California governor signs bill requiring all smartphones to have remote killswitches by July 2015

Activation-Lock-02

As we’ve previously covered, the state of California has been in the process of passing a bill that would require all smartphones sold within the state to come with a remote killswitch option to deter thieves. The bill was passed by the state legislature earlier this year, and today it was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, as noted by CNET.

The law goes into effect in July 2015, and will require all smartphones sold within the state to include an option for remotely disabling a stolen device. Apple has already met the requirements of this law with its Activation Lock and Find My iPhone services, but now such features will be required by law on Android, Windows Phone, and other handsets.

Read more

Apple formally acknowledges iMessage issue, says bug fix coming in a ‘future software update’

Messages

In a statement to Re/code, Apple has acknowledged the iMessage issue which affects customers who switch away from the iPhone, without disabling iMessage. This means that texts to these users are never delivered, as iPhone devices continue to use the iMessage protocol on the phone number that is no longer associated with an iPhone. Aside from a second-hand report by an AppleCare representative, this is Apple’s first official response to the recent criticism.

Read more

Angela Ahrendts’ plan for the future of Apple Retail: China emphasis, mobile payments, revamped experience

Ahrendts succeeds Jobs, Johnson, and Browett (Graphic by Michael Steeber)

When Ron Johnson finalized his decision to move from leading Apple’s retail strategy to become the Chief Executive Officer of J.C. Penney, the executive jumped in his car to drive to Steve Jobs’ home and notify the Apple co-founder in his living room of the decision. During his short car ride to Jobs’ Palo Alto home in the summer of 2011, Johnson likely thought about how he would explain his choice. But what Johnson likely did not imagine is that it would take nearly three years for Apple to find a true new leader for the stores the duo created.

In one of current Apple CEO Tim Cook’s first major missteps, the long-time operations maestro hired John Browett, formerly of Dixons, to run retail. Browett’s hire was immediately met with skepticism from Apple customers and retail employees, but Cook defended the hire and called the British executive the “best [choice] by far” to run Apple’s retail division. In the six months that he ran retail, Browett cut back on employee hours, initiated layoffs, and fell out culturally with the rest of the Apple executive team.

John Browett visiting Apple Store

Alongside Scott Forstall, Browett was ejected from the Cupertino-based company, leaving Tim Cook and head-hunting firm Egon Zehnder, again, with the tall task of finding a suitable replacement for Ron Johnson. As the man who ran Dixons, the United Kingdom equivalent to Best Buy, Browett was in many ways built in the image of Johnson. Johnson ran Apple Retail for nearly a decade, and before that he was an executive at both Target and Mervyns. But unlike Browett, Johnson fit into Apple’s culture and was close with both Jobs and Cook throughout his tenure.

Read more

Verdict: Apple awarded another $290 million from Samsung in retrial (Updated)

BZnq1C0CAAAGZT9.png-largeReports are coming in from several journalists attending the Apple vs. Samsung re-trial in California that a verdict has been reached. The verdict comes after a few days of the jury deliberating much of the same topic as discussed during the summer 2012 trial. According to a court document, the verdict will be read at approximate 12:15 Pacific time. We’ll have coverage when the verdict is announced.

Update: According to Bloombergthe jury has ordered that Samsung pay Apple $290 million in damages over the retrial. Including damages awarded Apple in the original trial, that brings Samsung’s total in damages owed to Apple to $890 million.

Read more

Steve Jobs’ childhood home could become a protected historical site

CNN reports that the childhood home of Steve Jobs could soon become a protected historical site as a Los Altos Historical Commission is set to perform an evaluation of the property today. The property, located at 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos, California, was Jobs’ childhood home since the seventh grade and its garage later became the location where Jobs, Steve Wozniak and other early employees would build the first Apple computers before officially forming the company in 1977.

The seven-member Los Altos Historical Commission has scheduled a “historic property evaluation” for the single-story, ranch-style house on Monday… If the designation is ultimately approved, then the house on 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos, California, will have to be preserved… Read more

Apple not allowed to add Galaxy S4 in ongoing Samsung dispute, plans to file new lawsuit

Samsung-GalaxyS4-vs-iPhone-5

Back in May, Apple was attempting to add Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 as an infringing device in its ongoing, second major patent dispute with Samsung in California. It was also claiming that Samsung infringed two Siri related patents with the device’s Google Now voice assistant feature. Now, according to a report from Bloomberg, Apple has been denied its request to add the device with  U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal claiming it would be a “a “tax on the court’s resources”:

Adding another product to the case is a “tax on the court’s resources,” Grewal said in the ruling. “Each time these parties appear in the courtroom, they consume considerable amounts of the court’s time and energy, which takes time way from other parties who also require and are entitled to the court’s attention.”

