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Here's what iPhone to buy at every price point - AppleInsider
Apple has more new iPhone options at nearly every reasonable price band than it has before. We outline which iPhones you should consider acquiring, whatever your price level happens to be.
Apple has more new iPhone options at nearly every reasonable price band than it has before. We outline which iPhones you should consider acquiring, whatever your price level happens to be. Over the years, Apple has been keen to offer consumers a wide selection of iPhones, and at an equally wide range of prices. With relatively few exceptions, there's practically an iPhone available at the majority of price points, from $399 at the lowest all the way up to $1,399. Of course, everyone has a different idea of how much they want to spend on an iPhone. Everyone who intends to buy an iPhone has a price in their head that they want to work around, or ideally below. We hope to make the choice of what iPhone to get easier, as regardless of how much you have available to spend, there's probably an iPhone that fits the bill for you. If you were to check out the prices of all iPhone models Apple has in its current range, it covers quite an array of price levels. With the exception of two $50 gaps, Apple has practically covered every single price point between $399 and $1,399. Apple has managed to do this because its current iPhone range as sold through the online Apple Store includes devices from multiple generations, from the two-year-old iPhone XR and year-old iPhone 11 to the latest models, the iPhone 12 range. To round out the value end of the spectrum, there's also the second-generation iPhone SE. This leaves consumers with a wide array of devices to choose from, which may seem bewildering until you consider that there's a wide range in price at play. The graph above shows the overall range of the current catalog, and it's clear to see that you could easily put together general price bands. If you break down the list to how much you want to spend, it only covers a few iPhone models at a time. Knowing how much you want to spend, the task becomes a case of working out which would be the best from a much smaller selection, without needing to consider the rest of the pricing spectrum. As the first graph shows, there's still some crossover in price. While this means you may be able to pick between multiple models of iPhone, the exact amount you want to spend will also help err you towards one model or another. A key element of this is storage, as Apple charges more for higher-capacity models. In some cases, this could mean a trade-off for users, namely having to decide between getting a lesser iPhone model with more storage capacity or to risk it for a higher-specification model with lower storage amounts. To be fair, this has become considerably less of an issue as time marches on. In the days when consumers would be highly swayed by storage capacity due to its scarcity, it's not really a problem anymore. Most of Apple's current range of iPhones start at 64GB of storage, which a few years ago would have been the upper-end of the capacity scale. In most use cases, 64GB will be enough for normal users. For power users who need that storage capacity, such as mobile gamers and those who work in fields such as videography, it becomes more of a concern, and that potential trade-off becomes a real issue. $550 or less - iPhone SE or iPhone XR The extreme value end of the range consists of two models: The iPhone SE and the iPhone XR. Unlike the rest of the categories, there's actually some hard decisions to make here, due to some considerable differences in features. The iPhone SE is the most intentionally-retro smartphone of the two, bearing a 4.7-inch Retina LCD screen with Touch ID. It's also the physically smallest out of the two, and can be acquired very cheaply at the lowest 64GB capacity for $399. Meanwhile, the iPhone XR is the cheapest iPhone sold that offers Face ID and the modern edge-to-edge design, giving it a typical 6.1-inch display and a higher resolution. Despite being the cheapest, the iPhone SE does have a better A13 Bionic chip than the A12 used in the iPhone XR, so performance-wise the iPhone SE is better. The cameras are also quite comparable, though the iPhone XR also adds the TrueDepth functionality into the mix. For storage, you're looking at paying out $449 for 128GB or $549 for 256GB on the iPhone SE, a considerable benefit over the $499 64GB iPhone XR or the $549 128GB model. Where storage is a priority, the 256GB on the iPhone SE seems to be the biggest advantage it has. Out of the two, the low-priced end is locked up by the iPhone SE. Nearing the top end of both ranges, it's the retro styling, small size, high capacity, and high performance of the iPhone SE against the more modern-looking and conventional iPhone XR. It depends on your priorities. $600 to $950 - iPhone 11, iPhone 12 mini, or iPhone 12 Heading to the mid-range devices, the decision becomes much easier to make, as price becomes a much easier element to factor into decisions. At the lower end, namely anything below $700, you're going to be looking at the iPhone 11 in either 64GB or 128GB capacities. There's not really much choice if you're leaning close toward $600 over $700, but the iPhone 12 mini does come into play at $699 itself. If you have $700 to spend, the choice again becomes about the performance and storage trade-off. For the iPhone 11, you're