An exciting assortment of Apple rumors surfaces each week and offers a glimpse into the current state of speculation about upcoming iPhones, new iPads, and the next updates for Apple’s operating systems. Though you might think that the Apple rumor mill would have slowed down after the launch of this year’s iPhone 7, that hasn’t been the case so far. So this week, plenty of exciting rumors about next year’s iPhone and other future Apple products made their rounds online. Read on to catch up on the week’s most exciting Apple rumors.
1. The iPhone 7 reportedly costs Apple more than the iPhone 6s
Mikey Campbell reports for Apple Insider that Apple spends $225 on iPhone 7 hardware. Even though Tim Cook has dismissed bill of materials estimates, market research firms continue to offer their calculations. The latest estimates claim that Apple spends $224.80 on the components and basic manufacturing costs of the iPhone 7 with 32GB of storage. That’s according to IHS Markit, which hasn’t yet torn down an iPhone 7 Plus but estimates the bill of materials cost to be $36.89 higher than that of the iPhone 6s Plus.
Apple’s decision to double the storage tiers — to 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB — is a major contributor to higher costs. The new jet black color adds time to the manufacturing process. The display is the iPhone 7’s most expensive component, reportedly coming in at $43. The camera modules — one of the highest profile features of this year’s iPhone — cost a combined $19.90. The baseband chip costs $33.90, while the TSMC-produced A10 Fusion chip costs $26.90. The Taptic Engine and other electromechanical components cost $16.70, while the aluminum enclosure and related hardware cost $18.20. The iPhone 7 reportedly costs Apple $13.30 more than the iPhone 6s, which is expected to cut into Apple’s margins (which are also affected by the cost of R&D, marketing, and other expenses).
2. The Apple Watch 2 may be easier to repair than its predecessor
Buster Hein reports for Cult of Mac that the Apple Watch 2 looks “surprisingly repairable.” According to an iFixit teardown, Apple’s engineers have refined the internals of the device and made it easier to work with. The addition of the new S2 chip, and the fact that it’s been flipped in the assembly, is one of the biggest changes. The teardown also revealed that while you’ll still need to complete some micro-soldering to replace some components, you won’t need to take out all of the parts anymore. Hein notes that iFixit gave the Apple Watch 2 a 6 out of 10 repairability score. That’s not a great score. But it’s still one point better than that of the first Apple Watch.
3. Apple may be working on wireless charging technology
Jordan Kahn reports for 9to5Mac that there’s mounting evidence that Apple is working on wireless charging technology. Apple is reportedly working on the tech with the help of Energous, the developer of charging technology WattUp. Unlike current, inductive charging systems, WattUp technology can change devices from up to 15 feet away using a transmitter and a receiver.
Reports have noted that Apple might have a relationship with Energous. That’s looked especially likely since the startup said it was working with “one of the top five consumer electronics companies.” A recent report seems to provide new evidence for a connection, citing an Energous SEC filing that references “Apple compliance testing.”
Several rumors mentioned wireless charging in the months leading up to the iPhone 7’s introduction. (Wireless charging also made it onto many iPhone 7 features wish lists, including our own.) But Ben Lovejoy reports that Apple was right to hold back on the feature. Apple “could have trivially incorporated today’s terrible version of wireless charging into the iPhone 7.” But waiting for WattUp will mean a much better user experience — perhaps on the iPhone 8.
4. A startup that builds self-balancing motorcycles may be Apple’s next acquisition
According to The New York Times, Apple is in talks to acquire self-balancing motorcycle manufacturer Lit Motors. The San Francisco startup has developed an electric self-balancing motorcycle, and could offer Apple some new expertise and talent as it tries to reboot its Project Titan car effort. Apple has already hired several former Lit Motors engineers. The company’s C-1 motorcycle relies on two large gyroscopes. It’s designed to have the efficiency of a bicycle and a motorcycle, but the safety of a car.
The report also cited rumors about a McLaren deal. A McLaren spokesman said that the company was “not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment.” But the company didn’t deny having conversations with Apple. Cupertino could be looking to use the high-end tech featured in the company’s sports cars and Formula 1 vehicles. McLaren, in turn, “could tap Apple’s resources to make its technology available to the masses — if Apple decides to move forward with building its own automobile.”
5. Apple is reportedly working with the “Foxconn for cars” on Project Titan
According to Bloomberg, Apple is working with a company trying to become the “Foxconn for cars” for on Project Titan. Magna International could help Apple, and other tech companies, produce self-driving and electric vehicles. And Bloomberg reports that a dozen Magna engineers have already been working with Apple’s team in Sunnyvale to develop a vehicle. Apple’s Project Titan reportedly includes hundreds of engineers, though the company has yet to publicly acknowledge its existence. The project has shifted in strategy, and is reportedly focusing on the development of an autonomous driving platform.