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Home of the most recent episodes of The CultCast including links to topics discussed and coupons from our beloved sponsors.

294: Snag your free MacBook Pro!

Chris C.

Photo:  @YSR50

Photo:  @YSR50

On The Cult Cast:

  • Parts shortages force Apple to start handing out free MacBook Pros, and everyone on the internet wants a piece of the action.
  • You knew Jony Ive designed some of Apple’s most iconic products, but did you know he also helped craft one of Star Wars most nefarious light sabers?
  • Apple discontinues two of their most iconic products.
  • And stay tuned for all our favorite new stuff in another episode of What We’re Into!

This episode supported by:

  • Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of sink and bounce, and people everywhere love them. Learn why and get $50 towards any mattress at

  • CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at

  • Check out the Cult of Mac  Watch store for a curated selection of our favorite straps, all available for prices far less than you’d expect.

  • We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at a thanks for the great music you hear on today’s show.

On the show this week:

@erfon / @bst3r / @lewiswallace / @thecultcast

Come join us at the best subreddit you will read all week long!

Shortages force Apple to swap old MacBook Pros for new models

  • Apple has been forced to swap old MacBook Pros in need of repair with new models due to severe component shortages. It means some lucky customers are getting a free upgrade to the latest machines when in need of service under warranty.
  • A common fault with any laptop after regular use is that its battery loses its ability to charge. The cells can only withstand so many cycles before they no longer perform as intended. Fortunately, Apple will replace them for free under warranty.
  • MacRumors reports that the company is currently facing “a severe constraint of top case assemblies with integrated batteries” for 15-inch MacBook Pros released in mid 2012 and early 2013 — and this is expected to last until September.
  • As a result, Apple is said to have instructed its Genius Bar employees and Authorized Service Providers that they can temporarily swap affected notebooks for a newer, “functionally equivalent” model.
  • If your MacBook Pro is still covered by the one-year manufacturer warranty, or an extended AppleCare plan, the cost of a battery replacement (or upgrade were eligible) is completely free. If your warranty has expired, the fee is $199.
  • However, Apple has been waiving this fee for customers who are willing to wait for new batteries to arrive, rather than taking an upgrade for $199.

Apple No Longer Replacing Some MacBook Pros Needing Battery Service With Newer Models

  • Apple’s memo says, effective July 26, service inventory of top case assemblies with batteries is now available for new repairs.
  • For all new repair requests, Apple advises Genius Bar employees and Apple Authorized Service Providers to order the necessary inventory. Apple advises its service providers to inform customers that the inventory should arrive within 15 business days of the part order, corresponding with early August.
  • Apple employee on reddit: “From what I can tell, Apple are FURIOUS about the MacRumors article yesterday setting customer expectations. I’ve never seen them react to a situation internally like this”

Jony Ive talks earbuds inspired by stormtroopers, Apple Park

  • Jony Ive has revealed that the company’s iconic white earbuds were inspired by Star Wars stormtroopers.
  • Ive told The Wall Street Journal that he the “look of the original Stormtroopers in mind” when he created their look. Years later, the stormtroopers would be inspired by Apple.
  • In a 2015 interview with Vanity Fair, Star Wars: The Force Awakens costume designer Mark Kaplan revealed that he was inspired by Ive’s designs when creating the new stormtroopers of the First Order.
  • “With the Stormtroopers it was more of a simplification, almost like, ‘What would Apple do?’” he said.
  • Jony Ive also suggested the light saber hilt that ended up becoming a reality on Kylo Ren’s sword
  • Jony Ive once sat next to J. J. Abrams at a boozy dinner party in New York, and made what Abrams recalled as “very specific” suggestions about the design of lightsabres. Abrams told me that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” would reflect those thoughts, but he wouldn’t say how.
  • Ive argued that the lightsaber should look uneven. ”I thought it would be interesting if it were less precise, and just a little bit more spitty,” said Ive, adding that the new weapon could be “more analog and more primitive, and I think, in that way, somehow more ominous.”

Apple discontinues iPod nano and iPod shuffle

  • In a statement to The Verge, Apple confirmed both devices have been discontinued:
  • “Today, we are simplifying our iPod lineup with two models of iPod touch now with double the capacity starting at just $199 and we are discontinuing the iPod shuffle and iPod nano. The iPod touch is now available in 32GB and 128GB storage options, with the latter priced at $299.”
  • Aside from the capacity increases, both devices are identical to those that were on sale yesterday.

Steve Jobs introduces the iPod nano