Open banking startup Finverse wants to build the Asia-Pacific region’s Plaid

Based in Hong Kong, Finverse’s ambitious goal is to enable open banking throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The startup recently came out of stealth mode with $1.8 million in seed funding, and is now live in four markets (Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam) with connections to 30 banks. Founder and chief executive officer Stephane Lesaffre told TechCrunch that Finverse plans to launch in one new market per quarter, with the goal of covering about 75% of consumer and SMEs banks in each place.

Participants in Finverse’s seed round included Febe Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures, SixThirty, Venturra and angel investors.

Finverse is among a crop of fintechs developing APIs that allow easier sharing of financial data. The most prominent examples include Plaid in the United States and Tink and Truelayer in Europe (Finverse’s seed funding included angel investment from Truelayer employees).

Before starting Finverse in 2020, Lesaffre was senior product manager of financial data integrations at NerdWallet, working with account aggregation APIs like Plaid and legacy player Yodlee.

Plaid won the U.S. market because it was reliable and developer-friendly, Lesaffre said. It did not offer as much data coverage as Yodlee, but “what it did do is a very narrowly-focused set of data very well, and very easy to build. My ultimate learning from NerdWallet is that bad data is really worse than no data.”

Finverse wants to do the same thing for the Asia-Pacific region by building dependable APIs and data integrations. “At the core, we are a basically a consent-based data pipe where a consumer allows Finverse to connect to their account and share it with another fintech or financial institution,” said Lesaffre.

This can include information about accounts, balances, transaction histories and bank statements. Accessing this data gives financial institutions a sense of the consumer’s assets and liabilities, and can be used to perform things like income estimates, credit checks and gauge ability to repay.

Lesaffre said that Finverse’s early adopters are mostly fintech startups, including a mix of SME lending providers and buy now, pay later services.

Finverse’s APIs can be used for a wide range of use cases, but most of its current potential clients are focused on consumer or SME lending. Many of them want to transition from a heavily manual process that requires applicants to upload documents, to a digitized credit decision that can take as little as one minute.

Finverse is currently focused on banked consumers, or people who have traditional bank accounts and credit histories, but over time it also plans to add digital wallets, neobanks and other less traditional institutions. Future use cases include financial tracking as more people in Asia start using e-wallets, investment apps and online bank accounts.

“If you are a smaller digital bank, you know that a lot of your customers will have another primary account at a larger bank, so a lot of smaller banks are quite keen to be able to get a full perspective on their consumers,” said Lesaffre. “One way to do that is to let consumers track all their accounts in one place.”

Another use case for Finverse’s APIs is cross-border payments verification, compliance and KYC.

Other open banking startups focused on Southeast Asia include Brankas and Finantier. Lesaffre said Finverse’s approach is different because it is targeting the entire Asia-Pacific region, instead of focusing on specific markets. Its new funding will be used to grow its engineering and business development teams.

Apple's Craig Federighi to present keynote at Web Summit 2021 next week


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Apple SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi is scheduled to present a keynote presentation at this year’s Web Summit, which will be held in November in Lisbon, Portugal.

As noted by Portuguese website iFeed, Web Summit recently updated its website with more information about Federighi’s appearance, which was announced earlier in October.

According to the conference, the Apple software executive is slated to hold a 25-minute keynote session on privacy and product security on Nov. 3, the third night of proceedings. Federighi will speak at the summit’s main venue, Altice Arena.

Not much else is known about the keynote, though topics of discussion will likely include Apple’s various privacy initiatives such as App Tracking Transparency, App Store “nutrition labels” and on-device security.

Web Summit runs from Nov. 1 through Nov. 4, and features a number of influential speakers from the worlds of tech, media, entertainment, sports, commerce and beyond. Executives from companies like Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, Magic Leap, Microsoft, Reddit, SAP, Spotify and Shutterstock will speak on a variety of issues, with some joining journalists from The Atlantic, Axios, CNBC, Financial Times, Reuters, The Washington Post and others for a series of sit-down talks.

Frances Haugen, the former Facebook employee who leaked damning internal documents to the press and testified to government bodies about the social network’s allegedly nefarious business practices, will open the conference.

Web Summit regularly hosts members of the European Union’s European Commission and has in the past served as a stage for antitrust conversations. While no major announcements are expected, conference sessions could tip the antitrust watchdog’s hand. In 2019, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager hinted at an budding investigation into Apple Pay, an inquiry that has since evolved into a serious threat to the service’s future.

