12

The next update to the iOS operating system that runs on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is already in development at Apple's headquarters in California.


While we don't know a whole lot about the update, codenamed "Peace" at this point in time, we have heard some interesting rumors that shed light on some of the features and changes we can expect to see in the update, which, based on past updates, is likely to be called "iOS 12."


iOS 12 is going to be an update that focuses heavily on bug fixes and refinements to the underlying code because Apple wants to address performance and quality issues.


According to Bloomberg, Apple was originally planning to introduce features that included a refresh of the Home screen with a redesigned app grid, a revamped CarPlay interface, improvements to core apps like Mail, and updates to picture-taking, photo editing editing, and photo sharing, but the company has opted to delay these features until 2019 in order to focus more heavily on making iPhones "more responsive and less prone to cause customer support issues."


iPhone X

The iPhone X, pronounced "iPhone 10," was introduced at Apple's September 2017 event as a classic "One more thing..." addition to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus product lineup. According to Apple, the iPhone X represents the biggest technological leap forward since the original iPhone was introduced 10 years ago in 2007, and it sets the path for the next decade of iPhone development.


Apple's aim with the iPhone X was to create an iPhone that's all display, blurring the line between physical object and experience. The 5.8-inch front screen melts into a highly polished curved-edge stainless steel band encircling a durable all-glass body available in two pearlescent finishes: Space Gray and Silver. Both feature a black front panel.



The edge-to-edge top-to-bottom Super Retina display adopts OLED technology for true-to-life colors, deep blacks, and a million-to-one contrast ratio. It features a 2436 x 1125 resolution and 458 pixels per inch, the highest resolution and pixel density ever introduced in an iPhone. It supports HDR, wide color, 3D Touch, and True Tone for adjusting the white balance of the display to match the ambient lighting.


watchOS 4

watchOS 4 is the newest version of watchOS, the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch. watchOS 4 was introduced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June of 2017, and it will be followed by watchOS 5 in 2018. In watchOS 4, Apple has focused on introducing a more personalized Apple Watch experience and improving what people love most about the Apple Watch, bringing new Activity, Music, and Workout features.


There are three new watch faces in watchOS 4, including a new Siri watch face that offers up dynamic, personalized information that changes based on the time of day. It takes into account your daily routine, the apps you use, and when you use them to predict what you'll want to see next. Other watch faces include a photo-based Kaleidoscope face and a new Toy Story face starring Jessie, Woody, and Buzz Lightyear.



With watchOS 4, Apple wants to better motivate you to close your Activity rings, so there are new notifications when you're close to meeting a goal, more exciting animations when you reach your target, and personalized monthly fitness challenges based on your own Activity history.


Apple Pay

Apple Pay is Apple's mobile payments service. As with the Apple Watch, Apple has adopted the Apple symbol "" followed by "Pay" for the service's name, though the company also refers to it as "Apple Pay."


Available since October 20, 2014, Apple Pay is designed to allow iPhone 6, 6s, 6, 7, 8, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7 Plus, 8 Plus, SE, and X users in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Switzerland, Hong Kong, France, Russia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and UAE to make payments for goods and services with their iPhones in retail stores using an NFC chip built into their iPhones.


With the Apple Watch, Apple Pay is also extended to the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s. To use Apple Pay with one of these devices, a paired Apple Watch is required to make the payment. This is made possible through the NFC chip included in the Apple Watch.


Apple Pay also lets users make one-tap purchases within apps that have adopted the Apple Pay API, and it is available on the web with iOS 10 and macOS Sierra. Devices capable of using Apple Pay within iOS apps or on the web include the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone X, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, and iPad Pro models. All of these devices feature Touch ID and contain an NFC controller where the "Secure Element" of Apple Pay is located, keeping customer information private.


iOS 11

Introduced on June 5, 2017 at the Worldwide Developers Conference, iOS 11 is the next-generation version of iOS. As Apple CEO Tim Cook said on stage at WWDC, the update takes the best and most advanced operating system and turns it up to 11.


iOS 11 introduces subtle design changes to interface elements throughout the operating system. Text is bolder, apps like Calculator and Phone have a new look, and the Lock screen and Control Center have been entirely redesigned.


The Control Center is customizable and there are options to include a wider range of settings. It's no longer split across multiple screens, and 3D Touch integration has expanded, so you can do more without needing to open the Settings app.



WWDC 2018

Every year, Apple holds an annual Worldwide Developers Conference near its Cupertino campus in California to give thousands of developers from around the world a chance to meet up with Apple engineers and attend valuable workshops and software development sessions.


For well over a decade, Apple held WWDC at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, but starting with 2017, the company moved to the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, where we also expect this year's conference to be held.


Apple kicks off each conference with a keynote on the first day, where the company makes major announcements and sets the stage for the rest of the week. Keynote events typically offer a look at some upcoming products and provide the first details on new operating systems.


In 2018, we're expecting to see new versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS for sure, and as the date of the conference approaches, we'll likely hear more about what to expect at WWDC.


Apple TV

In September of 2017, Apple introduced the new Apple TV 4K, its first update to the set-top box since 2015. There are two key technologies at the heart of the new Apple TV: 4K and HDR, both of which bring cinematic quality to everything you watch on the new box.


4K support brings incredible detail to the Apple TV with four times the number of pixels as HD. 4K resolution is defined as 3840 x 2160, while HD is 1920 x 1080. While the 4K Apple TV offers improved resolution, its support for high dynamic range (HDR) is perhaps even more important. HDR brings richer, more vibrant colors and supports a wider range of colors.


As iTunes chief Eddy Cue said on stage when introducing the Apple TV 4K, 4K is about the number of pixels, but HDR is about better pixels. Apple TV 4K supports both the HDR10 industry standard and Dolby Vision, a higher-quality version of HDR with even better color.


The Apple TV 4K is meant to be paired with television that supports both 4K and HDR technology. Without an accompanying 4K television, the Apple TV 4K experience won't be the same. To get the most out of the Apple TV 4K, 4K content is also required.


macOS High Sierra

Apple introduced macOS High Sierra at its 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference in June. macOS High Sierra, as the name suggests, is a follow-up to macOS Sierra and is largely designed to improve on macOS Sierra through major under-the-hood updates and a handful of outward-facing changes.


With macOS High Sierra, Apple says it's focusing on the fundamentals: data, video, and graphics. High Sierra is about deep technologies that will provide a platform for future innovation while also introducing new technologies to make the Mac more reliable, capable, and responsive.


A more modern file system, Apple File System (APFS), is the new default in macOS High Sierra. APFS is safe, secure, and optimized for modern storage systems like solid state drives. It introduces features like native encryption, safe document saves, stable snapshots, and crash protection. APFS is ultra responsive and will bring major performance improvements for Macs.


High Sierra includes High Efficiency Video Encoding (HEVC, aka H.265), which preserves better detail and color while also introducing much improved compression compared to H.264. HEVC software encoding is available for all Macs in High Sierra, but newer models include HEVC hardware acceleration.


Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 3, introduced on September 15, 2017, is the third evolution of the Apple Watch that Apple first debuted in 2015. Apple Watch Series 3 much like Apple Watch Series 2 with one major exception -- a new cellular chip.


