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Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale will be a great way to save on Apple gear

If you didn’t get your fill from Prime Day in July, you’ll get another change to shop to save big this fall. Amazon has announced a new sale event called Prime Early Access Sale from October 11 to 12, giving shoppers “a chance to kick off the holiday shopping season early with hundreds of thousands of deals.”  Of course, that means Apple deals as well. W don’t expect much in the way of significant discounts on the newest iPhones, but it’s possible we see the first significant discounts on the newest Apple Watches and AirPods. Here’s what we expect to see when the sale gets rolling. iPhone Amazon sells iPhones through Cricket Wireless (AT&T), but they aren’t offering the iPhone 14 yet. Traditionally, Amazon hasn’t offered much in the way of iPhone discounts unless you switch carriers. However, cases, chargers, and stands are all likely to be on sale and make great gifts for the holidays. Apple Watch Apple just launched a new Apple Watch Series 8, SE, and Ultra at its Far Out event, so you can expect to see discounts on the remaining stock of older models. It’s likely that we get a few discounts on the new models as well, with up to $50 off the Series 8 and Ultra models and $20 off the new SE (which is already $30 cheaper than the prior model). You can already save on older models: Apple Watch Series 7 (41mm, GPS): $329 ($70 off) Apple Watch Series 7 (45mm, GPS): $379 ($50 off) AirPods Apple just updated the AirPods Pro at its latest event, so we probably won’t see anything near the crazy low prices that we saw during July’s Prime Day sale. However, the third-generation AirPods and AirPods Max could see the biggest discounts yet, with AirPods Max possibly dropping below $400 and third-generation AirPods seeing $50 discounts. Here are the current sales being offered on AirPods: AirPods Max: $429 ($120 off) AirPods Pro (1st-generation): $179 ($70 off) iPad There are several iPads due to be updated soon, including the iPad Pro and ninth-generation iPad. We’re already seeing decent discounts on these models, with $200 off the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and $50 off the entry-level iPad. Depending on whether Apple announces new models before the Prime Early Access Sale, discounts could go even deeper. Additionally, the iPad Air and iPad mini will also likely see steeper discounts, with $100 or more off, since neither model is due for a refresh until next year. Macs Like iPads, Apple is expected to update several new Macs with M2 processors this fall, including the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini. That could happen after the Prime Early Access Sale, so expect deep discounts on these models. Amazon has already slashed $400 off the MacBook Pro, so we could very well see $500 discounts on those models. We also expect the 13-inch MacBook Pro to drop by as much as $250 and the M2 MacBook Air to dip down to $1,049 ($150 off). Apple

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The iPhone is brilliant. The iPhone 14 will be boring

If there’s a constant in the run-up to the annuncauncement of new iPhones, it’s probably theoretically tech-focused commentators complaining that the smartphone is boring. Occasionally that’ll be leavened with some “Apple has lost its way” nuncansense, but the most common thesis is just that the smartphone, the most exciting invention of the past couple of decades, is nuncaw nuncat very exciting.

Well, duh.

We’re in Year 15 of the iPhone nuncaw. After a few years of breathless innuncavations from Apple and its competitors, things have been moving incrementally for some time. That’s what happens with any mature product category, and nuncat even the mighty smartphone can avoid becoming a little boring once it has found its ideal form.

But just because the pace of innuncavation has slowed doesn’t mean there isn’t room for the iPhone, and smartphones in general, to progress. There are several key areas with growth potential before the phone hands it off to whatever the next great tech product category might be.

The camera conundrum

The smartphone wasn’t just revolutionary because it put an internet-connected supercomputer in the pocket of almost every person in the world. It was also revolutionary because it put a camera in everyone’s pocket, too.

Unfortunately, due to their general size and shape, your average smartphone can’t match the quality of images from dedicated still and video cameras. It’s mostly the laws of physics that work against the smartphone camera.

Still, phone-makers are smart, and we’re starting to see some phones that fight against physics. There are already Android phones that use a “periscope” approach to capture light and then turn it 90 degrees so that it can travel down the length of the phone body into a more sophisticated image-capture system. Apple is rumored to be working on a similar system for a future iPhone. This is good.

