19-year Apple vet takes reins of new division to invigorate Intel mobile
Intel has noted that it has appointed Mike Bell to lead its emergent technology and product trend group, which includes ultra-mobile products. The new division will be "tasked with turning cool technology and business model innovations into products that shape and lead markets," according to Intel.
Documents Apple's defense against accusations of tax dodging
Apple has posted the opening statements two of its executives -- CEO Tim Cook (PDF) -- and CFO Peter Oppenheimer (PDF) -- made during their testimony in front of the US Senate earlier today. The documents don't reveal anything new, but do constitute a record of Apple's stance during the Senate hearing. "We pay all of the taxes we owe -- every single dollar. We not only comply with the laws, but we comply with the spirit of the laws," Cook's statement reads.
Could be used as excuse to pull YouTube support from iOS
Apple is aiming to integrate Flickr and Vimeo into iOS 7, a source tells 9to5Mac. The integration is expected to work in much the same way as Facebook and Twitter support does in iOS 6, allowing single sign-ins via the Settings menu. In the case of Flickr, at least, signing in may not only add another option to iOS' built-in sharing menus, but also simplify apps with their own hooks for the service, such as Instagram. Flickr is already integrated into OS X Mountain Lion and the iOS edition of iPhoto.
Ruling expected to impact May 31 Apple versus Samsung ITC ruling
A ruling yesterday in the Northern District of California may have repercussions on the smartphone patent battles raging across the US court landscape. A federal judge granted a user of a standards-essential patent a preliminary injunction against enforcement of a possible US International Trade Commission (ITC) sales injunction. This decision by Senior District Judge Ronald Whyte is the first time a US district court is preventing the ITC's only option to combat patent infringers in conjunction with standards-essential patents.
Complains about speed of court system
In a brief sidetrack during his Senate testimony today, Apple CEO Tim Cook voiced his opinion on US intellectual property law. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) asked Cook about the IP benefits of running a company in the US versus other countries, but appears to have been surprised when Cook took a critical tone. "I actually think that we require much more work on IP in this country," he said.
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.
Chairman believes Apple 'exploiting absurdity' of tax laws
During Tim Cook's appearance on Tuesday before the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (which is presently looking into the tax code), Chairman Carl Levin (D-Michigan) accused Apple of "exploiting an absurdity [in US tax laws] that we have not seen other corporations use," referring to a loophole he believes should be closed. Cook maintained that Apple pays US taxes on its US profits as it should.
iOS Remote App features and more
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "abbaZaba" started a thread discussing a few new features they believed would be beneficial to add to the iOS Remote app. Senior User "RobOnTheCape" is looking for suggestions for good tripods to use when taking HDR pictures with an iPhone.
Five MBAs for $1,099 or less
At Apple's online store, take advantage of low prices on refurbished MacBook Air models. Save $300 on the 13.3-inch MacBook Air with a 1.7GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage, now $1,099. For $1,059 is the refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.8GHz Intel dual-core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage.
$25 off Mac mini
Newegg.com is celebrating Memorial Day with price cuts on a wide selection of items. Included in that list is the Mac mini which retails for $799. Until the 27th, use coupon code 'MEMRDAY22' at checkout to drop the price to $774. That earns it the title of lowest price by $4. The Mac mini features a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive along with HDMI port, built-in speaker and support for iPhone headset with speaker. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
Possibly compatible with previous models, facilitating third-party upgrades
A new Broadcom chipset spotted on a Chinese website may be a component of future Mac updates, bringing 802.11ac (known as "Gigabit Wi-Fi") and Bluetooth 4.0 to new models on a single chipset. Not only will the chip handle all wireless communication for future Mac models, but the new chip appears -- at first glance -- to be backward compatible with similar parts in recent models, opening up the possibility of aftermarket upgrades.
