This week, on The CultCast: new MacBook Pros at WWDC? Insiders say yes! We’ll tell you all we know. Plus: why future Macs might get much faster CPUs; Apple makes a big move to bring manufacturing back to the US; and we’ll wrap up with 5 weird and whacky facts about the new Apple Park campus.
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CultCast #284 – New MacBook Pros at WWDC! Subscribe on iTunes
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This week’s links
- Apple hasn’t released new hardware at a WWDC keynote since 2013, but the company is allegedly planning to unveil a new lineup of MacBooks, according to a report that claims the new machines will pack Intel’s new Kaby Lake processor to bring more speed than ever.
- Three new laptops will debut at WWDC 2017, claims Bloomberg, citing “people familiar with the matter.” Both the MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook will be updated with new Intel chips.
- Apple is also supposedly considering updating the 13-inch MacBook Air with a new processor, too, which would be quite a surprise as most observers assumed the machine was on its last legs now that the MacBook and MacBook Pro are thinner. Sales of the old MacBook Air remain “surprisingly strong” due to its cheap price tag, claims one of the report’s sources.
- What features needed to make the machine exciting again
- Shows Apple may be getting about making Mac great again.
- Meager performance gains aren’t all Apple’s fault
- Chipmakers in past years focused on increasing performance by raising the clock frequency. But that made chips power hungry, and their focus shifted to adding cores, which boosted performance but also added battery life to laptops. Then the focus turned to integrating technologies like graphics and I/O buses inside processors. Gaming and virtual reality have brought a focus back to raw CPU performance.
- The performance improvements from Skylake to Kaby Lake topped out at 15 percent. The CPU performance boost for Cannonlake should be at least that, Intel said.
- The gaming market is exploding, especially eSports, and demand for high-performance Core i7 chips skyrocketed last year.
- Intel may be trying to catch up with AMD, which is boasting a 40 percent performance improvement for its upcoming Ryzen chips.
- Apple’s Amazon Echo rival standalone Siri speaker will come with a touch-sensitive display, claims KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
- In a note to clients over the weekend, Kuo suggested that the Siri home speaker will have a “touch panel,” although it’s not known whether this will be a full-on screen or a simpler touch-based interface of some sort.
- You may have heard that Tim Cook recently announced a $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund in an interview with Mad Money’s Jim Cramer at Apple Campus, he said the goal was to push “people to do advanced manufacturing in the United States.”
- Rather than pulling from its enormous pile of overseas cash, Apple is borrowing the money for its $1 billion fund since that is cheaper than paying to repatriate its foreign money pile.
- Apple has awarded Corning the first grant of its $1 billion investment aimed at boosting high-tech manufacturing jobs in the United States. The glassmaker will receive $200 million.
- Apple’s contribution is part of its “Advanced Manufacturing Fund” will support Corning’s R&D, capital equipment needs, and state-of-the-art glass processing.