Texas Stories March 11, 2016

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The latest to speak out on the Apple and FBI controversy is none other than President Obama who earlier today attended a talk at South by Southwest Interactive. While the talk was about “civic engagement in the 21st Century,” the conversation not surprisingly turned to the government’s role in the high-profile Apple and FBI case.

Obama made it clear that he isn’t behind Apple in the case, saying that tech companies shouldn’t “take an absolutist view” on encryption and encouraging them to make concessions instead of forcing Congress to pass new law:

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Texas Stories October 30, 2015

Apple Pride Continuing its efforts in supporting various equal rights campaigns in recent years,  Apple has voiced its support for a new equal rights bill in Houston through a statement issued by the Human Rights Campaign organization. Business Houston Journal reports that the organization issued the statement below on Apple’s behalf in support of the bill known as Proposition 1, or Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), ahead of voting on the bill ending October 30.

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Texas Stories September 7, 2015

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Alongside building its far more famous spaceship campus in Cupertino, Apple has also been busy expanding its main U.S. operations campus in Austin, Texas – with four of the planned seven buildings now open. The Austin-based American-Statesman got to do a photo tour of the facility.

We first reported on Apple’s $304M plans all the way back in 2012, with the first employees moving in two years later. This is our first look inside the latest stage of the development …  expand full story

Texas Stories March 3, 2015

 

South by Southwest (SXSW) just launched its official mobile app ahead of the festival and alongside it announced plans for the world’s largest deployment of iBeacons to offer mobile app features triggered by the Bluetooth beacons. In total, more than 1000+ beacons will be deployed to pull it all off. SXSW thinks the features will “fundamentally change attendee’s experiences” by letting mobile app users network and navigate the event. expand full story

Texas Stories March 1, 2015

Selfridges_London Over the past week, we’ve heard rumors that Apple planned “pop up” stores for displaying the new Apple Watch inside high end stores in both Paris Galeries Lafayette and London Selfridges (pictured above). Now the Austin Statesman notes that Apple has participated in SXSW in a number of ways over the past few years and it would almost be surprising if the Apple Watch wasn’t displayed in some capacity to the international SXSW Interactive audience there. Apple set up a pop-up shop for the iPad 2 during its spring launch in 2011 (pictured right).

inside-apple-pop-up-austinApple has used the festival in the past to showcase a new product (like the iPad 2) or to promote its services (like the iTunes Music Festival last year). SXSW Interactive is the perfect audience of early adopters for a product like the Apple Watch and it wouldn’t be surprising if the company offered a preview of the device there.

SXSW is an annual Music/Film/Interactive conference that runs March 13th-22nd this year, the week following the March 9th event and before the Apple Watch goes on sale in April. One SXSW event Apple Watch enthusiasts may want to check out: Wearables and the Happiness Quotient.

A possible counter-argument to an Apple Watch presence that Apple has focused on Fashion audiences and not Tech audiences for the Apple Watch launch.

Apple also plans another showcase of the Apple watch outside of the Yerba Buena Center where it will hold its Spring Forward event on March 9th.

Texas Stories January 31, 2015

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Apple is preparing to take some pages out of the traditional jewelry store playbook. For the upcoming 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition, Apple is planning several new features for its retail stores to support the device. As we reported several months ago, Apple is planning on allowing customers to actually try on the watches and test out different band styles inside of stores. With the high-expected price tag of the gold watch models, Apple will also step up its security features for stores…

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Texas Stories January 26, 2015

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Korean news site MK Business News (via Reuters) is reporting that Samsung will make 75% of the A9 chip for the next iPhone. This matches an earlier detailed prediction by KGI Research, which stated that the balance of the chips would be made by Global Foundry, and is in line with a statement by Samsung which last year confirmed it as a major supplier of the new chip.