looking at 128GB of storage, an A13 Bionic chip, and an LCD-based 6.1-inch screen. Moving to the newer iPhone 12 mini would entail having a smaller screen at 5.4 inches, but one that is OLED-based that offers higher contrast and brightness levels, as well as a far higher screen resolution. That's not to mention the upgrade to an A14 Bionic chip and 5G support, among other smaller changes, but it would also mean half the storage of the iPhone 11 equivalent. Given the lower need to worry about storage capacity since you're starting at 64GB, the best option for $700 is to go for the iPhone 12 mini. At $800, you're going to also have to take into account the iPhone 12, which enters the fray with a 6.1-inch display and all of the capabilities of the iPhone 12 mini. Again, it's a trade-off for storage, as the iPhone 12 would be possible with 64GB of capacity, while the iPhone 12 mini could be bought with 128GB of storage. Once more, the best option at $800 would be the iPhone 12 mini, unless you feel the trade-off of losing 64GB of storage for a larger screen is worth it. As the price rises upwards to $849, the trade-off is less of a problem, as the iPhone 12 mini would have 256GB versus 128GB on the iPhone 12. If your bank balance can stretch to $949, the only iPhone available at that range is the iPhone 12 with 256GB. You could probably save a bit of money by going for the 128GB option then buying a case, but it depends on if you need that capacity. $1000 or more - iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max When you reach the upper echelons of the iPhone product range, namely when the price tag gains an extra digit and tips past $1,000, your choice effectively becomes limited to the Pro models. While the $949 iPhone 12 may offer 256GB of storage and seem like a decent prospect, the upgraded features of the iPhone 12 Pro for $50 more still makes it a much more attractive purchase, even with 128GB less storage. While it may have been a case of debating whether an extra telephoto lens was worth the upgrade to Pro level in the past, the extra LiDAR and other smaller improvements makes it a much tougher job to justify sticking with the iPhone 12. There's arguably more of a decision to make at $1,099, as it's either the 256GB iPhone 12 Pro or the 128GB iPhone 12 Pro Max, which effectively benefits from a larger screen and a better camera zoom. For people who care considerably about image quality, they will opt for the Pro Max over the extra storage, but most other users will probably fare better with the larger capacity. The next tough decision would be at $1,299, but with practically the same query: 512GB of storage on an iPhone 12 Pro or a 256GB iPhone 12 Pro Max with the same camera and bigger screen. At such high capacities, you're better off looking towards feature improvements, making the Pro Max a better buy. Capacity isn't everything Throughout this article, we've been taking the storage capacities of each of the models into account at the different price ranges, and in previous years it would have been a big factor in which model to recommend. However, as all models start with a perfectly adequate amount of storage at 64GB or 128GB, onboard storage isn't really a problem. Indeed, the growth of cloud storage services such as iCloud, as well as the relative ease of gaining Internet connectivity over Wi-Fi or cellular at adequate speeds to do such storage justice makes them decent overflow options for when users need a bit more room. There's still some cases where people would prefer having more onboard storage, but they are generally the exception to the rule. Apple's move to add more storage to all models over time has lessened the grip of storage, so it's not really a factor anymore. Features and capabilities are what you really should be looking at when buying a phone, not if you can squeeze a few more photos onboard that could easily be uploaded to the cloud. The bottom line is that, in most cases, you should go for the newer model in the range. The benefits of the technological upgrades now outweigh storage bumps by a considerable measure, and unless you have a very good reason to steer clear, you should err towards specification improvements where you can. All of the pricing above is based on buying an iPhone outright, but it isn't the full story. The cost of an upgrade can be paid in different ways, which can further influence how much money you have to play with. For example, there are many trade-in programs available that will take your old iPhone or other mobile devices and offer a sum that could be put towards the cost of a new iPhone, allowing you to go for an even better model, one with more storage, or even just to save money on your purchase. If immediacy of funds is the problem, there's also programs that can allow you to upgrade while paying in installments. In the United States, it is possible to sign up for Apple Card and to pay for a selection of Apple products each month as part of your Apple Card balance. Apple also operates the iPhone Upgrade Program, that will provide new models of iPhone to its subscribers for a monthly fee, complete with AppleCare+. After 12 months, subscribers are eligible to upgrade to the newest iPhone model, if they trade in their current iPhone and start a new plan.
Apple iPhone 12 models use Qualcomm's 5G X55 modem - AppleInsider
Apple's new 5G-equipped iPhone 12 models appear to sport Qualcomm's Snapdragon X55 modem, according to early teardowns of the devices.
