Cupertino California Stories March 3, 2014

Apple adding hundreds of new engineers and operations staff in China to speed development of larger iPhones

Apple is on a mass hiring spree for Asian staff, beginning in the middle of last year, as noted by the Wall Street Journal. The Journal says that Apple is trying to speed up product development in China and Taiwan to help launch a larger lineup of devices. Apparently, the company is aggressively hiring away from HTC and other firms to form strong product teams in Asia.

Cupertino California Stories February 20, 2014

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 …  expand full story

Cupertino California Stories February 13, 2014

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 …  expand full story

Cupertino California Stories January 13, 2014

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. expand full story

Cupertino California Stories January 12, 2014

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 …  expand full story

Cupertino California Stories November 20, 2013

Apple receives full set of building permits for its ‘spaceship’ campus today [Update: video added]

Apple will receive the full set of building permits for its ‘spaceship’ campus in Cupertino today, following a formal approval vote by the full council. This final vote was  just a rubber-stamping exercise, with the go-ahead effectively granted a month ago.

We have a pretty detailed idea of what to expect, thanks to a detailed scale model, project video and series of renders made available by Apple as part of its planning application.

It’s taken the company some time and work to reach this point. The company initially faced objections from local residents on environmental and traffic grounds, prompting CFO Peter Oppenheimer to send out a brochure to local residents to alleviate concerns, and the project is reportedly $2B over-budget. But work can now begin, with completion expected in 2015 or 2016.

You can watch the video of the full council meeting below.

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