April 24, 2024

The iPhone 15 gets USB-C, a redesigned Cybertruck surfaces and California considers banning AV trucks

Hey, friendly people, and welcome to Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s regular newsletter that aggregates the top tech news over the past few days. It’s our humble opinion that there’s no better place to get caught up on the industry’s happenings, whether you’re a news junkie or simply among the tech-curious.

In this edition of WiR, we cover Apple’s iPhone and other related announcements, the MGM hack and Tesla’s Cybertruck reemerging with an updated interior. Also on the agenda is payment processor Square facing an outage, California considering a ban on autonomous trucks and the tumultuous canning of supply chain startup Flexport’s CEO, former Amazon consumer chief Dave Clark.

If you haven’t already, sign up here to get WiR in your inbox every Saturday. Now, on to the news!

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Apple unveils the iPhone 15: Apple had a jam-packed press conference on Tuesday, and among the highlights were two new iPhones: the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro. Both feature USB-C connectors, a move spurred in part by EU legislation. There are other new features, too, including a titanium body (on the Pro) and a haptic “action button” that replaces the mute switch on previous-gen iPhones.

Expanded iCloud storage plans: In other Apple news, the company announced during Tuesday’s presser that it’s adding 6 TB and 12 TB storage options to iCloud+, its cloud storage subscription. (Pricing wasn’t announced, unfortunately.) Amanda notes that, while the average consumer won’t need that much space, the new plans could be useful for photographers and filmmakers, who are set to get big camera upgrades with the iPhone 15.

USB 3 speeds on iPhone, with a catch: A major benefit of the iPhone 15 Pro is USB 3 speeds — file transfers up to 10 gigabits per second. But as Ivan reports, owners won’t get those out of the box. Apple’s shipping a USB 2.0 cable with a type-C port; users will have to use “an optional USB 3” cable to unlock the higher data speeds. But hey, at least the iPhone 15 Pro’s new “spatial video” mode won’t require any aftermarket accessories.

MGM’s big data breach: It’s been a bad week for casinos. Following reports that Caesars paid millions in ransom to a cybercrime group, hotel and casino giant MGM Resorts has confirmed a “cybersecurity issue” is to blame for an ongoing outage affecting systems at the company’s Las Vegas properties. According to reports on social media, the incident has led to outages impacting ATM cash dispensers and slot machines at MGM’s Las Vegas casinos, and forced hotel restaurants to accept cash-only payments.

Cybertruck gets a redesign: Tesla’s Cybertruck — the subject of frequent delays — has been spotted in the wild with an updated interior. New photos shared by Tesla watchers The Kilowatts depict a Cybertruck with what appears to be a different wheel and center console than what we saw back in May. But as Harri writes, it’s not clear whether this particular vehicle reflects how the Cybertruck will look once Tesla finally gets around to delivering them en masse.

Flexport strikes back: Two days after former Amazon executive Dave Clark’s abrupt departure as CEO of Flexport, Ryan Petersen, Flexport’s founder, said publicly that the company will rescind dozens of job offers and look to lease out office space as Flexport attempts to get costs under control and get “its house in order.”

California considers banning self-driving trucks: In a blow to the autonomous trucking industry, the California Senate passed a bill, AB 316, on Monday that requires a trained human safety operator to be present any time a self-driving, heavy-duty vehicle operates on public roads in the state — effectively banning fully autonomous trucks. Of course, AB 316 still needs to be signed by Governor Gavin Newsom before it becomes law, which isn’t a sure thing given Newsom’s reputation for being friendly to the tech industry.

Square outage resolved: If you didn’t catch it last week, Square restored its services after a daylong outage left small business owners unable to process payments. The Block-owned company had, up until last Friday morning on the U.S. West Coast, been battling a prolonged outage that had downed its services since the afternoon the day prior.

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Need a podcast to while away the hours, whether it’s commuting from work or kicking back after a long and stressful workweek? Not to worry — we’ll hook up you.

Equity brought TechCrunch+ senior climate reporter Tim De Chant on the show to talk climate tech, hardware breakthroughs and why we have a whole stage this year at Disrupt, TechCrunch’s flagship conference, focused on sustainability.

On this week’s episode of Found, meanwhile, the crew interviewed Jaleh Bisharat, the co-founder and CEO of NakedPoppy, an e-commerce site that helps people find the makeup shades best suited to them and offers a marketplace of “clean” natural beauty products. Bisharat talked about her personal journey toward launching the company after a long career working in marketing for companies such as Amazon and Eventbrite.

And Chain Reaction recapped a panel that Jacquelyn moderated live at the Avalanche House event that took place in Seoul, South Korea, during Korea Blockchain Week. The panel focused on the biggest opportunities and challenges facing web3 enterprise, featuring speakers like Dan Sun, the startup success manager for web3 APAC lead at Google Cloud, and Gagan Mac, the head of product and senior director of web3 services at Circle.

TechCrunch+

TC+ subscribers get access to in-depth commentary, analysis and surveys — which you know if you’re already a subscriber. If you’re not, consider signing up. Here are a few highlights from this week:

Antitrust and generative AI: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is making the case for aggressive antitrust enforcement. How could this affect the market for generative AI? Two guest contributors from Perkins Cole, the international law firm, investigate.

Instacart’s sky-high valuation: Alex writes about Instacart’s IPO, noting that the startup could sell as much as $616 million of its stock — a total of 22 million shares. With a debut stock price at between $26 and $28 per share, Instacart will be close to “decacorn” status.

Fintech’s reckoning: Some fintech companies are weathering the macroeconomic storm better than others and seeing an end in sight. In particular, startups using AI to fight money laundering and fraud seem to be enjoying tailwinds, Anna reports.

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