For the first time, thanks to processor and battery improvements, Apple has been able to bring LTE connectivity to the Apple Watch. Apple Watch Series 3 is no longer tethered to an iPhone, an improvement that Apple says has been its vision for the watch from the beginning.


With LTE connectivity, you can leave your iPhone behind when you run errands, go to the beach, or go for a jog, but remain reachable via phone call or a message. The Apple Watch works just like an iPhone on LTE. You can listen to streaming music, get GPS directions, interact with Siri, and use third-party apps, all over a cellular connection.



2018 iPhones

We started hearing rumors about the iPhones we can expect to see in 2018 before the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus had even launched, and based on those rumors, 2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year for iPhone advancements.


In 2018, Apple is planning to continue on with its three iPhone lineup, introducing three new iPhones. The first is said to be a second-generation version of the iPhone X, with the same 5.8-inch OLED display, while the second can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus" with a larger 6.5-inch OLED display.


Along with these two OLED iPhones, which will undoubtedly be just as expensive as the current iPhone X, Apple is planning to introduce a new, more affordable 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD display. This device could possibly use a Full Active LCD display, which would offer improved technology over the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus display.


All three of the new iPhones will feature an edge-to-edge screen with the same nearly non-existent bezels of the iPhone X, and all will be equipped with a TrueDepth camera system that supports Face ID. That means 2018 will mark the official end of the Home button and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in Apple's flagship iPhone lineup.


macOS 10.14

The next major update to Apple's macOS operating system, macOS 10.14, is already in development at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California.


We don't know much about macOS 10.14 at this early point in time, but we've heard a few intriguing rumors that reveal some details about the upcoming update.


Bloomberg has suggested that Apple is working on a new universal apps feature for both macOS 10.14 and iOS 12 that will allow developers to create apps that work across iPhone, iPad, and Mac.


Apple's aim is to let developers design a single app that works with either a touchscreen or a mouse and trackpad based on whether it's running on iOS or macOS. Such a universal app feature would likely greatly increase the number of apps available on Macs while also cutting down on developer workload to create cross-platform apps.


MacBook Air

Apple is rumored to be planning to introduce a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook in the second half of 2018, which would serve as a replacement for the MacBook Air.


Few details are rumored about the new 13-inch MacBook, which could actually belong to the 12-inch MacBook family. Apple is perhaps planning to lower the cost of that device, something it's been aiming to do for the last several years.


This rumor comes from DigiTimes and is unconfirmed as of yet, but there could be some truth to it as Apple has been phasing the MacBook Air out since the MacBook was introduced in 2015.


It's not clear what the rumored MacBook would be priced at, but the MacBook Air sells for $999, a price point Apple has thus far been unable to match with the 12-inch MacBook and the MacBook Pro.


MacBook

Apple introduced the second update to its ultra-thin 12-inch MacBook on June 5, 2017, debuting new machines with faster processors, better graphics, faster SSDs, and support for up to 16GB RAM. Aside from these internal changes and the addition of a revamped keyboard, the MacBooks are identical to previous-generation 2016 models.


First introduced in March of 2015, the MacBook is Apple's newest Mac product line, distinct from the existing MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineups. The MacBook is Apple's thinnest, lightest Mac to date with terraced battery technology and a fanless design enabled by a low-power Core M processor.



Measuring in at 13.1mm thick, the MacBook is 24 percent thinner than the MacBook Air, and it weighs just two pounds, lighter than both the 2.38 pound 11-inch MacBook Air and the 2.96 pound 13-inch MacBook Air. It has a 12-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2304 x 1440.


MacBook Pro

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in early 2017 that Apple was working on a high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro model with 32GB RAM with production on the machine to begin in the fourth quarter of 2017. Kuo said the MacBook Pro will be "the most significantly redesigned product this year" with desktop-class RAM to appeal to high-end users, but thus far, even at the end of 2017, no such machine has materialized, nor have we heard additional rumors about it.


A report from DigiTimes suggests Apple has no plans to make major upgrades to the MacBook Pro in 2018, but it does not, of course, rule out minor refreshes to internal components like the processor and the GPU.


This should not come as a surprise as the MacBook Pro last received a major design update in late 2016, and design refreshes typically only happen every few years.


A future version of the MacBook Pro could include an upgraded ARM-based chip to work alongside the Intel processor in the notebook and handle some "Power Nap" low-power mode functionality. The current MacBook Pro has an ARM-based T1 chip that powers the Touch Bar, but this new version is expected to take on additional power management capabilities.


iPhone SE

With the iPhone SE positioned as a new device in Apple's iPhone lineup, its upgrade schedule is not yet known. Apple could decide to update the 4-inch iPhone on a regular basis like its flagship devices, but its internals are also powerful enough that it could remain a capable phone for multiple years without an upgrade. On March 21, 2017, Apple bumped up storage tiers, but did not introduce a new model.


Taiwanese market research firm TrendForce believes Apple will introduce a new iPhone SE in 2018 to target the mid-range smartphone market. No details about what we can expect to see in a next-generation iPhone SE were included.


DigiTimes believe Apple is planning to launch an iPhone SE with support for wireless charging in the summer of 2018.


Rumors sourced from the Taiwanese supply chain have suggested Apple will release a second-generation iPhone SE in the first half of 2018. The "iPhone SE 2" will be assembled exclusively by Taiwanese manufacturer Wistron at its factory in Bangalore, India, where some iPhone SE production currently takes place.


iPhone 7

As of September 2017, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have been replaced by the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. Apple is still selling the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus as lower-cost devices, but the two iPhones are no longer the company's flagship smartphones.


On the surface, the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus devices don't look very different from the previous-generation iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, continuing to feature the same 4.7 and 5.5-inch screen sizes and the same dimensions, but there are a few visual differences and several important internal changes.


Antenna bands no longer span across the back of the devices, for a cleaner, sleeker look, and there are new colors being sold alongside the standard Silver, Gold, and Rose Gold shades: a matte black color Apple is just calling "Black" and a "Jet Black" with a high-gloss finish.


Most notably when it comes to design, the body of the iPhone 7 has been reengineered to be IP67 dust and water resistant, so it can hold up to splashes, rain, and brief submersion in water. Apple's warranty doesn't cover water damage, though, so it's best to be cautious with water exposure.


iPhone 6s

Apple announced its ninth-generation iPhones, the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, at a media event in San Francisco, California on September 9, 2015. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus can be summed up beautifully with a single quote from Apple CEO Tim Cook: "While they may look familiar, we have changed everything about these new iPhones."


Available with the same 4.7 and 5.5-inch Retina displays, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have the same exterior design as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but much of the hardware inside, from the camera to the processor, is new and improved. Core technologies like the touchscreen and the vibration engine have been updated, and the devices are even constructed from a new material.


The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are made from a 7000 Series aluminum alloy, which is stronger and more durable than the 6000 series used in the previous-generation iPhones. Apple's also updated the devices with stronger glass, made using a dual ion exchange process. One of the biggest changes is the introduction of a new aluminum finish in Rose Gold, which accompanies the traditional Silver, Space Gray, and Gold color options.