Apple's new 5G-equipped iPhone 12 models appear to sport Qualcomm's Snapdragon X55 modem, according to early teardowns of the devices. Although the iPhone 12 doesn't officially start arriving on customer doorsteps until Oct. 23, teardown videos and internal photos of the new models have surface on Chinese social media. One particular clip posted to Weibo appears to show an L-shaped iPhone logic board equipped with the Qualcomm 5G modem. Although the video doesn't show the iPhone being torn down, the logic boards appear identical to those seen in other confirmed teardowns. That lines up with predictions that Apple would use the second-generation Qualcomm 5G chip in its 2020 iPhone devices. Although Qualcomm has a newer X60 chip available, that product debuted too late to be included in Apple's iPhone 12 lineup. All four iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models support both sub-6GHz 5G and mmWave in the U.S., with models in other countries supporting only low-band 5G connectivity. Apple settled a long-running legal dispute with Qualcomm to gain access to its 5G chip technology in 2019. Although Apple opted for Intel chips in the iPhone 11 lineup, it became clear that Intel wasn't going to be able to deliver 5G chips. Next year's "iPhone 13" models are likely to come equipped with the X60 modems, however. That'll bring significant improvements to battery performance, chip size, and connectivity. Apple, for its part, has already signaled that it plans to use upcoming Qualcomm chips in future iPhones until at least 2024. That's according to text within the Apple and Qualcomm settlement filing that specifically mentions the as-of-yet unannounced X65 and X70 modems.
Accessibility has been a core value at Apple from the start, executive says - AppleInsider
On the 30th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), Apple's global accessibility director detailed how accessibility has long been a core value at the company.
On the 30th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), Apple's global accessibility director detailed how accessibility has long been a core value at the company. The ADA became effective on July 26, 1990, paving the way for three decades of changes to the way systems and businesses accommodate those with disabilities. As illustrated by Sarah Herrlinger, Apple's director of Global Accessibility Policy, the Cupertino tech giant has believed that accessibility is a human right "from the beginning." "It's fundamentally about culture," Herrlinger toldTechCrunch, adding that "this core value is still evident in everything we design today." That message has long been used by Apple to promote a growing list of accessibility features, many of which have been implemented on its most popular consumer device: the iPhone. That includes VoiceOver, which can aid those with vision impairments navigate iOS — as noted by Twitter user Kristy Viers. "Over time iPhone has become the most powerful and popular assistive device ever. It broke the mold of previous thinking because it showed accessibility could in fact be seamlessly built into a device that all people can use universally," Herrlinger said. When asked about where the tech industry could grow as far as accessibility, Herrlinger said that representation and inclusion are "critical." "We believe in the mantra of many within disability communities: 'Nothing about us without us.' We started a dedicated accessibility team in 1985, but like all things on inclusion — accessibility should be everyone's job at Apple," she said.
Apple advises against MacBook camera covers due to display cracking - AppleInsider
Apple, in a new support document, is warning users against closing their MacBook lids with a cover over the camera.
Apple, in a new support document, is warning users against closing their MacBook lids with a cover over the camera. Placing a cover, sticker or tape over a laptop camera is a practice adopted by some privacy- and security-conscious individuals to protect against webcam hijacking. Now, however, Apple is explicitly advising against the tactic. In a support document published earlier in July, Apple urges users not to close their MacBook Pro or MacBook Air lids if there's a camera cover installed on it. "If you close your Mac notebook with a camera cover installed, you might damage your display because the clearance between the display and keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances," Apple notes. The support document also outlines some of the privacy and security functions of the camera, including the green indicator light that lets users know when the camera is active and the camera permission settings introduced in macOS Mojave. Although the green indicator light is a security measure, there have been instances in the past when vulnerabilities may have allowed attackers tohijack a MacBook's camera. If users must apply some type of camera covering for work purposes, Apple advises using a cover no thicker than an average piece of printer paper that won't leave any residue. The support document was likely published in response to user complaints about display cracking. Some reports on Reddit and other social platforms suggest that webcam covers can cause costly display cracking, particularly on the 16-inch MacBook Pro since it has thinner bezels.
Apple's Federighi answers developer's questions on Siri, Apple Silicon, and more - AppleInsider
Apple SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi has appeared on Marques Brownlee's podcast, answering questions that developers have raised since the WWDC keynote.
