Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes massive delays and problems for the iPhone 12, fast charging not in the iPhone box, Apple deletes Boot Camp, MacOS ARM beats Windows 10, Apple’s winning strategy, changes at Apple Arcade, and MacOS on the iPad.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).
Apple’s Faster Screen Problem
Apple is facing issues in ‘qualifying’ the 120 Hz ‘Pro Motion screens for the upcoming iPhone 12 family, specifically with the iPhone 12 Pro. It’s failing one of the key tests, and Apple needs to decide which models (if any) will carry the faster refreshing screen. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reports on the details from popular YouTuber Filip Koroy
..unlike the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the iPhone 12 Pro has “only passed 4 out of 5 tests, this is because it is using an altered panel due to the sizing. Things are a little bit more condensed. They believe that Apple can fix it in time, although it will cost them more and Apple, at this point, is trying to decide whether or not it’s worth it.”
Koroy notes that this may result in a split release where Apple only offers a 120Hz display on the (massive) iPhone 12 Pro “or Apple could just axe the entire feature altogether.” That said, Koroy remains hopeful, saying “There’s still time for Apple to remedy this.”
More here on Forbes. This isn;t the only delay Apple is facing. Overall the ‘iPhone timeline’ is behind the curve. Will Tim Cook push ahead with the regular September launch event with less stock, or wait till the reserves are built up? I took a look at the options earlier this week:
“The easiest solution would be too accept the delays in manufacturing will lead to a delay in the iPhone 12 calendar…
“The other option of course is to go small, at least in the background. Keep the iPhone launch event in the regular slot, put the new iPhone 12 family up for pre-order that Friday, and retail sale kicks off one week later. That might mean that the stock levels are not as high as in previous years; in fact the handset may be in limited supply.”
Read more on the deal decisions here.
iPhone Fast Charger Confirmed
The fast-charger for the iPhone 12 family has been certified this week. The 20W charger is a slight improvement on last year’s 18W charger, but should offer ‘empty to fifty percent’ in around thirty minutes on the new handsets, which are expected to have higher capacity batteries. Gordon Kelly:
“…the public certification process in Norway (NEMKO) has made the new Apple charger official and its model number (A2305) matches the iPhone 12 leak. NEMKO documentation reveals the 20W charger’s power delivery (9V x 2.22A), USB-C port (the 5W iPhone 11 charger is USB-A) and that it supports USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) specification so it should fast charge rival smartphones as well.”
While this is good news for power fans, it may well increase the cost of ownership. With reports that Apple will leave a solitary USB cable in the box with the iPhone, those looking for a standalone charger or a set of headphones with their new phone will be disappointed:
“Tim Cook’s Apple has been shaving costs on this accessory for some time, moving away from the rugged carry case, through to the removal of the 3.5mm headphone adaptor, to the current cardboard spindle the lightning-only EarPods can be found in. Of course there’s a much more expensive replacement that Apple will push people towards the AirPods. Not only has Apple lowered the bill of materials, but there is a significantly upsell from the EarPods (retail price $29) to the AirPods (starting from $159).”
More here on Forbes.
Locking Away The Boot From MacOS
Apple will be removing Boot Camp from the next version of MacOS, making it impossible to boot Mac hardware with an operating system other than Apple’s. Instead developers and users will be left with virtualisation tools, and relying on Apple allowing the needed system to run. Should they be concerned?
“Boot Camp is a vital tool for many, and Apple’s reassurances of ‘shouldn’t really be the concern’ will be welcome if you are explicitly using your Mac in the way that Apple intended. But that is not everyone. The Mac platform – especially but not limited to those in the ‘Pro’ class – are workhorse machines with specific needs. Apple’s push towards its future could easily push those users away from the platform, just as the move from 32-bit to 64-bit was smooth for most but a business critical mistake for others.”
More here on Forbes.
MacOS ARM Takes On Windows 10 ARM
With Microsoft offering Windows 10 On Arm, Apple has a yardstick to measure the progress of its move from the current Intel processors to its own design of ARM chips. With the first hardware reaching developers this week, the initial benchmarks are good news for Apple:
“Apple’s ARM hardware is smoking the Surface Pro X though an emulation layer. The same benchmark, if it could also run as native code, will show an even larger disparity. I would also assume that MacOS can be further optimised for ARM not just before the expected Q4 release of an ARM-powered MacBook Pro, but beyond and into the future. Microsoft has the same opportunity as well, but the lead time that Windows 10 on ARM has had is not reflected in the current state of play.”
More on the performance here.
This Is How Apple Wins
Steven Sinofsky, the former President of the Windows Division at Microsoft, has taken to his personal blog to reflect on Apple’s WWDC and the implications of each of the latest moves from Tim Cook. But he also has a high-level view on what makes Apple work:
“What I mean by Apple’s model is not about its direct to consumer business or vertical integration, but the culture of having a “point of view.” Apple makes products that customers love and are delighted by, but it makes them by studying technology, the market, and usage to arrive at plans and strategies.
“Unlike what you read in textbooks, Apple is much less about responding to micro changes, hype cycles, or even “feedback.” In fact you can see often how Apple’s model does not work so well when it rushes products to market or listens too closely to hype (eg Home Pod). Apple is a company that has a point of view — when the point of view lines up with a great product people love, it can become an unstoppable force.”
When The Gaming Comes To An End
Apple is tweaking its approach to the Apple Arcade service, with the focus being placed on games that will keep users playing when the free trial period of the subscription ends. As a result, some contracts with existing development studios are being cancelled and other developers courted. Mark Gurman and Jason Schreier report:
“On calls in mid-April, an Apple Arcade creative producer told some developers that their upcoming games didn’t have the level of “engagement” Apple is seeking, the people said. Apple is increasingly interested in titles that will keep users hooked, so subscribers stay beyond the free trial of the service, according to the people. They asked not to be identified discussing private conversations.”
What would MacOS look like on the iPad? Jordan Singer decided to find out, and with a little bit of programming skill and some judicious use of various graphical elements. Ed Hardy reports for Cult of Mac:
“Singer did not port the Mac operating system to iPad. He used SwiftUI to make an iPad application with a user interface that looks like macOS. It’s a well-made facade, not an operating system. He posted the code on Github for any developer who’d like to test it for themselves.”
And this is the result:
Apple Loop brings you seven days worth of highlights every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future. Last week’s Apple Loop can be read here, or this week’s edition of Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit, is also available on Forbes.