A second-generation Touch ID module makes fingerprint detection twice as fast, and the 64-bit A9 processor in the two devices is 70 percent faster at CPU tasks and 90 percent faster at GPU tasks than the A8 processor in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. A built-in M9 motion coprocessor enables new features, such as always-on "Hey Siri" functionality.


iPhone 8

Introduced on September 12, 2017, the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus represent a "huge step forward for the iPhone," according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. The two devices "improve on everything we love about iPhone" with overhauled internals and a tweaked design, but the changes introduced are not as dramatic as the changes brought to the iPhone X, Apple's new high-end flagship device being sold alongside the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.


The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus mix a little bit of the iPhone X with a little bit of the previous-generation iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The overall design is the same as the design of the previous-generation devices, but the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus adopt new glass bodies sandwiched in a matching aluminum frame. Unlike the iPhone X, there continues to be a Touch ID Home button and thick bezels at the top and bottom of the display.


Available in three colors, Silver, Space Gray, and a new Gold shade, the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus feature the most durable glass ever in a smartphone in a reinforced steel and aluminum structure that is IP67 water and dust resistant. The stereo speaker setup in the device has been updated to be 25 percent louder with deeper bass.


The iPhone 8 continues to feature a 4.7-inch display, while the iPhone 8 Plus features a larger 5.5-inch display. Both displays have been upgraded with True Tone support, designed to adapt color temperature and intensity to the ambient light in a room for a more natural, paper-like viewing experience. 3D Touch and P3 wide color support for a greater rang of colors continue to be available.


iPad mini 4 (2015)

In 2016, the iPad mini received no refresh, and in 2017, the only update was a price drop for the 128GB storage tier. It is not clear if and when additional 7.9-inch iPad mini updates will be introduced.


There was a rumor suggesting Apple planned to introduce a new 7.9-inch iPad mini branded as a "Pro" model alongside larger iPad Pro tablets, but Apple refreshed the iPad Pro lineup in June of 2017 with new 10.5 and 12.9-inch models, and no new 7.9-inch model made an appearance.


As of March 21, 2017, the existing iPad mini 4 is only available with 128GB of storage for $399 (Wi-Fi) or $529 (Wi-Fi + Cellular). The new 128GB storage tier is priced the same as the previous 32GB storage tier, introducing much more storage space at a lower price. The iPad mini 2, previously available as a low-cost option, has been discontinued entirely.


According to a report from BGR citing a source with knowledge of Apple's plans, Apple is going to discontinue the iPad mini due to poor sales. No timeline for the discontinuation of the iPad mini was given, but it's possible no additional update to the 7.9-inch tablet is coming.


iPad (2017)

The mononymous "iPad," introduced in March of 2017, is Apple's new low-cost 9.7-inch tablet, designed to replace the iPad Air 2 as an affordable alternative to the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro and its larger sibling, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.


Positioned as Apple's fifth-generation iPad, as it is referred to in documentation, the new tablet is priced aggressively at $329 for Wi-Fi only connectivity and 32GB of storage space. It's far more affordable than the $649 64GB Wi-Fi only iPad Pro and it's even priced lower than the smaller iPad mini 4.


Compared to its logical predecessor, the iPad Air 2, the iPad includes a brighter 9.7-inch display, a faster A9 processor, but it's also thicker at 7.5mm. Aside from those differences, it uses much of the same hardware that was first introduced in the original iPad Air, and internally, it looks a lot like an original iPad Air.


Aside from an improved processor and brighter display, the iPad includes an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera, 10 hours of battery life, Touch ID, Apple Pay support, and 802.11 ac Wi-Fi.


iPad Pro

Apple is rumored to be working on a new high-end 2018 iPad Pro that will adopt many design elements from the iPhone X. The device will feature slimmer edges, a faster processor, a custom Apple-built GPU, and a TrueDepth camera with support for Face ID.


With Face ID, the new iPad will be able to be unlocked with facial recognition, alleviating the need for Touch ID. With no need for Touch ID, Apple is said to be planning to eliminate the home button in the new device.



It will continue to feature a standard LCD display, though, with Apple unable to use OLED at this time due to technical and financial constraints. The new device is said to be similar in size to the existing 10.5-inch iPad, but it will feature more display area if there are indeed slimmer bezels.


iMac Pro

First teased at the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference, the iMac Pro is a workstation class machine that's aimed at pro users with demanding workflows. Though introduced at WWDC, the iMac Pro didn't become available for purchase until Thursday, December 14, with the first orders scheduled to arrive to customers on December 27.


Pricing for the iMac Pro, which is a 27-inch machine, starts at $4,999 and goes up to over $13,000, and the premium price tag should come as no surprise -- this is the most powerful desktop machine Apple has ever built.


The iMac Pro features the same design as the standard iMac, but with an all-flash architecture and a new thermal design that supports an Intel Xeon processor with up to 18 cores and a top-of-the-line Radeon Pro Vega graphics. Apple is offering 8- to 18-core configurations, with 8- and 10-core models available to ship in just a week or two and 14- and 18-core configurations available to ship in two weeks to a month.


A dedicated Apple-designed T2 processor integrates the SMC, image signal processor for the camera, audio control, SSD control, a Secure Enclave, and a hardware encryption engine, bringing new functionality to the iMac and ensuring greater security.


iMac

On June 5, 2017, during the annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple refreshed its iMac lineup, introducing improved displays, new Kaby Lake chips, Thunderbolt 3 support, and faster storage options for its 4K 21.5-inch and 5K 27-inch desktop machines.


Apple also announced a new iMac Pro, which launched in December of 2017. The iMac Pro is focused on pro users, with high-powered Xeon-W processors, up to 128GB RAM, and up to 4TB of solid state storage.The iMac Pro is covered in a separate iMac Pro roundup.


None of the regular iMacs received any external design changes in 2017 and they continue to offer the same "ultra-thin" slim-bodied design that was introduced in 2012. There are, however, some notable improvements to the display.


The new 4K and 5K iMacs are equipped with what Apple says is the "best Mac display ever," with 500 nits of brightness, which is 43 percent brighter than previous iMacs, and 10-bit dithering for reproducing up to a billion colors.


Mac mini

The Mac mini was last updated in 2014, introducing Haswell processors and features like 802.11ac WiFi and Thunderbolt 2. Given that it's been more than three years since the update, new Mac mini models could come at any time, provided Apple doesn't have plans to retire the Mac mini product line.


Apple held an event in October of 2016 where it refreshed the MacBook Pro, but no updates to the Mac mini were announced. New Mac mini machines also did not appear at the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference where Apple introduced new iMacs and MacBook Pro machines. It's possible Apple will update the machines at some point in 2018, but we don't know when.


In the past, the Mac mini saw upgrades in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014.


A new Mac mini would likely include Intel's eighth-generation Kaby Lake Refresh chips, which would bring significant performance improvements to Apple's most affordable desktop. Apple's Mac mini line uses the same U-Series chips that are found in the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and eighth-generation chips appropriate for an updated Mac mini were announced by Intel in August of 2017.


CarPlay

CarPlay, at its core, is Apple's way of bringing iOS to in-car infotainment systems and dashboards. It's designed to display information from the iPhone on a car's built-in infotainment unit, giving drivers a safe way to make phone calls, send text messages, listen to music, and access Maps -- all of the things a driver might want to do with an iPhone while driving a car.


