Apple this week added dedicated "Tech Specs" pages to its website for the Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2, and second-generation Apple Watch SE.

Apple Watch Series 9
The pages offer a variety of information about the latest Apple Watch models, including details about materials and finishes, size and weight, hardware, connectivity, battery life, health and wellness features, safety features, accessibility features, and more.

The pages complement the previously-existing Apple Watch comparison tool.

There is not much else to say about the pages, other than "finally."

Related Forum: Apple Watch

Apple is currently offering its corporate and retail employees 40% off select Link Bracelet and Milanese Loop bands for the Apple Watch.

8 Old Link Bracelets
In the U.S., the Link Bracelet is available for $209 on Apple's online store for employees, down from $349 regularly. The Milanese Loop is available for $59, down from $99. Both bands were introduced alongside the original Apple Watch in 2015.

Apple is also offering employees 50% off various Black Unity and Pride Edition bands, as well as the Sport Band in the Midnight color only.

Apple offers employees special discounts on a rotating selection of products, so it is unclear whether this is another routine sale, or if the company plans to discontinue the Link Bracelet and Milanese Loop in the future and is clearing inventory.

It has been rumored that at least one next-generation Apple Watch model will not be compatible with existing Apple Watch bands. The new Apple Watch lineup is expected to be announced in September alongside the iPhone 16 series.

OWC has discounted the popular 14-Port Thunderbolt 3 Dock down to $99.99, from its original price of $279.99. This is a match of the all-time low price on the accessory, which is set to expire on Monday, April 1. Besides this dock, you'll find a large collection of accessories on sale at this time on OWC, including USB-C hubs, external drives and enclosures, and internal memory upgrade kits for Mac.

owc docksNote: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with OWC. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

In regards to the 14-Port Thunderbolt 3 Dock, this accessory features two Thunderbolt 3 ports, five USB Type-A ports, one USB Type-C port, one Mini DisplayPort port, one gigabit Ethernet port, one S/PDIF digital audio output port, and one 3.5mm stereo audio input/output port. There are also two memory card slots for microSD and SD cards.

All of the devices listed below are in new condition at OWC, although the retailer does provide various item condition options for anyone who might want to save money by purchasing open box items. Be sure to visit OWC's sale landing page to browse the full sale, which also features deals on cables, Mac accessories, keyboards, and headphones.

Docks and Hubs

External Drives and Enclosures



Keep up with all of this week's best discounts on Apple products and related accessories in our dedicated Apple Deals roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple's WWDC 2024 dates have been announced, giving us timing for the unveiling of the company's next round of major operating system updates and likely some other announcements.

top stories 30mar2024
This week also saw some disappointing news on the iPad front, with update timing for the iPad Pro and iPad Air pushed back from previous rumors. We did hear some new tidbits about what might be coming in iOS 18 and related updates, while Apple released a much-needed macOS 14.4.1 update to squash some bugs, so read on below for all the details on these stories and more!

Apple Announces WWDC 2024 Event for June 10 to 14

The most wonderful time of the year for Apple developers and enthusiasts is just a few months away.

wwdc 2024 main image
Apple this week announced that its annual developers conference WWDC will be held from Monday, June 10, through Friday, June 14, this year. As has been the case since 2020, the conference will be held online, but selected developers and students will be able to attend a special one-day in-person experience at Apple Park.

During the WWDC opening keynote, Apple is expected to announce its latest software updates, including iOS 18, which is expected to include new generative AI features. While the conference is focused on software, there are also sometimes hardware-related announcements.

Apple to Launch New iPad Pro and iPad Air Models in May

New iPads in March? Nope. April? Also nope, seemingly.

iPad Pro OLED Feature 2
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman this week reported that Apple plans to announce new iPad Pro and iPad Air models in May. He said that production of the devices is ramping up at Apple's factories overseas.

Software and advanced OLED display-related manufacturing techniques are contributing factors to the new iPads taking longer than expected to launch, according to Gurman.

