What's Up With Apple: New Digs for Online Store, BNPL Launch in Canada and More

On Tuesday, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) shut down the website for about an hour. When it came back, the top level menu included a tab for the company’s online store.

The Verge points out that the update “appears to be strictly a fresh coat of paint for Apple’s online store. And the pages for actually buying a product don’t appear to be different than they were before.” Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Apple is partnering with Affirm’s Canada-based PayBright to launch a buy now, pay later (BNPL) program in Canada. Bloomberg reports that the program is set to launch on August 11. For a limited time following the launch, the program will be interest-free.

Apple has a sort-of BNPL program in the United States for people with an Apple Card, and the company does offer monthly payments for iPhones in some countries. In mid-July, Bloomberg reported that Apple was working with Goldman Sachs on a BNPL program, dubbed Apple Pay Later, that would allow consumers to pay for a purchase made with any card over two months with no interest charge.

Apple reportedly has agreed to a deal with electronics manufacturing firm Luxshare to have the Chinese-based firm build up to 3% of the coming iPhone 13 (the moniker is a placeholder only). Apple is expected to build up to 95 million iPhones by the end of January 2022, and Luxshare could manufacture about 2.75 million of them. Foxconn and Pegatron, Apple’s two largest contract manufacturers, will build the vast majority of the new iPhones.

Nikkei Asia has a brief, but enlightening, discussion of several other China- and Hong Kong-based Apple suppliers. The publication notes:

Apple boasts the world’s most complex consumer electronics supply chain, churning out roughly 200 million iPhones, 20 million MacBooks and tens of millions of AirPods a year. The company’s notoriously high manufacturing standards mean that any company in its supply chain is seen as being among the best in its field.

The new online Apple Store has some new upgrades for power users. Apple has released three new AMD Radeon-powered graphics boards for the Intel-powered Mac Pro:

  • Radeon Pro W6800X MPX Module with 32GB of GDDR6 memory: $2,400
  • Radeon Pro W6800X Duo MPX Module with 64GB of GDDR6 memory: $4,600
  • Radeon Pro W6900X MPX Module with 32GB of GDDR6 memory: $5,600

The Mac Pro can accommodate two graphics cards, so you could double the prices if you really want the highest-performing Mac Pro.

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