This week’s Apple Loop takes a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino and includes Apple’s quarterly results, new iPhone design leaks, a more expensive iPhone, the popular iPhone 13 Pro, a stunning performance from Mac Studio, an iPad Air 5 review, the issue with Apple’s iPhone repair and a portable Mac Mini M1.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of some of the very large amount of discussion that has taken place around Apple over the past seven days (and you can read my weekly roundup of Android news here on Forbes).
Apple earnings up nine percent year over year
Apple’s results for the second fiscal quarter of 2022 show rising sales in its iPhone, Mac and wearables divisions, despite a decline in the number of iPads – CEO Tim Cook has cited supply shortages affecting the latter:
“We are very pleased with our record March quarter results as we set an all-time revenue record for Services and March quarter revenue records for iPhone, Mac and Wearables, Home and Accessories. Continued strong customer demand for our products has helped us achieve an all-time high for our installed base of active devices,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “Our strong operational performance generated over $28 billion in operating cash flow and enabled us to return nearly $27 billion to our shareholders during the quarter.”
All corners are the same
According to leaked CAD files, Apple has updated the design of the upcoming iPhone 14 family reported by Ian Zelbo. It’s a subtle change, but one that fixes an annoying visual distraction on the iPhone 13. The radius of the corner of the handset, the camera island and the screen will finally match:
“[There] is a quirk of the iPhone 13 Pro design,” explains Zelbo. “The radius of the phone’s corners doesn’t match the radius of the camera bump (obviously an odd decision for a company like Apple, which is known for its cohesion). .. Apple has significantly rounded the corners of the iPhone 14 Pro and finally addressed the strange looks of the iPhone 13 Pro.”
Your iPhone becomes more expensive for less iPhone
The suggestion that Apple will drop the price of the iPhone 14 Pro Max by $200 may be welcomed by some, but the ripple effect in the portfolio could see the lower-spec iPhone 14 models becoming more expensive than the equivalent iPhone 13 -models. And this is in addition to a spec sheet expected to weaken the appeal of entry-level iPhones:
“Multiple leaks have claimed that rising component costs and Apple’s determination to differentiate Pro and non-Pro iPhones will see the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max drop to $1099 and as high as $999, respectively. Dollars – $300 more than an iPhone 13 Mini.
The popular pro
Meanwhile, Apple has enough confidence in the iPhone 13 Pro that the order book has been opened and more units ordered. Demand has been higher than expected everywhere (not just for the iPhone, but for the entire smartphone market – as the consumer market finds a new “normal”:
“In the first quarter of this year, Apple ordered just 1 million of the smaller iPhone 13 Pro, while the Max was produced in 3.5 million units. However, as of Q2 2022, the Standard Pro sees a whopping increase to 8 million orders, while the Pro Max sees an increase to 6.5 million. That’s an increase of 10 million from last quarter. This is good news for Apple as the average selling price of the iPhone 13 family will increase and investors will be pleased with the additional revenue.”
(The Elec via GSM arena).
Mac Studio disappears from the charts
While we’re still waiting for the Mac Pro, the recently launched Mac Studio offers a glimpse of just how much power Apple can unlock with the Apple Silicon Powered M1, particularly the M1 Ultra. Craig A. Hunter tested the hardware against his own Computational Fluid Dynamics benchmark and the results are amazing:
“Now we see that the Mac Studio on 16 cores (using performance cores only) shot to just over 180 GFlops of performance, more than double the performance that the 2019 Mac Pro achieved with 28 cores. Also, the slope of the performance curve is dramatically different: while the 2019 Mac Pro worked to add additional performance beyond about 14 cores, the Mac Studio shows very little drop-off, suggesting that the 16 cores are using a lot of bandwidth for memory access and the had parallel communication without much competing with each other. “
The main focus of my reviews has always been CPU performance in real-world engineering benchmarks, and this is where things take a dramatic turn with the Mac Studio. To really convey my experience, I want to set the stage with previous results from the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) benchmark I’ve run over the past 10 years. These results cover four generations of professional desktop Mac systems with Intel CPUs:
Reviewing the iPad Air for Movies
The iPad Air 5, which launched in March alongside the third-generation iPhone SE, caught the attention of geekerati with the same m1 chip as the MacBook Air. With so many people using tablets like the iPad as media consumption devices, it made sense The What Hi-Fi team set about checking the screens and speakers. Basically, it’s “the same again” compared to the iPad Air 4, but that’s not a bad thing:
“Obviously our main concerns are picture and sound quality and the specs suggest nothing has changed here. Apple’s own spec sheet shows that the new iPad Air has the same two-speaker sound system as its predecessor, as well as the same display, with no changes in size (10.9 inches), resolution (2360 x 1640), pixel density (264 ppi) or peak brightness (500 nits stated). It’s always a shame when specs stay the same across device generations, but the iPad Air 4 was an excellent video playback device, so it’s unsurprising that Apple didn’t try to make big changes here.
Apple’s self-repair program has a catch
After advances from Android manufacturers, Apple has finally followed up on last year’s press release Details of the Self-Service Repair Program for iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and iPhone SE (third generation) owners:
“The new online store offers more than 200 individual parts and tools and enables customers who are familiar with the complexities of repairing electronic devices to repair iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series and iPhone SE (3rd battery and camera . Later this year, the program will also include manuals, parts, and tools to perform repairs on Mac computers with Apple silicon.”
As with any program like this, the fine print is important. In the case of Apple’s repair program, the controversial pitfall is mating parts. Once fitted, you must use Apple’s own software to digitally connect the part to your iPhone, a process that gives Apple control over how and for how long the parts are used:
“The mating part requirement essentially sets an expiration date for iPhones. If a refurbisher receives a working phone without parts support, there’s no way they can fully restore a product that needs a display replacement—even if they have an original Apple display from another phone. That’s why it was important to us that the parts we sell for Google, HTC Vive, Motorola, Samsung and Valve don’t require a serial number to purchase them or use software to pair the part with the device.”
(I attach it).
Apple may have promised the world when the M1 Macs arrived, but Scott Yu-Jan wanted more. So, with a bit of tinkering, he put together his own portable FrankenMac. Meet the 100% portable Mac Mini:
“For him, the ideal laptop is just a desktop with no cables. It should be portable, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be slim. Hacked together to ironically (or not) prove his point, Scott’s MacMiniBook (or MacBook Mini, if you’re fussy) is the perfect solution for people who want a truly powerful laptop without compromise. Sure, it’s not slim, but it can’t be beat. With an M1 chip inside that towers well above its weight, Scott’s creation conveniently bridges the gap between laptop and desktop experiences. In fact, portions of the video above were even edited on Scott’s MacGyvered MacBook Mini.”
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 future coverage. Last week’s Apple Loop can be read hereor This week’s edition of Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit, is also available on Forbes.