Earlier this month, Apple discontinued the Beats Pill+, its last battery-powered speaker. Following this news, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has revealed that Apple once internally discussed and prototyped a battery-powered smart speaker.

homepod mini power cable
In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said that while Apple prototyped a battery-powered smart speaker years ago, he would be surprised if one ever launches under the Apple brand. For now, the HomePod mini is the only smart speaker that Apple sells, and it must be connected to a power source to operate at all times.

Gurman addressed a few other topics in his newsletter this week, including Apple's long-rumored AR/VR headset, which he again said will have performance on par with the M1 Pro chip in the new MacBook Pro and could be priced above $2,000 when released.

Gurman also backed a MacRumors report claiming that Hyundai's luxury brand Genesis is planning to support Apple's digital car key feature, which lets users lock, unlock, and start their vehicles using a pass stored in the Wallet app on the iPhone or Apple Watch. The feature has been limited to select BMW models since launching in 2020, but Gurman said Genesis plans to roll out support for the feature by the summer.

Related Roundup: HomePod mini
Buyer's Guide: HomePod Mini (Neutral)

Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst.

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb
Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire ‌iPhone 14‌ lineup and will remain exclusive to the Pro models. This comes following a report earlier in the week claiming that all models of the ‌iPhone 14‌ lineup would feature ProMotion technology.

In his tweet, Young suggests that Chinese manufacturer BOE would be the supplier of LTPO OLED displays for lower-end ‌iPhone 14‌ models, but he said the company does not have enough production capacity to do so right now. Samsung is currently the exclusive supplier of LTPO OLED displays for ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ models, while a report last year claimed that LG would also start making LTPO OLED displays in hopes of supplying them to Apple this year.

Apple first introduced ProMotion on the iPhone with the ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ and ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ Max in September 2021. ProMotion allows the display to automatically refresh at up to 120Hz for smoother appearing content and scrolling, and as low as 10Hz for longer battery life, depending on the type of content on the screen.

Apple has so far limited ProMotion to "Pro" products such as the ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌, iPad Pro, and the newly launched 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros.

Apple is expected to release four ‌iPhone 14‌ models this year, including two 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch standard models and two 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Pro models, with the 5.4-inch "mini" model to be discontinued. Learn more about everything we know so far about the ‌iPhone 14‌ by reading our comprehensive roundup.

Related Roundup: iPhone 14 Pro

Apple will require retail and corporate employees to submit proof of receiving a COVID-19 booster shot, or else face frequent testing to enter the workplace, the company announced in an internal email obtained by The Verge.

apple store pickup employees
"Due to waning efficacy of the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and the emergence of highly transmissible variants such as Omicron, a booster shot is now part of staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination to protect against severe disease," Apple said in the internal email, according to The Verge.

The report claims that once an Apple employee becomes eligible for a booster shot, they will have four weeks to submit proof of receiving the third dose. Employees who do not comply with this requirement will be subjected to frequent tests to enter an Apple retail store, partner store, or office starting February 15, the report adds.

Employees who do submit proof of any COVID-19 vaccination will also be subjected to testing to enter the workplace starting January 24, but it is not immediately clear if this requirement applies to both retail and corporate employees, the report said.

Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara.

ipad air 4 video
Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be announced alongside the third-generation iPhone SE in spring 2022.

The new iPad Air will have the same overall design as the current model, including a single-lens rear camera, the report adds. Released in October 2020, the current iPad Air features a 10.9-inch display with slim bezels, a Touch ID power button, and a USB-C port, with color options including Space Gray, Silver, Green, Rose Gold, and Sky Blue.

Apple's first product event of the year will likely take place in March or April as usual, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, so it's possible that the new iPad Air and iPhone SE models could be announced at that event.

Mac Otakara accurately reported that the fourth-generation iPad Air would be equipped with a USB-C port, and that the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro would be 0.5mm thicker to accommodate for a mini-LED display. On the other hand, the website has made some inaccurate claims, including that new AirPods Pro would launch in April 2021.

