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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Apple CEO Tim Cook Tours Foxconn iPhone Production Facility in China

tim_cook_zhengzhou_iphone_plantFollowing his appearance at the Xidan Joy City retail store in Beijing and meetings with Chinese government officials earlier this week, Bloomberg now reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook has also toured a new iPhone production facility in Zhengzhou, China.

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook visited Foxconn Technology Group’s newly built manufacturing facility for the iPhone in Zhengzhou, China, as the U.S. company seeks to improve working conditions.

The iPhone production line is at the new Foxconn Zhengzhou Technology Park, which employs 120,000 people, Carolyn Wu, a Beijing-based Apple spokeswoman, said in an e-mail today. She didn’t provide other details on Cook’s visit or say how much longer he’ll be in China after having held high-level talks in Beijing earlier this week.

Apple CEO Tim Cook tours Foxconn’s new iPhone production line in Zhengzhou, China (Source: Apple)

China is a key location for Apple for a number of reasons, including its role in manufacturing and assembly, a desire to focus on expansion in the market there, and intellectual property issues. Cook’s trip appears to be addressing most of these aspects, demonstrating continued concern over working conditions in its manufacturing partners’ plants while also working to build relationships with key political and business figures in the country.

 
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Posted by on 31/03/2012 in IT

 

Apple’s Patent War Against Android May Lead to Settlements Under Tim Cook’s Influence

jobs_war_on_androidBloomberg Businessweek publishes a cover story on the ongoing patent war between Apple and Android, outlining the history of the disputes between Apple and Android manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung and Motorola.

The report notes that Apple has actually experienced only limited success in its legal efforts, suggesting that Steve Jobs’ vow to wage “thermonuclear war” against Android may be backfiring somewhat with Apple’s soaring legal costs and retaliatory actions from its targets subjecting the company to risk while the benefits remain meager.

Photograph by Jochen Seigle/Polaris

Corroborating claims from earlier this month regarding Apple’s willingness to settle with the Android device manufacturers it has filed suit against, Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Apple and Samsung have “communicated lately” about settlement possibilities. The report suggests that settlement has become a more feasible option now that Apple is led by Tim Cook.

People familiar with the situation, however, note that top-level executives at both Apple and Samsung have communicated lately about potential settlement options. Apple CEO Tim Cook does not seem to share his predecessor’s passion about laying all foes to waste. Cook appears to view litigation as a necessary evil, not a vehicle of cosmic revenge.
Stanford University law professor Mark Lemley notes that the patent war has cost Apple and its opponents over $400 million over the past few years, and it is unclear just what benefits they have received for that massive sum of money. Lemley predicts that there will eventually be a major cross-licensing deal to bring the majority of the legal disputes to an end, but in the meantime the war continues to escalate as all sides continue to file new suits. by macrumors

 
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Posted by on 31/03/2012 in IT

 

Foxconn Workers Express Concern Over Reduced Overtime

foxconn_workersIn the wake of yesterday’s announcement from the Fair Labor Association that it had reached an agreement with Foxconn to reduce the maximum number of working hours for its employees at its Apple production facilities, Reuters reports that Foxconn workers are concerned about the move’s impact on their salaries. The concerns come despite assurances that Foxconn will augment its compensation packages to offset the loss of working hours.

“We are here to work and not to play, so our income is very important,” said Chen Yamei, 25, a Foxconn worker from Hunan who said she had worked at the factory for four years.

“We have just been told that we can only work a maximum of 36 hours a month of overtime. I tell you, a lot of us are unhappy with this. We think that 60 hours of overtime a month would be reasonable and that 36 hours would be too little,” she added. Chen said she now earned a bit over 4,000 yuan a month ($634).

Even as many outside observers have criticized Foxconn’s working hours over the past several years amid increasing publicity, others have noted that rather than excessive overtime being required by the company, many workers are requesting as much overtime as they can get. For many workers who have moved far from their homes to work at Foxconn, their goal is to earn as much money as possible as quickly as possible so that they can return home.

