The CultCast

This week: Samsung has been sending Apple foldable screens… is a folding iPhone on the horizon? Plus: Apple may have quietly fixed MacBook Pro’s ‘stage light’ flaw; Apple prepping products that will “blow you away”; and Tim Cook receives a brand new nick name from none other than Donald J. Trump, and his reaction is legendary.

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On the show this week

@erfon / @lewiswallace / @lkahney

Samsung sends foldable screen samples to Apple

  • Samsung was one of the first out of the gate with a folding smartphone. Now it is trying to entice its competitors, including Apple, to join the foldable future.
  • Samsung, which debuted the Galaxy Fold at its “Unpacked” event on Feb. 20, has reportedly sent some foldable display panel samples to Cupertino in hopes of attracting Apple as a client.
  • Plastic screens the the ones Samsung is producing won’t the only option forever. Corning is working on flexible glass panels that could be used in future phones.
  • There are currently two folding phones on the market, and the prices of both are reeediculous
  • The Galaxy Fold is currently the cheapest at $1,980. Huawei’s Mate X $2,600

Apple may have quietly fixed MacBook Pro’s ‘stage light’ flaw

  • Apple’s latest MacBook Pro lineup may be immune to the “stage light” flaw that iFixit claims all MacBook Pros made after 2016 are susceptible.
  • The “stage light” flaw, which others have dubbed “Flexgate,” is caused by the MacBook Pro’s delicate display cables wearing out over time. The cables wrap around the machine’s logic board and bend every time the lid is opened and closed.
  • When the cable starts to have issues, it creates a weird stage light effect on your MacBook’s screen, and the repair is $600 dollars.
  • Well it seems like the problem may have been quietly addressed in 2018 MBPs.
  • On 2018 models, iFixit is reporting that Apple has increased the length of the display cable so it doesn’t come into contact with the logic board.
  • HOPEFULLY, this resolves the issue. But we’ll know in the next 9 months as it seems the display cables start having issues right at the year mark. Right when your warranty expires.

Apple ‘rolling the dice’ on its upcoming products

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook is very upbeat about where his company is going. He told investors today that upcoming products will “blow you away.”
  • Cook also indicated that these aren’t going to be just more of the same. Apple is branching out.
  • Cook said he’d “never been more optimistic” about Apple’s future.
  • Ol’ TC also says they’ve made lowering the cost of the latest MacBook Air a goal.

Apple publishes its 13th annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Report

  • The report shows encouraging progress in making supply chain better for workers and the environment.
  • Apple has almost completely eradicated child labor bonded labor. Only one incidence of child labor was found. A 15-year old faked some ID to get a job. And there were only two cases of bonded labor affecting 287 employees. Bonded labor is where workers pay factories or recruiters to secure a job. Just six years ago Apple found tens of thousands of cases of bonded labor.
  • Apple really stated to crack down on bonded and child labor in 2013, when it axed a supplier for 74 underage labor violations. That year, Apple found about 170 cases of child labor at 11 facilities. Bonded labor was also a big problem: that year Apple made suppliers pay back more than $6.4 million to affected workers — which is equivalent to about 22,000 entry-level Foxconn employees.
  • The majority labor violations were related to working hours and paying of wages and benefits. But overtime is a tricky situation, because a lot of workers report that they want to work maximum overtime.
  • Improving labor practices has been a priority for Cook, and he seems to be delivering. Apple has got a lot of criticism for its offshore supply chain, which was rife with abuse, but this latest report shows that Apple is really making progress in reform — although, of course, this is all self-reported, so we have to take Apple's word for it. Plus, really big reforms like unionizing workers seem a long way away.
  • On the environmental front, Apple’s making big progress too. It announced that all of its final assembly plants for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, AirPods and HomePod are now certified Zero Waste to Landfill, which is pretty cool.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by more than 466,000 annualized metric tons — the equivalent of taking 100,000 cars off the road for one year.
  • 30 suppliers have made commitments to 100 percent renewable energy for Apple production — up from a handful earlier last year. This is a big deal. Apple’s already 100 percent green energy worldwide, but the supply chain, which accounts for 3/4 of its cartoon footprint is lagging. Apple’s committees to helping the supply chain also move to 100 percent green energy, and getting 30 more suppliers onboard is another big step.

The president just called the CEO of Apple ‘Tim Apple’

  • At an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board meeting today, the President Donald Trump pretty unmistakably called Tim Cook “Tim Apple.”
  • "We’re going to be opening up the labor forces because we have to. We have so many companies coming in,” Trump says. “People like Tim — you’re expanding all over and doing things that I really wanted you to do right from the beginning. I used to say, ‘Tim, you gotta start doing it here,’ and you really have you’ve really put a big investment in our country. We really appreciate it very much, Tim Apple."


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Category:general -- posted at: 12:20am PDT