Related Roundup: iPad Air
Buyer's Guide: iPad Air (Caution)
Related Forum: iPad

Apple will be adding the Mid 2012 model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro to its vintage products list on January 31, according to an internal memo obtained by MacRumors.

13 Inch MacBook Pro Mid 2012
Released in June 2012, this 13-inch MacBook Pro model was the last Mac with a built-in CD/DVD drive sold by Apple. It remained for sale until October 2016 as a lower-priced option alongside the thinner 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display.

Apple considers a device vintage once more than five years have passed since it stopped distributing the device for sale. Vintage products used to be ineligible for repairs in most regions, but Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers now offer repairs for vintage products for up to seven years, subject to parts availability.

On the software side, Apple dropped support for the Mid 2012 model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with macOS Big Sur in 2020.

Related Roundup: 13" MacBook Pro
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer.

Unlikely Products 2022 Feature
Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in mind, this article summarizes what we believe Apple has in long-term development, and when these products could arrive further down the line.

1. iPads With Larger Displays

Apple is working on bigger iPad models with larger displays than the current crop in its product lineup, according to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman.

The biggest iPads that Apple has produced in recent years are the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and both sizes serve most people's needs, but there are arguments for Apple offering tablets that provide even more screen real estate.
iPad More Than 12

While most users could have ergonomic issues holding an iPad larger than 12.9-inches for any length of time, a larger display mounted on a table would provide a giant sweeping canvas for creative designers and digital artists to work on (think Microsoft Surface Studio). It would also bring the iPad closer to the screen dimensions of Apple's latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, which could allow the iPad to adopt more Mac-like features.

However, Apple would likely need to make significant software changes to iPadOS, such as in the area of multitasking, to make such a display practicable. This and other hurdles suggest to Gurman that larger iPads are not expected to launch in 2022, and are instead likely to come sometime later.

2. Apple Glasses

Apple is rumored to be working on at least two AR/VR projects, including a mixed reality headset and a pair of sleeker augmented reality glasses, which has led to some confusion about Apple's plans in this space.
Apple AR Mock Orange 1

The AR/VR headset is likely to be a high-end device, and while it is expected to be lighter than existing VR devices, it isn't going to be portable. Bloomberg had described it as providing users with an "all-encompassing 3-D digital environment" designed for gaming, media consumption, and communication.

The AR smart glasses, on the other hand, are said to look similar to regular glasses, but are expected to provide a mobile-first, optical see-through AR experience. Apple is said to be working with TSMC to develop "ultra-advanced" micro OLED displays less than one inch in size for the lenses, which will feature displays that can be interacted with using gestures, and Apple will offer the glasses as an iPhone accessory, which will allow them to be slim and lightweight, rumors suggest.

apple glasses concept macrumors
As it stands, most reports point to Apple debuting its mixed reality headset first, possibly as early this year, although very recent rumors have dampened hopes for a 2022 release. Rumors about the launch year of Apple's AR glasses are more conflicted. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested 2025, which is a lot later than Apple's original plan to launch them in 2023. Bloomberg has reported they are still "years away" and remain in an early stage of development.

3. Apple TV With Integrated Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Apple is said to be working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod-style speaker that also has an integrated camera to enable video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.
HomePod With Screen

Apart from the clear potential for FaceTime calls, the device's other capabilities are said to include standard Apple TV features such as watching video and gaming, along with integrated smart speaker functions like music playback and Siri voice control.

The device is still believed to be in early development in Apple's labs. Assuming it progresses to production stage, we're very unlikely to see it before the year is out. Apple updated the Apple TV 4K in April 2021, and tends to update the device infrequently, releasing a new model around every three years.

That said, the rumored new device would represent a much more significant advancement in the ‌Apple TV‌ product line, and could always sit alongside the current Apple TV set-top box to firm up the company's broader home and audio strategy.

4. HomePod Speaker With Display Mounted on Robotic Arm

Apple is reportedly exploring the potential of a high-end HomePod speaker that includes an iPad-style display connected via a robotic arm that tracks and follows users around a room.
HomePod G4 Feature

Apple is said to be working on the device to compete with existing speakers with screens, such as Amazon's Echo 10, which has a tablet connected to a robotic arm and use facial recognition to keep users in the frame during calls.

