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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Apple has decided to move away from the current, cylinder-shaped design used on its Mac Pro desktop, but creating a replacement will take until next year, executives said on Monday.

In a rare admission of a misstep, executives conceded the unusual design limited Apple's ability to offer meaningful upgrades and failed to meet many pro users' needs. Top executives said the company has begun work on a new desktop and a professional monitor.

"You won't see any of these products this year," Senior Vice President Phil Schiller told a handful of reporters in a discussion at Apple's offices in Cupertino. "It's important to do something great. That will take longer than this year to do."

(Related: Why the Mac Pro proved so hard to upgrade.)

In the interim, Apple plans to introduce new versions of the iMac with components more geared to professionals later this year. Also, later on Tuesday, it will announce a modest performance update to the existing Mac Pro in an attempt to tide over those who rely on Apple's highest-end machine. The updated configurations will add more processor cores and improved graphics performance.

Among the other points discussed:

  • Apple reiterated its commitment both to the Mac and to professional users as well as to continuing to develop pro software such as Final Cut and Logic. "The Mac has an important, long future at Apple," Schiller said. "We have every intention to keep investing in the Mac."
  • Schiller apologized for the slowness of upgrades with the Mac Pro. "We're sorry for what happened with the Mac Pro. We are going to come out with something great to replace it."
  • The company has no plans for touchscreen Macs, or for machines powered solely by the kind of ARM processors used in the iPhone and iPad. However, executives left open the possibility ARM chips could play a broader role as companion processors, something that showed up first with the T1 processor that powers the Touch Bar in the new MacBook Pro.

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

8 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.