Apple Loop: iPhone 16 Pro Specs, Apple Watch 10 Design Leaks, Paying For Apple’s AI (2024)

Updated on July 7 with more details on Apple Watch specifications and tenth-anniversary marketing.

Taking a look back at this week’s news and headlines from Apple, including the latest iPhone 16 specs, iPhone 16 Pro battery changes, RCS Messaging tested, a cheaper Vision Pro, Apple Watch design leaks, a new Apple TV, and paying for Apple Intelligence.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the many discussions around Apple in the last seven days. You can also read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes.

iPhone 16 Will Share Power

With Apple set to introduce AI to the iPhone 16 family, an AI-capable processor will be needed for every handset. This lines up with a new report this week that looks at the two product names and highlights the use of the upcoming A18 chipset for the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro. That’s a change in strategy; previously, Apple has tried to hold the vanilla iPhones one generation behind the Pro models to encourage sales of the more expensive handsets:

"So, the evidence pointing to chips named iPhone17,1 along with iPhone17,2 and other similar suggest that every model in the new range this fall will have the same processor. And battery life is likely to be a beneficiary here, too as the new chips may champion efficiency along with power."

(Forbes).

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A Massive iPhone 16 Pro Battery Change

New regulations around the world are focusing on better repairability and sustainability in consumer electronics, including smartphones. Apple has little choice but to follow this model, which, in essence, means the glued-in batteries of old will have to be taken out to allow for easier battery replacements. Naturally, Apple has a gee-whizz high-tech process ready to go:

"As it stands, removing batteries from an iPhone requires some skill to pull out the adhesive strips that glue it to the chassis. It’s not an easy thing for a regular user, without experience, to do. But Apple wants to change by using bonding technology that would release the battery after “administering a small jolt of electricity… this new technology could hit at least one iPhone 16 model this year, with it rolling it out to the entire iPhone 17 lineup in 2025."

(Forbes).

RCS Messaging Beta

The developer beta of iOS 18 is not yet available to the public, but one of the key features is already picking up acclaim for those with access. After many stubborn years, Apple is including the RCS messaging protocol in its Messages app. RCS allows for more communication between clients, group chat support, and rich media to be sent:

"Users are reporting that the benefits of RCS—a much more advanced system than SMS, which iPhones have previously rejected using in favor of its own iMessage set-up—are now usable on the iPhone for beat users, since Apple released the second iOS 18 developer beta on Monday, June 24.

(Forbes).

Plans for a Cheaper Vision Headset

The Apple Vision Pro headset is an expensive way into Apple’s mixed reality ecosystem and there has always been agreement that a cheaper non-Pro headset would follow. Supply chain analysts have picked up on a potential lower resolution screen that could be the heart of a vnailla Vision headset:

"Apple's interest in larger OLEDoS panels with lower resolution than those used in the Vision Pro suggests these could be intended for a new, lower-cost mixed reality headset. Apple has been rumored to be working on such a device for over a year, and the latest indications suggest that it may be designed to tether to an iPhone or Mac to eliminate the need for a costly processor. The lower-cost Apple Vision headset could launch as soon as the end of next year."

(MacRumors).

Apple Watch Design Leaks

The next Apple Watch is going to increase in size. Whether it is the regular Apple Watch 3, or a new variant of the Ultra, a more expansive display is planned, which will impact the entire design:

"The next watch, no matter its name, will have a bigger display than any previous Watch, including the Apple Watch Ultra… The raw CAD renders show a Watch that has a two-inch display—Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch Ultra 2 both have the largest displays to date, measuring 1.93 inches."

(Forbes).

Apple Watch’s Tenth Anniversary Question

Updated Sunday 7 July:

Writing for the Power On Newsletter, Mark Gurman adds to the details we know about the upcoming Apple Watch updates, alongside the new display size:

"The device also will be thinner, though the design itself is unlikely to look much different. Both versions of the Series 10 — codenamed N217 and N218 — will get bigger screens. The change means Series 10 shoppers will be able to pick a screen that’s about as large as the one found on the Apple Watch Ultra. The Ultra itself, meanwhile, won’t get a major design change (but the current one only dates to 2022)."

This leads to an interesting bit of marketing speculation. Apple announced its first smartwatch in 2014, making this the ten-year anniversary. The iPhone X celebrated ten years of the smartphone. Would Tim Cook and his team push to have the upcoming Apple Watch an anniversary special? Or will it wait for 2025 and the tenth year of retail sales and push out an Apple Watch Ultra X?

(Power On).

A New Apple TV With AI

Two new devices have been picked up in developer code. Apple looks to be panning a new wave of devices for the home, and we could be ready to see a hybrid product that brings two popular accessories together:

"MacRumors has identified code “discovered on Apple’s backend” which says that Apple is working on a new home accessory to sit alongside the HomePod and Apple TV... the suggestion that a new device is going to be so powerful it needs the A18 chip in it, whatever it turns out to be. Could it be the rumored hybrid of Apple TV with display? That would be innovative"

(MacRumors via Forbes).

And Finally...

As the world's manufacturers move towards AI tools, the cost of running these services means that at some point, consumers are going to have to shoulder the bill. That includes Apple’s push to bring AI to the iPhone and beyond. As the new iPhones launch they will likely be free, but don’t be surprised if Apple introduces another subscription service:

"Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that while Apple Intelligence will be free to start, Apple's long-term plan is to launch something like "Apple Intelligence+," with extra features that users pay monthly fees to access. Making its own AI features another services revenue stream should allow Apple to compensate for the slowing pace of hardware upgrades and make the company less reliant on hardware tweaks to drive its business, argues Gurman."

(MacRumors).

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.

Apple Loop: iPhone 16 Pro Specs, Apple Watch 10 Design Leaks, Paying For Apple’s AI (2024)
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