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Five Unexpected Announcements from Apple’s Wonderlust Event

Those of us watching Apple’s Wonderlust event all “knew” Apple would release the iPhone 15, Apple Watch Series 9, and Apple Watch Ultra 2 because, rumors aside, that’s essentially what the company does every year. However, a few of the company’s announcements—brief though they may have been—were less expected. Here are a few of them.

Roadside Assistance via Satellite

Emergency SOS via satellite was a magical breakthrough in last year’s iPhone 14 lineup, and while it has tallied some impressive saves (see “Emergency SOS via Satellite Saves Lives in Maui Fires,” 10 August 2023), most people are more likely to find themselves with a flat tire on a remote road than stuck on a mountain. Enter Apple’s new Roadside Assistance via satellite, which lets iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 users message a dispatcher over a satellite connection for non-emergency reasons such as being locked out of your car, being out of fuel or charge, suffering from a flat tire, your car refusing to start, or the vehicle being stuck. The process looked very similar to contacting emergency dispatchers using Emergency SOS via satellite. Roadside Assistance is launching in the US with the American Automobile Association (AAA), the country’s largest roadside assistance provider, and will be included in AAA membership. Those who aren’t AAA members can subscribe separately, though Apple didn’t share pricing.

Apple also shared a photo of Find My via satellite showing someone’s location but said nothing more about whether that experience now provides notifications. I’d still like to see Send My Current Location via satellite, as I suggested last year in “Testing Emergency SOS and Find My via Satellite” (21 November 2022). Emergency SOS and Find My via satellite will be available in 16 countries once Apple adds Spain and Switzerland this month, and Apple reiterated that they’ll be free for two years with the purchase of an iPhone 15 model. No mention was made of international coverage for Roadside Assistance via satellite.

Roadside Assistance via satellite and Find My via satellite

iCloud Gains 6 TB and 12 TB Tiers

iCloud+ has long maxed out at 2 TB, but some Apple users need significantly more space. Apple said nothing about pricing during the Wonderlust event, but the company has since made a standalone announcement and updated the iCloud+ pricing page with the details: $29.99 for 6 TB and $59.99 for 12 TB. Not cheap, but it’s nice to see Apple acknowledging the need for more storage. Could Apple be working its way up to having Time Machine back up to iCloud in a future update?

New iCloud+ storage tiers

FineWoven Replaces All Leather in Apple Products

As part of its efforts to make all its products carbon-neutral by 2030, Apple said it will no longer sell any products made with leather. It has been a long time since the Twentieth Anniversary Mac’s keyboard had leather palm rests, so this move affects only leather Apple Watch bands and iPhone cases. Apple is replacing them with a durable twill textile called FineWoven, made from 68% recycled content. Apple says it has “a subtle luster and a soft, suede-like feel” and will be available on iPhone MagSafe cases and wallets, plus the Magnetic Link and Modern Buckle Apple Watch bands.

Charge AirPods or Apple Watch from USB-C iPhones

As expected, Apple moved the iPhone 15 lineup to USB-C and released a USB-C charging case for the AirPods Pro. What I didn’t expect along with that announcement was something Apple slipped in quickly—you’ll be able to charge AirPods or an Apple Watch using one of the iPhone 15 models. That’s probably not life-changing for most people because keeping an iPhone charged is usually more important than sharing some juice with AirPods or an Apple Watch. But it might be handy in a pinch when you realize you forgot to charge either one before leaving the house.

Apple Continues to Focus on the Environment

Finally, although Apple has been talking more and more about its environmental efforts, this event focused on that topic far more than any previous one. That may have been because this year’s new products are largely evolutionary, so there wasn’t as much to say about them, but it’s also important that a company the size of Apple puts its environmental goals and achievements front and center. Nonetheless, it’s great to hear that the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 are both carbon neutral, at least with certain watch bands.

However, a 5-minute video that showed nervous Apple executives—including CEO Tim Cook and Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson—reporting to Mother Nature, played by Octavia Spencer, was… odd. It let Apple showcase some of its environmental talking points, but Mother Nature disputed some of them, harassed several presenters, and remained generally unamused throughout, concluding with a stare-down with Tim Cook before telling them she’d be back next year.

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Comments About Five Unexpected Announcements from Apple’s Wonderlust Event

Notable Replies

  1. Pricing for 6 and 12 TB of iCloud has been confirmed in the press release and indeed it is respectively $29 and $59.

  2. I’m curious about the removal of leather. Yes, I know that the tanning process can be environmentally unfriendly (but hasn’t that been addressed in recent years?). And the animal cruelty people will certainly weigh in that it’s a good thing that Apple discontinued leather.

    However, it remains to be seen if the synthetic FineWoven will be as durable and aesthetically pleasing as real leather.

    It just seems like pandering and cost reduction to me.

  3. Raising cattle in general is climate change unfriendly, right? As was said during the event, the cumulative amount of leather Apple has produced for cases, watch bands, and other accessories is a lot of leather.

    There will surely be plenty of third party accessories made with leather.

  4. Very glad of the iCloud bumps. We’ve had all sorts of issues with the 2tb limit.

  5. I hope so. I have allergies to some “non-natural” materials and a wristband (if not metal or real hide) isn’t a simple choice. Nothing like finding out you have a rash from synthetic band. I’ll stick with leather.

    Anyone else have opinion on the marketing speak in the presentation all about carbon neutral but missing that most of the products will ship out via jetplane… and packaging uses inks, some metallic. Just saying…

  6. I’m hoping Roadside Assist makes its way to Australia. We have vast isolated regions in the back country where sat phone is the only available communication. It’s not uncommon for people to break down and die. This would be a massive safety feature.

    The iCloud storage bump is welcome. As an Apple One Premier subscriber I’ll be interested to see if we get a small boost or if the price will go up.

    I’ve never bought a leather band or a leather case but maybe lots of people do? What I’d like is for Apple bands to have a price drop. Apple band in Aus. around $70 vs ebay about $4.

    The USB charging is nice, I guess.

