Apple Loop: New iPhone 8 Leaks Drop Loved Features, Pro Problems For MacBook, iPhone 8 Vs Galaxy S8 – Forbes

Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the cancelled technology in the iPhone 8, the mystery of USB-C replacing the lightning port, the fix for the battery bug, the return of the iPad, Tim Cook praising the AirPods, what it means to be pro, changes to third-party repair policies, and the iPhone 8 standing up to the Galaxy S8.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read our weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).

iPhone 8 Loses Its Advantage

Expectations are high that Apple’s iPhone 8 will not only allow Tim Cook’s smartphone to match the Android powered competition, but leapfrog the opposition. It now looks as if two of the big enablers – a curved display and ‘at a a distance’ wireless charging – have been cancelled. Gordon Kelly reports:

As disappointed as some Apple fans will be by this one-two punch, I’d argue Apple is still on track to deliver an iPhone unlike any previous model.

Removing the home button (and fingerprint scanning), will dramatically change how owners will interact with their iPhones. The iPhone 8 (some say it will be called the iPhone X) also looks set to mimic the Galaxy S8’s super thin bezels, bump up storage, introduce an ‘all glass’ chassis and quick charging.

More on the iPhone changes here on Forbes.

Apple iPhone 7 (image: Ewan Spence)

Ewan Spence

Apple iPhone 7 (image: Ewan Spence)

Will We See The iPhone Go USB-C?

There’s been some discussion this week on the potential of Apple’s lightning port being replaced by a USB-C connector in this year’s iPhones. While a universal port has a lot of appeal to the wider ecosystem, the advantages offered to Apple by a proprietary port are surely too significant. Ben Lovejoy makes a spirited argument for the switch, but the points for the defence are strong:

Three, that Apple would be sacrificing the income it gets from licensing Lightning accessories through its MFi program. Also true, but this money is peanuts to a company of Apple’s size – and there have already been indications that the company is becoming less strict with MFi, and perhaps even transitioning away from controlling cables, connectors and cases.

In a perfect world our smartphones would all share connectors. But this isn’t a perfect world. I think John Gruber has the better read on this:

I have no inside dope on this, but it rings false to my ears. If there’s any truth to it, I’d bet that this year’s iPhones will ship with USB-C chargers, that use a USB-C to Lightning cable to connect to the phones. That makes sense, given that Apple has dropped USB-A ports from the newest MacBook models.

The Battery Bug Is Real, But Is It Fixed?

Last weekend Apple released a statement to TechCrunch that confirmed the presence of the ‘thirty percent bug’ that has been shutting down iPhones for months. Acknowledging a significant but not total reduction of unexpected shutdowns, Apple has also added code to allow affected iPhones to boot from cold while on battery power. Gordon Kelly has more:

Having tried to get a statement out of Apple for months without success, it suddenly made a confession to TechCrunch. The company stated not only did it know iPhone 6S and iPhone 6 models have been shutting down at random for some time but that it also hid a fix into iOS 10.2.1 which it believes mostly fixes the problem.

Is that the end of the thirty percent battery bug problem? No, but it could be the start of the end…

Apple's iPad Pro 9.7 (photo: Getty Images)

Getty Images

Apple’s iPad Pro 9.7 (photo: Getty Images)

The Return Of The iPad

Apple has not forgotten about its other product lines where it has mastery. Expected to be announced in March are updates to the iPad Pro and iPad line-ups, as well as a new size of iPad. Forbes contributor Brooke Crothers takes a look at the pricing options for the lower cost iPads:

A new “value” 9.7-inch iPad may go as low as $299, according to Alexander. That would come in under the current iPad Air 2 that starts at $399. Alexander said it was not clear what generation of processors the low-cost model would use.

Pricing on the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is less clear. The current 9.7-inch iPad Pro starts at $599. Apple could lower the price of the current model by pushing the 9.7-inch down to $499 and then “sliding” the 10.5-inch iPad into the $599 slot, she said.

The iPad Mini 4 (starting at $399) may not get an update, according to Alexander.

A more detailed look at the new portfolio is here.

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