Apple is working on new iPhones for later this year, but don’t expect them to have dramatically different designs.
Reports this week said that Apple’s planned iPhones look nearly identical to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max from last year. This time around, Apple will focus more on the components inside the devices that power sophisticated apps and games.
The rumors, which Apple hasn’t confirmed, followed reports that Apple is working on new AirPods wireless earbuds. Apple CEO Tim Cook also made headlines when he spoke on stage at the Time 100 Summit in New York City about politics, the tech industry, and why he believes Apple’s future is in healthcare.
Suffice to say, it’s been a busy week in Apple news. Here’s a roundup of the biggest headlines:
- Earlier this week, tech sites OnLeaks and CashKaro leaked details about this year’s planned iPhone, saying they would have three rear cameras instead of the two in the currently available iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Apple is sticking to a glass backplate in the upcoming iPhones, according to the leaks, and will continue to include a black notch at the top of the screen that houses the iPhone’s front-facing camera and earpiece. Of course, the notoriously secretive Apple hasn’t confirmed any of those details, and those reports may be inaccurate.
- Although Apple released the second version of its AirPods wireless earbuds earlier this year, the company will introduce two new models later this year or early next year, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors this week, according to 9to5Mac. Kuo said that Apple’s “AirPods 3” will have a new design, but he didn’t say what the earbuds would look like. Another model will have the same design as Apple’s AirPods 2 but will have a longer battery life while still being cheaper for Apple to manufacture.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at the Time 100 Summit in New York City this week, explaining that Apple wants to have a voice in political conversations when it has a “legitimate position or lens on the issue” like climate change, immigration, and education. He added that Apple is pushing deeper into health and believes that many years from now, people will “say that Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind was in health care.”
- Apple’s design team has lost three key members, the Wall Street Journal said this week. Rico Zorkendorfer and Daniele De Iuliis left the company recently, and Julian Hönig will move on later this year, the Journal‘s sources said. Combined, the designers have dozens of years of experience at Apple and played prominent roles in developing everything from the iPhone to the iPad. They all reported to Apple’s design chief Jony Ive.
- Apple’s iPhone XR, the cheapest phone the company released last year at $749, was the top-selling Apple smartphone in the U.S. during the first quarter, according to researcher Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP). During the period, the iPhone XR accounted for 38% of iPhone sales in the U.S. while Apple’s iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max together accounted for 22%.
- Apple analysts are a bit more positive about the company’s future. This week, several analysts raised their 12-month price targets on Apple’s shares because they said that Apple’s next quarterly earnings release on Tuesday should deliver stable revenue and profit. Wolfe Research lifted its price target from $175 to $185, and UBS upped its estimate $20 to $235 (Apple’s share price in mid-day trading on Friday was $203.87.). The analysts cautioned that weakness in Apple’s iPhone business could put pressure on the company’s future earnings.
One more thing…When Apple releases its new iPhones this year, don’t expect to find a 5G modem inside. That technology, which allows smartphones to connect to ultra-fast 5G networks, will be included in Samsung smartphones this year. But according to industry experts and researchers, Apple won’t be able to get a 5G iPhone into stores until 2020 at the earliest.