Suspect found after complaints about missing shipments
A 31-year-old Virginia man, Stephen A. Owens, has been charged with embezzling over 60 Apple products as a sorter at a Springfield UPS facility. Police tell local CBS station WUSA9 that Owens is accused of stealing unopened Apple products -- sometimes by hiding them in his pants -- and then selling them at a discount. Stolen goods included iPhones, iPads, iPods, and MacBooks.
App long stuck as iPhone-only
Shipping service UPS has launched a native iPad version of its iOS app. An iPhone app has been available for some time, but has never been updated to be universal. Both titles let people track up to five shipments simultaneously, which are displayed on a map.
Microsoft adds John W. Thompson to board
Microsoft revealed on Monday that it has brought John Thompson onto its board of directors, reinstating it to its full 10 members once again. Thompson is the CEO of Virtual Instruments and was once chairman and CEO of Symantec. He also served at IBM, in the sales, marketing, and software development divisions as well as being the general manager of IBM Americas.
MAGFest auction for Child's Play
UPS has launched an updated version of its free mobile shipment utility for iOS devices. UPS Mobile includes a number of features for tracking shipments, creating labels, finding UPS locations, and more. With the latest release, a new "Scan to Track" feature has been added, allowing users to scan package tracing numbers with a phone's camera to obtain updated information. In addition, the software will also search for any tracking numbers stored on the device and automatically add them into the UPS app for tracking.
Google may have cheap next-day shipping service
Google is developing an alternative to a service like Amazon Prime that would ship online orders within one day, sources gave out on Thursday. It's believed by the Wall Street Journal to be in talks with both retailers and shipping companies like UPS to merger its shopping search with a new shipping system. The approach would help determine which companies had stock and could meet the goal, possibly even having some shipments arrive the same day.
Verizon iPhone gets to official forum user
Verizon forum members discovered the first known regular customer to get an iPhone. In what appears to have been an after-hours visit to a UPS depot in Fort Worth, Texas, one buyer managed to get his and activated it the same day. It "works great," he said.
Source provides unconfirmed sales numbers
Some Verizon iPhone shipments are becoming stuck in Memphis, Tennessee, buyers say. Flights are reportedly being delayed or canceled, postponing deliveries that would normally arrive today until Monday. FedEx notes that the Memphis hub has been impacted by "severe winter weather conditions," causing "service delays and disruptions."
Echoes iPhone practices
iPad shipments have moved beyond US Customs and UPS' main Louisville hub, but are still under tight security, a follow-up report notes. Tablets are now said to be sitting at or on their way to local hubs, awaiting only the official April 3rd shipping date to be delivered to pre-order customers. Apple is, however, claimed to have hired an unspecified security agency to track UPS shipments during their progress from regional distribution centers to the local ones.
May serve PR, anti-scamming purposes
Apple may be exploiting a loophole in US Customs to prevent online iPad orders from arriving ahead of the official schedule, information suggests. The company has so far maintained that the product will only launch on April 3rd, even though shipments having been going out since Monday. Most iPads would arrive early under normal circumstances, deflating some of Apple's PR campaign, while also giving some people an opportunity to resell the device at a high markup.
HP to start $40m ad blitz to recast image
(Update: official video below) HP is about to start an estimated eight week long, $40 million corporate advertising campaign, its first in over five years, a source said on Thursday. According to the WSJ, HP aims to show off its broader range of technology through a set of ads to help spread the message. The campaign would include rapper Dr. Dre, whose Beats headphones and software are already on some HP notebooks, as well as stand-up comic and Flight of the Conchords actor Rhys Darby.