Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes iPhone 14’s missing feature, iPhone claims the number one spot, worrying MacBook delays, iOS security updates, a massive iPad Pro, Intel catches M1 Max, and the power of iBeer.
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 14 Loses Beloved Feature
Apple’s innovative use of facial recognition is set to continue in the iPhone 14, albeit inside an Android-styled lozenge cutout rather than the expansive but identifiable notch we have grown used to. Those hoping for the return of TouchID – far more useful n a world of masks – are going to be disappointed:
“Aside from the convenience of two biometric options (Touch ID was expected to be added in addition to Face ID), it is also likely to set back Apple’s ambitious plans of turning iPhones into digital passports where a combination of both biometric methods (look at your phone and touch the display) would provide the high level security required to make this happen.”
iPhone Back To Number One
Apple has retaken the number one spot in smartphone market share in China. Perhaps unsurprisingly the sluggish market conditions have impacted all manufactures, but Apple’s size and status has helped it weather the storm more than others:
“Apple hit a record 23% market share in China in the fourth quarter of 2021, with the iPhone maker reclaiming the number one player for the first time in six years, Counterpoint Research said. That was driven by the “relatively lower starting price” of its iPhone 13 which had strong camera and 5G features.”
(Counterpoint Research via CNBC).
Apple is struggling to keep up with demand for the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops, with delays to shipping still reported as over a month. What are the options if you don’t want to wait?
“The MacBook Pro is very much geared towards professionals who need the excess of power. If someone is looking for a general purpose laptop then the MacBook Air – which captured “best in class” benchmarks when launched in 2020 – remains the most cost effective MacBook laptop in terms of performance balanced agains dollars.
“You also have the option of the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro sporting the older design and the same M1 chip as the MacBook Air, just with a bit more cooling to sneak up the performance. I’m still not convinced this is worth the premium.”
iOS 15.3 Addresses Security Concerns
This week saw a round of OS updates from Apple, with iOS 15.3 obviously having the biggest impact both in terms of the volume of updates and the importance of the security patches that it has addressed:
“Apple’s latest round of software updates is now rolling out to the public. iOS 15.3 is now available to iPhone users with performance improvements, bug fixes, and security enhancements. Furthermore, iPadOS 15.3 is now available to iPad users, while watchOS 8.4 is rolling out for Apple Watch.
“iOS 15.3 foregoes new features in favor of under-the-hood bug fixes and improvements. One of the most notable changes here is a fix for a Safari vulnerability that may have been leaking your browsing history and Google ID data to the websites you visited.”
The Tablet You Might Struggle To Swallow
How big an iPad Pro do you really need? Apple is banking on “bigger than you have just now” with the idea of a 16-inch iPad Pro – matching the largest MacBook Pro – a serious consideration:
“I’m told that Apple has engineers and designers exploring larger iPads that could hit stores a couple of years down the road at the earliest. They’re unlikely for next year—with Apple’s attention on a redesigned iPad Pro in the current sizes for 2022—and it’s possible they never come at all. But a big iPad would be the perfect device for many people, including me, and would continue to blur the lines between tablet and laptop.”
(Power On via Mac Rumors).
Intel Catches Up With The M1 Max
Intel’s latest PC chipset, the 12th Generation Core i9 found in the recently launched MSI GE76 Raider. Compared to Apple’s M1 Max chip found in the 16-inch MacBook Pro, Intel has a 4 percent advantage over Apple. The catch? Battery power:
“One of the biggest caveats is power efficiency. PCWorld measured the new GE76 Raider’s power draw from the wall while running a CPU-only Cinebench R23 benchmark and found the Core i9 was consistently in the 100-watts range, and even briefly spiked to 140 watts. By comparison, when running the same Cinebench R23 benchmark on the 16-inch MacBook Pro, AnandTech found the M1 Max chip’s power draw from the wall to be around 40 watts.”
(PC World and MacRumors).
A long time ago (okay, 2008) having a viral app on the iPhone was a novelty. In that first goldfish, the most famous was the virtual drink of iBeer. And now we know just how much the meme was worth. $20,000. Per day:
“Whatever the reason for its sustained popularity, at nearly three bucks a download, iBeer created a serious pile of cash for [iBeer developer] Sheraton and his team at Hottrix. “The amount of money that was coming in was just so over-the-top. During our heyday, we were making $10,000 to $20,000 a day,” he says. “And we went all out. We always rented exclusive spots, like this place in Barcelona that was $6,000 a month. Then, next thing you know, we were going to antique stores and buying things to fill the house. It really just unwinded from there.” “
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.