    The environmental push is welcome. Anything we can do to reduce emissions and waste has to be positive.

  7. Although you might not be able to get what you want from Apple (at least not for a reasonable price) there are literally hundreds of companies selling Apple Watch bands.

    You can also get spring-bar adapters that will let you use generic bands designed for generic watches.

  8. I seem to recall that they said that more than half of their products by weight would ship by ocean or land rather than air.

    See Apple unveils its first carbon neutral products - Apple - footnote 4 in particular.

  9. I’m curious if older AirPod Pro cases with a Lightning port can charge using a USB-C to Lightning cable. This will be one more thing to try after getting an iPhone 15.

    Concerning Roadside Assistance via Sattelite, since the service will be provided through the American Automobile Association (AAA) roadside assistance program, it looks like it will only be available where that program is active. According to the AAA, that is the United States and Canada.

  10. Clearly that’s the case for now but it would be reasonable to assume they’ll be working with local associations in various countries to expand the program. I’m sure it will trickle down, just as many services Apple do, starting in US and then expanding to the rest of the world.

  11. I think they are focused on bulk shipments (hence the emphasis on “products by weight”), presumably from Asian manufacturers and suppliers, to distribution facilities in the US and elsewhere. So instead of loading up some 747s, they’ll send containers by ship. Or in the US, they might ship products from California to warehouses further east, using rail. This will add some time to getting the product into customer hands, but once they have the pipeline full, no one will really notice.

    But they won’t be using ocean shipping for individual products. Or at least they better not - I live in Hawaii, and if I order a new iPhone, I’d hate to be quoted a delivery date two months out because they’re going to be waiting for enough Hawaii orders to fill a container, which will then be shipped from Long Beach. :astonished:

  12. It’s usually a lot cheaper to ship via boat and land rather than by air, especially when goods are traveling to many markets across the globe. Air is a lot faster, and a lot more expensive and is also a big consideration. And without ink and packaging materials, Apple wouldn’t be able sell anything anywhere. And if Apple wasn’t shipping across the globe, they wouldn’t be one of the world’s largest companies.

  13. With all the talk regarding the iPhone’s shift to USB-C ports as well as the new USB-C AirPods Pro model — and the pros and cons of having USB-C vs. Lightning — it’s worth remembering that these devices can also be charged wirelessly. Personally, I haven’t used any cable to charge my iPhone or AirPods in well over a year. In fact, about the only time I connect a cable to my iPhone is in a car (and if I get a new car with wireless CarPlay, that wired connection will end as well).

  14. Do you have some reason to think they wouldn’t? It’s USB at the one end of any Lightning cable.

  15. I once used a car that only had wireless CarPlay and it was very annoying. There’s a noticeable delay when pausing/play or skipping tracks. Far, far more irritating than having to plug in a cable!

  16. Are cows raised and slaughtered for leather alone?

    Or do dairy and meat cows that get slaughtered find their hides used for leather?

    Seems like an important distinction to me because if it’s the latter giving up leather just means we throw away parts of an animal instead of putting them to good use.

  17. They should. Apple has advertised charging from an iPhone 15. And that’s a regular Lightning charging cable you have there after all.

  18. That’s true. However, the new iPhone 15 still only supports 7.5 W over standard Qi chargers. Barely more than the old tiny brick they used to sell with the iPhone. MagSafe will do more (15 W) but of course that’s a much more expensive charger. And I’m afraid it’s no better on the Pro models.

  19. Interesting. I only used wireless CarPlay once — in a rental car on a vacation. But I loved it. I didn’t notice any significant delays. But what I really appreciated was the “instant connection” — I get in the car, turn it on and CarPlay is there ready-to-go. No need to take my phone out of my pocket, no need to fumble with a wired connection (assuming you have a cable in the car) or figure out where to place the phone. It becomes like the CarPlay interface is a built-in feature of the car itself. Definitely worth it for me.

  20. I have MagSafe chargers…and I typically only need to charge my phone once a day (at night while I’m asleep)…so the charging speed has not been much of an issue for me.

  21. That’s good to hear! Maybe it depends on the car and Bluetooth standards etc. mine was also a hire car, but can’t remember make or model.

  22. Apple’s environmental impact video is getting trashed by the tech-polloi, but I found it several cuts above the company’s typically stiff rah-rah productions. And it even made me tear up a bit—hoping that it’s both true and influential.

  23. The narrative from those opposed to leather is that raising of cattle in general is environmentally unfriendly.

    Those that support leather have the narrative that uses your argument as one of its points.

    One can make arguments and rebuttals for both sides. But I think that the discussion would have to go further than trying to assess the damage of bovine flatulence.

  24. Any reduction in cattle use will help the environment, no matter whether it’s for meat, milk, or leather. Just FYI: up to 25% of US land is used for cattle (which is rather insane), according to this analysis by Bloomberg: Bloomberg - Are you a robot?

  25. Possibly, but that wasn’t what Simon asked.

  26. He asked if cows are “slaughtered for leather alone” and obviously they aren’t, so he answered his own question already.

    Hence my response: the less meat and milk you consume, the less leather there will be as well, and therefore less wristbands made out of it.

  27. I was not being rhetorical. I simply don’t know.

    Naively, I would have assumed that some cows are bred for quality leather and that perhaps their meat or dairy is of insufficient quality or amount to be of use. Stopping leather production would lead to those cows no longer being bred perhaps which could be of environmental benefit I would assume.

  28. You’re avoiding the point. Not using leather won’t reduce cow consumption if the cows are being slaughtered anyway for meat consumption. Yes, not eating beef will do that but that’s not what Apple is trumpeting, which makes it rather seem like they are being performative rather than serious.

  29. Personally, I think the best way for Apple to have a positive impact on the environment is to make existing devices work better for longer, sell less hardware (by volume), and batch incremental hardware upgrades. It has been frequently mentioned in these threads that (1) Apple should slow down the software release schedule and focus on quality assurance, and (2) most of the improvements are so incremental that performance comparisons are usually made against devices released a few years ago. Of course, that will most likely be undesirable financially, so there is not a high degree of alignment between financial and environmental interests.

