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Apple releases 16″ MacBook – with normal keyboard

In a surprise announcement, Apple has unveiled a new MacBook Pro that finally drops the problematic butterfly keyboard in favour of the more traditional scissor keyboard.

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Without an event, or even a big announcement, Apple has released a 16-inch MacBook Pro, that’s one inch larger than its predecessor.

The new MacBook Pro features the company’s largest Retina Display at 16 inches, the latest 8-core processors, up to 64GB of memory, next-generation graphics with up to 8GB of VRAM, and a new advanced thermal design.

Featuring a new Magic Keyboard with a redesigned scissor mechanism and 1mm travel for a more satisfying key feel, the 16-inch MacBook Pro delivers a better typing experience compared to previous models of Mac notebooks. The 16-inch MacBook Pro also includes a six-speaker sound system, longer battery life, Touch Bar, Touch ID, the Force Touch trackpad and the Apple T2 Security Chip.

Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac and iPad Product Marketing, says: “Our pro customers tell us they want their next MacBook Pro to have a larger display, blazing-fast performance, the biggest battery possible, the best notebook keyboard ever, awesome speakers and massive amounts of storage, and the 16-inch MacBook Pro delivers all of that and more. With its brilliant 16-inch Retina display, 8-core processors, next-gen pro graphics, even better thermal design, new Magic Keyboard, six-speaker sound system, 100Wh battery, up to 8TB of storage and 64GB of fast memory, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is the world’s best pro notebook.”

It features a brilliant 500 nit, P3 wide colour gamut retina display, with a resolution of 3072×1920 and a higher pixel density of 226 ppi, delivering nearly 6 million pixels. Each display is individually calibrated in the factory for accurate gamma, white point and primary colours.

A new Magic Keyboard with a refined scissor mechanism delivers 1mm of key travel, while an Apple-designed rubber dome stores more potential energy for a responsive key press. Incorporating extensive research and user studies focused on human factors and key design, it features a physical Escape key and an inverted-“T” arrangement for the arrow keys, along with Touch Bar and Touch ID.

It also uses new thermal architecture to enable the system to run at higher power for sustained periods of time. The sophisticated fan design features a larger impeller with extended blades, along with bigger vents, resulting in a 28 percent increase in airflow, while the heat sink is 35 percent larger, enabling significantly more heat dissipation than before. Together, these advancements in cooling capacity allow the notebook to sustain up to 12 more watts than the previous design, during intensive workloads.

For pros with massive asset libraries and large projects that need more storage in a notebook, the laptop doubles the SSD storage to 512GB and 1TB on standard configurations. And, for the first time, MacBook Pro can be configured with a staggering 8TB of storage — the largest SSD ever in a notebook.

The machine features the latest 6- and 8-core 9th-generation processors with Turbo Boost speeds up to 5.0 GHz, which deliver up to 2.1 times faster performance than the quad-core 15-inch MacBook Pro. Its powerful CPUs are combined with faster memory – up to 64GB for the first time.

The laptop also introduces a redesigned six-speaker, high-fidelity sound system designed to bring musicians, podcasters and video editors better audio quality. New Apple-patented force-cancelling woofers use dual opposed speaker drivers to reduce unwanted vibrations that distort sound. As a result, music sounds more clear and natural than ever before, and the bass can go half an octave deeper. An upgraded high-performance mic array delivers a 40% reduction in hiss and an improved signal-to-noise ratio that is claimed to rival that of popular professional-grade digital microphones.

To power all this performance, it features a 100Wh battery — the largest battery to feature in a Mac notebook, as well as the absolute maximum one can bring onboard an aeroplane in the US. It offers an additional hour of battery life of up to 11 hours of wireless web browsing or Apple TV video playback.

Starting at $2,399, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is available today through apple.com and the Apple Store app in the US. No local pricing or availability has been announced yet.

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Black Friday, Cyber Monday, shot the lights out

The numbers are in, and it shows that the start of holiday season shopping in South Africa saw spectacular growth

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday continues to be a hit in South Africa, with both days exceeding expectations.  

“Black Friday did not disappoint,” says Solly Bellingan, head of customer relations at BankservAfrica. “Despite the tougher economy, it seems South Africans took advantage of the days’ special deals with in-store and online transaction volumes reflecting strong year-on-year growth. Both days have certainly made their mark amongst local retailers and shoppers,

South Africans shopped up a storm with the total number of Black Friday transactions processed by BankservAfrica, in-store and online, at 7,077,117 (*) in 2019 – 36% up from 2018’s 5,204,594. This translates into a total spend of R6-billion, an impressive 106% increase on 2018’s R2.9-billion.

When compared to 2018, it seems bargain hunters decided to get the best deals early with a 33% year-on-year increase in sales at midnight. The 12-hour period between 06:00 and 18:00 proved to be busiest, with similar volumes being processed each hour. The highest number of transactions processed in a 60-minute period was between 10:00 and 11:00 at a volume of 595,792.

