Broadcom inks new $15 billion deal with Apple to supply wireless chips through mid-2023 – Blog – 10 minute

Recap: When it’s not busy trying to acquire Qualcomm for the exorbitant sum of $117 billion, Broadcom is forging new deals with big tech giants like Apple for essential components. The latest was spotted in a recent SEC filing and shows the two companies reached a new multi-year agreement that sent Broadcom’s shares up two percent in after-hours trading.
Broadcom’s tech is slowly eating the world, even as many of us are unaware of its presence in many of our favorite gadgets. The company’s reach is so powerful that it has US and EU regulators probing every aspect of its business to make sure it doesn’t abuse its dominance in key semiconductor markets.
Recently, the silicon giant revealed in an SEC filing spotted by the Wall Street Journal that it has signed a new agreement with Apple for “the supply of a range of specified high-performance wireless components and modules.” The company already has a deal inked in 2019 for “RF components and modules” which are used in iPhones and iPads, making up about $10 of the bill of materials if you go by JP Morgan’s estimates.

This could mean that Broadcom could rake in no less than $15 billion in revenue over the next three and a half years, which is a big win for the company.
It’s no secret that Apple is one of Broadcom’s largest customers, accounting for somewhere between 20 to 25 percent of its net revenue over the last two years. Back in December, the rumor mill was abuzz with reports that Broadcom was exploring a potential sale of its RF division for around $10 billion.
Given Apple’s appetite for strategic acquisitions that give it more control over key components that go into its products, it wouldn’t be surprising to see it snapping Broadcom’s RF unit. The only deal-breaker might be the asking price, as Apple only paid $1 billion for Intel’s modem division in a deal latter described by one of the parts as grossly undervalued.

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Apple argues against EU calls for universal mobile charger, says it would stifle innovation – Blog – 10 minute

A hot potato: Apple has spoken out against the European Parliament’s plans to force tech companies to adopt a universal charger for smartphones and other electronic devices. Not surprisingly, the iPhone maker isn’t happy about the idea, claiming it “stifles innovation” and would inconvenience millions of people.
Earlier this month, it was reported that the EU was considering legislation that would require all mobile devices to support a single charging standard, thereby making consumers’ lives less complicated while reducing the 51,000 tons of electronic waste generated every year by old chargers.
While many Android phones now use USB-C, Apple still uses its Lightning connector for the company’s iPhones, though it has made the switch to USB-C in its latest iPad Pros.
Responding to the proposal, Apple said not only would ditching the Lightning connector inconvenience hundreds of millions of its customers, but also create an “unprecedented volume” of waste.

Will every mobile device in the EU use USB-C one day?
“We believe regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, and would harm consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole,” Apple said. “We hope the Commission will continue to seek a solution that does not restrict the industry’s ability to innovate and bring exciting new technology to customers.”
Last month, Apple commissioned a study by Copenhagen Economics that found 49 percent of households rely on multiple connector types, but only 0.4 percent of European consumers said they “regularly experience any significant issue” with charging their devices due to incompatible cabling.
The study also claims that moving to a common charger would cost €1.5 billion (about $1.7 billion), much more than the estimated €13 million ($14.4 million) in potential environmental benefits. It added that disrupting millions of people who use Lightning cables could create new environmental problems, and pointed out that the industry has already moved from “30 chargers to three, soon to be two.”
What’s interesting is that Apple is expected to drop the Lightning connector in future iPhones, possibly next year’s models. In time, they might even become completely port-free and rely on wireless charging.
Apple’s statement in full:

Apple stands for innovation and deeply cares about the customer experience. We believe regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, and would harm consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole.
More than 1 billion Apple devices have shipped using a Lightning connector in addition to an entire ecosystem of accessory and device manufacturers who use Lightning to serve our collective customers. Legislation would have a direct negative impact by disrupting the hundreds of millions of active devices and accessories used by our European customers and even more Apple customers worldwide, creating an unprecedented volume of electronic waste and greatly inconveniencing users.
We do not believe there is a case for regulation given the industry is already moving to the use of USB Type-C through a connector or cable assembly. This includes Apple’s USB-C power adapter which is compatible with all iPhone and iPad devices. This approach is more affordable and convenient for consumers, enables charging for a wide range of portable electronic products, encourages people to re-use their charger and allows for innovation.
Prior to 2009, the Commission considered mandating that all smartphones use only USB Micro-B connectors which would have restricted the advancement to Lightning and USB Type-C. Instead, the Commission established a voluntary, industry standards-based approach that saw the market shift from 30 chargers down to 3, soon to be two — Lightning and USB-C, showing this approach does work.
We hope the Commission will continue to seek a solution that does not restrict the industry’s ability to innovate and bring exciting new technology to customers.

