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Cadillac Celestiq teases electric ultra-luxury and a huge gamble

Cadillac has teased its second all-electric vehicle, with the Cadillac Celestiq aiming to push the automaker back into the echelons of ultra-luxury. Where the Lyriq promises an all-electric take on the crossovers that have been such a success for Cadillac in recent years, Celestiq will be more akin to a high-end sedan, albeit with an Ultium-powered twist.

Think a long, low profile, with a stretched wheelbase for maximum cabin space, and a cab that’s pushed rearward for a distinctive silhouette. Cadillac hasn’t revealed the whole car yet, just a teasing glimpse of what’s to come, but it clearly shares some of the cues familiar from Lyriq like the embedded light patterns in the front fascia.

Underneath it all is GM Ultium, the automaker’s electric platform for its future EVs. In the case of Lyriq, we’ve seen that promise all-wheel drive and 300 miles or so of range from a charge; the same architecture will power the GMC Hummer EV and other models from across General Motors’ portfolio of brands. For Celestiq, it’ll be combined with some new driving features.

So, while the luxury vehicle will be all-wheel drive like Lyriq, it’ll also support four-wheel steering. We’ve seen that used on cars before, as it can help effectively shorten the wheelbase for low-speed maneuvers, while also improve stability at high speed for things like highway lane changes. It should also make Celestiq a little easier to park in tight lots.

Inside is where it seems Cadillac’s designers have really been let loose. Celestiq will be designed to seat four, each person underneath what the automaker says it expects to be the first four-quadrant, suspended-particle-device smart glass roof. Split into four sections, each person will have individual control over the tint and transparency of the panel above them. If you want light, you’ll be able to dial that in; if you want it darker, you’ll be able to make the roof more opaque. Tint colors will automatically match the ambient light conditions of the cabin, Cadillac says.

For those in the front, there’ll be a pillar-to-pillar display running the whole width of the dashboard. It’ll be an extension of the sizable, curved screens we’ve seen in Lyriq, which Cadillac turned to game and 3D graphics designers to develop a new interface for its first fully-electric vehicles.

At the back, meanwhile, there’ll be individual screens for entertainment, with active privacy. Cadillac also plans to add secondary console screens between the seats, which will be dedicated to climate control, seat settings, and more; that way, the entertainment won’t have to be interrupted just because you want to tweak your massage.

It’s an ambitious move for Cadillac, which has struggled both outside the SUV and crossover space, and to compete directly on pure luxury with brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW. When, exactly, Celestiq will arrive is unclear – the automaker only says production will begin “in the near future” – but just how successful each car ends up will depend in no small part on the buyer themselves. Each example of the high-end EV “will be designed to reflect the individuality of its owner,” Cadillac promises, with curated materials that leaves each unique.

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Vw Arteon Concept Teases New Design Direction

VW Arteon concept teases new design direction

Aiming to move out of the shadow of luxury sibling Audi, Volkswagen has begun teasing its new design direction with the first official glimpses of a sports-minded four-door. The VW Arteon is a sleek, coupe-esque sedan which the automaker says previews not only a future high-end product from the company, but its new design strategy for the overall range. That strategy, it seems, involves mounting more of a style assault on the premium nameplates in VW’s portfolio.

Volkswagen’s challenge, of course, has long been standing out while not stepping too considerably on the toes of its corporate siblings. With both Audi and Porsche part of the overall VW group, that has until now meant a greater focus on mainstream models like the Golf. More striking design, enthusiastic powertrains, and luxury accommodations have been left to the more expensive German cars.

In the aftermath of “dieselgate” however, VW is in a position of needing to reinvent itself. One element of that rebirth is a new focus on eco-friendly powertrains, kicking off in the short-term with longer all-electric range on the 2023 e-Golf. Its longer-term plans, however, include a huge increase in the proportion of electric and electrified vehicles in the line-up by 2023, including a production version of the Volkswagen I.D. concept shown off earlier this year.

The Arteon, meanwhile, will tackle two other thorns in VW’s side: its technology and design positions. Similar to the existing VW CC, which quietly ceased production recently, it will adopt the “four-door coupe” profile which has served cars like the Audi A7 well. However, it’s expected to be more of a competitor to smaller vehicles than the A7, such as BMW’s 4 Series Gran Coupé.