Next Apple Watch Activity Challenge honors Veterans Day


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Apple’s next Apple Watch Activity Challenge celebrates Veterans Day, with users of the wearable able to earn a limited edition award and animated stickers by completing a workout on Nov. 11.

Like past Veterans Day challenges, Apple Watch users can earn an American flag-inspired Activity award by participating in a workout of their choosing for at least 11 minutes on Thursday, Nov. 11.

In addition to the digital award, those who complete the challenge will receive an animated sticker pack for use in Messages, FaceTime and other apps.

“Earn this special award on November 11 by doing any workout for 11 minutes or more. Record your time with the Workout app or any app that adds workouts to Health,” Apple says, according to MacRumors.

Apple held its first Veterans Day Activity Challenge in 2017. The event sometimes accompanies the debut of curated content collections on Apple’s various online services or a corporate donation supporting veterans causes.

Last year, the company offered a four-month free trial of Apple Music to veterans of the U.S. military, National Guard and Reserve. The App Store also highlighted apps designed to help members of the military, while Apple TV and Apple Books published special content collections.

Twitter revenue largely unaffected by Apple privacy changes


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As the social media sector bemoans Apple’s recently enacted iOS privacy protections, Twitter on Tuesday said the changes that require users to opt in to ad tracking had a lower than expected impact on ad revenue.

Twitter reported third quarter earnings roughly in line with analyst forecasts, raking in revenue of $1.284 billion to fall just shy of Wall Street expectations, reports CNBC.

Revenue was up 37% on a year-over-year basis despite industry concerns that Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency feature will crater the mobile ad business. Twitter told investors that ATT”s impact on revenue was lower than anticipated, adding that effects will be “modest” in the fourth quarter.

ATT was enabled earlier this year with the release of iOS 14.5. The set of iOS system features restricts availability of ad targeting and metrics tools, and requires third-party apps to obtain permission from users before tracking them across apps and websites. Digital ads are not as valuable to advertisers without granular audience data gained from user tracking.

Twitter noted a sequential slowdown in ad revenue growth from the second quarter, but managed to pull in $1.14 billion during the period ending in September. That figure represents a 41% increase over last year’s results.

Digital ad brokers, businesses and online platforms have voiced concerns about ATT and some companies reliant on ad sales are feeling the pinch. Last week, shares of Snap plummeted on news that Apple’s privacy changes disrupted the social media firm’s business. The results dragged down stock prices of segment competitors, as investors looked to Snap as a bellweather for industry performance in a post-ATT world.

Facebook, the loudest critic of Apple’s privacy enhancements, on Monday posted strong earnings despite what it characterized as operating headwinds caused by the iOS feature addition.

How to root out shadow IT and maximize SaaS investments

Growing reliance on SaaS has opened the door to shadow IT: SaaS applications bought by individual employees without the knowledge or approval of their organization’s IT department.

While shadow IT can be an opportunity for innovation, if left unaddressed, it can lead to risks like duplicate subscriptions, wasted IT spend, a lack of compliance and greater risk of a data breach.

By leveraging SaaS management and taking some steps, businesses can more effectively manage shadow IT, gain a competitive edge, reduce unnecessary costs and empower a distributed workforce.

To avoid the negative consequences associated with shadow IT, you need to give IT teams visibility into your organization’s entire SaaS portfolio. Once IT has a line of sight into all applications in use and how they are used, they are positioned to optimize investments. Maximize your SaaS investments with these tips:

Implementing self-service SaaS at your organization is easier than you may think.

Discover all SaaS applications and spending

Some organizations take a spreadsheet-based approach to managing their SaaS applications. Others turn to web browser plugins, single sign-on tools and cloud access security brokers. But these discovery processes can be time-consuming and involve piecing together SaaS inventories from disparate sources, often resulting in records that are out of date before they’re even completed.

Even the most detailed, frequently updated spreadsheet is not always the most effective way to manage SaaS, especially when you consider that organizations manage over 650 SaaS applications on average, and they underestimate the number of SaaS applications within their ecosystem by two to three times. If you don’t know a SaaS application exists, how can you manage and budget for it?

