Tim Cook “deeply offended” by BBC allegations of poor working conditions in iPhone factories

apple-china

In a letter to UK staff, Tim Cook is said to have been “deeply offended” by allegations made in a BBC undercover documentary that Apple had broken promises over the working conditions in Pegatron’s iPhone factories in China, reports the Telegraph.

In an email to around 5,000 staff across the UK, Apple senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams said both himself and the chief executive were “deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way”.

“Panorama’s report implied that Apple isn’t improving working conditions,” he continued. “Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth.”

Williams said that Apple had provided both “facts and perspective” on the allegations, but the BBC had chosen not to include these in the program …  Read more

Should Apple double the RAM in next year’s iPhones and iPads? [Poll]

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2 x 1GB RAM in iPad Air 2 shown in orange (ifixit.com)

A Taiwanese financial news site cited by Apple Toolbox claims that Apple plans to double the RAM in next year’s iPhones from 1GB to 2GB, and the iPad Air from 2GB to 4GB.

As sources of Apple-related news goes, the citation has to rank somewhere in the Digitimes arena, but it was a Taiwanese supply-chain rumor (dart throwing?) that correctly predicted the previous RAM doubling from 1GB in the original iPad Air to 2GB in the iPad Air 2 – albeit a prediction made rather closer to launch …  Read more

It’s time for Munster’s annual ‘Apple television’ prediction, and this time it’s two years away

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Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is famous for his annual prediction that Apple’s long-rumored television is launching next year, but this year he’s mixing it up a little, predicting instead that it will be launched in two years’ time.

Back in 2011, he predicted at the IGNITION conference that it would launch before the 2012 holiday season. Once it was clear that wasn’t going to happen, he predicted late in 2012 that it would be arriving in time for, yep, you guessed it, the 2013 holiday season. He clung to that one throughout the early part of last year, but has kept quiet on the subject this year – until now …  Read more

Samsung reportedly planning Apple Pay rival compatible with 100% of cards & terminals

On the same day that Apple Pay reached a sign-up rate of 90% of US bank cards by transaction volume, Samsung is reportedly planning to launch a rival mobile payment service that would work with 100% of cards and payment terminals on day one.

Re/code suggests that the company is in talks with LoopPay, a startup which describes itself as “the most accepted mobile wallet on the planet.” Instead of using an NFC chip for contactless payment, LoopPay transmits a magnetic signal which simulates the swiping of the magnetic strip on a card. That means it works with all cards and all payment terminals, contactless or not …  Read more

Some judges in ebook appeal express sympathy with Apple’s position

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Some of the judges in Apple’s appeal of last year’s ebook trial verdict appear sympathetic to the company’s argument that its deals with publishers helped, rather than hindered, competition, reports Reuters.

Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs asked a Department of Justice lawyer why it was wrong for the publishers to get together to defeat a “monopolist” that was using “predatory pricing.”

“It’s like the mice getting together to put a bell on the cat,” Jacobs said.

The court had earlier heard evidence that at the time Apple entered the ebooks market, Amazon held a 90% market share …  Read more

Apple charting in Google’s 2014 trending searches, for both the right and wrong reasons

Google has put together its annual inspirational Year in Search video, and shared some of the trending searches across the year – with Apple making the charts for both the right and wrong reasons.

On the plus side, Apple took the #1 slot in consumer electronics searches, with the iPhone 6 ahead of rival smartphones from Samsung, Google, Motorola, LG and Nokia. Apple was also the only company to make three of the top-ten searches, with the Apple Watch at #8 and iPad Air at #10 …  Read more

Apple Pay now supports 90% of US credit cards by transaction volume

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With dozens more banks and retailers signed-up to Apple Pay in recent weeks, the company says the contactless payment system now supports the cards used for around 90% of credit card transactions in the US.

Ten further banks started accepting Apple Pay today, including two that had previously been announced as on the way: Commerce Bank and UW Credit Union …  Read more

Some Genius Bars are being repurposed for the holidays, but other changes loom

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As they’ve done in years’ past, some Apple retail stores this holiday season will repurpose the Genius Bar for additional product space, pick-ups, or other uses as Apple attempts to make the shopping experience for customers as smooth as possible, 9to5Mac has learned.

The repurposing for the holidays will only arrive in some stores depending on needs and traffic, with some stores scheduled to use the Genius Bar area to complete express sales and hold products scheduled for pick-up. Other changes, however, will go beyond the holidays as the stores under new retail chief Angela Ahrendts evolve to better deal with increased foot traffic. Read more

Apple’s appeal of last year’s ebook ruling begins today

ebook-trial

Apple is having a busy time in court at the moment. Not only is it defending the iPod DRM class action, but is this morning beginning its appeal of the verdict of last year’s ebook trial.

The court ruled that Apple was guilty of anti-competitive practices in two ways. First, the company asked publishers to switch from wholesale pricing – where publishers sold in bulk to retailers, who set their own prices – to an agency model, where publishers set retail prices and retailers took a commission. The court ruled that this reduced price competition …  Read more

Production of next year’s A9 chip reportedly underway, Samsung may take 100% of orders

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Production by Samsung of the A9 chip destined for next year’s iPhones and iPads is underway, according to a report in Korea’s Electronic Times.

According to industry insiders on December 11, Samsung Electronics began production of Apple’s A9 in the Austin plant in the US using the 14nm FinFET technology. Samsung has production lines capable of FinFET process production in Austin, US and Giheung, Korea, but began to produce A9 only in Austin as it is in the initial stage.

It had been reported back in July that Samsung had received some orders for the chips, which the company effectively confirmed in October when the president of the company’s chip-making division said that profits would improve once it began supplying its latest-generation chips to Apple …

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Protesters stage brief but noisy demonstration at Apple Campus in support of contract workers

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Around 100 protesters organized by the United Service Workers West union and the Rev. Jesse Jackson yesterday staged a “brief but lively” demonstration at the Apple Campus, calling on the company to create better pay and conditions for low-paid contract workers.

Jesse Jackson last month wrote to Tim Cook urging the company to create “world-class working conditions” for contractors like security guards, who are not entitled to the same job security and perks as direct employees. He requested a meeting with Cook, which took place a few days ago …

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