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Apple pushes back against EU common charger – Hardware- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

iPhone maker Apple on Thursday pushed back against EU lawmakers’ call for a common charger, warning the move could hamper innovation, create a mountain of electronic waste and irk consumers.
Apple’s comments came a week after lawmakers at the European Parliament called for a common charger for all mobile phones and amended a draft law to say the ability to work with common chargers would be an essential requirement for radio equipment in the bloc.
A move to a common charger would affect Apple more than any other companies as its iPhones and most of its products are powered by its Lightning cable, whereas Android devices are powered by USB-C connectors.
“We believe regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, and would harm consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole,” Apple said in a statement.
It said regulation was not needed as the industry is already moving to USB-C through a connector or cable assembly.
“We hope the (European) Commission will continue to seek a solution that does not restrict the industry’s ability to innovate,” Apple said.
A study by Copenhagen Economics commissioned by Apple showed that consumer harm from a regulatory-mandated move to a common charger would cost at least 1.5 billion euros, outweighing the 13 million euros in associated environmental benefits.
The European Commission, which acts as the executive for the EU, has been pushing for a common charger for more than a decade.
In 2009 it got four companies – Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Nokia – to sign a voluntary memorandum of understanding to harmonise chargers for new models of smartphones coming into the market in 2011.
The voluntary approach is not working and it is time to look into legislation, Commission officials said.
“A delegated act based on the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) is one of the options to be considered since it empowers the Commission to take certain type of regulatory measures in this field,” the one of the officials said.
Another option was to pass legislation on the issue.
“…given the limitation in the scope of RED and of its empowerment, any action through ordinary legislative procedure and/or through other instruments, such as implementing measures under the Eco-design Directive should be further explored and thoroughly assessed,” the official said.
The Commission will publish a study around the end of the month or early February on the impact of a common charger.

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Apple to completely remove Flash support in next version of Safari – Blog – 10 minute

In context: The end of the year will also mark the official end of Adobe Flash. While most have already jumped ship Safari remains as the only browser still supporting the software via plugin. That will be going away with the next browser update.
Apple just released the latest Safari Technology preview. It comes with many changes, most notably the removal of support for Adobe Flash.
Apple dropping Flash support in Safari is not too big a surprise. The company has criticized it for its numerous security flaws and has never supported it in iOS. Even Flash on the desktop version of the web browser was limited to a hobbled downloadable extension. Once the update is finalized, not even a plugin will work.
The revision rings a final death knell for Adobe’s interactive web technology that has been around since 1996. In the pre-broadband days, it was invaluable for some types of content. The platform-agnostic plugin was used primarily for simple games and animations that could be played within a browser. It also supported media playback. YouTube, Hulu, and others used it for their video players for quite some time.

Aside from its many security vulnerabilities, the platform was also used for phishing. Users, when visiting some questionable sites, would be presented with fake notices that told them they needed to update Flash. These would contain a download link to a page mimicking Adobe’s. It would then attempt to gain personal information such as passwords or infect the users’ computers with a trojan, virus, or other malware when they tried to download the bogus version of the program.
With the increased adoption of the HTML5 standard, which replaced a lot of Flash’s functionality, Adobe decided it was time to put the software to bed. In 2017, it announced it would end support at the end of 2020. Since then, most of the major tech companies, including Facebook, Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft, have abandoned Flash and patched it out of their platforms.
Once the newest version of Safari releases, the few legacy websites still using the as-good-as-dead software will essentially be killed as well. By next year, the only place you will be able to find the Flash Player and other related content will be the graveyard that is the Internet Archive, where you can already view its tombstone.
Masthead credit: PixieMe via Shutterstock; Image credit: Jarretera via Shutterstock

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Apple reportedly starting mass production of iPhone SE 2 / iPhone 9 next month, launching in March – Blog – 10 minute

Why it matters: Are you after a brand-new iPhone but don’t want to pay the high prices? A low-cost Apple handset could be here soon. According to a new report, the company is expected to put the iPhone SE 2, which could be called the iPhone 9, into mass production as soon as next month.
Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the plan, writes that production of the iPhone will be split between Foxconn, Pegatron, and Winstron, and the firm will officially unveil the device “as early as March.”
Earlier this month, we heard that Apple was finally preparing a successor to its popular iPhone SE. Rather than using the iPhone SE 2 name, it could be called the iPhone 9— Cupertino jumped from the iPhone 8 to the iPhone X, so the 9 moniker hasn’t been taken.

