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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.
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:
- Interview with Huawei’s Richard Yu, Executive Director, CEO of the Consumer Business Group, revealing Huawei’s Android replacement was only ever planned for Chinese consumers (The Information). Yu also confirms Huawei cannot work with Microsoft and Windows.
- US apparently optimistic EU nations will block Huawei 5G rollout (AA).
- Details emerge on Huawei’s potential plans to go forward without Google (AA).
- Even without Android, Huawei could reshape the smartphone landscape (AA)
2. Apple’s new MacBooks: faster, not quite fixed?
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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