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1,000 workers strike at Apple keyboard supplier over long hours





audit

1,000 workers at a factory in southern China that provides IBM and Apple with components, including keyboards, went on strike this week complaining of overtime requirements. The employees blocked the local highway during the strike to attract public attention to nightly overtime demands, common workplace injuries, layoffs of older workers, lack of benefits and verbal abuse by managers. The strike was halted after the company officials agreed to reduce overtime at the plant.

In a statement regarding the issue, the rights group called on Apple to "take responsibility, as there are more than 300 workers working on the Apple keyboard assembly line."


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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Friday, November 25th, 2011. 12:20

Aaron Sorkin “Strongly Considering” Writing Screenplay For Movie About Steve Jobs



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Last month rumors have it that Sony Pictures was persuading producer, playwright and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin to write the script for the movie about Steve Jobs based on authorized biography from Walter Isaacson. Sorkin has gained fame for his work on Moneyball, The West Wing,  A Few Good Men and The Social Network.


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Written by maxim

Thursday, November 24th, 2011. 14:34

Apple Offers New Subscription Gaming Services In App Store



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According to Bloomberg’s report, Apple launched a new class of offerings in App Store, by allowing game development studio Big Fish Games to offer its titles to iPad users on a subscription basis. Such offerings could be a new revenue stream for game publishers and new option for users, which was earlier available only for digital publications. Bloomberg reports:

“Big Fish Games, a Seattle-based game publisher, won approval from Apple to become the first to offer users access to dozens of titles for $6.99 a month. Until now, games have only been available one at a time, requiring users to download individual applications”.

The option will be available through a dedicated Big Fish app where subscribers can gain unlimited access to such games as “Mahjong Towers” and “Mystery Case Files” series.

Games that can be accessed through the subscription service are streamed to an iPad from Big Fish Games’ data centers and initially they will require Wi-Fi access to be played.

The standard subscription package from the game publisher will be offered for $4.99 a month, increasing to $6.99 monthly subscription early next year when more titles can be accessed through the app. Also the company will offer a free ad-supported option to play up to 30 minutes per day.




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Written by maxim

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011. 15:24

Apple's product plans for 2012



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Based on information from “some reliable sources”, iLounge offers a series of tidbits about Apple’s product plans for 2012, related to design of the iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Pro.

As for the iPad, the source claims that the iPad 3 is likely to be launched in March. The new tablet from Apple will be approximately 0.7 mm thicker (8% thicker) than the iPad 2 due to the need to incorporate a dual light bar system for the higher-resolution display, but still thinner than the original iPad.

The next-generation iPhone will not have design that circulated ahead of the iPhone 4S introduction last month. The next iPhone is said to carry a 4-inch display, have teardrop shape, be 8 mm longer than the current iPhone 4S. Release of the new smartphone is expected this summer.

The source indicates that in 2012 we will see a thinner MacBook Pro. Recent reports have claimed that “an ultra-thin 15" Mac notebook, whether it be a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, is on target for a March launch with small volumes of components already making their way through the supply chain.”




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Steve Jobs wanted Apple to reinvent TVs, textbooks and photography



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The famous author of Steve Jobs’ authorized biography, Walter Isaacson, has revealed in his recent interview that the passed away Apple’s co-founder had free things he wanted to reinvent: the television, textbooks and photography. The most difficult for him was television with its "complicated remote controls." Isaacson said that Jobs said he felt there was "no reason" for TVs to be so difficult to use and he claimed he had managed to “crack” the secret of a simple HDTV.

That has led to a new speculation and rumors that Apple is planning to release a television set at some point in the near future. The New York Times said last month that Apple is expected to release a TV with Siri voice recognition functionality by the year 2013.

Isaacson also noted that Jobs was interested in changing textbooks and photography. Apple has already started implementation of an iPad in schools to replace standard printed textbooks and offered to use the iPad as a device for taking pictures. Apple believes that digital textbooks are more convenient and the iPad will improve quality of pictures.




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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Monday, November 21st, 2011. 13:55

Disney CEO receives $84K in shares for joining Apple board



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Earlier this week, Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Iger received more than $84,000 in stock for joining Apple's board of directors. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Iger received 75 shares of common stock and 142 restricted shares that will vest in February of 2012. It amounts $84,376 in cash.

This week Apple announced that Iger became member of Apple’s board of directors. He will serve on the company's audit committee. His compensation for joining Apple's board is comparable to what others who joined received in the past. For example, Andrea Jung, who joint Apple’s board in 2008, received 77 shares of common stocks.

Iger’s relationships with Apple have quite long history. In 2006 he was responsible for acquisition of Pixar. Moreover, he is a Disney CEO. He was one of the first people who expressed condolences to Jobs’ family after he passed away. "With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend," Iger said.




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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Saturday, November 19th, 2011. 22:51

AnandTech Compared Galaxy Nexus And iPhone 4S performance



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The first smartphone with Ice Cream Sandwich, Galaxy Nexus, was released in the UK this week (launch in U.S. coming soon) and website AnandTech has benchmarked the new Galaxy Nexus vs. iPhone 4S.


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Replacement Devices For First-Gen iPod Nano Are Now Arriving



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Last week Apple announced a replacement program for first-gen iPod nano. The program was initiated due to battery defects that could cause overheating of the devices. While Apple officially states that users may wait up to six week to receive the replacement devices, some customers are reporting that they have already received their replacements. And while some had expressed hopes that Apple may replace their devices with newer-generation iPod nanos given a possible shortage of devices that went out of production five years ago, customers still receives first-gen iPod nanos.


