AppleCare+ Now Available For Mac With Accidental Damage Coverage

Apple today introduced AppleCare+ for Mac, an extended warranty plan that provides accidental damage coverage for a service fee.


AppleCare+ extends a Mac's warranty coverage to three years from its original purchase date, and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a service fee of $99 for screen damage or external enclosure damage, or $299 for other damage. Prices are based in U.S. dollars and vary elsewhere.

AppleCare+ for Mac also includes 24/7 priority access to Apple experts by chat or phone. It replaces the AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac, which was essentially the same as AppleCare+, but didn't include accidental damage coverage like Apple has long offered for devices like the iPhone and iPad.

AppleCare+ for Mac is available for the 12-inch MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac mini for between $99 and $379. The service fees are additional in the event of accidental damage. Prices are between equal and $30 higher than the old AppleCare Protection Plan sans accidental damage coverage.

AppleCare+ can be purchased alongside a new Mac, or customers can buy it online or in store within 60 days of purchasing a Mac.


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Concept Imagines What a Modular Mac Pro Might Look Like

Last week, Apple executives announced that the company is working on an updated Mac Pro that features a revamped modular design to accommodate regular component upgrades.

The launch of the new modular Mac Pro is at least a year away as development has just started, so we have no idea what the machine will look like when it's finished, but that hasn't stopped designers at CURVED/labs from dreaming up a conceptual design that includes a simple Mac mini-style box and a matching Apple-branded display.


The imagined Mac Pro features a design that's entirely upgradeable, with two slots for full-sized graphics cards, rotating housing sides, and easily accessible sections for the processor, RAM, and storage.


Holes on the top are designed to allow hot air to escape, and there are added features like a Touch ID power button, a Touch Bar for accessing information on included components, and USB-C, USB-A, and HDMI ports, along with a microphone and a headphone jack.


Accompanying the imagined Mac Pro is a revamped 27-inch Apple "Cinema Display" with ultra thin bezels, an iMac-style stand, and and USB-C ports at the back.


Again, this is in no way representative of what the finished Mac Pro might look like, but it does imagine features that are in line with what Apple executives have said about the Mac Pro so far. It's going to be a high-end high-throughput machine that will facilitate regular upgrades to meet the needs of Apple's pro user base. And given its modular nature, it will ship with an Apple-branded "pro" display.

Apple is in the process of "completely rethinking" the Mac Pro and execs say it will take "longer than this year" to finish. What that means is not entirely clear, but one rumor has suggested it might not launch until 2019. Apple has a dedicated team working on the machine, which will serve the company's "most demanding pro customers."

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Full Transcript of Mac Pro Interview With Craig Federighi and Phil Schiller Now Available

Earlier this week, several Apple executives, including marketing chief Phil Schiller, software head Craig Federighi, and hardware engineering VP John Ternus, invited several journalists to Apple's campus to discuss the future of the Mac Pro, among other topics.

The information that was shared in that interview has been well-covered in recent days, but TechCrunch today published the entire interview transcript, which is well worth reading for those who want a complete uninterrupted look at what Apple had to say on the topic of the Mac Pro and its professional customers.

Image via TechCrunch

During the interview, Schiller and Federighi apologized to professional users for the delays with the Mac Pro and unveiled work on a new modular Mac Pro that will address issues with the current machine, including upgradeability and support for single high-end GPUs.

The new Mac Pro, which will also come with a professional display, isn't going to come in 2017, so in the meantime, Apple has significantly dropped the prices on its older Mac Pro machines, all of which still contain hardware from 2013.

Other tidbits shared in the interview include Apple's plans for the iMac, what went wrong with the design of the current Mac Pro, news on the Mac mini, Apple's thoughts on the MacBook Pro Touch Bar, the importance of pro users, and more.

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‘Constant Negativity’ From Pro Users Led Apple to Develop Modular Mac Pro, Which May Not Ship Until 2019

Apple executives this week made an unusual and surprising announcement, detailing the company's work on an entirely revamped high-end modular Mac Pro that's set to be released sometime after 2017.