Of all the rumored products in our list, this is probably the one least likely to see the light of day at all. According to Bloomberg, the speaker should be considered a "concept" at this time, as its development is very much in the early stages.

Add to that the fact that Apple last year discontinued its original HomePod to focus on the HomePod mini, which has been much more popular since its release in 2020 thanks to its lower price.

5. Apple Car

First mooted before even the original iPhone launched, Apple's plan to launch a self-driving vehicle, codenamed "Project Titan," has seen plenty of twists and turns in the intervening years, and the Apple Car has faced several speed bumps on its development journey.
vanarama apple car concept

Concept "Apple Car" by Vanarama

Apple's work on an autonomous vehicle has been plagued by managerial shifts, changes in focus, and hiring issues almost since it began, and at one point it appeared Apple was shifting towards developing the underlying technology for autonomous vehicles rather than actually building an automobile of its own.

However, under the leadership of John Giannandrea, Apple's AI and machine learning chief, the ‌Apple Car‌ project is moving forward with the ambitious aim of producing an autonomous electric vehicle that does not require human intervention, which no other car manufacturer has been able to achieve.

Apple is now at a stage where it is sourcing components, talking with suppliers, and making deals with manufacturing partners‌. Apple reportedly aims to release a self-driving car by 2025, but even that timeline may ultimately prove to be too aggressive, so don't expect anything for a good few years yet.

6. iPhone With Face ID Under Display

iPhone 14 Mock Pill

Apple's plan to move Face ID under the iPhone display and adopt a single camera cutout to replace the notch appears to have been delayed this year, despite initial iPhone 14 rumors claiming otherwise.

Early rumors suggested that Apple would adopt a hole-punch design with Face ID somehow moved completely under the display, and later it was rumored that there would be a pill-shaped cutout instead.

However, display industry consultant Ross Young has now claimed that iPhone 14 Pro models will feature both hole-punch and pill-shaped cutouts near the top of the display. Young believes the hole will be for the Face ID dot projector, while the pill-shaped cutout will supposedly house the front camera and an infrared camera for Face ID.

Young believes the infrared camera will not be moved under the display until 2023 or 2024, suggesting that Face ID will be reserved for the iPhone 15 Pro or later. Young's belief tallies with a long-term prediction by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has always claimed Face ID won't be moved under the display until 2023.

Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year.

top stories 20220115
Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing calls for Apple to support the new RCS text messaging standard, a new iOS 15.2.1 update with several bug fixes, and more, so read for all of the details!

iPhone 14 Pro Now Rumored to Feature Both Pill-Shaped and Circular Cutouts

While the notch is expected to be removed on iPhone 14 Pro models, there have been conflicting rumors about the new design.

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb
The latest word comes from display industry consultant Ross Young, who expects iPhone 14 Pro models to feature both hole-punch and pill-shaped cutouts near the top of the display. Young believes the hole will be for Face ID's dot projector, while the pill-shaped cutout will supposedly house the front camera, Face ID infrared camera, and other sensors.

In addition to the new display design, iPhone 14 Pro models are also rumored to feature an upgraded 48-megapixel camera.

Apple Says No Carriers Are Blocking iCloud Private Relay

In a statement shared with MacRumors this week, Apple said that no carriers, including T-Mobile, have blocked their users from taking advantage of the ‌iCloud‌ Private Relay feature.

icloud private relay change ios 15 3
T-Mobile earlier this week was accused of disabling ‌iCloud‌ Private Relay for its users after some subscribers found that they were unable to turn on the feature. T-Mobile then released a statement that said it had discovered that the iOS 15.2 update was to blame by causing some device settings to default to the feature being toggled off, but Apple said that was not the case.

Google Exec Pushing RCS Adoption Says He's 'Not Asking Apple to Make iMessage Available on Android'

Google for the last several years has been pushing a new communications protocol called Rich Communication Services, or RCS, which is designed to replace the current SMS standard. RCS supports higher-resolution photos and videos, audio messages, typing indicators, and many other modern messaging features.