Apple SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi has appeared on Marques Brownlee's podcast, answering questions that developers have raised since the WWDC keynote. After his and Apple marketing vice president Greg Joswiak talked on video, Craig Federighi has now also appeared on Marques Brownlee's Waveform podcast. He was questioned about Apple's thinking over the technologies announced at WWDC, and also pressed on criticisms that developers have had since then. One of those concerned the new visual form of Siri, which no longer covers the entire screen — but which does prevent you from interacting with what else is on that display at the time. Federighi says that's intentional. "We tried it both ways," he said. "Internally, we had prototypes running, where you would scroll behind the Siri answers as you brought them up. And initially we thought that was going to be really great, so we implemented it that way and then what we found was that for most of the interactions we were having with Siri, that then created this kind of extra heaviness to it." "Because if you just say, wanted to check the weather, or look up a piece of information, and then you were ready to move on, your scroll gesture wasn't gonna move on," he continued. "The Siri result was going to stick around there so you always have this additional step of dismissing the result." "We'll continue to listen to what people say through beta period because, like I say, we've actually had it working both ways," he said. "But our feeling was that we wanted to achieve a great lightness, not just visually but in terms of you could dip into Siri get an answer and move on quickly without any kind of overhead." Federighi also addressed the question of why Apple was now allowing the default Mail and browser apps to be changed by the user, but nothing else, no other apps. He said that the choice for now was deliberate, but that didn't mean it won't change. "We know how platforms can sort of descend into chaos," he said, "and particularly when apps that you know might honestly not even be browsers... decide they're going to be a browser. And then [they] try to redirect you to a different tract ad experience when you click on something... or who knows what." "And so we are very careful about making sure that that experience that we don't have people misled," he continued, "or have their device gets configured into a place where boy they just don't even like like using their phone anymore because it's gotten so locked up. So we proceed cautiously on these things for sure." Apple has been criticized before for saying that developers can just use a tickbox and have their apps convert to a new platform or some new system. So Brownlee pressed Federighi on just how true it can be that developers will find converting to Apple Silicon easy. "We feel really great about how the transition is already starting and how it will go," started Federighi. "Most applications out there have really modernized over the years to use our latest developer tools, to be 64 bit clean, [and] to use our modern set of frameworks and it turns out that that means moving to Apple Silicon in some cases is literally recompiling." "We've seen many examples of that," he continued. "More sophisticated apps like Microsoft Office and Adobe Suite, some of these apps have decades of engineering, you know, hundreds and hundreds of people working for decades creating code and sometimes having dependencies on different libraries and so forth and those are bigger projects." "But I think the amazing thing that I hope everyone can take away from the presentation was that those apps, [Office and Adobe], have been completely brought over," he said. "And it wasn't like [Microsoft or Adobe] had to mobilize the entire engineering team," he continued. "This was incredibly secret, and so we said, could you give us a person or two and let's get those apps up and running. " "We [did] it in a relatively short period of time and those are some of the hardest apps you could imagine bringing over," he said. The full 90-minute podcast can be heard here, and includes much more about Federighi's take on WWDC, and especially the exceptional video keynote.
Rosetta lacks support for x86 machine virtualization apps, Boot Camp not an option on Apple silicon - AppleInsider
Mac users who rely on Windows virtualization software might be left in the lurch when Apple transitions to its own custom ARM processors later this year, as the company's Rosetta Intel-to-ARM translator does not support virtual machine apps.
Mac users who rely on Windows virtualization software might be left in the lurch when Apple transitions to its own custom ARM processors later this year, as the company's Rosetta Intel-to-ARM translator does not support virtual machine apps. Apple outlined Rosetta's — technically Rosetta 2's — limitations in a developer document posted to its website this week, noting that while it can translate "most" Intel-based apps, it is unable to do the same for virtual machine apps that virtualize x86_64 computer platforms. Popular x86_64 virtualization apps include products from Parallels and VMWare that virtualize Windows environments. Rosetta is also unable to translate kernel extensions. Unveiled during Monday's WWDC keynote, Rosetta is a key feature that will help Apple and developers transition from Intel-based Macs to hardware running ARM-based chips. The software layer translates apps that contain x86_64 instructions for Apple silicon, which uses an arm64 instruction set. Rolling out the feature now gives developers time to create a universal binary for their apps, but as Apple notes, Rosetta can run slow and is not a substitute for native apps. In addition to Rosetta's x86 restrictions, Boot Camp will no longer be available for use on Macs powered by Apple silicon. For now, the macOS utility that enabled booting of both Windows and Mac operating systems, will remain in macOS Big Sur as an Intel-only feature. ARM Macs will not be able to access the feature and the company has not announced a replacement. The transition to Apple silicon is expected to take about two years. Whether virtualization companies are working on a solution for ARM chips remains unknown, though VMWare on Tuesday said a Big Sur-compatible "tech preview" of Fusion will arrive in July. Apple this week opened the Universal App Quick Start Program to get Developer Transition Kits in developer hands. The kits, which include a Mac mini running an A12Z Bionic SoC, will allow developers to build and test their wares prior to the release of the first ARM Macs later this year.
