December 29, 2009
Apple appears to have hired yet another former Tesla engineer to join its ever growing automated car team. First noticed by Reuters, Apple has hired Jamie Carlson to likely join its car team. Carlson’s LinkedIn profile reflects that he has left Tesla and joined Apple, although his role at Apple is simply listed as a a member of a special projects group.
While at Tesla, Carlson worked on its Autopilot self-driving program. Prior to his stint at Tesla, he worked on automotive vision systems for Gentex Corp. expand full story
Nearly one year after launching its first devices with NFC chips, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, to enable the Apple Pay mobile payments system, Apple has joined the official NFC Forum as a top-tier sponsor. Along with the sponsorship role, Apple has joined the forum’s Board of Directors, according to the forum’s official website. The site lists representation from Aon Mujtaba, a Director on Apple’s Wireless Systems Engineering team for the iPhone. Paula Hunter, the NFC Forum’s Director, made the announcement by saying that the organization is “delighted to welcome Apple to [its] board of directors as an NFC Forum sponsor member.”
American Express credit cards have supported Apple Pay since the iOS device-based mobile payment service launched nearly a year ago, and today AmEx announced that it has turned on support for corporate cards in the United States. Previously, American Express cards in the US were limited to consumer cards and OPEN Small Business cards. Apple CEO Tim Cook first shared that the expansion was coming during last month’s quarterly conference call with analysts. expand full story
Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films today debuted the first trailer for the upcoming biographical film centered around Steve Jobs. “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” was originally premiered earlier this year at SXSW and is spearheaded by director Alex Gibney and executive producer Gaby Darbyshire, who is the former Chief Operating Officer of Gawker Media.
Darbyshire headed up Gawker legal when the media company’s subsidiary Gizmodo bought the iPhone 4 that was “left at the bar” and would have been at the center of the controversy that surrounded the subsequent firestorm with Apple and then CEO Steve Jobs.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple has hired a seasoned veteran from the automotive industry for its rumored car initiative. The report claims that Apple has hired Doug Betts, who previously led global quality control at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Betts worked at Fiat Chrysler until last year and started at Apple earlier this month.
Top iPhone and iPad accessory makers Otterbox and Mophie both conducted job cuts this week, according to a pair of tips we received from a source. The source said that Otterbox cut 80 jobs, while Mophie let go of 60 employees. Both Otterbox and Mophie confirmed the job cuts to us today, with Otterbox claiming that its number was less than the 80 our source mentioned.
From an Otterbox spokesperson:
Jony Ive’s well-documented aide Harper Alexander, who managed Apple’s secretive design studio, appears to have left his role at Apple. In his own words, Alexander was previously in charge of Ive’s design studio, calendar, security, meetings, expenses, and personal projects, since 2009.
Referenced in multiple recent profiles as Ive’s top assistant, Harper updated his LinkedIn on July 1st, Ive’s first day in his new “Chief Design Officer” role, to indicate that he no longer runs Ive’s design studio or serves as executive assistant to Apple’s CDO. On July 1st, this is what became of Harper’s biography:
Suggestions that Apple will pay music owners just 58% of subscription payments for its Apple Music service are not true, says the company. Robert Kondrk, the Apple VP who has been working with Eddy Cue on negotiating deals with music labels, says that company actually pays a little more than the industry-standard 70% figure.
In the U.S., Apple will pay music owners 71.5 percent of Apple Music’s subscription revenue. Outside the U.S., the number will fluctuate, but will average around 73 percent, he told Re/code in an interview. Executives at labels Apple is working with confirmed the figures.
The 58% number doing the rounds earlier this month appears to be based on a misunderstanding: that’s the usual cut for the label, which owns the recording; the publisher, which owns the rights to the song itself, gets a 12% cut. Add the two together, and you get the 70% number that is standard for streaming music services.
But the most interesting revelation to me was that Apple is not paying music labels a single cent for tracks streamed during the three-month free trial period … expand full story
Update: Apple confirmed the acquisition.
