Once again, you’ll have to wait till next year for the iPhone upgrade you really want

Welcome to our weekly Apple Breakfast column, which includes all the Apple news you missed last week in a handy bite-sized roundup. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it goes great with a Monday morning cup of coffee or tea, but it’s cool if you want to give it a read during lunch or dinner hours too.

Jam tomorrow

One of our most widely read articles last week was an exploration of early iPhone 16 rumors. Reflecting on reports of larger screens, better battery life, solid-state buttons, and more, the article mused that the best course for customers might be to skip the iPhone 15 generation entirely and wait for the big update in 2024. I don’t entirely disagree… but this argument did make me wonder how often super-exciting Apple product launches are predicted for next year, and how often they actually arrive.

I’m not talking about delays. I don’t mean, for example, the endlessly pushed-back launch of the Reality Pro headset–because, unless it hits an insoluble technical difficulty and does an AirPower, that will arrive eventually. I’m talking about the way that next year’s launch is always more exciting than this year’s.

Lewis Carroll’s White Queen, one of the earliest exponents of the tick-tock release strategy, famously pledged to feed her employees jam every other day, with the slight caveat that in practice, jam would be served yesterday and tomorrow but never today. Today’s White Queens work as tech analysts, endlessly telling us that the iPhone upended the industry in the past and will enjoy groundbreaking innovations in the future but this year, sadly, is doomed to wallow in the iterative doldrums.

So let’s try an experiment. When, in your view, was the last really momentous iPhone launch? Especially generous readers might be thinking last year’s 14 Pro, which did offer an always-on display and the Dynamic Island. But plenty of pundits advised their readers to give it a miss and wait for the 15 series. Sound familiar?

I have a soft spot for the 12-series, with their sharp-edged redesign and MagSafe charging standard, while 5G support in retrospect feels like an important step forward; but in an iPhone 12 Pro review at the time I said that “Everything about this screams iterative upgrade.” Those with an iPhone 11, I insisted, had no reason to make an upgrade that year.

In fact, to find an iPhone launch that most people at the time agreed was a big deal, I reckon you have to go back to the iPhone X, the first of Apple’s handsets to ditch the home button and go almost full-screen. (Our own review even declared, “The thrill is back.”) But I bet there were pundits in 2017 insisting that the XS would be the one to wait for.

Partly, I suppose, this mentality is a function of the way that tech products are developed. Each generation of iPhone presumably starts out with grand ambitions, which are gradually worn down and compromised as tests fail and prototypes disappoint and managers do their best to keep costs under control. On the other hand, without wishing to be overly cynical, media coverage naturally gravitates towards the rumors that are most interesting, and the further we are from launch, the less concrete information there will be to keep the nonsense in check. Next year’s iPhone sounds more exciting than this one’s because the more wildly ambitious rumors about it have not yet been disproven.

There might also be a larger psychological effect going on here. Whatever we have right now has to be unsatisfactory for the entire system to work. We’ve based our economy around wistfulness for an imagined future, and our politics around nostalgia for a misremembered past. Why should the way we feel about tech products be any different?

Perhaps I’m starting to drift out of my lane. If this week’s column has been disappointing, I do apologize. But next week’s is going to be awesome.


Apple’s upcoming AR headset is the riskiest product it’s ever launched.

The new Beats Studio Buds + make us long for the days of the iMac and iBook. Apple, please make transparent devices again.

If no one can afford Apple’s AR headset, does it matter how good it is?

Final Cut Pro changes everything and nothing about the iPad.

Google will pay an absurd amount for your iPhone if you switch to a Pixel Fold.

Want to know how long Macs last? Macworld investigates the lifespan of Macs and MacBooks.

A special tour of Apple Park is among the new perks offered at this year’s WWDC viewing event.

The rumor mill

Following a recent dip, Apple is looking to spur a ‘Mac comeback’ with a super-fast M3 chip.

Hype is building for Apple’s AR headset as more evidence of a WWDC launch emerges.

Indeed, Apple’s ‘xrOS’ trademark all but confirms the arrival of its AR headset next month.

If you want an iPhone 14 Pro you should probably just wait for the iPhone 15.

Podcast of the week

The countdown to Apple’s Developers Conference has begun, and reports say that it’s time for major changes with watchOS 10. We talk about the new face of the Apple Watch in this episode of the Macworld Podcast!

You can catch every episode of the Macworld Podcast on Spotify, Soundcloud, the Podcasts app, or our own site.

Software updates, bugs & problems

A weird iPhone bug has been breaking chat threads with Android users.

Apple has patched three active Safari zero-day bugs with its latest round of updates.

We now know what Apple fixed in its first iOS and macOS Rapid Security Response.

People were upset with Google last week, but Apple will delete your inactive account even faster.

Apple is tapping into Shazam with new live concert features in Music and Maps.

Apple has pushed an updated iOS 16.5 final beta as the wide release approaches, and a rare third macOS Ventura 13.4 release candidate.

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 or on Facebook for discussion of breaking Apple news stories. See you next week, and stay Appley.

Source : Macworld