New trial to determine damages to patent troll set for September 14
A federal judge in the notoriously patent-friendly Eastern District of Texas has suspended a jury's award of half a billion dollars to a non-practicing patent entity (colloquially known as a patent troll) who sued Apple after reviewing his own instructions to the jury which may have created a "skewed damages horizon" that they responded to with the large award. The change does not reverse the overall finding that Apple infringed on Smartflash's patents, or a possible future patent invalidity finding, but a new damages-only trial is now set for September 14.
TSMC will presumably fill in remaining 25 percent
Samsung will indeed be the chief supplier of processors for Apple's next iPhone(s), according to South Korea's Maeil Business Newspaper. The company is expected to take about 75 percent of CPU orders. The paper doesn't mention how much the deal is worth, or who else will be producing chips, but Samsung's manufacturing will reportedly take place at its plant in Austin, Texas, the original home of Apple's A-series processors.
Roadmap for processors unclear
Samsung has already started manufacturing Apple A9 processors at its factory in Austin, Texas, claims South Korea's Electronic Times. Production is fact said to have started just this Thursday, using the company's latest 14nm manufacturing process. The story is consistent with other recent reports suggesting A9 production would begin by the end of the year, and statements from within Samsung that it would be supplying Apple with 14nm hardware.
Second pager-related suit in two months
Apple has been ordered to pay a Texas firm, Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, $23.6 million for illegally using pager patents in its products. A federal jury in Marshall, Texas has ruled that six patents owned by MTel are still valid, and were infringed by products including the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and the AirPort router line. The patents were originally issued in the mid- to late-1990s, and are either recently expired or set to expire soon.
Texas court abused discretion, single California case heard for less confusion, resource savings
Google's battle with the Rockstar Consortium is getting closer to a trial, as the matter of the venue for the case has finally been settled. While several cases were ongoing in California and Texas, judges gave different opinions on where the court battle should take place. Google asked the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to weigh in, a risky move that ended up working in its favor.
Owner 'knowingly and intentionally' ran sham operation, while maintaining it wasn't a scam
A Texas court has found that the operator of Bitcoin Savings and Trust (BTCST) must pay back $40.4 million in profits and interest earned in a Ponzi scheme. The case is the result of lawsuit brought against Trendon Shavers for offering securities through BTCST and personal solicitation without being registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Austin TWC Maxx upgrade includes connection speed increases, improved TV service
Time Warner Cable is expanding the TWC Maxx initiative it launched earlier this year in Los Angeles and New York City, by upgrading its network in Austin, Texas, along with seven other markets at a later time. Subscriber speed increases for its Internet service are touted, for both consumer and business customers, alongside an expansion of the TWC Wi-Fi network into the greater Austin area, and a new "all-digital" TV line-up.
Photo shows second part to Austin visit
(Updated with photo of Cook at AppleCare center) As a part of his visit to Austin yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook also ended up touring the manufacturing plant where the Mac Pro is assembled, according to a new Twitter post. "Watching the Mac Pro come together in Austin yesterday, thanks to a team loaded with American manufacturing expertise," he writes, captioning a photo.
Talked Beats acquisition, Ahrendts hiring, 'exciting' new products
Although only the first two buildings in the first phase of the project has been fully operational for about a month, Apple's Austin, Texas-based Americas Operations Center held its grand opening today with special guests: Apple CEO Tim Cook, and senior VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue. The pair spoke to workers about the recent Beats acquisition and the hiring of Dame Angela Ahrendts as retail chief, and also teased "exciting" new products in the pipeline.
Switch to flip 'later this year'
Google Fiber's deployment in Austin, Texas has been delayed several months, Google tells local NBC affiliate KXAN. Signups for Austin residents will only open this summer, while the service itself is due to go live "later this year." When Google announced that Fiber was coming to Austin a year ago, it said it had hoped to connect people by mid-2014, after signups in January.
Mobile phones search by law enforcement after jailing questioned by court
Law enforcement officials cannot search a prisoner's mobile phone once they have been jailed, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled. The 7-1 decision from the judges means that mobile devices seized at the time of arrest cannot be searched after the owner has gone to jail, as they still have some expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment.
Mainstream pop acts announced as headliners
The iTunes Festival will be coming to the US for the first time at this year's South-by-Southwest in Austin, Texas, Apple has announced. All shows will be held between March 11th and the 15th at the Moody Theater downtown. So far, only Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Pitbull, and ZEDD have been announced as acts, but more announcements are due soon. For people not at the Moody the event will be streamed to Macs, Apple TVs, and iOS devices.
