iPhone 7 Predicted to Adopt Lightning Headphones Without Noise-Canceling Capabilities

Apple is likely to wait until 2017 and the „iPhone 7s“ to introduce noise-canceling headphones, according to a Barclays analyst report posted today. In the report, analysts Blayne Curtis and Christopher Hemmelgarn believe that 2016’s iPhone 7 will include a Lightning-equipped headphone accessory, with the „potential“ for a dynamic noise-canceling system to be introduced next year.

The analysts believe Apple will use a basic digital codec in 2016, allowing the company to introduce Lightning-connected headphones later in the year. This move will prepare Apple for the possibility of including Cirrus Logic’s (an Apple audio supplier) more advanced noise-cancellation smart codec in 2017, which requires a digital codec to be installed in the first place.

We still believe there is potential for AAPL to add ANC in the IP7S but believe AAPL is including just the digital headphone in the IP7 this year. Recent speculation surrounding the elimination of the headphone jack in the IP7 is consistent with this move as AAPL will need to provide a digital headset inbox but likely was not willing to spend the extra cost for the ANC functionality.

Rumors surrounding the exclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack in the iPhone 7 began earlier in the year, although it was unclear whether the accessory would ship in the box or be sold as a separate purchase under the Beats by Dre brand. According to the analysts in today’s report, the 3.5mm headphone jack will be replaced by another speaker thanks to an additional amp also provided by Cirrus Logic.

Other rumors have suggested that Apple is preparing a Bluetooth solution for an upcoming iPhone line, similar in vein to the Bragi Dash headphones, which are finally beginning to ship out to early pre-order customers after over a year of waiting. The headphones would be completely wireless, with two separate pods that require regular charging.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
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iPad Pro’s sneaky surprise: A USB 3.0-capable Lightning port

Sure, the hot new iPad Pro is big, beautiful, and plenty capable, but it’s also apparently future-proof. Apple snuck in a USB 3.0-capable Lightning port into the bottom of your favorite massive tablet without telling anyone. iFixit originally found the unexpected feature when it did its usual teardown of the new Apple device. When they […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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Inside of iPad Pro contains way more foam than you’d expect

A teardown of the just-released iPad Pro has revealed one of the secrets behind Apple’s redesigned sound system: chambers filled with sound-amplifying foam. That’s the best guess from the folks at do-it-yourself repair site iFixit, who are strategically dismantling the new tablet as we speak. As of this writing, iFixit’s iPad Pro teardown is still […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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iFixit Teardown of New 21.5-Inch iMac Reveals Soldered-On CPU, Empty PCIe SSD Slot

Earlier today, iFixit conducted a tear down the new Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad 2 and Magic Mouse 2. They’ve now followed that up with a tear down of the brand new 21.5-inch iMac, and while the majority of the insides are the same as last year’s model, there are some notable differences.

First, the teardown found that the new iMac features empty PCIe SSD slots, allowing do-it-yourself upgraders to use the slots for their needs. Last year’s model did not include an empty slot for DIY-ers, leaving the solder spots for the SSD unpopulated.

The new iMac also features a soldered-on CPU. iFixit says the soldered CPU allows Apple to continue to streamline the insides of the iMac, this time including a „slimmed down and beautified“ CPU heat sink. However, the teardown experts note that because the CPU is soldered onto the logic board it cannot be removed, upgraded or replaced, which means the iMac’s upgradeability will take a hit. This is the first iMac to feature a soldered-on CPU.

Minor revelations about the new iMac include a new display that fuses together the glass and LCD, with no more magnets holding the glass in place. The vast majority of the replaceable components, like the RAM, are hidden behind the logic board, which means users who want to upgrade parts by themselves have to take the iMac apart.

Overall, iFixit gave the new 21.5-inch iMac a repairability score of 2 out of 10, which means that the new desktop computer is extremely difficult to repair. iFixit also conducted a teardown of the bigger 27-inch iMac.

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‘iPhone 6s’ Display and Logic Board Shown Booting to Gear Screen

We’ve already seen a number of part leaks from the upcoming „iPhone 6s“, and a source has now provided MacRumors with several photos and videos showing how those parts can be combined to build a partially functioning iPhone. Specifically, the new photos and videos reveal an iPhone 6s logic board and display assembly paired with a number of iPhone 6 components such as the rear shell and battery to create a device that starts up enough to be able to display a screen showing a gear icon.

The video shows the device booted to the gear screen and then opened, showing the various iPhone 6s and 6 components laid out and connected inside the rear shell. Several components such as the rear camera are missing, but there are enough parts present to deliver data to the iPhone 6s display.

One heavily rumored feature for the iPhone 6s is support for Force Touch, allowing the device to sense how hard the user is pressing on the display and activate differential controls depending on how much pressure is being applied. While the partially booting phone does not prove Force Touch support is present, there are some definite differences from the iPhone 6 such as the shielding on the rear of the display being glued in place rather than screwed in.