General Apps Messages
For the last few months, Google's senior vice president of Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer, has been publicly trying to persuade Apple to adopt support for RCS, and this week he clarified that he's "not asking Apple to make iMessage available on Android."

Face ID Under the Display Returns to Being an iPhone 15 Pro Rumor

Based on the latest rumors, it is now looking unlikely that iPhone 14 Pro models will have Face ID under the display as initially claimed.

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID
According to display industry consultant Ross Young, the iPhone's infrared camera for facial recognition will not be moved under the display until 2023 or 2024, suggesting that Face ID will not be fully under the display until the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 16 Pro.

iOS 15.2.1 Released, Fixes HomeKit Vulnerability and More

Apple this week released iOS 15.2.1 and iPadOS 15.2.1 with an important security fix for a HomeKit vulnerability that was first discovered last year. Apple has also fixed a few Messages and CarPlay bugs.

homekit showdown 2 thumb
Apple also seeded the second betas of iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 to both developers and public beta testers.

iOS 15 has seen slower adoption than iOS 14, but Apple is now more aggressively pushing iOS 14 users to upgrade to iOS 15.

Apple AR/VR Headset Potentially Delayed Until 2023 Amid Development Problems

Apple's long-rumored AR/VR headset could be delayed until 2023 after being beset with issues during the development process, according to Bloomberg.

apple ar headset concept 2Concept render by Ian Zelbo based on leaked information

Citing people familiar with Apple's plans, the report claims that Apple originally planned to launch the headset in 2021 and ship it this year. The company then set its sights on WWDC in June 2022 to launch the product, but this is reportedly now unlikely due to issues related to overheating, as well as camera and software challenges.

MacRumors Newsletter

Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

So if you want to have top stories like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter!

Apple has announced that it will allow third-party payment options for in-app purchases for dating apps in the Netherlands, in the first ever concession of its kind.

iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue
In a message posted on its developer site late on Friday, Apple announced that it will comply with a Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) ruling that compels the company to allow third-party payment services to pay for in-app purchases in dating apps. Dutch dating apps that link out to or use a third-party in-app payment provider will still need to pay a commission to Apple on transactions.

Recent orders from the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) will allow developers of dating apps on the App Store in the Netherlands to share additional payment processing options with users.

[...]

To comply with the ACM's order, we're introducing two optional new entitlements exclusively applicable to dating apps on the Netherlands App Store that provide additional payment processing options for users. Dating app developers who want to continue using Apple's in-app purchase system may do so and no further action is needed.

To implement third-party payment options in Dutch dating apps, developers will need to use Apple's entitlements, but the company warned developers that this will involve additional responsibilities and pose a number of new risks:

Before considering applying for one of these entitlements, it's important to understand that some App Store features that you may use won't be available to your customers, in part because we cannot validate the security and safety of payments that take place outside of the App Store's private and secure payment system. Because Apple will not be directly aware of purchases made using alternative methods, Apple will not be able to assist users with refunds, purchase history, subscription management, and other issues encountered when purchasing digital goods and services through these alternative purchasing methods. You will be responsible for addressing such issues with customers.

Apple added that it disagrees with the ACM ruling, believes it is "not in our users' best interest," and has appealed the decision to a higher court. Specifically, Apple explained that it is "concerned these changes could compromise the user experience, and create new threats to user privacy and data security."

Apple highlighted the benefits of its own payment system to developers, which continues to be available as an option for developers to use in Dutch dating apps:

Apple designed the App Store to be a safe and trusted place for people to discover and download apps. Apple's in-app purchase system, an integral part of our world-class commerce platform, offers people a private and secure user experience across apps and Apple devices, and makes it easy for them to manage their purchases and subscriptions for digital goods and services.

The order originated from a Dutch investigation started in 2019 that examined whether Apple's business practices amounted to an abuse of market power. The investigation included a complaint from Match Group, the owner of Tinder, which claimed that Apple's rules prevented it from communicating with its customers directly about payments.

