Industry insider offers his frank assessment of Apple’s product releases in 2021, and makes major design prediction about iPhone 14
Apple could reportedly deliver a radical new design feature for its next iPhone handset, the iPhone 14, when it shows it off to the world in September 2022.
The predictions comes Mark Gurman’s ‘Power On’ newsletter at Bloomberg, and his previous predictions have reportedly turned out to be true.
Gurman has now made a number of predictions about the iPhone 14, AirPods Pro, MacBook Air, and even a potential VR headset from Apple.
Apple 2021 review
Gurman began the newsletter by looking back at Apple’s developments during 2021 which he described as a “modest set of device launches” and noting that 2021 “wasn’t a smash hit year of introductions.”
He noted the arrival of AirTag in April, as well as the new Apple TV, the iPad Pros and iMac.
He pointed out the AirTag has been discussed for years and “while it makes a nice stocking stuffer, it’s no game changer and arrived years after rivals like Tile.”
Gurman also noted Apple TV “is pricer than the competition, but behind in functionality.”
The iPad Pro meanwhile was “essentially a spec-bumped version of the 2020 iPad Pro” but thanks to its M1 processor “the device is a significant improvement in terms of fluidity and day-to-day operation.”
Gurman described the 24-inch iMac design as “an engineering marvel”, saying that it is is “essentially a gigantic iPad Pro – with the same processor, no touch screen and MacOS”.
However Gurman is worried the M1 chip in the 24-inch iMac might not be fast enough for heavy-duty users.
Gurman then noted Apple’s “fairly subdued Worldwide Developer Conference in June 2021, when Apple revealed iOS 15, watchOS 8 and MacOS Monterey.
He then moved onto Apple’s September’s launches, saying the iPhone 13 and iPhone Pro line “got the job done, but the changes were modest (a faster processor, better camera, and new software improvements).”
Gurman pointed out the new iPad Mini was the biggest update in the history of the product, and “is an awesome device” but is let down by the software which felt “janky to use”.
Gurman praised the Apple Watch Series 7, saying the increased display size and built-in qwerty keyboard “are major improvements”.
Gruman also praised the new Macbook Pro, saying he was “extremely impressed” with its speed, battery life and MagSafe charging.
And while the new AirPods “aren’t much to write home about, they were a much needed upgrade” since the second generation AirPods which appeared over 2 and a half years ago.
The HomePod mini “was even less notable” Gruman noted, just getting a few colour update options.
Looking forward to the year ahead in 2022, Gruman said Apple has “bevy of new Pro Macs in the works” based on the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, and Apple should “finish transitioning to its own silicon” from Intel chips as early as WWDC 2022 in June.
Gruman also said we should look out for the biggest MacBook Air redesign in the product’s history, as well as an updated entry-level MacBook Pro, and a new iPad Pro with wireless charging.
Gruman is also hoping that “Apple’s next external monitor – destined to be about half the price of the Pro Display XDR – launches in the coming year.”
Gruman also predicted a 5G version of the iPhone SE in the first half of the year.
But it was Gruman’s prediction about a major redesigned on the iPhone 14 that drew most attention.
Gruman said “a revamped iPhone 14 range” could come “with a hole-punch-sized notch in the fall (Autumn). Also in the works are three new Apple Watches: a new SE, a Series 8 and a rugged version aimed at extreme-sports enthusiasts.”
It should be remembered that the demise of the unsightly and screen-eating notch on the top of the iPhone has been predicted for a while now.
The notch first appeared back in 2017 with the arrival of the iPhone X. It houses the selfie camera and Face ID face-scanning sensors, after Apple ditched the Touch ID fingerprint scanner for some of its handsets. Yet users argue the notch is ugly and reduces the unit’s display area.
Gruman’s last prediction centred about Apple’s venture in virtual reality.
“The holy grail for 2022, of course, will be if Apple announces its first virtual reality headset (with some AR features), codenamed N301, and its accompanying rOS, codenamed Oak,” said Gruman. “But the timeline for that product has slipped before. Apple originally targeted 2020, and then WWDC 2021 and then WWDC 2022 for a debut. Stay tuned.”