Tag - Employees
Over the weekend, Apple employees once again participated in the Bay Area Pride Festival, including CEO Tim Cook, as they have as an official participant since 2014. Employees received special rainbow-colored Apple Watch bands this year, accompanied by a special playlist of related iTunes content. The event, which continues to focus on the LGTBQ community but has expanded to be a more general celebration of freedom from oppression or discrimination. This is the third year that Apple has officially participated, though employees have marched in the parade for many years prior to the official involvement.
At a "Town Hall" meeting with employees following the company's Q1 earnings report, Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly rejected the notion -- long favored by analysts -- that Apple needs a "pared down" and inexpensive iPhone model in order to attract buyers in developing or "emerging" markets like India. While most of the meeting dealt with a rehash of information given during the analyst call, some was concerned with employee matters like retention incentives, as well as saying the Apple TV and tvOS both have "bright" futures.
Like others recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk felt compelled to walk back some harsh comments about Apple (which may -- or may not -- be a future competitor in electric vehicles) when critics pointed out that his comments were inaccurate. Musk appeared to be trying to unruffle feathers from Apple employees as well as executives with whom he has a relationship -- he and Apple's VP of Design Sir Jonathan Ive have been seen talking on a few occasions -- but may not have been successful.
A local business paper is reporting that Apple has likely leased, or possibly purchased, space in a new 770,000 square-foot campus that will be only a short distance away from the company's expansive "spaceship" Campus 2 project, which is currently under construction. The "Central and Wolfe" site is across the street from Sunnyvale Crossing, a facility Apple is currently leasing to house nearly 1,500 workers.
Ahead of tonight's appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Apple CEO Tim Cook has made a number of appearances at Apple Stores around Manhattan, all of them unannounced, meeting customers and employees. In addition, he and the company have been doing some groundwork on promoting Apple's latest technologies, including clarifying the privacy situation regarding the optional "Hey Siri" always-on feature, or the camera recording in Live Photos, both new features coming with the latest iPhones.
A memo to supermarket chain Waitrose employees (and seemingly confirmed by Apple UK training documents) appears to reveal that Apple Pay in the UK will launch on July 14, albeit with varying restrictions on how much buyers can purchase without having to enter additional information. According to reports, most merchants will have a limit of £20 ($31.24 US) on any kind of contactless payment system, except some new POS terminals that are specifically designed to support Apple Pay.
Apple has been accused of poaching employees from rival technology companies for the second time in a week, this time from Samsung. Unnamed officials at the electronics producer apparently claim Apple has headhunted engineers working in signal processing and visual processing management, bolstering its staff with experts in chip production and battery technology, potentially for its rumored electric car project.
According to a new lawsuit filed against Apple, the iPhone maker has been poaching employees from a vehicle-oriented "advanced energy" technology company called A123 Systems over the past eight months for a new, unannounced battery division at the iPhone maker. The latter company says that Apple and its former employees may have violated anti-compete agreements, and have left A123 without qualified leaders for key projects.
Financial analyst UBS and its research offshoot UBS Evidence Lab has polled workers at a number of major tech firms, and found Apple and its enterprise partner IBM at opposite ends of queries about the management, values, culture and business outlook for the companies. In the report, Apple was -- by a significant margin -- the leader in all categories, while IBM came in last in all categories among the seven firms surveyed, said analyst Steven Milunovich.
Apple has won in a pair of lawsuits lodged in the summer of 2013 by disgruntled employees that charged the company with a form of "wage theft" by not paying workers while they were being checked during mandatory security and loss-prevention screenings. Citing a Supreme Court decision in a similar case, Federal Court Judge William Alsop ruled that such screenings are not "integral and indispensable" parts of the retail workers' jobs, therefore the plaintiffs were not entitled to compensation for the time spent in such activities.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE