Opinion: Apple’s App Store needs to join the Confederate flag boycott

App Store Confederate Flag

Apple’s App Store should join Amazon, eBay, Walmart and others in boycotting the Confederate Flag

[Update 6/25/15: Apple has begun removing apps that “use the Confederate flag in offensive or mean-spirited ways” without removing apps with “educational or historical uses”.]

Apple’s Tim Cook added his voice to the chorus of CEOs speaking against displaying the Confederate Flag on Sunday, indirectly referencing it as a symbol for racism. In a tweet, Cook called to honor the lives of the victims in last week’s tragic South Carolina shooting by “eradicating racism & removing the symbols & words that feed it.” An Alabama native like myself, Cook has been a strong proponent for equality during his tenure as CEO, often speaking out against the South’s tarnished history and the changes we still need to address.

With major physical and online retailers including Walmart, Target, Sears, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy now publicly supporting the boycott against the Confederate flag by removing merchandise that displays it, I believe it’s time for Tim Cook’s Apple to join the campaign by removing digital goods that display the Confederate flag on the App Store. Read more

Tim Cook: Apple Watch attracting more developer interest than early iPhones and iPads

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In an interview with the Chinese language edition of Bloomberg Businessweek, Tim Cook noted that developers are showing more interest in the Apple Watch than they had in the iPhone and iPad at a similar early stage.

Developers are working on more than 3,500 apps for the gadgets, he said. That’s well ahead of the 500 apps available for the 2008 edition of the iPhone and the 1,000 for the first iPad in 2010, he added.

Cook also confirmed what most had assumed: the gold color introduced for the iPhone, iPad and now MacBook (and presumably real gold for the Watch) was “in part” driven by the popularity of the color in China. Greater China now accounts for a whopping 29% of Apple’s revenue …  Read more

Numbers from WWDC: Siri gets 40% faster, more accurate, 2500 Apple Pay banks, iOS/OS X growth, more

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Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the company’s WWDC keynote presentation today with its usual update on numbers and growth since last checking in. The big numbers so far from today’s event: Siri is now 40% faster and more accurate, the company now supports 2500 banks for Apple Pay, and iOS and OS X adoption continues to outpace the competition. 

Head below for a full roundup of notable numbers and company stats announced during today’s event (we’ll be updating as more come up): Read more

Coming at WWDC 2015: New Apple Watch SDK, Quality-focused/refreshed iOS 9 & OS X 10.11, Apple Music

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Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is about to kick off. On Monday, June 8th, company executives will take the stage at San Francisco’s Moscone Center to provide their annual roadmap for Apple’s software, services, and devices.

Traditionally, Apple has used the conference to introduce major upgrades to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system iOS, as well as the Mac operating system OS X, along with new services. Of course, 2015 will be no different. Apple has been preparing a new version of iOS 9 codenamed “Monarch,” a release of OS X 10.11 codenamed “Gala,” a new streaming Apple Music service based on Beats Music, and updates for the Apple Watch.

Over the last several years, we have provided advance reports on the lion’s share of announcements that will be made at WWDC, as well as a comprehensive roundup ahead of the event. Read on for our roundup of what’s coming, along with fresh new details not found in our earlier reports.

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Apple ranks in at number 5 on latest Fortune 500 list

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Apple ranks in at number 5 on the latest Fortune 500, the annual list that ranks US companies by revenue, this time for fiscal year 2014. The company maintains its same position as last year behind Berkshire Hathaway (no. 4), Chevron (no. 3), Exxon Mobil (no. 2), and Wal-Mart Stores (no. 1).

While Apple comes in at fifth place for revenue, Fortune notes that it “boasts both the biggest profits of any company on the list ($39.5 billion) and the highest market value (more than $700 billion).” Read more

Tim Cook talks privacy & encryption, criticizes Google during award reception

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While speaking at the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s (EPIC) Champions of Freedom Awards Dinner yesterday night, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a speech during which he addressed the ongoing issues that surround privacy in the technology space. Cook, who was not physically in Washington D.C. for the event but rather spoke remotely, commented on both the steps Apple takes at ensuring customer privacy and how other companies are failing at the same task (via TechCrunch).

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Opinion: Should AAPL stockholders be worried about Jony Ive’s more backseat role?

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The Apple world this morning seems divided between those who seemingly haven’t grasped the implications of Apple’s ‘promotion’ of Jony Ive, merely taking Cook’s memo at face value, and those switching into full-on ‘Apple is doomed’ mode. The reality is, I think, a little more nuanced.

It seems pretty clear that this move is, as Seth outlined earlier, about Ive taking more of a backseat role – and especially being able to spend a lot more time back in England. Apple’s decision to announce the news on a day when the US markets were closed was obviously not coincidence.

Apple didn’t want to see a knee-jerk panic reaction on Wall Street setting its stock diving. But is there reason to panic? Or is it all much ado about nothing? Or something between the two … ?  Read more

Jony Ive promoted to ‘Chief Design Officer,’ handing off managerial duties July 1st [Tim Cook Memo]

Alan Dye, Jony Ive, and Richard Howarth

Apple’s Jony Ive has served as the company’s Senior Vice President of Design for several years now, but Apple has announced today that the executive is being named Chief Design Officer (a newly-created position). Additionally, Ive and will be handing the managerial reins of both the industrial and software design units at Apple over to two new leaders on July 1st.

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Tim Cook: Apple Watch in stores ‘by June’, in talks for Apple Pay in China

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During his trip last week across China, Apple CEO Tim Cook held a meeting at Apple’s China headquarters with several employees in attendance, according to sources with knowledge of the briefing. Cook reportedly reiterated several recent China-focused announcements, including the new forest-focused environmental initiatives and improvements for education, but he also mentioned some new tidbits regarding the upcoming retail launch for the Apple Watch and the rollout of Apple Pay for China…

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Apple CEO Tim Cook shares photos from recent trip to China (Gallery)

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Tim Cook has shared photos from his recent trip to China where the Apple CEO spoke to media about upcoming initiatives in the country and visited new Apple retail stores opened in the region. The photos (above and below) were posted to Cook’s new Weibo account. The head Apple exec started posting to the Chinese microblogging site, much like he does on Twitter, earlier this month. Read more

Tim Cook talks Apple Pay, Xiaomi, new environmental efforts during China visit

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Tim Cook, who is in China this week to discuss Apple’s new environmental initiatives, spoke to Chinese media regarding his plans to further expand Apple services in the country. Speaking to news outlet Xinhua, Cook discussed a variety of topics, including his hope to launch Apple Pay in China and get a smartphone in the hand of every resident.

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