Sources: iOS 18 Lets Apps Be Placed Anywhere on Home Screen Grid

With iOS 18, the iPhone is expected to gain a more customizable Home Screen.

iPhone Home Screen Gradient Blank Spaces 1
For example, iPhone users will be able to place app icons anywhere on the Home Screen grid, according to sources familiar with development of the update. This option has long been available on Android.

This change means that users will finally be able to create blank spaces, columns, and rows between app icons on the Home Screen, according to our sources. Additional customization options are likely.

New Apple Pencil With Vision Pro Support in Testing Ahead of visionOS 2

While the Apple Pencil is currently compatible with iPads only, a future version of the accessory may work with Apple's Vision Pro headset.

Apple Vision Pro and Apple Pencil Feature
Apple has internally tested a new Apple Pencil with visionOS support, according to a source familiar with the matter. If it ends up being released, it would be possible to use this Apple Pencil with drawing apps on the Vision Pro, such as Freeform and Pixelmator.

Apple Releases macOS Sonoma 14.4.1 With Much-Needed Bug Fixes

macOS 14.4 introduced several bugs on the Mac related to USB hubs, Java, audio unit plug-ins, and more. Thankfully, Apple has fixed these issues in the macOS 14.4.1 update released this week.

sonoma desktop wwdc
Make sure to update your Mac now, as the update also includes some security fixes.

In other software news, Apple has still yet to release the first beta of iOS 17.5 for the iPhone as of writing. That update is expected to introduce Web Distribution for apps in the EU, and potentially other changes.

M3 Max Chip Has Hidden Change That Could Affect Future 'M3 Ultra' Chip

Apple's M3 Ultra chip may be designed as its own, standalone chip, rather than be made up of two M3 Max dies. However, this is just an educated guess for now rather than a concrete rumor.

M3 Max Chip
It has been discovered that the M3 Max chip no longer features an "UltraFusion interconnect," suggesting that the as-yet-unreleased M3 Ultra chip will not be able to comprise two M3 Max chips in a single package. This means that the M3 Ultra is likely to be a standalone chip, a first for the Ultra chip.

MacRumors Newsletter

Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

So if you want to have top stories like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter!

The iPhone 15 offers "lots of storage for lots of photos," or at least that's what Apple boasts in its latest ad. Whether that rings true for you depends on what you do with your iPhone, and which storage option you choose. But before you open your wallet, here are some things to consider.

iPhone 12 128GB Feature
The entry-level storage tier for the iPhone 15 is 128GB. That's a notable increase from the 64GB baseline that persisted until the iPhone 13 in 2021. When you consider that 2018's iPhone X came with as little as 64GB, the base storage option for Apple's latest device might even begin to sound generous.

However, this generational upward shift simply reflects the growing demand for more storage space as our digital habits broaden to encompass everything from high-resolution photography and multi-gigabyte triple-A games to extensive app libraries.

With the iPhone 15's camera capabilities now including 48-megapixel photos and 4K video recording, the space required for these high-resolution files is substantial. These advancements undoubtedly enhance the quality of content captured, but they also eat up local storage capacity, rendering what once seemed like ample space insufficient for the needs of many users.

iCloud to the Rescue?

icloud plus storage tiers

Apple's iCloud service presents a solution to device storage limitations, offering a range of plans that extend beyond the meager 5GB of free storage – which, frankly, is insufficient for most users. Apple's paid ‌iCloud‌+ storage subscription plans offer 50GB, 200GB, and 2TB. All ‌the plans include additional features like ‌iCloud‌ Private Relay, Hide My Email, and Custom Email Domains. Currently, subscribers pay $0.99 per month for 50GB of cloud storage, $2.99 per month for 200GB, and $9.99 per month for 2 TB.

