iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:09:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Reduces Price of iPhone 4 and 4S By Up to 25% in Brazil Wed, 03 Apr 2013 17:30:17 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone 4 iPhone 4S Price

According to a report from O Globo, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has reduced the price of the iPhone in Brazil by a substantial amount, lowering them down to over 25%. The Cupertino company lowered the price of the 8 GB iPhone 4 to R$ 1099 (US$544) from R$ 1499 (US$741) and also dropped the 16 GB iPhone 4S from R$ 1999 (US$989) to R$ 1699 (US$840).

In Brazil, AAPL does give customers the option for 12 month financing, however, if a customer pays up front, they will be awarded a bonus 10% discount, lowering the price of the iPhone even more. After bringing some of Foxconn’s operations to Brazil, and lowering the company’s overall costs, the price of the iPhone is likely reflecting the change. It is unclear however, if the the new price reduction will affect the iPhone 5 as it is not sold in Brazil’s online store.

In the US, the 8GB iPhone 4 is available unsubsidized for $450 before taxes, which could easily bring it up to over $500. Even so, it appears that with the 15% discounts, Brazilians are still paying a higher amount for unlocked iPhones, as opposed to their US counterparts. Apple has begun hiring for employees at its retail locations in Brazil, ensuring that customers in the country recieve the same experience as all others do around the world. It remains unclear if the price reductions will reflect in other markets around the world.

{Via MacRumors}

]]> 0 Apple Inc. (AAPL) has More Retail Stores in Pennsylvania than All of China Fri, 06 Jul 2012 19:10:24 +0000 Read More]]>

Apple Inc. (AAPL) currently operates six retail stores in greater China, and serves more than 216 million people per store, in comparison to the total population in the country. AAPL has two retail stores in Beijing, three in Shanghai, and one in Hong Kong. In 2010, when Ron Johnson was still head of Apple Retail, he suggested that the company would open over 25 retail stores in China.

On Wednesday, a report from Reuters revealed that the state of Pennsylvania has more Apple Retail Stores than all of China, a fact that can be quite surprising when considering that the 6 retail stores in China bring in one fifth of Apple’s total revenue. Pennsylvania currently has eight stores, with 3 in Pittsburgh and 5 others across the state. The population of the state is at 12.7 million as opposed to the 1.2 billion people in China.

The Cupertino company is taking its time in China and selecting prime retail locations that can serve numerous regions. Due to Apple’s lack of a large retail presence in China, a strong surge in scalping has become an issue at some locations. Scalpers essentially buy out stock of a newly introduced Apple product on launch day and then attempt to sell them on the street illegally for much higher prices, because of Apple’s low stock and pent up demand.

Apple’s future is definitely in China, where the company is quickly building a reputation and a large customer base. Last month, Chinese government officials stated that Apple may be looking to open two new retail locations in Chengdu and Shenzhen. Shenzhen is currently the location of a Foxconn factory, where Apple’s products are manufactured. Apple has not yet commented on this report and has not announced any further plans to open more retail locations or follow Ron Johnson’s plans for over 25 retail stores in China.

]]> 2 Apple Inc. (AAPL) Grants ABC’s ‘Nightline’ Access to Foxconn Factories Tue, 21 Feb 2012 20:44:59 +0000 Read More]]>

In an unprecedented move by Apple Inc. (AAPL), the company has allowed ABC’s ‘Nightline’ to access and report on Foxconn factories in China. Apple in recent times has come under the spotlight due to allegations of forced over time, under age labour and explosions in its supply chain factories.

AAPL has always as a company policy never commented on future products or delved into details about its manufacturing partners. However, ABC’s Bill Weir was approached by Apple to visit Foxconn factories, interview employees, managers and get a feel of the working conditions and how Apple’s products are manufactured in China.

Apple promised complete access, no dog-and-pony, no Potemkin Village, but they denied my repeated requests to interview Apple CEO Tim Cook or the senior vice president of industrial design, Jony Ive.

The story titled “iFactory: Inside Apple” will air on ABC today at 11:35 PM Eastern and Pacific. ABC recently posted a preview of the upcoming story which shows the co-anchor Bill Weir talking to Foxconn employees and even visiting the dorms where they stay.

Wier reports that after suicides took place in Foxconn the management became more conscious about the way they treat their employees and even set up counseling centers.

