Redesigned MacBook Pro Models Still on Track for 2021 Launch, But Supplies Likely to Be Constrained into Next Year

Volume production of the redesigned 16-inch MacBook Pro with Apple silicon and a mini-LED display is set to begin in the first quarter of 2022, while mass production of the smaller and new 14-inch MacBook Pro will begin in the fourth quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited in a paywalled DigiTimes report.

Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature 1
Yesterday, DigiTimes posted a preview of a story reporting that the launch of the redesigned MacBook Pros could be delayed until next year. Now, the full report offers more context, including the fact that Apple suppliers are feeling constrained by the launch of the new mini-LED 12.9-inch iPad Pro, hindering production for the Mac.

Volume production of Apple’s miniLED-backlit MacBook Pro series may have to be postponed to fourth-quarter of 2021 or first-quarter 2022 if the sudden surge in the number of COVID infections in Taiwan continues to worsen, according to industry sources.

Having launched its miniLED-backlit 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ in late April, Apple plans to release two miniLED-backlit MacBook Pro products – one having a 14-inch display and the other a 16-inch display – in the second half of 2021, said the sources.

DigiTimes still reports that Apple plans to release the new MacBook Pros in the second half of this year, but implies that much like the new M1 ‌iPad Pro‌ and iMac, they may not be widely available for purchase until a few weeks after their initial announcement. Apple announced the new ‌iPad Pro‌ and ‌iMac‌ at an event on April 20, yet neither product officially ships and launches to customers until the second half of May, most likely this week on May 21.

Apple may opt to take a similar approach with the new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros, announcing them to the public but not make them available until sufficient production is underway. However, DigiTimes also notes that a minimal number of 14-inch MacBook Pros will be produced in the third quarter of this year, likely hinting that supply will be tight, despite reasonably high demand.

These new MacBook Pros will offer the biggest redesign to Apple’s Pro portable Mac lineup since 2016. According to Bloomberg and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple plans to abandon the Touch Bar with the new MacBook Pros, bring back MagSafe charging technology, and more ports, including an HDMI port. These new MacBook Pros will also feature an all-new mini-LED display and a more powerful Apple silicon chip.

Aqara E1 USB Stick Hub Launches in China

Only a week or so ago, we reported that the Aqara E1 USB Stick hub had been added to the list of devices that work with the Mi Home app, although at the time, the hub had yet to be released. Aqara has now released the E1 hub in Mainland China.

The new hub features a really small form factor, designed to fit almost anywhere with a powered USB port, and works with Apple HomeKit, just like all the preceding Aqara hubs. Unlike the Aqara M2 hub, the E1 will also work with the Mi Home app, as well as the Aqara app, of course.

What is totally new for an Aqara hub is the ability for the E1 to also act as a WiFi extender or relay, which is especially useful for devices that are too far from your main router. One can assume that this will be agnostic in terms of what devices can connect to this as a WiFi ‘hotspot’, although as it works with Mi Home, there’s also the possibility that it’ll only work with WiFi devices within the Mi Home ecosystem.

As with all the company’s recent hubs starting with the G2H camera hub, the E1 uses Zigbee 3.0 for better performance and energy management.

One point of this hub of course, aside from being more discrete in size, and I guess a little more mobile, is that it doesn’t require a power supply or come with a built-in plug, like the M2, or M1/M1S, respectively. Tie that to the low price in Mainland China of RMB119, which roughly converts to US$19/UK£13/€15, and you can see that Aqara are going all out on providing as many options for hubs as they can. Although the price is very low, if the E1 goes on sale internationally, it will certainly be more expensive than this. Still, even if they doubled the price, it’s a steal for most people.

The hub listing on the Chinese Mainland sites shows that the E1 is designed to work with pretty much all the Aqara and Mijia branded sensors, buttons, outlets and switches, which also includes ceiling lights by Opple, although as this is designed for Chinese consumers and the China server, US switches etc won’t be compatible. It’s also worth noting that just because it’s compatible with almost all of the same devices you see working with other hubs, many of these child devices may still be in the process of being certified to work with and be exposed to, Apple HomeKit, which we’ve seen be the case before when a new hub comes out.

As soon as we’re able to test one out, we’ll be doing a full review.

This article was originally posted here

Video Demonstrates Use of New 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro With Previous Generation Magic Keyboard

Check out this video that demonstrates the use of a new 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro with the previous generation Magic Keyboard.

The fifth generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro is slightly thicker due to its new mini-LED display. This has led Apple to introduce an updated Magic Keyboard that better fits the device. However, a recent support document revealed that the first generation keyboard would work but ‘may not precisely fit‘.

One lucky user got his 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro early and has posted a video showing how the new iPad fits in the older keyboard case.

Take a look at the video below!




This article was originally posted here

Yellow 24-inch iMac shown off in early unboxing video [u]

Though Apple’s 24-inch iMac is not due to arrive in customer hands until later this week, an early unit was procured by a Chinese YouTuber who promptly unboxed the all-in-one in a video on Monday.