The iPhone SE – four inches of fun
Bloomberg writes that the new iPhone will look very similar to the iPhone 8, with its top and bottom bezels, 4.7-inch LCD, and single rear camera, but it will feature the same A13 processor found in the iPhone 11. It will have Touch ID, rather than Face ID facial recognition.
Renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that the iPhone SE 2/iPhone 9 could have a starting price of just $399, which is even cheaper than the $449 iPhone 8 (64GB) Apple sells. Expect the latter device to be discontinued once the new handset arrives.
It’s also been rumored that Apple will release a second, larger iPhone SE 2/iPhone 9. This “Plus” model is supposed to arrive several months after the standard version, either at the same time as the iPhone 12 lineup or in 2021.

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Apple lawsuit tests if an employee can plan rival startup while on payroll – Benchmarking Change- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Attorneys for a former Apple executive on Tuesday will try to convince a sceptical judge of a core tenet of tech startup culture – that employees can plan a competing venture while still in a job.
Apple’s lawsuit against a former chip executive-turned-rival will have implications for employees all over California who are considering striking out on their own and creating the startups that drive tech business and culture.
California’s long-held public policy favours employee mobility in contrast to states that allow strong non-compete agreements. That stance allowed for the “traitorous eight” who left their jobs at Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory for a rival in the late 1950s and who eventually spawned dozens of companies, including Intel Corp.
Apple filed the lawsuit in Santa Clara County Superior Court against Gerard Williams III, who left the company last year after more than nine years as chief architect for the custom processors that power iPhones and iPads to start Nuvia Inc, which is designing chips for servers.
Judge Mark H. Pierce last week issued a tentative ruling allowing the case to proceed but barring Apple from seeking punitive damages. Pierce will decide after a hearing on Tuesday whether to make his ruling final.
Apple sued Williams in August, alleging that he breached an intellectual property agreement and a duty of loyalty to the company by planning his new startup while on company time at Apple, spending hours on the phone with colleagues who eventually joined the venture.
Apple declined to comment on the case.
Through a spokesperson, Williams declined to comment. Apple is not suing Nuvia itself or any of Williams’ co-founders and it did not allege any intellectual property or trade secret theft.
According to a copy of Williams’ agreement that Apple attached to its complaint, the contract required that Williams “will not plan or engage in any other employment” that competes with Apple or is directly related to the company.
In a filing in November, Williams argued that Apple’s contract was unenforceable because California law allows employees to make some preparations to compete while still in their current job.
Even in California, there are limits, said Cliff Palefsky, a prominent San Francisco-based employment attorney. Workers can lay some plans for a competitor on their own time, but recruiting fellow employees on company time “gets a little dicey”.
In his tentative ruling, Pierce wrote that “an employee is not permitted to plan and prepare to create a competitive enterprise prior to termination if the employee does so on their employer’s time and with the employer’s resources.”
The case will likely hinge the specific facts of Williams’ planning for Nuvia, Palefsky said. Given that work at modern tech jobs rarely sticks to traditional business hours, it may be difficult to untangle whether calls were made during company time or personal time.
“That phrase – that you can’t plan to compete – raises a very interesting question of whether (Apple’s contract) is violative of the public policy and whether the courts are going to enforce it,” he said. “This is going to be some groundbreaking stuff, one way or the other.”
The court has not set a trial date.

