Apple Loop: New iPhone 8 Leak Reveals Cancelled Designs, MacBook Pro’s Sneaky Price Cut – Forbes
Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes iPhone 8 leaks and a lack of new technology, the high price of the new iPhone, the sneaky MacBook Pro price cut, details on the new iPad, the AirPods health focused future, price fixing in Russia, the challenge from the Galaxy S8, and running Windows XP on your iPhone.
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).
The Flatland Of The iPhone 8
As the weeks go by, the iPhone 8 seems to be losing much of the revolutionary technology that would help Apple’s tenth anniversary smartphone to stand out from the crowd. Forbes contributor Gordon Kelly looks at the impact the loss of the curved OLED screen will have.
This will be disappointing to many who hoped Apple was primed to follow Samsung’s acclaimed dual curved OLED “Edge’ displays first introduced in 2015 – and result in a far more conventional looking device. Certainly curved OLED displays look superb in marketing shots and add a futuristic aspect as manufacturers chase the new trend of minimising bezel sizes.
Instead, however, Lam said: “Much like the recently announced LG G6, we anticipate a [flat] touchscreen with a new longer aspect ratio design to take advantage of higher coverage area of the iPhone in its entirety.”
How Expensive Can The iPhone Be?
The screen is not the only issue that the iPhone 8 is facing. At it switches to new technology (or at least technology new to Apple), the cost of the components are rising and eating away at the margins. Are you ready for a $1000 iPhone?
New information from Digitimes claims that Apple’s decision to switch the radically redesigned iPhone from LCD to OLED has significant cost implications on other parts of the smartphone. It gives the example of 3D Touch module makers TPK Holding and General Interface Solution (GIS) which it says will be charging 60% more for supplying modules that work with OLED.
…Interestingly, in isolation, the cost of the OLED compatible 3D Touch modules is not huge. In the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus they cost $9 and they will rise to $15 with the 2017 OLED iPhone. That on its own won’t justify an expected starting price of over $1,000 but it is only one part.
MacBook Pro’s Hidden Price Cut
Apple has opened up a cut-price option for consumers looking to buy last year’s MacBook Pro. The non-touch bar model is now available in the refurbished section of the Apple Store. You may still find cheaper offers out there on new units, but he refurbished units from Apple will come with the same level of support as a brand-new MacBook Pro purchased from Apple, including the option to buy Apple Care. Yoni Heisler reports:
If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to purchase Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro, now may be the time to finally pull the trigger. Earlier this week, Apple added a few models of its 2016 MacBook Pro without the TouchBar to its online store for refurbished Macs. The savings are substantial, and if you aren’t particularly enamored by the TouchBar, you’ll definitely want to see the deals Apple has going.
New iPads Expected During Q2
That Apple is preparing a new iPad is not in question. The real question is when it will be revealed. A rush to release would have seen a March launch and an immediate commercial release, but the dates are now moving around with an April launch and June release more likely. Benjamin Mayo discusses the potential dates and schedules:
The supply chain analyst [at Digitimes] had previously predicted that the 10.5 inch iPad will not be ready for launch until May/June, but this latest report says that Apple has pushed the production schedule forward.
The 10.5 inch iPad is expected to be almost the same physical size as the current 9.7 inch iPad Pro, but will gain an extra 0.8 inches in diagonal screen space by losing the left and right bezels, as the product has been described as having an edge-to-edge display. The bezel-less iPad would somewhat presage one of the big rumors for the new iPhone 8 in the fall, which is also expected to feature a bezel-less design.