Recently, Apple also added options for 6TB and 12TB of storage, addressing the needs of users with extensive storage requirements. However, these come at a cost, both financially and in terms of the reliance on an internet connection for access to your files. The 6TB ‌iCloud‌+ plan is priced at $29.99 per month and the 12TB plan costs $59.99 per month. (For comparison, Google's 5TB and 10TB cloud storage plans cost $24.99 and $49.99 per month.)

iPhone Storage vs. iCloud

While the standard iPhone 15 models and the iPhone 15 Pro models start with 128GB of storage, Apple offers 256GB and 512GB upgrade options, with an additional 1TB option for the iPhone 15 Pro. (The iPhone 15 Pro Max models start with double the storage at 256GB, with 512GB and 1TB available when upgrading.)

By offering a maximum capacity of 1TB for the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple is catering to users who prioritize having vast amounts of storage directly on their device. However, this option costs $1,499, which is $700 more expensive than the base model. Therefore it's worth thinking about whether opting for a lower capacity model and supplementing it with additional iCloud storage might be a more economical and practical choice. For example, five years of 2TB iCloud storage would cost $500 – that's $200 cheaper than a 1TB iPhone 15, and could well outlast the lifetime of your device.

Whatever your decision, it will depend on your usage patterns and the value you place on having immediate, offline access to your files versus the flexibility and potential cost savings of cloud storage.

The Future of iPhone Storage

Given the current trajectory, it seems only reasonable that Apple increases the starting capacity of all its iPhone models to 256GB in future generations. Hopefully it also reassesses the paltry 5GB of free iCloud storage it offers – a more generous allocation that reflects the reality of modern digital consumption patterns is surely overdue.

When WWDC 2024 takes place in June, Apple will unveil the next-generation version of macOS, macOS 15. While most of what we've heard about upcoming software has been focused on iOS, macOS and iOS often share many features, so we have some idea of what's coming to macOS as well.

macOS 15 Feature

AI Features

Apple is working to add a number of AI-centric features to its operating system updates, many of which are likely to be cross-platform.

  • AI-generated Apple Music playlists.
  • AI-assisted writing in Pages.
  • AI-assisted slide deck creation in Keynote.
  • AI code writing features in Xcode.
  • Siri improvements and deeper integration with Shortcuts.

‌Siri‌ could benefit the most from AI improvements, and there are rumors suggesting the personal assistant will be better at natural conversation and user personalization, with the new functionality set to be available cross-device.

Apple is specifically working on improved interaction between ‌Siri‌ and the Messages app, so ‌Siri‌ will be able to do things like auto-complete sentences more effectively and follow multi-part, complex commands.

Deeper integration with the Shortcuts app could allow users to automate complex tasks that involve multiple apps.

There is a slim possibility there might be some kind of chatbot based on generative AI, as rumors suggest that Apple is considering partnering with Google or OpenAI to use their large language models, but Apple may also just be planning to use generative AI for system features.

Other New Additions

There are several other features that are rumored to be coming to ‌macOS 15‌.

  • Accessibility - Apple is working on an Adaptive Voice Shortcuts feature for creating a custom phrase and linking an accessibility setting to it, plus there will be an option for organizing Live Speech into user-created categories.
  • Freeform - A Scenes feature will let users select specific sections or Scenes within their boards for faster navigation and sharing.
  • Maps - The Maps app may gain support for creating custom routes, and it may also be upgraded with topographic maps.


Since 2013, Apple has been using California landmark names for the Mac operating system, and there's no sign that's going to change. Apple has trademarked several names over the last decade, and some of the possibilities that have yet to be used include Redwood, Grizzly, Sequoia, Mammoth, Pacific, Rincon, Farallon, Miramar, Condor, Diablo, and Shasta.

Apple could go with a non-trademarked name, and it has done so several times in the past.

These are the names that Apple has used since it started naming macOS after California landmarks:

  • Mavericks
  • Yosemite
  • El Capitan
  • Sierra
  • High Sierra
  • Mojave
  • Catalina
  • Big Sur
  • Monterey
  • Ventura
  • Sonoma

Release Date

‌macOS 15‌ will be previewed at the ‌WWDC 2024‌ keynote on Monday, June 10. The first beta will be provided to developers that same day, and a public beta will likely follow in the summer.