The Samsung-fabbed chips will, says the report, be made in the USA …  expand full story

Texas Stories January 14, 2015

Apple LTE Phil Schiller

In response to Apple taking Ericsson to court over wireless patent licensing, the Swedish telecommunications company has filed a lawsuit in Texas that seeks the court to determine whether its licensing offer to Apple is fair. Ericsson told the court that it has been attempting to reach a new licensing agreement with Apple for over two years, but negotiations have failed to result in a deal. The patents in question are related to wireless LTE technologies that Apple uses in products like the iPhone and iPad. expand full story

Texas Stories December 12, 2014

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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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Texas Stories November 18, 2014

Apple iMessage Messages iOS 8

Bloomberg reports that a federal jury has found Apple guilty of infringing on six patents related to outdated pager technology from the 1990s. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has ordered Apple to pay a $23.6 million settlement for violating six patents owned by plaintiff Mobile Telecommunications Technologies LLC in the case. expand full story

Texas Stories February 27, 2014

Apple adds Kendrick Lamar to iTunes Festival lineup at SXSW

As noted by The Loop, Apple has announced that Kendrick Lamar will be returning to the iTunes Festival again this year at its March event in Austin, Texas, during SXSW later this year.

Earlier this month, Apple shared that it was bringing its iTunes Festival to the United States for the first time this year. Apple has already announced other artists added to the lineup including Soundgarden.

Check below for more of the already announced lineup:

Texas Stories January 25, 2014

Yesterday we posted some excerpts from an ABC interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives that officially aired on the network last night. In the interview, Cook is joined by Apple’s Apple Senior VP Craig Federighi and Apple software VP Bud Tribble to talk about the 30th anniversary of Mac, the new made-in-America Mac Pro, iWatch (iRing?), secrecy at Apple and the recent NSA surveillance controversies.

Cook on NSA surveillance programs:

Number one, we need to be significantly more transparent. We need to say what data is being given, how many people it affects, how many accounts are affected, we need to be clear. And we have a gag order on us right now so we can’t say those things… .Much of what has been said isn’t true. There is no backdoor. The government doesn’t have access to our servers. They would have to cart us out in a box for that, and that just will not happen. We feel that strongly about it.

Cook didn’t say much that we didn’t already see in the excerpts, but you can check out the full uncut interview from ABC above.

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Texas Stories December 19, 2013

Bbx2BNlIIAAiqJJ.jpg-largeThe December supply of Mac Pros?

The new Mac Pro is an awesome machine for those with several thousand dollars to spend on a computer and a need for all the power that comes with that thermal core, but managing to get one is going to be difficult for the next few months even if you have the credit card ready. Yesterday, Apple announced that the Mac Pro would go on sale today, December 19th. The store went live last night with the Mac Pro shipping the very last non-holi-day of 2013, December 30th.

As we noted earlier today, Apple’s customers in its home state of California awoke to Mac Pros being quoted to ship in February. But it gets worse…

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Texas Stories May 21, 2013

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During this morning’s Senate hearing regarding Apple’s tax strategies, Apple CEO Tim Cook provided opening statements regarding Apple’s perspective on the issues. Notably, during a time in which Cook was discussing Apple’s United States-based operations and strategies, the Apple CEO said that Apple’s upcoming Made-in-the-USA Mac line will be assembled in Texas…

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Texas Stories May 9, 2013

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As we reported last week, AT&T today launched its new pre-paid wireless MVNO called Aio Wireless with the iPhone 5 on offer, front and center. Currently, the service is only available in Houston, Orlando and Tampa but it is expected to roll out nationally over the coming months.

The company will offer 4 plans: Aio Basic, Smart and Pro phone plans at $35-40 for 250MB, $55 for 2GB and $70/month for 7GB data respectively. Each plan will shift to lower speed data after data is used up and also offers unlimited calls and text on AT&T’s network. They will also offer a tablet plan that starts at $15/month for 250MB.