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Apple dumped plan to fully lockup iCloud backups at FBI’s request – Blog – 10 minute

Bottom line: While Apple remains firm on not creating a way for law enforcement to get into an iPhone, the agency can still request access to data from the cloud and gets it most of the time. The tech giant reportedly had plans to secure iPhone backups stored on iCloud but nixed the idea after the FBI intervened.
Currently, iPhone data is encrypted on the phone and iCloud. While Apple does not have keys for physical devices, it does have them for backups in the cloud. It claims this is for customer convenience. If a user forgets their password, Apple can still recover their data for them.
“Our users have a key, and we have one,” Tim Cook told German outlet Spiegel in an interview in 2018. “We do this because some users lose or forget their key and then expect help from us to get their data back.”
“Apple was convinced. Outside of that public spat over San Bernardino, Apple gets along with the federal government.”
The Verge noted in 2016, Apple had plans to increase iCloud security so that neither it nor law enforcement could gain access to backed up data, just as it is on the iPhone. This was at the height if its public squabble over opening San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone. It would have effectively closed a loophole on the agency and tied Apple’s hands to do anything about it. However, Cupertino never followed through with the idea.
Now, Reuters reports that it was at the FBI’s urging that the company left the loophole open. A former agent told Reuters that the agency convinced Apple not to lockout iCloud as it would severely harm its investigations.

“It’s because Apple was convinced,” said the agent. “Outside of that public spat over San Bernardino, Apple gets along with the federal government.”
A former employee claimed that the plan had legal ramifications that Apple did not want to face, such as not complying with a court order. Plus, it was already mixed up in a legal battle with the agency over it wanting a backdoor into phones.
“Legal killed it, for reasons you can imagine,” said the insider. “They decided they weren’t going to poke the bear anymore,” the source added, indicating that Apple did not want to provoke the FBI any more than it already had.
Coupled with the customer-convenience reasoning that Cook later mentioned, the motivation for end-to-end encryption on iCloud backups faded. Interestingly, this news comes to light just as Apple enters another conflict, with government officials claiming the company is not being cooperative.
“Legal killed it. They decided they weren’t going to poke the bear anymore.”
On the contrary, Apple receives thousands of legal requests from law enforcement for access to iCloud data every year. It claims to comply with about 90 percent of the inquiries and posts them in a transparency report.
What seems to be at issue here is the FBI’s desire to have a backdoor into physical devices. Sometimes users do not back up their iPhones frequently enough or even at all, making iCloud data less useful in an investigation. Instead of only being able to see what suspects did last week or a month ago, law enforcement would like to see what they were doing yesterday.
It’s not that Apple is not supplying data to the FBI; it’s that the information is not good enough.
Editorial credit: Sharaf Maksumov via Shutterstock

