With WWDC now behind us, our attention this week largely turned back to rumors, led by increasing claims that Apple controversially won't be including a power adapter in the box with the iPhone 12. We also saw a few other iPhone 12 rumors, signs of an upcoming iMac update, and some more information on timing of updates for Apple's smaller iPads.


The other big topic this week was Apple's Developer Transition Kit, a Mac mini equipped with the A12Z Bionic chip from the iPad Pro. App developers have been signing up for the kits to help them transition their apps to Apple Silicon for future Macs, and we got our first look at how these machines perform even though they will be widely outclassed by the machines that eventually ship to consumers.

Read on below for details on these stories and more!

iPhone 12 Models Reportedly Won't Include Charger in Box, 20W Power Adapter Will Be Sold Separately

Following a similar report last week, reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also weighed in to claim that Apple is not planning to include a power adapter in the box with its iPhone 12 models launching later this year. Apple is also said to be eliminating the EarPods earphones that have traditionally been included with new iPhone purchases.


Apple will apparently be offering a new 20-watt fast-charging power adapter as a separate accessory, and removing the current adapter from the iPhone box will save Apple money, reduce e-waste, and allow for more shipping efficiency thanks to smaller boxes. Apple is even surveying recent iPhone buyers in Brazil about what they've done with the power adapters that came with their previous iPhones, so the company definitely appears to be doing research on the topic.

In other iPhone 12 news, rumors continue to be split as to whether some models will or will not include 120Hz ProMotion displays for a smoother on-screen experience. And finally, the higher-end iPhone 12 Pro models are rumored to be able to shoot 4K video at 120 and 240 frames per second, which would allow for great slow-motion footage.

Rosetta 2 Benchmarks Surface From Mac Mini With A12Z Chip

Apple's Developer Transition Kits to help app creators prepare for the Mac's transition from Intel processors to Apple Silicon have begun arriving in developers' hands, and while Apple's terms limit the sharing of information about these Mac mini units equipped with A12Z Bionic chips from the iPad Pro, that hasn't stopped some individuals from sharing performance benchmarks.


The A12Z-based Mac mini runs programs designed for Intel Macs using a Rosetta 2 translation layer that impacts performance, but Geekbench benchmarks still offer an interesting look at how these systems perform. In fact, these systems run Geekbench via Rosetta 2 faster than Microsoft's Arm-based Surface Pro X runs an Arm-native version of Geekbench.

Of course, these Developer Transition Kits bear little resemblance to what Apple will eventually ship to consumers, as those future machines will be equipped with much faster chips said to based on the A14 chip coming to this year's iPhones, and as developers update their apps to support Apple Silicon natively, fewer apps will be subject to the speed hit of Rosetta 2 translation.

Unreleased iMac With 10-Core Comet Lake-S Chip and Radeon Pro 5300 GPU Shows Up in Geekbench

While we didn't get a hoped-for update to the iMac at WWDC last week, we're continuing to see evidence that an update is in the works.

MacRumors concept mockup based on redesign rumors

The latest piece of evidence comes from a Geekbench benchmark that appears to come from an unreleased iMac. Notably, the machine appears to be equipped with a 10-core Comet Lake-S processor from Intel and an AMD Radeon Pro 5300 graphics processor, both of which have also yet to be officially released.

The iMac is rumored to be one of the first machines to transition to Apple Silicon, but it looks like we could be getting one more generation on Intel chips, and it may include a significant redesign.

Apple Officially Obsoletes First MacBook Pro With a Retina Display

It's been eight years since Apple first introduced the MacBook Pro with a Retina display, and Apple is finally officially declaring that model to be obsolete.


Owners of the landmark 15-inch notebook will find that Apple is no longer offering service on the machines for any reason, so if you find yourself in need of a new battery or other repair, you'll need to look for an unofficial repair option or go the do-it-yourself route.

Kuo: Apple to Launch 10.8-Inch iPad Later This Year, 8.5-Inch iPad Mini in 2021

In addition to his predictions for the iPhone 12, Ming-Chi Kuo this week also shared a bit more information on his predictions for Apple's iPad lineup.


