In this video, we are starting off 2021 RIGHT! Digging into what’s next for Apple in the new year… in a way only you amazing, sizzling smart people could come up with. That includes M1X MacBooks and iMacs, and M2 Apple TV (?!), iPhone 13 pricing and 5G, Apple Watch 7, iPad/Mac hybrids, Mac apps on iPad, an Apple YouTube competitor, rOS and AR devices, and more!
Your questions, I’m reading them out and answering them live. And as always, members over at patreon.com/reneritchie have Q&A priority, but if you have anything else to ask, to follow up on, to just wonder out loud about, hit that subscribe button and bell so we can hang in the comments and chat whenever new videos go live.
You're either thinking of getting a new iPhone 12 and still can’t decide between the regular and Pro, just got a new iPhone 12, are watching that exchange period tick, tick, tick down, and want to make sure you got the right one, or you’ve had your new iPhone 12 for a while and still want to make absolutely sure you, like Indy… chose wisely.
Either way — any way — I’ve got Brian Tong on the line to re-review everything we’ve learned and experienced about both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, now, today, more than 2 months later.
Are the AirPods Max for you? The answer turns out to be remarkably simple:
Are you all in on the Apple ecosystem?
Do you listen to a ton of digital music and videos, especially streaming?
Do you want wireless, noise-canceling headphones?
Do you prefer over-the-ear headphones?
And do you have $550 just lightsabering a hole in your gear fund?
If you answered yes to all of those questions, literally nothing else matters. Not codecs, not cables, not comparisons, not cost, not even cases. If you answered yes, to quote Flossy Carter, Apple's new AirPods Max are a major, major, major… major — quad-major — go.
If you answered "not sure" to any of them, though, then I'm going to go through everything that really matters, so you can quickly, easily figure it out.
Ok. This one has everything. Drama. Tech. Rumors. Salt. So much salt.
First, it was a sketchy rumor about Project Titan, the Apple Car, going into production next year. Then it was a slightly less sketchy report about production actually starting in 2024 or 2025, and with newfangled battery tech to go with it. But no one seemed to fact-check the newfangled-ness of that report, because when someone tweeted it at Tesla CEO and martian colonist one, Elon Musk, well, Elon flamethrower tweeted back, right at Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook.
To help us make sense of it all, I’ve called up one of the most accurate financial analysts… at least on this plant. Above Avalon’s Neil Cybart.
There’s a fresh story out of randomly accurate rumor site, DigiTimes, saying Apple is once again working on minimizing the Notch, this time for the iPhone 13.
Meanwhile, ZTE has just shipped the first phone with no nightmare of a notch, no punchole, no forehead, no mechanical choocher. But with the dream — an actual under-display camera system. That’s… still kind of a nightmare.
Either way, any way, I figured it was time for an updated look at Apple’s iPhone 13 options, and how close we are to really, truly, finally deleting the Notch.
I’ve got a ton of iPhone 13 coverage coming your way so make sure you hit that subscribe button and bell so you don’t miss any of it.
Let’s do this.
Sponsored by Skillshare
When Apple wanted to take the modern iPhone X design full screen, they had to delete the bezels, the Home button, and Touch ID along with them.
Sure, they could have moved Touch ID to the Apple logo on the back of the phone, or the power button where they’ve since shipped it on the iPad Air 4.
But Apple didn’t want the same, they wanted better, more transparent, harder for other companies to copy, and also in line with the AR — augmented reality — plans they’ve been not-so-subtly having all of us beta test for years.
So, Apple used a depth-sensing camera array — TrueDepth — instead. But, that meant, instead of just a single RGB selfie camera like most other phones on the market, Apple Apple also needed an infra-red camera, flood illuminator, and dot projector as well. Throw in the earpiece and you have wide… like the Enterprise D wide… of notches.
Now, Apple could have stuck with the forehead. They had Klingon sized foreheads on all the iPhones from the original to the 8, and even the current iPhone SE.
It would have prevented a full on corner-to-rounded-corner display, and removed a small amount of usable pixels, but it would also have removed the cosmetic abomination of the notch.
That’s what Google did with the Pixel 4, after all, which I think is the only other phone to ever field a Face ID-like facial geometry scanner.