Apple continues publicity tour
Apple CEO Tim Cook was joined by fellow executives Craig Federighi (head of Software Engineering) and Bud Tribble (VP of Software Technology) during an ABC News interview set to air later tonight, but teased this morning during Good Morning America. While the occasion was nominally the 30th anniversary of the Mac, Cook was asked about topics like the manufacturing of the Mac Pro in Austin, Texas. He suggested the company could "do more" on that account, which led to discussion of its contracted sapphire glass plant in Mesa, Arizona.
Adverse weather conditions slows production, shipping of smartphones
Deliveries of the Moto G and Moto X to customers in the United States have been delayed, because of adverse weather conditions. The manufacturing and shipping facility in Fort Worth, Texas was affected by "Winter Storm Dion," with the snow causing significant transportation issues for finished goods as well as for Motorola employees.
Product could be new Mac Pro
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.
Offering free upgrades to gigabit speeds for 300Mbps subscribers
AT&T is following through with its plans to spoil Google Fiber in Austin, as it starts to deploy its own fiber network in the city and surrounding area. The 100-percent fiber Internet from the carrier will be preceded by a deployment of its U-verse with GigaPower service, complete with "more advanced TV services and features," starting this December.
Wind farm to provide power for Oklahoma data center
Google is extending its green credentials, by purchasing the entire output of another wind farm for use by one of its data centers. The Happy Hereford farm near Amarillo, Texas has sold its entire 240-megawatt output to the search provider for an undisclosed amount, with the wind farm itself set to begin production of energy from late 2014 onwards.
Components to be sourced from US companies where possible
During his testimony before the Senate on Apple's tax strategies, CEO Tim Cook restated an earlier promise that a forthcoming Mac model -- not identified -- was going to be built in the United States, and further revealed that it would be assembled in Texas. While the exact site wasn't specified, Apple has established and is expanding an administrative campus in Austin, and manufacturing partner Foxconn has facilities in Houston.
Service currently limited to Houston, Orlando, Tampa
AT&T has officially launched Aio Wireless, an awaited MVNO carrier offering cheaper prepaid plans. Aio is offering Basic, Smart, and Pro tiers for phones, all of which including unlimited calling and texting. Basic costs between $35 and $40, and includes 250MB of data. Smart costs $55 per month for 2GB, and the $70 Pro plan ups the data cap to 7GB. Once a cap is exceeded, Aio begins throttling speeds. A special $15 tablet plan provides 250MB of data.
First office building nearly complete, part of first phase
Photos revealed on AppleInsider have shown that construction on the first phase of Apple's new Austin, Texas expansion campus is progressing smoothly. From outward appearances, the first of two planned office buildings and a parking garage in the first phase of the construction are already well along, with the former already having been painted hand having had its glass windows installed. When the first phase is complete in 2015, the project will double Apple's present Austin workforce to over 7,000 workers.
Says it expects government to offer same breaks as Google
Following in the wake of Google's announcement of Fiber expansion in Austin, AT&T has announced similar plans, according to a press release. The company is planning to build out a gigabit fiber network in the city, but hasn't yet revealed what parts of the city will be served, or what the gigabit tier might cost. Likewise, it hasn't set a timeline for when the network will be completed.
Austin Gigabit Internet likely to cost same as Kansas City project
Google has officially announced it will be building its fiber Internet service in Austin, Texas. The expansion, leaked over the last few days, will see Austin become the second city after Kansas City to get the Gigabit Internet and TV service through Google Fiber, with the company hoping to "start connecting homes" to the network by mid-2014.
City was in close competition for initial rollout
Austin, Texas could be the next city to get Google Fiber, an upcoming meeting suggests. Google and the City of Austin are holding an event on April 9th, and city sources tell GigaOM that they suspect it's related to broadband. "You are a leader here in Austin," a leaked invitation reads. "Every day, your work and contributions help make our community better and stronger. Thatís why we want you to be one of the first to hear about something new coming to Austin. Please join Google and the City of Austin for an announcement on Tuesday."
Promises more meeting spaces, bigger Genius Bar
Apple is relaunching its Barton Creek outlet in Austin, Texas on March 23rd at 10AM. The company says that the overhauled location will be larger than before, for instance offering more demo units. More significantly the store will have more space for training, workshops, and meetings with business staff, and a larger Genius Bar.
Should allow AT&T to make significant LTE expansions
AT&T has bought $1.9 billion in 700 MHz B spectrum from Verizon Wireless, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. AT&T says that the licenses should cover over 42 million people in 18 states: California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming. As a part of the deal, it will also get AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) spectrum in five of those markets.