Aside from issues of working hours and compensation, the Fair Labor Association’s audits of three Foxconn facilities where Apple products are assembled uncovered a number of other issues, including those related to health and safety and worker representation. The organization notes that in each case Foxconn either addressed issues on the spot or has agreed to make changes in its policies that will improve working conditions. The Fair Labor Association will continue to monitor Foxconn’s facilities and issue periodic reports on its findings. by macrumors

 
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Posted by on 31/03/2012 in IT

 

Sony to launch NEX-FS700E 4K cinema camera for $9,000

2012sony-nex-fsWhat would you pay for the ability to capture cinema quality 4K video? $36,000? $18,000? Try $9,000. That’s the expected price of Sony’s rumored NEX-FS700E, which could launch at NAB next month with a June ship date. EOSHD reports that the camera will pipe 4K video to a dedicated external recorder over 3G HD-SDI. It will reportedly use the same NEX E-mount as its predecessor, the FS100, and may include a trio of neutral density filters to increase versatility. We haven’t been able to track down an image of the rumored cinema cam (the model in that image above looks identical to the FS100), but we wouldn’t be surprised to see another detail or two leak out before the broadcast community’s annual Vegas gathering kicks off in a little over two weeks. For its part, Canon is also expected to announce a 4K EOS-format DSLR at NAB, as a less-expensive alternative to the $16,000 C300, while RED’s Scarlet already has 4K capabilities, and a $9,000 price tag. by engadget

 
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Posted by on 31/03/2012 in IT

 

China officially tops one billion mobile subscribers

meizu-mx-launch-szWe heard last year that China was approaching 900 million mobile phone subscribers, and it looks like it’s now finally hit the big one. The country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology confirmed today that, as of the end of February, there were more than a billion mobile subscribers in the country (1.01 billion, to be specific). As the AFP notes, that’s individual subscriptions, which includes users with more than one phone, but any way you slice it that’s a whole lot of cellphone users. Of those, 144 million are on 3G networks, which is fully double the number from April of 2011. Not surprisingly, much of that growth comes at the expense of landline phones, which have dropped a further 828,000 in the first two months of the year to 284.3 million. Internet use also continues to be on the upswing, with more than half a billion people having internet access of some sort, and 154.96 million having broadband access (up nearly five million during those same two months). by engadget

 
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Posted by on 31/03/2012 in IT

 

Apple Store Australia Now Says New iPad Does Not Support LTE in the Country

75362-500Apple has updated their online Australian Apple Store to specifically say the new iPad does not support LTE in that country.
Previously when selecting an iPad model for purchase the copy read:
Connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi and fast mobile data networks. For service from a wireless carrier, sign up for a simple, month-by-month plan on your iPad and cancel anytime without penalty. The iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G model can roam worldwide on fast GSM/UMTS networks, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA. When you travel internationally, you can use a micro-SIM card from a local carrier. You can also connect to the 4G LTE networks of AT&T in the U.S. and Bell, Rogers, and Telus in Canada.
Now the copy reads:
This product supports very fast cellular networks. It is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX networks. For service from a wireless carrier, sign up for a simple, month-by-month plan on your iPad and cancel anytime without penalty. This model can roam worldwide on fast cellular data networks, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA.
Apple has also told a Federal Court in Australia that it will offer a refund to customers who believe that they were misled due to the company’s 4G claims for the new iPad

 
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Posted by on 31/03/2012 in IT

 

Apple Updates iPhoto to Improve Overall Stability

75336-500Apple released an update to iPhoto that improves overall stability.
iPhoto ’11 gets a new look with stunning full-screen views for Events, Faces, Places, and Albums that let you take advantage of every inch of your Mac display. iPhoto also offers new ways to share and showcase your photos. You can upload your photos to your Facebook Wall and even view friends’ comments right in iPhoto. Turn your email into something really special with ten Apple-designed photo mail templates. iPhoto ’11 works with iCloud, so the photos you take on your iOS devices automatically appear in iPhoto, and photos you import into iPhoto automatically appear on your iOS devices. Add movement and music to your photos with one of 12 dynamic slideshow themes. iPhoto ’11 introduces a new way to create professional-quality photo books quickly and easily. And new letterpress cards let you combine your photos and text with elegant imprinted designs.
What’s New In This Version:
• Improves overall stability
• Addresses an issue that could cause iPhoto to quit unexpectedly on systems with multiple user accounts
This update is recommended for all users of iPhoto ’11.
You can purchase iPhoto from the App Store for $14.99.

 
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Posted by on 31/03/2012 in IT

 
 
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