If it were up to Apple, all of the attention on the company this past week would have focused on its planned iPhone 11 event on Tuesday. But the news cycle didn't cooperate.
Over the past several days, media reports discussed Apple's future strategy, including possible changes for iPhones in 2020. And in a surprise twist, Apple's budget-friendly iPhone SE, which the company discontinued last year because of lower-than-expected sales, could return from the dead next year to challenge Samsung and Huawei in the midrange smartphone market.
Apple also made some headlines this week with a new Web-based version of its Apple Music service, and chances are, the company's upcoming Apple Watch Series 5 could come with a new sleep-tracking feature.
Read on for more about this week's Apple headlines:
An iPhone 11 Design Reveal
Apple may be waiting until September 10 to unveil its iPhone 11, but that isn't stopping the leaks. This week, makers of protective iPhone cases revealed their iPhone 11 case designs, based on so-called "dummy" models that have leaked online. Those dummy models are inoperable smartphones that are apparently based on the CAD drawings Apple sends to its manufacturing partners so that they know how to produce its phone. Compared to last year's iPhone XS lineup, the dummy models don't show much difference in the iPhone 11 design, except for a square camera bump on the back that could house three rear-facing cameras. Other than that, if the designs are accurate, don't expect a big design tweak for Apple's iPhones this year.
Apple Watch Series 5's Sleep Features
Apple will release a new Apple Watch Series 5 this fall with plenty of sleep-tracking features, Apple-tracking site 9to5Mac reported this week. The report says Apple's updated smartwatch will include a variety of sensors to track a user's movement, heart rate, and overall sleep quality. Apple will also release a Sleep app with the device to help users visualize the quality of their sleep each night.
Apple Takes on Tile?
Tile is one of the more popular makers of small tags that can be attached to products for tracking in case they’re lost or stolen. Apple is apparently working on an alternative that it may unveil as soon as its September 10 event, according to MacRumors. The tags Apple is working on could be attached to any products to help Apple's new Find My app track where they are. Watch out, Tile.
An Apple Music Surprise
Apple has released a new Web-only version of its Apple Music app. From the online interface, users can log into their Apple Music profiles, access the company's music library, and stream what they want. It's a first for Apple, which has only offered native Apple Music applications on macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS since Apple Music's release in 2015. You can try out the new Apple Music app here.
Look Ahead to 2020 iPhones
Apple may bring back its Touch ID fingerprint scanner next year—with a twist. According to sources cited by Bloomberg, Apple will include an in-screen fingerprint sensor with its iPhones in 2020. The sensor would allow users to press their fingers against the iPhone's screen and have their fingerprints read. The new iPhones would offer both the new Touch ID and Face ID facial scanner, matching Samsung's latest flagship phones, which also come with face and fingerprint scanning.
Did Someone Say iPhone SE?
Apple discontinued its iPhone SE last year, but it could come back in 2020, according to a Nikkei report. Apple is apparently working on a new version of its iPhone SE that would have a 4.7-inch screen and a low price to attract budget-conscious shoppers. Apple reportedly hopes the iPhone SE follow-up will help it seize some market share from Samsung and Huawei in the midrange of the smartphone market, where those companies are capturing millions of sales each year.
One More Thing...
If you're ready for an iPhone upgrade and want to get your hands on the iPhone 11, you may be interested in trading in your old device to defray the cost of your new phone. This week, we offered up a guide to help you determine when—and how—to trade in your old device. Check it out here.
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