Kuo says that Apple plans to launch a new 10.8-inch iPad in the second half of 2020, followed by a new 8.5-inch iPad in the first half of 2021. He has previously indicated that the new 8.5-inch model will be a larger iPad mini, while there has been some confusion as to whether the 10.8-inch model will be a replacement for the 10.2-inch entry-level iPad or the 10.5-inch iPad Air.

New Mac Ransomware Found in Pirated Mac Apps

There's a new 'OSX.ThiefQuest' Mac ransomware variant that's spreading through pirated Mac apps, according to a report shared this week by Malwarebytes. The new ransomware was found in pirated downloads for the Little Snitch app found on a Russian forum.


Along with the ransom activity, the malware may also install a keylogger for monitoring keystrokes, but what the malware does with the functionality is unknown. Malware in general and ransomware in particular are relatively rare on the Mac platform, so it's interesting to see this example surface and gain some insight into what it does.

The New York Times Ends Apple News Partnership and Pulls All Articles

The New York Times this week announced that it is pulling out of Apple News, as the service does not "align with its strategy of building direct relationships with paying readers."


While The New York Times has never been a part of the Apple News+ subscription program, the newspaper's articles will no longer show up in the ‌Apple News‌ app at all. The news site says that Apple has given it "little in the way of direct relationships with readers" and "little control over the business." Rather than allowing its articles on ‌Apple News‌, The New York Times wants to drive readers to its own website and app.

MacRumors Newsletter

Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

So if you want to have top stories like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter!

iOS 14 introduces a feature that alerts users when apps access their clipboards, and tons of apps have been caught clipboard snooping.


LinkedIn is one of the iOS apps that has been reading user clipboards, and iPhone owners have complained that the app copies the contents of the clipboard with every keystroke.


In a statement to ZDNet, LinkedIn said that the clipboard copying behavior is a bug and is not intended behavior. A VP at LinkedIn also said that the contents of the clipboard are not stored or transmitted. A fix for the issue is in the works, and should be available soon.


Other apps like TikTok, Twitter, Starbucks, Overstock, AccuWeather, and more have been caught reading user clipboards for no discernible reason. TikTok claimed that the clipboard access was used as fraud detection to suss out "repetitive, spammy behavior," and TikTok released an iOS update to remove it.


Ahead of the release of ‌iOS 14‌, a pair of developers released a report letting users know that ‌iPhone‌ and iPad apps were accessing clipboard content behind the scenes. Apple's new ‌iOS 14‌ feature appears to have been added in response, and there's no longer a way for apps to quietly read the clipboard without users being alerted to the behavior.

B&H Photo today introduced new discounts on Apple's 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro, starting with the 512GB model (16GB RAM, 10th gen processor) at $1,599.00, down from $1,799.00. This sale price is only available in the Silver color option.


Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with B&H Photo. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

For the 1TB 13-inch MacBook Pro (16GB RAM, 10th gen processor), you'll find a price of $1,799.00, down from $1,999.00, and this sale is available in both Silver and Space Gray colors. Both of these discounts are new low prices for each model of the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro.

$200 OFF
2020 13-inch MacBook Pro for $1,599

B&H Photo notes that it has limited supply for both models, so be sure to head to the retailer soon if you're interested. You can find even more discounts on other MacBooks by visiting our Best Deals guide for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Satechi to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Trio Wireless Charging Pad that can wirelessly charge the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once.


Priced at $119, the Trio Wireless Charging Pad has a simple rectangular design that looks clean and organized on a desk, counter, or table top. There's a slight wedge look to the charger, along with three LEDs that serve as charging indicators for your devices.


There's an upright pop-out ‌Apple Watch‌ charging puck that can charge the ‌Apple Watch‌ in Nightstand Mode, an indentation designed to fit the ‌AirPods‌ or AirPods Pro and a spot for the ‌iPhone‌ denoted by a raised rubber circle that helps keep it secured in place while charging.


The cutouts for the ‌AirPods‌ and the rubber circle for the ‌iPhone‌ are useful ways to make sure your devices get put in the exact right spot for charging, so there's no fussing with trying to find the proper position.


Because the ‌Apple Watch‌ charging puck folds down, the Trio is ideal for travel because it can be tucked into a bag or a purse along with your other Apple accessories.