But Apple wanted to market corner-to-corner, full-ish screen for the display, so they decided to embrace the notch. Make it something distinctive. Even iconic. Shove the status bar all up into those corners, to make it look even more expansive. So the spent a ton of engineering resources on sub-pixel masking to cut first OLED and then LCD around it.
They didn’t do it for the modern iPad Pro design with Face ID. That one only Thanos-snapped away half the bezels, so no notch needed. Just foreheads all the way around.
But, with the iPhone, it sure seems like the forehead is just never going to be an option again.
Samsung did full screen different. They never got into Face ID-style biometrics so they’ve only had to deal with that single RGB camera or, for a brief period of time, dual RGB cameras.
So, Samsung literally cut the screen just around those single or dual RGB cameras. Like hole punches. And they’ve gotten better and tighter at doing it.
That let the display go not just corner-to-corner but truly edge-to-edge. It just doesn’t give you a truly full screen or that much more in terms of usable pixels.
Apple could go with something similar but, unlike Samsung, they’d have to deal with more than just one or two RGB cameras. They’d have to have cutouts for the dot projector, flood illuminator, and infrared camera as well.
And, while, subjectively some people might prefer it in an enter-the-spiderverse kind of way, like the Mac Pro case, objectively it’s no better or worse than a notch.
To avoid notches and hole punches and get that full-on full screen, other companies have resorted to mechanical choochers what pop the front-facing cameras up and down or spin them around.
No matter how fast a mechanical choocher chooches, it’s just never going to be as fast as a camera that requires zero… choochage. Choocherage?
Also, mechanical parts aren’t great for water resistance but are terrific at being potential points of failure. And Apple hasn’t gone to all the trouble of deleting the Home button headphone jack and soon, maybe, the lightning port just to stick popup in the top.
Meanwhile, ZTE has just shipped the first phone with an under-display camera. Basically, just what it sounds like — they paved the camera over with pixels, then shrunk and spread the pixels out to try and clear a path for light to get to the sensor.
And… it’s not great. Not yet. There’s enough interference that they have to use machine learning to try and extract a usable image and even then, it’s not that usable….
Or even that well hidden at times. Especially if Apple would be paving over all four Face ID models, not just one camera.
If it matures fast, though… in a few years… come iPhone 14 or iPhone 15… who knows?
So, yeah, that leaves us with the DigiTimes rumor, and rumor Jon Prosser has reported on as well — that Apple has been and continues to prototype a notch-less iPhone — as in less of a notch.
They’d do that by moving some of the components like the receiver up higher, maybe even to the top, or replacing them with physical acoustical components like the under-display phones use, so that the Face ID TrueDepth system proper can be condensed closer together.
Still a notch but not as much of a notch… if the rumors prove true.
Economic Daily News is out with a fresh report that sideswipes its way into saying Apple may just put an M-series chip into iPads… presumably the next iPad Pro. And… maybe even a 3 nanometer M-series chip, even more advanced than the current M1. An M2 or M3 maybe. So, I’m just going to read through the report and give you my reactions, live to video. And I’m going to do it right now.
One year later, I think Apple TV+ is doing something novel and interesting — massive international rollout with a slate of original, non-franchise content reminiscent of the HBO days of yore. Christina Warren, former USA Today, Mashable, Gizmodo — thinks, after The Mandalorian 2, we’re going to find Disney+ and their massive brands are now fully operational.
Facebook has just taken out not one but two, full-page newspaper ads, trashing Apple for the new iOS 14 prompt that forces apps to ask permission before they can track you across other apps and the web, calling it an all-out assault on small businesses and the free internet. Probably babies too. Maybe puppies.
And if you’re thinking newspaper ads, small businesses, and free not as in dom, what does this have to do with a tracking popup on the iPhone? Well, you’re not alone. I don’t think I’ve gotten this many requests for a video since Tim Epic stream sniped hundreds of millions of iOS users right off of Fortnite.
But, plot twist, I’ve already made that video. I just made it for Apple Talk, the podcast I host with psychotherapist Georgia Dow.
Apple absolutely will not tell you how much RAM is in an iPhone. They will hide how many milliamp hours the battery is. They won't even reveal the clock speed of their custom chipsets — it's not listed on the spec sheet. You can't even turn your own damn AirPods on or off your own damn self.