Apple's iPhone 15 & Apple Watch event -- what we loved, and didn't

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in iPhone

The iPhone 15 and Apple Watch Series 9 Apple released on Tuesday are expectedly evolutionary and not revolutionary, but what's inside them makes us wonder where we go from here.


Sorry, Tim, didn't mean to startle you



Just like the rumors predicted, this was a pretty iterative year for Apple's September event. As expected, we got new iPhone models but nothing dramatic, and similar for the Apple Watch.

That's fine. We cannot and should not expect Apple to blow our minds every time it rolls out new products, and the company is purportedly keeping its powder dry for next year, when Apple is rumored to be rolling out a more significant overhaul to the iPhone line.

Having said that, there was still quite a lot to talk about.

Apple's best gaming machine: the iPhone 15 Pro



While we didn't get the Ultra model that some rumor sites thought we would, we did get an iPhone 15 Pro with an A17 Pro chip. Among the other capabilities of the chip is a big boost to its Neural Engine core, which handles Machine Learning (ML) capabilities that help with things like image and video editing, voice recognition and other operations.

The A17 Pro also sports 20% faster GPU performance than its predecessor, and Apple says that'll translate into a much better gaming experience for the iPhone 15 Pro. Including, for the first time, hardware-based ray tracing capabilities.

Apple heralded this as the technology driving the forthcoming release of console-quality games for the iPhone 15 Pro, including Resident Evil games and a new Assassin's Creed title that's due out sometime next year, hopefully before the next iPhone comes out.

Why is any of this important? Because people play games on their iPhone - a lot. Back in 2021, its legal fight with Epic Games revealed that Apple actually makes more on games and game In-App Purchases (IAP) every year than Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft and Activision combined.

So it's understandable why it wants its flagship iPhone to be the best possible gaming device it can be, even outpacing the Mac.

Real-time hardware-based ray tracing is a very big deal for games and for Apple platforms more generally. It was, up until fairly recently, the domain of big, expensive, power-hungry graphics cards for PCs, from companies like Nvidia and AMD.

Apple and other mobile chip makers like Samsung and Qualcomm have scaled hardware ray tracing to the chips that power smartphones. Apple must take it a step further though, because hardware-based ray tracing is still missing from the Mac, which really needs it.

Hopefully some of this A17 Pro goodness will trickle down to the M3 and M3 Max chips we expect to see in the 2024 crop of Macs.

Way better photos and videos for the Pros



All iPhone 15 models get 48 megapixel (MP) sensors this year, with the Pro capable of outputting 4K High Dynamic Range (HDR) video at 60 frames per second. The 15 Pro Max gets a "tetraprism" camera lens that drives it 5x optical zoom feature - that's the "periscope" lens that rumor sites presaged.

It's worth noting that periscope lenses in high-end smartphones are not novel only to the iPhone 15 Pro. Google's had them in the Pixel Pro 8 for a while now, for example. But also inside the 15 Pro Max is a new optical image stabilization system that promises to keep your zoomed images sharp.

iPhone 15 Pro
iPhone 15 Pro



The new optics, combined with the Neural Engine stuff we've already discussed and other clever techniques, is driving new computational photography features that translate into way, way better image quality on the higher-end iPhones in low light, in motion, with richer levels of detail and better clarity.

One of the things we're happy to see here is the ability to process portrait images after the fact. You can take a photo in the moment, then when you have a bit, isolate the subject, even change the focal length to highlight a different subject in the image.

Apple talked about the efficiency of the codecs it's using, but 48MP and 24MP images and video stack up fast. So it's high time that Apple bumped up the amount of iCloud storage folks can buy, with 6 or 12 terabyte (TB) options.

Given that's the case, and that 48 MP sensors are available across the board not only for all iPhone 15s but even for last year's iPhone 14 Pro, it's scandalous that Apple still only provides users with 5GB of storage on the free iCloud tier.

Apple makes a ton of money every year selling services to its customers, and it can definitely be less parsimonious with the amount of cloud-based storage it doles out.