To optimize your SaaS portfolio, you have to start with gaining complete visibility. Tools like SaaS management platforms with machine learning capabilities that detect SaaS purchases enable continuous discovery of software. These solutions can also integrate with your financial management systems to discover purchases.

It’s critical for this strategy to happen in real time so you have a picture of your tech ecosystem that’s always complete, accurate and up to date.

Optimize and rightsize licenses and features

Do you have as many active users as you accounted for or could you downgrade your plan? Perhaps an employee left, but their accounts were never deactivated. In practice, you may not need all the premium features or seats you’ve paid for, which means there could be opportunities to reduce your SaaS spend.

Zolve raises $40 million to help global citizens access financial services

Zolve, a neobanking startup that aims to help immigrants in the U.S. gain access to financial services, said on Wednesday it has raised $40 million in a new financing round as it begins to roll out its offerings.

Partners of DST Global led the Bangalore-headquartered startup’s Series A financing round. The round, which values the 10-month-old startup at $210 million and brings its all-time raise to $65 million, also saw participation from Tiger Global and Alkeon Capital and existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and Accel.

Tens of thousands of students and working professionals leave India for the U.S. each year to pursue higher education and for work. Even after spending months in a new country, they struggle to get a credit card from local banks, and end up paying a premium to access a range of other financial services.

Raghunandan G, a high-profile Indian entrepreneur who sold his previous startup to ride-hailing giant Ola, set out to solve this problem for Indians earlier this year.

Zolve rolled out its credit card to 2,000 customers (and amassed a waiting list that has surpassed 70,000) and immediately identified two insights, he said in an interview with TechCrunch.

Not only were the customers extensively using Zolve’s services, he said, but the startup had also organically attracted demands from individuals who had immigrated from other nations such as Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and Germany.

“Our basic value proposition is a credit card. Other than a credit card, you also get a local bank account and a debit card. We never expected our customers to deposit money to their bank accounts. And we thought even if someone deposits money, it would probably be a few hundred or thousand dollars. What we saw is that people are depositing tens of thousands of dollars and using this account as their primary bank account,” he said. “We are currently sitting on a deposit of $2 million.”

The logical result of this early traction is that Zolve now plans to expand its offerings to immigrants from several nations early next year, he said.

Zolve currently works with banks in the U.S. and India to provide consumers access to financial products seamlessly — without paying any premium or coughing up any security deposit. It underwrites the risks, which has enabled banks in foreign countries to extend their services to Zolve customers.

Working with banks in India has helped Zolve gain clarity on the individuals and do the underwriting. The startup now plans to replicate this model for customers from other nations.

Raghunandan said the startup was fortunate enough to identify and bring on-board the investors it wanted. He pointed out that many of the partners at DST Global are immigrants themselves and the three new investors have backed several startups that operate in similar spaces.

“Access to tailored and fair financial products has a direct and meaningful impact on people’s lives. We’re incredibly excited to have invested in Zolve, and to support Raghu’s vision of bringing world-class financial services products and experiences to immigrants in the US and other markets,” said Bejul Somaia, partner at Lightspeed, in a statement.

“The company’s rapid acceleration, especially around customer acquisition and usage, is a reflection of the team’s execution capability and significant unmet needs of Zolve’s target customer base. We’re excited for what the future holds and have high confidence in Zolve’s future success.”

Zolve also said it plans to aggressively expand its team. The startup’s headcount was just five earlier this year. It has since grown to 100, and now the startup is looking to hire 150 people across several roles.

Smart Eye’s latest acquisition points to consolidation among driver monitoring system suppliers

Smart Eye, a supplier of driver monitoring systems for automakers, has agreed to acquire human behavior software company iMotions for $46.6 million just five months after it snapped up emotion-detection software startup Affectiva.

Smart Eye, a publicly traded Swedish company, said Tuesday this is a cash-and-stock deal. Smart Eye will provide $23.2 million (200 million Swedish kroner) in shares and the remaining amount will be paid in cash. iMotions, which employs 63 people, will operate as a standalone company within the Smart Eye Group. The company’s structure and management team will remain in place, according to Smart Eye.

The acquisition is notable because it signals growing consolidation within the driver monitoring systems segment, a trend that Smart Eye CEO and founder Martin Krantz confirmed in comments to TechCrunch.

