Apple talked HealthKit with insurance companies UnitedHealth and Humana

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Bloomberg‘s Adam Satariano has an interesting profile out this morning regarding the usage of wearable fitness devices in work environments. The report says that some companies are offering devices, such as the FitBit, in order to track the fitness of its employees. With that information, companies are able to slice costs off of insurance plans if employees hit certain fitness data thresholds:

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Heads rolling at Beats as Apple eliminating redundant positions, Ian Rogers & Trent Reznor to stay on

Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine, Apple, Beats Music, Code Conference

As Apple’s acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music nears completion this financial quarter, the Cupertino and Culver City, California-based companies have begun work on transitioning select employees and technology resources from Beats to Apple, according to sources briefed on the transition. Apple executives have visited Beats’ Southern California headquarters this week and last week to offer groups of employees positions at Apple and to notify some members of the Beats staff that they will not be included in the transition.

Many Beats employees in development and creative roles have been offered positions at Apple. Many of these employees will be offered space in Apple’s Cupertino offices, but Apple is said to plan to retain the Los Angeles-area offices, and select engineers on the Beats Music streaming service will continue working out of Southern California. An email from Apple CEO Tim Cook detailed earlier this year that Beats hardware employees would transition to Phil Schiller’s team in Cupertino, so it seems likely that the headphone and speaker makers will make up the majority of the new Cupertino staff…

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Basel Apple Store opens to crowds as Apple promotes upcoming Edinburgh location

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In line with last week’s announcement, Apple’s fourth store in Switzerland opened this weekend in Basel. The store, like most Apple Stores, opened to significant crowds and Apple handed out commemorative shirts to celebrate. The interior of the store appears like most Apple Stores, and the location already has been equipped with the new interior visual design:

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Apple hires Patrick Pruniaux, VP of Tag Heuer Sales and Retail, for iWatch marketing

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Earlier today, the CEO of Tag Heuer revealed to CNBC that Apple has hired one of the watch-makers sales directors. However, the company did not announce the name of this “director” or the person’s exact position. A source directly familiar with the Apple hire confirmed that the Cupertino-based company hired Patrick Pruniaux late last month. Pruniaux is not just any “Sales Director:” he was the Vice President of Sales and Retail, a major loss for Tag Heuer and a significant hire for Apple in the run up the launch of the Apple smart watch in October. Pruniaux is pictured in the photo above (second person from the right), and his LinkedIn profile reveals his impressive work in jewelry and watch marketing:

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Apple opens stunning new (and more private) Caffè Macs employee cafeteria in Cupertino

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Photo via Foursquare

According to employee tweets and photos, Apple opened a stunning new Caffè Macs employee cafeteria at the corner of Bandley and Alves Dr. in Cupertino this past Tuesday. Located close to the company’s first campus building, Apple received approval to build at this location in early 2012, and after 2 years of work, the new cafeteria is complete.

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Apple Campus 2 site’s demolition progress shown almost complete in latest aerial photos

The folks over at Apple Toolbox have shared a number of aerial photos capturing the demolition progress of the future site of Apple’s Campus 2 ‘spaceship’. As you can see above, the former site of Hewlett-Packard that Apple purchased in 2010 is leveling out ahead of the expected 2016 completion date. Campus 2 designer Norman Foster discussed the project’s evolution and Steve Jobs’ involvement earlier this week, and late last month we saw a less clear shot of the plot undergoing demolition. Check below for more detailed photos.

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The spaceship is on the way: aerial photo shows demolition work on Apple’s Campus 2 site

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Apple’s new ‘spaceship’ headquarters has been a long time in the coming, with Steve Jobs presenting the plans to the Cupertino city council back in 2011, but work has finally begun. KCBS eye-in-the-sky reporter Ron Cervi took the above Instagram photo, showing that demolition work on the site is now underway.

While we heard last month that the demolition phase was starting, this is the first visible evidence we’ve seen. Apple also recently constructed a full-size mockup of one small section of the building in order to test construction methods and enable the company to see how the concrete elements would look in real life …  Read more

Apple’s supplier responsibility report highlights progress on working conditions, boosts focus on environment

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Apple’s eighth annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Report highlights the progress made on reducing child labor and enforcing working hour limits, and shows a significant increase in the environmental standards Apple’s suppliers are expected to meet.

The number of cases of underage workers fell from 106 last year to 11 this year. Compliance with Apple’s requirement of a maximum working week of 60 hours hit 95 percent, with 97 percent meeting the requirement of at least one day off a week. Apple reported that the average working week of a supply chain employee was less than 50 hours …  Read more

DOJ responds to Apple’s request to replace attorney in ebooks case (Update: Court denies Apple’s request, too)

Following Apple’s formal request last week that Michael Bromwich be removed from his role in ensuring the Cupertino company meets compliances set by the anti-trust ruling in last year’s ebooks trial, the Department of Justice has pushed back (via GigaOm) with a denial letter accusing Apple of ‘character assassination’.

Regrettably, it is now clear that Apple has chosen a campaign of character assassination over a culture of compliance. Apple could have been spending the past months working with the External Compliance Monitor with the ultimate goal of reforming its policies and training, and in the process change its corporate tone to one that reflects a commitment to abiding by the requirements of the antitrust laws. Instead, Apple has focused on personally attacking Mr. Bromwich, and thwarting him from performing even the most basic of his court-ordered functions. Read more

Opinion: What “three revolutionary devices” will the iWatch be?

Concept image: Stephen Olmstead

Concept image: Stephen Olmstead

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone seven years ago last week, he described it as “three revolutionary devices” in one: touchscreen iPod, mobile phone and Internet communicator.

The iPhone wasn’t the first touchscreen smartphone. It wasn’t even close: Handspring launched the Treo 180 a full five years earlier (I know this because I owned one). Same with the iPod before it, launched three years after the MPMan (yep, I owned one of those too).

Apple has never been interested in being first to market, so no-one should be remotely surprised that others launched the smartwatch first. The company’s USP is its ability to take a relatively crude piece of technology being used exclusively by geeks and turn it into something so slick, beautiful and cool that mass-market consumers will find irresistible …  Read more