Williams tells Apple staff that company is improving labor conditions
In a new email memo to the company's UK workforce, Apple's Senior VP of Operations Jeff Williams claims that he and CEO Tim Cook were "deeply offended" by a BBC Panorama documentary exposing labor abuses in the company's supply chain. Specifically, Williams and Cook are said to have been "deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain, or mislead our customers in any way;" Williams charges that "Panorama's report implied that Apple isn't improving working conditions. Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth."
Ethics of Pegatron factories, Indonesian tin supply questioned
Ahead of the airing of a Panorama documentary on the subject, the BBC has published a web piece revealing the outcomes of its investigation into Apple's supply chain. The network went undercover, and charges that promises to protect the rights of workers were "routinely broken." In particular, the BBC found violations of standards for work hours, ID cards, dormitories, meetings, and underage labor at Pegatron factories on the outskirts of Shanghai.
Airing Thursday in UK
At 9PM GMT on Thursday, BBC One will be airing a documentary on the working conditions in Apple's extended supply chain. The Panorama piece, titled Apple's Broken Promises, focuses initially on conditions at Chinese factories producing the iPhone 6. It also goes into detail on the sources of materials for Apple products, bringing cameras to an Indonesian tin mine where children are digging out materials by hand.
Foxconn built device to sell for $190, features 5-inch display, 1.2 GHz processor
Blackberry officially announced the release of its low-priced, entry-level Z3 phone, which will go on sale tomorrow in Indonesia. The Z3 will see a special release named the "Jakarta Edition" when it goes on sale for $190. Blackberry's most recent device will try to recapture the Indonesian market share, which was as low as 14 percent in 2013.
Prices dip in Israel, New Zealand
Apple is raising iOS and Mac App Store prices in several countries, according to an email memo sent to developers. The hikes will impact Australia, India, Indonesia, Turkey, and South Africa. Apple blames the change on fluctuations in exchange rates, which the company adjusts for on a regular basis.
High cost of iPhone thought to be hurting Apple marketshare
Apple is planning to restart iPhone 4 production in order to sell the device in India, Indonesia, and Brazil, says India's The Economic Times. The paper cites three senior executives familiar with Apple's plans. Last month, there were indications that Apple would relaunch the iPhone 4 in India, but it was unclear if Apple was planning to restart manufacturing or just use unsold inventory. According to the Times, Foxconn has already begun building new units.
Oppo Neo has 4.5-inch 854x480 display, launching in Indonesia
Chinese phone manufacturer Oppo has launched a new smartphone in Indonesia. The Oppo Neo is a mid-range device sporting an 854x480-resolution 4.5-inch display, and though it does not have the resolution and specifications of the recent Oppo N1, the Neo does offer an extra-sensitive screen that is claimed to be responsive even if the user wears gloves.
Online store returns after two-year absence
Apple is planning a new push into Indonesian sales, says NZWeek. Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Board has officially approved an Apple application to enter the country. The board's deputy chairman adds that the company is planning to invest between $2 million and $3 million to launch a retail store in the capital of Jakarta; the store would be Apple's first in the country, and in fact Apple's first in the Asia-Pacific region outside of China or Japan.
Russia, Turkey, India, Indonesia get video
Following some early premieres, Apple has officially opened access to the iTunes Music Store in 56 more countries. While the company isn't providing a full list, it does highlight Russia, Turkey, India, Indonesia, and South Africa. Of the new countries, only Russia, Turkey, India, and Indonesia are getting access to movie rentals and purchases as well.
Launch could be announced Wednesday
Apple is on the verge of announcing iTunes music, movies, and TV shows for several important Asian regions, sources say. An event is allegedly planned for tomorrow in Hong Kong; it may play host to musician Jason Mraz, as well as representatives from a number of Asian music labels. The labels are said to have been in talks with Apple as of last week, which may still be ongoing. New launch regions are believed to include Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
Rebuffs RIM after it chooses Singapore for servers
Malaysian government officials have threatened to end RIM's BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service in that country. This rebuff comes after RIM chose to place a new server operation in Singapore. The Indonesian Telecommunication Regulation Body (BRTI) claimed to The Jakarta Post that the potential action is due to security reasons.
Malay, Indonesian iPhones
Malaysia and Indonesia will be the next two countries to carry the iPhone 3G, accounts indicate. Malaysian carrier Maxis is already taking pre-orders for the device, which should launch in the country on March 20th. When selecting a 12-month contract, an 8GB phone will cost between RM 1900 and RM 1080, while a 16GB model will cost between RM 2290 and RM 1470. Prices are dependent on the particular i-Value plans users pick, which start at RM 100 for 333 minutes and 500MB of data and end at RM 375 for 2,500 minutes and 3GB of data.