The ACM said that Apple imposes "unreasonable conditions" by forbidding user choice about in-app purchase methods. Apple was warned that it had to allow dating apps to offer third-party payment options by Saturday, January 15 or face a fine of up to 50 million euros ($57 million). Apple said that it will provide further information about the mandated changes shortly.

Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month.

netflix2
The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits quality to 480p standard definition, with no HD streaming available. The Standard plan is $1.50 more expensive, up from $13.99 per month. It allows for 1080p HD streaming and allows users to watch on two screens at a time.

The highest-end Premium plan is now $2 more expensive per month, up from $17.99. It allows users to watch on four screens at the same time and it is the only plan that provides a 4K HDR streaming option.

netflix new plan cost
Netflix says that the prices apply immediately to new members and will "gradually take effect" for all current members. Current members will get an email notification 30 days before their price changes and will have the option to change plans or cancel.

Netflix previously raised its prices in October 2020, so it's been a bit over a year since the last significant price jump. As of now, the Premium plan is $4 more expensive than it was in fall 2020.

The Basic Netflix plan is now twice as expensive as the $4.99 per month Apple TV+ subscription, and the Premium plan is four times as expensive. Netflix of course has a lot more to offer than ‌Apple TV+‌ in terms of content, but it is also more expensive than most other streaming services on the market.

Hulu's basic plan starts at $6.99 per month, for example, and the no ads plan is $12.99 per month. HBO Max is $14.99 per month, Disney+ costs $7.99 per month, and Peacock Premium costs $4.99 per month.

Hulu, ‌Apple TV+‌, and other services also do not charge for higher quality streaming capabilities, with even the basic plans offering 4K support.

Tag: Netflix

Apple in August announced plans to pay $100 million to settle a class-action lawsuit levied by U.S. developers, and as of today, the website that will allow developers to submit a claim for a payout has gone live.

iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue
The $100 million that Apple provided is being distributed as part of a "Small Developer Assistance Fund," and developers can claim between $250 and $30,000 based on their historic App Store participation. Claims can now be submitted using the Small Developer Assistance website, which also has tools for estimating payments.

Eligible U.S. developers must meet the following criteria for apps:

  • Was sold for a non-zero price;
  • Was sold via Apple's iOS ‌App Store‌ between 2015 and 2021; and
  • Earned, together with any other iOS applications or in-app products (including subscriptions) sold through all of your associated developer accounts, proceeds equal to or less than $1,000,000.00 through the ‌App Store‌ U.S. storefront in every calendar year from 2015 to 2021 in which you had a developer account.

According to the settlement, there are approximately 67,000 eligible developers. Developers who earned less than $100 will get a potential minimum payment of $250, while those who earned over $1,000,000 will be entitled to the $30,000 payment. Minimum payments are subjected to change based on the total number of claims.

The lawsuit dates back to 2019, when a group of iOS developers accused Apple of using its ‌‌App Store‌‌ monopoly to impose "profit-killing" commissions. The lawsuit took issue with Apple's 30 percent cut of ‌‌App Store‌‌ sales, and was largely addressed with the late 2020 announcement of the App Store Small Business Program that cut the commission that small developers have to pay to 15 percent.

Along with the $100 million payment to developers, Apple also agreed to some other concessions. Perhaps the biggest concession will see Apple allowing developers to use communications like email to share information about payment methods available outside of iOS apps. Developers will not pay Apple a commission on purchases that take place outside of the ‌App Store‌.

Apple is also expanding the number of price points available to developers for subscriptions, and the company has agreed to maintain the ‌App Store‌ Small Business Program and ‌App Store‌ search, making no changes for at least three years. Apple also promised to continue to offer developers the option to appeal an app rejection, and it will create an annual transparency report based on ‌App Store‌ data covering app rejections, apps removed from the ‌App Store‌, search information, and more.

Developers need to submit claims by May 20, 2022 to get a payment from Apple, and there will be a final approval hearing on June 7, 2022. The actual payout date will vary based on whether there are objections, how long it takes to resolve those objections, and whether the agreement receives final approval from the court.

