By: Michael Carey
Welcome to Apple Apex. This weekly column will feature the biggest need-to-know stories for fans and users of all things Apple. Check back weekly for the latest news, rumors, and leaks on everything Apple.
Apple now globally powered by 100 percent renewable energy
Reaffirming their position on environmentally friendly manufacturing, Apple has officially announced that the company now operates on “100 percent clean energy.” This includes retail stores, offices, data centers, and co-located facilities in over 40 countries according to the press release.
Since 2014, all of Apple’s data centers have been powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Since 2011, all of Apple’s renewable energy projects have cut CO2 emissions by a whopping 54 percent from its facilities. In addition, nearly 2.1 million metric tons of CO2 emissions have been prevented from entering the atmosphere.
“We’re committed to leaving the world better than we found it. After years of hard work we’re proud to have reached this significant milestone,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward-looking sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends on it.”
Apple has a long-standing history, especially in recent years, of their promise to renewable energy projects including,
- Apple’s Headquarters in Cupertino is the largest LEED Platinum-certified office building in North America. The entire building is powered by 100 percent renewable energy from various sources, including a 17-megawatt rooftop solar installation and four megawatts of biogas fuel cells. The entire operation is controlled by a microgrid with battery storage.
- Apple’s recently announced plans to build a 400,00 square-foot data center in Iowa will run 100 percent renewable energy cleanly from day one. Also, Apple is currently constructing two new data centers in Denmark that will run on 100 percent renewable energy from day one.
- In Japan, Apple is partnering with local solar company Daini Denryoku to install over 300 rooftop solar systems that will generate 18,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy every year — enough to power more than 3,000 Japanese homes.
- In Singapore, where there is little land to construct on, Apple built its renewable energy on 800 rooftops.
Finally, Apple announced via press release that 23 of its suppliers are committed to the 100 percent renewable energy initiative, including nine new suppliers. Over 85 suppliers have registered for Apple’s Clean Energy Portal, which is an online platform that Apple developed to help suppliers identify renewable energy sources from around the world.
Break your iMac Pro? Apple can’t fix it
Imagine taking your $5,000 iMac Pro to the Apple Store. The motherboard is fried after rendering a 4K video on the powerhouse computer. You drop it off at your local Apple Store, get a call a few hours later saying its ready for pickup. You get there, and you are told by an Apple Genius that Apple cannot fix your $5,000 computer at all because there aren’t any spare parts ready for it. You’re probably scratching your head right now.
That is exactly what happened to YouTuber Linus Sebastian, who owns the popular Tech channel Linus Tech Tips.
The popular YouTuber somehow cracked his screen on his iMac Pro. When Linus dropped the computer off his local Apple Store, the statement from Apple said that Apple had denied the fix because.. they simply couldn’t fix it.
The problem isn’t that Apple didn’t want to fix it (or the fact that he opened the computer voided the warranty). The problem is that Apple legitimately cannot fix it – because there are no spare parts for the computer that are made yet.
When a new piece of technology is conceived, such as a smartphone, TV, smartwatch etc., companies have to mass produce the parts of the device for servicing the device. Due to the fact that the iMac Pro requires very specific parts that were specifically designed for the iMac Pro, the parts are nonexistent – causing headaches to a minority of iMac Pro users.
In addition, not any Apple employee can fix this either. Apple is implementing a new tier of employee – dubbed an “Apple Pro”. This was discovered after Sebastian tried to get a third-party to fix it for him. They can order other parts, but to approve the sale from a service center to Apple, the third-party must be “Apple Pro Certified”. This will be a small group of individuals who are capable of fixing “Pro” level devices such as the iMac Pro.
Apple has yet to comment on the matter. The video posted to his channel, which can be seen below, has generated nearly 2 million views, and plenty of hits on social media.
Apple Wins Patent for Foldable Display, Next-Gen AirPods case
As Apple begins to look towards the future, two brand new patents have surfaced, giving fans a glimpse at what might be coming soon.
In the first patent Apple obtained recently, it appears that Apple is working on a new device with a foldable display. Looking at figure 3, one might instantly think of a new laptop designed, which can certainly be possible. Back in March, Apple patented a brand new “iDevice” that actually ditches the physical keyboard altogether, for a dual-display design.
While nothing is confirmed in terms of the future of this patent, this will give Apple the freedom to test a new MacBook with two glass surfaces, potentially featuring two displays for visual experiences, or one display for a visual experience and a 13-inch touch screen for a trackpad and keyboard.
The second patent that Apple has been award is a new AirPods case. This highlight of this new patent is that the case will feature a wireless transmitter. With this new feature, a user will now be able to dock their AirPods case on a set of speakers via a connector (most likely Lightning), and use their iPhone to control what music will play. Essentially, your AirPods will be your key to listening to your music if you opt to dock something to charge it – freeing up the need to dock your iPhone to listen to your music.
It is slightly confusing that Apple is taking this approach. In a world of Bluetooth speakers and Apple’s push for a wireless future, the era of speakers that features docks is slowly drying up.
Another interesting part of this patent is the AirPods themselves. They share the same design as the current generation of AirPods, but the case is more square. While this may not mean anything at all, this could signal that Apple may keep the same AirPod design. Apple spent over 2 years scanning thousands of ear shapes with their R&D team to ensure that the AirPod design would fit most ears – thus the explanation for their odd shape.
A new generation of AirPods is expected to debut this year – Apple is allegedly working on a pair of AirPods that will feature water resistance, and “Hey Siri” intergration.
Thank you for checking out Apple Apex. Check back weekly for the latest news, rumors, and leaks on everything Apple.
Disclaimer – Michael Carey and WHIP Radio are in no way affiliated with Apple.
Michael is an award-winning radio host at WHIP Radio. He has been a staple host on WHIP’s Wake Up Call, and has recently occupied the role of Program Director for the station.