No specific information on a potential release date was shared, but OSnews' Thom Holwerda has shared some tidbits heard from "people and sources who know their stuff," giving a little insight into just when we might see the revamped Mac Pro and why Apple decided to renew its focus on professional users.

Ahead of Apple's announcement, Holwerda says the Mac Pro was in limbo, and Apple wasn't sure what was going to happen to the machine.

Apparently, the negative response to the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, which many complained was not oriented towards pro users, was a major factor. Apple saw a surge of orders for older MacBook Pros instead of the new model, and that, combined with the reaction to the LG 5K display and the "constant negativity" from professional users, led Apple to "double down on professional users."

The decision to move ahead with a modular Mac Pro replacement was made "in recent months" with development starting "only a few weeks ago," suggesting it's going to be a long wait.

Given a rough estimate of the length of time it normally takes to develop a project, it could be late 2018 or even 2019 before we see the machine.
The decision to go ahead and develop a modular Mac Pro replacement seems to have been made only in recent months, with development starting only a few weeks ago, which makes it clear why Apple said it won't ship this year. I have no idea how long it takes to develop a new computer like a Mac Pro, but I think we can expect the new Mac Pro late 2018 at the earliest, but most likely it won't be until early 2019 before it ships.
Aside from the Mac Pro, Holwerda also believes Apple is working on additional MacBook Pro models sans Touch Bar, and developing other features aimed at professionals, such as pairing the iPad Pro with a Mac so that it can be used as a Cintiq-style drawing tablet.

Apple hasn't shared a lot of detail on the new Mac Pro, but the promised modular design will allow professional users to keep it up to date with new hardware on a regular basis. Apple executives have said the machine will also be able to handle virtual reality software and high-end cinema editing, pointing towards support for higher-end single GPUs, and Apple also plans to ship the machine with an Apple-branded professional display.

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Apple Says Stock 8-Core Mac Pro Available to Resellers by End of April, Suggests Custom Configuring Until Then

Apple has informed its authorized resellers that the Mac Pro's new 8-core stock configuration will be available to order by the end of April. Until then, Apple said the model can be created by selecting the 6-core option and using the configure-to-order options to match the 8-core model's upgraded tech specs.


Packaging changes are likely the only reason why the 8-core model is currently unavailable as a stock configuration to resellers and customers, given that the base model customized with an 8-core processor and dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs for the same price currently ships in 1-3 business days on Apple.com.

Apple adjusted its Mac Pro configurations and pricing yesterday. The former 6-core model with dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs and 16GB of RAM for $3,999 is now the $2,999 base model, while the previously configure-to-order 8-core model with dual D700 GPUs and 16GB of RAM is now the high-end stock configuration for $3,999.

Apple listed the new Mac Pro configurations on its online store on Tuesday, but the 8-core model is currently unavailable for customers to order. Apple's website briefly said the 8-core model would be available in "30 business days," somewhat in line with the end of April, but that estimate was quickly removed.

Apple has discontinued the previous base model, equipped with a quad-core Xeon E5 processor, dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs, and 12GB of RAM.

The bigger news is that Apple said it is working on a "completely rethought" Mac Pro featuring a modular design. The all-new Mac Pro, which won't launch until at least next year, will be Apple's highest-end, highest-throughput system, and it will be accompanied by a new Apple-branded pro-focused external display.

Apple also said that it is working on new iMac models that will be unveiled later this year, but it remained tight-lipped about what to expect. It is rare for Apple to pre-announce future products in this manner, but it was a welcomed response to concerns that Apple was no longer focused on professional users.

Given that the current Mac Pro still has over three year old hardware, prospective buyers should weigh the price drop against the old tech before purchasing the computer. Some professionals might consider waiting for the completely redesigned and modular Mac Pro launching at some point after 2017.

(Thanks, Holden!)

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Mac Pro CPU and GPU Upgrades See Significant Price Drop

Apple today announced price drops for its Mac Pro lineup ahead of a major revamp coming in the future, dropping the 4-core option and significantly lowering the prices of its new baseline 6-core and 8-core machines.