Expansion mostly limited to minor towns
Sprint has expanded its LTE 4G coverage to 28 more towns in the US, according an announcement. The new locations are spread out across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Missouri, Mississippi, Minnesota, Washington, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, and Massachusetts. Most of them are relatively minor; some notable names include Branson, Missouri, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Sites in Texas, California also allegedly under consideration
The states of Oregon and New York may be competing for a chip factory under consideration by an Apple supplier, says The Oregonian. Oregon's economic development agency, Business Oregon, says it is trying to recruit a company operating under the codename "Azalea." A non-disclosure agreement is preventing any more details from emerging, though a similar project --tagged with a "Project Azalea" codename -- is being pursued in New York state.
Project may be important to city's economy
Construction work has started on Apple's expanded presence in Austin, Texas, the Austin America-Statesman reports. Crews are said to be doing earthwork at the new West Parmer site, and have already erected a concrete shell for what appears to be a three-story office building. So far, though, no signs have identified the project, its future occupant, or even the company doing the construction, although the developer is known to be Conor Commercial. A security guard has refused to say whether or not Apple is involved.
Dispute expands to iPhone 5 and iPad mini
VirnetX has filed a second lawsuit against Apple, kicking off a new legal battle just hours after the patent holding company won a $368 million patent-infringement judgement for technology used in iPads, iPhones and Mac computers. The fresh filing expands the litigation to include Apple's latest devices, such as the iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch, fourth-generation iPad, iPad mini and latest Mac computers.
Facility produces Apple's A-series processors
Samsung has announced that it will spend roughly $4 billion overhauling its chip manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas, Reuters reports. The company plans to renovate is current production line there and boost system chip production. The money follows a $1.98 billion investment in a new chip plant in the company's home country of South Korea, and the conversion of two memory chip lines into ones for logic chips for clients like Apple.
New ground located next to existing campus
Apple has already bought three tracts of land in preparation for its expansion in Austin, Texas, according to the Austin Business Journal. The real estate is in the Milwood Section 20 subdivision near West Parmer and Delcour, next to Apple's existing Austin campus, situated at Riata Vista Circle. A deal between Apple and McShane Development is said to have been finalized on June 20th, although the price paid and the square footage involved haven't been made public.
Includes suggested salary protections, hiring deadlines
The Travis County Commissioners Court has voted in favor of a deal to bring a second Apple campus to Austin, Texas, the Austin-American Statesman reports. In the end commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of the plan, which was recently amended to include stricter hiring requirements. The lone dissenter was Precinct 2 Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt, who argued the deal should have stronger requirements to hire people from the county; she was also upset that requirements for the poor were dropped. Judge Sam Biscoe said he was willing to take Apple's word that it would hire the poor despite no contractual obligations.
Apple not singled out in Houston gunfire
Apple is planning to build a new Canadian store in the city of Regina, Saskatchewan, ifoAppleStore reports. The outlet will be based in the Cornwall Centre shopping mall, and fill a substantial hole in Apple's Canadian coverage. While Regina is a comparatively small city, the store will fill in a 700-mile gap. To the west and east the closest stores are in entirely different provinces, which has so far left Saskatchewanians no choice but to shop online or at resellers.
New deal would put strict hiring demands on Apple
Travis County commissioners could potentially approve an altered handout deal to Apple later today, according to the Austin-American Statesman. Apple is hoping to build a second campus in Austin, Texas worth $304 million, and is expected to bring 3,665 more jobs to the city over the course of the next 10 years. The county may contribute $6.4 million out of a total $36 million in incentives, but last week skepticism about the deal postponed a vote on the matter.
Amazon creating 2500 Texas jobs in next four years
Amazon has settled a dispute with the state of Texas over $269 million in unpaid sales taxes between 2005 and 2009. The settlement terms require the company to create jobs in the state and collect sales tax beginning in July.
Skepticism about Apple terms, Austin's benefits
An expansion deal between Apple and the city of Austin, Texas is on shaky ground, a report suggests. Dave Porter, the senior VP of economic development at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, tells the Austin-American Statesman that the deal isn't finished, and "remains in peril." Apple is allegedly "frustrated" with some recent developments.
Thousands gather outside NYC Apple Stores
A few short hours after Asian and European debuts, Apple has begun the day's US launches of the third-generation iPad. In New York City, the Grand Central Apple Store alone is said to have seen about 500 people in line. Similar numbers were seen at Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store (see video below).