First Apple Store in South Australia
Apple is preparing to open a new Apple Store in Adelaide, Australia on May 25 at 10AM. The Rundle Place outlet will not only be Apple's first in Adelaide, but also by extension the first in the state of South Australia, which is otherwise sparsely populated. The company has 19 other stores in the country, most of which are in New South Wales or Victoria.
Apple to be used as example of corporate tax avoidance in US
In the wake of Apple's published testimony, US Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ) have released their own joint statement on the work of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. "Apple Inc. has used a complex web of offshore entities -- including three foreign subsidiaries the company claims are not tax resident in any nation -- to avoid paying billions of dollars in U.S. income taxes," Levin's office writes.
Early trial production of device expected to start soon
Apple is testing 1.5-inch OLED touchscreens for use in its upcoming smartwatch, claims Taiwanese publication the Economic Daily News. Apple is in fact said to have tried 1.8-inch screens, but judged that they were too big. The 1.5-inch panels are reportedly being manufactured by Taiwan's RiTdisplay, and use one-glass-solution touch sensors, which should allow Apple to keep the watch thin.
American Express rebate, trade-in offer highlight deals
Apple is making some moves to make its iPhone line more affordable in India. Deals sponsored by Apple with partners include credit card rebates, trade-in discounts, subsidies, and modified payment plans. As a result of the plans, analysts expect "significant growth" in the region.
FaceTime, Google Hangouts primary beneficiaries of new policy
AT&T has made a statement regarding the future of video chat applications on its LTE network. According to the telecom company, all "pre-loaded video chat apps" will be available for all of its wireless customers "regardless of data plan or device" by the end of the year. The move is a turnaround from previous decisions by the company to prohibit use of FaceTime and now Google Hangouts chat on mostly grandfathered unlimited data plans.
Pushes agenda friendly to repatriating foreign cash
A day ahead of CEO Tim Cook's planned appearance in front of the US Senate, Apple has published its official testimony (PDF) for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. In the document, the company lobbies for corporate tax reform, specifically arguing that the government should be "revenue neutral, eliminate all corporate tax expenditures, lower corporate income tax rates; and implement a reasonable tax on foreign earnings that allows free movement of capital back to the US." Apple has roughly $100 billion in overseas cash, which it has refused to repatriate unless it can pay less than the standard 35 percent tax rate.
Some analysts had predicted a slight downturn
A new report from market analysts NPD Group indicates that US Mac sales for the month of April were about even with the same month last year, which some analysts see as a positive sign for Apple. However, NPD's data -- which is normally considered reasonably accurate -- only covers US sales, meaning the higher percentage of Mac sales overseas is making meaningful predictions difficult.
Twice the income of second-place Tiffany
A new study from Asymco analyst Horace Dediu finds that Apple is continuing to outpace the rest of the retail industry in sales per customer, sales per store and sales per square foot -- more than double the income of the second-place finisher Tiffany & Co and three times the third-place entry, Lululemon Athletica. In addition to retaining the crown of retailers, Dediu found revenues had increased from a year ago.
Country seeks bids on 10.6 million tablets for students
The Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been touring Silicon Valley companies this week, on the heels of a similar tour by Turkish President Abdullah Gül last month. Both men received VIP tours of facilities at Microsoft and Google, and met privately with officials from Apple. All three companies are hoping to land a contract to supply the country with at least 10.6 million tablets for the country's students.
Manufacturing ramp would put next iPad model in September
A report in the Taiwanese trade paper DigiTimes -- which has a mixed track record of accuracy -- claims that Apple will begin large-scale production of the fifth-generation iPad in July, with a possible launch in September. The new model is said to be significantly thinner than the previous full-size model, which was unveiled last September. The report also claims the unit will be a third lighter than the current model.
