Mobile World Congress was held this week, and if you’re an Apple fan, there was a flurry of interesting stories that you probably missed. MWC is basically an Android show, but there are still some releases and announcements that will be of interest to iPhone users. We’ve boiled a week’s worth of events down to just five announcements that Apple fans need to know:
Reality One is already changing AR
One of the biggest surprises of the show happened on day one. Android phone maker Xiaomi revealed a prototype for a pair of AR smart glasses with hand gestures, “retina-level” screens, and a fully wireless design. If it sounds like Apple’s rumored AR headset, you’re right. While the design is certainly an acquired taste and it’s only a prototype, it’s clear that Apple’s headset is already impacting the AR landscape–and it hasn’t even arrived yet.
MagSafe is about to get better
Following the announcement at CES that the Q12 standard would be based on Apple’s “magnetic power profile,” the Wireless Power Consortium showed off the first Qi2 magnetic chargers for Android phones at MWC, and lo and behold, they’re a lot like MagSafe. So much so that they work with iPhones out of the box. Since Apple has kind of let MagSafe languish over the past two years, maybe we’ll finally get some great third-party accessories.
Apple is dumping Qualcomm
You’d be hard-pressed to find an iPhone on the MWC floor, but that doesn’t mean people weren’t talking about it. And Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon had a lot to say, specifically about the modem it makes for the iPhone: “We’re making no plans for 2024, my planning assumption is we’re not providing [Apple] a modem in ’24, but it’s their decision to make.” So it seems as though the upcoming iPhone 15 will be the last to use Qualcomm’s modem, which is the same 5G modem that Android phones have had for many years. That probably doesn’t mean much for users, but it’s one more piece of the iPhone that Apple controls.
Nothing is coming for iPhone
One of the hottest Android phones of 2022 was Nothing Phone, which featured a unique light-up back and aggressive price. The only catch is it wasn’t available in the U.S. CEO Carl Pei announced at MWC that Nothing Phone 2 is coming this year and will be available in the States. Pei has previously talked in-depth about wanting to take on Apple, so that means the iPhone 15 will have a little more competition this year–not that it’ll matter much.
iSIM is the next eSIM
Apple surprised us last year by making the iPhone 14 fully eSIM in the U.S. After some early headaches, it turned out to be great for everyone–so much so that many Android phones are following the trend. And the next generation of SIM is already here: iSIM. Qualcomm unveiled a modified version of its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset for high-end Android phones with a SIM that’s integrated directly into the chip, making it even smaller and more power-efficient than eSIM. We haven’t heard any rumors about Apple using iSIM with the new A17 chip, but it certainly sounds like the kind of technological advancement Apple would quickly jump on.
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