Five Unexpected Announcements from Apple’s Wonderlust Event

Do you have some reason to think they wouldn’t? It’s USB at the one end of any Lightning cable.

I once used a car that only had wireless CarPlay and it was very annoying. There’s a noticeable delay when pausing/play or skipping tracks. Far, far more irritating than having to plug in a cable!


Are cows raised and slaughtered for leather alone?

Or do dairy and meat cows that get slaughtered find their hides used for leather?

Seems like an important distinction to me because if it’s the latter giving up leather just means we throw away parts of an animal instead of putting them to good use.


They should. Apple has advertised charging from an iPhone 15. And that’s a regular Lightning charging cable you have there after all.

That’s true. However, the new iPhone 15 still only supports 7.5 W over standard Qi chargers. Barely more than the old tiny brick they used to sell with the iPhone. MagSafe will do more (15 W) but of course that’s a much more expensive charger. And I’m afraid it’s no better on the Pro models.

Interesting. I only used wireless CarPlay once — in a rental car on a vacation. But I loved it. I didn’t notice any significant delays. But what I really appreciated was the “instant connection” — I get in the car, turn it on and CarPlay is there ready-to-go. No need to take my phone out of my pocket, no need to fumble with a wired connection (assuming you have a cable in the car) or figure out where to place the phone. It becomes like the CarPlay interface is a built-in feature of the car itself. Definitely worth it for me.


I have MagSafe chargers…and I typically only need to charge my phone once a day (at night while I’m asleep)…so the charging speed has not been much of an issue for me.


That’s good to hear! Maybe it depends on the car and Bluetooth standards etc. mine was also a hire car, but can’t remember make or model.

Apple’s environmental impact video is getting trashed by the tech-polloi, but I found it several cuts above the company’s typically stiff rah-rah productions. And it even made me tear up a bit—hoping that it’s both true and influential.


The narrative from those opposed to leather is that raising of cattle in general is environmentally unfriendly.

Those that support leather have the narrative that uses your argument as one of its points.

One can make arguments and rebuttals for both sides. But I think that the discussion would have to go further than trying to assess the damage of bovine flatulence.

Any reduction in cattle use will help the environment, no matter whether it’s for meat, milk, or leather. Just FYI: up to 25% of US land is used for cattle (which is rather insane), according to this analysis by Bloomberg: Bloomberg - Are you a robot?

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Possibly, but that wasn’t what Simon asked.

He asked if cows are “slaughtered for leather alone” and obviously they aren’t, so he answered his own question already.

Hence my response: the less meat and milk you consume, the less leather there will be as well, and therefore less wristbands made out of it.

I was not being rhetorical. I simply don’t know.

Naively, I would have assumed that some cows are bred for quality leather and that perhaps their meat or dairy is of insufficient quality or amount to be of use. Stopping leather production would lead to those cows no longer being bred perhaps which could be of environmental benefit I would assume.

You’re avoiding the point. Not using leather won’t reduce cow consumption if the cows are being slaughtered anyway for meat consumption. Yes, not eating beef will do that but that’s not what Apple is trumpeting, which makes it rather seem like they are being performative rather than serious.

Personally, I think the best way for Apple to have a positive impact on the environment is to make existing devices work better for longer, sell less hardware (by volume), and batch incremental hardware upgrades. It has been frequently mentioned in these threads that (1) Apple should slow down the software release schedule and focus on quality assurance, and (2) most of the improvements are so incremental that performance comparisons are usually made against devices released a few years ago. Of course, that will most likely be undesirable financially, so there is not a high degree of alignment between financial and environmental interests.

Thankfully though, Apple devices are usually long-lasting. It has been almost two years since the M1 Pro/Max MacBook Pro was released, and I have no desire or need to upgrade mine - since it is so performant. Keeping the devices in use for longer is environmentally and financially sensible from the personal perspective.

While Apple labels FineWoven as being more environmentally friendly, I am wondering what the longer-term impact and unintended consequences are. If it is a mix of nylon and polyester, microplastics may be released into the environment. (My Apple Watch braided solo loop is beginning to shed after 18 months of daily wear.)

Nonetheless, I think not using leather on Apple products is sensible: (good) leather usually outlasts these products, and it is really wasteful to discard a perfectly functional accessory just because the parent device is obsolete. Meanwhile, I think it makes sense to use leather on longer-lasting products, such as shoes: the upper can be retained while soles are replaced as they wear out. I guess ultimately these are a matter of trade-offs.


True, but simply ending only one of those uses, when each individual animal is expected to fill more than one, simply results in wasted material with little environmental effect, because that animal still is being raised for the other uses. If you want to reduce the amount of leather used, you need to reduce the amount of beef consumed first, since that’s the primary use of the cattle used for leather.

That said, leather production does have its own environmental costs, but in general, its impact is dwarfed by cattle’s contributions to greenhouse gases. And you can make leather with greatly reduced environmental impact, but it costs more to do it, and most companies are more interested in maintaining their bottom lines than giving more than lip service to the environment.

Also bear in mind that cattle are not the only animals whose hides can be used to make leather. They’re the most common simply because we slaughter so many for food, but leather can come from animals with a much smaller environmental footprint.

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Keep in mind not all leather comes from cows. Kangaroo leather is the strongest leather by weight and we have 10s of millions of the buggers hopping around and they’re a considerable pest. They’re ‘controlled’ and the meat is sold for both human and pet consumption - the leather used for fine goods and things like whips. We have similar issues with feral goats and rabbits.

Sadly, the US Congress are talking about banning roo leather in the States. Whether they accept it via import is immaterial to the culling - it’s illogical to have the resource available and then refuse to use it. Ironically it will end up in land fill.

I’ll also add that research with seaweed supplements to negate the methane issue with cattle is ongoing. Then there’s the issue of alternatives to meat. Pasture will need to be turned into agricultural land and factories built to produce the ‘fake meat’ products.


Is it really necessary to try to find cynical back-handed reasons for every change that Apple makes?

Almost every article I read that describes what individuals can do most to reduce their effect on climate change mentions greatly reducing (not necessarily eliminating) beef and dairy from our diets, so I would think reducing the amount of leather we purchase new would also make some sense.

And if Apple decides that from a marketing point of view that they are noticing that their customers are starting to make environmental impact decisions when making purchases, and that making a decision to stop making and selling leather products (you cannot get a Series 9 Hermes band with leather from Apple, but Hermes is still selling them directly, with new watches as well), as somebody who is also making purchase decisions this way, I applaud their choice, whether it’s made genuinely or cynically (or a little bit of both.)

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I’m pretty sure it’s the latter…the no leather from Apple seems like a bunch of virtue signaling…just like the carbon neutral claims. I’m guessing that all of the watches and iPhones being ordered this week will ship completely by air…while they could use ships once the pipeline is full the ship time from China to Long Beach is weeks…it’s 6,000ish miles and container ships average 15 knots so 360 nautical miles or 410ish statute miles per day makes a transit time of about 2 weeks and there isn’t that much ti e between announcement and delivery.