What’s Up With Apple: New iPads in April, Patent Lawsuit, Green Energy

The rumored introduction of new Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) products on March 23 was just that, a rumor. The new rumor is that next month (date unspecified yet, but stay tuned), Apple will announce updated versions of the iPad Pro.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the new devices will be available in the same 11-inch and 12.9-inch formats of the current iPad Pro. Bloomberg also said the new iPads would include an updated processor “that is on par with the faster M1 chip” that Apple uses in its latest MacBook Air and Pro and Mac mini. The report cited people with knowledge of the matter.

AppleInsider, citing the Bloomberg report, calls the chip an A14X, a new version of Apple’s own A14 Bionic processor that provides the processing power of the iPhone 12 models.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is also rumored to include a mini-LED display. Mini-LED technology allows display makers to stuff even more pixels on a device’s backlighting assembly. The visual effect is brighter bright colors, darker darks and less haloing. The technology is said to be nearly as good as OLED but cheaper and with a longer life.

In a note to clients seen by MacRumors, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the new iPad Pro with the mini-LED display will go into mass production in “mid-to-late April.”

On Tuesday, a complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, alleging that Apple has infringed on four patents claimed by Future Link Systems, a non-practicing entity (NPE, or more commonly, a patent troll).

In the filing, Future Link detailed its communications with Apple, starting in April 2018 and apparently ending in March of 2019. The company also charges that Apple “had knowledge of or has been willfully blind to its infringement” of Future Link’s patents and seeks a permanent injunction against further “acts of infringement” against three of the patents and damages, costs and supplemental damages “without limitation.”

In 2017, Future Link sued Intel for $10 billion for infringing on the NPE’s patents. The case was eventually resolved in a confidential settlement, according to the report in AppleInsider. In December, Future Link filed a similar lawsuit against AMD, and on the same day the company filed suit against Apple, it also filed similar complaints against Broadcom and Qualcomm.

In a Wednesday press release, Apple announced the completion of several renewable energy projects that are part of the company’s $4.7 billion Green Bond initiative. Apple has released a plan to become carbon neutral across its entire business, supply chain and product life cycle by 2030. That means that by 2030, “every Apple device sold will have net zero climate impact.” So far the company has committed $2.8 billion of its total Green Bond spend.

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