Bye Lightning



The iPhone's switch to a USB-C port was inevitable: Apple's already made the transition for most of its products (beginning with the MacBook almost a decade ago now), and last year's European Union mandate all but sealed the fate of Lightning going forward.

As expected, the iPhone 15 line now includes USB-C in place of Lightning. The non-pro iPhone 15 models get USB-C operating at USB2 speeds up to 480 Mbps, while the Pro editions can transfer up to 10 Gbps when used with an optional USB 3 cable.

That falls short of Thunderbolt speeds, but it's a marked improvement.

Lightning connectivity will remain part of the Apple ecosystem for many years to come. It's disappeared from the iPhone 15, but Apple continues to sell plenty of models without it, and still hasn't updated other peripherals that use it.

One rumor we were happy to see not come to pass: that Apple would maintain some sort of "Made For iPhone" (MFI) cabling certification process to assure compatibility. Apple is offering its own cabling, if you have more money than sense, or just like spending a lot more than you need to.

One last, purely aesthetic point on the iPhone 15 -- Apple's colors for this year's models are mediocre. We're not big fans of pastels here, so the color choices for the 15 and 15 Plus feel flat, and the 15 Pro's color palette seems extra dark.

While the mechanism of PVD color deposition on titanium is far, far beyond the scope of this article, we acknowledge that Apple is somewhat limited by how it can actually color Titanium, when it comes to the Pro. Give us a bit of saturation for the 15 and the 15 Plus glass back, at the very least!

Picking nits over the Apple Watch



There was a lot of talk about nits for the new Apple Watches, and that's because it's the one thing that really physically differentiates the new Series 9 and Ultra 2 from their predecessors. We're not talking about larval lice here: a nit is a unit of measurement for light intensity which equals one candela per square meter.

And the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 both sport dramatically better brightness levels than their forebears: 2,000 nits for the Series 9, double the 8, and 3,000 for the Ultra 2, compared to 2,000 for the first Ultra. What's more, both of them are capable of going down to 1 nit of brightness.

That's better for when you're checking your watch in the theater, for example, or on your bedstand during pre-dawn hours. It also translates into better battery efficiency.

As anticipated, the Series 9's most standout features are under the hood, inside the S9 chip that powers the device. After relatively modest performance gains in recent years, the S9 is a big leap forward, and Apple's used the new chip's ability to cram more features into the watch.

The most notable of these is a new double-tap gesture which enables the Apple Watch wearer to activate the primary button function of Apple Watch apps, so you can use it to start and stop music, hit your alarm clock snooze button and more.

It's interesting to see Apple break this out as a spotlight feature of the new Series 9, as it seems to be a somewhat iterative improvement over accessibility gestures that the company already introduced in previous Apple Watch models.

The new Apple Watch brings a performance boost and greater Find My accuracy
The new Apple Watch brings a performance boost and greater Find My accuracy



Those Neural Engine enhancements we mentioned extend to the S9 System in Package (SiP) that graces the new Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, enabling a lot more on-board processing than before. That has a practical security and performance benefits.

Your Siri queries, for example, don't need to get uploaded to Apple servers, processed, and then sent back -- it all happens right on the device.

Another under-the-hood improvement on the new watches is Ultra-wideband (UWB) 2 support, which provides more precise location finding, a feature also found on the new iPhones. If you've ever used your Apple Watch to find an errant iPhone or other "Find My"-compatible device that's gone missing, you know how handy this can be.

Rumors that Apple would force users of new Apple Watch models into a new band design turned out to be for nought. The purported magnetic band attachment system for new Apple Watches may be in store for future designs, but the bands that fit these new watches are downward-compatible with previous models.

Apple did introduce several new band designs and styles, specifically emphasizing their recycled content and carbon-neutrality. More on the "greening" of the Apple watch in a moment.