Apple lawyer Josh Krevitt claims that denying to add the device in the ongoing patent suit would force Apple to “‘file a new lawsuit’ because the Samsung products covered by the case will be out of date by trial next year.”  Read more

Apple claims Google Now infringes Siri patents as it adds Galaxy S4 to ongoing Samsung patent suit

Galaxy-S4-Samsung

Earlier this month we noted that Apple was asking courts to add the Galaxy S4 as an infringing device in its ongoing patent dispute with Samsung in California. Now, Apple has officially filed a motion (via FossPatents) outlining five patents infringed by the Galaxy S4 and another two Siri related patents infringed by the device’s Google Now voice controlled search feature.

Apple had previously claimed that the Android Google search box feature on Samsung devices infringed the same patents, but is now moving to have Google Now included alongside the S4. Excerpt from Apple’s filing below: Read more

Apple seeks to add Galaxy S4 to ongoing Samsung patent suit in California

Galaxy-S4-Samsung

In its ongoing second major patent trial against Samsung, Apple yesterday filed a statement with the US District Court in California claiming that after examining the recently released Galaxy S4 it has “concluded that it is an infringing device and accordingly intends to move for leave to add the Galaxy S4″ to its long list of 22 infringing products. Apple is hoping Judge Lucy Koh allows the S4 to be added, but in line with the court’s request to reduce the number of infringing devices ahead of a trial scheduled for spring 2014, Apple has also agreed to remove without prejudice one of the other 22 infringing devices from Samsung it currently has listed.

Apple’s current list of infringing Samsung products include Admire, Captivate Glide, Conquer 4G, Dart, Exhibit II 4G, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Player 4.0, Galaxy Player 5.0, Galaxy Rugby Pro, Galaxy SII, Galaxy SII Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy SII Skyrocket, Galaxy S III, Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 2 10, Illusion, and Stratosphere.

The filing also highlights a disagreement in which Samsung believes each carrier variant of a specific device should be counted separately. For example, “the Galaxy Nexus activated on Sprint must be counted separately from the Galaxy Nexus activated on Verizon; and the Galaxy Nexus operating on Sprint running Android version 4.0 must be counted separately from the Galaxy Nexus operating on Sprint, but running Android version 4.1.” Apple, however, claims that Samsung has not itself applied this logic: Read more

Apple is again sending around updated brochures to Cupertino residents on upcoming Campus 2 project

Last May, after some residents voiced concern about Apple’s planned Spaceship Campus 2 project, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer sent out a brochure/mailer to local residents, hoping to alleviate concerns about the huge new office building and surrounding Campus 2.

apple_campus_2_apr13_mailer_2
Click to enlarge, via Macrumors

Apple last week updated its Campus 2 plans with the inclusion of walk and bike trails and other specifics on the land use. As Macrumors notes, Cupertino residents have begun receiving updated mailers with the new updated information and focused on the positive environmental impact the buildings will have.

At Apple, the environment is a top priority, and we’ve designed Apple Campus 2 with cutting-edge features to make it energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable. Several of these green technologies are highlighted in this update.

As at our existing campus on Infinite Loop, we are committed to 100% renewable energy to power Apple Campus 2. This will include onsite generation from photovoltaics and fuel cells. As part of this effort, approximately 8 megawatts of photovoltaics will be installed, creating one the largest installations of its kind on a corporate campus anywhere in the world.

Apple started in Cupertino, and we are excited to continue to grow here. As we build the new campus, we also plan to invest in new roadways and intersection improvements, add new sidewalks and better bike lanes, and plant new trees in newly created medians in the surrounding neighborhood.

Find Steve Jobs’ original Campus 2 submission to the Cupertino City Council video below: Read more

Apple lists Quanta Computer in Fremont California as Final Assembler for Macs

Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 9.31.56 AM

In a recent update to its supplier responsibility pages, Apple has listed Quanta Computer USA as a final assembler of its Macs.

Final Assembly Facilities

These are facilities where Apple products are assembled and packaged for distribution.

One of the locations of Quanta’s final assembly is 44350 Nobel Drive Fremont, Calif., indicating that some Macs are or will be built in the facility.

Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 9.42.00 AM.

Apple CEO Tim Cook noted in an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams late last year that Apple would invest $100 million to move at least one of its product lines to the United States. Quanta has assembled Macs for Apple for a long time in Asia.

Fremont may sound familiar, because we recorded more than a few of the new iMacs originated from Fremont after the November launch. These iMacs were delivered via FedEx and had the ‘Assembled in the USA’ moniker not only on the package but also on the actual machines. It now appears that Apple is confirming these products are indeed being assembled in Fremont.

Quanta, it should be noted, has U.S. assembly plants in both California and Tennessee. Previous package slips and Origin labels below.

Read more