At the same time it will be more practical, VW confirmed to Autocar, with a sizable trunk and more rear-seat legroom than the old CC. Turbocharged 4-cylinder engines will be under the hood, topping out at 276 HP, and paired with an all-new seven speed DSG transmission. Front wheel drive or all-wheel drive will be options.

Right now, the automaker is keeping most details close to its proverbial chest, though the Arteon is expected to lead the company into a new age of design and technology. There are hints of Volkswagen’s Sport Coupe GTE concept from last year, for instance, with a bigger grille at the front and stronger crease-lines along the car’s flanks. Inside, VW’s digital instrumentation is likely to take center stage, as the firm moves toward some of its more outlandish concept interiors as well as adopting Internet of Things connectivity.

Automotive design has made headlines in recent weeks, with a number of high-profile shufflings between firms. Recently, Audi grabbed former Cadillac designer Gael Buzyn, who will open a studio for the automaker in Los Angeles; Buzyn was partly responsible for striking Caddy concepts like the luxury Elmiraj. Meanwhile, last week it was confirmed that Tesla had poached former Microsoft HoloLens and Xbox designer Andrew Kim, who would join the EV maker as Lead Designer.

As for the VW Arteon, the car will make its debut in-the-metal at the Geneva Auto Show next year. A production version is expected to follow in the later half of 2023, though so far only a European launch is confirmed. US availability is, at this stage, unclear.

Cadillac Super Cruise First Drive: Trusting The Machine

Cadillac Super Cruise First Drive: Trusting the machine

It was, conservatively, 90 seconds before I was satisfied Cadillac’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system wasn’t going to kill me. By that point, a combination of cameras, super-accurate maps, and a fancier-than-usual GPS system were keeping me dead-center at 65 mph on California’s 280, headed north toward San Francisco. As the CT6 eased its way around the corners, I spent a few moments considering that the car of the future apparently communicates not with the voice of Mr Feeny from Boy Meets World, but with a glowing green steering wheel instead.

At times, it seems like every car company – and every company tangentially related to the auto industry – is working on autonomous vehicles. If you’re an car manufacturer, and you haven’t set up a swish geek-lab in the Valley, you’re almost guaranteed to get laughed out of whatever auto show you dare show your face at next. Self-driving cars, so the story goes, are the Next Big Thing. Your kids may as well ditch Drivers’ Ed, since they won’t need a license.

Problem is, while there’s no shortage of hype around self-driving vehicles, there are plenty of people who aren’t convinced that they’re anywhere near reaching the market. The most ambitious estimates suggest some sort of retail availability by 2023 – there are plenty of naysayers about that, and other companies estimating 2025 or even later – and even then they’re expected to be low-volume and limited-deployment. The tech may be getting better, but the laws and infrastructure have to catch up too.

That leaves us with semi-autonomous systems, for the most part effectively adaptive cruise control paired with active lane-keeping. Initially the preserve of expensive luxury sedans, they’ve begun trickling down into more affordable price brackets. Some of them – and I’ve tried most – are pretty darn good. That is, until they’re not.

Lane-keeping that suddenly loses the lane. Radar-controlled cruise control that hee-haws and lurches as traffic moves around it. Sudden deactivations and disengagements. The momentarily bowel-loosening experience of the car deciding to give up on driving itself, and unexpected throwing the reins back to you.

I’m a geek, and a believer in the potential of autonomous driving, but I have limited patience – and trust – for most driver-assistance technology out there today. Even when they work consistently, I find it’s oddly more stressful for me – my foot poised over the brake; one hand hovering near the wheel – than just driving on my own. That’s why the speed at which Cadillac’s system convinced me proved such a surprise.

Super Cruise won’t be commercially available until later in the year, but the automaker invited me down to Palo Alto to try out a pre-production version on public highways. It’s been a major point of investment over the past few years for Cadillac, atop an aggressive product roadmap that, starting from the end of 2023, will see a new product launched every quarter until 2023. Once a byword for classic luxury, Cadillac’s goal is to reinvent itself as “a more contemporary, progressive interpretation of luxury,” Johan de Nysschen, president of the GM marque, explained.

Technology like Super Cruise “resuscitates our reputation, our heritage for innovation,” de Nysschen argues. “I think that it’s going to capture peoples’ imagination. I think for many people, for whom Cadillac isn’t at the center of their radar screen, I think it’s going to open their mind as to what this brand is capable of.”

