Here’s a preview at the new features that could make the 2020 iPhone Apple’s top seller according to the rumors — and more bad news about TouchID on this year’s iPhone 11. In this week’s Apple Core roundup we’re also looking at the next-generation AirPods, which could launch a lot sooner than we expected, and the latest MacBook updates Apple just announced.
3D Touch is on the chopping block… again
The rumors about Apple eliminating 3D touch in the iPhone 11 keep on coming. A new report from DigiTimes this week, citing industry sources, suggests the manufacturers who build the touch units will make less money this year as Apple switches to lower-cost components.
This would support what longtime Apple analyst Ming Chi Quo suggested a few weeks back about eliminating this feature. Based on the recent iOS 13 beta code, it would seem as though the functionality will remain to some extent, but it may be a haptic touch-like function similar to what we saw in the iPhone XR rather than a proper 3D Touch.
2020 iPhone rumors predict uptick in sales
But at this point, it’s 2020’s iPhone models that’ve already started stealing the spotlight. With two months to go until the next iPhone launch, we’re already getting bombarded by rumors about their successors.
A report from JP Morgan analysts, cited by CNBC this week, backs up a lot of the existing rumors about the 2020 iPhone models and adds a few new insights into the lineup.
The 2020 iPhones are rumored to come in three sizes: a smaller 5.4-inch model that would replace the current 5.8-inch, the same 6.1-inch option as the XR and a larger 6.7-inch Max version. And all three will have OLED displays this time around.
The report says at least two out of the three models will be equipped with 5G connectivity, if not all three. That would mean the 6.1-inch model would come in both 5G and non-5G options, the latter of which would be cheaper.
The analysts also suggest that the rear-facing camera module on the 2020 iPhones will have some kind of 3D-mapping technology similar to the current depth-sensing Face ID setup on the front camera. This would greatly enhance its AR and VR capabilities. Early rumors had mentioned this as a feature for the 2019 lineup but that it wouldn’t be ready in time for launch.
In a separate report on Chinese tech site MyDrivers, longtime Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple will also reduce the footprint of the TrueDepth camera in 2020, which would then shrink the size of the notch.
All these new features and the promise of a 5G iPhone would result in an uptick in iPhone sales, according to the JP Morgan report, this after a slowdown in iPhone sales (and sales of phones in general) over the past two years.
Waterproof AirPods 3 on the horizon
Apple’s release of the second generation AirPods back in March pretty much dashed all hopes of there being a more exciting update later this year. But this week the idea is back on the table.
According to MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives says Apple will launch its third generation AirPods (AirPods 3) before the end of the year. And apparently they’re shaping up to be everything we hoped the AirPod sequels would be.
The report mentions design changes. This could mean a totally different look, or something less drastic, like color options or the addition of noise cancelation and water resistance. Even without an official IP rating, though, the existing AirPod models have already proved themselves capable of handling their share of water exposure.
This is by no means the first we’ve heard about the AirPods 3 coming in 2019. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman talked about the possibility earlier this year as did Ming-Chi Quo and Taiwanese site DigiTimes.
All the MacBook news
This week, Apple had some good news, and some not so good (depending on whether or not you were in the market for a 12-inch MacBook) for its laptop lineup.
The bad news is that Apple is no longer selling the 12-inch Macbook or the old-school Macbook Air with a non-Retina screen and $999 price tag.
On the flip side though, Apple updated the 2018 MacBook Air with a True Tone display and dropped the price to $1,099 or $999 for students.
Apple also updated the entry level 13-inch MacBook Pro with a brand new 8th-generation quad-core processor, Apple’s T2 security chip and added the TouchBar and TouchID which was previously found only on pricier models.
Apple launched a Back To School promotion for university students. They can get a pair of free Beats headphones with qualifying Mac and iMac purchases as well as a six month free trial for Apple Music. As part of the promotion, students can also get the new MacBook Air for just $999 and the new baseline MacBook Pro for $1,199.