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Written by maxim

Friday, November 18th, 2011. 15:20

Apple Pulls Back on iPad 2 Display Orders as iPad 3 Production Begins to Ramp Up



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Digitimes reports that Apple has reduced its fourth-quarter orders for iPad 2 display panels. That might mean that Apple has already started preparing for the launch of the iPad 3 early next year. The second reason might be the reduction of customers’ interest in the device.  Moreover, Apple stockpiled components for an extra 4-5 million iPad 2 units, so that allows it to reduce its orders for the fourth quarter.

Sales of iPads at the end market totaled 11.12 million units in the third quarter of 2011, according to data released by Apple. However, inventories of parts and components prepared by the makers in the supply chain for the production of iPad 2 in the quarter are sufficient for the production of 15-16 million iPads, leaving a stockpile of 4-5 million units of iPad 2 in the supply chain, the sources noted.

Digitimes also notes that the reason for stockpiling of iPad 2 components may be preparation for the iPad 3 launch set for the beginning of 2012, suggesting that  suppliers of both display and touch panels for the iPad 3 have either already begun or will soon begin shipments to Apple.

While Apple is adjusting panel inventory for iPad 2, Samsung and Sharp already began shipping panels for the next-generation iPads to Apple in October, and Taiwan-based touch panel makers TPK Holding and Wintek will begin to ship touch panels for the new iPads to the supply chain in November-December, the sources noted.




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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Friday, November 18th, 2011. 14:37

Mac passes five percent global market share



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According to a new analysis, first time for 15 years Apple’s worldwide share of PC market passed 5 percent up from 4.7 percent in June and 4.4 percent a year ago. Analyst Charlie Wolf of Needham & Co. reported that in the third calendar quarter of 2011 Mac shipments outpaced the PC market for the 22nd straight quarter. Apple’s growth was 24.6 percent, while growth in total PC shipments was 5.3 percent. During this quarter Apple sold 4.89 million Macs, there are the record numbers of Mac sales.

"More impressively, the growth in Mac shipments in the past year represented 20% of the growth in worldwide PC shipments," he said. To further put things into perspective, Wolf noted that Apple's September quarter Mac shipments exceeded annual Mac shipments for all years prior to 2006.

Mac shipments significantly increased in both the home and business markets. In home market Mac shipments showed 25.6 percent growth, while the overall increase was only 4 percent. Shipments to the business market were an impressive nine times the market pace: 43.8 percent versus 4.8 percent. Wolf suggested that Mac success could be attributed to halo effect from the iPad and iPhone.

However, Apple didn’t show great performance in the education and government markets. In the third calendar quarter of 2011 Mac shipments to education customers for the quarter grew on 2.9 percent, compared to 16.9 percent for the PC market. Such situation might be caused by the iPad cannibalization of the education market.




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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Friday, November 18th, 2011. 10:41

Sony Seeking To Bypass Cable Providers With Web-Based TV Service



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Last week it was reported that Sony was actively working on changing the way users view and interact with content on its TV sets, with company’s CEO Howard Stringer acknowledging that they was seeking the way to compete with Apple’s ecosystem that is planned to include TV sets in the near future.


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Written by maxim

Thursday, November 17th, 2011. 16:29

Apple, Chinese environmental groups meet to discuss supplier pollution concerns



environment

On Tuesday Apple held a meeting with five Chinese environmental protection groups in Beijing. While a three-and-a-half hour meeting Apple and representatives from Chinese companies were discussing domestic supplier pollution and reports, criticizing the company for using loopholes in the system.

The representative of EnviroFriends, Li Li, who took part in the meeting, claimed that the company continues to put the burden of responsibility for pollution on its suppliers. But Apple refuses to reveal its suppliers, thus, the groups decided to carry out their own research to discover suppliers working with Apple. During the meeting Apple admitted that 15 out of the 27 suppliers accused of excessive pollution were suppliers for the company.

"Apple said they had already spoken to 11 supply firms and asked them to reform, and they’re in the process of initiating communications with the other four," Li said.

"Apple is committed to driving the highest standards of social responsibility throughout our supply chain. We require that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made," said spokeswoman Carolyn Wu.

Remind you that this year Greenpeace ranked Apple as the fourth-greenest device maker, up five spots from last year.




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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Thursday, November 17th, 2011. 14:49

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Apple rumored to issue iOS 5.0.2 for battery woes, iOS 5.1 with Siri additions



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German site Macerkopf reports that Apple is working on two software updates for iOS 5 to fix battery issues and to add new features to Apple’s voice recognition assistant Siri. Macerkopf tells us:

iOS 5.0.2 coming very soon, solving the battery bugs. Should arrive before the end of next week. Apple is working hard on the update. In addition Apple is working on the first big iOS 5 Update (iOS 5.1), bringing some Siri-extensions. Also the Siri hardware-control is in work "take a picture", "make a video", "switch on/off WiFi", "switch on/off BT" and more.

The new update will be iOS 5.0.2 and is expected to be released next week to address continued battery life issues even after last week's release of iOS 5.0.1 that was also targeted at solving battery issues. But there are still no signs of developer testing for an iOS 5.0.2. The other update Apple is working on to improve Siri functionality on the iPhone 4S will be probably dubbed iOS 5.1. The update seems to be released earlier next year. Apple may add new languages and expansion of maps and local search to new countries in the update.




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iDownloadblog Compared Apple’s iPad 2 And Amazon’s Kindle Fire



After Amazon put its Kindle Fire on sale, one question arose: Which tablet is faster, iPad or Kindle Fire? Wanting to figure it out, iDownloadblog compared the two devices with each other.


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Written by maxim

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011. 20:44

Qualcomm Announced Commercial Availability of 4G LTE Gobi 4000 Chips



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Qualcomm has announced availability of its Gobi 4000 chips for HSPA+ and 4G LTE capable devices, which will quite possible ship in a next LTE-capable iPad.


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Written by maxim

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011. 16:02