Apple prepares to unveil new iPad Pro, iMac and AirTags - live updates

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Hannah Boland
·15 min read
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Apple CEO Tim Cook poses for a selfie with journalist Britta Weddeling during a launch event in California in 2018 - AFP/NOAH BERGER 
Apple CEO Tim Cook poses for a selfie with journalist Britta Weddeling during a launch event in California in 2018 - AFP/NOAH BERGER

Apple is set to unveil new 5G iPad Pros, iMacs and AirTags in the company's first launch event this year.

The 6pm launch, which can be accessed via the Apple website, is expected to reveal the latest iPad Pros with faster processors, a mini LED screen and optional 5G.

Apple's long-rumoured tiny "Airtags", which promise to locate lost items such as keys or wallets, could also be unveiled. AirTags will work by using built-in chips that communicate their location to an iPhone.

Alongside new hardware, Apple is also expected to unveil a podcast subscription service.

Apple has benefited from a wide-sweeping boost in electronics during the pandemic. Ipad sales rose 41pc in the last quarter of 2020 to $8.4bn. Apple shares have risen nearly 95pc over the last year.

Follow below for the latest updates:

01:48 PM

Facebook expects data scraping to continue, according to leaked email

Facebook expects more data scraping to take place on its platform, according to an internal memo that appears to have been sent by mistake to a Belgian journalist.

Pieterjan Van Leemputten, who works at the website Data News, received the internal "Comms update" in response to his email asking about the recent data breach which affected 530m people around the world, including 11m Britons.

The memo says more scraping is expected to take place and the company believes interest in the issue is trailing off.

The email read: "Assuming press volume continues to decline, we're not planning additional statements on this issue. Longer term, though, we expect more scraping incidents and think it's important to both frame this as a broad industry issue and normalize the fact that this activity happens regularly."

When asked about the email, a Facebook spokesperson said the company devotes "substantial resources" to combat data scraping.

“We are committed to continuing to educate users about data scraping. We understand people's concerns, which is why we continue to strengthen our systems to make scraping from Facebook without our permission more difficult and go after the people behind it."

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12:40 PM

Dogecoin market value almost equal to Twitter

The recent rally of cryptocurrency Dogecoin has pushed the total value of all circulating Dogecoins to around $50 billion (£35.8bn), according to data analysis group CoinMarketCap.com.

That number makes the market value of the coin, which was originally started as a joke, bigger than the market cap of Ford and almost nearly equal to Twitter, where investors including Elon Musk have spurred its rise.

Social media analysis by Cyabra found Elon Musk Tweets were able to spark a huge increase in interest for the cryptocurrency.

The company said: "A day before Musk’s [April 1st] tweet, there were several hundred profiles engaged with $Doge, the day after engagement soared over 16,000pc, with over 55K profiles joining in."

12:26 PM

Amazon opens first hair salon in London

Amazon is expanding its portfolio of physical UK stores, opening its first hair salon in east London just weeks after opening its first UK grocery stores.

My colleague, Laura Onita, reports:

"The online retail giant's Amazon Salon is a two-floor, 1,500 sq ft site in Spitalfields in east London. It says it will use technology and augmented reality to assist with haircuts and styling.

Customers will be able to experiment with different virtual hair colours, enjoy entertainment on tablets at each styling station and take photos of their new look in a dedicated area. The services will be provided by Elena Lavagni, owner of Neville Hair & Beauty, an independent salon.

It will initially be available only to Amazon employees before opening to the general public in the coming weeks."

Read the full story here.

12:12 PM

Apple to unveil podcast subscription service, new iPad at launch event

Apple CEO Tim Cook - BROOKS KRAFT/APPLE INC HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock /Shutterstock
Apple CEO Tim Cook - BROOKS KRAFT/APPLE INC HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock /Shutterstock

Apple is expected to unveil a podcast subscription service as well as tiny tags designed to locate lost items at a launch event scheduled for 6pm UK time.

The event, which is Apple's first product launch of the year, is also expected to feature new iPads and Mac laptops. The new 5G iPad Pros are expected to be the centrepiece of the new hardware unveils.

Apple has benefited from a wide-sweeping boost in electronics during the pandemic. Ipad sales rose 41pc in the last quarter of 2020 to $8.4bn. Apple shares have risen nearly 95pc over the last year.

11:21 AM

Facebook-backed Diem plans digital currency pilot for later this year

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies in front of a projection of a "Zuck Buck" at a House Financial Services Committee hearing examining the company's plan to launch a digital currency - Erin Scott /Reuters
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies in front of a projection of a "Zuck Buck" at a House Financial Services Committee hearing examining the company's plan to launch a digital currency - Erin Scott /Reuters

The Swiss nonprofit overseeing the development of Facebook's digital currency project is aiming to launch a pilot this year, according to a report by CNBC.

