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Tag - Flextronics
Singapore-based supplier Flextronics effectively hired slave labor to help build camera modules for the Apple iPhone 5, a new Businessweek report claims. The company is said to have relied on recruiters across southeast Asia, who charged migrant workers hundreds of dollars -- up to half or more of their annual salaries -- for the right to take a job. The recruiters then confiscated passports, ultimately leaving the new workers without any pay or food for months.
Flextronics America is in the process of hiring close to 1,700 people to work on a "next generation desktop computer" at its factory in Austin, Texas, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The company has declined to go into any more detail on the product, but filed a presentation with Travis County commissioners on Monday, as part of a bid to have its facilities declared a foreign trade zone. At least 879 jobs have already been created, and Flextronics says it could add another 815 if it hits peak targets.
The new cylindrical Mac Pro will be built by Flextronics, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo tells the Chinese-language Economic Daily News. The claim would be consistent with Apple statements that the computer will be built in the US. While Flextronics is based in Singapore, it has plants around the US, including ones in Texas, California, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and the Carolinas.
A slew of insider trading charges were leveled Friday against a Portland, Oregon-based analyst who allegedly provided significant leaks regarding the technology industry. Consultant John Kinnucan was accused of two counts each of securities fraud and conspiracy for reportedly passing on secret information about F5, Flextronics, and SanDisk to hedge funds that in turn unfairly benefited from the information to a combined $1.58 million. Sources at Flextronics and SanDisk ended up relating information about Apple's iPhone patterns.
One-time Flextronics development head Walter Shimoon on Tuesday pled guilty to leaking iPad trade secrets and others. In return for a lighter penalty, the former executive admitted to passing along information about Apple's plans to at least Broadband Research and is believed to have sent on information to a minimum of ten other hedge funds. Shimoon will be convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud but won't learn his exact sentence until 2013.
Notebook suppliers in Taiwan said no to HP's requests to produce low-profit orders, a Tuesday report claimed today. A Goldman Sachs analyst said Compal, Quanta and Wistron had turned down production of 2011 models as the gross margins were too thin to be acceptable. Quanta would also reduce its investment in Chongqing in mainland China, Digitimes also confirmed.
Microsoft hopes to sell "at least" five million Project Natal controllers this year, two insiders said late Thursday [subscription required]. The sources didn't provide the exact launch date or price but implied to the WSJ that the target was aggressive, as the motion controllers would only ship late in the year. Microsoft has publicly touted Natal as one of its most important launches.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k