iPhone 16 Pro specs, Apple Watch design leaks, and Apple’s AI price tag

We take a look at this week’s news and headlines from Apple, including the latest iPhone 16 specs, iPhone 16 Pro battery changes, RCS Messaging testing, cheaper Vision Pro version, Apple Watch design leaks, new Apple TV, and Apple Intelligence pays off.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of some of the many discussions surrounding Apple over the past seven days. You can also read my weekly Android news roundup here on Forbes.

iPhone 16 will participate in the force

With Apple set to introduce AI to the iPhone 16 family, each device will need an AI-capable processor. This is in line with a new report out this week that looks at the two product names and highlights the use of the upcoming A18 chip for the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro. This is a change in strategy; previously, Apple has tried to keep regular iPhones one generation behind the Pro models to encourage sales of more expensive phones:

“So, the evidence pointing to chips called iPhone17,1 alongside iPhone17,2 and other similar devices suggests that every model in the new lineup this fall will have the same processor. Battery life is likely to benefit here as well, as the new chips may boost efficiency alongside power.”


Big change in iPhone 16 Pro battery

New regulations around the world are focused on improving the repairability and sustainability of consumer electronics, including smartphones. Apple has no choice but to follow this model, which essentially means removing old, stuck-on batteries to allow for easy replacement. Of course, Apple has a super-fast technological process ready to go:

“As it stands, removing batteries from an iPhone requires some skill to pull off the adhesive strips that hold them to the chassis. It’s not an easy task for the average user, who doesn’t have experience. But Apple wants to change that by using bonding technology that will release the battery after “giving a small electrical shock… This new technology could make its way to at least one iPhone 16 model this year, with it rolling out to the entire iPhone 17 lineup in 2025.”


RCS Messaging Beta

The iOS 18 developer beta isn’t available to the public yet, but one key feature is already starting to gain traction among those who have access to it. After years of teasing, Apple has included the RCS messaging protocol in its Messages app. RCS allows for more communication between customers, supports group chats, and sends rich media:

Users have reported that the benefits of RCS — a much more advanced system than SMS, which iPhones previously rejected in favor of their own iMessage setup — are now usable on iPhone for experienced users, since Apple released the second developer beta of iOS 18 on Monday, June 24.


Plans for cheaper vision headphones

The Apple Vision Pro headset is an expensive entry point into Apple’s mixed reality ecosystem and there was always a consensus that a cheaper non-pro headset would follow. Supply chain analysts have picked up on a potential lower-resolution display that could be the heart of the Vnailla Vision headset:

“Apple’s interest in larger, lower-resolution OLEDoS displays than the ones used in the Vision Pro suggests that these displays could be for a new, lower-cost mixed reality headset. Apple has been rumored to be working on such a device for over a year, and the latest indications are that it could be designed to tether to an iPhone or Mac to eliminate the need for an expensive processor. The lower-cost Apple Vision headset could launch later next year.”

(Mac rumors).

Apple Watch design leaks

The next Apple Watch, whether it’s the regular Apple Watch 3 or a new Ultra, is expected to get bigger, with a larger screen, which will impact the entire design:

“The next watch, whatever its name, will have a larger screen than any previous watch, including the Apple Watch Ultra… Raw CAD renders show a watch with a two-inch screen — the Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch Ultra 2 both have the largest screens yet, at 1.93 inches.”


New Apple TV with AI

Two new devices have been added to the developer code. It seems that Apple is planning a new wave of devices for home use, and we may be ready to see a hybrid product that combines two popular accessories:

“MacRumors has identified code “discovered on the back of an Apple TV” that says Apple is working on a new home accessory to sit alongside the HomePod and Apple TV… The suggestion is that the new device will be so powerful that it needs an A18 chip in it, whatever that turns out to be. Could this supposed hybrid be an Apple TV with a display? That would be innovative.”

(Mac rumors (via Forbes).


As manufacturers around the world move toward AI tools, the cost of running these services means that at some point, consumers will have to foot the bill. That includes Apple’s efforts to bring AI to the iPhone and beyond. With the launch of new iPhones, it will likely be free, but don’t be surprised if Apple introduces another subscription service:

In his latest newsletter, Gurman said that while Apple Intelligence will be free, Apple’s long-term plan is to launch something like “Apple Intelligence+,” with additional features that users would pay a monthly fee to access. Gurman argues that making its AI features another revenue stream for services would allow Apple to offset the slowdown in hardware upgrades and make the company less reliant on hardware tweaks to drive its business.

(Mac rumors).

Apple Loop brings you seven days of highlights every weekend here on Forbes. Be sure to follow me so you don’t miss any future coverage. You can read last week’s Apple Loop article here , or you can also read this week’s edition of Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit , on Forbes.

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