    Thankfully though, Apple devices are usually long-lasting. It has been almost two years since the M1 Pro/Max MacBook Pro was released, and I have no desire or need to upgrade mine - since it is so performant. Keeping the devices in use for longer is environmentally and financially sensible from the personal perspective.

    While Apple labels FineWoven as being more environmentally friendly, I am wondering what the longer-term impact and unintended consequences are. If it is a mix of nylon and polyester, microplastics may be released into the environment. (My Apple Watch braided solo loop is beginning to shed after 18 months of daily wear.)

    Nonetheless, I think not using leather on Apple products is sensible: (good) leather usually outlasts these products, and it is really wasteful to discard a perfectly functional accessory just because the parent device is obsolete. Meanwhile, I think it makes sense to use leather on longer-lasting products, such as shoes: the upper can be retained while soles are replaced as they wear out. I guess ultimately these are a matter of trade-offs.

  30. True, but simply ending only one of those uses, when each individual animal is expected to fill more than one, simply results in wasted material with little environmental effect, because that animal still is being raised for the other uses. If you want to reduce the amount of leather used, you need to reduce the amount of beef consumed first, since that’s the primary use of the cattle used for leather.

    That said, leather production does have its own environmental costs, but in general, its impact is dwarfed by cattle’s contributions to greenhouse gases. And you can make leather with greatly reduced environmental impact, but it costs more to do it, and most companies are more interested in maintaining their bottom lines than giving more than lip service to the environment.

    Also bear in mind that cattle are not the only animals whose hides can be used to make leather. They’re the most common simply because we slaughter so many for food, but leather can come from animals with a much smaller environmental footprint.

  31. Keep in mind not all leather comes from cows. Kangaroo leather is the strongest leather by weight and we have 10s of millions of the buggers hopping around and they’re a considerable pest. They’re ‘controlled’ and the meat is sold for both human and pet consumption - the leather used for fine goods and things like whips. We have similar issues with feral goats and rabbits.

    Sadly, the US Congress are talking about banning roo leather in the States. Whether they accept it via import is immaterial to the culling - it’s illogical to have the resource available and then refuse to use it. Ironically it will end up in land fill.

    I’ll also add that research with seaweed supplements to negate the methane issue with cattle is ongoing. Then there’s the issue of alternatives to meat. Pasture will need to be turned into agricultural land and factories built to produce the ‘fake meat’ products.

  32. Is it really necessary to try to find cynical back-handed reasons for every change that Apple makes?

    Almost every article I read that describes what individuals can do most to reduce their effect on climate change mentions greatly reducing (not necessarily eliminating) beef and dairy from our diets, so I would think reducing the amount of leather we purchase new would also make some sense.

    And if Apple decides that from a marketing point of view that they are noticing that their customers are starting to make environmental impact decisions when making purchases, and that making a decision to stop making and selling leather products (you cannot get a Series 9 Hermes band with leather from Apple, but Hermes is still selling them directly, with new watches as well), as somebody who is also making purchase decisions this way, I applaud their choice, whether it’s made genuinely or cynically (or a little bit of both.)

  33. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter…the no leather from Apple seems like a bunch of virtue signaling…just like the carbon neutral claims. I’m guessing that all of the watches and iPhones being ordered this week will ship completely by air…while they could use ships once the pipeline is full the ship time from China to Long Beach is weeks…it’s 6,000ish miles and container ships average 15 knots so 360 nautical miles or 410ish statute miles per day makes a transit time of about 2 weeks and there isn’t that much ti e between announcement and delivery.

  34. blm

    Except there’s a glut of cow hide. I’ve seen estimates that about 45% of cow hide resulting from slaughtering cows for meat ends up in landfills. So Apple’s move won’t do a thing to reduce the number of cows, it will just result in more cow hide in landfills. Now, tanning leather does use toxic chemicals and produce toxic waste, so from that point-of-view it’s a good move for Apple, but it won’t reduce the number of cows.

  35. I think a certain healthy skepticism about any corporation’s actions and announcements is a good idea. Even if it’s performative, I’m glad they’re making an effort on the environment.

    1. Concerning dropping leather from Apple products:
      Leather tanneries are a known source of environmental contamination. So, reducing the amount of leather used does have a positive ecological effect.

    2. About shipping:
      Ground and ocean shipping can be used for inventory maintenance of products at Apple stores, warehouses, and other retailers with no visible effect on availability. The initial increment may well use air shipping, but once the inventory is built, slower, more ecological methods can be used to maintain it.

  36. Vegetable tanning is environmentally sound; chrome tanning is the bad one.

    I agree with this. Once the initial shipments are established any subsequent delivery can be done using slower methods and forward planning.

  37. I agree the dropping of leather will be of little consequence - I doubt they’re selling a significant number of leather bands and cases - but I don’t believe their environmental push is purely cynical.

    Apple have made decisions regarding their carbon footprint and if they’re going to set targets they need to be ‘all in’. Ironically, it would be cynical if they left out some segment of the market eg. leather goods, if they’re making changes everywhere else. It just wouldn’t look ‘right’.

    As an Apple consumer (and shareholder), I’m pleased they’re taking steps to be more environmentally responsible. The changes may not save the world alone, but we can hope it encourages other large corporations to follow suit and then some progress might be made.

  38. And that’s ultimately the key. Apple is one of the largest corporations in the world (I think they still have the largest market cap, but I’m too lazy to double-check right now). Them taking concrete steps toward being better environmental citizens puts pressure on other corporations, especially other big tech companies, to do the same.

    Of course, it won’t do much to change the corporations and nations that most need to change (oil companies, and a couple of large Asian nations). Peer pressure doesn’t really affect the shameless.