(Thanks, Christophe!)

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu last year reported that Apple had tested a new iPad Pro with a glass back for wireless charging capabilities. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said he expects the new iPad Pro to be released in 2022.

iPad Pro Big Ol Logo Orange
While the new iPad Pro is still on track to feature wireless charging, 9to5Mac's Filipe Espósito today reported that Apple may have ultimately scrapped the glass back design after testing due to concerns over breakability. Citing sources familiar with Apple's design plans, the report claims that Apple has developed iPad Pro prototypes with a larger Apple logo made of glass, which would still allow for wireless charging.

One of the prototypes is said to feature MagSafe with stronger magnets than on the iPhone to prevent accidental damage, and it is also said to support faster wireless charging speeds compared to MagSafe on the iPhone.

Given that Apple prototypes several products internally, there is no guarantee that the iPad Pro with a glass Apple logo will ever be released, but rumors do seem to agree that the next iPad Pro will have a new design of some kind to enable wireless charging. A more specific release date for the device beyond the 2022 timeframe remains unclear.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Related Forum: iPad

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Vessel to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Signature 2.0 Weekender Bag and a Signature 2.0 Plus Backpack to go along with it, creating the perfect combo for carrying all of your Apple gear.

vessel weekender main
Priced at $245, the Signature 2.0 Weekender Bag is a premium duffel bag made from high-quality materials that are meant to stand up to wear for years to come. The bag is made from a premium synthetic leather material that's durable, weather resistant, and simple to clean, and inside, there's an antimicrobial lining. The Weekender comes in two shades of black, one smooth and one textured, or a stone color.

vessel weekender 2
Measuring in at 17 inches long, 11 inches high, and eight inches tall, the Weekender features a padded laptop compartment with two internal slip pockets for accessories, four slip pockets and one zip pocket inside, a magnetic slip pocket at one side, and a velour-lined pocket that zips up on the other side.

The laptop compartment is able to accommodate a laptop that's 15 inches in size, and there's a trolley pocket at the back to make it easy to transport when traveling. There's a 270-degree wrap-around YKK zipper to make it easy to pack, a detachable padded shoulder strap, and a button clasp for the handles. When not in use, the bag is foldable so it can be stored away.

vessel weekender 3
Vessel's Signature 2.0 Plus Backpack is an ideal companion for the Weekender, because it is available in the same durable synthetic leather material and it comes in a matching textured Track Black color. Priced at $275, the Signature Backpack has an external lay-flat laptop compartment that accommodates up to a 16-inch laptop.

vessel backpack 1
There's a dual-zip main compartment with waterproof zippers, a front zip pocket with internal organization for accessories, and a whopping 14 internal pockets, including two velour-lined pockets for valuables like smartphones and sunglasses. There are also six external pockets, with two of those being easy-access vertical pockets, and a bottom zip compartment for toting things like shoes.

vessel backpack 2
Vessel designed the bag with adjustable shoulder straps that have a removable sternum strap for use when the backpack is loaded up, and there's an air-mesh back panel for breathability. A trolley sleeve makes it easy to carry when traveling, and it has a 180-degree lay flat design when opened up to make it easy to pack all your gear.

vessel backpack 3
Vessel is offering one lucky MacRumors reader the chance to win a Weekender Bag and a matching Signature Backpack, both in the Track Black color. To enter to win, use the Gleam.io widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older, UK residents who are 18 years or older, and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. All federal, state, provincial, and/or local taxes, fees, and surcharges are the sole responsibility of the prize winner. To offer feedback or get more information on the ‌giveaway‌ restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

The contest will run from today (January 14) at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time on January 21. The winner will be chosen randomly on January 21 and will be contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before a new winner is chosen.

Apple's long-rumored AR/VR headset could be delayed until 2023 after being beset with issues during the development process, according to Bloomberg.

apple ar headset concept 1Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo

Citing people familiar with Apple's plans, the report claims that Apple originally planned to launch the headset in 2021 and ship it this year. The company then set its sights on WWDC in June 2022 to launch the product, but this is reportedly now unlikely due to a number of development issues.