The MVNO will carry Android, Windows and Apple smartphones including iPhone 4S for $499 and iPhone 5 for $649 without subsidy. They also cap 4G data at 4Mb/s so LTE speeds shouldn’t be expected.

Clearly this, as well as Verizon’s upcoming MVNO-like service, will address the competition from T-Mobile and other pre-paid carriers.

Press release and rate plans follow: expand full story

Texas Stories January 10, 2013

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In July 2011, a federal jury in Texas awarded “patent licensing company” Personal Audio LLC $8 million in its patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. The jury found Apple infringed two valid patents related to downloadable playlists with its iOS devices as far back as the original iPod. One covered an “audio program player including a dynamic program selection controller,” while the other covered an “audio program distribution and playback system.” 9to5Mac has now learned Personal Audio LLC is attempting to target content creators directly, starting with a new patent infringement case in Texas against one of iTunes biggest podcasters, Adam Carolla’s Ace Broadcasting.

If the outcome of the case is anything like Personal Audio’s previous cases, it could have a major impact on podcasters and other content creators on iTunes and elsewhere. Personal Audio also sued and entered licensing agreements with Sirius XM Radio, Archos, Coby, RIM, Samsung, Amazon, and Motorola related to its downloadable playlist patents and others.

The new patent, issued just last year on Feb. 7, 2012, is quite broad and describes a “System for Disseminating Media Content Representing Episodes in a Serialized Sequence.” Personal Audio is also suing the popular Howstuffworks.com series, which like Ace Broadcasting, is a large podcasting presence on iTunes and across the web…

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Texas Stories December 20, 2012

T-Mobile-iPhone

T-Mobile’s Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray announced on the company’s blog today that 14 new metro areas are getting access to its iPhone-compatible HSPA+ 4G network. The updates are hitting areas such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Dallas, Texas, Florida, and San Antonio, following rollouts to Chicago, California, and elsewhere earlier this month.

The carrier also said enhancements to its network in additional areas like Los Angeles and San Diego have already started. This means that customers on Solavei, the new, no-contract T-Mobile MVNO offering of $49 per month unlimited, will also get coverage for unlocked iPhones in the new areas. A full list is below:

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Texas Stories November 28, 2012

Things aren’t looking good for chipmaker AMD…Following another round of layoffs totaling about 15 percent of its employees last month, Reuters reported today that AMD is looking for an investor to sell its Texas campus in order to raise up to $200 million in cash in a multi-year lease back deal. AMD’s cash dropped from $279 million to $1.48 billion in the third quarter, and today the company sits at a market cap of $1.40 billion.

Despite not being the “main option,” with the restructuring and the company’s financial issues, Reuters’ sources claimed an outright sale of the company isn’t out of the question. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard chatter of an AMD takeover. However, with the company sitting at a market cap of $1.40 billion and rumors of Bob Mansfield’s new Technologies group possibly transitioning away from Intel processors, we can’t help but imagine a few things Apple would stand to gain from the purchase…

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Texas Stories November 6, 2012

According to Bloomberg, Apple lost a lawsuit against VirnetX in a Texas courtroom late this evening and ordered to pay $368.2 million in damages. VirnetX sued Apple for infringing on its collection of network patents that Apple has been accused of incorporating into products like FaceTime. VirnetX was originally asking for upward of $900 million, but the jury decided on lesser damages this evening. Additionally, the patent holding company has similar cases pending against Cisco and Avaya. VirnetX successfully won $105.75 million from Microsoft in 2010.

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Texas Stories August 22, 2012

Yesterday, Gizmodo posted a harrowing piece about one of the most corrupt Apple Stores in the United States. The story profiled many unethical tactics done by the store managers and employees. In one instance, a regional manager actually gave away a free Apple product in exchange for a weight loss surgery, and also leant Apple products out for months at a time. In another case, Apple Store Geniuses would actually take iPhones at their leisure, often breaking them and replacing them. But perhaps the most disconcerting bit from the Gizmodo piece is what Geniuses did to customer’s products. In one instance, a Genius actually  “just erased people’s hard drives that are —holes.” Certainly shocking out of the company that’s already had 300 million visitors in its stores this year.