As groups of 300 are processed with military precision, an electronic billboard outside the recruitment center tells them what they can expect: starting salary is around $285 a month or $1.78 an hour. And even with the maximum 80 hours of overtime a month, the Chinese government considers them too poor to withdraw any payroll taxes.

One major complain that most employees seem to have was low pay. As labour is easily available and ready to work in shifts for long hours the monthly salary is very low and the repetitive nature of the job further caused them fatigue.

Apple joined the F.L.A. on Jan. 13, eight days before the New York Times ran a series examining the company’s labor practices.

In addition to granting access to Foxconn factories Apple has also allowed F.L.A (Fair Labor Association) to audit the factories. According to the report published by ABC News, F.L.A. President Auret van Heerden revealed that they had been in conversation with Apple for about five years.

]]> 6 Apple Inc. (AAPL) CEO Responds to Reports of Working Conditions at Supplier Factories Mon, 30 Jan 2012 18:34:08 +0000 Read More]]>

Reports about the treatment of workers at Apple Inc. (AAPL) Supplier factories in other countries surfaced on Thursday, revealing that the companies ignored many issues with their workers, many cases which led to suicide in a Foxconn factory. On Friday, AAPL CEO Tim Cook responded to the reports, suggesting that Apple takes any and all employee issues seriously and is now investigating and addressing any issues or concerns. 9to5Mac reported Tim Cook’s reponse on Apple’s efforts to oversee compliance with company standards for workers’ rights.

As a company and as individuals, we are defined by our values. Unfortunately some people are questioning Apple’s values today, and I’d like to address this with you directly. We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us. As you know better than anyone, accusations like these are contrary to our values. It’s not who we are.

Cook also goes on to thank employees who are focusing and helping with these issues and that Apple is taking this very seriously and will continue to increase its efforts.

We will continue to dig deeper, and we will undoubtedly find more issues. What we will not do — and never have done — is stand still or turn a blind eye to problems in our supply chain. On this you have my word.

The New York Times has also gathered statements from Chinese readers, who suggest that this issue is not specific to Apple and is rather a widespread issue, which should be addressed with governmental regulations. This issue appears to be very prevalent in manufacturing factories, such as Apple’s Foxconn supplier and many other companies who outsource manufacturing.

{via Mac Rumors}

]]> 5 iPad 3 Media Event Planned for Early Feb? Fri, 20 Jan 2012 19:20:02 +0000 Read More]]>

On Tuesday, Japanese site Macotakara reported that Apple is planning to hold an iPad event in early February to announce the iPad 3, which is expected to arrive with iOS 5.1. The website pointed out that they had an Asian supplier and a source in the U.S who could confirm these rumors.

Although the iPad 3 is expected to be announced in February, other rumors suggest that the iPad 3 will actually be released in March, the same as the iPad 2 which arrived on March 11. This long delay could be in part because of the Chinese New Year which is going to be celebrated from January 23 to the 28th.

Foxconn and Pegatron, two of Apple’s main suppliers are expected to start shipping the device to the Apple Stores in early March, likely for a mid-March release. The iPad 3 has long been rumored to include a higher resolution display, as well as the introduction of the A6 chip and better 2 megapixel camera, up from 0.9 megapixels.

Macotakara has a mixed track record with the release of Apple products, correctly reporting on Apple’s iPad 2 and iPhone 4S but incorrectly suggesting that Apple would be releasing a Macbook Air with high-speed 400MBps flash memory and that a fifth-generation iPhone would feature an aluminum back.

If the event is scheduled for February we can expect media invites to be sent out in the first week of the next month. It will be interesting to see if Apple will finally bring the retina display to the iPad, which will certainly make the poplar tablet worth an upgrade for many users.

{via AppleInsider}

]]> 2 iPad 3 to be unveiled on Steve Jobs’ Birthday, February 24th? Fri, 23 Dec 2011 23:01:39 +0000 Read More]]> On Friday, FocusTaiwan reported that Apple is pushing to introduce the rumored iPad 3 by late February, more specifically on the 24th, what would be the 57th birthday of late Apple Chairman and former CEO, Steve Jobs. Apple is pushing manufacturing partners to a dealine on the 24th in order to honor Steve Jobs with the introduction of the new iPad 3.

