Apple Mulling Preview of New Modular Mac Pro at WWDC in June

Apple is considering previewing its upcoming redesigned Mac Pro at its Worldwide Developers Conference this June, according to a new report by Bloomberg today.

Modular Mac Pro concept from Curved.de

Apple has said it is working on a high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro for its pro user base that will be easily upgradable and will feature components for the most system intensive tasks.

According to sources who spoke to well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, Apple has "internally weighed previewing a new version of the high-end Mac Pro" at this year's WWDC, although no firm decision appears to have been made.

According to executives Craig Federighi and Phil Schiller, Apple is committed to making the Mac Pro the highest-end desktop system able to accommodate VR and high-end cinema production. Apple has also put together a "Pro Workflow Team" to tailor the Mac Pro and other Apple products to its professional users.

The modular workstation is expected to ship alongside an upcoming Apple-branded pro display, which rumors suggest will be 31.6 inches with a 6K resolution and have "outstanding picture quality" enabled through a new Mini LED-like backlighting design.

We still have no word on when in 2019 the Mac Pro is coming, but Apple did promise a 2019 launch date in early 2018. If it's anything like the last Mac Pro in 2013, we should indeed get further information at WWDC, which Apple is planning to hold from June 3 to June 7 in San Jose, California, based on permit filings uncovered by MacRumors.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
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This article, "Apple Mulling Preview of New Modular Mac Pro at WWDC in June" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Plans to Let Developers Release Universal Apps That Work Across iPhone, iPad, and Mac by 2021

Apple aims to allow developers to release universal apps that work across iPhone, iPad, and Mac by 2021, according to a new report today by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

The ultimate goal of the multistep initiative, code-named "Marzipan," is by 2021 to help developers build an app once and have it work on the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers, said people familiar with the effort. That should spur the creation of new software, increasing the utility of the company’s gadgets.
According to Gurman, Apple plans to let developers port iPad apps to Mac using a new software development kit that the company will release as early as June at WWDC.

Apple typically previews the next major versions of its iOS and macOS operating systems at WWDC in June, with beta versions of each platform available to developers and public testers until September, so it's possible APIs for universal apps will begin rolling out in the pre-release software.
Developers will still need to submit separate versions of the app to Apple's iOS and Mac App Stores, but the new kit will mean they don't have to write the underlying software code twice, said the people familiar with the plan. In 2020, Apple plans to expand the kit so iPhone applications can be converted into Mac apps in the same way.
The "Marzipan" project is is considered to be one of the biggest changes on Apple's roadmap, although Apple's plans are said to be "fluid" and could be altered, according to Gurman's sources.

When the idea of universal apps was first rumored in 2017, early speculation suggested that they were a harbinger of Apple's plans to create a unified operating system for all of its devices, but those rumors appear to have been unfounded. Apple has already said it won't combine iOS and macOS into a single operating system.


This article, "Apple Plans to Let Developers Release Universal Apps That Work Across iPhone, iPad, and Mac by 2021" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple to Wait Until at Least 2020 to Release 5G iPhones

Apple won't release an iPhone that can connect to 5G data networks until at least 2020, claims a new report out today.

According to Bloomberg's sources, Apple is planning to delay its support for the next generation of high-speed mobile services coming in 2019, just as it did for previous generations.

As with 3G and 4G, the two previous generations of mobile technology, Apple will wait as long as a year after the initial deployment of the new networks before its main product gets the capability to access them, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing the company's plans.
According to Bloomberg, Apple delayed support for previous mobile network upgrades because it accurately predicted that the first versions of rival smartphones would suffer from problems like poor coverage.

However, 5G advocates argue that delaying support for the upcoming network upgrade is a bigger risk for Apple, since it represents a much bigger speed boost over previous generations, making the leap from 4G to 5G significant enough to become a major selling point for new devices.

5G advocates believe the danger for Apple is that it will be left behind by rivals like Samsung, who could exploit the delay and attract more consumers to its Galaxy smartphones, which are expected to support 5G networks next year. Likewise, Chinese mobile makers Oppo and Huawei have also signaled that they plan to offer 5G phones.

