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Apple Loop: iPhone 15 Pro Price Shock, Powerful Apple Watch Promise, Apple’s iPhone Secrets

Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes all the details from Apple’s September event, including the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, AirPods, and Apple Watch. Meanwhile, the MacBook is left out in the cold, iPhone pricing raises an eyebrow, asking if the leaks were right, and Apple’s latest easter eggs.

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 What Of The Wonderlust

The iPhone. The Watch. The Earbuds. Apple updated its core triple-play this week at its Wanderlust event. In a series of pre-recorded videos leaving nothing to chance, Tim Cook and his team announced the highly-anticipated (and very well-leaked) products:

“That trio was on full display Tuesday, when Apple introduced four new iPhones, two updated watches and fresh AirPods at the same event. The latest iPhone represents a significant upgrade, with the Pro and Pro Max getting redesigned with titanium, while the updates of the Apple Watch and AirPods were more minor. A shift to USB-C — mandated by the European Union — was a big part of the announcement too, with the new iPhones and AirPods getting the connector.”

(Bloomberg’s Power On Newsletter).

iPhone Pricing Ebbs And Flows

Apple’s worldwide pricing for the new iPhone 15 family of smartphones makes for interesting reading, as the dollar’s strength looks to be impacting the phone’s pricing. Yet those markets with weaker currencies are those where Apple has room to expand. Compared to the equivalent iPhone 14 models, saturated markets will see similar pricing (US) or even price cuts (UK), while markets with growth opportunities (such as China and India) are facing price rises for the status symbol smartphone.:

“In the U.S., the prices for all of the devices and different storage configurations remained the same versus the previous generation iPhone 14. But in China, which accounts for nearly 20% of Apple’s total sales, the company raised prices for nearly all of the iPhone 15 models… Chinese customers will pay more for higher storage options. For example, the 512 gigabyte version of the iPhone 15 has risen by 300 Chinese yuan ($41) versus the iPhone 14.


iPhone 15 Pro’s New Look On Screen

Apple was quick to highlight the new camera hardware in the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the latest iteration of the alert slider in the action button, and the use of titanium in the smartphone’s construction. Still, the change that will have the most impact on iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max owners will be the A17 Pro chipset. The latest from Apple Silicon offers some cutting-edge graphics:

“iPhone 15 Pro is the first iPhone to provide hardware-based ray tracing capabilities, a feature heretofore the domain of higher-end gaming PCs – and something the Mac can’t yet do. Games and other apps that support ray tracing can render dramatically more realistic shadows, water, lighting and atmospheric effects.

“Apple’s not the first company to introduced hardware-based ray tracing for mobile devices: Qualcomm and Samsung both beat the company to the punch with new mobile chips capable of ray tracing. Apple says A17 Pro offers the fastest ray-tracing performance in any smartphone to date, however.”

(Apple Insider).

AirPods Prepare To Change Your World

Along with the all-important “following the EU directive” update to USB-C, Apple’s AirPods Pro picks up some valuable improvements to the specifications, notably the addition of dust resistance to give it an IP54 rating, alongside a new audio format designed for Apple’s potentially quixotic AR headset:

“For one, the USB-C AirPods Pro have tacked dust resistance onto their existing water and sweat resistance: they’re rated IP54 versus the IPX4 of last year’s Lightning model. But perhaps more interesting is that these USB-C AirPods Pro will support lossless audio when used with Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro headset.”

(The Verge).

Apple Watch’s Standalone Power

The ninth series of Apple Watch wearables was announced at the event. Hardware wise much of the attention has focused on the new S9 chipset, which offers a thirty percent speed increase over the S8, as well as a larger neural engine that will allow more voice-based interactions to happen on-device:

“Siri requests are now processed on the Apple Watch, making them faster and more secure, and the voice assistant can also access health data for the first time. Dictation on the Series 9 is also up to 25% more accurate than the Series 8 thanks to secure on-device processing. It retains the same 18-hour all-day battery life.”


What Did The Leaks Get Right

Now that the Wanderlust is over, Joe Rossignol does the administration many want to know… how accurate were all the leaks, predictions, and discussions? Pretty much spot on, if you put aside leaks around what peripherals would be in the box and what colors you could buy. The two notable misses were storage and connectivity:

“Misses: iPhone 15 Pro models do not support Thunderbolt; …There is no 2TB storage option that was rumored for the iPhone 15 Pro models, with the highest capacity remaining 1TB.”

Still, that leaves something obvious for the iPhone 16 to deliver ‘in a way that only Apple can’.


Wither The 2023 MacBook?

And in all of that excitement, what did the MacBook get? Delayed. Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, citing yield issues for the new M3 chipset, suggests that Apple’s October event will not feature any new macOS laptops:

Kuo writes “it seems that Apple will not launch new MacBook models (equipped with M3 series processors) before the end of this year.” It’s worth noting that Kuo only talks about the MacBook, rather than the desk-bound iMac, which leads to an interesting possibility. In previous launches, Apple Silicon has debuted on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Both of these are popular machines which will be in high demand when they go on sale.


And Finally…

Apple’s replacement of live interaction with pre-recorded videos does allow for that favourite trope of Marvel movies to be added… the visual easter egg. And Wanderlust was no exception. How many hidden legends did you spot?

“Then later when he has moved across the room, he passes near a desk that has an iPhone on it. Although it isn’t very clear, it appears to be an original iPhone.”

(Apple Insider).

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.

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