“3D-Secure, our online card authentication service, i.e. transactions that require a one-time pin(**), showed steady growth this year with a 32% year-on-year increase on Black Friday and transaction volumes  reaching a total of  534,828,” says Bellingan. The busiest shopping times were between 09:00 and 10:00 in 2019 compared to the earlier start in 2018 at 08:00 to 09:00

“The most expensive online transaction recorded on Black Friday was for a hospitality purchase of  R10,067,400 by an international company. The most uses by one card was 83. During peak, we processed  717 transactions while the average was 371 per minute for the day.”

Cyber Monday was less active than Black Friday with a 42% growth in online transactions that reached a volume of 249,908 in 2019 (up from 176,595 in 2018). However, in both years, most of the transactions took place between 10:00 and 11:00, with the most expensive being R1,997,800 and 151 uses by one card. The highest average transactions per minute was 322 at peak and 173 per minute for the day.

“This year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday data mirrors the global data of record-breaking sales – and the BankservAfrica featured figures are only a portion of the entire sales figures for both days,” says Bellingan. “It will be interesting to see if these manage to outpace festive season spend this year.”

Visit the next page for insights gathered through the PayGate payment gateway.

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Amazon records biggest ecommerce day ever

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Image from www.quotecatalog.com

Amazon has announced that Cyber Monday was once again the single biggest shopping day in the company’s history, based on the number of items ordered worldwide. Customers all around the world shopped at record levels across a wide selection, with hundreds of millions of products ordered worldwide between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, alone. Customers purchased millions more Amazon Devices compared to the same period last year in Amazon’s Stores globally and the best-selling items were Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote.

“We’re focused on making this holiday season more convenient than ever for our customers, especially given how short this holiday shopping season will be,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon. “We are thrilled that customers continue to come to Amazon in record numbers to discover what they need and want for the holidays. Thank you to our customers and employees all around the world for making this holiday shopping weekend the best yet.”

Holiday Weekend Highlights:

  • Customers worldwide purchased more toys this Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined than ever before. Among the tens of millions of toys purchased during this time period, best-sellers included LEGO Star Wars Darth Vader’s Castle, Monopoly Game: Disney Frozen 2 Edition and Hasbro games such as Jenga, Guess Who and Candy Land Kingdom of Sweet Adventures.
  • Cyber Monday was the single biggest shopping day for Amazon Fashion worldwide, with more items purchased than any other single day in the company’s history. Best-sellers included Carhartt Men’s Acrylic Watch Hat and Champion Men’s Powerblend Fleece Pullover Hoodie.
  • Amazon customers worldwide ordered more than 25 million home items on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, combined.
  • Best-sellers on Black Friday in the U.S. included Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, Instant Pot Duo80 – 8 Quart, 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service: Personal Genetic DNA Test, L.O.L. Surprise! Winter Disco Bigger Surprise and iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum.
  • Customers worldwide purchased more than four million beauty products this Cyber Monday compared to last year, with best-sellers including Oral-B Genius Pro 900 Electric Toothbrush, Lagunamoon Essential Oils Top 6 Gift Set and L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Makeup Lash Paradise Mascara.
  • Top-selling categories worldwide include Toys, Home, Fashion and Health and Personal Care.
  • The best-selling products in Amazon’s Stores on Cyber Monday in the U.S. included Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, Play-Doh Sweet Shoppe Cookie Creations, Keurig K-Cafe Coffee Maker and LEGO City Ambulance Helicopter 60179 Building Kit.
  • Independent third-party sellers in Amazon’s Stores — mostly small and medium-sized businesses – sold more items during Cyber Monday 2019 than any other 24-hour period in the company’s history.
  • For the third year in a row, Whole Foods Market broke its all-time record of turkeys sold during the Thanksgiving season.
  • Amazon delivered millions of grocery items to Prime members in the U.S. through the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Best sellers from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market delivery included Honeycrisp apples, lemons and avocados.
  • Top selling items at Amazon Books and Amazon 4-star stores over the holiday weekend included the Amazon Smart Plug, Echo Dot and All-New Echo Dot Smart Speaker with Clock, L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls, Wrecking Ball (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 14), and the Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera with Night Vision.

Record-Breaking Weekend for Devices

  • Shoppers purchased a record number of Amazon Devices globally this holiday weekend.
  • Amazon customers worldwide purchased millions more Amazon Devices, compared to the same period last year in Amazon’s Stores globally, including Echo devices, Fire TV devices, Kindle devices, and Fire tablets.
  • It was a record-breaking holiday shopping weekend for smart home devices in Amazon’s Stores globally with shoppers purchasing millions of smart home devices, including iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum, Furbo Dog Camera, and Wemo Mini Smart Plug.
  • The best-selling products in Amazon’s Stores globally were Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote.

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