It is one day after Apple's special event, and opinions are are all over the place. One opinion is that Apple was not very innovative with its notebook refresh and that it is disappointing it was not a full lineup refresh. Here is why I disagree. Apple may be desperately in need of a lineup refresh (Just look at the Mac Pro specs) but they are still savvy and won't comprise the instant gratification of a full lineup refresh into one quarter. Apple typically has not pulled a entire lineup refresh into one event. They typically refresh notebooks in October and desktops in January. This will allow another "hype" to boost profits come early next year. Good call Apple.
On October 27th, Apple will be holding a special event, and they'll hopefully give Mac lovers what they want: a significant update to the Mac line. Although some Apple fanatics might be hoping for a lot, here's what to expect from the special event this Thursday:
A new Macbook Pro, which will probably be the highlight of the event. The MacBook pro has fallen behind and is in serious need of an update, and that's probably what will headline the upcoming special event. We're not sure exactly what will be added here, but we definitely have some wishes for updates to the Mac Pro. Leaks as recent as today show that the top panel, usually where the "f" buttons would be, is now an OLED display that supports touch ID and many more things. It probably won't be a huge update, but it will probably be enough to renew at least a little bit of interest in Apple's Mac line.
There's been a lot of buzz in the news lately concerning the possibility of Sonder's E-Ink keyboard technology being implemented in Apple computers sometime in the future. Before we get any futher, E-Ink keyboards are essentially instantly customizable keyboards, and they're pretty cool. We heard news about this last week, but we held off on writing about it until it seemed more credible. Although not a completely foolproof claim, today the Wall Street Journal came out with an article claiming that Sonder's E-Ink keyboards will be in MacBooks by 2018.
There are varying opinions on the validity of this article. The article claims its sources are familiar with the goings-on around Apple, but it doesn't name any names. The world has been fooled by false rumors like these before, so it's important to be cautious when approaching something like this. However, this is a pretty cool feature that I think a lot of people would like to see implemented, and with the overall negativity surrounding Apple computers lately, it would be a welcome change that would impress more than just tech geeks. However, this just doesn't seem like something Apple would do. They have always been a company with limited customizing options, and something so customizable would be a significant step for Apple, and in the right direction.
Julian Assange and the Wikileaks team have been busy lately. They hack and release all kinds of information, but the past few weeks have been especially interesting as Wikileaks keeps dropping bundles of emails after emails pertaining to Hillary’s campaign. From wishing the San Bernardino shooter was white to huge email scandal cover-ups, the Clinton campaign has had a lot to deal with. Amongst the revelations of corruption and lies was information about who Hillary was considering for her VP nominee. And, big surprise, Tim Cook was on the list.
Well, it actually is pretty surprising. No, not the fact that Tim Cook leans to the left, but the fact that the Clintons actually believed Tim Cook may be interested in the VP slot. Although Cook leans to the left on social issues, he disagrees with Clinton on many major issues, mainly concerning privacy. Not only would a Tim Cook vice presidency be strange because he tends to disagree with HRC, but it wouldn't make any business sense. Apple would tank in the public eye, Republicans would likely call for boycotts, and the company would never be the same again.
Recent reports have indicated Apple's much-anticipated "Project Titan", aka the Apple Car, has been scaled back in huge numbers and Apple has reshifted its primary focus for the project. Hundreds of people have lost their jobs or quit in the shakeup. It appears that Apple has decided to end all development of an actual driving car, and instead shift their focus to autonomous driving software that they could sell to other existing car companies. "Apple executives have given the car team a deadline of late next year to prove the feasibility of a self-driving system and decide on a final direction," Mark Gurman and Alex Webb write for Bloomberg.
We at AppleBlend are shocked by this revelation, but it may turn out to be for the better for Apple. Entering an entirely new market would have been a daunting prospect, and it may be better for Apple just to stick to car software. If they are able to create an entirely autonomous driving system, they could bring immense value to the company that an actual car might not be able to. Partnering with an already-successful car company could be better for Apple than creating a car, and we think this is a step in the right direction for them, however disappointing it might be.