  39. Not purely cynical and that wasn’t my insinuation (or at least it wasn’t intended to be)…just mostly cynical or perhaps self serving. Tim is a liberal like a lot of the tech elite are…and he’s not shy about expressing his liberal viewpoints and every time there’s some sort of tragedy he’s quick to tweet how Apple will be making a donation…but outside of that public persona he’s also a pretty much ruthless businessman and CEO and does very little without a purpose and after consulting their legal eagles. However…their “zero carbon” claims on at least the watch were carefully indicated in the fine print as only being correct if one picked a particular band or case in the iPhone slide. I understand politics and media attention though…and just like their battery life improvements or performance gains…there’s always fine print…which again is not strictly untrue but is carefully graphed for maximum visual effect and the caveats are disclosed on the slide (just in really small and light fonts) so they’re not lying…just stretching credibility a bit…but they’re far from the only company that does these exact same things, in fact pretty much every company is equally guilty.

    On the environmental push…yes, they should do their best to reduce their contribution but in reality their contribution as well as for that matter the contribution of the entire US economy is actually pretty much worthless as long as China continues their massive coal powered power plant building rate…if the US contribution of carbon and greenhouse gases went to zero that would delay what inevitable consequence the green crowd is pushing these days by a few months or years at best. Just like the whole shift to renewable resources there are tremendous problems with shifting the entire energy infrastructure that have not been solved yet…and neither the UN or anybody else can legislate scientific progress…anybody that doesn’t believe we are many decades from making a significant reduction in non renewable energy use is pretty much dreaming in my opinion. Doesn’t mean we or companies shouldn’t try but wholesale bankrupting of the economy or energy grid or anything else isn’t going to work unless every country does it…and I think it’s safe to say that China is going to continue not only doing zippo but actively building coal plants.

  40. There’s two things here.

    First, whilst it may seem ‘worthless’ to do anything, it’s clearly not - everything helps. We have people say the same thing about Australia but somebody has to lead the way and rich countries like the US and Australia should be doing it. Just because you can’t solve the problem completely doesn’t mean you don’t contribute.

    Second, yes it’s alarming that China are building new coal-fire power stations but - and I’m quoting from a Reuter’s story “China is the world’s largest and fastest-growing producer of renewable energy, which is expected to account for a third of all power supplied to its grid by 2025, up from 28.8% in 2020”.

    Currently they’re leading the the world in renewables - something which honestly surprised me. Are the US saying they’ll be 33% renewable within two years? From what I’ve seen, there’s not even agreement within US parties if anything needs to be done.

    I’m certainly not an apologist for China, but it seems the target of your dismay could be misplaced - they’re definitely not doing ‘zippo’.

  41. I think this is mostly a case of carbon neutrality being both really hard to achieve and difficult to document and having to start somewhere. Apple has talked a lot about recycled materials in the past, but it was always just one piece of the product puzzle. With the current Apple Watch models paired with a Sport Loop, they completed the puzzle.

    It doesn’t feel like an asterisk situation to me where anything is being hidden. On the Apple Watch Series 9 page, the fact that a case and band combination is necessary is up front, and clicking the Learn How button explains in more detail.

    That explanation also links to the Apple 2030 page, which explains in even more detail.

    And when you get toward the bottom of that page, you can click links to see detailed information about the status of each product, including a 13-page PDF about each Apple Watch model.

    My sense is more that Apple is trying to figure out how to market carbon neutrality with broad strokes while still providing sufficient detail to avoid being accused of greenwashing.

    With luck, coal’s recent unprofitability will continue and start to dissuade more construction. On the flip side, in the last 7 months, China installed as much solar as the US installed in the last 6 years and as much wind as the US installed in the last 3 years.

  42. Perhaps I should have said pointless instead of worthless, that’s more precise…because as long as China continues to build the coal plants, which they are doing faster than they’re doing renewables I read from another article…they’re not going to decommission those coal plants for 50 years or more. And since they’re the largest carbon emitter…what the rest of the world does really doesn’t change the ‘inevitable tipping point’ we’ve been hearing about since the 70s and IiRC the original inevitable tipping point was still in the 1990s…as long as China (and Brazil and India behind them IIRC) continue to build coal plants whatever will happen will still happen albeit a few months or years later. Yep…doing every little bit helps, but not nearly as much as the people trumpeting their little bits says it does. And the ‘revolutionary battery and solar cell improvements! Have been just around the corner (like fusion) for some time now…and the pie in the sky ‘the world has to be carbon free by xxx’ or whatever date/claim they’re making now is essentially based on a pipe dream of legislating scientific progress because the greenies say so.

    Apple is doing some things which will help around the edges but nothing they can or will do will make a significant difference…and all the renewable power in the world won’t solve the 3 main problems with it…it doesn’t work when it’s dark, doesn’t work when the wind isn’t blowing, and the places where it can be easily produced don’t have the infrastructure to get it to where people are and those areas won’t let you build enough of them locally anyway because it spoils the view. EVs, yeah they’re great for short trips but won’t be really feasible for long trips by the number of people taking long trips for a long time because of inadequate range and charging infrastructure and trucks…yeah, EV trucks aren’t going to be economically feasible for a long time if ever. And where do the charging stations get their power from…regular coal and gas and nuclear plants…and in several cases in CA from a big diesel generator behind the building…so how do EVs do anything but move the carbon production to another source (which arguably might be slightly cleaner but certainly not clean).

    We are getting way off topic though…and ace will shut down the discussion soon anyway I’m guessing as we all know he doesn’t like topic drift and he runs da joint as they say.

  43. Yeah, all this environmental stuff is a ball of wax, and while even Apple isn’t large enough to make a huge difference on its own, every little bit helps, and Apple’s bit is way larger than what the rest of us can do.

    At least they’re saying the right things, making good changes, and putting their money where their mouth is. And since their money comes from us, we’re all in it too.

    But yes, let’s not get into the weeds any further.

