Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.
Get ready for the jumbo iMac
Earlier this year we enjoyed the launch of the 24in iMac, itself a larger (and considerably more colourful) iteration of the previous 21.5in iMac. But now we're hearing that Apple is planning a similarly plus-sized reimagining of the 27in iMac, which may soon balloon past the 30in mark - in fact an iMac with a screen of 32in isn't beyond the realms of possibility.
"I absolutely still believe that a larger, redesigned iMac to replace the Intel 27in models is en route," writes Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman. "Apple increasing the screen size of the smaller model from 21.5in to 24in seems to indicate that the 27in model could see a size increase as well."
If the imminent gigantifying of the higher-tier iMac isn't enough to whet the appetite, we're also hearing multiple reports that Apple is working on a gaming iMac. Two high-ranking Apple employees, for instance, have discussed the potential of the M-series processors for games.
"You can imagine the pride of some of the GPU folks and imagining, 'Hey, wouldn't it be great if it hits a broader set of those really intense gamers'," said platform architecture VP Tim Millet. "It's a natural place for us to be looking, to be working closely with our Metal team and our Developer team. We love the challenge."
And a designer has come up with concept art that shows what a gaming iMac could look like; Third Cube has published a concept of a gaming iMac which is significantly larger than a 27in iMac and features a special curved design.
We don't know exactly where the iMac is going. But right now it's a product line that's ripe with possibility.
Apple-free in the UK
Congratulations go to Apple's legal team, which this week broke the record for world's largest toy thrown out of world's most valuable pram.
Having received the disheartening news that a UK court ruling had gone the wrong way, and that the company was on the hook for a patent fee that the judge himself warned was likely to be displeasing, Apple's lawyers decided that instead of taking the setback on the chin they would drop some heavy hints about walking away from the UK market entirely.
"Apple's position is it should indeed be able to reflect on the terms and decide whether commercially it is right to accept them or to leave the UK market," said Apple lawyer Marie Demetriou. "There may be terms that are set by the court which are just commercially unacceptable."
Fair enough, but there are a couple of problems with this line of argument. One is that by publicly stating that you might not feel like accepting the official outcome of a dispute, you give your opponents justification to act likewise if and when things go the other way; another is that you may look a little silly if people call your bluff and you don't leave the country, as happened after a dispute with Norwegian authorities in 2007-2008.
And as Donald Trump discovered, nobody likes a bad loser.
News in brief
Despite clear risk of suffocation and poisoning from the battery, a German YouTuber has swallowed an AirTag. We do not recommend that you follow his example.
Following considerable, shall we say pushback on the interface changes in Safari in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple has backed down and reverted some of the more radical updates. The third betas see the Mac's tabs return to a separate field below the toolbar, while the iPhone address bar remains at the bottom of the keyboard until you press OK, rather than suddenly jumping to the top.
Jason Cross investigates the mystery of the Apple weather app that refused to say the number '69'.
Apple has high hopes for the iPhone 13, and has ordered a whopping 90 million units from its suppliers. That's just to tide us over until the end of 2021, and represents a 20% increase on last year.
Will anyone miss the Touch Bar, wonders Karen Haslam.
Apple has launched a new MagSafe Battery Pack for the iPhone 12 range. It's rated at 11.13Wh, which will more than double the capacity of the 12, 12 mini and 12 Pro.
Apple is gearing up for an epic second half of 2021, writes Michael Simon.
Mac sales continue to rise - but the PC market is rising faster.
When it comes to Apple reviews, bias is as bias does, observes the Macalope.
Apple has broken the $2.5 trillion milestone. No company in history comes close.
Bugs & problems
Russian state-backed hackers exploited a zero-day flaw in iOS this spring to target the iPhones of government officials in Western Europe. The same group is believed to have executed a major attack on the IT provider SolarWinds in 2020, and compromised a US federal agency earlier in 2021.
Time Capsule users have been warned of a potentially serious drive error. The German data rescue company Datenrettung discovered that the hard drives in the 2TB and 3TB Time Capsule models were from the Seagate Grenada brand, which turns out to have a design flaw that causes them to break down sooner than expected.
Video of the week
Apple's M1 chip is the first in what the company calls a "family of chips" that is expected to grow later this year. The next iteration of Apple Silicon, the so-called M1X chip, may arrive in the second half of 2021 and power higher-end Macs. After that, Apple could release an M2 chip, an M2X chip and so on.
In the video embedded below, Juliet Beauchamp, Ken Mingis and Michael Simon discuss future Mac chips, how powerful they may be and what devices will receive the hardware upgrade first.
The rumour mill
Movement on the long-running Apple Car project, which appears to have secured supplier partners for its batteries - a key part of any car, we'd have thought. We understand that Apple initially sought a partnership with two of China's largest battery suppliers, CATL and BYD, but negotiations foundered on its insistence that the batteries be manufactured in the US.
A completely redesigned iPad mini 6 is coming this autumn, according to the latest report, bringing a larger screen, no Home button and Touch ID in the power button. It's about time, frankly. The last iPad mini was near the start of 2019, before everything went weird.
Production of the new MacBook Pro will be starting soon, according to the generally reliable (76.6% accurate) prognosticator Ming-Chi Kuo. The new 14in and 16in Mac laptops remain on track for that expected autumn launch despite delays and component shortages, he reckons.