When connected to an in-dash system via the iPhone's Lightning port or wirelessly in some cars, CarPlay gives the user in-car access to information stored on the iPhone, like contacts for phone calls and messages, music playlists in apps, previous Maps searches, calendar events, and more. Because CarPlay pulls its information from the iPhone, there's virtually no setup involved.


Many automobile manufacturers have been building CarPlay support into cars since 2015, but there's also a way to get CarPlay in existing vehicles -- many aftermarket in-dash systems from companies like Sony, Pioneer, Kenwood, and Alpine are compatible with CarPlay and are readily available at reasonable prices. More than 200 vehicles manufactured from 2016 on include CarPlay, and additional manufacturers are coming out with CarPlay support all the time.


CarPlay is designed to be hands-free, introducing as little driver distraction as possible, and for that reason, it is voice-based and reliant on Apple's personal assistant Siri. Siri is used to perform a range of actions in the car, like placing phone calls, getting directions, sending and reading text messages, playing music, accessing apps, and more.


Mac Pro

In April of 2017, Apple executives Craig Federighi and Phil Schiller sat down with several journalists and explained Apple's plans for the future of the Mac Pro.


Apple is developing a high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro system that will facilitate regular upgrades to meet the needs of Apple's pro user base. It will ship alongside an upcoming Apple-branded pro display.


The company is currently in the process of "completely rethinking" the Mac Pro, and its total revamp will take longer than a year to finish, so it will debut sometime in 2018 or beyond. No specific date has been provided as of yet.


Apple has a team working on the Mac Pro, which will be designed for the company's "demanding pro customers." According to Schiller and Federighi, Apple is committed to making it the highest-end desktop system able to accommodate VR and high-end cinema production.


Apple Stores

Apple has grown to become the most valuable company in the world. It now has millions of customers around the world visiting its retail stores every day, and many of its earliest locations, particularly those in shopping malls, are too small and narrow to accommodate the increased foot traffic.


Moreover, since opening its first retail store in 2001, Apple's product lineup has expanded well beyond the Mac and iPod to include the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch, and other devices and accessories. In most stores, for example, Apple has at least one table dedicated to Apple Watch try-ons and demos.


For those reasons combined, and to play a bigger role in the community, Apple is in the process of renovating dozens of its retail stores in the United States and around the world. Many of the locations have expanded by adding a floor or taking over adjacent storefronts, while some stores have relocated entirely. Apple sometimes sets up a smaller temporary pop-up shop near affected locations until renovations are completed.


Apple's next-generation store design, spearheaded by design chief Jony Ive and retail head Angela Ahrendts, can also be seen in all new stores opened since around mid 2015. The new look often includes wide, open spaces with some combination of indoor trees, touch-sensitive sequoia wood tables and shelves for displaying products, large 6K resolution video screens for product marketing and community events, and light boxes spanning the length of the ceiling.


Apple Car

Starting in 2014, Apple began working on "Project Titan," with upwards of 1,000 employees working on developing an electric vehicle at a secret location near its Cupertino headquarters. Internal strife, leadership issues, and other problems impacted the car project, leading Apple to shelve it for the foreseeable future.


Apple has laid off hundreds of employees who were working on the project, and under the leadership of Bob Mansfield, Apple has transitioned to building an autonomous driving system rather than a full car. By creating an autonomous driving system, Apple may be able to partner with existing car makers or return to its own car development project in the future, and it will be able to produce a product able to deeply integrate with iOS devices.


Apple has several teams working on different aspects of the software. In Canada, a team made up of two dozen former BlackBerry QNX customers are helping to develop the base operating system, while another team works on developing the software that will run on it, such as a heads-up display and self-driving capabilities.


In June of 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke publicly about Apple's work on autonomous driving software, confirming the company's work in a rare candid moment. Apple doesn't often share details on what it's working on, but when it comes to the car software, it's harder to keep quiet because of regulations.


Apple VR Project

Apple has been exploring virtual reality and augmented reality technologies for more than 10 years based on patent filings, but with virtual and augmented reality exploding in popularity with the launch of ARKit, Apple's dabbling may be growing more serious and could lead to an actual dedicated AR/VR product in the not-too-distant future.


Apple is rumored to have a secret research unit comprising hundreds of employees working on AR and VR, exploring ways the emerging technologies could be used in future Apple products. VR/AR hiring has ramped up and Apple has acquired multiple AR/VR companies, suggesting something is afoot in Cupertino.



There are dozens of possibilities for VR/AR technology in Apple products, and in 2017, Apple is betting big on both AR and VR. VR support is included in Metal 2 in macOS High Sierra, and in iOS 11, Apple has developed an ARKit API that lets developers create impressive AR-based apps and games with little effort.


AirPort

Apple's AirPort Express is its entry-level AirPort base station, designed to be easy to use and affordable. Priced at $99, it offers dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi along with AirPlay for wireless music playback and wireless printing.


At $199, the AirPort Extreme is Apple's mid-level base station, offering dual-band higher-speed 802.11ac Wi-Fi, printer and hard drive sharing, and a stronger signal due to its high-rise design and six antennas.


Apple's AirPort Time Capsule, priced at $299 to $399, is essentially an AirPort Extreme with a built-in hard drive that facilitates automatic wireless backups using Apple's Time Machine software. It offers 802.11ac and all of the features of the AirPort Extreme, with the addition of a 2 or 3 TB hard drive.


All of Apple's AirPorts include a built-in Network Address Translation (NAT) firewall to create a barrier between a network and the Internet, along with password encryption and closed network options.


iPod touch

On July 27, 2017, Apple simplified its iPod touch lineup, reducing the previous four capacity options to just two at lower prices:32 GB for $199 and 128GB for $299.



Apple previously updated its iPod touch lineup on July 15, 2015, introducing new colors and significant internal upgrades to the same A8 chip used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as an improved 8-megapixel rear camera. The iPod touch was available in 16, 32, 64, and 128 GB sizes priced at $199/$249/$299/$399, with all three models available in six different colors.


The current sixth-generation iPod touch maintains the same form factor introduced in September 2012 with the fifth generation of the family but includes significantly improved internals led by a jump from the A5 chip used in the previous generation to the A8 chip also used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.


Displays

On June 23, 2016, Apple discontinued the Thunderbolt Display. Existing stock was sold in stores and online, but Apple is no longer manufacturing new displays.


While no Apple-branded display is available at the current time, Apple executives Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi recently shared news about Apple's work on a revamped high-end modular Mac Pro, which will ship alongside a "pro display" as part of its modular system.


No other details on the display were shared, and because the products are still in a development phase, we won't see the new Mac Pro or its accompanying display in 2017. Apple hasn't provided a specific release date, saying only it won't be ready this year.


According to Pike's Universum, Apple's upcoming external display, a companion to the Mac Pro, will have an 8K resolution. 8K displays are just now hitting the market in 2017 and are still quite expensive, but prices could come down by the time Apple's Mac Pro is ready to ship.