New campus could take city, county, state money
An Apple official today answered questions in front of Austin City Council in an attempt to secure funding for its expanded presence in the city. The Council is offering to pay $8.6 million in incentives over 10 years if Apple meets job and investment targets. Apple may also receive $21 million from the state-level Texas Enterprise Fund, and still more cash from Travis County, although county officials are believed to be waiting until after a City Council vote to say what it might contribute.
Timing unusually early for regular store launches
The new Highland Village Apple Store in Houston, Texas will open at 8AM on the 16th, Apple has announced. The company more typically opens new stores at 10AM; the Houston Chronicle speculates, as a result, that Apple may be preparing to open all of its stores at 8AM for the launch of the third-generation iPad. An Apple spokeswoman has refused to confirm or deny such plans.
City to get roughly 3,600 jobs
The State of Texas has announced an agreement by Apple to spend another $304 million in Austin to expand operations. The company is building a new campus that will double its workforce in the state during the next 10 years, primarily boosting customer support, sales, and accounting divisions. In exchange, the state is handing out $21 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund.
Highland Village to open one day earlier
The planned opening of a new Houston Apple Store may indicate a launch date for the iPad 3, the Houston Chronicle reports. Apple is on the verge of opening a new outlet in the Highland Village shopping center. A source connected to the store's opening says that the outlet was originally supposed to debut in January, and later March 17th. Just a few weeks ago, though, the date was allegedly adjusted to March 16th.
Outlet may be ready in January
A new Houston Apple Store, still under construction, borrows the design of Apple's Upper West Side shop in New York City, reports indicate. The Highland Village outlet likewise sports an all-glass storefront and roof, flanked by limestone side walls. Distinguishing the new location is the addition of a glass rear, and the shifting of back-of-house space to a nearby building, rather than a basement.
Apple expected to move into old HMV store
Apple is planning to open another Vancouver, Canada outlet by the end of 2012, sources identified as "real estate insiders" claim. The company is expected to move into 750 Burrard Street, currently home to an HMV megastore scheduled to close down in January. Once HMV is gone Apple's plans reportedly involve renovating 16,000 square feet spread across two floors.
Revives Tech Talk concept
Apple has unveiled plans for an iOS 5 Tech Talk World Tour. Apple experts are scheduled to visit nine cities during the tour, including Berlin, London, Rome, Beijing, Seoul, S„o Paolo, New York City, Seattle, and Austin. Events will start in Berlin on November 2nd and end in Austin on January 23rd. Registration for January 13th's New York City event is already full.
Business, legal issues being kept separate
Samsung is still the main producer for Apple's next-generation mobile processor, the A6, claims an anonymous executive with a South Korea-based Apple supplier. "Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor (AP) chips to be used in the next iPhone. It appears that Apple clearly has concluded that Samsung remains a critical business partner," the person tells the Korea Times. Samsung is in fact said to be boosting output of A6 chips at a manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas.
Built-up demand draws crowds
The launch of the iPhone 4S so far appears to be drawing major crowds in the US. At the company's flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York City, the lineup reportedly stretched around two sides of the block. While last year's iPhone 4's lineup is said to have wrapped around four sides, rain is thought to be keeping some 4S buyers at home for the time being.
El Paso store begins filling in large gap
At least two new Apple Stores are set to open this Saturday, checks confirm. The first is a Jungfernstieg location in Hamburg, Germany, which will represent the first time Apple has built more than one outlet per city in the country. Reports originally called for the shop to debut on the 10th, but the opening may simply have been delayed a week, for whatever reason.
Reading, UK Apple Store opens on Saturday
Apple is planning to open a new store in El Paso, Texas, city building permits show. The outlet will be based on the ground floor of the Cielo Vista Mall, which is found alongside Interstate 10 on the east side of the city. It will specifically be located next to a Gap clothing store, and the permits give an estimated construction cost of $500,000. It could open in early 2012 based on construction schedules.
Includes more German, Italian, American shops
A bevy of new Apple Stores are in the works for 2011, a report says. At least several of these are forecast to open in Italy by the middle of the year, including one in Bologna, a previously unexpected outlet in Florence, and a second Milan location. Possible addresses for the Milan and Florence stores remain unknown.
Shop would serve several regions
Apple has been searching El Paso, Texas for a place to put a new retail store, a report claims. Real estate sources in fact suggest that the company has most likely settled on the Sunland Park Mall, a two-level complex in a neighborhood with higher-than-average household income as compared to the city as a whole. A current lease plan shows three large spaces available on the ground level.