Green Apple



Apple's message about its commitment to sustainability came through loud and clear repeatedly during the event: the company's sourcing recycled materials for the new devices, and claims that the Apple Watch Series 9 is its first entirely carbon-neutral device. Well, some of them, anyway.

Any aluminum Apple Watch Series 9 or SE when paired with the new Sport Loop is carbon neutral, according to the company.

The message was repeatedly emphasized, culminating with an interstitial skit between product announcements featuring Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer - star of Apple TV+'s own series "Truth Be Told" - cast as a taciturn and dubious Mother Nature, grilling Tim Cook and others on Apple's environmental plans.

Octavia Spencer as
Octavia Spencer as "Mother Nature"



That skit seemed a bit heavy-handed to us, something that could have been compressed into a lot less time with a much less elaborate gag. But perhaps the piece's subtext was to remind everyone that Apple is a serious Hollywood player these days, just as much as a tech company.

We get it, Apple, you're doing your best to reduce the environmental impact of you and your suppliers. There's need to beat us over the head with it. It would have been more impactful the week after the event, in between the iPhone pre-order and shipment, for example.

Regardless, it certainly got folks talking.

We weren't expecting fireworks from the Wonderlust event, and we didn't get any. As has been the case for 10 years, the iteration is not year-over-year, but on a two- or three- year scale which more closely matches the average replacement cycle.

More than anything, the big leaps forward Apple is making in the chips that power these device has us very excited about what's to come.

Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    I still don't get the fuss over the Mother Nature skit. I thought it was an amusing gag, and it emphasized the message about their multiple approaches to better corporate environmental stewardship.

    This is certainly something to use for marketing. More people will consider this positively when making choices about purchasing electronics gear than will get cranky about Apple being "woke." 

    I think it's also something they should emphasize to cause other companies to follow in their footsteps. Apple is actually planning the entire life cycle of their products, reducing unneeded waste in production and distribution, creating a market for recycled materials from their own products, and planning not just how to put their products together, but how to efficiently take them back apart in order to recover those materials for re-use. This is the opposite of what most other corporations have been doing for decades.

    Even as environmental regulations have forced companies to stop dumping many manufacturing and production chemicals directly into the environment, corporations have continually found other ways to externalize their costs by handing their waste over to consumers, leaving it to them to dump into the environment. Overuse of plastics, single-use items, unnecessary packaging and more are all examples of corporations reducing their own costs, while shifting them to consumers to deal with the waste. They stamp some of it with a recycle symbol and then let consumers and taxpayers assume the cost of collecting, processing and attempting to re-sell recycled materials. 

    For example, once upon a time, Coke, Pepsi and others bottled their drinks in glass, and consumers could return those to the store for credit, the bottlers took them back, washed them and reused them again. Then they switched to plastic, initially without even pretending to care about recycling or reuse. Recycling came later, but it's up to municipalities to pay for collection and recycling (or consumers outside city limits to pay for this directly), and Coke and Pepsi are extremely limited in how much recycled plastic they buy and turn back into bottles. So in essence they dump huge quantities of plastic on consumers and leave it to us to figure out what to do with it all. It's obscene, when you spend two minutes thinking about it.

    So why again should anyone be irritated about a five minute sketch about Apple actually taking responsibility for what they put out into the world?
    roundaboutnowPancakeJinTechdewmemike1OnPartyBusinessGraeme000Alex_VFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 2 of 23
    How is the Apple Watch 9’s double tap any different from the pinch and clench gestures that came out a few years ago as Accessibility gestures? I got those working on my Series 6 and I can go forward and back with a single or double pinch (tap index and thumb together) and clench fist to confirm. This is changeable and can also trigger shortcuts. 
    edited September 2023 twokatmewrundhvidAlex1Ngrandact73FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 3 of 23
    twokatmewtwokatmew Posts: 48unconfirmed, member
    Anilu_777 said:
    How is the Apple Watch 9’s double tap any different from the pinch and clench gestures that came out a few years ago as Accessibility gestures? I got those working on my Series 6 and I can go forward and back with a single or double pinch (tap index and thumb together) and clench fist to confirm. This is changeable and can also trigger shortcuts. 
    It isn’t. I’ll be sticking with my S7 another year. I like the green, and there’s nothing compelling in S9. S10 will be the one to wait for AFAIC. 
    grandact73watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 23
    Why wasn’t the Watch SE updated?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 23
    Thank you Mr Cohen for you incisive and comprehensive review of the recent iPhone 15 lineup. I have decided to forego and wait for iPhone 16. 
    Just like to point out that in our household we have both and iPhone and a Pixel Phone. The latest iteration of the latter phone is the Pixel 7. The Pixel 8 which you mentioned in your article has not been officially released. 
    While I applaud your informative and well-written article on the iPhone it is always good to fact-check details about competing or comparable products. 
    Alex1N
  • Reply 6 of 23