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Apple dropped plan for encrypting backups after FBI complained – sources – Strategy – Cloud – Security- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Apple Inc dropped plans to let iPhone users fully encrypt backups of their devices in the company’s iCloud service after the FBI complained that the move would harm investigations, six sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The tech giant’s reversal, about two years ago, has not previously been reported. It shows how much Apple has been willing to help US law enforcement and intelligence agencies, despite taking a harder line in high-profile legal disputes with the government and casting itself as a defender of its customers’ information.
The long-running tug of war between investigators’ concerns about security and tech companies’ desire for user privacy moved back into the public spotlight last week, as US Attorney General William Barr took the rare step of publicly calling on Apple to unlock two iPhones used by a Saudi Air Force officer who shot dead three Americans at a Pensacola, Florida naval base last month.
US President Donald Trump piled on, accusing Apple on Twitter of refusing to unlock phones used by “killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements.” Republican and Democratic senators sounded a similar theme in a December hearing, threatening legislation against end-to-end encryption, citing unrecoverable evidence of crimes against children.
Apple did in fact did turn over the shooter’s iCloud backups in the Pensacola case, and said it rejected the characterization that it “has not provided substantive assistance.”
Behind the scenes, Apple has provided the US Federal Bureau of Investigation with more sweeping help, not related to any specific probe.
An Apple spokesman declined to comment on the company’s handling of the encryption issue or any discussions it has had with the FBI. The FBI did not respond to requests for comment on any discussions with Apple.
More than two years ago, Apple told the FBI that it planned to offer users end-to-end encryption when storing their phone data on iCloud, according to one current and three former FBI officials and one current and one former Apple employee.
Under that plan, primarily designed to thwart hackers, Apple would no longer have a key to unlock the encrypted data, meaning it would not be able to turn material over to authorities in a readable form even under court order.
In private talks with Apple soon after, representatives of the FBI’s cyber crime agents and its operational technology division objected to the plan, arguing it would deny them the most effective means for gaining evidence against iPhone-using suspects, the government sources said.
When Apple spoke privately to the FBI about its work on phone security the following year, the end-to-end encryption plan had been dropped, according to the six sources. Reuters could not determine why exactly Apple dropped the plan.
“Legal killed it, for reasons you can imagine,” another former Apple employee said he was told, without any specific mention of why the plan was dropped or if the FBI was a factor in the decision.
That person told Reuters the company did not want to risk being attacked by public officials for protecting criminals, sued for moving previously accessible data out of reach of government agencies or used as an excuse for new legislation against encryption.
“They decided they weren’t going to poke the bear anymore,” the person said, referring to Apple’s court battle with the FBI in 2016 over access to an iPhone used by one of the suspects in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.
Apple appealed a court order to break into that phone for the FBI. The government dropped the proceedings when it found a contractor that could break into the phone, a common occurrence in FBI investigations.
Two of the former FBI officials, who were not present in talks with Apple, told Reuters it appeared that the FBI’s arguments that the backups provided vital evidence in thousands of cases had prevailed.
“It’s because Apple was convinced,” said one. “Outside of that public spat over San Bernardino, Apple gets along with the federal government.”
However, a former Apple employee said it was possible the encryption project was dropped for other reasons, such as concern that more customers would find themselves locked out of their data more often.
Once the decision was made, the 10 or so experts on the Apple encryption project – variously code-named Plesio and KeyDrop – were told to stop working on the effort, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Apple shifts focus
Apple’s decision not to proceed with end-to-end encryption of iCloud backups made the FBI’s job easier.
The agency relies on hacking software that exploits security flaws to break into a phone. But that method requires direct access to the phone which would ordinarily tip off the user, who is often the subject of the investigation.
Apple’s iCloud, on the other hand, can be searched in secret. In the first half of last year, the period covered by Apple’s most recent semiannual transparency report on requests for data it receives from government agencies, US authorities armed with regular court papers asked for and obtained full device backups or other iCloud content in 1,568 cases, covering about 6,000 accounts.
The company said it turned over at least some data for 90% of the requests it received. It turns over data more often in response to secret US intelligence court directives, topping 14,000 accounts in the second half of 2018. Because of gag orders, Apple has not given any such data for 2019.
Had it proceeded with its plan, Apple would not have been able to turn over any readable data belonging to users who opted for end-to-end encryption.
Instead of protecting all of iCloud with end-to-end encryption, Apple has shifted to focus on protecting some of the most sensitive user information, such as saved passwords and health data.
But backed-up contact information and texts from iMessage, WhatsApp and other encrypted services remain available to Apple employees and authorities.
Apple is not the only tech company to have removed its own access to customers’ information.
In October 2018, Alphabet Inc’s Google announced a similar system to Apple’s dropped plan for secure backups. The maker of Android software, which runs on about three-quarters of the world’s mobile devices, said users could back up their data to its own cloud without trusting the company with the key.
Two people familiar with the project said Google gave no advance notice to governments, and picked a time to announce it when encryption was not in the news.
The company continues to offer the service but declined to comment on how many users have taken up the option. The FBI did not respond to a request for comment on Google’s service or the agency’s approach to it.

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16in MacBook Pro review: bigger battery, new keyboard, new Apple | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

Apple’s new 16in MacBook Pro is bigger and heavier, but that’s a very good thing, with the largest battery you can have in a laptop and a new keyboard that looks to kick the troubles of the past few years to the kerb.
It’s a bit of a U-turn from Apple and demonstrates that the Californian tech firm is finally listening to its hardcore audience: the professionals.
The 16in MacBook Pro is the largest, most expensive laptop that Apple makes and is a direct replacement for the 15in MacBook Pro that was made up until November 2019. Starting at £2,399 and reaching £5,769 with all the options ticked, it’s clear this is no ordinary computer for general users.
This is a machine is designed for developers, video editors, sound engineers and other people working in industries that demand power and performance for as long as possible.
But there are two new things that might interest general buyers as a preview of what’s likely to come to Apple’s other laptops that are more suitable general computers: a new keyboard and a new battery.
Thicker, heavier and better

