The weirdest Apple stories of 2016

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Wierdest Stories 2016
It's been a weird year. And Apple's no exception.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2016 Year in Review Cult of Mac Covering Cupertino is more than just statistics and rumors about upcoming products. There’s plenty of weird Apple news, whether it be a Chinese billionaire buying iPhones for his pet dog or the revelation that, in some alternate universe, Tim Cook could become vice president of the United States.

With that in mind, here are the weirdest Apple news stories of 2016.

Don’t worry, Tim Cook says new iMacs are coming

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iMac
The iMac is in desperate need of an update.
Photo: Apple

The iMac didn’t get much love in 2016, but according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, killer new desktop Macs are coming.

In a note to Apple employees, Cook assured staff that desktop computers are still “really important” and that they shouldn’t worry about future machines.

What they said: Best Apple quotes of 2016

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Best Apple quotes 2016
If you can't say something nice ...
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2016 Year in Review Cult of Mac The world of quotes is a poorer place without Steve Jobs, who was a quote machine. Nonetheless, plenty of people talked about Apple this year, whether lauding the company’s successes or damning its strategies.

Here are the most memorable Apple quotes of 2016.

Breaking down Apple’s latest design studio video

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Apple Infinite Loop II
Apple's secretive Industrial Design Studio is on the ground floor of Infinite Loop II, one of the main buildings of Apple's Cupertino campus.

To promote his new design book, Jony Ive has made a video giving a very rare peek inside Apple’s ultra-secretive design studio.

The video is only the second one that I know of that shows the inside of the “studio behind the Iron Curtain” — so called because it’s so sealed off from the outside world. (The other was last year’s 60 Minutes episode).

While watching it, I recognized a lot of details that I mention in my book about Jony Ive but I don’t think are generally well-known. So I screenshot the video and made a few notes. Warning: This one’s for the design nerds.

iPad Pro may get thicker in 2017

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The iPad Pro is about to get even bigger.
The iPad Pro is about to get even bigger.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is planning to launch new iPad Pros in the first half of 2017 and according to a new rumor out of Asia, they may be a bit thicker than the previous models.

Why a secret Apple project may be delaying new Macs, this week on The CultCast

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Are you ready for Apple to make Macs
Are you ready for Apple to make Macs "pro" again?
Photo: Cult of Mac

This week on The CultCast: Is a secret Apple project stalling Mac updates? It wouldn’t be the first time. Plus: Apple teases Black Friday deals; AirPort routers are walking dead, and the Mac Pro might be next; the future of Time Machine; why iPad should be an iOS/OS X hybrid; and Jony Ive’s new role designing Apple itself.

The Claridge’s Christmas trees Jony Ive had to follow

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Christmas1
Baubles are only available as an added accessory for the Christmas Tree Pro.
Photo: Claridge's

Jony Ive’s vision for Apple stores includes plenty of live trees, so who can be surprised that the “Christmas tree” he and BFF Marc Newson designed for a swank British hotel turned out to be a minimalist fir with not a bauble in sight?

Unusual as it is, Ive and Newson’s creation is far from the most offbeat reimagining of festive firs in Claridge’s history. Check out previous Claridge’s Christmas trees, which range from truly ostentatious to totally bizarre.

Surprise! Jony Ive’s Christmas tree is a plain fir on a white backdrop

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Christmas1
You were expecting decorations?
Photo: Claridge's

Jony Ive certainly can’t be accused of not applying his minimalist mantra to every aspect of life.

Having previously been announced as the co-designer (with BFF Marc Newson) of the Christmas tree at London’s famous Claridge’s hotel, Ive’s creation was unveiled over the weekend, and — surprise — it’s a plain tree with no decorations, set on a white background.

Really, were we expecting anything different?

Late Show ridicules Apple’s pricey design book

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Designed-by-Apple-in-California-2
Apple's pricey book is the subject of a new parody.
Photo: Apple

Earlier this week, Apple debuted its pricey $200-$300 Designed by Apple in California coffee table book — and, boy, has it already garnered a ton of publicity. Not all of it favorable.

In a fake ad which debuted on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the Apple book is ridiculed for, well, basically being an insanely expensive book.

Check it out below.

Jony Ive’s design book is much more than an ego trip

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Designed by Apple in California book
Apple's Industrial Design team has published a book of its work over two decades: Designed by Apple in California.

Increasingly, some Apple fans think Jony Ive has lost it.

He’s killing ports and headphone jacks left and right. The latest MacBooks value form over function. He’s designing gold watches for the 1 percent.

And now his glossy new photo book, Designed by Apple in California, looks like a $300, linen-bound ego trip.