Bloomberg suggests that Apple's decision to wait another year before supporting 5G could be related to the company's feud with Qualcomm, a leader in 5G-enabled chips, and it's partnership instead with Intel, which won't have 5G chips ready in time for 2019 phones.

Rumors late last year suggested Intel and Apple were already working on 5G chip technology for future iPhone devices. Intel is said to have thousands of people working on 5G tech to catch up with Qualcomm and win Apple's 5G modem contract.

Huawei and Samsung have the manufacturing infrastructure to build 5G modems, but Apple is said to be unlikely to use chips from its smartphone rivals, who could struggle to produce adequate supplies for the iPhone's huge volumes anyway.

Whatever the reason behind the delay, some analysts believe Apple's decision could have an impact on its iPhone customer base.

"Apple has always been a laggard in cellular technology," said Mark Hung, an analyst at Gartner who spoke to Bloomberg. "They weren't impacted in the past, but 5G is going to be much easier to market. But if they wait beyond 2020, then I think they'll be impacted."

Tags: 5G, Bloomberg

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Bloomberg: Apple Considered ‘iPhone Xs’ Names for 2018 OLED iPhones, Weighed Dropping ‘Plus’ Branding

A new report out today by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu further confirms a bevy of rumors centering upon Apple's three 2018 iPhones. Expected to be revealed at an event in just a few weeks, the iPhones will all look visually similar to last year's iPhone X, but "boast a wider range of prices, features, and sizes to increase their appeal."

According to people familiar with Apple's launch plans, some inside of the company have referred to this year's launch as an "S year," designated for years when its smartphones keep the same design of a previous generation but bump up internals and add new features. "The company is planning more significant changes for next year," the people said.


One of the tidbits from today's report focuses on the naming scheme for this year's iPhone models, which appears to have caused somewhat of a "naming conundrum" within Apple. The company reportedly considered going with "iPhone Xs" for the OLED models, akin to the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6s, etc., but has "altered the name multiple times," so it's unclear what Apple finally landed on. We'll have to wait a few more weeks to know the official names of the 5.8-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.5-inch iPhones.
The new iPhone lineup has presented Apple with a naming conundrum, according to a person familiar with the deliberations. The company will be selling three phones that look similar and all have Face ID. But the cheapest model will be larger than the mid-range version, potentially confusing consumers.

While planning the new devices, Apple has altered the names multiple times. It has at least considered branding the new premium phones the "iPhone Xs," indicating that they’re an upgrade to last year’s iPhone X, the person said. The company has also weighed eschewing the "Plus" label for the larger model, which it has used since the iPhone 6 Plus launched with a larger screen in 2014. The final names could be different, the person noted.
Reiterating on previous rumors, Bloomberg mentions that Apple will launch a 6.5-inch "high-end" iPhone this year with a glass back, stainless steel edges, dual cameras, and an iPad-like landscape view. This would introduce a feature similar to iPad and previous "Plus" iPhones, although Apple has been thinking about ditching the "Plus" label this year.
There’ll be a new high-end iPhone, internally dubbed D33, with a display that measures about 6.5-inch diagonally, according to the people familiar with the matter. That would make it the largest iPhone by far and one of the biggest mainstream phones on the market. It will continue to have a glass back with stainless steel edges and dual cameras on the back.

The big difference on the software side will be the ability to view content side-by-side in apps like Mail and Calendar. It will be Apple’s second phone with a crisper organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, screen.
For the upgrade to the 5.8-inch iPhone X, the "main changes" will be iterative updates to processing speed and the camera. Lastly, the low-cost 6.1-inch iPhone will also look visually similar to the iPhone X, but include multiple color options, include aluminum edges instead of stainless steel, and have a cheaper LCD screen. According to the sources, "the cheaper version's aluminum edges won't necessarily be the same color as the colored glass back," similar to the way the White/Space Gray of the iPhone X's back did not affect the color of the silver stainless steel edges last year.

