Apple Loop: Radical Folding iPhone Design, MacOS Malware Problems, Apple’s Russian Accommodation

Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes a folding iPhone concept, new iOS security features, new AirPods delay, latest TouchID technology, iPad Pro launch details, Apple’s Russian Accommodation, macOS malware, the discontinued HomePod, and the power of loyalty to Apple.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).

Folding The iPhone 13 In Half

When the iPhone 13 is released later this year, it’s expected to carry on Apple’d existing design language. But what if all of Apple’s R&D in folding phones was to come to fruition in a one-off device? The team from Let’s Go Digital and Technizo Concept have gathered all the information to give us a look at what a modern iFlip would look like:

“Probably the first foldable iPhone will use a flexible display panel from Samsung. It seems to be an OLED screen, although mini LED is not excluded. For the product renders, we have assumed that Apple will maintain the notch, but reduce it, just as with the iPhone 12s / iPhone 13 models expected later this year.”

Let’s Go Digital.

Folding iPhone 13 concept image

Apple’s New iOS Security Approach

As Apple continues to release beta versions of iOS 14.5, the released code can be examined for new features that can be ’turned on’ in the future. One such feature looks to be the ability to delivery security updates outside of an iOS update. That’s going to make it easier to patch any problems, and follows the lead of Google, who added a similar feature in Android:

“Apple is expected to offer standalone security updates where users will be given the option to choose if they want to install the entire iOS update or just the security updates. According to new string code found in iOS 14.5, once you download an update, for instance, just the security update sans any feature changes, you will have to delete it before installing a newer available iOS update.”

XDA Developers.

Your Ears Will Have To Wait

Late last month details on the AirPods 3 came out, but those expecting an update in the near future are going to be disappointed. Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo writes that production is expected to start in Q3; potentially in time for the iPhone 13 launch, but certainly geared towards the festivity’s holidays than a summer break:

“[Apple Analyst] Ming-Chi Kuo this morning said that new AirPods will not enter mass production until the third quarter of 2021, which means they won’t be launching imminently… Today’s Kuo report indicates AirPods 3 are simply not ready yet.


…So Will Your Fingers

More work on bringing TouchID under the iPhone screen on show this week, as a new patent for fintergroint sensing technology shows up with Apple’s name on it:

“Apple’s invention covers an under-display fingerprint-sending system wherein the display consists of active red-green-blue (RGB) pixels that emit light and illuminate the finger placed on top of the display. The light reflected from the finger passes through the openings between the display pixels and is captured by the sensor beneath the display.”

Patently Apple.

New iPad Pro Coming Soon

It’s been long-rumoured, but production on the mini-LED equipped iPad Pro is expected to start in early Q2 this year. Apple has traditionally held a late-March launch event for the second-tier products such as the iPad range or the iPhone SE. Let’s see what happens as March comes to a close:

“Apple’s new 12.9-inch mini-LED iPad Pro will enter mass production in the second half of April…The prediction adds further credence to a Bloomberg report just yesterday that said next month would be the earliest time we should expect the new models to appear.”


Apple’s Russian Accomodation

Following the passage of a new law designed to offer consumers a choice of apps and services in Russia, Apple will now pre-install the required apps in the iPhones that go on sale in the territory. This is one of the first times that I can remember where Apple has been forced to change its universal load-out of apps. Now that precedent has been set, competition authorities in other countries will be taking note:

“In accordance with a new Russian law, Apple users will see a dialog box upon initial setup of new devices that features web browsers, antivirus, messenger, email clients, and more to be installed by default. The list of apps is provided by the government.

All apps in the list are pre-selected to be installed as part of setup; however, users are able to deselect apps individually if they don’t want them.”:

9to5 Mac.

Malware On The Rise

2020 saw the volumes of macOS malware increase, according to Atlas VPN’s own investigations. It found “674,273 new malware samples” last year, compared to 56,556 in 2019. To put that in context, Windows malware samples in 2020 numbered over 91 million:

“Even though macOS malware development surged to record-highs, hackers still abuse Windows users much more often… It is clear that the scale of new threats is on a different level compared to macOS. There were over 135 times more Windows threats than there was macOS in 2020.”

Atlas VPN Blog.

No More New HomePods

Apple has discontinued the HomePod lifestyle speaker. While the HomePod Mini remains, its smaller size means suggests a move away from audio fidelity and towards teh smaller smart speaker format:

“The original HomePod was positioned as a high end speaker that was a smart assistant second. With the introduction of the new HomePod mini last year, Apple shifted focus to the lower end of the market competing with Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Nest products. It has put an increased emphasis on smart home integration with HomeKit as well as Siri intelligence.”


And Finally…

SellCell’s latest brand loyalty survey has a 1.9 percent rise in ‘yes I’d buy another phone from this company for Apple, taking it to 91.9 percent compared to last year. Samsung’s score has dropped from 85.7 percent to 74 percent in the same period. These results come from 2000 Apple owners and 2000 Samsung owners in the US, suggesting a margin of error around two percent:

“With the introduction of radical new privacy features, Apple has certainly managed to increase public awareness around tracking and about the importance of protecting one’s digital privacy. The drop in customer loyalty among Samsung and Google users could be a testament to growing privacy consciousness among consumers.”


Apple Loop brings you seven days worth of highlights every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future. Last week’s Apple Loop can be read here, or this week’s edition of Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit, is also available on Forbes.

I am known for my strong views on mobile technology, online media, and the effect this has on the public conscious and existing businesses. I’ve been following this space