Massive iPhone 16 Leak, AirTag Disappointment, How Microsoft Beats Apple

Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes a treasure trove of iPhone 16 leaks, Apple’s urgent AI rush, Apple Watch patent woes, Mac Studio’s M3 Ultra, AirTag disappointment, the latest Apple Vision Pro marketing, and how Microsoft can beat Apple.

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).

iPhone 16 Revealed

When you gather all the details that we know of the iPhone 16 family, you get a good overview of the next-generation of iOS handsets, including the increased screen size, more titanium across the range, and the new Action and Camera buttons. And if you are wondering why so much is known about September’s iPhone in January…

“..just how likely is it that anyone could know what the phones will look like? Actually, it’s quite possible. Apple works on its iPhones for literally years. The cycle will certainly be advanced enough to have gone through several prototypes. Of course, this doesn’t mean things can’t change, but the window for hardware alterations is closing reasonably quickly.”

(MacRumors via Forbes).

Apple Prepares AI Catch-Up

Of course, the real advances in 2024 are going to come with AI. Android-powered devices are taking the lead, and Apple will have an opportunity to catch up quickly at June’s WWDC. The expectation is that Tim Cook and his team will go all in on artificial intelligence:

“The company has reportedly been testing its “Ajax” large language model since early 2023 and is considering using it to add auto-completion and auto-summarizing features to its core apps, as well as its productivity suite including Pages and Keynote. A new version of Xcode will apparently feature AI for code completion. It is also looking at integrating AI into Apple Music to automate playlist creation, in addition using the technology for troubleshooting problems with AppleCare”


Will The Watch Stay On Sale?

Apple’s issues around the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, and Masimo’s patent over blood oxygen sensor technology continue. Apple has asked for a stay on the sales ban during its appeal so the wearables can remain on sale. The International Trade Commission which brought the initial action has responded, arguing that the circumstances do not need such a drastic action to be taken:

“Apple presents a weak and unconvincing case to invoke the extraordinary remedy of a stay pending appeal under the Standard Havens factors. Its arguments amount to little more than an indisputably adjudicated infringer requesting permission to continue infringing the asserted patents. Chiefly, Apple fails to demonstrate the two most important factors in granting a stay—likelihood of success on the merits and irreparable harm.”

(9to5 Mac).

Turn Up The Mac Power To 3

Those looking for a new Mac can look forward to the summer when a new Mac—likely at WWDC—will be launched. The powerful Mac Studio upgrade will come with the new M3 technology but will be pushed higher and faster than any of the current MacBook Pro laptops. Stand by for the M3 Ultra:

“…the M3 Ultra chip will be fabricated with TSMC’s N3E node, just like the A18 chip that is expected to debut in the iPhone 16 lineup later in the year. This means it would be Apple’s first N3E chip. The M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips are fabricated with TSMC’s N3B process, just like the A17 Pro. N3E is an enhanced version of TSMC’s 3nm process, offering slightly better performance and higher production yield.”


Finding Another AirTag

Launched in 2021, Apple’s geolocation tile, the AirTag,has proven to be a popular product for travellers and those needing to find smaller items such as keyrings, gaming devices, or even other Apple users. Those waiting on an upgraded product in the form of AirTags 2 have a long wait ahead of them.

“…Apple is in “no rush” to release AirTag 2. Gurman points out that Apple has little competition on the Find My network and that current AirTags “still work fairly well and have most of the features you’d want… Apple retail store back rooms and Apple device storage warehouses are still full to the brim with AirTags…”

(Power On via 9to5Mac).

And The Best VR Oscar Goes To…

As Jon Gruber points out, there are rather a lot of famous moments in Apple’s latest “Get Ready” advert for the Apple Vision Pro:

“Apple’s first commercial for Vision Pro is (a) perfect, and (b) a splendid callback to the iPhone’s “Hello” ad. Not a bad list of movies to watch, either.”

(YouTube via Daring Fireball).

And Finally…

For all that Apple became the first three-trillion dollar company, it has not always been the leading company in terms of market cap in recent years. That sash has been passed between it and Microsoft. With just (!) $100 billion between the two companies, Apple could drop to second place this year:

“While the values of the two firms have continually changed, Microsoft is now worth just $100 billion less than Apple, according to MarketWatch. Microsoft is valued at $2.73 trillion, while Apple — fallen from its recent $3 trillion high — is currently at $2.83 trillion.”

(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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