In iPhone 13 corner, we hear that only the Pro models will get LiDAR scanners - which would be a big disappointment, and no progression at all from the iPhone 12 series. But it does look like the iPhone 13 will get faster, more reliable Wi-Fi 6E.
It might feel like it's only been a couple of months since the 2021 iPad Pro came out (and it is), but it's never too early for rumours. Martyn Casserly has all the gossip about next year's iPad Pro models.
I've embedded a list of the best current Apple deals below, but other than that, we're done for this week. See you next Saturday, and stay Appley!
Apple deals of the week
Apple has finally brought its Back To School sale to Europe, and that's our pick of the week's deals. But you'll find the rest of the bargains we're currently recommending in the table below.
1. Apple Back to School Sale
From: Apple Education Discount
Now: Up to £280 off Mac, £80 off iPad (with free AirPods)
Apple's education pricing is available all year round. To be eligible, you just need to prove your status as a current or newly accepted university student, parent buying on behalf of a university student or member of teaching staff at any level. You'll then get up to £280 off a new Mac or up to £80 off a new iPad along with a free pair of AirPods. Here's what you need to know.
2. Apple AirPods Max
From: Laptops Direct
Now: £499.97 (£49.03 off)
This near-£50 saving on the AirPods Max is the biggest we've seen to date.
3. Apple MacBook Air (2020, M1, 8GB/256GB) - Refurbished "Very Good"
Now: £869.99 (£129 off)
MusicMagpie also has £129 off the MacBook Air (256GB). This option is graded in a "Very Good" condition.
4. Apple MacBook Pro (2020, M1, 8GB/256GB) - Refurbished "Pristine"
Now: £1024.99 (£259 off)
If you prefer, there's also £259 off an M1 MacBook Pro with 256GB storage in "Pristine" condition from MusicMagpie.
5. Apple 13in MacBook Pro, M1, 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 256GB (2020)
Now: £1,129.97 (£169 off)
Amazon also has £169 off 512GB M1 MacBook Pro, normally £1,499. Get that deal here.
6. Apple iPhone 12 (64GB)
Now: £679 (£120 off)
7. Apple 12.9in iPad Pro (256GB, 2020 model with A12Z)
Now: £893.92 £175.08
Amazon has an incredible £175 off last year's iPad Pro 12.9in with the A12Z Bionic chip. See why it received 4.5/5 stars in our review, along with the Macworld Editor's Choice badge.
8. Apple Watch SE (44mm, GPS + Cellular)
Now: £323.28 (£25.72 off)
Save over £25 on a brand new Watch SE 44mm from Amazon.
9. Apple iPad Pro (2021, M1, 11in, Cellular)
Now: £957.78 (£41.22 off)
Amazon has knocked over £40 off the brand new iPad Pro 11in with 5G connectivity. It's strong saving on Apple's brand-new and exceptionally powerful M1-equipped iPad Pro for 2021. There's also £62 off the 512GB option.
10. Bitdefender Antivirus For Mac - 1 Year, 3 Devices
Now: £24.99 (£15 off)
One of our top picks for Mac is Bitdefender, which has £15 off right now for up to three devices.
Normally £39.99, this deal lets you protect three Macs for £24.99. Note that this is the price for the first year only.
11. Apple iPad Pro (2021, M1, 11in)
Now: £986.72 (£62.28 off)
Save £62 on the 512GB 11 iPad Pro with the M1 chip from Amazon. We're looking at where to buy the M1 iPad Pro at the best price separately here.
12. Apple iPad Air (2020, 64GB)
Now: £529.97 (£49.03 off)
13. Apple iPhone 12 mini
Now: £579 (£120 off)
14. Apple Watch Series 6, 40mm, Nike Sports Band
From: John Lewis
Now: £349 (£30 off)
John Lewis is offering money off the Apple Watch Nike Series 6 GPS, 40mm in Space Grey. You may also be able to save up to £120 if you trade in an old Apple Watch.
15. Apple iPhone 12 mini (128GB)
Now: £613.97 (£135.03 off)
An impressive saving on the 128GB version of the iPhone 12 mini.
16. Apple MacBook Air, M1, 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 512GB (2020)
Now: £999.97 (£249.03 off)
An excellent deal, this. Save almost £250 on the MacBook Air with 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU from Amazon. This means you can get the 512GB MacBook Air for the price Apple sells the 256GB model for, and get the 8-core GPU too!
The discount only applies to the Rose Gold version.
17. Apple iPhone 12 mini (256GB)
Now: £645 (£204 off)
The 256GB iPhone 12 has £204 off from Amazon, outdoing the £140 discount over Prime Day! Read our guide to the best iPhone 12 deals for more buying advice.
18. Apple 13in MacBook Pro, M1, 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 512GB (2020)
Now: £1,329.97 (£169 off)
This is a great deal from Amazon for the top-of-the-range M1 MacBook Pro (512GB).
19. Apple iPhone 11 Pro (64GB)
Now: £924 (£125 off)
Save £125 on the 64GB iPhone 11 Pro - this deal's open to all Amazon members.
20. Apple Mac mini, 3.0GHz 6-core, 512GB (2020)
Now: £899 (£200 off)