    ...

    Why is any of this important? Because people play games on their iPhone - a lot. Back in 2021, its legal fight with Epic Games revealed that Apple actually makes more on games and game In-App Purchases (IAP) every year than Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft and Activision combined.

    ...

    Yet people still say Apple doesn't care about games...
    Alex1NFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 23
    I compared the specifications of my iPhone 14 Pro Max 1TB to the just released iPhone 15 Pro Max 15 1TB. Then I compared the specifications of my iWatch Ultra to the just released iWatch Ultra 2. The prices did not change for either device from last year. There just was not enough "improvement" to justify dropping close to $2,700 to buy new ones this year. My current inventory works just fine for me. 

    There is also an iPhone 15 Pro series CPU processor change mid year which might be a negative for the early adopters.

    I will see on 18 September how this new 6TB iCloud plan fits in with the Apple plus subscription.
    9secondkox2Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 23
    The double tap is important because it gets users used to the gesture before Vision comes out. 

    At the Vision announcement, Apple was clear that no additional peripheral is necessary to use it. However, you can bet that using an Apple Watch with it, especially one with UWB2, will unlock additional functionality. 
    9secondkox2chasmAlex1Nmike1FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 23
    Why wasn’t the Watch SE updated?
    The 2nd gen SE was released 2 years after the 1st gen SE. So following the same pattern would have the 3rd gen SE come 2 years after the 2nd gen SE, which would not be until next year.
    chasmAlex1NpulseimagesFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 23
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,431member
    Anilu_777 said:
    How is the Apple Watch 9’s double tap any different from the pinch and clench gestures that came out a few years ago as Accessibility gestures? 
    Glad you asked!

    1. To the best of my knowledge, no clench gesture is part of this non-Accessibility version of double-tap.
    2. It’s on by default. You don’t have to go and deliberately turn it on, it’s just there.
    3. I believe the new version allows for more options than the previous Accessibility version.

    HTH!
    roundaboutnowAlex1NiOS_Guy80FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 23
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,431member
    ApplePoor said:
    I compared the specifications of my iPhone 14 Pro Max 1TB to the just released iPhone 15 Pro Max 15 1TB. Then I compared the specifications of my iWatch Ultra to the just released iWatch Ultra 2. The prices did not change for either device from last year. There just was not enough "improvement" to justify dropping close to $2,700 to buy new ones this year. My current inventory works just fine for me. 

    1. There’s no such thing as an iWatch.

    2. You’re not the target market for an iPhone 15, and you have made the correct decision IMO. The target market for *any* new model of iPhone at this point is not the previous-model buyers, but the “haven’t upgraded in 3 or 4 years” audience. That would be me. :smile: 
    roundaboutnow9secondkox2Alex1Nmike1AppleZuluGraeme000FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 23
    I distinctly remember this time last year people saying that the next iPhone, i.e., the new 15, was ‘the one to wait for’. This year, it’s next year’s phone that’s ‘the one to wait for’. Any advance on the 17?