The Trio Wireless Charging Pad can charge an ‌iPhone‌ at 7.5W, the maximum charging speed that Apple's iPhones support for wireless charging. The ‌Apple Watch‌ charges at 2.5W, while the ‌AirPods‌ with Wireless Charging Case or ‌AirPods Pro‌ charges at 5W.


Satechi is a trusted name when it comes to ‌iPhone‌ accessories, and the Trio features foreign object detection and over temperature protection to keep you and your devices safe. It will automatically shut off power if there's an unknown object on the charger or if there are heat issues.

Satechi ships the Trio Wireless Charging Pad with a USB-C 24W power adapter that comes with U.S., UK, and EU plug options, another reason why it's ideal for use both at home and when you're traveling.


We have four of the Trio Wireless Charging Pads to give away to MacRumors readers. To enter to win our ‌giveaway‌, use the Gleam.io widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the ‌giveaway‌ restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

Satechi Trio
The contest will run from today (July 3) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on July 10. The winners will be chosen randomly on July 10 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Amid multiple reports that Apple will no longer include a power adapter in its iPhone boxes starting with the iPhone 12 later this year, it appears Apple is surveying recent ‌iPhone‌ buyers to ask about what they've done with the power adapters that came with their previous iPhones.

Screenshot via Twitter user @bedabb_

Apple's surveys typically cover numerous aspects of its products, but Brazilian Twitter user @Gunstaxl recently noted (via 9to5Mac) that the ‌iPhone‌ survey he received included several questions about how he uses the charger, including one specifically addressing the fate of the charger that was included with his previous ‌iPhone‌, an iPhone XR.

We found one other recent mention of this survey, from fellow Brazilian Twitter user @bedabb_, so it looks like Apple's survey may be limited to that country. In this second case, Apple asked about the charger that came with the user's previous ‌iPhone‌ 7 Plus.

Among the possible answers to Apple's question about the fate of the previous charger:

  • Gave it to a family member or friend
  • Recycled it
  • Lost or misplaced it
  • No longer working or not working well
  • Still using it at home
  • Still using it outside of my home (e.g., work, school, other location)
  • Still have it, but don't use it
  • Sold it or traded it in with the ‌iPhone‌

While still only a rumor at this point, the idea of Apple removing the power adapter from the ‌iPhone‌ box has certainly generated controversy, although removing the adapter will save Apple money, reduce e-waste, and allow for more shipping efficiency. Many users already have numerous adapters from previous ‌iPhone‌ and iPad purchases, while some may prefer other charging solutions such as multi-port chargers or wireless chargers.

Apple appears to be preparing its own 20-watt fast-charging adapter that would be sold as a separate accessory, an upgrade over the 18-watt adapter that currently ships in the box with the iPhone 11 Pro and iPad Pro and is also available on a standalone basis.

A Google-backed group of European digital advertising associations has criticized Apple for requiring apps in iOS 14 to seek additional permission from users before tracking them across other apps and websites, reports Reuters.

Sixteen marketing associations, some of which are backed by Facebook and Alphabet's Google, faulted Apple for not adhering to an ad-industry system for seeking user consent under European privacy rules. Apps will now need to ask for permission twice, increasing the risk users will refuse, the associations argued.

During its ‌iOS 14‌ preview at WWDC last week, Apple explained to developers several of its new user privacy features, which include new app tracking controls and transparency.

Specifically, developers are now required to get user consent before tracking them. When an app wants to track the user, a consent pop-up appears saying the app "would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies." Developers are given several lines below the main text to explain why the permission is being sought.

The system requires that apps only need to be granted permission once, and users can see which apps they have consented to track them in the Settings app, allowing them to change their preferences as and when required.

According to the report, the group of European marketing firms said the pop-up warning and the limited ability to customize it still carries "a high risk of user refusal."

Last week, however, Apple engineers said the company would improve a free tool for developers that uses anonymous, aggregated data to measure whether advertising campaigns are working. The tool does not trigger the tracking pop-up because it's specifically engineered not to track individual users.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14

Apple appears to have updated its Maps coverage to add transit directions in Iceland, with a focus on bus routes in and around the capital, Reykjavik.