So just what is Cadillac capable of? Super Cruise starts from the existing adaptive cruise control, true, but it upgrades it to the point that the automaker – and their lawyers – are willing to describe it as “the first hands-free” system. While the adaptive cruise keeps pace with traffic ahead, Super Cruise handles the car’s lateral movement within the lane.

They call it the “Blue Line” and it’s basically the semi-autonomous equivalent of the groove a slot-car runs down. On the one hand, there are forward-facing cameras in the CT6 which track where the left and right lane markings are, and figure out an estimate of the center line and the car’s current heading. On the other, there’s a supercharged GPS sensor, 4-8x more accurate than what’s typically fitted to a vehicle; that works hand-in-hand with a high-accuracy map which has details of road curvature, the number of lanes, where on- and off-ramps are, and any other pertinent information Cadillac has baked in.

Such a map didn’t exist, and so Cadillac had to create it. In fact, it’s had all the divided, limited-access highways with defined on- and off-ramps in the US and Canada scanned with LIDAR laser scanners, 160,000 miles down to a resolution of under 4-inches. The GPS checks the map while the cameras check the road, and if the two agree then the CT6 clings to the “Blue Line” like a train on rails.

There’s an extra part to Super Cruise, though, and that’s the attention tracking system. At some point, in every car with driver-assistance aids, the vehicle is going to want to check that the person behind the wheel is still paying attention. How they verify that, exactly, varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but they usually demand the application of some sort of torque to the wheel, or contact with pressure or capacitive sensors embedded into it.

The result is an odd cycle of hover-tap-tug, as you periodically reassure the car that you are, indeed, awake and aware. In contrast, Cadillac’s approach is completely hands-off. An IR camera mounted on the steering column watches the driver’s face, tracking in which direction they’re looking. Should you not pay sufficient attention to the road ahead, a light embedded into the upper portion of the steering wheel starts flashing. To reset that alert, all you need do is look back at the road.

“You and Super Cruise are partners,” Barry Walkup, chief engineer on the project, explains, and the light bar is the system’s primary method of communication. When you activate Super Cruise, it turns solid green. If you don’t pay enough attention – a length of time which varies according to how fast you’re going, so you get longer in stop-start traffic but less when you’re cruising at speed – it flashes at you until you look. Continue to ignore the situation, and you get red flashing and a choice of seat vibration or warning chimes; eventually, Super Cruise disengages and the car coasts, albeit with the lane-keeping still active.

Finally – and Cadillac suggests this is most likely because of a medical or other issue which has incapacitated the driver – there’s a loud, spoken “Please take control” warning and the brakes are applied. If you still don’t react, the onboard OnStar connects an operator and can even provide the emergency services with the car’s exact location.

Out on the road, nosing the not-inconsiderable CT6 onto Highway 280, I watch for the grey steering wheel icon in the digital instrumentation that means Super Cruise is available. It appears just as I’m pulling out of the slow lane, and when I press the Super Cruise button on the wheel, after a few seconds the light bar glows green. That’s my cue to let go of the controls altogether.

As the first corner approaches, I brace myself for the usual ping-ponging between the lines that I’m familiar with from rival semi-autonomous systems. Instead, the Cadillac simply sweeps imperiously around, dead-center in the lane. I look across to where one of Cadillac’s engineers is sitting, watching my reaction, then catch the green blink of the light bar and immediately glance back at the road. My first instinct is to grab the wheel, or nudge it to prove my presence, but to Super Cruise my eyes are enough.

Less than a mile later, and I’m testing the attention-tracking system. Turns out, at 65 mph you can look away for about 5 seconds before the car demands your gaze. Later on, with the adaptive cruise set to 75 mph, I get about 4 seconds. Super Cruise will operate at speeds up to 85 mph, and in stop-go traffic at the other extreme.

It’s also, Walkup says, where drivers report the most potential value is to be had. “Most customer benefit was going to be on the interstate system, particularly during their commutes,” Cadillac’s consumer research found. “You get some time back during your commute, and that’s what people told us they want.”

I can buy that. After the initial “the car is driving itself!” surprise, you quickly get used to the sensation, even blasé about it. I felt confident with Super Cruise in a way that I haven’t with any other semi-autonomous system I’ve tried, and that comes down to how the car communicates its status with you, and how hands-off you can be.