Cram eight hard drives in a Mac Pro
Nobody outside of Cupertino's privileged bunch knows the future of the Mac Pro line for sure. Despite Apple's reluctance to tell us what the line holds, there are a large number of machines in service all getting a bit long in the tooth, relatively speaking. As production Mac Pros have been replaced with new iMacs and even the Mac mini, IT departments are looking for creative ways to repurpose some of the older machines to preserve dwindling budgets and continued expansion of needs. Regardless of generation, the Mac Pro makes an excellent server for the home or business, limited only by the drive capacity. Macintosh upgrade purveyors MaxUpgrades has a one-of-a-kind custom engineered solution for the 2006 through 2008 Mac Pro optical bay called the MaxConnect for Mac Pro Optical Bay. Using it, up to four 3.5-inch drives can be installed in the bay, in lieu of lightly-used opticals. Whether or not cramming all these drives in the space is a good idea remains to be seen -- check our review to find out!
Still unclear why app was removed
Apple has removed a well-publicized iPhone hookup app from the App Store after just one week of it going live, Valleywag notes. Bang With Friends, still accessible via Android and the web, lets people indicate if they'd like to have sex with a Facebook friend. Notifications are sent out only if the feeling is mutual. Since launching in January, the service has already accumulated about 1 million users.
Mobile users spending tree times as much as portable console users
A report by market analysts App Annie and IDC continue to show that mobile devices such as the iPhone or the Nexus 7 control a clear majority of mobile gaming interest and dollars spent on purchases, with portable handhelds fading rapidly. The first quarter of 2013 saw another milestone achieved for the Android platform, with it seeing more downloads and consumer spending on games than iOS for the first time.
BMG said to be among industry holdouts
Apple's mired negotiations with the music industry may prevent it from announcing an "iRadio" service at WWDC on June 10th, industry sources tell The Verge. The people note that Apple is having trouble not just with Sony/ATV, but also BMG. At the same time they suggest there's still a lot of "market momentum" behind iRadio, and that major players such as Universal want to see it launch as soon as possible.
Retina MBP shuts down while sleeping
This week in the MacNN forums, one Professional Poster was trying to get to the bottom of a problem they had with their Retina MBP shutting down while in sleep mode, a solution has yet to be found. Fresh-Faced Recruit "frozentundra" is wondering when Apple will update the Mac Pro line.
15.4-inch MacBook Pros from $1,489
A vast selection of refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro models are available at Apple's Online Store. The 15.4-inch MBP with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive has been reduced to $1,489, a savings of $310. A $420 price cut is offered on the 15.4-inch Retina MBP with 2.3GHz quad-core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive, now $1,679.
$200 off 12-Core Mac Pro, more
Currently JR.com has the Mac Pro for the reduced price of $3,599.99, that's $199.01 off the list price of $3,799 and the lowest price we have seen on this Mac model, brand new, anywhere. Free shipping is included and sales tax applies for residents of New York and California. The Mac Pro features a 2.4GHz 12-Core Xeon processor, 12GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. A one year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
FIPS 14-2 certification, STIG approval opening DoD doors
Apple's iPhones, iPads and other devices running iOS 6 or higher are officially cleared for use on the US government's secure networks, the Department of Defence announced on Friday. The final approval, which we first reported on in March, also grants Samsung Android devices that are running the Korean company's Knox security lockdown, as well as BlackBerry devices running BB10 the ability to be used on secure networks. The move is expected to further hurt BlackBerry, as it faces competition in the military space for the first time.
Apple tablet replaces 40-pound paper-based flight bags, maps
A move by the US Air Force last year to replace maps, charts, logs and other paperwork contained in a kit with iPads is expected to save more than $50 million over next 10 years. The 18,000 deployed iPads form an "electronic flight bag" that can hold flight manuals, weather and navigation charts and volumes of technical and procedural information -- eliminating the need for the 30- to 40-pound flight bag pilots used to have to carry with them, resulting in savings ranging from fuel costs to printing costs to even reducing pilot back injuries.