    As I have a Lightning port on my current 12 Pro Max that no longer responds to cleaning, plus a broken glass back (thanks to the accursèd silicone case’s hard camera bumper that was supposed to protect the thing - well, I suppose it protected the camera covers…), I’m no longer in a position to be able to wait. Although I do have an eye on my carrier’s ‘upgrade insurance’ charge in case the 16 is in fact A LOT better. The MagSafe charger is also showing signs of being cantankerous after the breaking of the glass back - and the 15 NO LONGER HAS A GLASS BACK! HOORAY! So, I suppose that I am one of the ‘target audience’.
    iOS_Guy80watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 23
    Now the Pro models can drive 4k external displays via USB-C, it will be interesting to see how far Apple goes in making the iPhone Pro a desktop replacement. 
    Alex1Npulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 23
    AppleZulu said:
    I still don't get the fuss over the Mother Nature skit. I thought it was an amusing gag, and it emphasized the message about their multiple approaches to better corporate environmental stewardship.

    This is certainly something to use for marketing. More people will consider this positively when making choices about purchasing electronics gear than will get cranky about Apple being "woke." 

    I think it's also something they should emphasize to cause other companies to follow in their footsteps. Apple is actually planning the entire life cycle of their products, reducing unneeded waste in production and distribution, creating a market for recycled materials from their own products, and planning not just how to put their products together, but how to efficiently take them back apart in order to recover those materials for re-use. This is the opposite of what most other corporations have been doing for decades.

    Even as environmental regulations have forced companies to stop dumping many manufacturing and production chemicals directly into the environment, corporations have continually found other ways to externalize their costs by handing their waste over to consumers, leaving it to them to dump into the environment. Overuse of plastics, single-use items, unnecessary packaging and more are all examples of corporations reducing their own costs, while shifting them to consumers to deal with the waste. They stamp some of it with a recycle symbol and then let consumers and taxpayers assume the cost of collecting, processing and attempting to re-sell recycled materials. 

    For example, once upon a time, Coke, Pepsi and others bottled their drinks in glass, and consumers could return those to the store for credit, the bottlers took them back, washed them and reused them again. Then they switched to plastic, initially without even pretending to care about recycling or reuse. Recycling came later, but it's up to municipalities to pay for collection and recycling (or consumers outside city limits to pay for this directly), and Coke and Pepsi are extremely limited in how much recycled plastic they buy and turn back into bottles. So in essence they dump huge quantities of plastic on consumers and leave it to us to figure out what to do with it all. It's obscene, when you spend two minutes thinking about it.

    So why again should anyone be irritated about a five minute sketch about Apple actually taking responsibility for what they put out into the world?
    1. The skit was too much. The message could have been delivered in half the time with half the brow beating. 

    2.  One line in the skit was, not an exact quote, “we won’t be happy until all carbon is removed from the atmosphere.”  Better not do that or all the plants will perish. 

    3. At least in NY, soda bottles have deposits, which results in the majority of soda bottles being returned and recycled.  The government isn’t paying to collect them.  Even if Coke was paying to collect bottles they would increase the price of the product to cover the expense.  There’s no free lunch.  Corporations don’t pay taxes. People do.  So any costs are ultimately borne by the consumer or taxpayer.  

    4. The bottles in my recent Coke purchase were made from 100% recycled plastic.  Going back to glass is not necessarily any better for the environment.  Glass is heavy which increases transport costs.  The washing process would also be energy expensive.  

    5. Apple may not be as altruistic as some may think with recycling. It may be necessary in order to insure adequate supplies of metals, especially rare earth metals, in order to manufacture new products. 
    dewmegrandact73williamlondonFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 23
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,213member
    ApplePoor said:
    There is also an iPhone 15 Pro series CPU processor change mid year which might be a negative for the early adopters.
    There is or will be a change to the process used by TSMC to produce the A17 Bionic? What do you know about this?
    applebynaturewatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 23
    Was posted on forum several weeks back. Initial ones until inventory is depleted then new "improved" model probably starting early next year, Apple had purchased "all" of the production of the first chip.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 23
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,335member
    chasm said:
    ApplePoor said:
    I compared the specifications of my iPhone 14 Pro Max 1TB to the just released iPhone 15 Pro Max 15 1TB. Then I compared the specifications of my iWatch Ultra to the just released iWatch Ultra 2. The prices did not change for either device from last year. There just was not enough "improvement" to justify dropping close to $2,700 to buy new ones this year. My current inventory works just fine for me. 

