Welcome to our weekly collection of all the Apple news you missed this week, in a handy bite-sized roundup. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it goes great with a morning cup of coffee or tea, but it’s cool if you want to give it a read during lunch or dinner hours too.
The rumors that won’t die
Some of Apple’s crueller fans used to laugh at poor old Gene Munster, the otherwise respected analyst who blotted his copybook by predicting overandover that this year Apple would finally launch a television. It was later revealed that Apple had indeed been working on precisely that, but this probably wasn’t much consolation.
Not even Munster bangs the drum for the iTelevision these days, but there are plenty of other long-running rumors which refuse to die. Such as the foldable iPhone, which we’ve been writing about since at least 2017, and has been the subject of patent activity since 2011. That device is still years away, according to the latest rumors.
Or the Apple Car, which we know a team has been working on for some time but may never result in an actual product, according to this week’s rumor from Volkswagen’s CEO, oddly enough. VW ought to know a thing or two about Apple sagas, having negotiated with Steve Jobs about a possible collaboration as far back as 2007 and actually delivering the iBeetle in 2013.
The great thing about these rumors, whether you’re an analyst writing investor notes or an SEO-savvy web publication, is that they carry on generating clicks and pageviews for years and almost never need to be officially corrected. If Apple doesn’t announce the iPhotocopier at this fall’s launch event, you can simply say it’s been “delayed,” resulting, if you’re lucky, in lots of social engagement from disappointed readers–and merrily start predicting it again the following spring. It’s content without consequences.
Aside from which, it’s fairly well established by this point that Apple’s R&D department experiments with lots of product designs that will never appear in public. Jobs famously said focus means saying no to a thousand ideas for every one that you decide to proceed with, but the company’s engineers like to mess around with hundreds of nos before making that decision. You can claim that Apple is working or has worked on almost any tech concept, within reason, and the chances are you’re not wrong.
To be fair, it’s also worth bearing in mind that long-running rumors sometimes come true. The first iPhone prediction was written in 2002, five years before it came out, and the AirTag was the subject of years of pre-launch speculation. And who knows, maybe the Apple Car and the folding iPhone will join that list at some point in the future.
But the most likely candidate is Apple’s long-rumored mixed-reality headset. The well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, at risk of doing a Munster, predicted in 2019 that this would launch in 2020, and in 2021 that it would launch in 2022–and is now saying it will be here in January 2023. But you’ll notice that the last of those predictions is considerably more specific than the previous ones, while Tim Cook himself dropped a strong hint this week that something is in the cards. The chances are looking good.
Then again, who knows? Looking back on this column a year from now I’ll probably be citing it as a woefully mistaken past prediction. “But this year,” I’ll add, “is going to be different…”
A reference to a new Siri remote in iOS 16 suggests the Apple TV will be updated in the fall.
Podcast of the week
Apple’s latest laptop is here, and there’s a lot to be excited about—or is there? The new meets the old in the new 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro, the topic of our discussion in this episode of the Macworld Podcast.
And with that, we’re done for this week. If you’d like to get regular roundups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news stories. See you next Saturday, enjoy your weekend, and stay Appley.