The Diem Association is reportedly planning a small pilot which will focus on transactions between individuals. Later, there may also be an option to use the digital currency to make online purchases.

There is however no confirmed date for the launch and timing could change.

Privately-run digital currencies have sparked concern among central banks, fearing such projects could fundamentally change people's relationship with money and threaten stability.

Due to Facebook's reach - the company has 2.8bn active monthly users - the Diem project has come under intense scrutiny, causing the project to lose major backers such as Visa and Mastercard and also water down its ambitions in an effort to placate regulators.

In 2019, Facebook originally pitched the project, formerly known as Libra, as an alternative monetary system that would make it easier for digital payments to cross borders.

The latest design however would mean Facebook's digital currency is backed one-to-one by a government-backed currency, making the project more similar to existing digital payments services such as PayPal.

Facebook is not alone in its experiments with digital currencies. Earlier this year, the Telegraph reported that Amazon was also recruiting people to work on its own 'digital currency' project.

10:52 AM

Ron Kalifa warns of complacency in UK fintech

Ron Kalifa, the author of the Treasury-commissioned review into the UK’s financial technology sector, has warned that the country cannot become complacent with its progress, writes James Cook.

Speaking at the UK FinTech Week conference, Mr Kalifa said the UK “scores very highly” for financial technology progress “simply because of the success that we’ve had but also because of the opportunity.”

However, he warned that “we can’t be complacent” and warned of threats including Brexit, the coronavirus pandemic and rising global competition.

“For me, the prizes are there if we get into a position where we have our approach set up properly,” he added.

Mr Kalifa, the former head of payments processor Worldpay, also said that fintech should not be considered as a purely London sector despite two thirds of the country’s fintech start-ups being headquartered in the city.

“Fintech isn’t about London,” he said, “it’s about the national opportunity that’s there. I don’t think you should think about fintech as a London-centric activity.”

10:22 AM

ICYMI: Elon Musk denies Autopilot was activated in fatal Tesla crash with 'no one driving'

Overnight, Elon Musk claimed that Autopilot was not enabled in a Tesla car involved in a fatal accident in which "no one" appeared to be driving.

Two men had been killed after they crashed into a tree in a Tesla electric car on Saturday in Austin, Texas.

Replying to a Twitter thread on the accident, Musk said: “Data logs recovered so far show Autopilot was not enabled and this car did not purchase FSD [full self driving].

“Moreover, standard Autopilot would require lane lines to turn on, which this street did not have.”

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Local police in Texas said the car, a 2019 Model S, had been travelling at high speed and had failed to navigate a turn.

Harris County precinct constable Mark Herman said authorities were "very confident just with the positioning of the bodies after the impact that there was no one driving that vehicle". One victim had been found in the front passenger seat and the other in the back of the vehicle.

09:33 AM

100ft phone masts could be built in national parks and beauty spots

One hundred foot phone masts are to be given the green light across Britain as the Government unveils plans to relax restrictions in national parks and beauty spots, writes Mike Wright.

Mobile companies will be allowed to erect new masts of up to 30 metres (98ft) in most areas and up to 25 metres (82ft) high in protected areas under new rules to boost 4G and 5G mobile signal coverage in rural communities.

The new limits are five metres (16ft) taller than can currently be built but shorter than the 50 metres (164ft) wanted by mobile companies, which would have allowed them to erect masts the size of Nelson’s Column.

Under the new rules, operators will also be allowed to put up smaller ‘monopole’ masts of up to 15 metres (49ft) by only notifying local councils rather than applying for full planning permission.

Writing exclusively for The Telegraph, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the new taller structures would allow telecoms companies to extend mobile coverage "by miles" while needing to install fewer new masts.

09:02 AM

Investors brace for 'tough Covid comps' in Netflix results

Netflix is reporting its first quarter results later today, having previously said it expected to post $7.1bn in revenue for the period, and say that it added 6 million new subscribers.

Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne said investors were “bracing for the ultimate in tough Covid comps" ahead of the results.

However, he said there were things which could drive earnings higher, including “a long runway for member growth" and the ability to raise prices.

Earlier this year, UK users saw their packages go up by £2 per month after the streaming site said it needed to offset the its huge investment into new TV shows and films.

Those opting for Netflix's standard monthly package saw a £1 monthly price increase from £8.99 to £9.99, whilst those choosing its premium plan, where they can watch content from four devices and stream in Ultra HD (4K), started paying £13.99 every month, compared to £11.99 previously.

Netflix said it the rise reflected the "significant investments we've made in new TV shows and films, as well as improvements to our product".

08:29 AM

Britons behind world's most accurate rapid Covid test raise $50m

A British start-up behind what looks set to be the world's most accurate rapid Covid-19 test has raised $50m (£35.7m) in fresh cash as it prepares to help cope with a third wave of the virus.