The light bar – which also includes IR emitters, to light your face at night so that the attention camera can still see you – leaves you in no uncertainty as to what’s going on. It’s conspicuous enough that you’re not searching through the instrumentation to find an icon or graphic. When you want to overtake, for instance, you take the wheel and turn; there’s a little opposing torque, just to make clear you’re assuming control, and the light bar turns blue. When you’re safely into the right lane, after a moment’s reacclimatization the bar goes green again, and you’re free to let go.

“The system was designed to be hands-free, so there are mechanisms in place to make you feel comfortable letting go of the wheel,” is how Pam Fletcher, Executive Chief Engineer of GM’s Global Electric & Autonomous Vehicles, describes it to me. “All of these confidence factors that are in there: knowing you’re on a road; knowing that this great system is capable of smooth, precise operation; knowing that if you’re not checking in at a great enough frequency, it doesn’t leave you to figure out ‘is this working okay, am I checking in okay?'”

It’s surprisingly liberating. During my miles on the 280, I only have one unexpected deactivation to deal with. The light bar goes red, and a warning message appears in the display notifying me I should resume control. There’s an urgency to it, yes, but it’s on the right side of panic. The CT6 didn’t drift out of the lane, or suddenly slow. Hands back on the wheel, I wait a moment for the grey icon to reappear, then tap the Super Cruise button and the car takes over again.

If there’s a system Super Cruise is reminiscent of – and will inevitably be compared to – it’s Tesla’s Autopilot. The two aren’t exact equals: Autopilot will change lanes for you with the tap of a stalk, and can be activated outside of just highways. Cadillac, meanwhile, brings its LIDAR maps to the party, unlike Tesla which uses a combination of regular mapping and onboard sensors.

Cadillac prefers not to mention its rivals by name, but get the team talking about its relatively slow roll-out of Super Cruise and it’s not hard to read between the lines. “You cannot even contemplate a scenario where you let your customers do your beta testing for you,” de Nysschen says, when asked about expanding the system beyond highways. “Time will come when we’re able to broaden it, but we’ll decide when that time comes.”

“GM is a titan in our industry. We’re not a small player. And what GM does has a profound impact on changing the landscape,” the Cadillac president argues. “If you are capable of changing the landscape, it also means you need to act in a responsible way. We are taking a very systematic, conservative approach to this technology. Because it’s not only a matter of wanting to claim the marketing credits for innovation, but also transforming the landscape that lies ahead for full autonomy at some point in the future. Because it’s not just a technological transformation, but a regulatory transformation.”

Even so, Cadillac is counting on Super Cruise being a significant differentiator between it and other luxury automakers. Comprehensive dealer training is underway, making sure salespeople know just how to explain what’s a fairly complex system, and the general feeling within the company is that Super Cruise is as important to the brand as a new engine might be. Meanwhile, how the technologies that enable it might also benefit GM’s ongoing fully-autonomous projects is also under consideration.

“We look at this as very much a core technology, we developed this all in-house, ourselves, for our products,” Fletcher points out. “With that, we continue to do what we think are the best, most intuitive systems that we can grow over time. We have a lot of autonomous projects going on.”

MORE: 2023 Cadillac CT6 Platinum AWD Review

Right now, one of the biggest questions remaining is just how much Super Cruise will cost. That’s not been decided: it’s looking likely that it’ll be an option on the model year 2023 CT6, though for how much and whether it’s part of an existing package are up in the air. The suggestion is that it will be well under the $5,000 that Tesla charges for Enhanced Autopilot, though, and while the CT6 is a niche model – Cadillac sold 1k of them in May 2023 – it’s expected that Super Cruise will see a high take-rate among buyers.

Ugreen Hitune T2 Review: Ultra

The market for true wireless earphones (TWS) is booming, and a sea of options is now available at our beck and call. Unfortunately, most budgeted earbuds end up compromising the sound quality or features.

But not this one! UGREEN’s HiTune T2 promises amazingly crisp sound and a feature-packed performance, including low latency for seamless gaming and video experience.

And you get all this and more just under $40, exciting, right? Read on for an in-depth review.

HiTune T2: Make the most of your videos and games 

Designed for all-day wear and impeccable performance, HiTune T2 sport an AirPods-like form factor. Similar in-ear design with an elongated stem that fits nicely in the ear.

Let’s take a look at their technical specifications:

Get to know HiTune T2 better: Features

With HiTune T2, UGREEN combines the latest acoustics innovation and enhanced audio-to-video synchronization. Let’s dig deeper into the earbuds to understand how good or bad they are.

