Welcome to our Apple Weekend Breakfast column, featuring all the Apple news you missed this week in a handy bite-sized recap. We call it Apple Breakfast because we love it with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, but it’s also cool if you want to read it over lunch or dinner.
What’s in a name?
It’s T minus four days before Apple’s Far Out event, and the last-minute rumors are coming thick and fast. Theories that we’ve taken as solid facts for most of a year are suddenly crumbling, like the hole and the pill that are actually a candy bar and the iPhone 14 Max is actually the iPhone 14 Plus. Before you know it, they’re telling us there’s no iPhone and Craig Federighi has a sensible haircut.
If you have enough time to get used to it, almost any theory starts to sound reasonable, which is why the late rumors create such cognitive dissonance. However, if experts had predicted in late 2021 that the larger non-Pro handset would be branded as the iPhone 14 Plus, we would now see that as the logical choice. Which, on closer inspection, is probably true.
Apple’s brand families are a mess. Gone are the days when Steve Jobs would plan the Mac lineup with a simple two-by-two grid with desktop and portable on the Y axis and consumer and pro on the X; to Apple, “Pro” now sometimes means designed for professional users, like in the Mac Pro and the 16-inch MacBook Pro, and sometimes it just means the more expensive version of a still clearly consumer-oriented product, like the AirPods Pro and the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Worse, Pro isn’t even the best option – or isn’t it always the top option. In ascending order of processing power, Apple’s M1 chip variants are branded as standard, Pro, Max, then Ultra (with a further Extreme variant reportedly set to top the list when the Mac Pro gets the Apple Silicon treatment). And if you object that “Max” is short for “maximum” and should by definition be the best choice, then you are clearly not Apple management material.
You can see why Apple might consider it problematic that the iPhone 14 Max is a lower specification handset than the iPhone 14 Pro, as both the dictionary and the company’s proprietary processor system clearly indicate it should be better. Hence iPhone 14 Plus’s choice to label a device that’s bigger, but no better:
iPhone 14 Plus
iPhone 14 Pro
iPhone 14 Pro Max
But is this a significantly less confusing system? Assuming the iPhone 13 mini stays on sale, new techs looking to buy an iPhone this fall will be faced with a series that uses four different suffixes to indicate variants of size and specs: mini (meaning small) , Max (which means big), Plus (which also means big) and Pro (which means expensive). It’s reminiscent of a 2000s observation comedy about Starbucks (“Why can’t I just ask for a cup of coffee?!”), and a recipe for bewilderment.
Apple knows its marketing and I have no hesitation in questioning the company’s branding plans for what will clearly be another monstrously successful product launch. But part of me wonders if the complexity of the iPhone range would make this the time to use slightly more transparent words to describe the variations. If 2000s comic words like “small” and “big” are too unmagic, Apple could at least settle for a consistent hierarchy of words used to denote processing power — preferably one that Max doesn’t get about halfway through. places – and just list the words screen sizes instead of adding even more suffixes.
iPhone 13 (5 inch)
iPhone 13 (6 inch)
iPhone 14 (6 inch)
iPhone 14 (7 inch)
iPhone 14 Pro (6 inches)
iPhone 14 Pro (7 inch)
Funnily enough, this is roughly how Apple sells iPhones when you visit its online store: you click on the standard or Pro model, then choose a size. And I don’t see how anyone other than the marketing department benefits from the added confusion of words like mini, Max, and Plus.
But the marketing department does of course benefit. The extra words aren’t just there to tell you how big your phone will be: they’re miniature ads to reinforce the idea that it’s portable or big, or that using it makes you a pro. The words are not there to help us, but to convince us. And barring another last-minute rumor, that’s not something that’s going to change.
Trending: Top Stories of the Week
The new iPhone is coming and for Apple’s sake, it better be a hit.
Apple’s Far Out event may have one more thing, but not the one you want.
The iPhone 14 will be brilliantly boringsays Jason Snell.
But would there be one surprise or two? We’ve rounded up five truly Far Out products that Apple could launch on September 7.
There are five features we want in the next big one MacBook Pro update-including, call us crazy, the return of the Touch Bar.
The rumor mill
Here are five iPhone 14 rumors you may have missed, but must know.
The iPhone 14 Pro sees the end of the notch, and the arrival of the… bar? There is a simple trick you can use to try this out now.
September will be enormous. The iPhone 14 is just the tip of an iceberg of Apple releases this month.
Apple’s Far Out event could take the iPhone to deep space – if porters play ball.
An Apple trademark filing indicates a new ‘Reality’ ahead of the iPhone 14 event.
The next iPhone SE could finally ditch the Home button for an ‘all-screen’ design.
We’re rounding up every new Apple product coming in the remainder of 2022.
Podcast of the week
Apple is big Event “Far Away” coming! What can we expect to see? We know we’ll see the iPhone 14, but what else? New Apple Watches? How about an update of the AirPods Pro? We talk about the upcoming Far Out event in this episode of the Macworld Podcast!
You can watch every episode of the Macworld Podcast on Spotify, the Podcasts app or our own site.
Software updates, bugs and issues
If you ever bought AppleCareApple may owe you some money.
A very important iOS update has just arrived for the iPhone 6.
This week, Apple released a second August Boot Camp update for: Intel-based Macs.
And with that, we’re done for this week. If you would like to receive regular round-ups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news stories. See you next Saturday, enjoy your weekend and stay Appley.