Summer flings may not mean very much, but a fresh Apple regulatory filing sure makes it look as if it may plan to spread a little sunshine for Macs and iPads this side of the summer recess.
The new Apple items are described as running iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 High Sierra, which makes me think it’s possible the company intends introducing these things this side of summer — if it does so at all.
This evidence can’t be considered as much more than idle gossip and speculation. History shows Apple has made filings like this in the past with no subsequent result. (Remember the iPhone filing earlier this year? We’re still waiting on Apple’s spring fling.)
It is also possible different regulators have different filing requirements, and these filings may relate to existing products.
Happened so fast
Apple hasn’t introduced any significant Mac upgrades this year, and the only iPad launch so far is that of the (rather impressive) entry-level iPad with Apple Pencil support.
Given the importance of both product ranges and its reignited love for the pro user market, Apple may also hope to boost hardware sales as its FY Q3 deadline looms at the end of July with a surprise summer Mac and iPad kiss.
What gives this speculation a little more weight is this week’s revelation of new Geekbench benchmark figures that mention a new allegedly 13-inch model (MacBook Pro15,2) that runs an Intel Core i7-8559U Coffee Lake CPU.
Could the timing of both these sets of rumors mean something’s up?
Tell me more, tell me more
The chip is alleged to be a 2.7GHz quad-core processor with an 8MB L3 cache and an impressive 4.5GHz turbo-boost speed. That's great for when you need to throw a little more power at a problem, such as when running multiple external GPUs to render a 3D AR video on your Mac.
The GeekBench tests saw this Mac model achieve 4,448 in single-core and 16,607 in multi-core tests — much faster at multi-core than last year’s 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Adding a little fuel to the fire, BGR notes it spotted a new listing for another MacBook Pro model in early June.
MacBook Air, MacBook, and MacBook Pro are all reportedly set for upgrade, and iPad Pro really looks like it wants Face ID
It turned colder, that’s where it ends
In recent months, there has been a series of stories suggesting Apple’s relationship with Intel is becoming a little more tepid than before.
This week, we learn the company may hope to make its own 5G modem for iPhones in 2020 rather than using Intel. This is part of a multi-pronged attempt on Apple’s part to bring manufacturing of key components in house, almost certainly due to lack of innovation in the AIM Alliance era and as a response to subsequently finding itself forced to use components manufactured by business competitors.
Apple’s transition from being an outsourcing company to becoming a manufacturing firm in its own right continues, at least so far as key components are concerned.
Those summer nights
I’m going to stress that placing bets on Apple rumor is usually less rewarding than buying a lottery ticket.
Not only does the company change product launch dates if necessary, but while you can fit all its products on one Jony Ive-designed table, they now cover such a vast span that different business units must be fighting each other for keynote time.
Keynote time is going to become even more precious as the company seeks to make good on its multi-billion-dollar original content investments over the next 12 months, and it becomes even more scarce later down the line as completely new product families drive into view.
All the same, those new Macs seem fast, even while iPad Pros steadily become all the Mac many people need.
My take? Circle back soon when I think Apple will tell us more.
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