Hashtag Trending March 9 – Apple’s new chip; Apple device’s repairability; another threat to chip production

Apple announced the new M1 Ultra chip, iPhones and MacBooks are hard to repair, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict threatens chip production.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Wednesday, March 9, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Apple announced a whole slew of new products yesterday. Among the roster are an updated iPad Air, iPhone SE and the new M1 Ultra chip. Apple claims that the M1 Ultra, which features a 20-core CPU and a 64-core GPU, is 2.5 times faster than its current 27-inch iMac. Better yet, it consumes just a fraction of the power. The M1 Ultra will make its debut when it ships with the new Mac Studio that, despite its performance, looks to be just a tad bigger than the Mac Mini. Apple promises Its innovative cooling system allows it to keep it cool and quiet even under the most intense loads. It doesn’t come cheap, however. The Mac Studio starts at $2499 without the new chip. To get the model with the M1 Ultra, the base price is $5000.

Here’s another piece of Apple news. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group has named Apple iPhones and MacBooks as some of the least repair-friendly devices on the market. The score combines data mandated by the French government and with help from iFixit, a repair guide website and a strong advocate for rights-to-repair. It takes into consideration how easy it is to source parts and guides for repairs, as well as how the manufacturer responds to right-to-repair legislation. According to Apple Insider, iPhones received just 2.75 out of 10 for ease of disassembly. The MacBook’s didn’t fare much better with a rating of 3.25 out of 10.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had wide-reaching implications on the global economy. Now, reports are arising that the conflict is adding to the semiconductor shortage. The issue lies in the supply of neon, a noble gas used in the chip production process. According to Ars Technica, Ukraine supplies about 50 per cent of the world’s neon gas. Russia’s invasion of the country increased its price by 600 per cent. Additionally, 40 per cent of krypton, another gas used in chip production, also comes from Ukraine, which also saw its price quadruple when the invasion started.

And now for something a bit different. According to a new report, Canadians are better at solving Wordle than Americans, using just 3.9 guesses per puzzle. Toronto was the city with the highest scores at 3.81 guesses, beating the next best city, Vancouver, by just 0.03 seconds. Overall, Canada ranks 17th in the world, just slightly ahead of the U.S. at 3.92 guesses. Sweden ranks the best in the world with an average of 3.71 guesses per second.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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