Apple Maps users in the region can now select public transportation routes when getting directions between two locations.

Transit directions were first added to ‌Apple Maps‌ in 2015 with the launch of iOS 9. Maps initially only offered transit information in a handful of cities, but over the course of the last five years, Apple has worked to expand the feature to additional areas.

Transit information is now live in dozens of cities and countries around the world, with a full list available on Apple's iOS and iPadOS Feature Availability website, although it has not yet been updated to include Iceland.

(Thanks, Jasmine!)

Apple's upcoming "iPhone 12" will feature "high-end" lens arrays in the rear camera to improve image quality, according to respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


In a new research note seen by MacRumors, Kuo says Largan will supply the premium camera lenses to Apple for the phones from mid-July, although Apple has received the same components slightly earlier in the last couple of years.

Production has reportedly been delayed by four to six weeks in the second half of this year, which will see peak lens shipments fall between September and November, compared to August-October in the past.

Kuo doesn't mention the reason for the delay in his note, but the global health crisis is likely to have had an impact. Apple is still expected to announce the iPhones in September, but rumors have claimed that some iPhone models might not launch until October or November.

Kuo's latest note doesn't specify what kind of "high end" lens will be used in the ‌iPhone 12‌, but in a previous note he claimed that the 6.7-inch ‌iPhone‌ model will feature multiple rear camera improvements, including larger sensors that capture more light for better image quality.

Apple is expected to launch high-end 6.7 and 6.1-inch iPhones with triple-lens cameras, and lower-end 5.4 and 6.1-inch iPhones with dual-lens cameras. Previously, Kuo has said he expects the 6.1 and 5.4-inch iPhones to go into mass production in September, while mass production on the larger 6.7-inch ‌‌iPhone‌‌ will be delayed until October because of its more complicated design.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12

Caviar, a company known for creating outlandish and lavish iPhone casing modifications, has been working on an ‌iPhone‌ design that's modeled after Tesla's Cybertruck. We have a prototype of the CyberPhone on hand, and checked it out in our latest YouTube video.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

The CyberPhone Caviar has designed is created from titanium and has an angled design reminiscent of Tesla's truck. Caviar has a few versions for sale, but the base pricing starts at $6,910, so this is not a phone for the everyday buyer.

We don't have the high-end titanium version to test out, but rather an aluminum model that's a less expensive test version than the version shipping out to customers. The official version of the CyberPhone features a back panel made from titanium with a PVC covering, with cutouts and buttons that allow the ‌iPhone‌ to operate as normal while sporting the Cybertruck-style design.

Since the extra casing adds a good bit of bulk to the ‌iPhone‌, there's a unique SIM ejection tool to get the SIM tray out from the deep crevice of the casing. There's a camera cutout at the back for the square-shaped camera setup of the ‌iPhone‌, which features Caviar branding.

In our video, you may notice a crack in the glass part of the CyberPhone's casing, so it's clearly not as indestructible as the Tesla Cybertruck. Elon Musk was able to break the window of the Cybertruck during its unveiling, however, so maybe Caviar is just aiming for authenticity. The non-glass portion of the case feels more durable, but it's also super heavy.

There are also quite a few scratches around the bumper of the CyberPhone and again, this is aluminum, but titanium is also prone to scratching. Visible scratches are not exactly desirable on a phone that costs as much as some cars.

We have the CyberPhone Light, but the standard version, priced at about $7,680, has a folding cover that comes down to cover the display when the phone isn't in use and also serves as a stand, but that's not available in this model so we can't demo it.


Modified iPhones like this are more impractical than anything else and attractive to a limited subset of buyers, but it's sometimes fun to take a look at the kind of crazy things ‌iPhone‌ modifiers are doing. We have no idea who buys these kinds of devices, but there must be some market for them because Caviar and other companies keep coming out with ever more fanciful designs.

Apple at WWDC announced Car Keys, a new feature designed to allow digital car keys to be added to the Wallet app on the iPhone, allowing iPhones and Apple Watch models to be used in lieu of a physical car key.


