Cook Tackles Big Themes As Apple Rumors Swirl

Even as rumors about Apple’s forthcoming iPhone 7, Apple Watch 2 and other products heat up, CEO Tim Cook talks with the Washington Post’s Jena McGregor in a sprawling interview that touches on everything from the mistakes he’s made in the five years since he succeeded Steve Jobs to the rosy gold future of the iPhone to privacy issues, his gay-rights activism, the people he calls for advice and his summer reading list.

Although iPhone sales are down recently, Cook says the long-term outlook is about as good as it gets — about 1.4 billion units sold globally each year compared to about 275 million PCs at present. 

“Over time, I’m convinced every person in the world will have a smartphone. That may take a while, and they won’t all have iPhones. But it is the greatest market on earth from a consumer electronics point of view,” he tells McGregor.



And while some users have been holding onto their smartphones longer of late — there’s not that much difference between a 5s and a 6s, after all, although you would never catch Cook saying that — there will be vast improvements in technology down the line, he asserts.

“Look at the core technologies that make up the smartphone today and look at the ones that will be dominant in smartphones of the future — like AI,” Cook says. “AI will make this product even more essential to you. It will become even a better assistant than it is today. So where you probably aren’t leaving home without it today — you’re really going to be connected to it in the future.”

Getting back to the more imminent future, “the most reliable predictions suggest that Apple will officially announce the iPhone 7 during the first week of September, with a retail release following on Friday, September 16,” CNET’s Justin Jaffe reports, basing his information on “veteran leaker Evan Blass.”

And, in his compilation of rumors wide and far, Jaffe tell us that “writing for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman reports that Apple has replaced the iPhone's traditional home button with ‘a pressure-sensitive’ variant that features ‘haptic feedback,’ similar to the ‘Force Click’ touch pad included on the latest-model MacBooks. Gurman also confirms that the higher-end Plus model will come equipped with dual cameras that take brighter, more detailed photos; that the iPhone 7 will have two speakers, making it the first stereo speaker iPhone; and that it will come in the same Space Black color available on the Apple Watch.”

Meanwhile, all those reports about the headphone jack? True. “It’s dead. Dunzo,” writes Christina Warren for Mashable, citing Gurman. 

“I'm sure I'm not the only person who looks at the leaks of the next iPhone and says, ‘Huh. OK,’” Warren rues. “This isn't to say I won't still buy the next iPhone — I'm TOTALLY going to buy the new iPhone in September — but if we're being honest, this probably won't be the most exciting iPhone release we've seen.”

As for Apple Watch 2,’s Jon Axworthy runs down all the rumors with experts but concludes in his lede: “The only thing for certain is that changes need to be made.”

Meanwhile, MacRumors’ Eric Slivka reports that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests Apple will introduce a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro model next year to go along with a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and a “low-cost” 9.7-inch iPad model.

“If the iPad comes in a larger size, such as a 10.5” model, we believe it will be helpful to bid for tenders within the commercial and education markets,” Kuo writes in a note.

He does not mention the 7.9-inch mini but Slivka notes that many analysts believe it is a goner, rendered extraneous by the 5.5-inch iPhone Plus. Then, Kuo writes: “Revolutionary iPad model likely to be introduced in 2018F at the earliest, with radical changes in form factor design & user behavior on adoption of flexible AMOLED panel,” which apparently could be a big deal.

AMOLED, Mobileburn tells us, stands for Active Matrix OLED and “is a hybrid display technology that pairs the active matrix backplane from a traditional TFT display with an OLED display.” I’m sure it will sound more exciting by the time Apple gets its marketing on it.

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