“We expect to see continued consolidation of DMS vendors due to increased demand for DMS and interior sensing, which is already ramping up amongst OEMs,” Krantz told TechCrunch in an email. “With regulatory requirements in Europe — that are sure to follow in other regions of the world — we believe that nearly all global OEMs will procure their first or second generation DMS during the next couple of years. By joining forces with Affectiva, and now with iMotions, we are perfectly positioned for this development.”

Attention on DMS has increased as automakers roll out so-called Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems. There are five levels of automation under standards created by SAE International. Level 2 means two primary functions — like adaptive cruise and lane keeping — are automated and still have a human driver in the loop at all times. Level 2 is not considered full self-driving. These are advanced driver assistance systems that require a human being to be engaged and ready to take over.

The DMS typically involves a camera that watches the driver to ensure they’re paying attention and not abusing or stretching the capabilities of the system. GM and Ford use DMS to allow for hands-free driving. For years, Tesla has not had a camera, or in the case of the Model 3 and Y, used it to monitor the attentiveness of drivers using its Autopilot system. Instead, Tesla has relied on a sensor to gauge whether the driver’s hands were on the wheel.

While Tesla now equips Model X and Model S vehicles produced in 2021 or later with a camera, the feature is currently only available for Model 3 and Y vehicles equipped with Tesla Vision. That has been a sore spot for safety advocates in the United States, who have called on Tesla to change the system design of Autopilot to ensure it not being misused.

Regulators in Europe have already weighed in on what vehicles must be equipped with, opening up an opportunity for Smart Eye and other competitors.

While Affectiva and iMotion are related, Smart Eye contends that they offer different and complementing capabilities that can be folded into its own AI-based eye-tracking technology. The two companies actually used to work together, according to Smart Eye.

Affectiva, which spun out of the MIT Media Lab in 2009, uses computer vision, speech analytics and software to study facial expressions and analyze human emotion and cognitive states. Meanwhile, iMotion developed a software layer that brings together data coming in from multiple sensors and provides analytics that can then be used to improve driver safety and the driving (or riding) experience.

Affectiva and iMotions’ tech could help its new parent company establish market share in “interior sensing,” in which software and hardware are combined to monitor the entire cabin of a vehicle and deliver services in response to the occupant’s emotional state.

Lawmakers confront TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube about eating disorder content

Representatives from TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security today to discuss how to protect kids online. This hearing follows Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen‘s document leaks to the Wall Street Journal, which — among many things — exposed Facebook’s knowledge that Instagram is toxic for teenage girls. According to Facebook’s own research, thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse.

But as the Senate tries to hold Facebook accountable for its influence on teen girls, lawmakers understand that this problem doesn’t begin and end with Mark Zuckerberg. Though the companies that testified today each have policies prohibiting content that promotes eating disorders, Senators cited evidence from constituents about teenagers on these platforms who have still suffered from illnesses like anorexia and bulimia.

“On YouTube, my office created an account as a teenager. We watched a few videos about extreme dieting and eating disorders. They were easy to find,” Senator Blumenthal (D-CT), the committee chair, said in his opening statement. He said that then, the account was fed related eating disorder content in its recommendations. “There’s no way out of this rabbit hole.”

Blumenthal’s staff also found troubling content on TikTok. The Wall Street Journal conducted an investigation like this into the platform, creating 31 bot accounts — registered as users — between the ages of 13 and 15. The publication reported that while content glorifying eating disorders is banned on TikTok, the accounts in its investigation were still served several such videos.

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) confronted Michael Beckerman, TikTok’s Head of Public Policy for the Americas, asking if TikTok has stopped promoting content that glorifies eating disorders, drugs, and violence to teens.

Beckerman noted that he doesn’t agree with the Wall Street Journal’s methodology for that experiment — the users were bots programmed to search for and linger on certain content — but affirmed that TikTok has made improvements to the way users can control the algorithm and see age-appropriate content on TikTok.

Beckerman said that content related to drugs violates community guidelines, and that 97% of content violating policies about minor safety is removed proactively. These numbers track with a recently released transparency report, outlining information about how content was removed on the platform between April and June 2021. Per the report, 97.6% of content violating minor safety policies were removed proactively before being reported by users, and 93.9% of those videos were removed at zero views. In the category of “suicide, self-harm and dangerous acts” — which is inclusive of content glorifying eating disorders — 94.2% were removed proactively, and 81.8% of videos had zero views.