Apple at the time said the feature would come to both iOS 13 and iOS 14, and the first Car Keys partner, BMW, today added support for the feature to its BMW Connected app. With Car Keys support, a BMW Digital Key for the ‌iPhone‌ can be added to the Wallet app on the ‌iPhone‌.

The feature allows the ‌iPhone‌ to be used to lock and unlock the car by holding it up to the door handle, and it can also start the car when the ‌iPhone‌ is placed in the smartphone tray in the vehicle. Access to a car can be shared with up to five friends or family members, with various restrictions available.

BMW's Digital Key for ‌iPhone‌ feature works with a number of BMW models: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5, X6, X7, X5M, X6M and Z4 if manufactured after July 1st 2020. Compatible vehicles will be shown on the vehicle tab in the app.

An iPhone XR, XS, or newer is required, and for those who want to use an ‌Apple Watch‌, an ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 5 or newer is required. When Car Keys was announced, BMW said the feature would require iOS 13.6, which Apple has not released, so it's not clear if the digital key feature is functional at this time.

For more on how Car Keys works and its feature set, make sure to check out our guide.

(Thanks, Florian!)

Apple today launched a website that's designed to allow Apple Card holders to check their balances, view statements, and make ‌Apple Card‌ payments online.


The card.apple.com website lets ‌Apple Card‌ holders sign in with their Apple IDs. The website features a payments section that shows card balance front and center, along with the next scheduled payment date, and total card limits.


Monthly statements can be viewed and downloaded through another section of the website, while Settings allows users to add a bank account, manage scheduled payments, or see their Mastercard network benefits. A support section of the website provides access to an ‌Apple Card‌ web user guide and a phone number that customers can call to get help.

All of these functions were previously available in the Wallet app, but having online access to ‌Apple Card‌ tools is useful for those who prefer managing their credit cards from their computers rather than their iPhones. It also allows ‌Apple Card‌ to be used without the need to own an iPhone or an iPad for the first time, which is a major change.

Apple is also now allowing new ‌Apple Card‌ applicants to apply directly from the Apple.com website using any browser when purchasing a product using the ‌Apple Card‌ Monthly Installments option, a feature which previously required the Apple Store app or a Safari web browser. To reflect the new changes today, Apple is sending out emails to customers letting them know about updates to their customer agreements.

We made some changes to your ‌Apple Card‌ that are now part of your Customer Agreement. We are summarizing these changes below.

More Ways to Manage Your Account. We've added the ability to access and manage ‌Apple Card‌ online. You can use card.apple.com to make, schedule, or cancel payments; check your available credit; view Monthly Statements; and review your ‌Apple Card‌ Customer Agreement, APR, and other rate information.

Using ‌Apple Card‌ Without ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌. Now that it's possible to use ‌Apple Card‌ Monthly Installments without an ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌, we changed the ‌Apple Card‌ Customer Agreement to explain this experience. This is detailed in the section entitled, Using Your Account Without a Required Device.

Daily Cash. We added information about: (i) how you may earn bonus Daily Cash at select merchants, and (ii) how Daily Cash Adjustments as a result of a return or credit can be charged as one or more Transactions to your Account, reflected on your Monthly Statements.

‌Apple Card‌ Monthly Installments. We are changing how you can accept the terms of your monthly repayment amount for an ‌Apple Card‌ Monthly Installment. This does not change how we calculate your Minimum Payment Due.

Software Updates. In order to ensure complete access to your Account and that you receive required updates, we ask that you please update to the latest version of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, or macOS on the devices you use with ‌Apple Card‌.

Other Changes. We made clarifications, formatting corrections, and other minor changes.

Except for these changes, the rest of your ‌Apple Card‌ Customer Agreement remains as is.

As highlighted yesterday, Apple is running a promotion for new ‌Apple Card‌ users at the current time, providing $50 Daily Cash when the ‌Apple Card‌ is first used to pay for an Apple service like an App Store purchase, Apple Arcade, or Apple Music.

Amazon and B&H Photo are discounting Apple's 2020 MacBook Air, providing $100 off both the 256GB and 512GB models. All colors are being discounted across both retailers, although some models do have lengthier shipping estimates.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Prices start at $899.00 for the 256GB MacBook Air, down from $999.00. On Amazon, you'll find this price in every color, with shipping estimates for the Silver model placing arrival as early as Sunday, July 5. B&H Photo has a limited supply, and also has all colors on sale at this price.