‌macOS 15‌ will then see a public launch sometime in the fall, either in September or October based on past launch timelines.

Read More

For more on what to expect in ‌macOS 15‌, check out our ‌macOS 15‌ roundup, which we will keep up to date both before and after WWDC.

Related Roundup: macOS 15

With iOS software releases, it is typical for Apple to be constantly iterating. When a new version of iOS comes out, a new iOS beta almost always follows the day after. iOS 17.4 was released on Tuesday, March 5, and no iOS 17.5 beta followed as is typical. So when might Apple provide the first iOS 17.5 beta?

iOS 17
It's now been more than three weeks since the launch of iOS 17.4, and pauses like this are unusual, but not unheard of. Sometimes there are droughts because of major features, or holidays, and in this case, it could be both.

Apple is still navigating the app ecosystem changes that were introduced in iOS 17.4, and there are tweaks coming. Apple planned to allow third-party apps to be downloaded only from alternative app marketplaces, but now alternative apps will be provided directly from websites too. The option to download an app from a website has not been introduced as of yet, and it is an unexpected change, so it likely requires some behind the scenes work. There are also other potential changes that Apple must make in the EU as the European Commission investigates its compliance, another factor that may be eating up resources.

This weekend marks the Easter holiday, and holidays can sometimes cause betas to be pushed back too.

When considering these factors, it makes some sense that we haven't yet had an iOS 17.5 beta. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said on Thursday that Apple's "beta 1 development finishes next week," which suggests that we could see a beta release next week or the week after.

Here are the wait times between .4 public releases and .5 first developer betas from prior years:

  • iOS 13 - 7 days
  • iOS 14 - 6 days
  • iOS 15 - 22 days
  • iOS 16 - 1 day

If iOS 17.5 is released on April 2, it will be 28 days between the prior release and the beta software, and if it comes a week after that, it will have been 35 days.

After the beta does go out, we'll likely see a release sometime during the month of May. Prior .5 public releases have happened on May 18, May 16, April 26, and May 20.

Related Roundups: iOS 17, iPadOS 17
Related Forums: iOS 17, iPadOS 17

Thieves in Montreal, Canada have been using Apple's AirTags to facilitate vehicle theft, according to a report from Vermont news sites WCAX and NBC5 (via 9to5Mac). Police officers in Burlington, Vermont have issued a warning about AirTags for drivers who recently visited Canada.

airtag new orange
Two Burlington residents found Apple AirTags in their vehicles after returning from trips to Montreal, and these are not the first reports that officers have encountered. One man, Ethan Yang, said he was coming from Montreal after visiting family, and he was alerted that there was an AirTag traveling with him. He was able to use his phone to make the ‌AirTag‌ beep, and he was able to locate the device, which had been placed in the front grille of the vehicle.

Ryan McLiverty, a cyber analyst at the Vermont Intelligence Center, said that while these incidents have been happening for some time, there has been a new spike in activity. Criminals in Montreal are using AirTags to track cars, steal them, and then sell them abroad. There's also a possibility that the AirTags are being used to tag cars as part of an effort to move drugs across the border.

Travelers who are concerned about being tracked via an ‌AirTag‌ should know that there are built-in safety features. An ‌AirTag‌ will send an alert if it is not within distance of the person that owns it, and this alert will show up on iPhones. Android phones are also able to detect unknown Bluetooth trackers, including AirTags, plus Apple has a Tracker Detect app that scans for them.

On this week's episode of The MacRumors Show, we discuss all of the rumors surrounding WWDC 2024 and iOS 18.

Earlier this week, Apple announced that its 2024 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will take place between June 10 and June 14. The event is almost certain to see the introduction of ‌iOS 18‌ and all of Apple's other major upcoming software updates.

