What's Up With Apple: iPhone 13 Features, $300 Million Patent Loss and More

Until the official launch of the new iPhone (expected sometime in the first half of next month), be prepared to read more about the features Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has added to the iPhone 13. Actually, the new phone may not even be designated as a 13.

In his weekly newsletter, Bloomberg writer Mark Gurman runs down what the company is likely to include in the new iPhone, as well as other announcements of changes to the iPad, Apple Watch and MacBook Pro. Calling the iPhone “Apple’s star,” Gurman writes:

The company is expecting one of the biggest iPhone launch cycles ever, projecting the need for over 90 million shipments through calendar 2021 as the world shifts to 5G and economic recoveries spur spending.

When the iPhone 12 Series was launched last year, Apple’s first 5G phones were the big news. This time around, Apple is expected to announce incremental improvements. Here’s Gurman’s list:

  • The same 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch sizes for the regular models, and the same 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch variations for the Pro models. The designs won’t change much, save for a smaller notch at the top of the screen.
  • New camera capabilities, including a video version of Portrait mode dubbed Cinematic Video, a new AI-driven filter system to apply different styles to your photos, and higher-quality video recording in ProRes for the Pro models.
  • A faster A15 chip with the same core counts as the A14 chip.
  • New screen technology that will enable ProMotion (a faster, 120-hertz refresh rate on the Pro models) and potentially an always-on screen mode.

Gurman also thinks the new phone should be called the iPhone 13, not the 12S as has been suggested. Gurman also lists his expectations for other Apple product announcements.

A jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has awarded a patent troll, Optis Wireless Technology, $300 million in a patent dispute charging that Apple used 4G/LTE technology patented by Panasonic, Samsung and LG Electronics that were later sold to Optis. In 2020, a Texas jury awarded Optis more than $500 million, but that award was tossed by the judge because the jury in that trial had not been allowed to consider the so-called fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) rules that require patent holders to license their patents to rivals.

In a statement, Apple thanked the jury for their time but said the company was “disappointed by the verdict and plan[ned] to appeal.” Apple also noted:

Optis makes no products and its sole business is to sue companies using patents they accumulate. We will continue to defend against their attempts to extract unreasonable payments for patents they acquire.

According to a report at Bloomberg, Optis is trying to collect up to $7 billion from Apple.

Finally, a $160 billion Canadian pension fund has raised its stake in Apple. According to Barron’s, British Columbia Investment Management raised its stake in Apple by 317,253 shares in the second quarter, lifting its stake in the company to 3.1 million shares worth about $460 million at Friday’s closing price. Apple has about 16.5 billion shares outstanding.