$100 OFF
2020 MacBook Air for $899.00

Next, the 512GB MacBook Air is on sale for $1,199.00, down from $1,299.00. Amazon again has all three colors at this price, with Silver and Space Gray available to ship immediately. On B&H Photo, you'll be able to purchase every color option on sale, with the retailer again noting it has a limited supply at this price.

You can find even more discounts on other MacBooks by visiting our Best Deals guide for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. In this guide we track the steepest discounts for the newest MacBook models every week, so be sure to bookmark it and check back often if you're shopping for a new Apple notebook.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

New York City-based watch retailer Hodinkee today announced that it is now an authorized retailer for the Apple Watch. The company has been known as an influential watch review site and recently launched an e-commerce platform, the Hodinkee Shop, where high-end mechanical watches can be purchased.


From today, the Hodinkee Shop also includes Apple Watch Series 5 models along with a variety of ‌Apple Watch‌ accessories. The store is only selling cellular versions of the ‌Apple Watch‌, and prices match Apple's own prices on the Series 5. Both aluminum and stainless steel models are available.

"We are very excited to be an authorized retailer for ‌Apple Watch‌,” said HODINKEE Chief Commercial Officer Russell Kelly.

“It is a revolutionary product, an impressive example of design and functionality which seamlessly integrates into daily life. Not only does ‌Apple Watch‌ complement our product offering but it also further positions the HODINKEE Shop as an e-commerce new luxury leader.”

Hodinkee has bands like the Milanese Loop, Sport Band, and Sport Loop. In terms of charging accessories, the retailer is also offering the ‌Apple Watch‌ Magnetic Charging Dock and various Magnetic Charging Cable options. The AirPods and AirPods Pro are even available on the Apple section of the Hodinkee Shop.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6, watchOS 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Nomad kicked off an outlet sale today, clearing out previous generation versions of its most popular accessories. This includes discounts on accessories like AirPods cases, wireless chargers, Lightning and USB-C cables, iPhone cases, and more.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Nomad. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

All products in this sale are deeply discounted, by up to 70 percent off, and they are final sale and can't be returned. You can browse the full sale on Nomad's website, and we've collected some of the products below.

Cases

Apple Watch Strap

Chargers and Hubs

Cables

Head to our full Deals Roundup to get caught up with all of the latest deals and discounts that we've been tracking over the past week.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple is "battling to free stuck shipments" at the Indian port of Chennai after the country ramped up scrutiny of imports from China following rising tensions between the two nations.


Reuters reports that customs officers at the Southern Indian port have held back more than 150 shipments of smartphones and electronic parts from China, which has disrupted operations at plants owned by Apple supplier Foxconn.

While several companies such as Apple and Dell have been battling to free stuck shipments, hundreds of employees at Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn's two plants in the south had no major work to do this week as shipments were delayed, sources said.

Some of the shipments are being slowly cleared, according to Reuters' sources, but the hold-up has reportedly left Foxconn in a "very bad state," resulting in many workers staying at their dormitories because of a lack of work.

The additional checks, which were apparently imposed without any formal order, follow deadly clashes between Chinese and Indian soldiers at the disputed Himalayan border last month, which has led to boycotts and demonstrations.

With concern mounting that the shipping delays are impacting businesses that have already been disrupted by the global health crisis, prominent U.S.-India lobby groups and local industry bodies have urged the Indian government to intervene. Indian government officials said the additional clearance measures for shipments from China would be temporary.

China's Commerce Ministry said on Thursday that it hoped India would "correct its discriminatory actions against Chinese companies immediately," after India banned some Chinese mobile apps amid the border crisis.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Apple is rumored to be releasing a mini LED-backlit iPad Pro and a new mini-LED MacBook Pro series over the next 18 months, and the devices have just picked up two new suppliers, according to industry sources.


DigiTimes today reports that two former Apple suppliers, Taiwan's Zhen Ding Technology and Flexium Interconnect, have entered the supply chain to make the flexible printed circuit boards for the mini-LED devices.