In addition to the iPhone 6s built from parts, we’ve also received photos of an iPhone 6s logic board showing some details of the device’s main components. Previous leaks have shown the logic board to contain Qualcomm’s MDM9635M LTE baseband modem to support faster LTE with increased power efficiency, and our own photos have now confirmed the iPhone 6s will also include Qualcomm’s WTR3925 radio frequency transceiver chip to pair with the new modem for enhanced cellular network performance.

iPhone 6s logic board (top) with zoom of RF transceiver section (bottom left) showing WTR3925 boxed in red and compared to corresponding portion of iPhone 6 logic board (bottom right) with WTR1625L boxed in blue and companion WFR1620 boxed in yellow
The new chip is fabricated on a smaller and more power efficient 28-nm process, down from the 65-nm process used for the WTR1625L chip found in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Also of note, the new WTR3925 eliminates the need for a separate companion chip (WFR1620 on the iPhone 6) for carrier aggregation, which combines separate spectrums into a single faster connection to increase data speeds and network capacity. By combining the functions of two chips into one on the iPhone 6s, power efficiency and performance are improved while taking up less space on the logic board.

Perhaps the most anticipated part from the iPhone 6s from a technical perspective is the A9 chip that serves as the heart of the device. Unfortunately, the logic board we received pictures of appears to be a pre-production unit that is missing some details including the A9 stamp itself and markings that would reveal how much RAM is included in the package.

Main chips and SIM slots for iPhone 6 (left, via iFixit) and iPhone 6s (right)
We can see, however, that that the A9 package is roughly 10 percent larger in area than the A8 package found in the iPhone 6. The reason for the increased size isn’t confirmed, but it’s possible Apple has moved some additional functionality into the main chip to increase efficiency and save overall space.

The introduction of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is expected to occur in just two weeks at a media event reportedly planned for Wednesday, September 9. The event is also expected to feature several other announcements including a revamped Apple TV set-top box with support for Siri control and third-party apps.

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Apple brings award-winning synth back from the dead

Apple released updates today for Logic Pro X and MainStage 3, adding a famous synthesizer and other fun goodies. This synthesizer, called Alchemy, for the most part isn’t an Apple original – it was previously an award-winning piece of software from Camel Audio, which Apple acquired at the beginning of the year. Now it has […]

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‘Apple Watch Song’ turns angst into an earful of laughs (and a wrist full of cancer)

A manic new music video called “Apple Watch Song” turns all the anticipation and angst surrounding the hit wearable into a geeky anthem for Apple fans awaiting delivery of their precious wrist gadgets. From the Apple Watch Edition’s exorbitant price…Read more ›

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Retina MacBook Teardown Reveals iPad-Like Battery Connector, Details Force Touch Trackpad

After Apple revealed the new 12-inch Retina MacBook at its March „Spring Forward“ event, the performance and speed of the sleek-but-slightly-underpowered machine came into question by many. Unlike the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, the Retina MacBook comes with an Intel Core M Processor and provides only a single USB-C port to double as an accessory and charging port.

Today, iFixit answered some of those early questions in its teardown of the new MacBook, revealing a few unsurprising details of the base model MacBook, which includes a 1.1GHz processor, 12-inch Retina display, 256GB of flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 5300. What the company did find that was surprising was a battery connector hidden under the logic board, just one of a few internal comparisons to Apple’s iPad line made with the new MacBook.

Next, iFixit looked at Apple’s new method of tapered battery cells, finding the glued-down cells particularly challenging to remove and replace. Finally emerging from the MacBook’s innards, the company discovered a 7.55 V, 39.71 Wh, and 5263 mAh battery, what iFixit calls „just a hair more“ powerful than this year’s 5100 mAh 11-inch MacBook Air.

Lastly the teardown focuses on the MacBook’s much-touted Force Touch trackpad, which iFixit calls a „slimmer, daintier version“ of the 13-inch MacBook Pro’s trackpad. Delving further, the repair website found a Broadcom BCM5976 touchscreen controller, ST Microelectronics 32F103 ARM Cortex-M based microcontroller, and Linear Technology LT3954 LED Converter with Internal PWM Generator as the main trio of chips running the new trackpad.

All of iFixit’s breakdown resulted in a repairability score of 1 out of 10 for the new MacBook, a 10 being easiest to repair. The company points to Apple’s proprietary pentalobe screws surrounding the outside case, the tricky-to-remove tapered batteries, and the processor, RAM, and flash memory being soldered to the double-sided logic board as main reasons for the score.

iFixit’s full teardown is worth a read, showing intricate details of the Retina MacBook’s double-sided logic board and new USB-C connection port. The 12-inch Retina MacBook went on sale on Apple’s online store last Friday, April 10, along with pre-orders of the Apple Watch.

Although the base 1.1GHz version of the MacBook appeared to many as an underpowered machine, recent benchmarks of the 1.2GHz model showcased decent speed and power boosts over its entry-level counterpart. No doubt more will be known when consumers begin receiving their MacBooks in the mail, especially regarding the 1.3GHz model, currently at a mid-May dispatch date due to its made-to-order upgrade parts.