The headset is said to be facing issues with overheating, as well as camera and software challenges. The device is rumored to feature two chips, and Bloomberg believes that at least one of these will be on par with the M1 Pro from the latest MacBook Pro models. The thermal demands of this chip are believed to be the cause of overheating issues.

Earlier designs attempted to mitigate thermal issues by using an external processor device that would transmit data wirelessly to the headset, but Sir Jony Ive reportedly rejected the concept. Apple is currently said to have around 2,000 employees working on its AR/VR headset.

As a result of these development problems, Apple is now considering delaying the launch of the headset until late 2022 or 2023. Apple purportedly informed supply-chain partners that the device is unlikely to be released until 2023, but it is apparently still pushing vendors to have units available for the end of 2022. Cameras for the headset supplied by LG Innotek are due to begin production as early as the second quarter of this year.

The company is now believed to be planning to focus WWDC in 2023 specifically around building virtual and augmented reality apps to kickstart the device's App Store. The headset itself is still rumored to run "rOS," internally codenamed "Oak."

iOS 16, which is internally said to be codenamed "Sydney," will supposedly feature built-in support for the headset to lay the groundwork for the device. Bloomberg notes that this means Apple "could theoretically preview technical aspects of the headset or its software, without showcasing the full device" at this year's WWDC.

Apple has considered pricing the device at more than $2,000, justified by the device's more advanced display, chip, and audio technologies compared to competitors. It originally expected to sell just one headset per day per retail store, and the company's latest forecast to suppliers expects sales of seven million to 10 million units during its first year.

Related Roundups: Apple Glasses, iOS 16

The ransomware hackers behind last year's MacBook Pro schematics leak have now been arrested in Russia, the FSB today announced in a press release (via Reuters).

14 16 inch 2021 mbps back to back feature
Following an initial arrest late last year, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) explained that it has arrested 14 members of "REvil," an organized criminal association that used malicious software to extort funds from companies.

In April 2021, REvil attacked Taiwanese Apple supplier Quanta Computer. The group went on to post detailed stolen schematics of the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, seven months before the device was officially unveiled.

The extensive schematics revealed the redesigned MacBook Pro's notch, casing design, ports, full-size function keys instead of the Touch Bar, and more. The leak was so detailed that it reportedly aided repair technicians.

REvil threatened to release more schematics and documents for every day that Apple did not pay a $50 million ransom, but the initial leaked documents vanished just days later. In October 2021, several governments launched a combined effort to take REvil offline.

According to the FSB, after the latest arrests, REvil now ceases to exist and its information infrastructure has been neutralized. REvil's funds have been seized from 25 addresses in Russia, constituting over $5.5 million worth of cryptocurrency, cash, cars, and equipment. U.S. authorities have also been informed of the development.

Tag: Russia

Today we're tracking a deal on Apple's 128GB Wi-Fi 12.9-inch iPad Pro, priced at $999.00, down from $1,099.00. Amid the entire 2021 iPad Pro lineup this is the most consistent and solid offer that we track, and it's in stock today and ready to ship from Amazon.

iPad Pro Deals Feature YellowNote: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

This sale price is only available in the Silver color option on Amazon, and B&H Photo is also matching the price in the same color. Both retailers are offering a similar delivery window, with estimates ranging from January 16 to January 19.

You can pair your iPad Pro with the Magic Keyboard for 12.9-inch iPad Pro at $299.98, down from $349.00. This is a new all-time low price for the White color option, and Amazon estimates about a three day shipping delay from today.

2021 Magic Keyboard Teal

For even more iPad deals, head to our full Best Deals guide for iPad. In that guide we track the best discounts online for iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro.

Related Roundups: Apple Deals, iPad Pro
Related Forum: iPad

Apple is rumored to announce four new iPhone 14 models in September, and ahead of time, analyst Jeff Pu has outlined his expectations for the devices.

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole 16x9 120hz
In a research note with Haitong International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Pu claimed that all iPhone 14 models will feature ProMotion displays, compared to only Pro models currently. ProMotion enables a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz for smoother appearing content when watching video, gaming, or scrolling.

