Apple places risky bet on sole iPhone chip provider

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Apple A12 replaces A11 Bionic
TSMC beat out Samsung and Intel to make Apple's A11 Bionic processor, and will apparently be the sole producer of its replacements.
Photo: iFixit

TSMC has produced every iPhone processor for several years, and is reportedly going to continue to be Apple’s sole source for chips.

Apple generally prefers to get components from multiple sources, but apparently no company — not even Samsung or Intel — can compete with TSMC. That makes the two companies very dependent on each other.

12-inch MacBook shortage hints at impending refresh

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MacBook lineup
Don't buy a 12-inch MacBook today.
Photo: Apple

A refresh is overdue for Apple’s 12-inch MacBook lineup, and it looks like it could be arriving soon.

Availability of the machine has dwindled at one major retailer, which suggests new models — complete with upgraded internals — will arrive this fall. It could be one of a number of Apple machines that will see improvements before the end of the year.

Another clue that ‘inexpensive’ MacBooks will land soon

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Get a MacBook Air for $200 off
It’s about time we saw that new MacBook Air.
Photo: Apple

One of Apple’s manufacturing partners will enjoy a significant boost in the fourth quarter of 2018 as a result of the company’s new, “inexpensive notebooks.”

Quanta Computer has just been overtaken by Compal as the world’s top laptop manufacturer, but it will catch up this year as Apple prepares to deliver what will likely be a new MacBook Air.

Journey to a trillion, and a look at Apple’s troubled history, on The CultCast

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CultCast MacBook Pro
Apple's the most valuable company on earth, but it almost wasn't.

This week on The CultCast: The journey to a trillion! How did Apple become the most valuable company on earth? We discuss, and remember the company’s troubled history. Plus: Is the i9 MacBook Pro a total ripoff? One YouTube reviewer says yes, and his tests are convincing. We’ll fill you in. And stay tuned for the sad decline of MoviePass. Is the troubled movie service still worth it?

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to accept Apple Pay and sell your wares with your very own Squarespace website. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first hosting plan or domain.

Next MacBook might take unfortunate performance hit

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MacBook Internal makeup
Because Intel can't get its act together, Apple's apparently going to release a low-cost MacBook that's slower than it should be.
Photo: Apple

After waiting years, Apple is reportedly given up on using some of Intel’s long-delayed processors in the budget MacBook expected this fall. Instead, the device will include chips that debuted last year.

Problems like this could be one of the reasons Apple is supposedly going to move macOS onto its own ARM-based processors and away from Intel.

2018 MacBook Pro’s Thunderbolt 3 suffers big limitations

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The 2018 MacBook Pro is expected to look much like its predecessor.
Despite faster connections, display support hasn’t improved.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s new MacBook Pro lineup has a lot of improvements under the hood that you might have missed. One of those is an upgraded Thunderbolt 3 controller from Intel.

Both the 13- and 15-inch models pack a new “Titan Ridge” chip, but unfortunately for some users, there are big limitations. Don’t rush out to blow your savings on an 8K monitor just yet.

Beware serious thermal throttling with new Core i9 MacBook Pro

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2018 MacBook Pro
The latest MacBook Pro update may not fix all your problems.
Photo: Apple

If you’re coughing up crazy amounts of cash for a new MacBook Pro with Intel’s latest Core i9 processor, there’s something you should be aware of.

Early tests have revealed that the chip suffers severe thermal throttling under heavy loads, which dramatically reduces its clock speed and performance.

Cheaper models with Core i5 and Core i7 chips don’t seem to have the same problem.

2018 MacBook Pro review roundup: Apple unleashes a speed demon

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2018 MacBook Pro
The latest MacBook Pro update may not fix all your problems.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s new MacBook Pro offers buyers significantly improved performance at the same price as last year’s models, as well as a “quieter,” improved butterfly keyboard and a True Tone display. But is it worth the upgrade?

Early reviews of the 2018 update are out now. Here’s what they say about Apple’s fastest and most impressive laptop yet.

What you need to know about the new MacBook Pros, this week on The CultCast

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MacBook Pro CultCast
It's the most powerful update in years.
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: It’s the best update in years. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about Apple’s very powerful new MacBook Pros. Plus: New Mac minis are on the way; Ming-Chi Kuo confirms Apple’s about to update its entire product line; how coke heads use Apple Watch to maximize their high. Finally, we talk killer whale attacks, port wines and the story of Saturday Night Live’s world-renowned sax player on an all-new What We’re Into.

Super-fast WiGig could be in future iPhone

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A WiGig iPhone might happen in 2020.
A WiGig iPhone might happen in 2020. This standard is fast but short range.
Photo: Wireless Gigabit Alliance/Cult of Mac

Apple appears to be planning to put WiGig in future iPhones. This a version of Wi-Fi that’s more than five times faster than 802.11ac.

An Intel Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modem has reportedly been turned down by Apple because it lacked WiGig. This certainly implies that the iPhone maker will go looking for a modem that does include this feature.