Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.
RIP iPhone 12 mini
The iPhone 12 mini has had its share of problems, and more than once we’ve reported on Apple cutting back on production to account for softer-than-expected demand. But events took a more drastic turn this week with the news that the company has ceased production entirely. It will make no more iPhone 12 mini handsets.
This doesn’t mean the 12 mini is no longer available; it’s still right there on the Apple Store, and the example of the HomePod suggests that stock will stick around for a while yet. But it is the clearest signal yet that the device we referred to in our (positive) review as The Little iPhone That Could was a failure.
We’ve addressed this in some depth in our treatise on why Apple shouldn’t make an iPhone 13 mini, but the heart of the problem seems to be a misinterpretation and overestimation of users’ demand for a new small iPhone. It turns out the vocal minority really was a minority – and most of the people who actually did want a small iPhone also wanted it to be cheap.
Contrary to our advice Apple is understood to be preparing another 5.4in iPhone for launch in autumn 2021. So we will say no more, other than to remind Tim Cook that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
News in brief
Superstitious survey respondents – mostly men, interestingly – have advised Apple to skip unlucky number 13 when it announces its new iPhone this autumn. Alternative suggestions include iPhone 12s, iPhone 14, iPhone (2021) and iPhone 21. Not sure about that last one.
Tim Cook personally rang up Nancy Pelosi, and other members of Congress in the US, to lobby against proposed antitrust regulations. The tech giants may be a tiny bit rattled.
Talking of rattled, why is Apple sending out threatening legal letters to tech leakers? Rumours are the lifeblood of the hype cycle! Don’t kill the rumourmongers, Apple!
Michael Simon lists five Windows 11 features Apple should steal for macOS.
You may have heard about the severe semiconductor shortage that’s been afflicting the global tech and car industries for months. But you might not, because until recently Apple escaped largely unscathed – and we now know that the firm will continue to get off lightly, because its chip supplier has agreed to give it priority treatment this autumn. PC, server and networking chip orders will be given lower priority to free up capacity for the iPhone 13.
Welp, it looks like the iMac is as doomed as the iPod and iPhone, says the Macalope.
Simon Lohmann explains why Apple headphones are white – and why that may be about to change.
If this week you heard someone’s Android phone making an emergency alert sound you might have wondered what that was all about. Well, the UK government is introducing a new Emergency Alert system and it’s currently being tested. iPhones in certain UK locations will be included in the test on 29 June. For more information, read Why did my iPhone just make a siren sound?
It’s emerged that Patreon doesn’t pay any App Store fees to Apple, and nobody seems to know why not. “I think it’s because we’re within Apple’s guidelines,” says the company’s confused CEO.
The iPad’s inevitable Mac-like future is hiding in iPadOS 15, says Jason Snell.
Apple is going to make an animated version of Nathan Pyle’s hugely popular Strange Planet web comic for its TV+ streaming service. Let us recline on soft furniture in front of a large glowing rectangle! (Turns out it’s harder than he makes it look.)
Jason Cross reviews the new Beats Studio Buds.
Tips and tricks
Did you know that your iPhone stores the history of everywhere you’ve been for the past two months? If you’re a little spooked by this you can delete it – we show How to view and delete location history.
Speaking of your location being tracked, if you were concerned that AirTags could be used by stalkers to track someone’s location you’ll be glad to learn that an update to the AirTag’s firmware means that they will now beep after 8 hours of being distanced from the owner’s iPhone. (Previously it was after three days.) Read more in How AirTag protects you from stalking.
With so many of us settled into working from home now our home printers have been getting quite a workout. If it’s time to replace yours – or time to invest in one – check out our roundup of the best printers for Mac.
There was a great deal on Adobe Creative Cloud over on Amazon this week – sorry you missed it! It made us determined to offer advice on Adobe Creative Cloud pricing and how to get the best deal.
Bugs & problems
If you see a Wi-Fi network with a strange SSID containing lots of percentage signs, we strongly advise against connecting your iPhone to it; it may disable your device’s Wi-Fi and reset your network settings. Yep, a new text bomb has been spotted.
The rumour mill
Dummies of the iPhone 13 have leaked, revealing the updated design we’ll see this autumn. As expected the camera module is bigger and more protuberant than ever; more surprising is the rearrangement of the rear camera lenses on the non-Pro models, switching from a vertical to a diagonal configuration.
Image courtesy of Sonny Dickson.
It doesn’t look like the iPhone 13 will get under-screen Touch ID – but the latest reports suggests that the iPhone 14 will. (That’s the iPhone 14 released in 2022, not the rebranded version of this year’s model to pander to superstitious men.)
After widespread disappointment when no new hardware at all was announced at WWDC, the rumourmongers have had to recalibrate expectations. We’re now hearing that the much-anticipated M1X MacBook Pro will launch later in the year – probably late October or early November.
Sick of waiting for new AirPods? So are we! But there is good news, which is that seven supplier partners have begun the preliminary phases of making the third-gen AirPods this year. (There’s still no word on the new AirPods Pro, sadly.)
An intriguing Apple patent was spotted this week. It strongly suggests that the company has been working on a skin temperature sensor since 2019, and could add such a feature to a future Apple Watch – but probably not the Series 7 this autumn.
And that’s it for this week. See you next Saturday, and stay Appley!