We weren’t sure how accurate the story was or if the sources had perhaps been embellishing at best and fabricating at worst.  However a separate second source has come forward with a separate but similar story and has named the store in question. expand full story

Texas Stories July 18, 2012

Last time we checked Apple’s plans to bring 3,600 jobs to Austin, Texas with a $304 million investment and the construction of a new campus, the company received approval on the last of several major incentives from city officials. The approval officially initiated an Economic Development Agreement between Apple and the city, but the project was still not 100 percent confirmed.

Reports originally said Apple would build the new campus on 38 acres at West Parmer Lane and Delcour Drive, and today’s report from AustinBusinessJournal confirmed Apple recently purchased land near the address:

Records at the Travis County Clerk’s Office show that McShane Development Co. LLC, through its Riata Vista LP entity, sold three tracts of land to Apple on June 20. The exhibits indicate that the land is in the Milwood Section 20 subdivision near Parmer Lane and Delcour Drive.

The report did not offer any information about how much Apple paid for the land, but the purchase is a good indication Apple is going ahead with its new Austin campus. According to AustinBusinessJournal, McShane CEO James McShane released a press release yesterday on its new vice president who helped make the deal with Apple:

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Texas Stories May 4, 2012

Caught on camera: ‘iThief’ steals 100 iPads across Texas (Video)

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O.K., here is another Walmart-based story: The retail giant’s asset protection team has captured an unidentified woman stealing iPads on surveillance video. Sure, theft is commonplace at the supercenter, but police said this woman has stolen roughly 100—or $57,000 worth of— iOS tablets.

 According to ABC News’ Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate, WFAA:

She usually strikes in the early hours of the morning. Police say she does the same thing every time, leaving groceries at the counter and walking out of the store with two or three iPads. Her latest hit came last week at a Sherman Wal-Mart.

The video above shows how the Wally World thefts occur. The woman allegedly hit 36 cities in Texas, including 28 Wal-Mart stores and eight Targets. The crook’s dubious habits in the Lone Star state even earned her a new nickname: “The iThief.”

Texas Stories April 26, 2012

The last we heard, Apple’s plan to build a new $304 million campus and add up to 3,600 new jobs in Austin, Texas was all but a done deal with city officials last month after they approved an $8.6 million incentive to be handed out over 10 years. At the time, Apple was still waiting on additional incentives from Travis County officials, but today local reports from Statesman claimed Apple is growing frustrated with delays. Senior Vice President for Economic Development at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce Dave Porter said Apple’s deal to move into Austin is “in peril”:

“This deal is not done. It remains in peril. And Apple is frustrated… We were disappointed (the deal) wasn’t finalized this past Tuesday, but we were hopeful this next Tuesday that Apple and the county can complete the negotiation process and have that behind us… We remain hopeful that will take place and there will be a positive vote on Tuesday.”

In total, Apple would receive roughly $36 million over 10 to 15 years as part of the deal. Approximately $6.4 million is supposed to come from Travis County. The report explained the reasons behind the County delaying approval of the incentive: expand full story

Texas Stories March 23, 2012

We reported earlier this month that Apple was waiting on city officials from Austin, Texas to decide whether to offer the company an $8.6 million incentive over 10 years as part of Apple’s proposal to invest $304 million in a new campus. The Texas Enterprise Fund is already kicking in $21 million over 10 years as part of the deal, and last night the City Council unanimously approved the $8.6 million in incentives. According to a report from KXAN, this will initiate “the negotiation and execution of an Economic Development Agreement with APPLE INC,” but Travis County officials are still weighing the decision to offer Apple an additional $6 million in real estate related incentives… expand full story

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