How Gadget Guy scored a yellow 24-inch iMac days before orders are scheduled to arrive is unknown, though the variety YouTuber, who posts content on everything from cars to food, was able to get up close and personal with Apple’s latest device this week.

The video offers little in the way of new information, but it does give potential buyers a better look at the iMac prior to its official release on May 21.

Shown off in the video are Apple’s color-matched accessories, which in this case includes a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, braided power cable, and Magic Mouse. The video further illustrates how the power cable attaches to iMac and gives users a quick tour of major hardware features including a comparison between the iMac’s 1080p FaceTime camera the 720p camera from a 2020 MacBook Air.

Gadget Guy also ran the iMac’s M1 chip — an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU variant with 8GB of unified RAM — against a benchmark test suite that resulted in Geekbench single-core and multi-core scores of 1,752 and 7,702, respectively, and a Cinebench R23 score of 7,783. A Blackmagic Disk Speed Test saw SSD write speeds of 2,900 MB/s and read speeds of 3,000MB/s. The capacity of the SSD was left unmentioned.

Other tidbits include setting up and using Touch ID, running iOS apps in macOS, and viewing pictures and video on the 4.5K Retina Display. Gadget Guy also plugs in a 3.5mm headphone into iMac’s jack to demonstrate the sheer thinness of the unit.

Gadget Guy’s unlisted video was spotted by MacRumors today.

Early 24-inch iMac preorders are expected to arrive on May 21, with many customers receiving word that their Mac has already shipped.

Update: The video has been made private, meaning public viewing is not available at this time.

This article was originally posted here

Apple’s New 24-Inch iMac Shown Off in Early Unboxing

The new 24-inch iMac doesn’t officially launch until this Friday, May 21, but an early unboxing of the machine has been shared on YouTube.

The video from Gadget Guy is in Chinese, but it offers an up-close look at the yellow version of the ‌iMac‌ including how the machine and its color-matched accessories are packed in the box, how the magnetic power cord attaches to the rear of the ‌iMac‌, and the Touch ID button on the Magic Keyboard.

Additional topics include a look at using the Globe key to change between keyboard languages, installing iOS apps on the M1-powered ‌iMac‌, the side-oriented headphone jack, some quick benchmarks using Geekbench and Cinebench that show essentially the same performance as other M1 Macs, disk speed tests approaching 3000 MB/s for both read and write, and more.

Customers who placed early ‌M1‌ ‌iMac‌ orders have seen their orders begin shipping ahead of Friday’s targeted launch date, but we should be seeing press reviews hitting as soon as tomorrow morning.

(Thanks, aaronchow!)

Related Roundup: iMac

Mini LED production woes push 12.9-inch iPad Pro orders into July

Apple manufacturing partners are reportedly facing difficulties producing key components for top-tier models of the recently announced iPad Pro lineup, pushing availability of the flagship tablet into July.

Unveiled at a special media event in April, the new iPad Pro line features the top-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Liquid Retina XDR display. Production of the screen, packed with mini LED technology, is reportedly causing unexpected supply delays.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports Apple partners are struggling to manufacture the intricate 12.9-inch screen in large quantities. Unlike traditional LCD screens, the Liquid Retina XDR groups 10,000 mini LEDs into 2,500 distinct dimming zones to achieve an extremely high contrast ratio.

The reported display woes, coupled with a wider global chip shortage, has pushed back availability of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro into July, according to the Online Apple Store. Delays could be exacerbated by continued constraints.

Reports in April first indicated that Apple suppliers were wrestling with mini LED production issues, though the exact impact of the shortage was known not at the time.

Apple’s 11-inch iPad Pro, which boasts a traditional LCD display, is also in short supply, though constraints have been chalked up to intense launch window interest and not manufacturing hold-ups.

This article was originally posted here

Apple fights report that claims it compromises user privacy in China

Apple says it still has control over user data in China.

What you need to know

  • A New York Times report claims Apple has compromised user privacy in China.
  • The company is refuting the report.

Apple is fighting back against a report that it compromises user privacy in China.

A new report from the New York Times (via 9to5Mac) says that Apple has made concessions with the Chinese government that make it “nearly impossible for the company to stop the Chinese government from gaining access” to its user’s data.

When Apple moved Chinese user data to local servers, the company promised that the data would be safe and managed with Apple’s strict approach to privacy. Today’s report says that Apple has “largely ceded control to the Chinese government.”

And in its data centers, Apple’s compromises have made it nearly impossible for the company to stop the Chinese government from gaining access to the emails, photos, documents, contacts, and locations of millions of Chinese residents, according to the security experts and Apple engineers.

In response to the report, Apple says that it still controls the keys that protect the data of users in China and that the company also isolates its data centers in China from the rest of the iCloud network.

The company said in a statement that it followed the laws in China and did everything it could to keep the data of customers safe. “We have never compromised the security of our users or their data in China or anywhere we operate,” the company said.

An Apple spokesman said that the company still controlled the keys that protect the data of its Chinese customers and that Apple used its most advanced encryption technology in China — more advanced than what it used in other countries.

