We talk an all-new MacBook Pro, the return of MagSafe, and inside Apple’s megafactories, on The CultCast

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CultCast 383
Reports say a redesigned MacBook Pro is on the way...

This week on The CultCast: Apple’s readying a totally redesigned MacBook Pro with next-gen display! We discuss. Plus: Apple’s working on the next generation of MagSafe! Thank the gods. And we take a fascinating look at the unbelievable scale and size of Apple’s megafactories, from a bonus chapter of Leander’s new book, Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level.

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Episode

#383 – All-New MacBook Pro, Return of MagSafe, & Inside Apple’s Megafactories

On the show this week

@erfon / @lkahney

This week’s stories

Pre-order Leander’s new book, signed!

9 months with stereo HomePods! The good, the bad & the ugly!

Apple cuts price of HomePod in U.S. and other countries

  • Apple permanently slashed the price of HomePod in the United States and a number of other countries. The company’s first smart speaker now lists for $299 — a full $50 less than its original price.
  • Some might assume the HomePod discount is a result of lackluster sales. But Apple says it is simply passing on savings achieved by manufacturing at scale, according to AppleInsider. (It’s a shame the company doesn’t do that with all its products.)

Biggest MacBook in years could debut in 2021

  • Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple is working on a MacBook Pro that’s bigger than any released in years. The downside is this model won’t be out until 2021.
  • This device, as well as a new iPad and an external display, will all supposedly use a new type of display: microLED.microLED is the next generation of screen technology. It’s brings the strength the strengths of OLED, perfect black levels, incredible color saturation and accuracy, without the negatives, E.G. degrading performance and brightness over time, and burn in.
  • Multiple companies are currently working to figure out how to manufacture the technology, but it’s hard, because the LEDS have to be perfectly placed or the screen brightness looks wonky.
  • The MacBook that will be between 15 and 17 inched. but he’s now saying this will be out in the first half of 2021.
  • This is the same machine Kuo implied would be a major redesign…

Apple’s beloved MagSafe connector could make a comeback

  • Apple is exploring charging cables that attach to its devices with magnets.
  • Apple just received a patent for “Smart Charging Systems for Portable Electronic Devices.” This describes using magnets in cables to prevent damage if they get yanked on.
  • Apple envisions the system taking an active part in disconnecting itself if an accident occurs. “The connector can be disconnected from the portable electronic device by the charging component before the jolting event occurs.”
  • MagSafe was only for MacBooks, but the new version might have a much wider reach. The patent says this magnetized charging system could be used with “a smart phone, wearable device, smart watch, tablet, personal computer, and the like.”
  • That said, this is only a patent application, not a product announcement. It’s possible this research might not ever become a product.

Inside Apple’s factories [Cook book outtakes]

  • Apple’s capital expenditure, or CapEx, is mind-boggling. To get an idea of how big it is, take Apple’s new spaceship campus in Cupertino – which is the fourth most expensive building in the world. It cost the company an estimated $5 billion to construct.
  • Apple spends a similar amount every six months on manufacturing equipment.