Archived Roundups

WWDC 2017

The 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference keynote was Apple's biggest event in years, with the company introducing both new software platforms and a range of new hardware products. iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, and watchOS 4 were introduced, along with new iPad Pro models, new MacBooks, new MacBook Pro models, and new iMacs.



iOS 11 introduces some system-wide design changes, with Apple focusing on bolder fonts, borderless buttons, new animations, and other small visual tweaks. Some interface elements were totally overhauled, including the Control Center, which now takes up a single page, has an entirely new look, and offers new customization options.


The Lock Screen and the Notification Center have been merged together and are now one entity, so pulling down to access Notification Center also now brings up the Lock Screen.


Apple Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday, which takes place on November 27th in 2017, is a major shopping holiday in the United States. It follows Black Friday, and marks another day of major sales both online and in retail stores. Retailers across the country drop prices on thousands of items on Cyber Monday, and in some cases, the sales last for an entire week.


Apple products on the cheap are highly desired, and in recent years, retailers have offered some fantastic deals both on Black Friday and on Cyber Monday. We're gathering up a list of all the retailers, both online and in-store, offering discounts on iPhones, iPads, iPods, MacBooks, Beats headphones, Apple accessories, software, and more.



Our Black Friday deals can be found in our dedicated Black Friday roundup, while this Cyber Monday roundup focuses on deals that will be available starting on November 27. Black Friday's focus is often in-store sales, while Cyber Monday primarily highlights deals you can get online without leaving the house.


Apple Black Friday

Black Friday, which takes place on November 24th in 2017, is a major shopping holiday in the United States. During the event, retailers across the country drop their prices on thousands of items, hoping to lure shoppers to their stores.


Apple products on the cheap are highly desired, and in recent years, retailers have offered some fantastic deals. We're gathering up a list of all the retailers, both online and in-store, offering discounts on iPhones, iPads, iPods, MacBooks, Beats headphones, Apple accessories, software, and more.


This roundup will be updated on a daily basis as Black Friday approaches. We'll highlight the very best deals that are being offered this year so MacRumors readers know where to go for the best discounts. If you spot a good deal or have a site offering a Black Friday discount, make sure to send us an email at tips@macrumors.com.


With Black Friday sales starting earlier and earlier every year, you'll want to keep an eye on this roundup throughout the month of November, as we'll also be highlighting a range of pre-Black Friday discounts.


macOS Sierra

macOS Sierra, the next-generation Mac operating system, was unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 13, 2016 and launched to the public on September 20, 2016. Apple chose to do away with the OS X name in favor of the new "macOS" name to bring the Mac operating system in line with iOS, watchOS, and tvOS.


The main new feature in macOS Sierra is Siri integration, bringing Apple's personal assistant to the Mac for the first time. Siri offers many of the same capabilities available on iOS, along with Mac-specific functionality like the ability to search through documents to quickly find files.


There's also an option to pin Siri search results to the Today section of the Notification Center or to add them to documents to provide up to date information at a glance. Siri can also do things like search through Photos, set reminders, initiate FaceTime calls, and more.


In Photos, computer vision and new deep learning algorithms allow the app to recognize people, places, and things in images using facial, object, and scene recognition, using the information to group images into intelligent collections and enable powerful search capabilities. A new "Memories" tab creates curated collections of past photos to resurface old memories, and there's a new "Places" album for displaying all photos on a world map.


iOS 10

Apple unveiled iOS 10, the next-generation operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, on June 13, 2016, releasing it to the public exactly three months later on September 13. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, iOS 10 is the "biggest release ever" for iOS users, with major updates for a wide variety of apps, services, and features, including Messages, Siri, Photos, Maps, Apple Music, News, Apple Pay, Control Center, and more.


iOS 10 features a redesigned Lock screen with 3D-touch enabled notifications that offer up more information, a more easily accessible camera, and a new widgets screen that houses widgets formerly located in the Today section of the Notification Center. There's a redesigned Control Center, also with support for 3D Touch, and a new Raise to Wake feature wakes up the screen without bypassing notifications.


Siri can do a lot more in iOS 10, thanks to a Siri SDK that allows developers to build Siri support into their apps. You can now ask Siri to do things like summon an Uber or send a message in WhatsApp.


Messages has been overhauled with new features like background animations, bubble effects, rich links, and Digital Touch, the sketching feature first introduced on the Apple Watch, allowing users to create drawings and annotate photos and videos. Handwritten notes, hidden "invisible ink" messages, quick "Tapback" replies, and bigger emoji are new in Messages, and there's even a predictive emoji feature that suggests words that can be replaced with emoji.


tvOS 10

tvOS is the operating system that runs on the Apple TV, taking iOS-style design elements and translating them to an interface made for the larger screen of a television set. tvOS is designed to put content front and center, with a familiar app-centric design that's easy to navigate through the touch-based remote and Siri voice commands.


tvOS, like iOS, features a full App Store that allows users to choose apps to install on the device. The App Store features content-based apps like Netflix and Hulu, but it also features games, weather, educational options, photo viewing apps, music apps, and more.


Since the fourth-generation Apple TV launched in October of 2015, Apple has been steadily updating tvOS with new features like Bluetooth keyboard support, dictation support, and more, and on June 13, 2016, Apple unveiled the latest version of the tvOS operating system -- tvOS 10.


tvOS 10 builds on the initial tvOS features, introducing improved search, expanded Siri capabilities, Single Sign-On authentication, and a dedicated Apple TV Remote app for iOS devices.


watchOS 3

The latest version of the watchOS operating system, watchOS 3, was first introduced at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 13, 2016, and was made available to the public on September 13, 2016. watchOS 3 is a significant update to the operating system, introducing new apps, new watch faces, and impressive performance improvements.


watchOS 3 introduces a Dock that houses a user's favorite and recently used apps so they're easier to access. Favorite Apple Watch apps saved to the Dock are kept up to date and are able to launch instantly, cutting down on app loading times.


Navigation has been improved, with left and right swipes now used to change the watch face. A revamped Control Center with more information is available when swiping upwards on the Apple Watch screen.


Activity sharing is new in watchOS 3, allowing Apple Watch owners to share their workout and activity information with friends to compete and stay motivated. New activity-based Smart Replies in the app are available to communicate with friends and family over activity achievements.


iPod shuffle

On July 27, 2017, Apple removed the iPod shuffle from its website and online store, marking its discontinuation after twelve and a half years on the market in various forms. With the simultaneous discontinuation of the iPod nano, the iOS-based iPod touch is the only remaining device in the iPod family.


At the time of its discontinuation, the iPod shuffle was available in six colors in a single 2 GB capacity priced at $49.


Apple's iPod shuffle went through several design changes since its introduction in January 2005, with the final form factor having been introduced in September 2010. Priced at $49 and offering 2 GB of storage, the only changes made to the device over the subsequent years were in color options.



iPod nano

On July 27, 2017, Apple removed the iPod nano from its website and online store, marking its discontinuation after almost twelve years on the market in various form factors. With the simultaneous discontinuation of the iPod shuffle, the iOS-based iPod touch is the only remaining device in the iPod family.


At the time of its discontinuation, the iPod nano was available in six colors in a single 16 GB capacity priced at $149.


