AirPods Pro to Feature New Colors, Including Black and Midnight Green, According to Chinese Report

"AirPods Pro" will come in as many as eight colors, including White, Black, and a new Midnight Green finish to match iPhone 11 Pro models, according to a Chinese-language report from the Economic Daily News.

AirPods Pro concept via Jablíčkář.cz

Google's machine translation of the report is not easy to decipher, so the source of the information is unclear. Eight colors would certainly be a lot, although it is not out of the question given that Apple has made Beats headphones like the Solo3 available in over a dozen colors over the years.

The report also backs rumors that the AirPods Pro will feature active noise cancellation and water resistance. Last month, in the iOS 13.2 beta filesystem, MacRumors discovered an icon depicting never-before-seen, in-ear AirPods with rubber ear tips that would presumably help to block out ambient noise.

Apple plans to release the AirPods Pro in time for the holiday shopping season this year, according to the Economic Daily News, with the report claiming the earphones could be unveiled as early as next week.

This is not the first time the Economic Daily News has reported that Apple plans to release new AirPods in a black color, as the publication made the same claim back in February. A month later, Apple released second-generation AirPods with Hey Siri support, up to 50 percent more talk time, and an optional wireless charging case, but the black color was nowhere to be seen.

However, it is worth noting that Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said Apple originally planned to release the second-generation AirPods in 2018, but they were delayed, so it is possible the black color was always intended to be for these third-generation AirPods with noise cancellation and water resistance.

Indian blog MySmartPrice also said black AirPods were in the works back in February, claiming they would feature a matte finish with improved grip. Combined with last week's Economic Daily News report claiming that the AirPods Pro will sport a new metal design, perhaps the earphones and their charging case will look similar to the back glass of iPhone 11 Pro models, complete with matching colors.

Leaked photos, knockoffs, and accessories all point towards the AirPods Pro charging case being wider to accommodate the ear tips.


As higher-end earphones, the AirPods Pro will likely have improved sound. Last week's Economic Daily News report also claimed that the AirPods Pro will feature multiple listening modes, suggesting they could have the same Transparency feature as the new Beats Solo Pro, which turns on the external microphones so the wearer can hear outside noise without pausing music playback.

Unsurprisingly, higher-end AirPods would likely have a higher price tag than the current AirPods. Economic Daily News estimates pricing may start at around $259, which would be $100 more than the current AirPods with a wired charging case. However, supply chain reports are usually guessing about pricing.

Apple typically unveils redesigned products during its keynotes, but an October event is looking unlikely this year, so possibilities include Apple announcing the AirPods Pro with a press release, hosting an unprecedented November event, or waiting to unveil them at its typical March event next year.

Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro
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Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)

This article, "AirPods Pro to Feature New Colors, Including Black and Midnight Green, According to Chinese Report" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Supply Chain Expects New 16-Inch MacBook Pro, 13-Inch MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air to Launch in October

Apple plans to release an all-new 16-inch MacBook Pro in October, according to supply chain sources cited by Taiwan's Economic Daily News.


The report claims the 16-inch display will be a LCD with a 3,072×1,920 resolution, supplied by LG, matching information shared by IHS Markit analyst Jeff Lin last month. The notebook is expected to be mass produced by Foxconn and Quanta, two of Apple's largest manufacturing partners.

The supply chain sources cited also expect Apple to refresh the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air in October, but no further details were provided about those models. This also mirrors the previous report from IHS Markit.

Absent from the report is any mention of a new 15-inch MacBook Pro. Since 2016, Apple has refreshed the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro simultaneously, so the big question is whether the 16-inch model will immediately replace the 15-inch model or start off as an additional top-of-the-line configuration.

Of course, the 15-inch model could come later. Apple's last staggered MacBook Pro release was in 2015, when 13-inch models launched in March and 15-inch models followed in May. The timing is typically dictated by Intel's processor roadmap, at least until Apple switches to ARM as rumored.

Apple just updated the higher-end 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro in May, and it refreshed the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro earlier this month, so new models in the fall would certainly be soon. Apple has refreshed its entire MacBook Pro lineup twice in a year only once before in the Retina era, in 2013.

As for the MacBook Air, it was also refreshed earlier this month, but the only hardware changes were the addition of a True Tone display and an updated keyboard material for improved reliability, so a processor bump is certainly a possibility in October, one year after the notebook was significantly redesigned.