Apple, which has already acquired a variety of companies to help its Maps team, appears to have recently purchased San Francisco-based GPS company Coherent Navigation. The company was founded in 2008 by a pair of engineers from Stanford and Cornell. While Apple and Coherent Navigation have yet to confirm the acquisition, several pieces of evidence support the idea.
Tesla has taken its recruiting of Apple employees to the next level: the electric car and energy company has hired away Apple’s Senior Director of Corporate Recruiting, Cindy Nicola, to become Tesla’s new Vice President of Global Recruiting. Nicola has already noted her new role and start month of May on her LinkedIn profile.
Notably, Apple actually hired away Tesla’s Lead Recruiter in 2014 for its own electric car project, as we noted in our extensive profile of Apple’s automotive related hires. Interestingly, that former Tesla recruiter Lauren Ciminera has already left Apple to work on a new “confidential” project, according to her own LinkedIn page and confirmation from a source…
Speculation regarding Apple’s plans to build an electric car has been at an all-time over recent months. Earlier this year, we broke down the team that Apple has assembled to work on its car, several members of which were poached from Tesla. In Tesla’s Q1 2015 earnings call, however, CEO Elon Musk commented on Apple’s alleged electric car plans and the poaching war that has been ongoing between the two companies.
Microsoft announced today during its Build conference that it will release a tool for developers to port their iOS apps directly to Windows 10 as “universal apps” that run on both phones and desktop computers. Developers will be able to feed their existing Objective-C code into a new software package and have it converted to work on the upcoming PC operating system.
At least, that’s how Microsoft is pitching it, though the whole process is a bit more complex. Essentially Windows 10 will ship with APIs that mirror the expected behavior of many iOS APIs, and this new conversion tool will help developers swap out iOS code for matching Windows code.
Natalie Kerris, a longtime senior executive within Apple’s PR and Communications group is retiring from the company, she confirmed today on Twitter. Journalist Ed Bott first indicated her retirement via Twitter. Bott says that Kerris informed him of her retirement for a LinkedIn message, and Kerris has updated her LinkedIn profile. Kerris joined Apple 14 years ago, and she led PR for Apple’s major product lines such as the iPhone. Kerris’s position within Apple’s PR group grew upon the retirement of former VP of Communications Katie Cotton.
Continuing its high-level executive hiring spree, Apple has recruited Dolby Executive Vice President Mike Rockwell to become an executive in its hardware division, 9to5Mac has learned. According to a source, Rockwell has likely been hired to bolster the audio and display performance of future Apple products, which could include anything from next-generation Apple monitors to professional audio/video editing tools to speakers. Rockwell’s LinkedIn profile confirms he joined Apple in February but does not specify his role.
Apple is one of ten tech giants to once again call on the US Government not to reauthorize the Patriot Act in its current form. The Act expires on 1st June unless it is renewed by Congress. Apple was joined by AOL, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo.
In an open letter to President Obama, NSA Director Admiral Rogers and other prominent government figures, the companies urge Congress to end the bulk collection of communications metadata–the logs that determine how and when ordinary citizens contact each other.
The letter says that mass surveillance must end, and that a revised bill must contain mechanisms to ensure that future government surveillance is both transparent and accountable … expand full story
Apple won’t take the wraps off of its upcoming Beats-based music streaming service at its March 9 “Spring Forward” event, according to music industry sources briefed on the launch timeline. Instead, Apple currently plans to introduce the service, at least in beta form, at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in early June. The WWDC keynote likely takes place on Monday, June 8th, and that’s the event where the debut will occur. The new iTunes music streaming service is based on technology acquired from Beats Music, including curated playlists, cloud-based libraries, and offerings customized to the musical tastes of individual users. The service will be priced as high as $7.99 per month, which is less expensive than current $9.99 pricing for Beats Music, Spotify, and Rdio…