‌iOS 18‌ is expected to focus on artificial intelligence features, likely powered by Google's Gemini. New AI capabilities are rumored to come to Siri, Messages, Shortcuts, Spotlight, Health, Apple Music, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, but the company is expected to stop short of offering a full-fledged AI chatbot.

Beyond AI, ‌iOS 18‌ will reportedly bring more flexible Home Screen customization, custom routes and topographic maps in the Maps app, "scenes" in the Freeform app, RCS support, new accessibility features such as a hearing aid mode for the AirPods Pro, and potentially a slight redesign inspired by visionOS.

The MacRumors Show is now on its own YouTube channel, so make sure you're subscribed to keep up with new episodes and clips going forward:

You can also listen to ‌The MacRumors Show‌ on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, or your preferred podcasts app. You can also copy our RSS feed directly into your podcast player.

If you haven't already listened to the previous episode of The MacRumors Show, catch up for our discussion about Apple's rumored plan to refresh the entire AirPods lineup with a series of new models.

Subscribe to ‌The MacRumors Show‌ for new episodes every week, where we discuss some of the topical news breaking here on MacRumors, often joined by interesting guests such as Brian Tong, Quinn Nelson, Kevin Nether, Jared Nelson, Eli Hodapp, Luke Miani, Mike Bell, Sara Dietschy, iJustine, Jon Rettinger, Andru Edwards, Arnold Kim, Ben Sullins, Marcus Kane, Christopher Lawley, Frank McShan, David Lewis, Tyler Stalman, Jon Prosser, Sam Kohl, John Gruber, Federico Viticci, Thomas Frank, Jonathan Morrison, Ross Young, Ian Zelbo, and Rene Ritchie.

‌The MacRumors Show‌ is on X @MacRumorsShow, so be sure to give us a follow to keep up with the podcast. You can also head over to The MacRumors Show forum thread to engage with us directly. Remember to rate and review the podcast, and let us know what subjects and guests you would like to see in the future.

The first ever discount on Apple Vision Pro headlines this week's best Apple deals, and it's still available at Woot. You'll also find great discounts on the new M3 MacBook Air models, second generation Apple Watch SE, and an all-time low price on the AirTag 4-Pack.

best apple deals orangeNote: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Apple Vision Pro

apple vision pro orange

  • What's the deal? Get $200 off Apple Vision Pro
  • Where can I get it? Woot
  • Where can I find the original deal? Right here

The most notable deal of the week came from Woot, which still has the first discount that we've ever seen on Apple Vision Pro. Woot offers small and medium sizes for the solo knit band and dual loop band, as well as the 21W light seal. The headset is in new condition and comes with a one year Apple Manufacturer Limited Warranty.

MacBook Pro

m3 macbook pro orange

  • What's the deal? Get $300 off 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro
  • Where can I get it? Amazon

Amazon has a new record low discount on Apple's 14-inch 1TB M3 MacBook Pro, available for $1,499.00, down from $1,799.00. This is a massive $300 markdown on the computer, and the best price that we've ever tracked on this 8GB RAM/1TB model.

MacBook Air

m3 macbook air orange

  • What's the deal? Get up to $125 off 13-inch and 15-inch M3 MacBook Air
  • Where can I get it? Amazon
  • Where can I find the original deal? Right here

We saw Apple's 13-inch and 15-inch M3 MacBook Air hit multiple new all-time low prices this week, and they're all still available on Amazon. Prices start as low as $999.00 for the 256GB 13-inch M3 MacBook Air, and for 15-inch models this sale has expanded since we originally posted, now including two 512GB models.

Apple Watch SE

apple watch se orange

  • What's the deal? Get $60 off Apple Watch SE
  • Where can I get it? Amazon
  • Where can I find the original deal? Right here

Next, the Apple Watch SE hit second-best prices at Amazon this week, available for $60 off both the 40mm and 44mm GPS models. Compared to previous sales, these are just $10 higher than all-time low prices, so they're still great deals for anyone shopping for a cheaper Apple Watch this Spring.


airtag orange 2

  • What's the deal? Get $24 off the AirTag 4-Pack
  • Where can I get it? Amazon
  • Where can I find the original deal? Right here

Finally, Amazon has a record low price on the AirTag 4-Pack this week, available for $74.99, down from $99.00. This is one of the only times we've tracked the AirTag 4-Pack at this low price in 2024, so we definitely recommend purchasing if you've been waiting for a great deal.

