Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Tuesday, 1 September 2020. The ZTE Axon 20 with the first under-display selfie camera is launching as I type, and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 gets a proper unveiling today at 10AM ET. Stay tuned for pricing and availability.
1. A whole lot of new Apple things
If you’re the kind of person that likes having the latest Apple gear, you might need to start saving.
The short story is, the list of devices Apple is expected to ship between October and early 2021 looks something like this (in approximate order):
- iPhone 12 series
- Apple Watch Series 6
- AirPods Studio
- Apple TV 6
- A smaller HomePod speaker
- First Mac with Apple Silicon
Most of these devices have been rumored to be in the works for some time, but nothing quite as detailed as we get before Samsung and Google hardware launches.
Now a detailed report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Debby Wu adds further confirmation, and the 5G iPhone 12 series look like they’ll be the best yet by some margin.
Here’s a rundown, starting with the iPhone:
- Quote: “Apple Inc. has asked suppliers to build at least 75 million 5G iPhones for later this year, roughly in line with last year’s launch, in a sign that demand for the company’s most important product is holding up.”
- There’s also going to be four new iPhones: two basic, smaller options at 5.4-inch size and a 6.1-inch model, and two Pro devices at 6.1-inch and Apple’s biggest ever 6.7-inch display.
- Other reports have suggested 5G support will only include mmWave support in Pro models, and with slow global 5G infrastructure installation, Apple isn’t expecting mmWave support to drive major sales.
- There’ll be a new dark blue color option too, replacing the midnight green release last year.
- All will feature Apple’s OLED displays, likely made by Samsung Display. This marks its move completely away from LCD for the first time in 13 years since launch.
- Bloomberg notes, “all of the new smartphones will have updated designs with squared edges similar to the iPad Pro”, while the Pro models will get the same LIDAR camera as on the latest iPad Pro for AR use.
- And there’s the new A14 chip, said to offer much better power efficiency and performance.
- And, Apple is also preparing to launch a new iPad Air, more closely matching the iPad Pro display with thinner bezels.
- There are also two new Apple Watch devices as part of the Series 6 release, including a lower-cost model.
- And the AirPods Studio, thought to be the name for Apple’s first over-ear headphones, outside of the Beats brand.
- The report also suggests no delay to iOS 14, despite later hardware shipping dates.
- And it’s the first time I’ve seen a concrete note about a new Apple TV, with a faster processor and better remote, but scheduled for 2021.
- AirTags also get a mention, with a ‘leather carrying case’ mentioned for the devices that will track physical objects.
- There’s no mention of a higher refresh rate on the new iPhone displays. 90Hz and 120Hz refresh rates have found their way to even entry-level smartphones in the Android ecosystem.
- No mention of a switch to USB-C charging away from the Lightning port.
- Bloomberg cites Apple employees anonymously saying “the new 6.7-inch screen is one of this year’s most notable improvements” on the biggest (and most expensive) iPhone 12, and that 5G connectivity hadn’t had much of a noticeable impact yet.
- No word on cameras: changes to sensors or lenses, so expect the same wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto options, along with the LIDAR sensor on the Pro/Max model.
- Will anyone miss the midnight green color? I did think it looked great, but all glass phones go into a case anyway these days.
2. Google’s ‘Sabrina’ Android TV dongle could debut at $50, on September 30 (Android Authority).
3. Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review: Slightly disappointing display and camera but great performance in quite a sizeable package. At the price, it’s in a tricky spot against the OnePlus 8 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, and iPhone 11, but it’s no slouch even if it’s heavy (Android Authority).
4. The Moto One 5G has been announced, the first Moto One device with 5G. At under $500, with big screen and 90Hz display, it looks like Moto is really trying again (Android Authority).
5. Poco X3 NFC launch set for next week: First phone with Snapdragon 732G incoming (Android Authority).
6. OnePlus may have accidentally revealed a first look at the upcoming OnePlus 8T (Android Authority).
7. More accidents: Samsung accidentally leaks details of its upcoming 980 Pro NVMe SSD (Ars Technica).
8. Amazon has officially become an air carrier: Prime Air wins approval to begin its first commercial drone delivery trials (Engadget).
9. “I was excited for Neuralink. Then I watched Elon Musk’s demo” (The Next Web).
10. The Verge launched a big project called “Capturing the police,” on technology driving the unfolding Civil Rights movement and policing. Hats off! (The Verge).
11. “Why do there seem to be so many meteors rich in iron and not gold or copper or some other metal?” (r/askscience)
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