  44. My question, are said weeds a carbon sink or is ACE greenwashing?

  45. I see that the increased iCloud+ plans will be available Sept 18th. It will be interesting to see how this works with Apple Premier One, whether there’s a variant which offers tiers of storage or whether it is available as an add on to an individual family member. We have five in our family, There’s three of us with additional 2Tb iCloud+ accounts and one with a 200Gb account, on top of the 2Tb shared and maxed out in the Family Sharing. It’s proven difficult to share the storage collectively. I’m hoping I can simply sign up for a single large iCloud storage with my Premier.

  46. Call me the naive optimist, but I’d love to see Apple One Premier accounts bumped to 4 or 6TB. If it has to cost a few dollars more I could live with it.

    I’d happily forfeit Fitness+ and Apple Arcade for the additional storage - things I have never, and will never, use.

  47. Fitness+ has actually proven a surprise here, forming an exercise program we can find time to follow. Arcade less so, I download only occasionally, bored in an airport say.

    The shared subscriptions, the joint storage, this has been the big benefit.

  48. I’m pretty active so thought I might use it. Tried one program and didn’t like it - a bit over hyped.

    I walk every day, swim a couple of klm three times a week, rock climb twice a week and play a game of touch football on the weekend. Realistically I was probably never going to fit in anything else.

  49. It might be better suited to less motivated folk such as myself… if I did half of yours, I’d probably not bother either!

  50. I average about 70 minutes of aerobic workouts per day, usually more than 350 days per year; I hit 750 F+ cycling workouts in June. Fantastic addition to Apple One for me; so much better to do guided interval workouts on the trainer than just a boring ride of the bike. Cheaper than a Peloton subscription, too.

    So it’s not just for people who don’t normally workout.

  51. However this of us who don’t need 2TB but do need maybe half or one are being treated badly, Apple should have more steps between the levels and appropriate pricing, I have paid for 2TB for years but never got past 5GB.

  52. There are 50 and 200gb tiers you could use. The 5gb is free so you shouldn’t be paying for anything (unless you’re doing it as part of Apple One).

  53. And I wish they’d increase that 5 GB tier. When that was introduced, what was the baseline internal storage on Macs — 128 GB? It would be awesome if over the years Apple raised that free tier in the same way they raise the base storage on Macs.

  54. China now outproducing the US with solar panels, large storage batteries, and EVs. With the EVs, US and European car manufacturers are protesting about the Chinese subsidies for its EV industry but they seem to forget the underwriting that US and Europe does for their car manufacturers, and now combined with Biden’s initiatives to increase investment in US renewable power generation. Chinese EVs may do the same thing that Japanese and Korean car manufacturers did in out competing the US auto industry but with EVs.

  55. It does make one wonder about Project Titan and if it will ever materialise. Apple could use another ‘killer’ project to follow the iPhone and if it was US manufactured I’m sure that would be popular in the US. I’m not sure if it would be built there of course, I think they were in talks with Hyundai?

  56. In reference to Apple’s, in my opinion, hypocritical claim to be environmenty sensitive and focused, I take strong issue with that. They design products to be obsolete in ~5 years coercing users to dispose of them and purchase new ones for the likely reason of increasing profits. They do this by withholding bug fixes and security updates for older products. What happens to those products? If returned to Apple for either no or minimal compensation they are either ‘recycled’, often either partly or wholly into landfills or refurbished and resold to 3rd world countries, obviously with either no or minimal warranty and no support. I do not regard that paradigm as environmentally or user friendly. They also restrict new software features to the latest products when older models can often support them in order to sell more and higher priced products despite the fact that the older models are working fine.

    Based on some reports I have read, I have been given the impression the iPhone 15 is nothing more than an iPhone 14 with a different connector and a slightly faster process which is programmed to allow some new software features to work on it, but ~$100 more expensive.

    Another example: If anyone has ever seen the packaging of the MacPro 2019 7.1 computer you will totally understand what I am writing about.

    In my opinion Apple is one of the least environmentally friendly companies on the planet.

  57. That’s a strong claim. Can you back it up with hard data comparing what you claim about Apple to equivalent companies, coupled with a comparison of the sustainability efforts of those companies?

    There’s no question that making electronics is not good for the environment—no modern production is. However, Apple generally does an above-average job of building quality products that don’t fail prematurely, supporting products for significant periods of time (Big Sur, which received updates until last month, runs on 10-year-old MacBook Pros), offering trade-in or recycling during every purchase, and more.

    I haven’t, but I have seen the packaging for the M1 and M2 MacBook Airs, which have likely sold vastly more units, and that packaging is a marvel of minimal resource usage and sustainability.

    Then allow me to suggest that you read TidBITS, where I accurately noted that the prices are the same as last year and said:

    Because the iPhone 15 gains the A16 Bionic chip, 48-megapixel camera, Dynamic Island, and computational photography improvements, it’s an easier upgrade decision if you’re coming from an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13. It’s harder to recommend upgrading from an iPhone 14 that’s only a year old, but even that jump is likely something you’ll notice.

  58. I agree. I don’t agree with the reasoning for removing the leather products, which I have always enjoyed (there’s a leather case on my iPhone as I type this). If an animal dies naturally, I don’t see why we cannot use the hide from that animal. YMMV.

  59. Apple continues to hire high level automotive industry talent, and here are some currently open mid level jobs listed on their corporate website.

    • Car Experience Partner Engineer
    • Product Design Engineer - Input Devices (Mechanical)
    • Systems Engineer for LV Power Delivery
    • Manufacturing Quality Engineer
    • Battery Lab Mechanical Engineer

    They wouldn’t be hiring if they weren’t committed to delivering a car.

  60. Unfortunately as you get off the current releases, security patches and bug fixes are harder and harder to come by. Which presents a problem for those that want the flexibility to keep running that older hardware. You have to choose between unsupported science projects (OCLP) and unsafe. Bottom line: Apple’s software support policies don’t match the lifespan of their hardware.

    If Apple really wanted to make sure we could use their products for as long as the hardware may be viable to minimize the environmental impact, then perhaps they need to be looking at a paid support option for older releases. That way, those who want/need to extend the life of that hardware can be assured they’ll get software updates because they’re funding the maintenance stream.