A local Chinese-language newspaper reported Friday that iPad3 might be launched on Feb. 24 to mark the anniversary of the birth of Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs.

Citing sources close to Taiwanese makers in the iPad3 supply chain, the Economic Daily News said the gadget could be launched in mid-first quarter of next year or by the end of next March.

It has also been reported that workers at iPad component suppliers as well as workers at Foxconn will have limited time off during the usual Lunar New Year holiday and may be working over time in order to get the iPad 3 available in the market in time.

The lunar holiday is usually January 23rd, and workers receive several days off around the time, however, with the iPad 3 now pegged for a February 24th announcement to honor of Steve Jobs.

The iPad 3 is expected to receive new features including Siri, and other hardware changes. The third ten tablet from Apple could feature the all-new A6 chip and a higher resolution display.

]]> 4 iPhone 5 to be ‘Thinner and Lighter’ Available Third Quarter? Thu, 07 Jul 2011 18:56:56 +0000 Read More]]> The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Apple might be preparing for a “Thinner and Lighter” iPhone, rumored to be called iPhone 5 / 4S. The next gen iPhone is believed to be pegged for a third quarter launch and the company will have a production target of 25 million devices at the time of release.

Apple’s sales estimates of the new iPhone is quite aggressive. It told us to prepare to help the company meet its goal of 25 million units by the end of the year,” said another person at one of Apple’s suppliers. “The initial production volume will be a few million units… we were told to ship the components to assembler Hon Hai in August.

Apple has been rumoured to reveal a new iPhone 5 this September during the annual music event. It is widely believed that new device will retain the original iPhone 4 design. Some claims suggest that manufcaterer Han Hoi/Foxconn is having trouble producing the iPhone units, particularly because it is “complicated and difficult to assemble.” Two of the people, however, cautioned that shipments of the new iPhone could be delayed if Hon Hai can’t improve its yield rate which has been impacted by the manufacturing process.

Apple has not revealed any date for any upcoming event as yet. The company will be releasing Mac OS X Lion later this month and then release iOS 5 this fall. It will be interesting to see if Apple announces the new iPhone 5 in September. Until then, stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted.

{via MacRumors}

]]> 0 Foxconn Factory Fire Could Impact iPad 2 Production Sun, 22 May 2011 00:41:20 +0000 Read More]]> One of Foxconn’s manufacturing plant located in Chengdu, China caught fire due to an explosion on Friday. According to MIC Gadget the explosion happened in the “operating room” and this particular building is reportedly part of iPad 2 assembly line.

Apple Inc. responded to All Things Digital’s request for a comment on the situation and issued a statement:

We are deeply saddened by the tragedy at Foxconn’s plant in Chengdu, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families,” Apple said in a statement provided to AllThingsD. “We are working closely with Foxconn to understand what caused this terrible event.

The Cupertino, Calif. based company declined to comment on any possible impact on iPad 2 production however 9to5 Mac were quick to notice that the estimated shipping time for the second gen tablet has increased from 3-5 days to 1-2 weeks.

The cause of explosion is still being investigated but early reports suggest that it was caused because of a super-light dust, used to clean iPads screen, catching fire.

It is widely believed that Apple is expected to begin iPhone 5 / 4S production soon and it’s not clear if this unfortunate incident will impact the production of fifth gen iPhone.

]]> 8 Three Foxconn Employees Arrested for Leaking iPad 2 Design Thu, 28 Apr 2011 15:42:27 +0000 Read More]]> iPad 2 Second Gen Case

DigiTimes has revealed that 3 Foxconn employees accused of leaking iPad 2 designs have now been arrested by local police, according to a Chinese-language report. The trio are being held responsible for the leaks that saw third-party companies release protective cases for the second-generation tablet before it was even announced by Apple.

As you may remember, the cases were big news for tech blogs when they were discovered, as they revealed several of the iPad 2’s new features. Touch Reviews brought you several reports on cases that revealed numerous features such as its shape, redesigned speaker, front- and rear-facing cameras, and more. Foxconn suspected that case manufacturers were privy to information from its factory, and as a result reported its concerns to the local police.

On December 26th, 2010, three employees with the Foxconn factory based in Shenzhen, China, were suspected of leaking the design, and were subsequently charged for violating the company’s trade secrets on March 23rd, 2011. Though the report makes no mention of Apple, I’m sure the Cupertino company were pushing for Foxconn to investigate the design leaks for its then unreleased product.

