New 15-inch MacBook rumored to drop in 2023 with M2 & M2 Pro chips

The rumor: A larger 15-inch MacBook could release with both the new M2 chip and the yet-to-be-announced M2 Pro chip, according to further details from Ming-Chi Kuo (72.5% accurate).

  • The larger MacBook is slated to start mass production in early 2022 and ship in the second half of 2023
  • Kuo also expects the MacBook to ship with two CPU options: M2 and M2 Pro
  • It’s possible that this 15-inch MacBook might not use “MacBook Air” branding, as Apple could introduce it as part of a different or new line
  • In the report, Kuo also says he is uncertain about the 12-inch MacBook returning after Mark Gurman (86.5% accurate) reported that it was in development

Ian’s take: This is certainly an interesting rumor. I am absolutely a fan of Apple adding options for users that want a larger screen but don’t want to spend upwards of $2500 to get it. Having the option for an M2 Pro chip in this thinner and lighter machine is very intriguing, but I worry it may encroach on the 16-inch M2 Pro MacBook Pro coming later this year…

Here’s your first look at Tap to Pay on iPhone

The news: Before being officially released to customers, Apple is testing Tap to Pay on iPhone in select Apple Stores, as first spotted by Twitter user Michael.

  • Tap to Pay on iPhone was first teased early this year with no official release date, but it looks like Apple is using it in some of its own stores early
  • According to Apple, the feature allows for payment using “contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets through a simple tap to their iPhone — no additional hardware or payment terminal needed”
  • Along with using credit and debit cards with an iPhone, the feature also allows for iPhone to iPhone transactions with no additional hardware
  • In a video shared by Michael, a customer is making a payment by taping their iPhone onto another…what we are seeing in the video is likely the unreleased Tap to Pay app (it features the same design as shown in the press release)

Ian’s Take: This is very cool to see Tap to Pay in person! While most didn’t bat an eye when it was announced, I think it will be a massive deal in the future. Any person with an iPhone, without any additional hardware, will be able to pay and be paid with just a tap: imagine the possibilities for small businesses!

Reputable source says USB-C is coming to iPhone 15 next year

The rumor: After sticking with Lightning for a decade, Apple could finally make the switch to USB-C, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (72.5% accurate, source).

  • Kuo states that from surveys in the supply chain, he has learned that it is likely Apple will abandon the controversial Lightning connector
  • Due to proposed EU regulations, Apple could be forced to switch to USB-C for the 2023 iPhone
    • The proposal states that all smartphones, tablets, and headphones that are sold in the UK must use a USB-C connector
    • EU politicians have petitioned for a standard connector, citing that more than 11,000 tonnes of unused charging cables are thrown out per year
  • USB-C is already on a number of Apple devices such as Mac, iPad Pro and iPad Air…plus the benefits include faster charging and transfer speed

Ian’s take: While this is exciting news, I’m not that confident in its validity. We have heard from many sources that Apple’s long-term goal is a portless iPhone, and if they do make the switch to USB-C, it would only be for a few years (something uncharacteristic for Apple). I also believe that the Made For iPhone program (MFI) has a massive role in Apple’s persistence to keep Lightning. MFI is a licensing program that guarantees the compatibility of accessories with iPhones and gives accessory makers tools to make these accessories. When one of these millions of 3rd-party products is sold, Apple gets a cut. With USB-C, they could not have this program because USB-C is a universal connector, unlike Lightning. It would be fantastic if Apple switched to USB-C, and while I can’t see it happening, I would love to eat my words.

Second-generation AirPods Max rumored to launch later in 2022

The rumor: Apple is planning the first AirPods Max refresh for later this year, according to Mark Gurman (86.4% accurate, via Power On).

  • Later this Fall, “Look out for an AirPods Max refresh with new colors (and, we hope, a price drop—$550 is absurd for those headphones),” Gurman says
  • The same overall design will remain, however, as no major updates are expected
  • Since AirPods Pro 2 are expected to gain lossless audio support, it is likely that AirPods Max will as well…but no reports have confirmed this yet
  • AirPods Max were first announced in December 2020, and no updates have happened since then

Ian’s take: I am excited to see the new colors on the AirPods Max! It has been really quiet on that front for a number of months now and I’m ready for something fresh. I would expect Apple to use the same colors of the new iPad Air, but nothing concrete has been reported yet. AirPods Pro 2 are also coming this Fall!

The wait is almost over: AirPods Pro 2 are coming this Fall

The report: Apple is planning a successor to AirPods Pro for later this year according to Mark Gurman (86.4% accurate, via Power On).

Ian’s Take: Finally! We have been hearing about these updated AirPods Pro for years, with sources constantly disagreeing on release. I am confident that these will release this fall: 3 years is a long time between releases (original AirPods Pro users are already struggling with battery health). This is going to be an exciting fall!

Apple may finally address an odd design quirk on iPhone 14

The rumor: iPhone 13 models have a strange design inconsistency…but that could be changing on iPhone 14, as noticed by render artist Ian Zelbo..