If you're on the hunt for more discounts, be sure to visit our Apple Deals roundup where we recap the best Apple-related bargains of the past week.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

In November, Apple announced that the iPhone would support the cross-platform messaging standard RCS (Rich Communication Services) in the Messages app starting "later" in 2024, and Google has now revealed a more narrow timeframe.

General Apps Messages
In a since-deleted section of the revamped Google Messages web page, spotted by 9to5Google, Google said that Apple would be adopting RCS on the iPhone in the "fall of 2024." This timeframe suggests that RCS support will be added to the iPhone with iOS 18, which should be available in beta in June and released in September. At the latest, support should be added in iOS 18.1, which is likely to be released in October.

Google RCS iOS Late 2024
RCS support should result in the following improvements in the Messages app for conversations between iPhones and Android smartphones:

  • Higher-resolution photos and videos
  • Audio messages
  • Typing indicators
  • Read receipts
  • Wi-Fi messaging
  • Improved group chats, including the ability for iPhone users to leave a conversation that includes Android users

These modern features are already available for iMessage, and in many third-party messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Telegram. RCS support on the iPhone will extend the features to green bubbles in the Messages app.

A $3 third-party app can now record spatial video on iPhone 15 Pro models in a higher resolution than Apple's very own Camera app.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro spatial video capture lifestyle
Thanks to an update first spotted by UploadVR, Spatialify can now record spatial videos with HDR in 1080p at 60fps or in 4K at 30fps. In comparison, Apple's native Camera app is limited to recording spatial video in 1080p at 30fps.

Shortly after Apple's Vision Pro headset launched in February in the United States, Apple released iOS 17.2, which brought the new spatial video recording format to iPhone 15 Pro models.

When viewed on iPhone, spatial videos appear as normal videos, but viewed on Vision Pro they provide an immersive viewing experience on Vision Pro that is almost three-dimensional.

Combined with advanced computational videography techniques and HEVC compression, spatial videos filmed at 30fps in 1080p take up around 130MB of storage space for one minute of video, so bear that in mind when shooting using Spatialify's higher resolution options, which will take up substantially more storage.

Spatialify first made headlines back in November, before Apple Vision Pro had been launched, when a TestFlight version of the app became available. This allowed iPhone 15 Pro users running the iOS 17.2 beta to record spatial video in a format that could be played back on Meta Quest 3 and other 3D headsets and TVs.

Spatialify is available to download on the App Store. The app costs $3 and requires an iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max to shoot spatial video.

Related Roundup: iPhone 15 Pro

Photos of the first iPhone 16 cases have been shared online, offering another preview of the rumored new vertical rear camera arrangement on the standard iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus.

iphone 16 cases sonny dickson 1

Image credit: Accessory leaker Sonny Dickson

Over the last few months, Apple has been experimenting with different camera bump designs for the standard iPhone 16 models, all of which have featured a vertical camera arrangement.

The latest prototype features the same arrangement with two separate camera rings for the Wide and Ultra Wide cameras, housed within a pill-shaped raised surface, suggesting Apple has drawn inspiration from older iPhone models, such as the ‌iPhone‌ X. The microphone sits next to the lenses, while the camera flash is located on the back of the device outside of the bump.

With the vertical camera layout, Apple is expected to bring spatial video recording to the standard ‌iPhone 16‌ and ‌iPhone 16‌ Plus models. Current iPhone 15 models have a diagonal camera arrangement and are not able to capture spatial video, a feature that is limited to the iPhone 15 Pro models and the Vision Pro headset.