Early this month, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said a new MacBook Air with a scissor keyboard would launch in the second half of 2019, but it is unclear if it is still coming. He also called for a new MacBook Pro with a scissor keyboard in 2020, completing its transition away from its troubled butterfly keyboard.

Likewise, 16-inch MacBook Pro rumors began with Kuo. Back in February, he said the notebook would launch at some point in 2019 with an "all-new design." He has not shared any further details since, but a recent supply chain report said mass production would begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

When reading into supply chain rumors, it is often better to look at the "what" rather than the "when." While suppliers may know about new products based on components and schematics, timing is harder to predict. In this case, October is likely just a prediction given Apple often hosts a Mac event that month.

The key takeaway is that 16-inch MacBook Pro rumors are now surfacing frequently, so there is a good chance the notebook is real. Whether it launches in the fall, next year, or later remains to be seen.

Related Roundups: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro
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Rumors Persist About Triple-Lens Rear Camera System With Advanced 3D Sensing on 2019 iPhones

While we're still two months away from Apple's widely rumored trio of 2018 iPhones, the rumor mill is already looking ahead to next year.

iPhone with triple-lens rear camera mockup via iDrop News

Much of the early discussion has centered upon the rear-facing camera on 2019 iPhones, with multiple reports claiming it will be a triple-lens array with advanced 3D sensing for augmented reality capabilities.

Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News says as much in a pair of reports today, claiming that the rear-facing camera on 2019 iPhones will feature "more advanced" sensing than the front-facing TrueDepth system on the current iPhone X, with a triple-lens setup capable of stereoscopic imaging.

With stereoscopic imaging, two of the sensors would be able to capture images of a single object from different angles. A triangulation method would then be used to obtain the distance between the iPhone and the object.

The third lens would also likely enable 3x optical zoom on an iPhone for the first time, enabling users to magnify the image in the viewfinder by up to three times without a blurry reduction in quality like digital zoom.

Bloomberg News last year reported that Apple aims to include rear-facing 3D sensing capabilities in its 2019 iPhones. At the time, Apple was said to be evaluating a time-of-flight approach that calculates the time it takes for a laser to bounce off surrounding objects to create a 3D image of the environment.

While the exact implementation remains to be seen, it's clear that the rear camera could play a big role in the augmented reality capabilities of future iPhones. Last year, Apple released ARKit, a framework that enables developers to incorporate augmented reality into their apps on iOS 11 and later.

Apple previews ARKit 2 during WWDC 2018 at around 22:05 mark of video

At WWDC 2018 last month, Apple previewed ARKit 2, with shared experiences like multiplayer games, persistent augmented reality, extended support for image detection and tracking, and more.


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Triple-Lens Camera on 2019 iPhones Said to Enable 3D Sensing and Enhanced Zoom

Apple will launch at least one new iPhone model with a triple-lens rear camera in 2019, according to Taiwanese website Economic Daily News, citing a research note from Deutsche Securities analyst Jialin Lu.

A triple-lens iPhone X mockup by Martin Hajek via iDrop News

Lu believes the triple-lens camera system will enable advanced 3D sensing via stereoscopic vision, with two of the sensors able to capture images of a single object from different angles. A triangulation method would then be used to obtain the distance between the iPhone and the object.

Like the TrueDepth system on the front of the iPhone X, the report suggests that the rear 3D sensing will be used for augmented reality purposes. The prediction lines up with a report from Bloomberg's Alex Webb, who last year said future iPhones will be equipped with rear-facing 3D sensing capabilities.

At the time, Webb reported that Apple was evaluating a time-of-flight approach that calculates the time it takes for a laser to bounce off surrounding objects to create a 3D image of the environment, but Lu believes that Apple will instead use the triple-lens approach for the rear camera system.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly expressed his profound interest in augmented reality. Last year, Apple released its ARKit platform, enabling developers to create augmented reality apps for iPhones and iPads on iOS 11.

Meanwhile, the third lens would likely have a longer focal length for enhanced zoom capabilities, according to Lu.

The long-focus lens would likely enable 3x optical zoom on an iPhone for the first time, enabling users to magnify the image in the viewfinder by up to three times without a blurry reduction in quality like digital zoom. iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models feature 2x optical zoom for comparison.

Huawei's new P20 Pro smartphone became the first with a triple-lens rear camera system, including a 40-megapixel lens, a 20-megapixel monochrome lens, and an eight-megapixel telephoto lens with up to 3x optical zoom.


