Last week, Apple launched its latest MacBook Pro laptops. They are deluxe, powerful machines with innovations including the Touch Bar, where the top row of function keys is replaced by a touch-sensitive screen where different functions appear, changing as you change programs. The new models also have a fingerprint sensor built into the power button, to buy stuff online faster than you can say "impulse purchase". In this exclusive interview, Philip Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, told The Independent all about them. Schiller is a familiar face at Apple keynotes, mixing a dry sense of humour with bullish, on-message statements.
To say Samsung is experiencing a leadership crisis is an understatement. The company's chairman is incapacitated, the de facto leader is in prison and the conglomerate's powerful strategy group has been disbanded. The new appointees are Kim Ki-nam for components, Kim Hyun-suk for consumer electronics and Koh Dong-jin for the mobile division. In addition to a personnel shake-up, Samsung said it is looking to separate the roles of board chairman and CEO for the first time. Both roles were previously held by Kwon Oh-hyun, who is a co-CEO.
Apple is trying to introduce wireless charging into the next iPhone, according to reports. Rumours have long swirled around the iPhone 8 – even before the iPhone 7 was released this year. Reports have suggested that Apple is planning a major redesign for the new handset, which will mark the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, which might include an entirely glass body and a screen that takes up all of the front of the phone. And new reports suggest that Apple is currently exploring the possibility of adding wireless charging modules to the next phone, too. That would mean that it would just need to be set down on a special surface to charge it – in keeping with Apple's commitment to keep moving towards a wireless future, which it stressed when it dropped the headphone jack from the iPhone.
There's not much that hasn't changed in Apple's Macs over the last 20 years. But one thing has stayed: the distinctive chime that plays when you turn them on. But the new MacBook Pro, released last week, will no longer make that sound. And it appears to suggest that the noise – which arrived with the iMac G3 in the late 90s – is on its way out. The new computer doesn't make any sound at all when it's turned on.
The new MacBook Pro was always going to be expensive. But it is very expensive indeed in the UK, after the prices were shifted because of the falling pound. The computers are as much as £500 more expensive than previous models, because of a combination of the currency changes and the upgrades introduced by Apple. Buying the cheapest version of the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar that was released yesterday will cost customers £1,749. Customers can spend as much as £2,699 on stock models of the computer, if they buy the 15-inch version.