iPhone 16 Pro specs, Apple Watch design leaks, paying for Apple’s AI

A look back at this week’s Apple news and headlines, including the latest iPhone 16 specs, iPhone 16 Pro battery changes, RCS Messaging in test, a cheaper Vision Pro, Apple Watch design leaks, a new Apple TV and paying for Apple Intelligence.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of some of the many discussions surrounding Apple over the past seven days. You can also read my weekly Android news roundup here on Forbes.

iPhone 16 will share power

With Apple set to introduce AI to the iPhone 16 family, each handset will need an AI-capable processor. That lines up with a new report this week that looks at the two product names and highlights the use of the upcoming A18 chipset for the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro. It’s a change in strategy; previously, Apple tried to keep the vanilla iPhones a generation behind the Pro models in order to bolster sales of its more expensive handsets:

“So, the evidence pointing to chips called iPhone17.1 along with iPhone17.2 and other similar chips suggests that every model in the new lineup this fall will have the same processor. And battery life will likely benefit as well, as the new chips can boost efficiency and power.”


A massive iPhone 16 Pro battery swap

New regulations around the world are pushing for better repairability and durability in consumer electronics, including smartphones. Apple has little choice but to follow this model, which essentially means removing the old glued-in batteries to make battery replacement easier. Of course, Apple has a great high-tech process ready:

“Currently, removing batteries from an iPhone requires some skill, removing the adhesive strips that glue the battery to the chassis. It’s not easy for the casual user, without experience. But Apple is looking to change that by using bonding technology that releases the battery after “administering a small jolt of electricity… this new technology could reach at least one iPhone 16 model this year, and would roll out to the entire iPhone 17 lineup by 2025.”


RCS Messages Beta

The iOS 18 developer beta isn’t available to the public yet, but one of its biggest features is already being praised by those who have access to it. After many stubborn years, Apple is incorporating the RCS messaging protocol into its Messages app. RCS brings more communication between clients, support for group chats, and the sending of rich media:

“Users are reporting that the benefits of RCS, a much more advanced system than SMS that iPhones previously rejected in favor of its own iMessage setup, are now also usable on the iPhone for Beat users, since Apple released the second iOS 18 developer beta on Monday, June 24.


Plans for a cheaper Vision Headset

The Apple Vision Pro headset is an expensive way to enter Apple’s mixed reality ecosystem, and there was always consensus that a cheaper non-Pro headset would follow. Supply chain analysts have spotted a potential lower-resolution display that could be at the heart of a vnailla Vision headset:

“Apple’s interest in larger, lower-resolution OLEDoS panels than those used in the Vision Pro suggests that they could be intended for a new, lower-cost mixed reality headset. Apple has been rumored to be working on such a device for over a year, and the latest indications suggest it could be designed to tether to an iPhone or Mac, eliminating the need for an expensive processor. The lower-cost Apple Vision headset could launch as early as late next year.”


Apple Watch Design Leaks

The next Apple Watch is going to be bigger. Whether it’s the regular Apple Watch 3 or a new variant of the Ultra, a larger screen is planned, which will influence the entire design:

“The next watch, regardless of its name, will have a larger display than any watch before it, including the Apple Watch Ultra… The raw CAD renders show a watch with a two-inch display: the Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch Ultra 2 both have the largest displays yet, measuring 1.93 inches.”


A new Apple TV with AI

Two new devices have been spotted in developer code. Apple is seemingly panning out a new wave of home devices, and we could be set to see a hybrid product that brings together two popular accessories:

“MacRumors has identified code “discovered on Apple’s backend” that says Apple is working on a new home accessory to sit alongside the HomePod and Apple TV… suggesting that a new device will be so powerful that it will need the A18 chip, whatever it ends up being. Could it be the rumored Apple TV-display hybrid? That would be innovative.”

(MacRumors via Forbes).

And finally…

As manufacturers around the world adopt AI tools, the cost of running these services means consumers will eventually have to foot the bill. That includes Apple’s push to bring AI to the iPhone and beyond. When the new iPhones launch, they’ll likely be free, but don’t be surprised if Apple introduces another subscription service:

“In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while Apple Intelligence will be free to start, Apple’s long-term plan is to launch something called “Apple Intelligence+,” with additional features that users pay monthly fees for. By making its own AI features another revenue source for services, Apple could offset the slowing pace of hardware upgrades and make the company less reliant on hardware tweaks to grow its business, Gurman argued.”


Apple Loop brings you seven days of highlights every weekend right here on Forbes. Be sure to follow me so you don’t miss any future coverage. You can read last week’s Apple Loop here , or this week’s edition of Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit, is also available on Forbes.

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