The HTC One could be the most enticing Android smartphone yet
The HTC One may be the ultimate iPhone switch-inducing Android device yet, even if the Samsung Galaxy S4 juggernaut remains unstoppable for the time being. There are a few of key aspects of the HTC’s Android flagship device for 2013 that makes it the most likely to interest Apple iPhone 4, 4S and 5 users itching for a change of scenery, but who can’t wait as long as September when Jony Ive’s design-influenced version of iOS could be released. Many iPhone users also love the beautiful industrial designs that Jony Ive has cooked up for the iPhone over the past few years. For many, however, even if they have contemplated switching to an Android device, most were simply not made to Apple’s high standards of design and finish -- until now.
Will feature day-after airing of new episodes
A CW app should soon appear on the Apple TV, Deadline reports. CW CEO Mark Pedowitz announced a deal with Apple during the network's annual upfront presentation in New York. A version of CW TV Now is already available for two Apple platforms -- the iPhone and the iPad -- but Apple TV support should put the app in a more viewing-friendly spot, as with the Xbox 360 and Windows 8 apps.
Foxconn staff still overworked
Apple's biggest supplier, Hon Hai -- better known as Foxconn -- is continuing to break Chinese labor laws, according to a newly-published audit by the Fair Labor Association. The latest evaluation was conducted in January, and did find that Foxconn is complying with 98.3 percent of the 360 points of action the FLA and Apple initially agreed to. 70 out of 76 items that were pending in mid-2012 have been complied with.
'Apple does not funnel its domestic profits overseas'
Ahead of the Apple CEO's US Senate testimony, Tim Cook has replied to questions about politics and Apple's offshore tax practices in a new Politico interview. "We don't have a large presence in Washington, as you probably know, but we care deeply about public policy and believe creative policy can be a huge catalyst for a better society and a stronger economy," he says.
Begins more aggressive dividend plan
Apple is today paying out its latest dividend to shareholders. The amount is rated at $3.05 per share, translating into a total of about $2.867 billion for all of the company's 940 million outstanding shares. To be eligible for the dividend, a person must have been a shareholder by May 13th; because qualifying purchases must be settled though, realistically, any stock must have been bought no later than the 8th.
Update mandatory, Apple says
Apple has posted a new support download for mid-2012 MacBook Airs, MacBook Air Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.0. Unusually, Apple states that the patch is mandatory; it fixes a problem with the Air's firmware that can, potentially, prevent a computer from recovering from a crash. The file is a 1.69MB download, and requires either OS X 10.7.5 or 10.8.3.
Adds album artwork to Songs, supports multi-disc albums, more
On Thursday, Apple updated its flagship program iTunes to version 11.0.3, which brings some new features as well as addresses a number of minor bugs and improves security and performance for those running and sorting large collections. The main new features include a redesigned MiniPlayer that now features artwork and a progress bar, and some changes to the Songs view that also adds album artwork. Importantly, multi-disc albums are now seen and counted as one album rather than individual discs.
Various other parts photos in high-res leaking onto net
A long-standing rumor that the next iPhone -- presumably called the 5S -- will be available in colors beyond just black and white received a boost with the publication of photos featuring differently-colored SIM trays, along with high-rez pictures of various other small parts said to be from the forthcoming iPhone model, expected to be released sometime this summer. Though the SIM tray images would be easy to fake, Apple has been making the iPod touch and iPod nano in a set of colors and may have decided to follow suit with the iPhone 5S -- and perhaps a future iPad.
New store will feature more staff, feature latest design
The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Apple will be eventually closing its One Stockton Street store -- which has been a flagship venue among the San Francisco stores -- and moving it about three blocks away, adjacent to Union Square. The new store will feature an updated design with a more glass-centric design, somewhat reminiscent of the Upper West Side store in New York City. It will also be about 45 percent larger than the current location and increase its staff from 350 to 400.