Apple has also made Mac Pro build-to-order processor and GPU upgrades much more affordable for pro users who need higher-end specs than the base machines provide.


Upgrading the new 3.5GHz entry-level 6-core Mac Pro to the 3.0GHz 8-core processor now costs $800, while upgrading to the 2.7GHz 12-core machine costs $2,000. Prior to today, the 8-core upgrade was priced at $1,500, and the 12-core upgrade was priced at $3,000.

GPU upgrades are also more affordable. With the 6-core machine, upgrading from the stock dual AMD FirePro D500 to the FirePro D700 now costs $200, an upgrade that was previously priced at $600. The GPU upgrade isn't necessary on the new stock 8-core machine, as it ships with the D700s.

RAM and flash storage upgrade pricing has not changed, however. It continues to cost $400 to upgrade to 32GB RAM and $1,200 to upgrade to 64GB RAM. 512GB flash storage is available for $200, and the 1TB flash storage upgrade costs $600. Prices on flash storage were lowered back in October alongside the launch of the new MacBook Pro.

All in all, a maxed out Mac Pro machine with a 12-core processor, 64GB RAM, 1TB flash storage, and dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs will now cost $6,999 instead of $9,599.

The Mac Pro lineup has not gained any refreshed or updated hardware -- all that's changed is configuration and price. The machines continue to use Ivy Bridge E Xeon processors, dual AMD FirePro GPUs, and Thunderbolt 2.

Apple's reconfigured Mac Pros are available starting today from the online Apple Store and Apple retail stores. The 6-core model can be purchased immediately, but the 8-core model is listed as "currently unavailable."

Today's price drops come ahead of a promised overhauled Mac Pro that will be introduced sometime after this year. Apple is working on a high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro system that will facilitate regular upgrades to meet the needs of Apple's pro user base.

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New Mac Pro Lineup Now Available on Apple Store, But 8-Core Model Currently Unavailable Online

Following a surprise Mac Pro update today, Apple has now listed the "new" models on its online store. Essentially, this is just a pricing adjustment: the former $3,999 model is now the $2,999 base model, while the previously built-to-order 8-core model with dual D700 GPUs is now the high-end stock configuration.


The base model Mac Pro with a 3.5GHz 6-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs, and 16GB of RAM is available to purchase now for $2,999 online and at select Apple Stores in the United States, Canada, and select other countries. Online orders ship in as little as one business day.

The higher-end model with a 3.0GHz 8-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs, and 16GB of RAM is listed as "currently unavailable" online, with no purchase button yet. Just moments ago, the model was listed as available in "30 business days," but Apple has removed that timeframe.

Today's spec bumps have raised the entry-level Mac Pro to a 6-core processor with 16GB of RAM for $2,999, compared to the former base model with a quad-core processor and 12GB of RAM. Likewise, Apple used to sell a high-end 6-core Mac Pro for $3,999, but has today bumped that model to 8-cores for the same price.

There are no other hardware changes to either model, but upgrade pricing for built-to-order configurations is now cheaper. Upgrading from 6-core to 8-core or 12-core, for example, used to be $1500 or $3000 respectively, but it is now $800 or $2000 respectively. AMD FirePro graphics upgrades are likewise cheaper.

The news came today in a collection of announcements that Apple unveiled to journalists near its headquarters in Cupertino, including a confirmation of new pro-level iMac models coming later in 2017 and a promise that the Mac Mini is still "important."

Apple also announced that it is working on a "completely rethought" version of the Mac Pro, as well as a pro display that works with the system, but Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller admitted that "you won't see any of those products this year."

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Revamped Mac Pro to Address Current Model’s Shortcomings in VR and High-End Cinema Production

In the midst of a flood of reveals and announcements surrounding the Mac Pro and iMac, Apple today gave a hint as to what the upcoming Mac Pro will be able to accomplish for high-end, professional users. Although little information was given about the revamped Mac Pro, Phil Schiller described it as the "highest-end" desktop system the company has created yet, and that it will be "designed for our demanding pro customers."