As the Telegraph reports exclusively this morning:

Cambridge-based Sense Biodetection said it had raised the cash to accelerate the launch of its tests, which is expected to come before the autumn.

The disposable tests claim to combine the ease of the rapid lateral flow tests, which give Covid-19 test results within minutes, with the accuracy of the PCR tests, which are sent away to labs for verification.

Sense boss Harry Lamble said the company had a "six-year head start on others that have jumped on a Covid bandwagon".

It comes amid concerns over the accuracy of faster lateral flow tests,, which give Covid-19 test results within minutes. PCR tests, meanwhile, are sent away to labs for verification. The Guardian last week published leaked emails between officials which suggested there had been a high rate of false positives.

Downing Street later responded by saying the tests had been "rigorously evaluated, and we believe that they are both accurate and incredibly useful in terms of being able to spot asymptomatic cases of the virus".

07:58 AM

YouTube stops James Charles from monetising feed

YouTube has temporarily stopped James Charles from being able to monetise his video channel after he admitted to sending sexually-explicit messages to 16-year-old boys.

YouTube told the BBC that it had removed Charles from its partnership program, where he could monetise his video feed.

"If we see that a creator's on- and/or off-platform behaviour harms our users, community, employees or ecosystem, we may take action to protect the community," the spokesman said.

The decision comes after Charles admitted that he had sent messages to two 16-year-old boys in a video posted on YouTube earlier this month.

In the video, Charles said: "I fully understand my actions and how they are wrong."

Allegations had previously been made against Charles on social media, which he had denied.

In the video posted at the start of the month, Charles had said there were two incidents where he had messaged people who were underage. "These conversations should have never happened," Charles said.

Last week, beauty company Morphe announced that it had agreed with Charles to "end our business relationship" in light of the recent allegations, and wind down sales of his product range.

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07:14 AM

Cazoo bolsters board as it readies for blockbuster listing

Alex Chesterman, Cazoo - Tom Stockill
Alex Chesterman, Cazoo - Tom Stockill

Online car dealership Cazoo has added another major figure to its board ahead of its £5bn US listing, hiring the founder of genetic testing company 23andMe.

Cazoo said Anne Wojcicki will be joining its board as a non-executive director after it is acquired by a US Special Purpose Acquisition Company, or SPAC, run by US billionaire Dan Och. The move, which will take Cazoo public, will value Cazoo founder Alex Chesterman's stake at around £1.3bn.

Chesterman is a serial entrepreneur, best known for having co-founded LoveFilm in the early 2000s and Zoopla in 2008.

Cazoo has taken less than two years since its launch to hit a valuation of just over £5bn. This year, revenues at the online car dealership are up 300pc year-on-year and sales are expected to top £720m.

Cazoo had turned down an opportunity to go public in the UK and opted for a US listing as a “high growth digital business”, Chesterman said.

“We’ve explored numerous options, from listing in the UK, to a US direct listing to the SPAC process.

06:43 AM

Dogecoin surges as DogeDay gets underway

Dogecoin has jumped by more than a fifth over the past 24 hours, as online traders aim to send the digital token to record highs on a day they are calling "DogeDay".

The price of the cryptocurrency, which had initially started as a joke, hit 0.42 cents early on Tuesday, according to data from CoinDesk.

Internet traders have chosen April 20, a day dedicated to smoking marijuana, to be "DogeDay" and have been pushing to get Dogecoin to record highs, hoping to send it as high as $1.

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Among the advocates of Dogecoin is Elon Musk, who in February propelled a 25pc surge in the price of the currency by tweeting about it.

Antoni Trenchev, the co-founder of crypto-lending firm Nexo said there was a "tribe of investors, many of them Millennials, who see it as a cause, a movement. Dogecoin is symptomatic of the zeitgeist happening before our very eyes.”

Other more mainstream cryptocurrencies have struggled in recent days, including Bitcoin which is down 4.5pc in the past 24 hours.

06:34 AM

Five things to start your day

1) There's one thing Mark Zuckerberg can't copy Facebook is continuing its long pattern of adopting features from rivals, but there may be one defence against its spree

2) Britons behind world's most accurate rapid Covid test raise $50m​ Sense Biodetection said it expected Covid-19 to be around for the 'long-term' and could be managed using its tests

3) Elon Musk denies Autopilot was activated in fatal Tesla crash with 'no one driving' Police in Texas say it appears no one was controlling the car that went off the road and burst into flames, killing two people

4) Why online therapy is the future - and how to make it work for you Never has mental health been more important, yet in-person support has been tricky to access. Could the move to online sessions be the key?

5) 100ft phone masts could be built in national parks and beauty spots Mobile companies will be allowed to erect new masts of up to 25 metres (82ft) high in protected areas under new rules to boost 4G and 5G coverage

Coming up today

Apple expected to unveil new iPads and Macs at event and Netflix to release financial results