| Cult of Mac

Wait for high-end MacBook Pro stretches into June amidst China lockdown

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2021 MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips
It could be summertime before your MacBook Pro with an M1 Max is delivered. Blame COVID.
Photo: Apple

Order a MacBook Pro with an M1 Max processor and you’ll wait until June for a delivery. Wait times have grown to 7+ weeks because the company that assembles the notebook for Apple is caught in a COVID lockdown.

The same lockdown caught one of the major iPhone assemblers, and also two iPad assemblers. But it’s not affecting handset or tablet deliveries. Not to the same extent, anyway.

Today in Apple history: Early iPad rumor gets Apple fans buzzing

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iPad Pro 2
According to a 2005 rumor, Apple planned to launch a 15-inch tablet.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

April 13: Today in Apple history: Early iPad rumor gets Apple fans buzzing April 13, 2005: The tech world gets excited when a sketchy rumor suggests Apple is building a tablet computer.

The Chinese-language report claims Quanta will build a 15-inch touchscreen tablet PC with detachable keyboard. Apple will supposedly ship the device in the first quarter of 2006. Things don’t turn out quite like that, but the rumor offers the first hint about Apple’s secret iPad project.

Apple battles rocky relationship with biggest manufacturing partner

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Apple's relationship with Foxconn on the rocks
Apple's partnership with Foxconn isn't as rosy as it seems.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s partnership with Foxconn, its largest manufacturing partner, is “eroding” as a result of the supposedly shady tactics that Foxconn is using in an effort to boost profits, according to a new report.

It is claimed that Foxconn has exaggerated hiring counts, used Apple equipment to produce orders for other companies, and cut corners on component and product testing.

MacBooks may be in short supply after March

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The MacBook Pro has a Touch Bar, and a better display.
The coronavirus outbreak means it isn’t a good time to procrastinate on a MacBook purchase.
Photo: Apple

Now might be the best time to buy that MacBook you’ve been considering. Factory shutdowns in China because of the coronavirus outbreak will reportedly lead to shortages of components needed to make laptops.

3 companies could take over Apple Watch production

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watchOS 5 Face
Your next Apple Watch could be made by Foxconn, who also assembles iPhone and iPad.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch might go through a big change behind the scenes. Until now, this wearable has been assembled mostly by Quanta, but that’s reportedly going to change next year. No less than three companies are going to take on the job.

Apple moves Mac Pro production to China

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Mac Pro
No longer made in the USA.
Photo: Apple

The only Apple device that is produced in the U.S. is about to have its manufacturing operations moved overseas.

Apple reportedly plans to make its expensive new Mac Pro in China according to a new report that claims an assembly partner has already been lined up. The previous “trash can” Mac Pro was made at an Apple facility in Austin, Texas where the company also has a software engineering hub.

Apple wants to cut down on manufacturing in China

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Foxconn employees accused of $43 million iPhone scam
Tim Cook meets one of the people working on the iPhone factory line.
Photo: Apple

Apple has reportedly asked its main suppliers to evaluate the cost of shifting 15% to 30% of their production from China to Southeast Asia.

This is a response to the burgeoning China and U.S. trade war, which has already impacted Apple’s share price. If new tariffs go into effect, it could drive up the cost of Apple devices considerably.

Apple investigates reports of underage workers at Apple Watch factory

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App Home Screen Apple Watch Series 4
The incident allegedly took place at Apple manufacturer Quanta.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple has said that it will investigate allegations that one of its manufacturers used high school students to build Apple Watches in China.

The news came to light late last week, when the Hong Kong-based labor rights group Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) said it had received a report. Today, Apple issued a statement saying previous audits revealed no cases of underage labor, but that it will carry out its own investigations.

MacBook won’t get a major upgrade in 2018

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13 inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
Apple's reportedly not planning a major MacBook refresh this year.
Photo: Apple

Apple has no plans for a major upgrade to its MacBook line this year, a report claims. The last time Apple gave a major upgrade to the MacBook was in 2016, when Apple introduced the Touch Bar.

Provided this is accurate, it may disappoint customers who view the introduction of the iMac Pro as proof that Apple is placing renewed emphasis on its Mac product line.