  61. There are two Apples. The one that Mother Nature visits in progressive California, which is leading the way in “doing the right thing”, and the other, everywhere else, that customers visit.

    Find the loading dock and trash disposal area behind your local Apple Store to see if the “other Apple” is true to its sustainability goals. (I realize this varies from store to store, mall to mall, and probably state to state.) At the one I worked, in New Jersey, cardboard shipping boxes were compacted separately into one giant container. Was that recycled? Maybe. The frequent overflow was put in a dumpster. As for all the other trash generated off the sales floor? The “Leaders” were blind and staff pretty indifferent to containers labeled “trash” or “recycle”, which always had the wrong stuff in them. At the end of the day it all went in the same dumpster. (Yes, in true Apple fashion, I provided feedback, on the issue, more than once.)

    Lots of room for improvement there, Tim.

  62. This is a big claim with little evidence supporting it. Apple’s products have always had extremely good ROI value. At my former employer there are still machines in daily use which are 15 years old. People like new things and will buy them - iPhones being the most obvious - but that’s not Apple “designing to be obsolete” - that’s consumers wanting the latest gadgets.

    Apple are a business like any other and there comes a time where supporting old hardware is both uneconomical and impractical. As @ace mentioned, there’s still updates for Big Sur which can run on very old systems. If your machines aren’t exposed to security risks there’s no reason not to keep using them until the expire.

    Recycling them is good, as would be sending them to 3rd world countries where they can live again. I’m not sure exactly what you want Apple to do with old products. It appears you’re saying they shouldn’t create and sell any new ones.

    If they are ‘working fine’, why do they need the newest software features?

    The simple option is not to purchase it. As always, the market will determine if the product is good enough.

    Apple’s packaging sizes have dramatically reduced over the years. Of course it’s not solely altruistic, they get significant savings in shipping and packaging costs from doing this.

    Your opinion is as valid as any other, but my opinion is it’s a little misguided.

  63. My iPhone 8+, which I purchased immediately after the model was released in 2017, has been around for considerably longer than 5 years. The battery did drop dead about 5-6 years ago. The “genius” at the Apple Store replaced the battery quickly, and I had it covered under Apple Care. There was absolutely no attempt to try to convince me to buy a newer model. My husband has the same 8+ iPhone and never had a problem, and we both use them just about every day. My MacBook Pro is so ancient that I don’t remember when I bought it. I am so committed to my very long lasting Apple products that I am willingly and most probably incurring the Evil Eye with this information.

    And Apple is a publicly traded for profit company owned by individual and institutional shareholders who want positive results.

  64. I found the entire event boring for the first time since I’ve began watching keynotes back in the MacWorld days. The “Mother Nature” skit was the most inane thing I’ve ever seen from Apple. Oh, where were the iPads?

  65. Yeah…I thought that was really dumb myself…but I guess they thought it fit in with all the carbon neutral marketing speak…and while reducing the carbon footprint of product x is a fine idea…it’s not really that much of a change in overall carbon problems and they carefully do the graphs or fine print to whatever is needed to put themselves in the best light. They’re not lying…just telling part of the truth and using the correct wording to make it seem like a bigger deal than it is. All companies do that though…so I’m not finding fault with Apple for doing the same thing that everybody else is doing. However…it seems almost like they’re trying to hard to be both environmentally, socially, and every other brand of…virtue signaling I guess.

  66. Ray

    In the future, companies shouldn’t have to show us grandly how they are doing their part to decrease any environmental problems, we would just expect that of them.

  67. Is everyone else doing it? That doesn’t seem obvious to me. Obviously, there’s nothing in Apple’s announcement about independent verification of claims, but lots of companies aren’t meeting their goals.

    And far fewer private companies disclose what they’re doing than public companies, and even with public companies, many don’t provide details.

    And this looks like a great evaluation of Apple’s claims that both acknowledges that the company is doing better than most and explains where the claims are overhyped.

  68. I hate to bring this up again, but reading this page it looks to me like Apple has really reduced the carbon footprint by 78% - which is great. But the last 8.1kg of carbon they are offsetting with carbon credits, and those, to me, are always a little dubious, and Apple isn’t being as transparent about what those credits exactly are - just a footnote that lists examples of the credits that they purchase, or plan to purchase. One of the offset credit sources listed in the footnote is Verra.

    There was just an article about this the other day: Revealed: top carbon offset projects may not cut planet-heating emissions | Carbon offsetting | The Guardian

    And from that article:

    Almost two-thirds (32/50) of the most traded projects were certified by the US-based non-profit Verra, which operates the world’s most prominent carbon standard or registry, and included 18 forest offsetting projects known as Redd+ schemes.

    Twenty-eight of the 32 Verra projects the Guardian/Corporate Accountability analysed were classified as likely junk; the other four were problematic and potentially worthless. Verra has faced mounting criticism for its methodology and lax safeguards including a Guardian investigation that found that its forest carbon offsets are mostly junk and could make global heating worse.

    So I’ll applaud Apple for reducing carbon emissions so dramatically, but I think I’ll hold my applause for the carbon neutral claim for now.

  69. That was the exact criticism in that NewClimate Institute post just above. I agree, credits are iffy.

  70. Following up on the mini-discussion of wireless CarPlay (earlier in this thread):

    I just purchased a CarLinkit 5.0 Wireless CarPlay adapter…to try out with the wired CarPlay in my wife’s Chevy Bolt. I was super-impressed. It was hard to tell any difference between the wired and wireless connection…not even in terms of response lags. And, once set up, it seamlessly switched between my iPhone and my wife’s — depending upon who was using the car.

    Overall, I am prepared to drop “wireless CarPlay” as a required feature in my new car purchase. Wired CarPlay + CarLinkit seems just as good (maybe even better, as it gives me the choice to use wireless or not).