Perhaps more than any other iPod product, the iPod nano was the subject of significant experimentation by Apple, with the company trying out a number of different form factors based on a click wheel interface before moving to an iPod shuffle-shaped design centered around a multi-touch screen and eventually settling on a design more like a miniature iPod touch with the final seventh-generation models released in October 2012.



Siri Speaker

Apple's much-rumored Siri-based speaker, HomePod, was unveiled at the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5. HomePod is Apple's answer to the Amazon Echo and the Google Home, but Apple's speaker is unique because of its focus on superior sound quality.


While Siri is baked into HomePod for answering queries, accessing Apple Music, and controlling HomeKit devices, it's not the sole feature the product is built on. HomePod has a lot more to offer. For full details on Apple's speaker, make sure to check out our dedicated HomePod roundup.


iPad Air 2

Apple's original iPad Air was impressively thin, measuring in at just 7.5mm, similar to the pencil that it was compared to in an array of advertisements. On October 16, 2014, Apple introduced the iPad Air 2, which is significantly thinner at just 6.1mm thick.


Aside from its thinner body, the iPad Air 2 retains the same general design elements of the original iPad Air, but it has gained some impressive under-the-hood improvements. For one, the tablet now comes with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor first introduced in the iPhone 5s, and it also includes an upgraded A8X processor that's faster than the A8 in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and 2GB of RAM. There's an M8 motion coprocessor as well, which pulls in data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and a new barometer.


Using a laminated gapless display let Apple shed bulk from the iPad Air 2 while also improving its screen, offering enhanced contrast and more vibrant colors. Apple also added an anti-reflective screen coating that cuts down on up to 56 percent of glare.


The iPad Air 2 has gained an 8-megapixel rear camera that includes an Apple-designed image signal processor, an f/2.4 aperture, and support for 1080p HD video. For the first time, the iPad can capture large panoramas of up to 43 megapixels, it can capture 720p 120FPS Slo-mo video, it has time-lapse video capabilities, and it can take burst mode photos.


WWDC 2016

At WWDC 2016, the focus was on software. While no new hardware was unveiled, Apple announced major new updates to iOS, the newly renamed macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.



iOS 10 features a redesigned Lock screen with 3D-touch enabled notifications that offer up more information, a more easily accessible camera, and a new widgets screen that houses widgets formerly located in the Today section of the Notification Center. There's a redesigned Control Center, also with support for 3D Touch, and a new Raise to Wake feature wakes up the screen without bypassing notifications.


Siri can do a lot more in iOS 10, thanks to a Siri SDK that allows developers to build Siri support into their apps. You can now ask Siri to do things like summon an Uber or send a message in WhatsApp.


OS X El Capitan

OS X 10.11 El Capitan, released on September 30, 2015, is the next iteration of OS X, building on the features and design changes introduced with OS X Yosemite. OS X El Capitan might seem like a strange name, but it's meant to highlight the OS's position as an update that brings under-the-hood improvements and refinements to OS X Yosemite.


In real life, El Capitan is one of the most popular rock formations and landmarks located within Yosemite National Park. The "El Capitan" name for OS X 10.11 reflects a long-running OS X naming scheme that's used to denote updates that are refinements to previous updates, following in the footsteps of Leopard/Snow Leopard and Lion/Mountain Lion.


With El Capitan, Apple focused on two major areas: user experience and performance. Improvements to window management, apps, and Spotlight search enhance the way we use our Macs, while under-the-hood additions like Metal graphics technology make everyday activities like launching apps faster.



iPhone 6

Apple launched two new iPhones, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, in September of 2014. Along with larger screens and a completely new iPad-style design with an ultra thin body and rounded corners, the two new phones offer faster processors, better cameras, and NFC for Apple's Apple Pay payment system.


The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus originally came in Gold, Silver, and Space Gray in 16, 64, and 128 GB capacities. The iPhone 6 pricing started at $199 on contract or $649 without contract, while the iPhone 6 Plus pricing started at $299 on contract or $749 without contract. With the release of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in September 2015, Apple reduced prices on the older iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models by $100 and eliminated Gold as a color option. Only Silver and Space Gray remain available.


While both models include the same 64-bit A8 chip and the same general design, there are several differences between the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 measures in at 6.9mm, while the iPhone 6 Plus is slightly thicker at 7.1mm. Apple's iPhone 6 Plus also has three major differentiating factors: optical image stabilization for the camera, and a longer battery life, and an iPad-style landscape mode that displays more content on the screen.


Though the iPhone 6 Plus has optical image stabilization, both phones got some major camera improvements in form of sensor upgrades, improved tone mapping, better noise reduction, and new "Focus Pixel" technology, which improves the phone's ability to select autofocus points. For videos, there's a new 240fps slo-mo option, along with support for shooting in 1080p at 60fps. The front-facing camera was also upgraded, with an f/2.2 aperture that lets in more light and new burst mode capabilities.


iOS 9

iOS 9 is Apple's newest operating system for iOS devices like the iPhone and the iPad, released to the public on September 16, 2015. iOS 9 builds on the content introduced with iOS 7 and iOS 8, bringing subtle design changes, refined features, improved functionality, and performance enhancements.


iOS 9's biggest focus is on intelligence and proactivity, allowing iOS devices to learn user habits and act on that information, opening up apps before we need them, making recommendations on places we might like, and guiding us through our daily lives to make sure we're where we need to be at the right time.


Siri is at the heart of the changes, and the personal assistant is now able to create contextual reminders and search through photos and videos in new ways. Swiping right from the home screen also brings up a new screen that houses "Siri Suggestions," putting favorite contacts and apps right at your fingertips, along with nearby restaurant and location information and important news.


Deeper search capabilities can bring up results like sports scores, videos, and content from third-party apps, and you can even do simple conversions and calculations using the search tools on your iPhone or iPad.


watchOS 2

watchOS is the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch, much like iOS runs on iPhones and iPads and OS X runs on Macs. While watchOS has taken design cues from iOS 8 and iOS 9, it's been built from the ground up for the Apple Watch, with features and apps that take advantage of the hardware in the wrist-worn device.


Apps like Activity and Workout read data from the accelerometer and the heart rate sensor, while communication features let users send sketches, heartbeats, and animated emoji. Notifications are sent from the iPhone and delivered with small haptic taps on the wrist, while Glances offer up quick tidbits of information that can be digested in just a few seconds.


Introduced at the 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference, watchOS 2 brings a lot of important functionality to the Apple Watch. Most of what's included is aimed at developers, but the new tools developers have to work with offer better third-party apps and Apple Watch interactions for all of us.


watchOS 2 introduces support for native apps, which means apps are able to run entirely on the Apple Watch without relying on the iPhone. It also allows developers to access the device's built-in heart rate sensor, Taptic Engine, accelerometer, and microphone, and build third-party complications to display information on the watch face. As of June 2016, all new Apple Watch apps submitted to the App Store must be native apps built using the watchOS 2 SDK.


iWatch Rumors

Apple Watch Announced!: See details in our Live Coverage on MacRumors.com.




Apple has been rumored to be working on its "iWatch" smart watch since late 2012, but the company has begun accelerating work on the project as it tries to expand its family of mobile devices to the wrist. Apple has already started work on trademarking the name in a number of countries in preparation for an introduction reportedly taking place September 9 alongside the iPhone 6. Apple has confirmed the event date, but not whether the iWatch will be introduced at that time.