    1. There’s no such thing as an iWatch.

    2. You’re not the target market for an iPhone 15, and you have made the correct decision IMO. The target market for *any* new model of iPhone at this point is not the previous-model buyers, but the “haven’t upgraded in 3 or 4 years” audience. That would be me. :smile: 

    Exactly. The percentage of users who upgrade their devices every year is minuscule. and that percentage gets lower each year as Apple's user base grows. Prime target for this year's phones, I believe, is anything older than a well-functioning 12/12 Pro.
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 23
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,555member
    Every year's new iPhone announcement seems to bring along a certain percentage of fans who are unimpressed with the incremental differences from one model year to the next. This is an inevitable consequence of where the iPhone is in its evolution and lifecycle, Apple having to content with challenging physical, technological, material, and manufacturing limitations, and our unconstrained, highly individualized, and oftentimes nonspecific expectations.  Apple has to deal with engineering and physical realities while our imaginations and desire for personal gratification are not bound by much of anything. In many cases and as a collective, we don't really know what we want until someone shows us something and we weigh-in our opinion. 

    So one obvious question for the unimpressed is always "What exactly were you expecting or dreaming about that went unfulfilled?" A flying phone that hovers behind you and follows you around? Texting using telepathy? For me it would be a phone that can run for a week on a single charge with a battery that doesn't degrade or bloat or die in 2-3 years. Or maybe an Apple Watch whose entire internal structure could be replaced while retaining the same "personal jewelry" part of the watch. You know, a personal watch you can pass along to your son or daughter like you can a traditional premium or luxury watch. Now multiply my "dream features" times the number of smartphone users looking to jump into the iPhone market or upgrade their existing iPhone to the latest version.

    Obviously, Apple will never satisfy everything we can dream up. But in Apple's defense, they've done an incredible job of continuously elevating their products over the years. Unfortunately for them, whenever they raise their game we immediately normalize our expectations against their latest and greatest offering and tend to minimize the benefits of the accumulated value that they've delivered over each product's lifetime. When they make internal changes to improve manufactureability, repairability, power efficiency, regulatory compliance, and environmental impact, just to name a few, we tend to brush those things off. Case in point is the move to 3 nm architecture on the latest iPhone Pro's latest A-series SoC. The A17 is a beast of a processor and is within sniffing distance of Intel's 13th Gen i9 CPU on some benchmarks. Sure, the latest iPhone Pro still doesn't hover and fly - but getting that level of performance in a pocketable computer that delivers so many other life changing capabilities is worthy of more than a "whatever" response.

    The true measure of the iPhone's impact can be seen when you start listing the other devices and gadgets that the iPhone replaces. Apple is always grabbing for yet another thing that the iPhone can replace in part or in whole, and put in your pocket. This year it looks like gaming consoles are in Apple's crosshairs. They've already obviated at some of the needs for point & shoot cameras, personal video cameras, dedicated GPS navigators, dedicated music players, CD and DVD players, personal health trackers and monitors, emergency communicators, PDAs, pagers, pocket calculators, key fobs, TV remotes, magazines, books, newspapers, and a growing number of capabilities that formerly required a personal computer. I'd argue that for truly personal computing needs, the iPhone is as much PC as a lot of people need. So all of those jobs that we used to hire a dedicated device to perform are now being served by the iPhone. 

    Apple will continue along this path of gobbling up jobs that were formerly done by dedicated devices for as long as they can. Obviously the easier to resolve targets have already been taken down and Apple is chipping away at the tougher ones now, but every time they subsume another capability it gets normalized into our baseline expectations. Plus, they've refined nearly all aspects of how they deliver those capabilities and the user experience around them. We kind of take that latter category of improvements for granted even though they cost Apple real money and consume real resources.