Yuanta Securities analyst Jeff Pu also expects Apple to release at least one iPhone with a triple-lens rear camera next year.


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iPhone With Triple-Lens Rear Camera Said to Be Introduced Next Year

At least one new iPhone with a triple-lens rear camera led by a 12-megapixel lens will be introduced in 2019, according to Taiwan's Economic Daily News.

A very rough mockup of an iPhone X with a triple-lens rear camera

The report claims the camera will have a 6P lens design with 5x zoom, but it doesn't specify whether that pertains to optical, digital, or hybrid zoom. The single-lens iPhone 8 has up to 5x digital zoom, while the dual-lens iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X have up to 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom.

If the report proves to be accurate, then Apple will be following in the footsteps of Huawei and its new P20 Pro smartphone, which also has a three-lens rear camera system, including a primary 40-megapixel f/1.8 lens, a 20-megapixel f/1.6 monochrome lens, and an 8-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom.

Huawei P20 Pro

A three-lens rear camera would provide a lot of advantages, including greatly improved low-light performance. In his P20 Pro review, The Verge's Vlad Savov said Huawei's new camera system is "superior to those on the Galaxy S9 and iPhone X," though he noted that personal preference may sway that decision.

All in all, this rumor sets the stage for a third-generation iPhone X with an even better camera, and possibly 3x optical zoom, later next year. As far as this year is concerned, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo doesn't expect many changes to the iPhone X's current dual-lens rear camera system.

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Chinese Report Expects 11-Inch iPad Pro at WWDC, No New iPhones Until Second Half of 2018

Apple is planning to release a new iPad Pro with a display that measures about 11 inches, according to Taiwan's Economic Daily News.

iPad Pro with slimmer bezels rendered by Benjamin Geskin

We've already heard rumors about a 10.5-inch iPad Pro with slimmer bezels and no home button, so Apple could include a slightly larger 11-inch display without increasing the physical size of the tablet itself. This would mirror the iPhone X, which has a 5.8-inch screen, but is smaller than an iPhone 8 Plus.

Details are hard to gather from a loose translation of the Chinese report, which says the 11-inch iPad Pro and an updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro are likely to be released at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, echoing an earlier prediction from Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang.

Both new iPad Pro models are expected to feature Face ID and faster eight-core Apple A11X processors. It's unclear if the tablets will have notches for the TrueDepth system, or a slimmer, uniform top bezel that still has enough room to house the camera and sensor technology that powers the facial recognition.

The report, citing a source, adds that Apple has no new iPhone models planned for the first half of 2018, dampening hopes for an iPhone SE refresh. The first new models of the year will likely be the so-called iPhone X2, iPhone X2 Plus, and a 6.1-inch aluminum iPhone with Face ID in September.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had already cast doubt on rumors about a second-generation iPhone SE launching in the first half of 2018. He said Apple was likely to focus its development resources on the trio of iPhone X-like models expected to launch in the second half of the year.

The current iPhone SE looks much like the iPhone 5s, including a smaller four-inch display, preferred by a subset of customers. The device is powered by Apple's A9 chip, like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and it has 2GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and Touch ID.

Apple hasn't fully refreshed the iPhone SE since it launched in March 2016, but it did double its available storage capacities to 64GB and 128GB last March. It also dropped the device's starting price to $349 last September.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPhone SE
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Chinese Report Says $150-$200 HomePod and $799-$899 MacBook Air to Launch This Year

Apple will launch lower-priced versions of four products this year, including an iPad, iPhone, MacBook Air, and HomePod, according to a translated report from Taiwan's Economic Daily News via Japanese blog Mac Otakara.


We've already heard rumors about more affordable iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Air models, but this is the first word of a supposedly lower-priced HomePod being on Apple's roadmap. The speaker is forecasted to launch in the second half of 2018 for between $150 and $200 in the United States.

At $349, the current HomePod is considerably more expensive than the Amazon Echo and Google Home for $99 and $129 or less respectively. But the HomePod also has significantly better sound quality than its smart assistant rivals, in line with Apple positioning it as a high-quality speaker first and foremost.

A lower-priced HomePod would certainly be more competitive with the Echo and Google Home, but it's unclear if that would come at the expense of audio quality. One possibility is that Apple will release a smaller HomePod mini that still delivers premium sound relative to other portable speakers in that category.