Senator Klobuchar continued by asking Beckerman if TikTok has conducted any research about how the platform might push content promoting eating disorders to teens, and if Beckerman personally had asked for any internal studies on eating disorders before testifying. He said no to both questions, but reaffirmed that TikTok works with outside experts on these issues.

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) asked each company to outline the steps each company is taking to remove “content that promotes unhealthy body image and eating disorders and direct users to supportive resources instead.” In particular, Baldwin’s question was geared toward how these companies are focusing on these issues among younger users.

Beckerman reiterated that TikTok “aggressively” removes content that promotes eating disorders and works with outside organizations to support users who might need help. He may have been referring to TikTok’s recent expansion of its mental health resources. Right after Instagram was blasted for its harm to teen girls, TikTok rolled out a brief memo about the impact of eating disorders in its Safety Center, developed in collaboration with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). NEDA has a long track record of collaborating with social media platforms and worked with Pinterest to prohibit ads promoting weight loss this year.

Beckerman added that TikTok doesn’t allow ads that target people based on weight loss. The app updated its policies in September 2020 to ban ads for fasting apps and weight loss supplements, and increase restrictions on ads that promote a negative body image. This update came soon after Rolling Stone reported that TikTok was advertising fasting apps to teenage girls. Still, TikTok allows weight management product ads for users above the age of 18.

Snapchat’s Vice President of Global Public Policy Jennifer Stout answered Klobuchar’s question by saying that content promoting eating disorders violates community guidelines. Snapchat directs users who search terms like “anorexia” or “eating disorder” to expert resources that might be able to help them.

Per Snap’s ad policies, diet and weight loss ads aren’t banned, but certain content in that realm is. Ads can’t promote weight loss supplements, contain exaggerated or unrealistic claims, or show “before and after” pictures related to weight loss.

Leslie Miller, YouTube’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy, also said that YouTube prohibits content glorifying eating disorders. YouTube’s ad policy says that it allows ads for weight loss as long as the imagery isn’t disturbing.

But TikTok and YouTube’s representatives both pointed out how some users can find solace on social media, for instance, in a video about how someone overcame an eating disorder. This content can be uplifting and help teens know that they’re not alone in what they’re experiencing.

Miller claimed that when users search for eating disorder content, its algorithms “raise up” content that might offer positive support to someone who is struggling with an eating disorder. She said more than 90% of content that violates guidelines is spotted through technology, but human moderators contribute as well.

Toward the end of the hearing, Senator Blumenthal circled back to the points he made in his opening statement — his office made fake TikTok accounts for teenage girls, and was quickly able to find content that is supposedly banned from the platform.

“How do you explain to parents why TikTok is inundating their kids with these kinds of videos of suicide, self-injury, and eating disorders?” Senator Blumenthal asked.

“I can’t speak to what the examples were from your staff, but I can assure you that’s not the normal experience that teens or people that use TikTok would get,” Beckerman said.

Though the representatives from TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube used their ad policy and content moderation guidelines as evidence that their companies are moving in the right direction, Senators still seemed hesitant about how cooperative the platforms would be in passing legislation to make social media safer for children.

As the hearing closed, Senator Blumenthal observed that he wouldn’t be taking the day’s testimony at face value. “The time for platitudes and bromides is over,” Blumenthal said.

Hands on: Should you buy the Nike or standard aluminum Apple Watch Series 7


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If you’re pondering a new Apple Watch Series 7 purchase and are torn between the Nike and standard aluminum versions, check out this hands-on with a breakout of all the differences and our recommendation.

Here’s the important bit — there are no feature differences between the Nike and non-Nike models. You don’t get any additional sensors, one isn’t faster than the other, and neither comes with bonus accessories.

So what are the differences?

The differences in the two can be enough to decide which model you choose, but they aren’t transformative.

In the end, there are two reasons why you may want to buy the Nike model over the standard aluminum.

Buy the Nike version

All the Nike faces

There are five exclusive Nike faces

One reason is that the Nike version comes with exclusive watch faces that you don’t get on any other Apple Watch. There are now five exclusive faces that include Nike Analog Nike Compact, Nike Digital, Nike Hybrid, and the new Nike Bounce face. These faces are also available on previous Nike Apple Watch versions.