These arrests will be come as a warning to other Foxconn factory workers who may be tempted to leak secret information for monetary bribes. While it may be a tempting prospect for a Chinese factory worker on a less than modest wage, it won’t be taken lightly.

]]> 0 Foxconn Possibly Opening Apple Manufacturing Plant In Brazil Sun, 20 Mar 2011 00:21:14 +0000 According to 9to5Mac and a translated article from Redebomdia, manufacturing giant Foxconn could get getting ready to open a new manufacturing plant in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

With Foxconn being a major partner for Apple, business is good for the company and HP and Sony products are already being built in Brazil. Building a plant dedicated to Apple hardware could make sense to Foxconn, with new contracts meaning new funding. Now could be the time to make the move and take Apple manufacturing to Brazil to cut the existing Chinese factory some slack.

Unsurprisingly Apple declined to comment on reports of a new plant making their hardware. Apple tends not to get involved with the inner workings at Foxconn, nor any of its other manufacturing partners.

Foxconn has come under fire time after time for poor working conditions and pay in its Chinese manufacturing plants in the past, with a spate of suicides blamed on the culture at the company.

Time will tell whether a similar issue rears its ugly head in a potential new plant. Let’s hope not.

]]> 1 Foxconn promises 20% wages hike Fri, 28 May 2010 21:40:48 +0000 Read More]]> Yesterday we covered a story on recent Foxconn suicides. The company where iPad, iPod touch and iPhone are being manufactured. Foxconn factory in China currently employs more than 400,000 workers and has been in the news as more than 13 employees have tried to commit suicide.

We have been reading stories and comments which state that this rate of suicide is actually better or lower than the average rate in China or US. However, I think most have missed two important details. These suicides have been committed in a short period of time and most have been attempted in the same fashion i.e jumping from a building roof.

One can’t just write off this story based on statistical data which proves that the rate of suicides is normal or below normal. We have read about previous suicides at Foxconn and the fact that these continue to rise is enough to question the corporations and investigate why the labor issues have not been resolved.

Apple recently issued a statement:

We are saddened and upset by the recent suicides at Foxconn. Apple is deeply committed to ensuring that conditions throughout our supply chain are safe and workers are treated with respect and dignity. We are in direct contact with Foxconn senior management and we believe they are taking this matter very seriously.

It is a well known fact that working conditions and salary offered to Foxconn employees are certainly two areas which have not seen much improvement. The recent news coverage about Foxconn suicides has however lead the management take the first step in the right direction. The management has decided to raise workers’ salaries by about 20 percent. According to an employee at Foxconn this might resolve some issues:

It may help the suicide situation, because we workers just need money and the financial pressure on us is great,

We hope that the raise in salary improves the current situation and companies like Apple, Dell and HP help the management in taking the right decisions.

]]> 0 Many [More] Suicide attempts at Foxconn Today Thu, 27 May 2010 16:50:26 +0000 Read More]]> foxconn

This is not the normal kind of story we cover. But we think it is appropriate that we pause to spare a thought for the traumatic time that Chinese tech workers are going through at the moment.

Today it seems that several workers at the Foxconn factory in China, where devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch are made, have tried to commit suicide. This is over and above the one or two suicides that have been reported in the past few months.

As of Thursday this week, in total, 13 employees of Foxconn had tried to commit suicide. As of this afternoon that number may have reached as many as 16 individuals.

Foxconn employs around 400,000 people. And their working environment is very different from that of manual labourers in the US or Europe. They live, eat and sleep inside a factory compound. Almost like an existence in a military camp. That is not to say they are treated like conscripts, prisoners, or slaves. But partly because of the extreme secrecy surrounding some of the items they make, and cultural differences in how this type of worker is employed in China, their life is very different from something we might imagine.

Unfortunately, in China working conditions with regards to safety are not subject to the same stringent guidelines that we have in the West. Sometimes this is because of immature legislation which does not protect employees adequately. Sometimes it is through corruption. But the fact remains that something is obviously very wrong with certain parts of Foxconn’s business practices. And it seems to be coming to a head. Scant weeks ago there were what seemed like mini-uprisings inside the factory compound where workers were protesting over working conditions.