In addition to the updated camera bump design, recent ‌iPhone 16‌ prototypes have also featured an Action Button similar to the one used on ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌, and a pressure-sensitive Capture button for shooting horizontal video that sits flush with the frame of the device. Indeed, an opening for the Capture button can be seen in the latest cases.

The existence of cases at this early stage does not necessarily confirm that Apple has settled on this design for the iPhone 16. Third-party case makers also often base their initial case designs for upcoming iPhones on leaks and rumors, so the images may not be true representations. That said, the recent consistent trickle of leaks suggest Apple now has this year's iPhone 16 design nailed down.

iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2
Apple is expected to launch its iPhone 16 series sometime in September. For additional details on Apple's next-generation 2024 smartphones, check out our dedicated rumor roundups for iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro.

Related Roundup: iPhone 16

OLED panel supply issues may be partly behind Apple's iPad Pro launch delay, based on reports coming out of Korea.

iPad Pro OLED Feature 2
Apple's original plan was to rely on different OLED display suppliers for the upcoming iPad Pro models, with Samsung Display exclusively producing ~11-inch panels and LG Display responsible for the required ~13-inch panels.

The division of labor was reportedly due to changes in Apple's demand outlook for OLED iPad Pro models, as well as the unstable production capacity and yield of the two suppliers, which are both still getting to grips with Apple's requirement for new panel technologies.

Early reports suggested the new models could arrive as soon as this month. However, according to Korean news site, Samsung has recently faced poor yields of the ~11-inch OLED panels, and it has been unable to meet Apple's order quantity. The shortfall has led Apple to transfer some orders for the smaller panel to LG Display. The latter is subsequently expected to increase its order by hundreds of thousands of units going into next month.

Given the reallocation, LG Display is now likely to supply 60% of the panels for the upcoming iPad Pro models. The company has invested millions of dollars into its sixth-generation small- and medium-sized OLED production line, and has now passed Apple's quality control standards for the smaller panels, enabling it to take up the slack from Samsung.

Apple earlier this month ordered an initial 8.5 million OLED display panels from the South Korean suppliers. Apple's latest shipments forecast is said to have been a decrease from the 10 million units that were projected for 2024 last year.

Apple is rumored to be aiming for "unrivaled" display quality with the new iPad Pro models, which will use a tandem OLED structure. The tandem structure is a method of stacking two layers of OLED light-emitting layers. It is superior to the luminance (screen brightness) and lifespan of a single OLED structure with one light-emitting layer. The iPhone currently uses a single stack OLED display with one light-emitting layer.

Apple will now introduce new iPad Pro models alongside new iPad Air models in early May, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple is apparently working to "finish software for the new devices," and the iPad Pro models also need "complex new manufacturing techniques," which Gurman says has contributed to the delay.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Related Forum: iPad

Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 Pro models will use an improved process for finishing and coloring titanium, claims a new rumor out of Korea.

iPhone 15 Pro Cameras
According to news aggregator account "yeux1122" on the Naver blog, the new process will make the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ and ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ Max look more polished than the iPhone 15 Pro models, which have a brushed finish.

The improved manufacturing process will allegedly result in a glossy appearance that is more akin to the heavily polished stainless steel material used in previous Pro iPhones. However, the new titanium finish will be less prone to scratches compared to stainless steel.

The ‌‌brushed finish on ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ models‌‌ is considerably less reflective than the finish of previous Pro iPhones. It is less prone to fingerprints and also reduces scratch visibility. Apart from looks though, Apple's use of a titanium frame for its ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ devices also cut down the weight of the devices. The ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ and ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max are approximately nine percent lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro and ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro Max.

In addition, the titanium frame and aluminum substructure also provides better heat dissipation than any previous-generation Pro models with stainless steel frames, according to Apple.

A rumor earlier this week claimed that the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ models will come in new "space black" and "rose" titanium colors. The "rose" is a gold shade, while "space black" could replace the black titanium option. Apple is expected to release the iPhone 16 series in the fall.