    My suggestion for the unimpressed consumers, as opposed to pundits, forum fans, and some investors, is to consider the value of the latest releases for those consumers who haven't upgraded their iPhone or other Apple product in 2-5 years. Incremental means incremental, so year over year comparisons of a mature product are always going to be less impressive, at least until the latest iPhone release starts hovering or communicating directly with the neural implant that Elon Musk or Bill Gates is going to sneak into our brain.
    edited September 2023 roundaboutnowFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 23
    cpsro said:
    ApplePoor said:
    There is also an iPhone 15 Pro series CPU processor change mid year which might be a negative for the early adopters.
    There is or will be a change to the process used by TSMC to produce the A17 Bionic? What do you know about this?
    ApplePoor said:
    Was posted on forum several weeks back. Initial ones until inventory is depleted then new "improved" model probably starting early next year, Apple had purchased "all" of the production of the first chip.
    I think this is a reference to this rumor from June: Apple iPhone 15 chip manufacturing may shift to a less expensive track (Apple Insider)

    But that is unsubstantiated and a typical sort of connect-the-dots rumor that often turns out to be wrong, because Apple's special, disruptive, and wildly-successful relationship with TSMC is still not very well understood, even though we are ten years into it at this point (it started with TSMC 20nm, with iPhone 6). Yes, it is confirmed that TSMC's mainstream 3nm production will shift to N3E, and the second-generation refinement N3P will be built on N3E, not N3 (the name of which has been changed to N3B to differentiate it from N3E). But that does not mean Apple will necessarily be included in that detour. It's entirely possible A17 Pro, M3, and M3 Pro/Max will all be N3, and not N3E. Not to mention the uncertain possibility of a non-Pro A17 next year (basically A17 without the "Pro" GPU, mirroring the now-established approach to M-series silicon).

    For this perspective, see Daniel Nenni's comments on the June rumor: TSMC’s 3nm Output Could Reach Up To 100,000 Wafers Monthly By The End of 2023 (SemiWiki main forum post)

    What gets lost behind the veil of secrecy is the reason why TSMC is sending everyone but Apple over to N3E. N3 is specific to Apple. As a result, it's not flexible enough for a wider array of customers. There's a deep dive into what is known here, but keep in mind that TSMC's published papers just sort of chart differences, they don't give away trade secrets: TSMC N3, And Challenges Ahead (WikiChip Fuse)

    There's a very good chance Apple is happy with N3, and they won't be going over to N3E. The mysterious N3S could also be Apple-specific. Regardless, it will all merge back together with N2 and M4.
    applebynatureFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 23
    kellie said:
    AppleZulu said:
    I still don't get the fuss over the Mother Nature skit. I thought it was an amusing gag, and it emphasized the message about their multiple approaches to better corporate environmental stewardship.

    This is certainly something to use for marketing. More people will consider this positively when making choices about purchasing electronics gear than will get cranky about Apple being "woke." 

    I think it's also something they should emphasize to cause other companies to follow in their footsteps. Apple is actually planning the entire life cycle of their products, reducing unneeded waste in production and distribution, creating a market for recycled materials from their own products, and planning not just how to put their products together, but how to efficiently take them back apart in order to recover those materials for re-use. This is the opposite of what most other corporations have been doing for decades.

    Even as environmental regulations have forced companies to stop dumping many manufacturing and production chemicals directly into the environment, corporations have continually found other ways to externalize their costs by handing their waste over to consumers, leaving it to them to dump into the environment. Overuse of plastics, single-use items, unnecessary packaging and more are all examples of corporations reducing their own costs, while shifting them to consumers to deal with the waste. They stamp some of it with a recycle symbol and then let consumers and taxpayers assume the cost of collecting, processing and attempting to re-sell recycled materials. 

