This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
While we still don't know when the fourth-generation iPad Air will start shipping, the focus is on when the next flagship iPhone 12 series will be announced. What will the models be called and how much will they cost?
From "iPhone 12 announcement on October 13?" to "Is the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro launching at the end of the year?," we'll be bringing you a roundup of the latest Apple rumors.
Rumor has it that Apple's non-Beat branded over-ear headphones, called AirPods Studio, will feature a proprietary U1 chip.
The U1 chip uses UWB (ultra-wideband) technology and boasts highly accurate location detection to within 10 centimeters, even indoors where GPS signals are not available. However, at the time of writing, the only use for it is to "show the person you point your iPhone at at the top of the list" in AirDrop on the iPhone 11 series.
Famous leaker L0vetodream (who publishes influential information about unreleased products) tweeted briefly, "u1 for studio". And he followed it up with a riddle: "The Internet of Everything began with u1."
He tweeted the answer to that question in Chinese. First of all, he said that AirPods Studio by itself can automatically recognize the left and right sides of the headset. There have been multiple rumors about the AirPods Studio over the past few months, with some saying that it would detect if a user wore the left and right sides of the headset backward and then switch audio channels appropriately.
It's also been pointed out that the use of the U1 chip in the Apple Watch Series 6 is the beginning of Apple's "distance and direction measurement" ecosystem. The rumored AirTag anti-forgotten item tag is also expected to use the U1 chip, which will be the key to bridging all Apple products and enabling IoE while protecting privacy, along with the new features of iOS 14.
The Find My app, which allows users to find even offline Macs, was also described as a way for Apple products to communicate with each other in an encrypted manner, creating a vast network of looking for things while protecting privacy. If AirTag, which is expected to ship tens of millions of units by the end of this year alone, can be added to that network, the number of lost and found items in the world may be greatly reduced.
This year's flagship iPhone 12 series is expected to come in three sizes/four models, each of which will be called "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," according to a report tweeted by proven leaker L0vetodream.
Applying this to traditional expectations, the 5.4-inch model would be the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model would be the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the two 6.1-inch models would be the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. The other three models continue the same naming scheme as the previous year's iPhone 11 series, with the addition of a new smallest "mini" model.
A few days later, a photo of what appeared to be stickers for unreleased genuine Apple silicone cases was released. A few days later, a photo of what appeared to be stickers for unreleased genuine Apple silicone cases was released. DuanRui, who posted this on Twitter, had shared an authentic-looking brochure photo prior to the launch of the fourth-generation iPad Air.
As for the smallest 5.4-inch iPhone 12, a person who said he got a dummy model shared a photo showing that it was "narrower than the second-generation iPhone SE". If it can fit in the palm of your hand while powered by the latest A14 Bionic, it's going to be a highly anticipated device for fans of the original SE.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is familiar with Apple's insider information, previously predicted that six Apple products would feature mini-LED displays. However, that included non-high-end products such as the 10.2-inch iPad and 9.7-inch iPad mini, which raised questions about cost.
The follow-up to this was a new prediction that the addition of a new Chinese supplier for mini-LED chips will increase competition, leading to significant cost reductions and accelerating the adoption of mini-LEDs in future iPads and MacBooks.
Mini-LED is a method of dividing the backlight into smaller sections while maintaining the same LCD + backlight LED structure. This is combined with local dimming (partial drive technology) to make it possible to turn off the backlight only when the screen is black. This improves contrast and dynamic range to the level of OLEDs while saving energy, and because it contains no organic materials, it is resistant to burn-in.
In another research note, Kuo said he expects the first device with mini-LEDs to be the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. It also points out that Apple could make a big splash with mini-LEDs as a new technology to promote its larger, more expensive models.
The first Apple product to use mini-LEDs was the Pro Display XDR, a Retina 6K display for the Mac Pro (2019), which used 576 LEDs. And Kuo predicted that as many as 10,000 LEDs would be used in "high-end iPad and MacBook models".
Rumors that the next 12.9-inch iPad Pro will arrive in early 2021 with mini-LEDs seem to be theorized now. The recently announced fourth-generation iPad Air covers the "good parts of the Pro" but does not include 120Hz ProMotion technology. If that's a "dare," it could be a milestone in the new Pro's emphasis on the revamped display.
The rumor is that the CEO of Britain's largest carrier said in an internal presentation video, "We are just days away from Apple's next major launch, a 5G iPhone, which will be a huge boost for 5G". The appearance of Apple executive Eddy Cue in that video, albeit briefly, raised the possibility that the statement was correct.
However, the iPhone 12 series will be released "a few weeks later than the previous year", or in other words, Apple has officially announced that the iPhone 12 series will be released in early October or later. And while it's not unusual for Apple to make an announcement "only" and release the product at a later date, there should be some sort of announcement when it comes to the biggest event of the year: the iPhone launch. It was considered unlikely that the announcement would be made a few days later without notice.
Just then, multiple sources reported the "iPhone 12 announcement event on October 13" theory all at once. MacRumors, an Apple-related website, wrote that they heard from "an employee of a UK cellular carrier" and AppleInsider heard from "someone self-identified as working for a carrier in the Netherlands". Famous leaker Jon Prosser also supports the 13th announcement theory (Prosser has previously claimed "the week of October 12").
Taking all these theories together, the time schedule would be "launch event on the 13th, pre-order on the 16th, release on the 23rd". If we combine this with the popular theory that the iPhone 12 series will be released in two phases, it seems reasonable to expect the second phase to be released by the end of the year.
If that's the case, the next question is which model will be released first. There are two theories: "6.1-inch entry and Pro first, 5.4-inch entry and 6.7-inch Pro model later" and "5.4-inch and 6.1-inch entry group first, 6.1 and 6.7 Pro group later".
Either way, they agree that the 6.1-inch entry, the successor to the iPhone 11, will be released early. The previous model was a popular model with a good balance of price and performance, so there will be a lot of excitement when pre-orders start.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.