Associated contest winner, 50 billionth app name announced
[Updated with the winner's name, the winning app and other details] The App Store has officially surpassed 50 billion downloads, Apple has announced. The company has now announced the winner of the associated contest. Brandon Ashmore of Mentor Ohio, who downloaded the 50 billionth app, will get a $10,000 App Store gift card; meanwhile, 50 runner-ups will each get a $500 card.
Indicates Apple was pushing for prices higher than Amazon
US Department of Justice filings in the e-book price-fixing case against Apple reveal an exchange between former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and News Corporation/HarperCollins' James Murdoch, notes AllThingsD. In the course of a Jobs-penned email, which dates back to January 2010, the CEO explains why Apple is proposing to tie e-book prices to hardcover ones. "We simply don’t think the e-book market can be successful with pricing higher than $12.99 or $14.99," Jobs writes.
Company may be on accelerated pace ahead of WWDC
Apple is seeding yet another build of OS X 10.8.4 to developers, 12E52. As before there are no known issues, and Apple is still asking developers to concentrate testing on Safari, Wi-Fi, and graphics drivers. When it's finished v10.8.4 is primarily expected to be a maintenance update, although it does appear to include support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Google believes FTC consent decree restrictions overstated
A Google-made appeal filing in the Motorola Mobile versus Apple smartphone patent trial in Judge Richard A. Posner's court has been made public. Controversially, the Google-owned Motorola claims that the still-pending FTC consent decree it agreed to does not prevent it from seeking an injunction against Apple products -- claiming that in refusing a 2.25 percent fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) license, Apple is unwilling to negotiate in good faith for use of the patent.
Apple, other companies accused of trying to avoid tax share
Apple will be the focus of a US Senate hearing next Tuesday, Politico says it has learned. The company's CEO, Tim Cook, is expected to testify in front of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation regarding offshore tax practices. Other witnesses are also expected to speak, such as representatives from the Treasury Department and the IRS.
Google I/O sways market in Google's favor
Apple and Google both passed important financial milestones during Wednesday trading, notes The Next Web. While Apple's market value has fallen under $400 billion, Google's value has climbed over $300 billion. The surge in the latter company's worth is being linked to today's Google I/O keynote, where the company showcased several new products, services, and features, such as unified messaging and a Galaxy S4 with stock Android.
Bench trial is set to begin on June 3; Apple says no collusion
In advance of the bench trial in which Apple will have to fight off charges that it colluded -- and fostered collusion -- with publishers to raise prices on e-books, both the iPhone maker and the US Department of Justice have filed initial court documents to lay out their respective cases. At issue is both the use of Apple's "agency model" pricing scheme, as well as former CEO Steve Jobs' overtures to the major publishers -- seen by some as trying to wrangle publishers into raising prices.
Minor update reaches Mac App Store
Apple has released a minor update for iMovie, the video editor included as part of its iLife suite. Version 9.0.9 copes with a trio of issues, mainly a glitch which can prevent iMovie from detecting connected video cameras. It also deals with general instability, and compatibility problems when importing iOS iMovie projects. The app is a 1.36GB download.
Says Apple was aware of issue but kept quiet
A Florida woman, Debra Hilton, has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of iPhone 4 owners, says GigaOM. The case alleges that Apple knew about a flex cable defect that was causing problems with the phone's power button, but stayed quiet to sell phones without fixing the issue. A lawyer for Hilton points to threads on Apple's support forums, as well as a repair video on YouTube claiming that the issue is prevalent with the 4.
Winner of charity auction remains anonymous
A charity auction for a coffee meetup with Apple CEO Tim Cook has come to a close. The initial goal of the auction, supporting the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, was to raise roughly $50,000. By the time bidding closed today however, the final bid was valued at $610,000.
This week in the MacNN Forums, Mac Elite "asxless" started a discussion about ways to travel "Mac-less" using only iOS devices while road-tripping this summer. Yesterday, Professional Poster "mindwaves" was looking for a reason why their Retina MacBook Pro was shutting down while in sleep mode.