Here's the full breakdown of the Economic Daily News report, based on what we could gather from a translated version:
  • 9.7-inch iPad for $259: This lines up with a DigiTimes supply chain report from last December that said Apple is considering releasing a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad for $259 in the second quarter of 2018. The current 9.7-inch iPad was released in March 2017 for $349.


  • 6.1-inch iPhone for $649 to $749: This lines up with a prediction from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who expects Apple to launch a mid-range 6.1-inch iPhone with Face ID, but with some design compromises like an LCD rather than OLED display to achieve the lower price point.


  • MacBook Air for $799 to $899: This lines up with another prediction from Kuo, who said Apple will launch a more affordable MacBook Air in the second quarter of 2018. The estimated price range comes from WitsView researcher Yubin Qiu. The current MacBook Air starts at $999.


  • HomePod for $150 to $200: Today's report cites industry sources who expect a more affordable HomePod to launch in the second half of 2018. It's hard to decipher details from the loosely translated report, but Mac Otakara's coverage seems to suggest it will be a smaller speaker.
It's worth noting that these prices are estimates, as it's hard to envision Apple sharing pricing information with its supply chain partners.

Of the four products, the new iPad and MacBook Air are most likely to debut first. Apple is rumored to unveil new devices later this month, but it's unclear if the announcements will be made via press release or at a media event. If there is a keynote planned, invites would certainly have to go out soon.

The new 6.1-inch iPhone should debut in September alongside a new iPhone X and so-called iPhone X Plus, and the lower-priced HomePod could certainly be introduced at the same event. The current HomePod launched in early February.

Related Roundups: MacBook Air, HomePod
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iPhone SE 2 Again Rumored to Launch in First Half of 2018

Apple will release a second-generation iPhone SE in the first half of 2018, according to China's Economic Daily News.


The report claims the tentatively named iPhone SE 2 will be assembled exclusively by Taiwanese manufacturer Wistron at its factory in Bengaluru, India, where some assembly of the current iPhone SE occurs.

The rumored release date window lines up with an earlier report from Focus Taiwan claiming a new iPhone SE will ship in the first quarter of 2018, which encompasses January through March of next year.

Apple introduced the current iPhone SE at a media event on March 21, 2016, and the device launched later that month. Given the rumored launch dates, the iPhone SE 2 could certainly be unveiled in March too.

Indian website Tekz24 previously reported that the next-generation iPhone SE will be powered by Apple's A10 Fusion chip, with 2GB of RAM, 32GB and 128GB storage capacities, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a five-megapixel front camera, and a slightly larger 1,700 mAh battery.

Tekz24 isn't a website we're familiar with, and it doesn't have an established track record of reporting on Apple rumors, so don't place too much faith in those tech specs until if and when they are confirmed by other sources.

The current iPhone SE looks much like the iPhone 5s, including its smaller four-inch display preferred by a subset of customers. The device is powered by Apple's A9 chip, like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and it has 2GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and Touch ID.

Apple hasn't entirely refreshed the iPhone SE since it launched, but it did double the available storage capacities to 64GB and 128GB in March. It also dropped the device's starting price to $349 a few months ago.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE
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Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Caution)

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iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Production Will Reportedly Drop Nearly 50% When iPhone X Launches

Apple has reportedly asked its suppliers to reduce iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus production by nearly 50 percent in November and December, according to Reuters, which cited China's Economic Daily News.


The report quotes an unnamed source who claims it is the first time in the iPhone's history that new models face a major cutback so shortly after mass production began. iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus officially went on sale September 22.

Apple shares declined around 1.5 percent in pre-market trading as investors reacted to concerns about low sales of the devices.

Apple hasn't revealed iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus sales numbers. The company will report its fourth quarter earnings results on November 2, including iPhone sales, but it doesn't break out the number on a model-by-model basis.

Even if iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus sales have in fact been lower than expected, it could be a sign of pent up demand for the upcoming iPhone X.

With an OLED display, nearly 82 percent screen-to-body ratio, and a TrueDepth camera system powering 3D facial recognition features like Face ID and Animoji, the iPhone X is unlike any other smartphone Apple has ever sold.

Apple analysts are patiently waiting to see how many customers are holding out to purchase the flagship smartphone when pre-orders begin October 27. iPhone X officially launches November 3, starting at $999 in the United States.

Related Roundups: iPhone 8, iPhone X
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Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Buy Now)

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