Because we don't yet know what an Apple iWatch will look like, the photos we've included in the roundup are either mockups or existing non-Apple products. For example, the red watch at the top of the page is the Lunatik iPod nano watch.


iPhone 6 Rumors

iPhone 6 Announced!: See details in our Live Coverage on MacRumors.com.


Apple's new iPhone 6 devices will be introduced at a September 9 media event at the Flint Center, the same location where Apple debuted the original Mac 30 years ago. An overwhelming number of iPhone 6 rumors and part leaks have given us a near-complete look at the two devices ahead of their launch.


With the iPhone 5, Apple increased the screen size of the device from 3.5 inches to 4 inches, and with the iPhone 6, the phone's display is going to grow even larger. Though Apple experimented with a range of screen sizes, the company settled on 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches for its two devices, which will bring the next iPhone in line with competing Android and Windows phones that have adopted larger displays.


Over the course of the last several years, consumer preference has shifted towards bigger screens, and Apple is now prepared to meet consumer demand for larger devices.


iPod classic

The iPod classic was the direct descendent of Apple's original iPod released in 2001 and offers the traditional click wheel interface introduced nearly a decade ago on the iPod mini before making its way into the fourth-generation iPod. With the iPod classic lacking iOS and touchscreen support, the device's main function over its last few years was to provide customers with an iPod product option offering significant amounts of storage for their music collections. The final version of the iPod classic contained a 160 GB traditional hard drive, offering significantly more capacity than the 64 GB of flash memory found in the high-end iPod touch. With the iPhone starting to offer a maximum of 128 GB of storage with the iPhone 5 and 6 Plus, however, Apple discontinued the iPod classic on September 9, 2014, five years to the day after its final update.


The final generation of the iPod classic was introduced in September 2009, and while the product's demise was rumored a number of times over the years, the product lasted a full five years with silver and black color options at a $249 price point before being discontinued.



Back in early 2011, Toshiba introduced a 220 GB 1.8-inch hard drive that could have allowed Apple to increase the capacity of the iPod classic, and tightening supplies very soon after led to speculation that the device could see an update or discontinuation. By September 2011, Apple had removed its click wheel iPod games from the iTunes Store. No such games had been added to the store since February 2009, but the complete removal of the games section from the iTunes Store fueled rumors that the iPod classic would soon be discontinued. Ultimately, however, it was not until 2014 that the iPod classic was finally retired from Apple's lineup.


iOS 8

iOS 8 was unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June of 2014 and launched to the public on September 17, 2014. The release for existing devices came two days ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.


Improved integration between Apple devices, both mobile and desktop, is a major focal point of both iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. Apple introduced several new "Continuity" features that are designed to connect the iPhone, iPad, and Mac "like never before."


AirDrop, Apple's peer-to-peer file sharing protocol, now works between iOS and Mac devices. Handoff, a newly introduced feature, works on the same sharing principles and lets users start a task on one device and instantly pick it up on another.


Along with sharing tasks with Handoff, iPads and Macs can both place and answer phone calls using the iPhone as a relay. Using this same functionality, Macs and iPads are able to receive SMS messages via the Messages app, which was previous limited to iMessages on those platforms.


OS X Yosemite

Apple released OS X Yosemite to the public on October 16, 2014, following a media event that saw the unveiling of new iPads, a new Retina iMac, and a new Mac mini. It was succeeded by OS X El Capitan on September 30, 2015.


OS X Yosemite was made available through the Mac App Store at no cost. Prospective users needed 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage space, along with Snow Leopard at a minimum as Mac App Store access was required.


Originally unveiled during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 2, 2014, Yosemite went through several months of beta testing before it saw its public release. Apple also launched a public beta for OS X Yosemite for the first time, allowing more than a million users to test the software before its release.


OS X Yosemite introduced a number of visual changes, including a flatter, more modern look that emphasizes translucency, streamlined toolbars, and smarter controls.


OS X 10.12

OS X 10.12 was expected to be the name of the 2016 Mac operating system update, following OS X 10.11, but Apple opted to change the name of its Mac operating system to "macOS" to bring it in line with tvOS, iOS, and watchOS.



What was once OS X 10.12 is now known as "macOS Sierra," set to be released to the public in the fall of 2016. Full details on macOS Sierra, which includes new features like Siri integration and automatic Mac unlocking, can be found in our dedicated macOS Sierra Roundup.


iPhone 5se

The "iPhone 5se" was the name rumored for Apple's 4-inch iPhone before it launched on March 21, 2016 as the "iPhone SE." The iPhone SE combines the body of the iPhone 5s with many of the internals of the iPhone 6s, such as the A9 processor and 12-megapixel camera, resulting in a powerful but compact device. For details on the iPhone SE, make sure to check out our full iPhone SE roundup.



The information remaining in the iPhone 5se roundup reflects the rumors that circulated about the 4-inch iPhone before its debut.


Since the launch of the 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in September of 2014, there have been rumors suggesting Apple plans to introduce a new 4-inch device aimed at those who want something both more affordable and smaller in size. Despite rumors, no new device materialized in 2015, but as of 2016, rumors have ramped up and it appears a new 4-inch iPhone will launch in March of 2016 at an event to be held on the 21st.


iPhone 6c

The "iPhone 6c" was one of the early names rumored for Apple's 4-inch iPhone before it launched on March 21, 2016 as the "iPhone SE." The iPhone SE combines the body of the iPhone 5s with many of the internals of the iPhone 6s, such as the A9 processor and 12-megapixel camera, resulting in a powerful but compact device.



For details on the iPhone SE, make sure to check out our full iPhone SE roundup.


WWDC 2015

Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference keynote for 2015 was held on Monday, June 8, with the company introducing the next versions of its iOS, OS X, and watchOS operating systems, as well as an all-new Apple Music streaming service. A full transcript of our live blog coverage of the event remains available, and Apple has shared a video stream for on-demand viewing.


The next version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 9, was introduced at the keynote event with developer access starting immediately, to be followed by a public beta in July and public availability in the fall, mostly likely in the September timeframe when Apple typically introduces its new iPhone hardware.



iOS 9's biggest focus is on intelligence and proactivity, allowing iOS devices to learn user habits and act on that information, opening up apps before we need them, making recommendations on places we might like, and guiding us through our daily lives to make sure we're where we need to be at the right time. Siri and search improvements drive those new capabilities, with other improvements including transit directions for Maps in select cities, a much more robust Notes app, a new News app, and Apple Pay enhancements such as support for store-brand cards and rewards programs.


'Steve Jobs' Movie

On October 24, 2011, just weeks after former Apple CEO Steve Jobs passed away from pancreatic cancer, Walter Isaacson released his best-selling biography, "Steve Jobs." The book was crafted from more than forty interviews Isaacson had with Jobs over the course of two years, and it provided a deep, introspective look into the life of the man responsible for turning Apple into the world's most valuable company.


It also provided an honest look at Jobs -- Isaacson conducted over a hundred interviews with Jobs' family members, friends, colleagues, competitors, and enemies -- giving the clearest picture yet of the kind of man that Steve Jobs was.


