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1. Breaking: Huawei loses its ARM hardware

The BBC reports that ARM, a vital UK-based chip designer supplying hardware designs, “must suspend business with Huawei,” which is an unexpected and massive problem for the Chinese company now facing complete disruption to its production line.

  • BBC: “UK-based chip designer ARM has told staff it must suspend business with Huawei, according to internal documents obtained by the BBC.”
  • “a source at ARM said staff had not been told they could start working again with Huawei or its subsidiaries, even temporarily.”
  • “ARM is the foundation of Huawei’s smartphone chip designs, so this is an insurmountable obstacle for Huawei,” Geoff Blaber, from CCS Insight, told the BBC.
  • Huawei’s HiSilicon chip manufacturer makes advanced processors, but like Qualcomm, it relies on ARM ‘design blueprints’ for chips.
  • While ARM’s headquarters are in the UK, it is owned by Japanese firm Softback, and chip designs are heavily performed by US engineers.
  • We have reached out to ARM and Huawei to confirm, but hadn’t heard back by publishing time.

Honor 20:

Meanwhile, Huawei’s Honor sub-brand launched the Honor 20 series yesterday in London, an intriguing time to enter the spotlight given the swirling ban and subsequent temporary reprieve.

  • The new Honor 20 Pro reviewed well as an “everyday flagship”.
  • Its camera also received the same DxOMark ranking as the OnePlus 7 Pro
  • But, who’s buying? It looks a little bit dead on arrival.
  • Huawei is either going to run out of service from Google within 90-days, or launch its own ecosystem we now know is internally called “Project Z,” in a brave new world?
  • Remember the deadline: August 19th.

Android Authority had Executive Editor Kris Carlon at the London launch, and he shared key insights for DGiT Daily readers from the launch:

  • There’s no denying the recent Huawei trade ban hung heavily in the air at the Honor 20 series launch in London. As an event, it was decidedly low key, a generic stage presentation with no special guests, no fanfare, no food or drinks and no reason to stick around afterward.”
  • “On a functional level: yes, Honor launched a new product series. But compared to all but the most subdued launches in recent memory, it very much went off with a whimper rather than a bang.”

More on the crisis:

2. Apple’s new MacBooks: faster, not quite fixed?

An Apple MacBook Pro keyboard and touch bar

Apple’s MacBook Pro has been given a tune-up, with some under-the-hood spec updates and a potentially important keyboard fix on new models:

  • The 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro Touch Bar models now have Intel’s 9th-generation processors on board, bringing eight core CPUs to the table for the first time in a Mac, up from quad-core and six core editions in the past.
  • Apple is claiming a “40 percent more performance” from the tweaked MacBooks, which see their first update in roughly 10 months.
  • Perhaps more importantly, MacBook Pro keyboards are being tweaked to try and stem the disastrous issues facing existing MacBook Pro owners, as we’ve mentioned here many times in the past.
  • The fix from Apple is very vague, though – Apple says it is using a new material, but declined to offer further information.
  • Or as the Wall Street Journal’s Johanna Stern tweeted: “Apple is promising to fix the MacBook keyboard issues. Again. This time with a new “material.””
  • Or, as they say, fourth time’s a charm? Given it’s the same problematic butterfly keyboard mechanism, that’s not a given.
  • Note that the performance updates and keyboard fix are only for the new models with Touch Bar.
  • Apple also announced more MacBooks will be eligible for keyboard repairs, as it more widely and quietly acknowledges the frustrations being suffered by owners.
  • No price change, thankfully, and available right now from apple.com, while stores and resellers will take a little longer to see new stock – check before you buy!

3. Samsung is working on a 5x optical zoom camera, might debut in the Galaxy Note 10 (Android Authority).


4. Microsoft kicks off the rollout of the Windows 10 May Update 1903 – you can get it today (ZDNet). New ‘light’ theme, new options, and security updates.


5. Sony just laid out everything there is to know about the PS5 (Engadget).


6. ‘MissionRacer’: How Amazon turned the tedium of warehouse work into a game (WashPo). It’s optional, at least.


7. Apple tried to buy Tesla for more than it’s currently worth a few years ago, report says (Electrek).


8. Self-driving trucks begin mail delivery in a first-test for U.S. Postal Service (Reuters).


9. For F1/Indy500 fans, this is how badly things went for Fernando Alonso (AP).


10. SpaceX’s Starhopper moves closer to its first flight (The Verge).


11. “Aladdin” review: “Guy Ritchie’s Disney remake dazzles and surprises” – opens May 24 in the U.S. (CNET).


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