Pu previously said that iPhone 14 Pro models would be equipped with an increased 8GB of RAM, but based on a "supply chain check," he now expects all four iPhone 14 models to be equipped with 6GB of RAM due to cost considerations.

6GB of RAM would be an increase for standard iPhone 14 models, but not for Pro models:

  • iPhone 13 mini: 4GB
  • iPhone 13: 4GB
  • iPhone 13 Pro: 6GB
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max: 6GB
  • iPhone 14: 6GB
  • iPhone 14 Max: 6GB
  • iPhone 14 Pro: 6GB
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max: 6GB

In line with analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Taiwanese research firm TrendForce, Pu expects iPhone 14 Pro models to be equipped with an upgraded 48-megapixel main camera. He also claimed that iPhone 14 Pro models will start with 256GB of storage, up from 128GB. Questionably, he expects standard iPhone 14 models to start with 64GB of storage.

Pu has a less-established track record for Apple rumors compared to some more prominent analysts like Kuo, so a higher level of skepticism is warranted for these rumors until they are corroborated by other sources.

Related Roundups: iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro

Apple's AirPods 3 have returned to the low price we tracked over the holidays, priced at $139.99, down from $179.00. This is the first time we've seen the AirPods 3 hit this price in 2022 and they're in stock now.

AirPods Gen 3 Feature 2Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Shipping estimates provide a delivery date between January 18 and January 27 for the fastest option. In regards to AirPods deals, this AirPods 3 markdown is the first out of Apple's entire AirPods family lineup to see a return to holiday season prices in 2022.

We track sales for every model of the AirPods in our Best AirPods Deals guide, so be sure to bookmark that page while you shop around for the wireless headphones.

Related Roundups: AirPods 3, Apple Deals
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)
Related Forum: AirPods

Apple is on an "aggressive hunt" for potential deals that would allow it to broadcast live sports content on its TV+ streaming service as part of a wider effort to boost subscription numbers, according to a new report from investment firm Wedbush.

nfl
In a new investor note, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said he regards Apple's decision not to acquire a movie studio yet as a clear indication that it now sees live sports programming as potentially a key piece of its future success for growing the audience of its video streaming service.

Apple has not provided details on ‌Apple TV+‌ subscriber numbers since the digital streaming service began, but Wedbush estimates that ‌Apple TV+‌ has around 20 million paid subscribers among roughly 45 million viewers, the rest of which are seeing out free trials included with other Apple product purchases.

That's a fraction of the number of subscriptions that the likes of Disney+ and Netflix enjoys. Knowing this, Apple is apparently "ready to spend billions" on live sports content over the next four years to drive the future growth of ‌Apple TV+‌ and make it a key monetization engine in its burgeoning services ecosystem, which earned it $80 billion in annual revenue in the last financial year.

With Apple spending $7 billion annually on original content and having roughly $200 billion of cash on its balance sheet, we believe the company is gearing up to bid on a number of upcoming sports packages coming up for contract/renewals in future years. We note that upcoming sports packages potentially for bid over the next four years that Apple can be involved with (in some capacity/semi-exclusive) are: NFL (Sunday Night Ticket), Big Ten, Pac 12, Big East, Big 12, other NCAA sports packages (2024 timing), NASCAR, and the NBA/WNBA.

At the current time, ‌‌Apple TV+‌‌ does not offer support for any kind of live television, providing access only to on-demand television and movie content, so Apple will need to build in a new sports-oriented section with live TV streaming if it completes any deals.

Earlier this month, The New York Post reported that Apple has entered into discussions with Major League Baseball about a potential deal that would see the company broadcasting MLB games next season, which would represent a major foray into the world of live sports content.

Its current lack of live sports access remains a serious hole in Apple TV's programming, with competitors like Amazon already boasting established deals. For example, Amazon's 20 live English Premier League soccer games will return in the 2022/23 season, and the company has inked a deal to air "Thursday Night Football" games starting this fall, for which it paid more than $1 billion for the access.