TechCrunch asked Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, what the boost in the "pro" aspect of the Mac Pro will mean for the company's power users. In response, Federighi mentioned software capabilities in the virtual reality space, as well as tasks centered on high-end cinema production.

I ask who, exactly, the pro customers are that needed the more powerful GPU in a Mac Pro most.

“There’s certain scientific loads that are very GPU intensive and they want to throw the largest GPU at it that they can,” says Federighi. “There are heavy 3D graphics [applications] or graphics and compute mixed loads. Those can be in VR, those can be in certain kinds of high end cinema production tasks where most of the software out there that’s been written to target those doesn’t know how to balance itself well across multiple GPUs but can scale across a single large GPU.”
Virtual reality is a noticeable shortcoming of Apple's current Mac Pro line, as well as its iMac desktop computers. Although Federighi doesn't go into any more detail about how VR support might function on the Apple ecosystem -- including which headsets will be supported, and what software will take advantage of VR -- it's an interesting tidbit of information regarding the upcoming Mac Pro line launching sometime after this year.

In regards to virtual reality and augmented reality, in recent reports Apple has been more closely aligned with development on the latter technology, which doesn't require a cumbersome headset and can be used with technology already on modern smartphones, as it was in Pokémon Go. Still, specific hardware has been rumored to be in the pipeline by Apple, most recently including an Apple-branded pair of AR glasses that would connect to iPhones and "show images and other information in the wearer's field of vision," but they're predicted to be far from launch.

Apple has filed a collection of patents focused on virtual reality headsets that could in theory function with an all-new Mac Pro, but such filings have slowed down in recent years among Apple CEO Tim Cook's well-known preference for AR over VR. Over the past few months, Cook has referred to AR as everything from a "profound" piece of technology that could "amplify" human contact to an idea that could result in a paradigm shift as "huge" as smartphones.

Rumors currently suggest that Apple's AR glasses could launch in 2018, but any news regarding an Apple-branded VR headset have been quiet for over a year. As such, it's likely that the upcoming Mac Pro will support third-party VR headsets from companies already in the market.

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Apple Updates Mac Pro, Says All-New Model With New Pro Displays Coming Next Year

Apple today introduced spec-bumped versions of its current Mac Pro, including a $2,999 model with a 3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor and a $3,999 model with a 3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor.


Apple also confirmed that it is working on an all-new Mac Pro to be accompanied by new Apple-branded pro displays, both of which will launch next year. Apple also noted that new iMac models will launch later this year.

More information to follow…

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What to Expect From Apple in 2017: iPhone 8, 10-Inch iPad Pro, Refreshed iMacs, and More

With the launch of the iPhone 7 and MacBook Pro, 2016 has been a mixed year for Apple. The iPhone 7 was released without a headphone jack, an unpopular choice that's now been somewhat ameliorated by the launch of the AirPods, and the MacBook Pro has been plagued by battery issues, graphics problems, and complaints about the high price of the device.

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Apple also saw its first decline in iPhone sales in 2016, but 2017 could potentially turn things around for the company. We're expecting the biggest iPhone revision we've seen since the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launched in 2014, plus we're also expecting major iPad changes, refreshed desktop Macs, and software improvements.

iPhone 8 - September 2017


Rumors about the 2017 iPhone started ramping up before the iPhone 7 was even released, so there's a lot of information out there, and at this point, quite a bit of it conflicts, so it's difficult to get a clear picture of what Apple is planning for the iPhone's 10th anniversary.

If you read all of the rumors and suss out some common themes, there are a few concrete details that hint at what likely to see in the next-generation iPhone. We're assuming it's going to be called the "iPhone 8" due to design changes that are more radical than we'd expect for an "iPhone 7s," but it's entirely possible Apple will go with another name.

It looks like there's going to be at least three iPhone models, and one of those will have an OLED display. It's sounding like we're going to get one premium OLED iPhone somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 inches, with either a flexible curved display that wraps around the edges like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge or an edge-to-edge display more in line with the current design of the iPhone 7.
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