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Inside Apple (May 22nd, 2019)

$AAPL (12:12 PM EDT May 22): $183.46 (-1.68%) // More info

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1. Apple updated the 13- and 15-inch TouchBar MacBook Pros on Tuesday, moving to 9th-generation Intel processors and expanding the top end of the laptop line to eight cores for the first time. The last MacBook Pro update was 10 months ago. The industrial design is the same one introduced in 2016, but these substantial speed bumps show Apple is still iterating quickly on this product line. But what does this announcement two weeks before WWDC mean for the rumored new 16-inch MacBook Pro design?SIX COLORS

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2. Speed bumps are great, but that’s not the MacBook Pro update pros were looking for. The butterfly keyboard design, first introduced in 2015, has been notoriously unreliable. Yesterday’s new models have an updated version of the third generation of that keyboard with a “new material” to improve reliability, and now all laptops with that keyboard are included in Apple’s extended repair program. All these changes are welcome, but we’re still waiting for a redesigned keyboard. — THE VERGE

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3. U.K. chip designer ARM has instructed employees to suspend business with Huawei to comply with ongoing U.S. trade restrictions with China. Since ARM designs contain “US origin technology,” its executives believe it is subject to U.S. trade policies. Huawei — and most companies on earth that make smartphones, for that matter — license ARM designs for their processors, so this seriously threatens its ability to make its own hardware. The question is, will Chinese authorities actually force Huawei to honor the suspension of its ARM license? — BBC NEWS

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4. Huawei’s chief of consumer electronics, Richard Yu, is bracing for a “tough time” moving the company to build its own hardware and software from scratch. Among others, Google cut off Huawei’s access to its software on Monday. “I can’t believe that the U.S. government has limited Android. It’s a consumer product that has no relationship to network security issues,” said Mr. Yu in an interview. The U.S. has granted temporary stays on those restrictions until August. Maybe the U.S. and China will work things out by then. — THE INFORMATION (paywalled)

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5. The looming question for Apple is whether China will retaliate against it in the trade war with the U.S. Goldman Sachs analysts estimate that a Chinese ban on Apple products would knock out 29% of Apple’s annual earnings. Ouch. — BARRON’S

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6. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission won its suit against Qualcomm for violating antitrust law. Judge Lucy Koh has ruled that Qualcomm illegally suppressed competition in mobile chips and used its position to extract excessive fees. Qualcomm will now have to renegotiate all its licenses and be subject to outside observers. Apple settled with Qualcomm about basically these same complaints a month ago, preserving the firms’ relationship, which is good for consumers, but Qualcomm will also be punished for anticompetitive practices, which is also good for consumers. — WALL STREET JOURNAL (paywalled)

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7. Podcaster and developer Casey Liss has released Vignette, an app for updating your contact photos without compromising anyone’s user data. — MACSTORIES

8. Portland, OR is now the first U.S. city with Apple Pay Express Transit integration. — WILLAMETTE WEEK

9. Vizio’s new TVs that will receive updates to support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit are now on sale. — APPLEINSIDER

10. Microsoft’s Edge browser for Mac is now available in preview. — THE VERGE

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Jon Mitchell has been a tech journalist since 2010. He covered Apple, Google, and the societal effects of social media for the storied blog ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). He co-hosts Internet Friends, a podcast about life online with occasional lengthy digressions into Apple news. He’s the author of In Real Life: Searching for Connection in High-Tech Times from Parallax Press. He has recently, reticently returned to Twitter at @ablaze.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside) and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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