Crisp, punchy sound 

Thanks to the high-performance acoustic architecture and the 14.2mm dynamic driver, HiTune T2 offer peep, punchy bass. Further, the ultra-lightweight PU and titanium coated composite diaphragm ensure detailed and accurate midrange and treble.

I won’t call them the best for sound output, but they are certainly way above other competitors in this price range. Plus, they also boast a pretty decent on-call experience with zero wind noise.

Low latency, why does it matter? 

Most budgeted earbuds come plagued with a common problem, lag between picture and audio, especially during CPU-/GPU-intensive apps and games.

UGREEN HiTune T2 employs a 60ms ultra-low latency to keep this issue at bay. A quadruple-tap on the earbuds takes you into the Gaming Mode, wherein you get expertly tuned bass, vocal, and treble performance.

Moreover, the mode enables 3D soundscape, lag-free gaming, and live streams.

And whether you like PUBG, Fortnite, or any other shooting games, these earbuds could lend you an upper hand as they can catch and relay ambient sounds like footsteps and gunshots in real-time.

Lightweight and comfortable to wear

HiTune T2 earbuds are designed keeping general ergonomics in mind, thanks to which they lend a snug and secure fit. Additionally, they smarty disperse pressure to ensure all-day comfortable wear.

And since they are sweatproof and weigh just .19oz, you can use them anytime, anywhere, whether gymming, jogging, zoom meetings, etc.

Galore of touch control 

Probably my most favorite feature is that you can control your music and modes with a few taps. And I love, love that you can control the volume as well. The feature isn’t available in some of the high-end earbuds.

ActionsTapsAnswer/ End a call Left or right earbud * 1Reject a call Long press left or right earbud for 2sPlay/PauseLeft or right earbud * 1Volume +Left earbud * 2Volume –Right earbud * 2Previous Track Left earbud * 3Next Track Right earbud * 3Activate Siri Long press left earbud for 2sWire Control Long press right earbud for 2sEQ Switch/Gaming ode Left or right earbud * 4

Completely recyclable material

While this does not affect your listening or usage experience, it is a big plus that UGREEN HiTune T2 earbuds are an environment-friendly product. Everything from the product material to packaging is fully recyclable with RoHS compliance.

Should you grab HiTune T2 wireless earbuds now or wait?

If you are hunting for a great pair of budgeted earbuds, your search ends here. Let me list their pros:

The sound is good

20-hour battery is sufficient to last you all-day

Low latency allows for lag-less gaming

Instantly connects with all your devices

Lightweight and comfortable to wear all-day

Great on-call performance

It supports fast and even wireless charging

And most importantly, you can adjust the volume via the buds!

Buy now from Amazon

Read next:

Author Profile

Arshmeet

A self-professed Geek who loves to explore all things Apple. I thoroughly enjoy discovering new hacks, troubleshooting issues, and finding and reviewing the best products and apps currently available. My expertise also includes curating opinionated and honest editorials. If not this, you might find me surfing the web or listening to audiobooks.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Release Date Estimate

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra release date estimate

The latest Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra release date info, plus pricing and spec rumors

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra release date has not yet been confirmed by the Korean tech giant, however, they tend to release their phones on a fairly predictable pattern in the first few months of the year, so we’ve got a good idea of the time window which is likely, early in 2023.

When will the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra be released?

Most tech publications are assuming either a late January or February 2023 release date for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, which tends to come out at the same time as the regular Samsung Galaxy S model.

That being said, we don’t have any confirmed sources for where these predictions are coming from, so it could be purely a guess based on the previous Samsung Galaxy Ultra release date history (see below).

The previous Samsung Galaxy S Ultra release dates are listed below (the same as the release dates for the standard model). From the below, we can safely assume that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will be released sometime between mid-January and mid-March, not exactly the smallest window of time, but we’re a way off yet. As we get closer to the time of the release we’ll get a better idea from Samsung as to when to expect the device:

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra release date – TBC 2023

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra release date – February 25th, 2023

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra release date – January 14th, 2023

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra release date – March 6th, 2023

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Price predictions

Again, we don’t have any official info about the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra price as of yet, but the previous years can give us a rough idea:

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra price – $1,199 / £1,149

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra price – $1,299 / £1,149

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra price – $1,399 / £1,199

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra specs

There is little confirmed information regarding the specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, but there have been various leaks and rumors as to its various features which give us an idea of some of them.