'Nearby Interactions' framework gives developers access to the U1 chip - AppleInsider
Apple is introducing a new framework that will allow developers to take advantage of the U1 Ultra Wideband chip introduced in 2019 iPhones.
Apple is introducing a new framework that will allow developers to take advantage of the U1 Ultra Wideband chip introduced in 2019 iPhones. First introduced on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro in 2019, the U1 is a specialized chip that uses Ultra Wideband technology to grant iPhone spatial awareness and precise short-range location tracking. However, since its release, it's only been used for an AirDrop prioritization feature. That could change in iOS 14, as Apple is introducing a new "Nearby Interaction" developer framework that will pave the way for apps to leverage the UWB technology in iPhones that have a U1. The framework allows for apps on a U1-equipped iPhone to share relative direction and distance with other U1 devices, according to developer documentation. Apple even gives some examples of how the framework can be used, including an augmented reality experience that virtualizes a water balloon fight or a ride-share app that allows a driver and passenger to find each much more easily. There do appear to be some limitations with UWB in its current iteration. Apple notes, for example, that two devices must be in Portrait orientation for the feature to work properly. Obstacles like walls or people can also interfere with UWB. Like other communications protocols on Apple hardware, users will need to explicitly grant permission for an app to access UWB data. Although not confirmed, Apple's UWB chips are expected to play a role in the company's rumored "AirTags" tracking device. With UWB, "AirTags" could be used to much more accurately to find missing items in the Find My app. It's worth noting that while the entire 2019 iPhone lineup sports a U1 chip, new iPad Pro and iPhone SE devices from 2020 do not. "Nearby Interaction" is available within the Simulator tool for developers to test out in the newly released Xcode 12.
Suppliers readying for small-volume production of 'Apple Glass' in 2021 - AppleInsider
Sources within Apple's supply chain are corroborating rumors that the company's rumored "Apple Glass" augmented reality glasses will launch in 2021, with initial production to kick off in the first half of the year.
Sources within Apple's supply chain are corroborating rumors that the company's rumored "Apple Glass" augmented reality glasses will launch in 2021, with initial production to kick off in the first half of the year. On Tuesday, leaker Jon Prosser released a slew of details about the so-called "Apple Glass" device, including the moniker, price and potential release date. Now, sources at relevant suppliers toldDigiTimes that they're expecting Apple to roll out "Apple Glass" in 2021. Apple's supply chain partners are reportedly "gearing up" to start small-volume production in the first half of 2021, according to a paywalled preview of a report due to be published Friday. "Apple Glass" is expected to start at $499, though prescription lenses will increase that cost. Per Prosser's leak, it appears that the device will rely on a connected iPhone for much of its functionality, similar to an Apple Watch. The head-worn accessory won't feature any cameras, but could sport a LiDAR sensor that will allow 3D depth-mapping and displaying of contextual information. Prosser suggests that it could also allow some degree of hand gesture controls. A charging station will provide power wirelessly, and the actual chassis — which will be lightweight — of the glasses will be either plastic or metal. It's likely that "Apple Glass" will also take full advantage of Apple's existing ARKit framework. As far as a release date, Prosser suggested that Apple's original plan was to debut the device in September 2020. Coronavirus social distancing restrictions have likely pushed that date back to a March 2021 event. Thursday's DigiTimes report repeats that 2021 release timeline, and further suggests that the actual launch could be later in the year. DigiTimes has a good track record as a supply chain monitor, but has an incredibly poor success rate on predicting product features. While Thursday's report is more the former than the latter, it isn't clear if the publication is parroting Prosser's timeline, or if it has independently sourced the information. Previously, well-respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecast that the glasses would debut in 2022 because of their complexity. Prosser disagreed with that estimate.