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From the Forums: Retina MacBook Opinions and Discussion [Mac Blog]

Apple’s recently announced 12-inch Retina MacBook has been met with both praise and criticism ahead of its upcoming release on April 10. The new MacBook, positioned at the lower end of Apple’s notebook lineup, paves the way for the future with an ultra-thin design, one USB-C port, redesigned keyboard with an all-new butterfly mechanism, Force Touch trackpad, fanless architecture and all-day battery life.

At the same time, the new MacBook has been criticized for having an Intel Core M processor, a system-on-a-chip that Intel typically markets for use in mobile devices. The single USB-C port, which combines power, USB, DisplayPort, HDMI and VGA connections into one, is also an area of concern for some, especially given that costly adapters must be used to connect many external devices and peripherals to the notebook.

Look no further than this parody of an Apple engineer talking about the Retina MacBook on YouTube, where it has amassed over 5 million views since being uploaded in early March. The video pokes fun at the Retina MacBook for, among other reasons, having one port and a 480p front-facing camera. Rest assured, the parody’s creator Armando Ferreira is an Apple fan that owns an iPad and a few MacBooks himself.

While waiting for Apple to lift its embargo for large tech publications to publish their in-depth Retina MacBook reviews, we’ve sifted through the MacRumors forums and highlighted some of the more interesting discussions about the notebook. Read ahead for a roundup of opinions and noteworthy comments about the Retina MacBook, and be sure to join the conversation within the discussion forums.

Forum Discussion Threads

  1. Who Else Changed Their Mind? „When Apple announced the new MacBook, I was very excited and was seriously planning on getting one April 10th even after I’ve seen the price tags and specs. However, two days ago it all of a sudden hit me that I should not get the new MacBook. Even though I can afford one. I’ve started contemplating. I think it’s not worth it at all for the price Apple is asking for it.“
  2. 12″ MacBook — Disappointment and Hope: A number of users offer their opinions about the pros and cons of the new MacBook, emphasizing how the notebook paves the way for the future but requires making compromises in the present. Apple has a history of heading in bold new directions with past products such as the original iMac, MacBook Air and iPhone, so this is not unchartered waters for the world’s most valuable company.
  3. USB-C Accessories: Belkin announced a new line of USB-C cables and USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet adapter for the new MacBook last month, while LaCie announced the first USB-C external hard drive. This discussion thread is a valuable resource that highlights a number of other USB-C accessories from HydraDock, MonoPrice, Google and other accessory makers and vendors.
  4. Retina MacBook Benchmarked: We posted an early 64-bit Geekbench benchmark of the Retina MacBook that places the notebook in line with the 2011 MacBook Air in terms of CPU performance, and this full Geekbench 3 report offers a more in-depth look at the notebook’s single-core and multi-core scores based on integer, floating point and memory performance.
  5. Performance Difference Between CPUs: A side-by-side comparison of the performance differences between the three Intel processor options available for the Retina MacBook. The discussion thread includes speculation that the entry-level CPU may generate the most heat inside the fanless notebook and contains other interesting information about the trio of processor options. Apple recently confirmed build-to-order pricing for the 1.3GHz processor.
  6. Retina MacBook vs. Surface 3: Microsoft is marketing its new Surface 3 tablet as a potential laptop replacement, so it naturally has been compared with the Retina MacBook. The discussion touches upon a number of factors, including price point, physical design, processors, operating systems, battery life, multipurpose functionality and more. Realistically, the Surface Pro 3 is the more suitable device for drawing comparisons.
  7. The Can’t List — Reasons Not to Buy Retina MacBook: A forum user shares eighteen different reasons not to buy the Retina MacBook, including a lack of ports, planned obsolescence, the need for multiple adapters, a 480p FaceTime camera, no SD card slot and, in his opinion, the notebook’s expensive price tag. Some other users are quick to counter that Apple’s new MacBook is not designed for everyone, arguing that refreshed MacBook Airs and Pros are still available.
  8. Software for Retina MacBook: A forum user shares a list of software that he plans to install on his Retina MacBook when it becomes available, including Matlab, Parallels, OrCAD Schematic Capture and PCB Layout Tools (Windows), Freescale Symphony Studio (Windows), Microsoft Office, Microchip MPLAB (Windows), XCode, Handbrake and Windows 7. Other users list software such as Chrome, Scrivener, Pages, Notability, OneNote, Skype, Moom, Caffeine, Dropbox, OneDrive, Reeder, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, 1Password, VLC and Logic Pro X.
  9. Who’s Buying a Retina MacBook Without Trying It? This popular discussion thread within the forums involves users that plan on purchasing the Retina MacBook without trying it out first at an Apple Store. Many users claim they will be pre-ordering the new MacBook on April 10 and having it shipped to their home under the assurance of Apple’s standard 14-day return policy.
  10. Retina MacBook Cases: A list of cases and accessories for the new MacBook.

Visit our MacBook section within the forums to keep up with the latest discussions.

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