  • There is a quirk with the iPhone 13 Pro design: the radius of the phone’s corners do not match the radius of the camera bump (obviously, an odd decision for a company like Apple, who is known for their cohesiveness)
  • As seen in various iPhone 14 Pro CADs and schematics that have leaked, Apple has rounded the corners of the iPhone 14 Pro significantly, finally addressing the odd look on the iPhone 13 Pro
  • In addition as the corners being more rounded, the corners of the screen are also far more curved
  • According to CADs, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max will not be getting the rounder corners…mostly likely because the camera module is far smaller, making it unnecessary
  • Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro is rumored to have an upgraded camera setup, and if Apple kept the same radius from the iPhone 13 Pro, it would result in a very uneven looking device

Ian’s Take: Finally! As soon as the iPhone 13 Pro came out, I noticed the uneven radius of the camera module and the device’s frame. I am not only excited that Apple is addressing this design quirk, but the more rounded design looks fantastic. My insanely detailed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro will release first on the Front Page Tech YouTube channel.

iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro – close up comparison, iPhone 14 Pro is in front

iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro – showing a larger corner radius
iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro – showing the new display design with rounder corners

New Mac mini leaked by Apple in Studio Display code

The news: In the firmware for the newly introduced Studio Display, there are references to an unreleased Mac mini, according to developer Steve Troughton-Smith (not yet tracked).

Ian’s Take: I’m starting to think that both Kuo and Prosser are right about the Mac mini. It could be that the M2 Mac mini has the same form factor design, while the Mac mini “Pro” has the new design. That makes sense to me, but then I think about the recently released Mac Studio. Where does this “Pro” Mac mini sit in the lineup? Hopefully, we can clear this confusion as we near WWDC.

iPhone 14 Pro Max leaked in new CAD images with exact measurements

The leak: New images show detailed iPhone 14 Pro Max CADs along with measurements galore, as shared by leaker ShrimpApplePro (not yet tracked).

Ian’s Take: Now that many different CADs have been floating around showing this design, I am highly confident that this is the design that we will see in September. In addition to that, Sam and I are quite sure that these measurements are genuine and accurate: this source was the first to show off the pill shape design almost half a year ago.

iPhone 14 again rumored to NOT have under-display Touch ID as Face ID continues to improve

The rumor: The iPhone will not feature an under-display fingerprint scanner until at least 2025, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (72.5% accurate).

Ian’s Take: Every year, analysts say that under-display Touch ID is coming…but then always end up saying that it is happening in the following year. I would love for Touch ID to be reintroduced as I still have trouble unlocking my phone while wearing a mask, but we shouldn’t hold our breath, according to Kuo.

New video shows Mac Studio is upgradable (but Apple blocked it in software)

The news: Despite having a removable Solid-State Drive (SSD) and an extra slot, the Mac Studio is non-upgradable due to software locks, according to a new video from Luke Miani.

  • YouTuber Luke Miani decided to test whether or not the machine is actually upgradable through a series of comprehensive tests…
  • Miani took the wiped SSD from the second machine and inserted it in the open slot on the first machine, but the Mac’s status light blinked SOS and it wouldn’t boot up
  • He then swapped the SSDs between two Mac Studios and found again that neither would boot
  • In a disappointing move, it appears that Apple has locked user-upgradability in software (the device recognizes the SSD, but Apple stops it from booting)

Ian’s Take: After Apple’s announcement that they were going to allow users to repair their iPhones with genuine Apple parts, I had hoped that Apple would allow upgradeability. While I am disappointed in this move by Apple, it is certainly not without precedent. Apple currently solders the SSDs in all of their other computers with Apple silicon making upgradability impossible. In the Mac Studio, the SSD isn’t soldered and could be upgradable…but Apple has locked it in software.

This is a clear message to me that Apple doesn’t care about the right to repair. Hopefully, if Apple receives enough backlash, they will change this (it is, after all, only software). One can only hope that Apple’s upcoming Mac Pro is upgradable, or pro users will certainly not be happy.

Mac Studio has a removable SSD, despite what Apple tells you

The video: While not technically user-replaceable, in a surprising move, Mac Studio’s solid-state drive (SSD) is not soldered, according to YouTube channel Max Tech.

  • Taking apart the Mac Studio is a dangerous ordeal with an exposed power supply…but there is a removable SSD…a first for Apple Silicon
  • It was assumed that the SSD would be soldered, but instead it is a simple connection covered with tape (there is also an extra slot on the opposite side for future upgrades)
  • Apple says that the Mac Studio features non user-accessible storage, but it is very possible that authorized providers could offer upgrades in the future

Ian’s Take: While Apple didn’t go as far as making the SSD user-replaceable, this is a step in the right direction. When Apple first unveiled its plans for Apple silicon, many assumed that nothing would be user-replaceable and everything would be soldered. While that has been true for all Apple silicon Macs so far, even the Mac mini, the Mac Studio changes this. While this removable SSD does not tell us much about the Mac Studio, it could give us a peek at the upgradable future of a more modular Apple Silicon Mac.