iPhone 16 Pro specs, Apple Watch 10 design leaks, Apple paying for AI

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A look back at this week's Apple news and headlines, including the latest iPhone 16 specs, iPhone 16 Pro battery changes, RCS messaging tests, a cheaper Vision Pro, Apple Watch design leaks, a new Apple TV, Apple Intelligence payments and more.

The Apple Loop is here to keep you up to date on some of the many discussions surrounding Apple over the past seven days, as well as Forbes' weekly digest of Android news.

The iPhone 16 will share power

Apple plans to introduce AI to the iPhone 16 series, meaning all devices will need to have AI-enabled processors. This lines up with a new report this week that highlighted the two names and highlighted the use of the upcoming A18 chipset in the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro. It's a change of strategy, as previously Apple had tried to make the standard iPhone one generation behind the Pro models in order to boost sales of its more expensive devices.

“So evidence pointing to chips like the iPhone17,1 and iPhone17,2 suggests that all models in this fall's new series will have the same processor. And the new chip is likely to improve efficiency as well as power, so battery life could also benefit here.”


Major changes to the iPhone 16 Pro battery

New regulations around the world are focused on improving the repairability and sustainability of consumer electronics, including smartphones. Apple has little choice but to follow this model, which essentially means that traditionally glued-in batteries must be removed to facilitate easier battery replacement. Naturally, Apple has an amazing high-tech process in place.

“Currently, removing the battery from an iPhone requires some skill to peel off the adhesive tape that attaches the battery to the case. It's not an easy task for an inexperienced average user. But Apple wants to change that by using an adhesive technology that releases the battery with a small electric shock. The new technology could be featured in at least one iPhone 16 model this year and rolled out to the entire iPhone 17 lineup in 2025.”


RCS Messaging Beta

The developer beta of iOS 18 is not yet available to the public, but one of its key features is already receiving positive reviews among users who have access to it. After years of stubborn efforts, Apple has integrated the RCS messaging protocol into its Messages app. RCS enhances communication between clients, supporting group chats and allowing the sending of rich media.

“Since Apple released iOS 18 Developer Beta 2 on Monday, June 24, users have reported that the benefits of RCS, a much more advanced system than SMS that iPhones have previously rejected in favor of their own iMessage setup, are now available on Beat users' iPhones.”


Plans for cheaper vision headsets

It was always agreed that the Apple Vision Pro headset would be a pricey entry point into Apple's mixed reality ecosystem, with cheaper non-Pro headsets to follow. Supply chain analysts have picked up on a low-res screen that could be at the heart of the Vnailla Vision headset.

“Apple's interest in larger OLEDoS panels with lower resolution than those used in the Vision Pro suggests that these could be for a new low-cost mixed reality headset. Rumors that Apple is working on such a device have been around for over a year, but the latest indications suggest it could be designed to connect to an iPhone or Mac without the need for an expensive processor. A low-cost Apple Vision headset could be available as early as the end of next year.”


Apple Watch design leaked

The next Apple Watch is going to be bigger in size, whether it's the regular Apple Watch 3 or a new version of the Ultra, with a larger display planned that will impact the overall design.

“Whatever the name, the next watch will have a larger display than any watch to date, including the Apple Watch Ultra…Raw CAD renderings show the watch with a 2-inch display. Both the Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch Ultra 2 will have the largest displays yet, at 1.93 inches.”


New AI-powered Apple TV

Two new devices have appeared in the developer code, and it looks like Apple is planning a new wave of home devices, possibly including a hybrid product that combines two popular accessories.

“MacRumors has identified code discovered in Apple's backend that suggests the company is working on a new home accessory to stand alongside the HomePod and Apple TV. The new device will be so powerful that it suggests that whatever it is will require the A18 chip. Could it be the rumored Apple TV/display hybrid? That would be revolutionary.”

(MacRumors, via Forbes).

And finally…

As manufacturers around the world deploy AI tools, the cost of running these services means that at some point consumers will have to foot the bill. This includes Apple's efforts to bring AI to iPhones and more. When the new iPhones launch, it will likely be free, but don't be surprised if Apple introduces another subscription service.

“In the latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that while Apple Intelligence will be free at first, Apple's long-term plan is to launch something like “Apple Intelligence+” with additional features that users can access by paying a monthly fee. By making its own AI capabilities into another source of services revenue, Gurman argues, Apple should be able to make up for the slowing pace of hardware upgrades and become less reliant on hardware tweaks to drive its business.”


Apple Loop brings you 7 Days of Highlights every weekend on Forbes. Be sure to follow us so you don't miss any of our upcoming articles. You can read last week's Apple Loop here, and this week's Loop's sister column, Android Circuit, is also on Forbes.

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