We all know the Mac line is dusty and dated at the moment, and it needs a big upgrade. I hope this upgrade starts with the MacBook Pro. When the newest model is released, it needs to be packing more power and a better design if the Mac line ever wants a chance at being relevant again. I am going to hypothetically assume that the Apple R&D team has been hard at work on my favorite product line and will be ready to launch in November just in time for Christmas...right? As I have stated before, I believe that Apple needs to bring a full Mac lineup refresh in order to keep the Mac line alive.
Apple's stock (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been in the news quite a bit lately, the most notable reason being that their stock skyrocketed following the release of the iPhone 7 and the Apple Watch 2. This was not only due to the fact that the products looked good, but it appeared there was a lot of demand for the iPhone 7 and this drove the stock price up. A definite moneymaker for people who were already shareholders, but what about people who missed the jump?
Apple's stock looks very promising in the next few years or so, and that's for a few reasons. First, Apple's Mac line is dusty and outdated, and it's hardly bringing in any revenue. A significant update to the Mac line (which we're hoping will happen relatively soon) would increase revenue, renew interest in Apple's computers, and, most importantly, drive the stock price up. However, the Mac line isn't necessarily guaranteed to get a major update any time soon, and some have speculated almost not at all in the next few years. That wouldn't be optimal, but the Mac line being updated isn't the only thing we're hoping Apple will do. Apple is expected to unveil some revolutionary changes to the iPhone 8 next year, likely including the removal of the home button and a bezel-free display (and wireless charging by 2018?). The iPhone 8 will probably be the most noteworthy iPhone has released in years, and if it gets positive attention, Apple's stock should soar. New iPad Pros are likely to be revealed in March, adding to the value of the stock also.
With the removal of the headphone jack with the iPhone 7 this year, and the likely removal of the home button with the iPhone next year, Apple is limiting their choices of antiquated features to cleanse from the iPhone. So, in 2018, is Apple removing the lightning port from the iPhone? It is quite possible. It was only a few years ago when Apple abandoned the ancient 30-pin connector for a much smoother, sleeker charging port, but removing the lighting port definitely seems like a risk Apple is willing to take. At least, it seems so from this patent, essentially stating that Apple can use a connector, likely a magnetic one, to transfer information back and forth without the need for any kind of visible port. We haven't seen effective and/or practical technology like this to date, but Apple seems to be on a march to eliminate as many holes and buttons from the iPhone as possible, and this seems like something they would be willing to do in a heartbeat, provided they can create the technology to do it (which I don't doubt).
Like I stated earlier, wireless charging hasn't really been implemented successfully in the past, and when it has it has been largely impractical. Multiple tech companies have tried to find a way to make wireless charging successful, say, in a range of three or four feet from the charging device, but this has proven unsuccessful and very difficult to do as well. Past results lead me to believe that if Apple does remove the lighting port in 2018 or beyond, it will probably not actually make charging wireless. What I see more likely to happen is the continuation of wired charging for at least a year or two after the removal of the lightning port, but the charger wouldn't actually have to plug in to the phone in order to function.
Over the past weekend, my fellow writer Carter and I visited the Apple Store in the Fashion Island mall to check out the new iPhones (and the dusty Mac line). To put it simply, I was very impressed with the new iPhones. Before I continue, I must say I was expecting the iPhone 7 in jet black to be much more impressive than it turned out to be. It was coated in greasiness on the rear, and upon further examination I learned that the front glass panel was identical in color to the standard black iPhone. I do not recommend it to anybody who likes a greasy-looking phone (that scratches a lot as well).
When the iPhone 7 was released at Apple's recent special event, along with all the usual gorgeous colors was a new addition to the lineup: jet black. This color drew attention as it is very sleek, smooth, and aesthetically impressive. Going through a very detailed process of polishing, you would expect this color would be tough to make. You probably didn't expect how tough, though. The recent news that has surfaced about a shortage of jet black iPhones, many report, isn't because of high demand, but it is simply because they are proving very difficult to make. With a yield rate of only 60 to 70 percent, expect a delay in shipping.
Not only that, but the jet black iPhone scratches easily. Apple has admitted this themselves, and YouTube videos have shown that even the slightest brush of a shirt could leave a mark. This leaves Ezra and I at AppleBlend with simply one question: why would anyone buy the jet black iPhone? It is hard to manufacture, meaning there is a shortage for the time being. A brush of your shirt could leave a mark, meaning you have to have a case, which would cover up the jet-blackness completely anyway. It does look nice, but we don't quite understand why you would purcahse this model.