The two PCB makers will reportedly compete with their South Korean peer Young Poong Electronics for the higher shipment ratio of flexible boards required, and are well placed to gain a larger portion of shipment orders because they boast better flexible board manufacturing technology capability.

Both firms are expected to start small-volume shipments of mini LED-backlit modules in the fourth quarter of 2020 to support the launch of new ‌iPad Pro‌ in the first quarter of 2021, the sources said. As such modules are likely to become standard specs for diverse new iPads and MacBooks, Zhen Ding and Flexium can secure a new profitable outlet for their flexible boards, the sources noted.

Apple is rumored to be planning to release a high-end 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ with a mini-LED display and 5G in 2021. Apple was originally planning to launch the device in the fall of 2020, but is reportedly unable to meet that deadline with the global health crisis, and now multiple sources suggest a 2021 launch. DigiTimes claims we could see the device as early as the first quarter of next year, while leaker L0vetodream has claimed they won't arrive until the second quarter.

Apple is also working on a 14.1-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ and an updated 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ with a mini-LED display, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, although the roadmap for these machines is far from clear.

While Kuo has said the mini-LED version of the 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ is slated for the fall of 2020, he hasn't provided launch information for the 14.1-inch model that Apple is working on, beyond suggesting that there are several mini-LED devices in the works for 2020 and 2021. Meanwhile, L0vetodream has claimed the 14.1-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ won't be launching until 2021.


DigiTimes has previously claimed that Apple will launch multiple Mac notebook models with mini-LED backlit displays by the end of 2020, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said in April that Apple plans to introduce a 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ in October or November, but it's not clear if this refresh features a mini-LED display.

Ultimately, work on all the mini-LED devices may have been pushed back to 2021. This includes the 16-inch mini-LED ‌MacBook Pro‌, and multiple sources now suggest a 2021 launch for the machine.

The future mini-LED displays will use approximately 10,000 LEDs, with each one below 200 microns in size. Mini-LED will allow for thinner and lighter product designs, offering many of the same benefits as OLED like better wide color gamut, high contrast and dynamic range, and local dimming for truer blacks. Kuo believes the mini-LED technology will "significantly improve productivity and the entertainment experience."

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, MacBook Pro

WhatsApp has announced it is rolling out a number of new features across its app, web, and desktop variants, including a QR code scanning option for contacts and a new Dark mode theme that extends to computers.

WhatsApp has been extensively testing the use of QR codes on mobile to let users add contacts to the messaging app instead of typing in digits one by one, and it sounds like it's almost ready to go live.

Currently WhatsApp users must first add a contact via the Contacts tab in Apple's Phone app. Only after that can they open WhatsApp and send them a message. Using a QR code instead would skip this step and make the process a lot more convenient.

Meanwhile, following the recent added ability to video chat with up to eight people, WhatsApp is bringing new improvements to group video calls. It's now easier to focus on someone in a call by pressing and holding to maximize their video to full screen. There's also a new video icon for group chats of 8 or less, making it easier to start a group video call with a single tap.


WhatsApp says animated stickers are one of the fastest growing ways people communicate on the platform, so it's also rolling out "more fun and expressive" animated sticker packs. In addition, KaiOS users can now enjoy the popular feature that lets them share updates that disappear after 24 hours.

Finally, while Dark Mode on WhatsApp for iPhone arrived earlier this year, the same feature is now coming to the web version of the chat platform as well as WhatsApp for Mac.

WhatsApp says these features are rolling out to users over the next few weeks. WhatsApp is a free download for ‌‌iPhone‌‌ and Mac available on the iOS ‌App Store [Direct Link] and Mac App Store [Direct Link], respectively‌.

Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the Dark Sky for Android app would be discontinued on July 1, 2020.


Now that it's July, Dark Sky's developers today announced that the discontinuation of the Android app will be delayed, and it will be available until August 1, 2020.

The Android app will be shuttered on August 1, and Android users will no longer be able to use it. Subscribers who are active at that time will be provided with a full refund.

Dark Sky also plans to shut down the weather forecasts, maps, and embeds available on its website on August 1. Dark Sky previously said that its API will continue to function through the end of 2021, but no new API signups are being accepted.