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1. Apple is recalling a “limited number” of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pros with batteries that could overheat and pose a safety risk. The affected models are from the previous pre-TouchBar/USB-C design generation. The press release links to a support page with details on product eligibility and free battery replacement. — APPLE
2. In a letter to U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer, Apple wrote that proposed tariffs on products produced in China “would result in a reduction of Apple’s economic contribution.” All of Apple’s major products would be affected by these tariffs, and it’s considering moving its manufacturing base due to the risk. Apple is formally urging the U.S. “not to proceed with these tariffs.” — CNBC
3. #ThrowbackThursday: In June 2005 at WWDC, Apple announced that the Mac would transition to Intel processors. While some feared this would spell the end of the Mac’s distinctiveness, it was pretty obvious at the time that this transition was necessary. Mac OS X was a much more powerful — and demanding — operating system than OS 9, which would henceforth be known as “Classic,” and it needed the more modern and powerful architecture Intel chips offered. But another strategic consideration, at least as important, was compatibility. Apple’s computers using the same architecture as Windows PCs would enable more software porting and cross-platform development, even allowing Windows to boot natively on Macs using Boot Camp. The Intel transition introduced the rest of the software world to the Mac.
That strategy had a great run, but it’s almost over now. Apple’s in-house processors for iOS devices, based on the ARM architecture, are starting to outstrip Macs and PCs, and the Windows ecosystem is waning in importance. Apple’s software ecosystem is self-sufficient now; it doesn’t need Windows or Windows apps to survive. Apple will reportedly start replacing Intel with in-house Mac processors next year. — MACWORLD
4. Market research firm IDC says Apple Watch will lead the growing smartwatch category for the next four years. IDC believes smartwatch shipments will increase from 91.8 million units in 2019 to 131.6 million in 2023. Other platforms, most notably Android, WearOS, and Tizen, will also grow, but Apple’s lead is formidable, and its growing independence from the iPhone could drive much wider adoption. — IDC
5. According to analysts at Newzoo, Apple is now the fourth largest gaming company in the world. Newzoo says Apple earned $9.45 billion from gaming in 2018, an 18 percen year-over-year increase. This is all driven by mobile gaming, which makes up 45 percent of the global gaming market. This is a pretty strong starting position for Apple before its Apple Arcade subscription service launches this year. — APPLEINSIDER
6. Apple and Goldman Sachs have expanded real-world testing of Apple Card to thousands of Apple retail employees. Executives have been using the card in the wild for at least a few weeks. Apple’s credit card offering is planned to launch in the U.S. this summer, and Apple is discussing an expansion into Europe with financial regulators. — BLOOMBERG
7. Photo editing suite Adobe Lightroom is now available in the Mac App Store as promised last year. — SIX COLORS
8. Apple software VP Craig Federighi continues to blame designers for the un-Mac-like launch of News, Home, Stocks, and Voice Memos on the Mac last year and says redesigns are coming. — CNET
9. Code in macOS Catalina suggests Apple is working on Shortcuts for Mac and a rewrite of Messages, both using the new Project Catalyst tools for porting iPad apps to the Mac. — @STROUGHTONSMITH
10. Apple analyst Neil Cybart writes that Apple’s product strategy is changing from one “pulled” along by the most important products to one that “pushes” all products along with underlying objectives. — ABOVE AVALON
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), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).