The design remains broadly the same, despite being larger with some important tweaks to crucial parts. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
Fundamentally the design of the MacBook Pro hasn’t changed much since the introduction of the fourth-generation machine in late 2016. From the outside it looks practically identical, except it’s ever-so-slightly bigger than the 15in MacBook Pro.
This fifth-generation machine is 8.6mm wider, 5.2mm deeper, 0.7mm thicker and 170g heavier than the old version, increasing the screen size from 15.4in to a round 16in on the diagonal. It has the same four Thunderbolt 3 ports and still has a headphone socket. The keyboard has different mechanisms under the keys but is otherwise very similar, as is the gigantic trackpad. Apple makes the best trackpads in the business and this one is no different.
On the audio front the speakers and mics have been upgraded. The machine now comes with a six-speaker system built into it, which are still laptop speakers and won’t replace a set of headphones or a dedicated sound system, but sound phenomenal for what they are.
A three-mic array is capable of beamforming, cancelling background noise and is of high-enough quality that you don’t necessarily need to reach for a dedicated microphone for impromptu recording sessions.
Specifications

Screen: 16in LCD 3072×1920 (226 ppi)

Processor: 9th gen 6-core Intel Core i7 or 8-core Intel Core i9

RAM: 16, 32 or 64GB

Storage: 512GB, 1, 2, 4 or 8TB

Graphics: Intel UHD 630 + AMD Radeon Pro 5300M or Radeon Pro 5500M

Operating system: macOS Catalina

Camera: 720p FaceTime HD camera

Connectivity: wifi ac, Bluetooth 5, 4x USB-C/Thunderbolt 3, headphone

Dimensions: 245.9 x 357.9 x 16.2mm

Weight: 2kg

The new Magic Keyboard

The Magic keyboard is great, and hopefully will be free of issues from Apple’s butterfly keyboard. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
Much has been written about Apple’s recent laptop keyboards. The butterfly keyboard introduced with the 2015 MacBook was thinner, crisper, louder and with only a small amount of travel. I quite liked it, but it was plagued with failures due to dust getting under the keys and stopping them from depressing.
The 16in MacBook Pro has a new “magic keyboard” that moves back to the traditional scissor switches used by older Apple laptops and practically every other manufacturer. The keys are more stable and the travel is slightly shallower than Apple’s pre-butterfly keyboards, arriving at a nice combination of the best bits of the butterfly and scissor-switch keyboards.
Most will like the feel. It’s stable and has enough travel. It’s also easier to repair, so while it shouldn’t suffer from the same dust issues plaguing the butterfly keyboard, at least it should be easier to fix if something goes wrong.

The escape key makes a triumphant return. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
Apple has also added a dedicated ESC key in the top left, which is separated from the Touch Bar. This is something developers in particular have asked for and was a welcome addition for the Guardian’s developers’ team.
The direction arrows are now back in an inverted T arrangement, too, which was a frequent request. The Touch ID fingerprint scanner has also been separated from the Touch Bar, which led to far fewer accidental triggers of Siri – the first key by default on the Touch Bar – when I attempted to authenticate something with my fingerprint.
The 16in screen

The Touch Bar continues to be as useful or not depending on the software you have to use, with most tools available through it in Affinity Photo, for instance. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The screen is marginally bigger at 16in on the diagonal rather than 15.4in, although you can only really tell side by side. The display has a higher resolution, which provides slightly more screen real estate in use, as well as being slightly crisper on paper with a density of 226 pixels per inch (up from 220ppi).
On the whole it’s one of the nicest displays I’ve used on a laptop. Rich, bright, easy to use in most lighting conditions, it is individually calibrated at the factory and it has a mode that simulates high dynamic range. But it is not a true HDR display nor is it 4K, which may be an issue for those looking to work with content in both although most will likely transition to an dedicated edit suite for serious work. The MacBook Pro does support output to up to two 6K or four 4K displays simultaneously, for those who use this as their sole machine working at a desk.
100Wh of battery