  71. What you say is true. But when was the last time you were offered a security update? What kind of support do you get from Apple if you have issues? Will Apple repair it if it breaks? If you have a hard drive failure with you MacBook and need to replace it, will you be able to download a version of macOS that will run on it? If it is less than 10 years old will you be able to buy parts such as a keyboard? If an App gets corrupted and you don’t have a backup of it, will you be able to get a version that will run on either device? The is not necessarily a hardware failure it is the total lack of support from Apple to coerce you to buy a new device if you have issues with an older devices. It costs Apple next to nothing to keep older versions of software for older machines available yet trying to get an official version from Apple can be extremely challenging if not impossible. If the only sources are 3rd parties, the risk of flaky versions, viral marketing, hidden software sending you data somewhere, or viruses is significant. And after a certain amount of time, your older hardware is open to attacks due to Apple’s refusal to provide security updates to older hardware. Additionally much of the 3rd party security software that could be substituted is designed not to run on older machines. So in essence you are left hanging out to dry if you continue to use an older machine with no safe or affordable options for support or repair.

  72. Adam Engst ace September 19

    jweil:
    In my opinion Apple is one of the least environmentally friendly companies on the planet.

    That’s a strong claim. Can you back it up with hard data comparing what you claim about Apple to equivalent companies, coupled with a comparison of the sustainability efforts of those companies?

    There’s no question that making electronics is not good for the environment—no modern production is. However, Apple generally does an above-average job of building quality products that don’t fail prematurely, supporting products for significant periods of time (Big Sur, which received updates until last month, runs on 10-year-old MacBook Pros), offering trade-in or recycling during every purchase, and more.

    The box that my MacPro Desktop 2019 came in, which the replacement also came in a year ago almost required a reciprocal saw (Sawzall) to take it apart for recycling. It took me hours for disassembly. The trade in offered for major older equipment often won’t cover sales tax in California. Lots of places offer free recycling for computers and you don’t have to drive to an Apple Store to do it. I consider Apple’s recycling offer a marketing ploy to get you into the store to purchase new products at full price. I suspect that the ‘Apple Tax’ more than covers any recycling costs. In the case of iPhones it provides them an opportunity to refurbish them, and resell them to 3rd world countries without any support. I was told this by an Apple Support agent. I have a perfectly working MacPro 1.1 desktop hardware wise. Apple froze macOS updates at Mountain Lion. Yet with 3rd party instructions I was able to get Mavericks running on it just fine and with other 3rd party tricks I likely could get more advanced macOS to run on it if I wanted to. Apple froze my MacPro Desktop 5.1, the last of the ‘cheese graters’ at High Sierra. All it takes to get it to run more advanced macOS is a new GPU. Does Apple offer one for sale. Absolutely not. Will they support the machine if one is installed? Absolutely not. A user has to research the Internet to find a compatible GPU then ’shoehorn’ the macOS update to a perfectly good and working piece of expensive hardware. These are just some basic examples of my contention that Apple is not environmentally friendly.

    jweil:
    Another example: If anyone has ever seen the packaging of the MacPro 2019 7.1 computer you will totally understand what I am writing about.

    I haven’t, but I have seen the packaging for the M1 and M2 MacBook Airs, which have likely sold vastly more units, and that packaging is a marvel of minimal resource usage and sustainability.

    Please see above.

    jweil:
    Based on some reports I have read, I have been given the impression the iPhone 15 is nothing more than an iPhone 14 with a different connector and a slightly faster process which is programmed to allow some new software features to work on it, but ~$100 more expensive.

    Then allow me to suggest that you read TidBITS, where I accurately noted that the prices are the same as last year and said:

    Because the iPhone 15 gains the A16 Bionic chip, 48-megapixel camera, Dynamic Island, and computational photography improvements, it’s an easier upgrade decision if you’re coming from an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13. It’s harder to recommend upgrading from an iPhone 14 that’s only a year old, but even that jump is likely something you’ll notice.

    I was only quoting what I read from other resources. That said what percentage of those with iPhone 12-13 actually use those features and would find them useful given the price point of the iPhone 15? History to me indicates that iPhone enhancements have mostly been small incremental mostly software enhancements over the years lacking real innovation that Apple was famous for when Steve Jobs was alive.The basic design of the iPhone has not significantly changed since it was introduced. Neither has most of Apple’s hardware. Additionally much of Apple’s GUI has significantly strayed from Apple User Interface Guidelines as developed by Bruce Tognazzini, the guru of GUI, I suspect much to his dismay. He holds many of the patients used for GUI today. If you are skeptical of this I invite your to visit the website www.asktog.com http://www.asktog.com/

  73. trilo https://talk.tidbits.com/u/trilo
    September 19

    jweil:
    In reference to Apple’s, in my opinion, hypocritical claim to be environmenty sensitive and focused, I take strong issue with that. They design products to be obsolete in ~5 years coercing users to dispose of them and purchase new ones for the likely reason of increasing profits.

    This is a big claim with little evidence supporting it. Apple’s products have always had extremely good ROI value. At my former employer there are still machines in daily use which are 15 years old. People like new things and will buy them - iPhones being the most obvious - but that’s not Apple “designing to be obsolete” - that’s consumers wanting the latest gadgets.

    I could quote various examples but the big picture here is the lack of repairability; forced obsolesce due to ending security updates or upgradable parts; predatory marketing for minor changes and updates to existing products; challenges to obtain older versions of macOS for older machines; packaging for my MacPro 7.1 Desktop that almost took a Sawzall to take apart to recycle.

    jweil:
    They do this by withholding bug fixes and security updates for older products.

    Apple are a business like any other and there comes a time where supporting old hardware is both uneconomical and impractical. As @ace https://talk.tidbits.com/u/ace mentioned, there’s still updates for Big Sur which can run on very old systems. If your machines aren’t exposed to security risks there’s no reason not to keep using them until the expire.

