Tripp Mickle, reporting yesterday for The Wall Street Journal:
Apple Inc.’s close-knit industrial design team is undergoing its
most pronounced turnover in decades, marking a changing of the
guard for the famed group that has defined the tech giant’s
aesthetic and spearheaded the development of products including
Rico Zorkendorfer and Daniele De Iuliis, who together have more
than 35 years of experience at Apple, decided to leave the company
recently, people familiar with the departures said. Another member
of the team with a decade of experience, Julian Hönig, plans to
leave in the coming months, people familiar with his plans said.
I’m not sure I’d call it a “changing of the guard” but Apple’s ID team has been remarkably stable, and truly is close-knit.
Dieter Bohn, writing at The Verge:
Why is Samsung doing this? We’ve asked for comment, obviously, but
we suspect an answer may not be forthcoming. That leaves us with a
whole pile of possible reasons we can only speculate on.
On the charitable end of the interpretation scale is that Samsung
is definitely reworking the Fold, the design will change, and
Samsung doesn’t want to have a teardown out there for a device it
isn’t ever going to ship. Possibilities get successively less
charitable from there.
I don’t think that’s it. Who pulls a review? No one. It doesn’t matter — from iFixit’s perspective — if Samsung wants it pulled.
Perhaps the partner who provided the Fold
to iFixit wasn’t supposed to, and Samsung is just enforcing a
I think that last bit is close, but not quite right. The exact wording of iFixit’s explanation for pulling the teardown is worth parsing:
We were provided our Galaxy Fold unit by a trusted partner.
Samsung has requested, through that partner, that iFixit remove
its teardown. We are under no obligation to remove our analysis,
legal or otherwise. But out of respect for this partner, whom we
consider an ally in making devices more repairable, we are
choosing to withdraw our story until we can purchase a Galaxy Fold
My bet is that their “partner” is in hot water with Samsung over their having handed the Fold unit over to iFixit. iFixit knows pulling the teardown makes them look bad, like they’re caving in to a demand from Samsung, but they’re doing it anyway to protect or perhaps even as a favor to this “ally in making devices more repairable”, a description I suspect might mean “someone who has in the past and might again in the future get us early access to hardware through unofficial channels”.
I.e., iFixit is doing a favor for their source, not a favor for Samsung, even though they know some will see it as a favor for Samsung.
Alternatively, the really bad look for iFixit is that their “partner” is a marketing firm that is also a partner for Samsung, and getting pre-retail-availability to iFixit was originally part of the marketing rollout for the Fold and iFixit is really just going along with this so that they keep getting pre-retail-availability access to Samsung devices.
It’s a bit inside baseball but the whole thing is just weird, because, as I said at the top, reviews just don’t get pulled unless the review itself — not the product — is flawed.
Casey Johnston, writing at The Outline:
Fueled by equal parts irrational hope I knew I shouldn’t trust and
deep skepticism to which I should have listened, I bought the 2018
Sure enough, a couple months into owning this computer, the keys
started to act up. As before, problems would come and go; the E or
B key would be unresponsive for a day or so before whatever was
jamming them up mysteriously went away. The spacebar was the worst
offender. For a long while it doubled spaces from a single
keypress, but only sometimes. Finally, it seemed to get something
lodged under it big or annoying enough that it couldn’t shake
itself loose, and I had to pound it to get a space out of it; for
two days, my sentencescame outlikethis. I made a Genius Bar
These keyboards are the biggest mistake in Apple’s history.*
Even if they ship a truly new, reliable keyboard this summer (which I think they will, because if they don’t, it means they’re in deep denial of a huge problem), how long will it take for that new keyboard to roll out across the entire MacBook line? Even if Apple is on the case, hard at work on a new keyboard, there are likely to be brand-new MacBooks in the lineup with the unreliable butterfly keyboards for at least another year.
The real harm is to the long-term reputation of the entire MacBook brand.
* Or at least modern Apple history — post-NeXT-reunification. There’s no point comparing it to the Apple III or Lisa.