Apple also added that its Chinese data centers “feature our very latest and most sophisticated protections.” The company is working up against a June 2021 deadline for storing data on new Chinese data servers, the report says.

Apple has tried to isolate the Chinese servers from the rest of its iCloud network, according to the documents. The Chinese network would be “established, managed, and monitored separately from all other networks, with no means of traversing to other networks out of country.” Two Apple engineers said the measure was to prevent security breaches in China from spreading to the rest of Apple’s data centers.

You can read the full report at The New York Times.

This article was originally posted here

Bloomberg: Apple still facing production issues for 12.9-inch iPad Pro Liquid Retina XDR display

As shipping estimates for the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro slip into July, a new report from Bloomberg today says that Apple is continuing to face production issues. As was reported prior to the new iPad Pro’s initial announcement, the problems stem from the mini-LED display technology.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Debby Wu report that Apple continues to struggle making the mini-LED display technology in larger quantities. This is significantly delaying production and shipments for customers.

The primary issue: producing the 12.9-inch model’s new MiniLED screen has so far proved challenging. Bloomberg News reported in April, before the device was announced, that the new device is facing supply constraints because of complexities surrounding the nascent technology. Apple’s production partners are still struggling to produce the more intricate screens in larger quantities, people familiar with the matter said.

Apple is marketing the iPad Pro’s mini-LED display as a Liquid Retina XDR panel. The Liquid Retina XDR display offers high dynamic range similar to the performance of the Apple Pro Display XDR. The iPad Pro has around 2500 local dimming zones, enabling a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and 1600 nits peak brightness.

The 11-inch iPad Pro, which continues to use the same LCD display as previous iPad Pro models, is still readily available for delivery as soon as later this month and into the first week of June. This is a stark contrast compared to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which is backordered into late June and early July for most configurations.

The first iPad Pro pre-orders are slated to arrive on May 21. Catch up with our coverage of the device at the links below.

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Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

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Built-in Shazam music recognition is now an App Clip in iOS 14.6

Shazam, which is owned by Apple, was fully integrated into the iPhone and iPad last year with iOS 14.2, which introduced a new toggle to identify songs right from the Control Center. Now with iOS 14.6, Apple has expanded that integration and turned it into an App Clip packed with information about the song.

With the previous integration, the user was redirected to the Shazam website once they tapped the Control Center toggle to identify the song. Now that experience has become more like that of a native app thanks to a new Shazam App Clip that comes with iOS 14.6.

For those unfamiliar, an App Clip is a small part of an app that is quickly downloaded to the device so that the user can experience the app and interact with it without having to download the full version from the App Store. This feature has been available for developers since the introduction of iOS 14 and now Apple is adopting it in its own apps.

The process for identifying songs using Shazam remains the same. All you need to do is access the Control Center and tap the Shazam icon (you can add it there through the iOS Settings app). Now, instead of getting a notification that redirects you to a website, you will see the song details through Shazam’s Clip App.

From there, the user can easily share the song through other apps, access the lyrics, play it on Apple Music, and more. There’s also an option to download the full version of Shazam right from the App Clip.

iOS 14.6 is currently only available to developers and users who are part of the Apple Beta Software Program. The update is expected to become available to the public in the coming days.

Read also:

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Phil Schiller reveals $50 million price tag for WWDC, $18 billion for R&D

Phil Schiller is talking about all of the things.

What you need to know

  • Phil Schiller revealed that Apple spends around $50 million on WWDC every year.
  • He also says Apple spent about $18 billion on research and development last year.

Running WWDC apparently costs Apple $50 million.

As reported by 9to5Mac, Apple Fellow Phil Schiller testified at the Epic v. Apple trial earlier today and, during his testimony, revealed how much it costs Apple to throw its yearly developer conference. According to Schiller, Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference costs the company at least $50 million a year.

During his testimony, Schiller revealed that it costs Apple around $50 million each year to put on its Worldwide Developer Conference. This likely refers to the in-person version of WWDC rather than the digital version.

This cost is significant per a Protocol report, as Epic has been trying to argue that Apple makes a ton of money off of the App Store. However, Apple points out that Epic’s case does not take into consideration costs like WWDC.

Epic has argued the high profitability of the App Store is one of the reasons why Apple continues to demand 30% of digital transactions and that Apple fails to justify that commission rate through its claims of providing security, privacy, App Store review, and other operating costs. Apple has argued it does not have calculate the profitability of the App Store as an individual unit and that any attempts to do so would be misleading as they do not take into account the amount of money Apple invests in the iOS ecosystem, such as research and development costs and the money it spends on events like WWDC.

Schiller also revealed that Apple was working on a dedicated developer facility at Apple Park that would allow developers to visit the campus and work on apps with Apple engineers like they do at WWDC. It appears that the facility would make that kind of opportunity more consistent.

In a similar vein, Schiller revealed during his testimony that Apple is building a dedicated developer facility at Apple Park. Here, developers will be able to work directly with Apple engineers on their applications and receive support and help. No further details were provided on this developer center, though.

Schiller also revealed how much Apple spends on research and development. According to the executive, the company spent $18 billion on R&D last year alone.

This article was originally posted here