All Nike faces feature a Nike Swoosh somewhere on them which will act as a shortcut to the Nike Run Club app. These faces are sporty looking and can be appealing to many users.

Nike Bounce face

The new Nike Bounce face

The new Nike Bounce face is especially cool as it reacts to the movement of your wrist, the Digital Crown, or taps. Touch the time and it will bounce around your display.

The new Nike Sport Loop

The new Nike Sport Loop

Another pro for the Nike model is that it comes bundled with Nike watch bands. Many users love the perforated holes in the Nike Sport Band. They also tend to come in fun colors as well as black and gray.

If you want one of the Nike bands and don’t want to purchase it separately, you have to buy the Nike version of the Apple Watch.

Other minor and inconsequential differences includes special Nike packaging, a Nike logo on the back of the watch face, and a prompt during setup to pre-install the Nike Run Club app.

We recommend that almost anyone looking for an Apple Watch choose the Nike version because you get more value for your money with the additional watch faces.

Why you may not want the Nike version

That said, there are clear reasons why should not get the Nike version. Chiefly because the Nike version limits your options.

Aluminum Apple Watch Series 7 colors

Aluminum Apple Watch Series 7 colors

Nike is only available in Starlight or Midnight aluminum, so if you were hoping for (PRODUCT)Red, green, or blue aluminum, gold, silver, or graphite stainless steel, or either of the two titanium finishes you’ll be out of luck.

You also are limited in your band choices. If you already have a Nike band or just don’t love them, you don’t have another option. All of Apple’s bands work with the Nike model, but they cannot be bundled at the time of purchase; you’ll have to buy them separately on top of the Nike band that comes with the watch.

As Apple includes a portion of the band’s cost in the price of the Apple Watch, buying a new watch is often a good time to get one of Apple’s nicer band options. The Leather Link is one of our personal favorites. So if one of the other bands has caught your eye, you’ll need to look outside the Nike version.

It all comes down to what you’re looking for. If you planned on buying the Starlight or Midnight aluminum and don’t mind the Nike bands, you should get the Nike version. If you had your heart set on a different color or case material, your decision is already made.

Where to buy

The Apple Watch Series 7 is available for purchase from popular Apple resellers, with AT&T knocking $200 off at press time when you buy two Apple Watches.

16-inch MacBook Pro teardown reveals M1 Max, tweaked internals


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Teardowns of Apple’s new MacBook Pros have commenced, with one of the first showcasing the slightly tweaked internals of a 16-inch model with M1 Max chip.

Retired leaker L0vetodream received their 16-inch MacBook Pro in the mail on Tuesday and promptly began disassemble the laptop, sharing photos of the process in a Twitter thread along the way.

Entry into the 16-inch MacBook seems to be identical to other unibody models, with screws positioned around the perimeter of the rear lid offering easy access to the machine’s innards.

Removing the cover reveals a familiar internal component layout. Banks of batteries containing a total of six cells sit below the palm rests and trackpad, while a custom logic board resides beneath the keyboard and its “double anodized” black well.

The most apparent change is the logic board, which sports a massive central heat distribution plate for Apple’s M1 Max chip. A redesigned heat pipe arches down to pass directly over the center of the specialized Apple Silicon, wicking away heat for expulsion by redesigned fans that reportedly move 50% more air. Like past MacBook revisions, it appears that most of Apple’s fan engineering went into fin geometry and, perhaps, the motor, as both fan enclosures are nearly identical to parts used in the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Other items of interest include a relocated speaker system that is positioned closer to the user and extends the full length of the battery bank. Four force-cancelling woofers stacked in pairs take residence at the front corners of MacBook Pro, while tweeters are located toward the middle of the chassis.

MacBook Pro

Source: L0vetodream

L0vetodream goes further, extricating the logic board from its seat in the aluminum structure and prying off the heatsink to expose the large-die M1 Max. Thermal paste covers the system-on-chip and four modules of unified RAM.

Also on display are the vaunted HDMI port and SDXC card reader, both of which make a return to MacBook Pro after a five-year hiatus.

The preliminary teardown offers little commentary on Apple’s hardware and design, but at first glance the overall component arrangement appears to be largely in line with other modern MacBook models. Apple’s thicker chassis design likely enables better thermal performance and adds vertical space for peripheral connectivity options.

A more thorough deconstruction of both 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro variants is expected from repair specialist iFixit.