Further confirming previous rumors, all three models will have Face ID, and the two larger iPhones will have dual-SIM card slots "in at least some regions." Previously, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the 6.1-inch iPhone would come in two models, one that includes a single SIM and a second that offers dual-SIM card slots. Today Bloomberg suggests the 6.5-inch model will get this feature as well.

Today's report also briefly mentions a "nearly edge-to-edge" Apple Watch, while confirming compatibility with existing Apple Watch bands. The next iPad Pros will measure around 11-inches and 12.9-inches with slimmer bezels and Face ID, although anyone awaiting an update to the iPad mini will again be disappointed this year as this model "won't be upgraded."

We're getting very close to the launch of the 2018 iPhones, with German carriers suggesting that pre-orders for the iPhone will take place on Friday, September 14. That puts an announcement earlier in the week, perhaps on September 12, which would be in line with historic iPhone event dates. Following September 14 pre-orders, new 2018 iPhones are likely to see a launch on Friday, September 21.

Related Roundup: 2018 iPhones

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Apple’s Upcoming Over-Ear Wireless Headphones to Target High-End Noise-Canceling Market

As reported last month, Apple is said to be developing its own brand of high-end, over-ear wireless headphones with an "all-new" design. The new headphones are expected to debut in the fourth quarter of this year at the earliest, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and today Bloomberg weighed in to corroborate that rumor, along with an additional detail regarding Apple's plans for the cans.

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on noise-canceling, over-ear headphones that rival headsets from market leaders like Bose and even the company's own Beats by Dre brand, according to people familiar with the product's development. The company plans to launch the headphones as early as the end of this year, but has faced development challenges that might push back the release, the people said.
Kuo's earlier report specified Apple's plan was to target the high-end market, but the focus on active noise-cancelation (ANC) features puts a new angle on the company's intentions. Apple acquired Beats Music and Beats Electronics in 2014, and only five months ago, Beats launched its Studio3 wireless over-ear headphones featuring Apple's W1 Bluetooth pairing chip – first used in AirPods – and Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling technology. Apart from blocking out ambient noise, Pure ANC also evaluates fit and adjusts for leakage caused by hair, glasses, different ear shapes and head movement.

Whether Apple's own-brand ANC headphones will adopt the same set of technologies as Beats Studio3 cans remains unclear, although Bloomberg's sources indicate Apple plans to include similar wireless pairing functionality to the AirPods. The paper's sources also claim work on the headphones has been "on-and-off over the past year" and that it's still possible Apple will redesign the headphones again before launch – or even scrap the project altogether.

Another detail that remains unclear is pricing. Beats, Bose, and Sony charge $350 for their high-end wireless ANC headphones, while Sennheiser prices can run all the way up to $500. Should Apple take the same pricing strategy as it did with HomePod, which is at least $100 higher than the closest rival product from Sonos, then customers can expect the rumored headphones to be a top-tier premium audio accessory with a price tag to match.

Along with over-ear headphones, Apple is also reportedly working on several upgrades to its wireless AirPods with a new version of the popular headphones set for release as soon as this year.


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Apple to Debut New AirPods This Year With Handsfree ‘Hey, Siri’ Voice Command Feature

Apple is reportedly working on several upgrades to its wireless AirPods with a new version of the popular headphones set for release as soon as this year, according to Bloomberg.

Like with its mobile devices -- the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch -- Apple intends to frequently update the AirPods with new hardware features. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on a new version for release as soon as this year with an upgraded wireless chip, the people said. A subsequent model for as early as next year is planned to be water resistant, they added, asking not to be identified discussing private product plans.
The new 2018 AirPods are said to come with an upgraded wireless chip that will let users summon Siri using the "Hey, Siri" voice command without having to physically tap the headphones, similar to the way iPhone and HomePod users invoke the virtual assistant. Currently, summoning Siri through AirPods requires users to double-tap the sides of the earbuds, although responsiveness to touch can occasionally be flaky. The upcoming version of the headphones are known internally as B288, according to today's report.

The idea behind the second iteration of AirPods, said to be coming in 2019, is for the headphones to "survive splashes of water and rain", although they likely won't be designed to be submerged in water, according to Bloomberg's sources. More details to follow....


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