The crux of the protests seemed to be about exposure to hazardous materials during manufacture of electronics equipment. Those protests were quickly quelled by Foxconn’s own security.

“Foxconn may not be a sweatshop in the sense that it physically abuses its employees or forces them to work extra hours,” the China Daily Newspaper wrote in an editorial today. “That does not mean it is showing enough humanitarian concern for its employees. And, neither does it imply that it is doing enough to foster a corporate culture that helps employees strike a healthier work-life balance.”

At least four high profile tech companies use Foxconn’s services; Apple, Dell, Sony and HP. And whilst it’s not directly their fault that employees of their subcontractors are so unhappy with their work conditions that they feel the only way out, or to get attention for their fellow workers, is suicide. It is certainly something they should, and indeed do, take very seriously. Sony, Dell, HP and Apple are all independently investigating this currently.

Apple produces annual reports, and conducts extensive surveys, on the conditions of its proxy employees around the globe. And over the last few months with negative stories about working conditions, exposure to hazardous materials, and general worker morale coming out of Foxconn, all four of these tech companies say they have stepped up their efforts to find out what exactly is going on inside the factory compound.

So this development today must be both upsetting, embarrassing, and very worrying for them. Especially as some workers advocate groups in Asia are now advocating boycotting new products like Apple’s iPhone 4G / HD.

Apple spokesman Steve Downing had this to say :

“We’re in direct contact with Foxconn senior management and we believe they are taking this matter very seriously. A team from Apple is independently evaluating the steps they are taking to address these tragic events and we will continue our ongoing inspections of the facilities where our products are made.”

He finished by saying that Apple is “saddened and upset by the recent suicides at Foxconn.”

BREAKING (Via Al Jazeera): We are just hearing that the Chinese News media are reporting that another employee has attempted to slit his wrists this evening, in a departure from the other suicides which have usually been jumping from a building roof.

This is very sad, and hard to take in.

We all want our iPads, iPhones and iPods. And we like to buy them cost effectively. But not at this human cost, surely.
Something obviously needs to be done for these people quickly. Let’s hope our tech giants are up to the task at hand.

Let us know your thoughts on this sad story in the comments.

[] ]]> 2 New iPhone 4G / HD Volume and Tech Specs Info Leaked Mon, 17 May 2010 15:00:48 +0000 Read More]]> Manufacturing details of new iPhone 4G / HD have been reportedly leaked by Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) component supply partners in Taiwan and China

Foxconn is reported as aiming to produce 24 million 4th generation iPhones this year alone. And is expecting to start shipping them in June. The suggested split for these massive volumes is around 4.5 million for the first half of 2010. With the balance coming in the second half of 2010.

Will this mean we’ll see a staged roll out, and perhaps initial supply shortages, like we did with the iPad? Higher screen resolutions and other features of the next iPhone could well compound ongoing production and supply problems that Apple has already had to endure with the iPad.

These dates and plans also tend to suggest that a roll out at WWDC is likely. Details on the new iPhone’s tech. specs. are also being fleshed out.

Apparently the new iPhone 4G will feature In-Plane Switching LCD display panels which also have Fringe-Field Switching, at a suggested resolution of 640×960. Suppliers for this component are named as LG Display and Prime View International.

FFS (Fringe Field Switching) is a feature that will improve eBook functionality by improving viewing angles and display quality in sunlight. IPS (In-Plane Switching) also helps with better viewing angles for display panels.

The processor in the new iPhone will most likely be an updated Apple A4. Which is basically an ARM Cortex A8 core which has been optimised for Apple’s needs. But one big difference will be 512MB of RAM, double that of the iPad, and definitely aimed at improving multi-tasking capabilities, with lots of spare memory space for switching, and stashing images. Something the iPad has problems with in apps like Mobile Safari, even with 256MB of RAM.

Apparently Apple has been working to allow more space for battery technology to improve battery life in the new iPhone also. Batteries are rumored to come from Simplo Technology and Dynapack International Technology.

Apple seems to be doubling up straight away on a lot of suppliers to stymy supply problems right off the bat. Rather than as a last minute effort, as they did with the iPad. Lets hope that extra forward planning goes better for them this time.

Are you worried about iPhone 4G supplies? Do the specs sound good to you so far? Let us know in the comments.

[digitimes] ]]> 0