February 22, 2024

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Apple can’t risk improving the iPhone 16

Apple can’t risk improving the iPhone 16

Updated December 3: Article was originally published on December 2

With the iPhone 15, Apple is doing its best to make the entry-level vanilla iPhone good enough for those who buy it but weak enough that anyone looking for a great experience won’t think about moving up to the more expensive iPhone 15 Pro.

Apple needs to build on the iPhone 15 with the iPhone 16 but make sure that any upgrades to the iPhone 16 don’t disrupt the iPhone 16 Pro.

Update: Sunday, December 3: Apple must balance the need to create separation between the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro and add enough new features and upgrades to the iPhone 16 to make it as attractive an option as possible. The latter will be introduced in part by bringing the action button from the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max to the vanilla iPhone 16.

Previous leaks about the new user interface option It has been Backup this week With new details about its functions. The iPhone 16’s action button will replace the physical mute control with a capacitive button. This will not only provide pressure sensitivity, but may also allow secondary commands to be programmed for directional scrolling of the button.

This may not be the only new button added to the iPhone 16. Early reports of the action button have also highlighted the capabilities of the Capture button. This will be a two-stage physical button that acts like a traditional camera shutter button — a half-press to lock focus and a full press to take the photo. Unlike the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, the capture button is set to make its debut across the full range, although Apple still has time to change the final design of any of the 2024 iPhones.

There’s a certain amount of irony in Apple — with its customer-first focus — limiting itself to vanilla iPhone models. Since the introduction of the iPhone Pro level, there has been a constant tension to make these phones different while maintaining the essence of Apple. Over the past few iterations, you can see the vanilla iPhone receiving far fewer updates and upgrades and less focus and placement in keywords.

As the iPhone Pro surges forward, Apple has been dragging its heels to subtly limit the iPhone. This process is set to continue with the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro.

First up is the screen. Apple is set to use 60Hz refresh For the next iPhone. Samsung’s similar Galaxy 23 and Google’s Pixel 8 all reach 120Hz refresh rates. These faster refresh rates make for smoother scrolling, improved graphics in games, and better readability. Display analyst Ross Young doesn’t expect the update to arrive faster on vanilla iPhone screens until late 2017.

Then you have the option of the processor within the iPhones. Apple has been designing its own silicon for many years. While it was once seen as a virtue that every iPhone — even the iPhone SE — would run on the same system-on-a-chip, that moment has passed. Minimizing performance gains on lower iPhone models is the new normal.

There’s a split between the iPhone 15’s A16 and the iPhone 15 Pro’s A17 Pro. What will happen to 2024 phones?

It’s possible that Apple could take the A17 Pro chipset and not even bring it back one year to the iPhone 16. Can provide assumed name A17, a low-end chipset denotes the lack of a Pro moniker. It would be an upgrade to the A16 (and could easily be sold as such), but with the A18 Pro entering the newer iPhone Pro models, you’ve once again increased the performance gap between the two halves of Apple’s portfolio.

Finally, you have the camera. Photography has become the de facto battleground between manufacturers to prove that they have the best hardware and software.

Take one example of pulling specifications; Supply Chain Reports highlight the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max pushing optical zoom to a 5x telephoto lens with quad-prism lenses. There’s no indication this will come to the iPhone 16. If you want the best camera, you need the best iPhone. Apple’s picks show that the iPhone 16 will not be the best iPhone.

Vanilla iPhones, like the current iPhone 15 and upcoming iPhone 16, carry a premium price (the iPhone 15 with 128GB of storage is $799). Looking at other phones in the $799 price range, you can see 120Hz refresh on the displays, optical zoom, stronger camera lenses, and high-end chipsets being used. If the competition can achieve these specifications, it’s disappointing that Apple can’t do the same.

This means that these vanilla iPhones not only offer those who need a great iPhone Pro experience, but with weaker components being widely purchased, the bill of materials will be reduced. Apple has also ensured that there is market segmentation, and those who shy away from the high price of the iPhone Pro models can take comfort from the relatively low cost of the vanilla iPhone.

The delicate question now is what happens to the vanilla iPhone when Apple updates the iPhone SE in early 2024. That’s a rather strange spec sandwich.

Now read the latest iPhone, Mac, and App Store headlines in Forbes’ weekly Apple Loop news digest…

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