Related Roundup: iPhone 16 Pro
Tag: Naver

Oregon this week signed a Right to Repair bill into law, and it is notable because it is the first such law that puts a stop to the practice of parts pairing. Manufacturers like Apple are not able to require customers to use Apple-sourced parts that then have to be authenticated, with the bill giving Apple device owners the right to use new parts, used parts, or third-party parts.

Apple Self Service Repair Program iPhone
Apple has launched repair tools for both independent repair shops and consumers, but repair components must be purchased directly from Apple. Components must be paired with a device serial number after being installed, which prevents unauthorized repairs that use third-party components. The bill states that companies cannot reduce the performance of a device or display misleading warnings for parts that are not properly paired.

According to repair site iFixit, Oregon's Right to Repair law is the strongest that has been passed to date. It does have consumer protections, such as requiring independent repair shops to have a "valid and unexpired certification" ensuring the person doing the repair has the "technical capabilities and competence necessary" to make a successful fix.

The elimination of the parts pairing restriction will allow independent repair shops to make more repairs without having to rely solely on components from Apple.

In addition to preventing manufacturers from requiring components to be free from pairing restrictions, the law requires companies to make parts, tools, documentation, and software available for smartphones produced in 2021 or later. For other electronics like computers, it is applicable to devices produced in 2015 and later.

Apple did not support Oregon's Right to Repair bill, and the company has said that it will result in safety and security issues for consumers. Apple will need to comply with the parts pairing portion of the bill for products made after January 1, 2025.

Amazon today launched the Amazon One app, which is designed to allow customers to scan their palms to make device-free purchases at Whole Foods, Panera Bread, and 150 third-party locations in stadiums, airports, fitness centers, and convenience stores.

Prior to the launch of the app, signing up for Amazon One had to be done in a physical location with an Amazon One device. The app lets customers create a profile, take a photo of their palm, and add a payment method. Finishing sign-up will still require an initial interaction with an Amazon One machine.

Amazon One can be used for payment, entry to venues, age verification, and loyalty rewards. The service uses generative AI to match a camera phone photo of a person's palm to near-infrared imagery from an Amazon One scanner.

The AI system is able to pair palm and vein imagery to create a unique, numerical vector representation that is used for identity matching. Amazon says that it is 99.99 percent accurate.

Palm images taken with the app are encrypted and sent to a secure Amazon One domain in the AWS cloud. Amazon says the service is convenient for consumers and businesses, and that it sees many repeat users at Whole Foods. Amazon One can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: Amazon

A lawsuit targeting Apple's refusal to allow apps to support cryptocurrency transactions was today tossed out by a San Francisco judge, reports Reuters. The lawsuit, which was filed by Venmo and Cash App customers, claimed that Apple drove up the fees charged by Venmo and Cash App by not letting payment apps facilitate cryptocurrency transactions.

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The plaintiffs alleged that Apple curbed competition in the mobile peer-to-peer payment market with its App Store guidelines. No option for cryptocurrency has supposedly caused Venmo and Cash App to raise prices for transactions and services due to "no competitive check." A payment app that is based on decentralized cryptocurrency technology would let iPhone users "send payments to each other without any intermediary at all."

According to the lawsuit, Venmo, Cash App, PayPal, and other payment providers agreed to an ‌App Store‌ guideline that does not allow for cryptocurrency transactions, which constitutes an "unlawful agreement." Apple asked for the case to be thrown out because the plaintiffs were not able to demonstrate illegal app rules or business agreements, and the judge agreed.

Apple's ‌App Store‌ rules allow cryptocurrency wallets that store virtual currency, and apps can facilitate cryptocurrency transactions on an approved exchange in countries where the app has licensing and permission to operate a crypto exchange.

The judge overseeing the case called it "speculative" and said it "suffers from several fatal problems." The plaintiffs have been given 21 days to submit an amended complaint, but the judge does not believe the case can be saved.