The port selection remains the same, but USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 is a powerful, useful tool that can replace practically everything else fairly easily. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
Other than the slightly bigger screen and marginally thicker keyboard, the majority of the increased weight and thickness of the 16in MacBook Pro is down to its significantly larger battery.
There’s a cap on the size of battery allowed on a flight of 100Wh and that’s what Apple has fitted here, just shy of a 20% increase from the 83.6Wh battery in the previous generation machine. Battery life on a machine like this entirely depends on what you’re using for.
The laptop would manage a full nine-hour work day of writing, browser tabs, image editing and a suite of chat apps, both work and personal open, with the screen set to 75% brightness on battery power with about 10% left.
But you’re looking more like a few hours of video editing, which is more than enough for quick adjustments in the field in between connections to a power socket. The larger battery was welcomed by the Guardian’s video team, who said the increased weight was negligible in the grand scheme of things.
Observations

The Touch ID button is now separate from the Touch Bar, meaning it’s much easier to find without looking. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

This is a big, heavy machine, which means while you can lug it about everywhere, it’s likely to be used mostly at a desk

You can only record three fingerprints on the Touch ID sensor

You can run the machine with the lid closed perfectly fine, which makes it suitable for slotting into docking stations

Price
The 16in MacBook Pro starts at £2,399 with a 6-core Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of VRAM.
The laptop as tested cost £3,789 equipped with an 8-core Intel Core i9, 32GB of RAM, 2TB of storage and an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB of VRAM.
For comparison, the 15in Razer Blade Studio Edition costs £3,999.99, the Dell XPS 15 with an Intel Core i7 starts at under £1,500.
Verdict
If you were looking for a new Mac laptop as a workstation, but were put off buying one because of the troubles with the keyboard, or that it just didn’t last long enough to get whatever you needed to done in the field, the 16in MacBook Pro is the answer.
Aside from the new keyboard, it’s clear Apple has listened to at least a few requests from power users. The escape key is back by popular demand, as is the T-shaped layout of the arrow keys, while a separated power/Touch ID button is much more user friendly. You can even fix some things without fully dismantling the machine, which is a step forward.
There’s still no SD card slot or any port option not USB-C but by now most will have hubs, dongles or new replacement cables for the necessary things.
The 16in MacBook Pro is most certainly not the laptop for general users who just want a big screen – the price alone should be able to tell you that. But if you know you need this sort of capability, then the MacBook Pro is in a similar price bracket to competitors and can be specified with a frankly absurd amount of capacity, which might make the difference.
The first of the fifth-generation MacBook Pros is a return to form for Apple, and bodes well for further refreshes of the company’s slightly more affordable laptop lines expected in the near future.

Pros: good keyboard compromise, escape key, t-shape arrow keys, 100Wh battery, gorgeous screen, brilliant trackpad, powerful and customisable (at point of purchase), USB-C/Thunderbolt 3, Touch ID
Cons: fairly heavy for some, no card slot or legacy ports, no user-serviceable RAM or storage, no Face ID

When shut, the 16in MacBook Pro simply looks like a bigger version of practically every Apple laptop released since 2015. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
Other reviews
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Apple is in the business of selling emotions and not just products: Louis Houdart, group CEO, Creative Capital- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

As we enter the Year of the Rat, advertising creatives from across Asia offer their favourite Chinese New Year campaigns from over the years as we celebrate the best work from the festive period and hear their views on what is best in class.
As a Frenchman, I’ve lived in Greater China for the last 20 plus years. So I feel very much at home here.
And living in a sprawling country like China means that most people work far far away from home. As a Frenchman living in China, I can relate to the festive season here when people want to celebrate it with families. The festive season is always associated with long trips back home and childhood memories made of secret recipes from grandma, to hometown speciality food that always tastes better at home.
These values are obviously very deeply rooted in Chinese culture, but also in the French culture where food and family are extremely important.
Some cultural customs can be very specific to some places, but I found Apple’s ‘The Bucket’ campaign beautiful and touching. It managed to be very local, with very touching universal values.
Anybody working and leaving far away from home will know this feeling, of going back to your grandparents or parents home and rushing to the fridge, as well as looking forward to the first family meal with dishes on the tables that are all favourites, and this without the need of requesting anything.
It also manages to be timeless and relevant yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The campaign has a deep emotional connection, touching on childhood memories. It was a massive success not just in China, but also overseas with close to three million views on YouTube only… and all this without ever showing the product.
Apple, once again, proving that it is truly a lifestyle brand, in the business of selling emotions and not just products.
Louis Houdart, group chief executive officer, Creative Capital
Check out the latest holiday ads here, and keep an eye on Tempemail’s ongoing Chinese New Year coverage.

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