    For example, once upon a time, Coke, Pepsi and others bottled their drinks in glass, and consumers could return those to the store for credit, the bottlers took them back, washed them and reused them again. Then they switched to plastic, initially without even pretending to care about recycling or reuse. Recycling came later, but it's up to municipalities to pay for collection and recycling (or consumers outside city limits to pay for this directly), and Coke and Pepsi are extremely limited in how much recycled plastic they buy and turn back into bottles. So in essence they dump huge quantities of plastic on consumers and leave it to us to figure out what to do with it all. It's obscene, when you spend two minutes thinking about it.

    So why again should anyone be irritated about a five minute sketch about Apple actually taking responsibility for what they put out into the world?
    1. The skit was too much. The message could have been delivered in half the time with half the brow beating. 

    2.  One line in the skit was, not an exact quote, “we won’t be happy until all carbon is removed from the atmosphere.”  Better not do that or all the plants will perish. 

    3. At least in NY, soda bottles have deposits, which results in the majority of soda bottles being returned and recycled.  The government isn’t paying to collect them.  Even if Coke was paying to collect bottles they would increase the price of the product to cover the expense.  There’s no free lunch.  Corporations don’t pay taxes. People do.  So any costs are ultimately borne by the consumer or taxpayer.  

    4. The bottles in my recent Coke purchase were made from 100% recycled plastic.  Going back to glass is not necessarily any better for the environment.  Glass is heavy which increases transport costs.  The washing process would also be energy expensive.  

    5. Apple may not be as altruistic as some may think with recycling. It may be necessary in order to insure adequate supplies of metals, especially rare earth metals, in order to manufacture new products. 
    1. Five minutes out of an hour and twenty minutes is “too much?” Come on. 

    2. The direct quote is “Our aim is to permanently remove carbon from the atmosphere.” She did not say “all carbon.” This was following mention of initiatives where Apple has restored forests, grasslands and mangroves. The context is about restoration of the natural carbon cycle, where plant life pulls carbon out of the atmosphere in processes that sequester that carbon for the long-term. You intentionally misrepresented the quote to make it sound dumb when it was not dumb. 

    3. In most places plastic bottles may be recycled, but they are not “returned and recycled. Returning them would mean the bottler takes them back and assumes the cost of recycling them. In most places, they don’t do that. They externalize that cost to consumers and municipalities (who tax consumers for recycling pickup and processing). This is if consumers bother to recycle plastic bottles. 

    The New York law you’re referring to is one state  using government power to mandate a deposit fee mechanism to reverse the cost externalization carried out by the same companies elsewhere. 

    That “free lunch” is very much real in the boardrooms of bottlers operating in all the other states that don’t require the bottler to take responsibility for the waste they generate. 

    Including the cost of handling the waste associated with a product in that product’s purchase price is the most economically efficient method for dealing with that cost, and it also informs the consumer of the actual cost of that soda or bottled water. If they think it’s too expensive, they’ll make other less expensive and less wasteful choices. When companies externalize that cost, they can split their difference, increasing their profit margin, while still pricing their product artificially lower. The consumer then loses out, contributing more to that profit margin, plus more to municipal taxes to pay for less efficient means of cleaning up and disposing of wastes. 

    4. It’s only in the last three or so years that some of the big soda companies have started using 100% recycled plastic in select bottle sizes and product categories. Glass may or may not be an answer, but I’d be willing to bet that transporting, shredding, washing, melting down and re-molding plastic into new bottles is likely just as (and probably more) energy-intensive as transporting, washing and re-using glass bottles. 

    5. It is 100% okay if Apple’s altruism and bottom line are in alignment when it comes to recycling, particularly when it comes to rare-earth metals. The fact that apple plans the life-cycle of its products so that they are able to efficiently recover materials - especially rare-earth metals - is exactly what I’m talking about. If only other companies would see this example and follow suit. 
    edited September 2023 williamlondonapplebynatureOnPartyBusinessAlex_VFileMakerFeller
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