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.

If you'd like to get regular roundups of breaking Apple news, sign up to our newsletters.

New iMacs arrive!

We've been expecting new iMacs for a while, and this week our wish came true. Apple has announced updated versions of the 27in iMac, as well as tweaks to the 21.5in version and the iMac Pro.

It's a specs bump, but a substantial one: the 27in iMac now has 10th-gen Intel processors (yep, Intel; Apple Silicon must wait), starts at 6- instead of quad-core, and comes with an SSD by default. The FaceTime camera, speakers and microphones have all been improved, too.

But there will plenty of people out there who feel that the iMac needs a physical redesign. If you fit into that camp, try to cheer up: we've just seen some exquisite concept illustrations of a futuristic iMac with an iPad Pro aesthetic.

iMac concept image by Daniel Bautista

Image by Daniel Bautista

iPhone 12 steps

All eyes are on the launch of the iPhone 12, which last week Apple admitted would appear a few weeks later than usual. The company didn't offer any more detail than that - frankly, it's amazing we got as much comment as we did - but pundits are now filling in the gaps.

The latest theory is that the iPhone 12 will be split into two batches, with the first set (the medium-sized 6.1in models, the 12 Pro and 12 Max) appearing roughly on time and the 5.4in and 6.7in handsets turning up some time later.

In a detailed analysis piece, Samuel Nyberg argues that this is all unusual, but not unprecedented. Every previous time Apple has delayed an iPhone, he points out, there have been other new models to offer buyers in the meantime, and a phased launch schedule seems to be the only way it can achieve something similar this year. 

Mobeewave, hello!

An Apple acquisition is always fun to talk about. The latest to emerge is the Montreal startup Mobeewave, which the company has bought for a reported $100m.

What's it getting for that chunk of change? A technology that turns smartphones into mobile payment terminals - the perfect complement, one would have thought, to Apple Pay.


News in brief

Phil Schiller - he of the famous phrase "Can't innovate any more, my ass" - is Apple's SVP of worldwide marketing no longer. He is replaced by Greg Joswiak.

Microsoft has announced that official support for Office 2016 for Mac will end in October. Time to update (or find an alternative).

In ambitious-lawsuit news, a Chinese firm which claims Apple infringed on its patents is now demanding that every Apple product be removed from sale. Every product except the Apple Pencil, that is, since it doesn't have Siri.

Apple continues to go from financial strength to strength. Following sparkling quarterly results the company's market cap reached an astonishing $1.8 trillion - pushing towards the $2 trillion mark that an analyst earlier this year said it would reach in four years.

Part of the reason for this strong performance can be put down to strong iPhone sales, which are up even as the rest of the industry suffers. Funnily enough things are more mixed if you switch to the tablet department (where iPad sales are up by nearly 20%, but all of Apple's rivals saw still stronger growth) but of course the iPhone is king when it comes to revenue.

It may have plenty of cash, but Apple is trying to convince its landlords that money is too tight to mention. It is seeking rent reduction of up to 50% for some of its UK stores, offering in return to commit to longer leases.

One of the most exciting developments in iOS 14 is the ability to select third-party email and browser apps as the default on your iPhone, rather than Mail and Safari. But not every Tom, Dick and Outlook will be added to the list of options, and Apple has now announced the requirements apps will have to meet if they want to be considered - such as a minimum standard of privacy.

Apple has shared a new short film called The Stunt Double. Two things about this are noteworthy: it was directed by Damien Chazelle, the Oscar-winning director of Whiplash and La La Land, and it was shot on an iPhone 11 Pro, vertically.

In a move that some might define as cheeky, Apple has published advice for owners of Huawei phones: how to get the Move to iOS app when you haven't got access to Google Play.

Tens of thousands of games have been pulled from the Chinese App Store, as authorities crack down on objectionable material.

A man in Switzerland is accused of fraudulently exchanging fake iPhones, using water damage to discourage resellers from checking the hardware.

Apple has launched a universal gift card in the US. Unlike in the past, when there were separate cards for hardware, software and services, this will be redeemable for any Apple product.

Bugs and problems

Security researchers claim they've found an 'unpatchable' flaw in the Secure Enclave of many active iPhones. Any device featuring an Apple processor from the A7 to the A11 Bionic could be affected, which means the iPhone 5s to the iPhone X, and the iPad mini 2 to the iPad 10.2in (2019).

The rumour mill

New leaked photos show the back of the iPhone 12, and there are 36 mysterious magnets built in. Pundits speculate that these could be designed to work with AirPower, or to enable the phone to act as a charging mat (for the Apple Watch or AirPods) in its own right.

The Apple Watch looks set to get its biggest battery yet, after Apple got approval of a mystery 303.8mAh unit in Korea. Good news for the Series 6 and its potential as a sleep tracker.

And that's it for this week. Stay Appley!