From the Editor's Desk: The first rule of Apple Club is don't talk about Apple Club

Apple Car
Apple Car (Image credit: Hyundai)

Another week has come to an end, as well as another lunar year. Happy Lunar New Year to those who are celebrating (safely) — welcome to the Year of the Ox!

The last few weeks have been packed full of Apple Car rumors, with the biggest one being that Apple was possibly partnering up with Hyundai/Kia. Well, it turns out that may have been a huge blunder on Hyundai's part, because as we all should know by now, the first rule of Apple Club is: Don't talk about Apple Club. All of those reports we saw about Apple working with Hyundai for the upcoming Apple Car project clearly did not sit well with Apple, and now the company seems to be looking for a new partner, like BMW, to work with on making the automated Apple Car a reality.

Honestly, I was a little surprised to see the rumors about a Hyundai partnership to begin with. I am not a big car aficionado, but Hyundai isn't what I would picture for an autonomous vehicle from Apple. I even had a 2005 Hyundai Elantra as my first car, and in my mind, Hyundai is not a luxurious car brand, which is what I think an Apple Car would be. After all, you hear about the "Apple Tax" all the time — you pay a premium for the Apple brand. Either way, it seems that Nissan may now be the possible candidate for Apple Car, but let's hope that they don't fumble this opportunity like Hyundai did.

Folding iPhone concept mock up

Folding iPhone concept mock up (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

In other news, it seems that the rumor of a clamshell foldable iPhone have resurfaced this week, and all I can think is "why?" I've seen some cute foldable smartphones while browsing my Instagram feeds for hours, but in all honesty, I don't see them working for me. I am on my iPhone 12 Pro a lot during the day and night, so I can't imagine having to open up a clamshell a few dozen times throughout the day just to mindlessly browse my social media. I mean, I'm especially worried about a crease forming in the foldable glass screen, especially since Apple likes to keep things as thin as possible. I suppose they could always go the route of having two separate screens coming together with a hinge or something, but then that would likely be ugly and bulky. The rumors of a clamshell foldable iPhone just don't make sense, and I don't think I want one. Let's just keep it simple with a non-folding slab of glass, alright?

iPhone 12 mini gripped by one hand

iPhone 12 mini gripped by one hand (Image credit: iMore)

And let's not forget about the iPhone 12 mini, although Apple may stop producing it next quarter. It seems that the iPhone 12 mini is doing the worst out of the entire iPhone 12 lineup, as it accounts for about 5% of all new iPhone 12 series sales. This is a little depressing, although I suppose we shouldn't be surprised.

As much as I love a smaller device, it seems to have been mostly tech journalists who demanded it, and well, the average person is not a tech journalist. Honestly, I would have wanted to get the iPhone 12 mini, but I want the high end features, which is why I have an iPhone 12 Pro instead (the Max is just too big for me, sorry). Personally, I would love to see Apple make an iPhone that is the size of the 12 mini but includes Pro level features, but who knows if that's ever going to happen at this point? I suppose I'll be sticking with the smaller Pro device for the foreseeable future.

To wrap things up, Luke Filipowicz reviewed the 8th-generation iPad (2020), and it's a great read. For those who are looking for an entry-level iPad, or want to get their first iPad, you absolutely can't beat the value of the latest iPad. In fact, Filipowicz says he's never been much of an iPad user, but this iPad has made him fall in love with it. Give it a look if you haven't already! And don't forget to get some of the best iPad keyboard cases if you end up getting one yourself — you know, to boost productivity.

That's it for this week, folks.

- Christine Romero-Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.

  • Good article. But I think you’re not in sync with the latest on cars, and probably haven’t tried out the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2. On the car front, Hyundai/Kia/Genesis has come a very long way since 2005. Today, the Génesis luxury brand creates very good sporty luxury cars and SUVs that compete fairly well with the BMWs, Audis, and easily beat Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti. They would have been a great choice for Apple. It also turns out that their self driving featured today are in the top 3-5 of the auto industry already. My daily phone is an iPhone 12 Pro Max. I tried out the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2, because the idea of having less devices is very appealing to me. If it wasn’t for the lack of the Apple ecosystem I’m so heavily invested in, I likely would have switched to it. Try it out for a few weeks. It won’t be for everyone, but if Apple makes one, it would be huge for some people, especially once we can travel more again. Traveling with a single device that does both phone and tablet duty will be significant.
  • Yeah, I never said I was a car expert. I just see cars as something to get me from point A to point B. I'm aware of the Genesis brand though, but it's not the first thing that pops into my head when I hear "Hyundai". Not sure I will be able to just try out a Galaxy Fold, they're kind of pricey for a spontaneous purchase, isn't it? Lol. Thanks for reading anyways!
  • Saying that Apples self driving tech is in the top 3-5 of the auto industry already, is NOT true. Apple is still in test mode, and with human drivers in place. Plus Apple only got in over 18,000 miles of autonomous driving last year (2020). That might seem like a lot of driving to a lot of folks, but compare that to the millions of miles that Waymo go in last year, then Apples seems like nothing. Plus Apple had around 130-150 disengagements last year. Waymo had NO disengagements, and they have already rolled out there self driving tech in the real world to a few cities, with more arriving in 2021. Customers can run the Waymo app to call for a ride, and then that driverless vehicle will take that customer to his/her destination, with no humans at the wheel. Plus Tesla is suppose to roll out their full autonomous subscription to their customers in 2021. Not to mention there is some trucking companies have been testing their vehicles as well. Plus the Apple rumours have been saying that Apples first car will be fully autonomous, with no steering wheel. So that looks to be a car that will taxi or perform ride sharing. As far as Apple making an iPhone that can fold and unfold into iPad. You won't see that from Apple. The reason is because of Apples app ecosystem. Apple today encourages its developers to make separate iPhone and separate iPad apps. Now Apple can have a clamshell foldable iPhone, but it will always stay as an iPhone, and only run iPhone apps. But you will never see an iPhone from Apple that will fold out to be an iPad. Apple would have to not only change iPadOS and iOS, but the way developers create their apps. That is why Android already has foldable devices that can unfold from a smartphone to a tablet, and back again. Google and Android encourage their developers to make one single app that supports both smartphones and tablets.