Before Isaacson even published the book, Sony, knowing that it would be an undeniable hit, acquired the rights to produce a movie based on the biography, and that's the basis for the "Steve Jobs" film.


A lot of big names are attached to the movie, which is said to be a serious drama that covers three of Jobs' product launch events. Aaron Sorkin, famous for writing "The West Wing," "Newsroom," "Moneyball," and "The Social Network," wrote the screenplay, and Danny Boyle, known for films like "127 Hours" and "Slumdog Millionaire," will direct.


iOS 8 Features

While our main iOS 8 roundup focused on the major changes announced by Apple, this iOS 8 roundup highlights some of the more interesting but smaller additions and refinements made to Apple's mobile operating system throughout its lifespan between September 2014 and September 2015.


Apple released iOS 8 to the public on September 17, 2014, two days ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Prior to the public launch, the software went through five developer betas before a golden master was released on September 9.


The final version of iOS 8 was iOS 8.4.1, a minor update that introduced security improvements and bug fixes. Prior to iOS 8.4.1, Apple introduced iOS 8.4, which brought a revamped Music app and support for the new Apple Music service.


Revamped Music app - iOS 8.4 introduces a new look for the Music app with a revamped design that shows pictures of artists in the Artists view and offers personalized playlists. It also offers a new MiniPlayer, a redesigned look for "Now Playing," global search capabilities that make it easier to search from anywhere within the Music app, and access to the new on-demand streaming music service and Beats 1 radio.


WWDC 2014

Apple just completed their 2014 keynote address at WWDC and introduced a number of new features in both OS X and iOS. A full transcript of the event is available, as well as a video stream of the keynote address.



Apple today announced the latest version of its Mac operating system, OS X Yosemite. The sequel to last year's OS X Mavericks, Yosemite includes a user interface redesign, as well as major new features focusing on seamless integration between Mac and iOS devices, a new cloud storage system called iCloud Drive, as well as the ability to make phone calls and send text messages through an iPhone.


Read More


Black Friday 2013

Black Friday, which takes place on November 29 this year, is a major shopping holiday in the United States. During the event, retailers around the country drop their prices on thousands of items, hoping to lure shoppers to their stores.


Apple products on the cheap are highly desired, and this year, retailers are offering some fantastic deals. We’ve gathered up a list of all the retailers offering discounts on iPhones, iPads, iPods, MacBooks, and more. Each entry lists the item and the savings off of the price that the store normally sells the product for.


As it is still early, we are expecting additional information on other notable Black Friday sales to surface, from retailers like Apple. We will continue to update this roundup to add deals as they become available.


The best deals thus far are from the major retailers, as seen in the chart below (which includes gift cards). Target is offering the best price on the iPad Air at $379 ($479+$100 gift card) while Walmart has a $199 iPad mini available. Walmart also has the best deals on both the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c. It remains unclear which stores might offer the Retina iPad mini, but if Target has stock on hand, they will be available for $399 with a $75 gift card. Make sure to check out our detailed guides on where to get the best prices on Apple's lineup of iPads and Macs.


OS X Mavericks

OS X 10.9 Mavericks introduces a number of new features aimed at extending both battery life and responsiveness. Apple has promised 200 changes in Mavericks, including both minor cosmetic updates and major performance enhancements. The new operating system was released just after Apple's October 22, 2013 media event and is a free upgrade from the Mac App Store for all OS X Mountain Lion, Lion, and Snow Leopard users.



Mavericks has several new features developed for power users, with enhanced multi-monitor support and expanded finder capabilities. All users will experience improved power usage, a new iCloud Keychain function for secure cross-device passwords, and better Safari performance.


A new iBooks app and a new Maps app are both bundled into Mavericks, allowing users to read books and access maps within native apps for the first time. While Mavericks has not gotten the same drastic visual overhaul found in iOS 7, a number of skeuomorphic elements introduced with Mountain Lion have been removed.


iOS 7

Apple revealed iOS 7 during the WWDC keynote on June 10, 2013, featuring a brand new design and a number of new features. iOS 7 launched publicly on September 18, 2013. Users can obtain the update either by connecting their devices to iTunes and clicking the "Check for Update" button or checking for over-the-air updates on their devices via Settings -> General -> Software Update.


iOS 7 is available as a free upgrade for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch (16GB/32GB/64GB) and the iPad 2, iPad with Retina display (third- and fourth-generation), and iPad mini. iOS 7 will come pre-installed on the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c devices. Owners of the iPhone 5s will also find several new features that are specific to that device. These include: 64-bit support, Touch ID fingerprint sensing, Camera image stablization, Burst Mode and Slow-Mo video.


iOS updates are generally recommended for all users, but in the past, users of older hardware have found that performance of the latest iOS versions on their devices can be sluggish. If you are on older iPhone hardware (iPhone 4), you may want to wait to see how will iOS 7 runs on your device. Our discussion forums are a good resource for specific questions/answers, and we've also gathered some tips to help users discover less well-known features. Over time, we expect new apps and updates will start requiring iOS 7 to take advantage of the new features and interface.


iOS 7 was designed to be compatible with all existing iOS 6 apps, and user testing has found this to generally be true. If you rely on a specific "mission critical" app, it would still be prudent to make sure that that app runs before upgrading.


iPhone 5c

The iPhone 5c is essentially a repackaged iPhone 5 with a new plastic enclosure. The new device is available in five different colors -- green, yellow, blue, white, and pink.


The phone uses the same A6 processor and rear-facing camera as the iPhone 5, but does contain a few upgraded parts -- such as an improved front-facing FaceTime camera and support for more wireless LTE bands.


The new iPhone 5c starts at $99 (with 2 year contract) in the U.S. and is now available for order from Apple, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Retail stores, such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Radio Shack and Target are also offering the iPhone 5c, and many have been discounting the price of the 16 GB model to $50 or less with a two-year contract.


On Friday, October 25, Apple launched the iPhone 5c in 35 additional countries, including Russia, Spain, and Mexico, and a third wave launch took place on November 1. The iPhone 5c is now available in more than 60 countries, online, via Apple resellers, or through brick and mortar Apple Stores.


iPhone 5s

The iPhone 5s is the same size and design as the current iPhone 5 but features improved specifications and is available in three colors: Silver, Gold, and Space Gray.


The iPhone 5s uses a 64-bit A7 processor which is as twice as fast as the previous generation. The new device also incorporates a "Touch ID" capacitive fingerprint sensor built into the home button that's capable of scanning sub-epidermal skin layers. Touch ID can be used to unlock an iPhone and authorize iTunes purchases.


The rear camera in the iPhone 5s has a new 5-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture and a sensor that is 15% larger than the current iPhone 5, as well as a dual-LED "True Tone" flash that will adapt to the existing lighting to provide better colors and more accurate skin tones. Other new camera features include Burst Mode, capable of capturing 10 pictures per second and automatically selecting the best shot, and Slo-Mo 720p video capture at 120 frames per second.


Apple launched the iPhone 5s in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the UK on September 20, 2013. In the U.S., the iPhone 5s costs $199, $299, and $399 for the 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB models respectively with a 2-year contract. Non-contract, unlocked SIM free devices are available for $649/$749/$849. Pricing for other individual countries is available on Apple's online store.