Welcome to our monthly Apple News Roundup. This column recaps the top 10 most significant Apple news announcements from each month, giving you a glance at all the headlines you need to know. This edition features the highlights from January 2023.
1. Apple Fitness+ unveils new offerings
On January 9, Apple Fitness+ introduced a new Kickboxing workout type, a brand-new sleep theme for meditation, an Artist Spotlight on Beyoncé, a new Time to Walk guest, and three new trainers. These offerings were released in an effort to improve overall health and well-being in the new year. “Whether people want to boost their cardio with the newest workout type, Kickboxing; move to Beyoncé’s latest hits; or wind down before bed with a meditation, there really is something for everyone to take care of their body and mind in the new year,” said Jay Blahnik, Apple’s vice president of Fitness Technologies.
2. Introducing Apple Business Connect
This new free tool will allow businesses of all sizes to customize how they view information across the Apple app. With Apple Business Connect, businesses will be able to claim location place cards and adjust the way information appears to Apple users across Apple Maps, Messages, Wallet, Siri, and more — thus improving customer engagement. They can add and update photos and logos, and encourage customers to order food or make a reservation, directly from Maps. Business owners can either use their existing Apple ID or create a new one to use the tool.
3. Apple Maps get a big update
Piggybacking on the previous headline, Apple Maps also received a substantial update in January. There are now new photos, buttons, and promotions available on the app on business pages — encouraging Apple Maps users to seek more than just directions. Furthermore, it’s being referred to as an example of competition between Apple Maps and Google Maps. The additional map information will also be used in Siri and other Apple software.
4. Apple unveils M2 Pro and M2 Max
On January 17, Apple unveiled M2 Pro and M2 Max — the next-generation chips needed for a powerful workflow. The chips supercharge the Macbook Pro and Mac mini and feature a more powerful CPU and GPU, up to 96GB of memory, and breakthrough power efficiency. Built on the capabilities of M2 Pro, the M2 Max is now the most powerful chip for a pro laptop. Both chips feature enhanced custom technologies, including a faster 16-core Neural Engine. M2 Pro increases the Mac mini’s performance and the capabilities of the combined chips are a game-changer for the MacBook Pro.
5. Apple unveils MacBook Pro featuring M2 Pro and M2 Max
Also unveiled on January 17, was the MacBook Pro featuring the aforementioned M2 Pro and M2 Max pro silicon chips. The new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro features up to 6x faster performance than the Intel-based MacBook Pro and the longest battery life ever in a Mac — up to 22 hours! The MacBook Pro supports Wi-Fi 6E,3 which is twice as fast as the previous generation, along with advanced HDMI supporting 8K displays. The new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro became available for order on January 24.
6. Apple introduces new HomePod
Apple’s new HomePod delivers incredible audio quality, enhanced Siri capabilities, and breakthrough intelligence. This 2nd generation of smart speaker delivers powerful acoustics in an iconic design. The improved listening experience includes support for Spatial Audio tracks, and users can now create smart home automations with Siri — such as hand-free notifications when a smoke alarm is detected. The new HomePod is currently available to order online and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning on February 3.
7. Apple stock tumbles
At the start of the new year, Apple stock dropped 4%, which knocked the company below $2 trillion in market capitalization for the first time since 2021. This put Apple stock one-third below the $3 trillion market cap it hit just one year ago. Supply chain issues in China have been cited as a cause, and it’s said that Apple is likely to ship no more than 224 million iPhones in 2023, which is down 7% from 2021. COVID-19 also played a large part in the supply disruptions in China, making it difficult for Apple to build all its devices without the necessary parts.
8. Apple commemorates Black History Month with new content, watch band
In celebration of Black History Month, Apple released a new Black Unity Collection and exclusive content honoring Black culture and community. This year’s Black Unity Collection includes a special-edition Apple Watch Black Unity Sports Loop, a new matching watch face, and iPhone wallpaper. In February, new activations will be available including a series of Apple Maps Guides created by the Smithsonian. Additionally, through its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI), Apple is expanding its support of five organizations focused on uplifting Black and Brown communities.
9. Apple unveils new education resources on Data Privacy Day
In celebration of Data Privacy Day on January 24, Apple unveiled new educational resources to help users take control of their data. In response to rising threats to the privacy and security of personal information, the company launched new Today at Apple sessions — designed to educate users on how to safeguard their data. Regardless of experience level, anyone can sign up for these sessions at their local Apple Store. Learn more at apple.com/today.
10. Apple CEO Tim Cook takes a pay cut
Apple CEO Tim Cook requested and will receive a 40% pay cut in 2023 to $49 million following a shareholder vote. 64% of shareholders approved of Cook’s compensation, which was down from 95% of shareholders who approved it during Apple’s 2020 fiscal year. The company also reduced the number of restricted stock units that Cook would receive should he retire before 2026. Cook’s base salary of $3 million and annual cash incentive of $6 million will remain unchanged.