    It cost them next to nothing to maintain older macOS versions on a server for easy access. Yet try to find them if you need them. Withhold security updates from older versions older than around 5-8 years old. Big Sur is only around 3 years old which is not old. Vehicle manufacturers make parts available for 10 years or more. I still can get parts for my 20 year old Speed Queen washer. Most of Apple’s products are not user repairable and Apple makes it difficult to impossible for 3rd parties to get repair parts.

    jweil:
    What happens to those products? If returned to Apple for either no or minimal compensation they are either ‘recycled’, often either partly or wholly into landfills or refurbished and resold to 3rd world countries,

    Recycling them is good, as would be sending them to 3rd world countries where they can live again. I’m not sure exactly what you want Apple to do with old products. It appears you’re saying they shouldn’t create and sell any new ones.

    Live again while Apple provides no support and makes a second profit off the device.

    jweil:
    They also restrict new software features to the latest products when older models can often support them in order to sell more and higher priced products despite the fact that the older models are working fine.

    If they are ‘working fine’, why do they need the newest software features?

    Because often the older hardware can support it or only require minor hardware changes to support it. Why should a user have to throw away a perfectly good piece of hardware just to get a few new software features that they desire when the old hardware is capable of supporting it?

    With Apple not soldering in CPU’s and RAM instead of using sockets, why should users have to be stuck with only the RAM that came with the machine if their needs change or toss the motherboard/buy a new machine if the CPU fails.?

    jweil:
    Based on some reports I have read, I have been given the impression the iPhone 15 is nothing more than an iPhone 14 with a different connector and a slightly faster process which is programmed to allow some new software features to work on it, but ~$100 more expensive.

    The simple option is not to purchase it. As always, the market will determine if the product is good enough.

    jweil:
    Another example: If anyone has ever seen the packaging of the MacPro 2019 7.1 computer you will totally understand what I am writing about.

    Apple’s packaging sizes have dramatically reduced over the years. Of course it’s not solely altruistic, they get significant savings in shipping and packaging costs from doing this.

    I almost need a SawzAll to take apart the box the replacement MacPro Desktop 7.1 computer came in a year ago.

  74. I was offered multiple security updates yesterday. The answer to all the other questions is yes.

    That’s simply not true. I’ve had many old machine repaired by Apple service centres over the years in preference to buying new ones.

    Exactly what evidence do you have that it costs next to nothing? Perhaps you could share the experience you have in developing and financing highly secure operating systems which support hundreds of millions of users and many tiers of hardware using multiple chip sets?

    Getting older systems isn’t challenging at all. A simple search on Google and download from Apple. All the way back to Lion (from 2011).

    It’s clear from your replies you’re more interested in ‘bashing’ Apple than having a reasonable discussion. Your talk of power saws to open a box is silly.

    I’m always open to debate and learn but if you want to convince me I’ll need more than unsupported claims. I don’t think this ‘discussion’ is going anywhere so I’ll leave it to others to continue.

  75. “The 2023 Clean 200 from nonprofit shareholder activist As You Sow and research firm Corporate Knights leveraged the Corporate Knights Sustainable Economy Taxonomy to rank the top 200 publicly-traded companies, out of a pool of 6,720 global firms, “based on rigorous assessment of the amount of revenue each company earns from products and services.”

    Apple (AAPL) topped the list with $259 billion in sustainable revenue, with an estimated 71% of the tech giant’s revenue coming from sustainable sources, after not even making the list two years ago.”

    Apple is a for profit, publicly traded corporation. It continues to boggle my mind when people assume Apple would function like they are a non profit or not for profit company.

  76. Are Apple Service Centers owned by Apple or 3rd party providers? What is you thoughts of Apple now soldering RAM and CPU’s to motherboards instead of using connecters or sockets so that users are unable to replace defective ones or upgrade them at a fraction of the cost from Apple; but instead have to purchase new machines to do so as such upgrades are not covered by AppleCare or warranty unless it is a failed component under AppleCare or Warranty.

  77. “ Apple brick-and-mortar stores welcome more than 1 million people per day.”

    Apple also has licensed retailers/repair centers across the globe:

  78. I’m entirely in favor of it.

  79. If the soldering issue truly bothers someone they can most probably and very easily find Windows or Android computers that are not soldered.

  80. Based on your response you come across as a dyed in the wool Apple loyalist and possibly an employee. I fully support your right and privilege to your beliefs and opinions, your right to defend Apple, as well as your right to express them. However, as a former employee I have seen the changes in Apple customer experience paradigm since Apple lost Steve Jobs and it is not the same Apple I knew before that catastrophic event, the Apple I loved, and had my unconditional respect for.

    Frankly, witnessing some of the changes I personally sometimes feel ashamed to tell people I once worked for them. What I have stated in previous messages in relation to this thread is the truth, true experiences, and what I have been told from reliable sources. It is you absolute right to challenge them and have different opinions. I respect and support that. However it comes across to me that no matter what the facts are from your perspective Apple can do no wrong. As such I see no purpose in challenging any of your opinions or beliefs with some of the facts that I have discovered in my research and connections. So this will be my last reply to this thread,.

  81. And you’re responding to whom?

  82. Everything you’ve mentioned (without evidence) has been disproven with evidence - yet you’re accusing everyone else of being unable to see opposing points of view.

  83. The soldering doesn’t really bother me because it makes the machines more reliable and faster. Would it be nice to upgrade later, yes, but knowing in advance I make appropriate purchasing decisions.

    I do exactly the same choosing cameras, cars and every other appliance. I can’t ‘upgrade’ the sensor in my camera, I can’t get GM to upgrade my engine, I can’t get a better panel in my TV or a more powerful motor in my power drill - I decide what I need and buy appropriately.

    No-one ‘has to buy a new machine’. If you want the latest gadgets and software then buy them. Why do people find it necessary to have the latest of everything. This is not Apple’s fault - it’s consumerism at its worst.

    And why on earth would you think an upgrade of a machine would be covered by Applecare or warranty? They’re protection against a failure - not a lifelong hardware upgrade plan.

    I’m not an apologist for Apple, there’s things they do I absolutely hate (cessation of Aperture top of my list), but the points you’re raising don’t register on my radar as problematic. You really sound like a bitter ex-employee.

  84. Alright, this discussion is no longer being constructive, so I’m shutting down the topic.

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