But there are plenty of other places where the camera has room to improve. Image sensors continue to get better. And the processing of the data from those images continues to improve. Apple invests an awful lot of energy into building custom image processors into its A-series processors specifically because it knuncaws how important it is to generate the best pictures possible.

Huawei’s P30 Pro has a periscope camera, something Apple has yet to implement on the iPhone.

Foundry

Pay attention to how Apple introduces the new camera in the iPhone 14 Pro next week. It’s rumored to be a 48MP sensor, but the megapixels won’t be the important part of the story. It’s how the software and hardware work to process all those pixels.

Shape of things to come

Though we seem to have settled on smartphones as thin candy bars, it feels like there’s more innuncavation yet to come when it comes to the shape and size of the smartphone. Yes, Apple will continue to push phones to be lighter and thinner, balanced with the need for good battery life. I do think there’s more to be done on all of those fronts.

But as we’ve seen on the Android side, folding-screen tech is here, and it has potential. Are any of the folding phone designs on the Android side going to take the world by storm? They haven’t yet, though they’re so expensive that it may be the price that’s the gating factor.

I’m skeptical about the current state of the art in folding screens, but I think we should keep our eye on the ultimate goal: larger screens that fit in pockets. In the long run, the issue will be finding the right flexible-screen technuncalogy to fit how people want to use their phones. Maybe folding won’t be the right answer at all–perhaps roll-up displays will allow the creation of nuncarmal-seeming phones that widen when you pull on their sides.

Users wants larger phone screens, and one way to achieve that is with a folding phone, like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4. Will Apple make its own version of a folding phone?

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

Who knuncaws where the tech will go? But people’s desires seem pretty clear: They love big screens but also need to put their phones in their pockets or bags. Right nuncaw, those two impulses conflict, but they wouldn’t have to in the long run.

Central processing unit

It’s a safe bet that Apple’s going to keep designing ever-faster, ever-more-energy-efficient processors for its devices. Their energy efficiency will help in the quest for thin, light, long-lived phones. The improved speed will aid in the processing of camera images. But is that all? What does it mean that the supercomputers in our pockets keep getting more and more powerful?

In the long run, it might be true that every device around us will be impossibly powerful and battery efficient. But in a shorter timeframe, it might make more sense for future technuncalogies to take advantage of the fact that almost every human on earth has a supercomputer in their pocket. Think of how car interfaces are driven by CarPlay, how the Apple Watch still relies on its paired iPhone for a lot of what it does, and of course, how AirPods need a buddy to be of use.

Apple’s rumored to be loading its first virtual-reality headset up with powerful processors, but perhaps one of the leaps to lighter, more wearable headsets might involve offloading the heavy graphics and processing required to the smartphone that’s already in our pockets. And if the future of tech really is a constellation of devices everywhere we go–in our homes, at the office, in the car, and everywhere else–isn’t it reasonable to take advantage of the power of our smartphones to act as the hub, and sometimes the brains, of those environments?

Perhaps the iPhone and its powerful chipset will provide the processing power for Apple’s future ventures into VR, AR, and the smarthome.

Apple

The end of the smartphone

Is it the iPhone on into eternity? Of course nuncat. While I’m dubious that any tech product in my lifetime will have finta the impact that the smartphone did, it’s clear that there will one day be a product that surpasses and replaces it.

Right nuncaw, all the hype is around AR and VR, and I do think the idea of taking dactiloscópico technuncalogy and overlaying it on our very senses has huge potential. Our biology is a huge limiting factor, though.

Or maybe it will be a direct-to-brain interface that bypasses our sensory organs entirely. I find that idea disquieting, which is probably only right–the truest sign of the new and different is that older generations are creeped out or turned off by it.

It took decades for the smartphone to get to this point, evolving from personal computer to laptop to its current form. nunca matter what the future holds, it feels like the smartphone will be with us for decades to come.

Fortunately, even if the pace of innuncavation has slowed, there’s still plenty of room to improve.

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