Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes iPhone 14’s festive problems, Qualcomm reveals iPhone 15 plans, latest iOS 16 bugs, MacBook Pro’s time traveling award, folding iPad displays, WWDC archives taken down, and Apple’s 2022 cancellations.
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 iPhone Is In Short Supply
If you’re looking to pick up an iPhone 14 as a Christmas present, it’s probably best to order now. Apple is facing problems with the iPhone 14 supply chain, which is expected to lead to fewer handsets being available for the festive rush. The reason? China’s enforced lockdown of the Foxconn factories due to CoVID-19 infections in the area:
“…despite mass vaccination, China has what’s called a “zero-Covid” policy, where entire cities, and workplaces like Foxconn, can be locked down until there are no cases of Covid-19. It’s the kind of dystopian order only an authoritarian state can pull off; a stark contrast to the Western world where people are living with Covid-19 like it’s the flu as opposed to trying to eradicate it entirely.”
5G Modem Independence Still Out Of Reach
Meanwhile, Apple’s 5G Modem continues. Following its purchase of Intel’s modem division in 2019, Apple would have hoped to wrest control of the 5G modem supply chains from Qualcomm – much as it has with Apple Silicon usurping Intel. Yet Qualcomm expects to be supplying iPhone modems for at least four more years:
“By extension, 2026 now looks to be the earliest we can expect iPhone modems to be produced fully in-house, and for the benefits of that integration to be felt. After all, even if Apple can deliver major benefits earlier, the company cannot ship iPhones with different performance levels following the 2016 debacle, so Apple modems will be on a leash.”
Interim iOS 16 Release
Taking on two key bugs that have cropped up in the iPhone’s OS, Apple has released iOS 16.1.1. It’s not the big step up expected in iOS 16.2, but it addresses connectivity and advertising metrics. It should be available now in your iPhone settings/General/Software Updates section:
“While the released notes are vague, the fix likely patches two nagging issues. One affected some users’ ability to stay connected to Wi-Fi networks and the other impacted Apple’s SKAdNetwork, which “lets advertisers measure the success of advertisements by attributing app installations to specific ad campaigns.””
2021 MacBook Pro Picks Up 2022 “Best Laptop” Award
Timing-wise, Apple’s 14-inch MacBook Pro just missed out on being considered for TechRadar’s “Laptop of the Year” in 2021, but Apple’s advanced ARM-based hardware is comfortably in the window for the 2022 award. Given that introduction, is it any surprise that it has picked up the award?
“…it’s a mark of just how good the MacBook Pro 14-inch is, that in the following 12 months, no laptop surpassed it, in our opinion. In fact, the only laptop that came close was another Apple device – the MacBook Air (M2, 2022), which currently sits at the top of our best laptops guide. But while the new MacBook Air is a great all-round laptop that’s best for most people, the MacBook Pro 14-inch remains the most innovative and exciting laptop of the past 12 months.”
Samsung Hints At The iFold
While the Android world continues to innovate around folding smartphones and tablets, Apple has not launched any of its own designs. That may be set to change in 2024 and 2025, as one of Apple’s key display suppliers, Samsung, has noted it expects to supply Tim Cook and his team with the necessary parts in the future:
“[The Elec] claims that during a recent meeting with suppliers, Samsung said that it expects Apple to launch its first foldable devices in 2024 – but that these will initially be tablets or notebooks, rather than smartphones Effectively, if you’re waiting for an iPhone Flip, you probably shouldn’t expect one until 2025 at the earliest, however, the wait for a foldable iPad could be a little shorter.”
Brendan Shanks’ collection of historical WWDC videos has been hit by numerous copyright claims and removed from YouTube. Apple does maintain its own archive, but does not offer public access to the full collection, so public access to topics such as “Mac OS X, Darwin, Aqua, or WebObjects“has been lost. Only a handful of WWDC clips remain available:
“And yes, while this archived content is Apple’s intellectual property, the company doesn’t exactly do the best job of making its history readily available to fans. It seems like the closest thing we’ll get to an official archive related to the company is the small, but growing Steve Jobs Archive, which contains emails, videos, and voice clips highlighting snippets of Jobs’ life. The site was launched in September by Jobs’ friends and family — not by Apple.”
Joe Rossignol salutes the fallen Apple products that Tim Cook and his various teams quietly “end of line’d” during 2022, including the 5W power adapter, 27-inch iMac, and the iPod Touch. All it needs now is some stirring music a la the Oscars, and to be played at the next Apple Launch:
“First introduced in October 2001, the iPod was one of Apple’s most iconic products, but the device’s discontinuation became inevitable over time given the wide array of Apple products that can now play music, including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, HomePod mini, and more… iOS 16 is not compatible with any iPod touch models, marking the end of software compatibility for the portable music player.”
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.