What processor will the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra come with?

Samsung has an unusual policy when it comes to the chips that they equip their Galaxy-class phones with. Typically, phones destined for the European and Indian markets come equipped with Samsung’s own Exynos chips that they develop themselves, whereas those going to the US and other territories usually come with the latest Qualcomm processors (such as the Snapdragon 8 series).

For the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra however, it looks like Samsung may just be going with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, as, if the below tweet by respected leaker Ming-Chi Kuo is to be believed, the latest Exynos 2300 isn’t quite up to scratch.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra camera spec rumors

Galaxy S23 Ultra telephoto cameras

Looking at the main telephoto camera first, there are unconfirmed reports from Galaxy Club that the phone will have similar specs to the previous two Galaxy S Ultra entries (that is a periscope with 10x magnification and 10MP resolution Sony IMX754 sensor), though we can expect improvements to image processing, and perhaps to the pixel size of the sensor, as has been done previously.

The second telephoto sensor seems likely to also be fairly similar to its 10MP 3x predecessor, though we’ll have to wait for more information on this.

Galaxy S23 Ultra main camera

The expected camera upgrade will likely focus on the main camera of the new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. According to Galaxy Club, there’s a chance that Samsung may upgrade the existing 108MP HM3 sensor to a 200MP one.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra battery

Final Word

This has been our page on the latest Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra release date info and predictions. If you’re after release date information on other upcoming devices, check out our OnePlus 10 Ultra release date rumors, Nothing Phone (1) release date, iPhone 14 release date, iPhone 14 Pro release date, and Apple AirPods Pro 2 release date articles.

Supposed Iphone 6 Frame Leaks: It’s Ultra

The notoriously unreliable Digitimes last month called for a larger size iPhone in May and today Chinese website Huanqiu reiterated that an iPhablet would arrive in time for the next Galaxy S smartphone confirmed for May 2014.

The next iPhone – let’s call it the iPhone 6 for the convenience sake – is generally thought to come in two sizes, one 4.7-inch and the larger one with a phablet-grade screen measuring a whopping 5.7 inches diagonally.

And now, images of an alleged frame have appeared online to suggest a notably thinner appearance compared to the current-generation iPhone 5s. Could this part be genuine? My two cents are right below…

Not much to be gleaned from the low-resolution shots other than the visibly thinner frame versus the current-generation Apple handset.

Bear in mind that in the run-up to the official iPhone 5s announcement C Tech leaked a number of parts which later proved authentic. As for this part, maybe it’s an early trial production part though it doesn’t look genuine to me.

It could be also an aftermarket component, a hoax or simply one of the parts belonging to an iPhone prototype that never materialized.

For starters, what’s up with the edges having an old style roundedness to them? To me, this looks like a mid-plate, a design Apple long abandoned in favor of Unibody construction.

For additional analysis, read Eric Slivka’s take over at MacRumors.

Much of the next iPhone’s supposed thinness should be the work of its presumably larger form-factor making additional room for components such as the wireless and memory chips, the main processor, the cameras and the battery.

The media is of course quick to spell doom for Apple unless it jumps on the phablet bus. Take, for example, a recent write-up by Gareth Beavis over at TechRadar:

I don’t mean to sound alarmist, but 2014 could well be the year that Apple makes its biggest mistake in recent history.

No, I’m not talking about the iWatch – I still think that could actually be rather good – no, Apple has to, HAS TO, bring out a large screen version of the iPhone or it’s going to really struggle to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world.

Countering his notion is Ben Bajarin who reminds us Apple hasn’t become so successful by skating where the puck is. “Apple has customers not competition,” he explains:

Folks claim that because Apple’s competition is doing something that Apple should also or they will lose. Yet what I love about Apple’s strategy is that it is never around what the competition is doing. Apple marches to beat of their own drum.

Apple has customers not competition. The decisions they make as a company are not based around what their competition is doing but around what is best for their customers. Like it or not, this is their strategy.

Sounds just about right to me, which isn’t saying that an Apple phablet of sorts isn’t being cooked up in Jony Ive’s kitchen as we speak.

In fact, when you take into account what Tim Cook & Co. have done last year with the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display, it’s becoming clear that 2014 could very well be the year of two form-factor iPhones, both based on exactly the same internals and design, the only difference being the screen size and price.

Make sense?

Does Apple really HAVE TO bring out a larger screen iPhone in 2014 or else…?

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