President-elect Trump promises tax incentives for Apple to build “Made in USA” iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 23, 2016

Apple reportedly asked contract manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron to look into assembling iPhones in the United States and now we learn that Tim Cook phoned President-elect Donald Trump following his victory to talk about U.S. manufacturing.

In an interview with The New York Times, Trump reveals he’s promised tax incentives to Apple to build its products domestically rather than outsource component production and assembly work to Taiwanese and Chinese suppliers and contract manufacturers. Read More

 

Apple screen supplier Japan Display could receive government bailout

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2016

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple supplier Japan Display could receive a bailout of around ¥75 billion ($703 million) from the government-backed fund Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ), which is its largest shareholder with a 36 percent share.

People familiar with the matter said that the display maker might receive new financing from INCJ through an issuance of subordinated bonds and may possibly get “additional support” from the fund. Read More

 

Facebook halts WhatsApp data collection in UK following privacy probe

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 8, 2016

As of late-August 2016, WhatsApp has been sharing account data with Facebook in what the firm framed as an effort to improve targeted advertising on the social network. Although users can easily opt out of the WhatsApp → Facebook data sharing with just a few taps, most novice users are unaware that their WhatsApp usage data is being shared with Facebook.

In the United Kingdom, the Information Commissioner Office head Elizabeth Denham said her office had launched a probe into WhatsApp’s updated Terms of Service a few weeks ago.

The new terms previously drew ire from European privacy watchdogs who expressed “serious concerns” over the policy change. As a result of the UK government probe, WhatsApp has now suspended account data collection and sharing with Facebook. Read More

 

Cops obtain a warrant demanding individuals unlock iPhones with their fingerprint

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 17, 2016

California’s top cops seem to have obtained a questionable warrant request to enter a residence and force anyone inside to use biometric information to open their fingerprint-locked iPhones purely on the assumption they’ll learn more after they access the phones, Forbes reported this morning.

Deemed as “an unprecedented attempt to bypass the security of Apple’s iPhones,” Forbes found a court filing in which the Department of Justice sought to search a Lancaster, California, property. Read More

 

Apple Watch banned from UK government cabinet meetings over spying concerns

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 10, 2016

British newspaper The Telegraph reported yesterday that the Apple Watch has been banned from government cabinet meetings after ministers warned wearable devices could be vulnerable to hacking by state-sponsored spies. Smartphones, too, have been barred from cabinet meetings because of similar concerns, with one source saying that “the Russians are trying to hack everything.” Read More

 

FBI considering “legal and technical options“ in a case similar to San Bernardino shooting

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 7, 2016

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) looked into “legal and technical options” for breaking into another terrorists’s iPhone. Wired reports that potential prospect of a second legal showdown between Apple and the Bureau was raised in a statement issued today by the FBI. Read More

 

Apple given go-ahead to start building its massive $1 billion data center in Ireland

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 12, 2016

Following months of back and forth between Apple and Ireland’s independent planning body An Bord Pleanála, plans for a massive $1 billion data center in Galway County have been approved, reports Business Insider. “Despite opposition from a number of individuals and local businesses,” Apple’s been granted the go-ahead to build the first stage of the data center on a 197-hectare site.

The facility will support Apple’s online services for customers in Europe, including the iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri. Read More

 

India’s finance minister ratifies a proposal that’d let Apple run retail stores in the country

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 10, 2016

Apple is one step closer to opening first-party retail stores in India, its increasingly significant market with population of 1.3 billion people, with a new Bloomberg report claiming that India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley has approved a proposal that clarifies how Apple could open retail stores without initially having to source components locally.

Last month, the cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a three-year extension on local-sourcing rules that require foreign firms wanting to run their own local retail stores to source at least 30 percent of components within the populous country. Read More

 

Korea’s watchdog is investigating Apple for possible anti-competitive practices

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 28, 2016

Reuters reports that Apple is currently under fire in South Korea as the country’s antitrust regulator launches an investigation into “some matters”, without disclosing further details. Jeong Jae-chan, the head of the anti-competition body, said during a parliamentary hearing Tuesday that the agency was taking a closer look at Apple’s business practices in the country.

According to local media, the agency was reviewing details of Apple’s contracts with South Korean wireless carriers earlier this month. Read More

 

India relaxes rules on foreign direct investments, paving the way for Apple Stores

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 20, 2016

The government of India has relaxed its strict rules on foreign direct investments, which stipulate that 30 percent of goods sold by foreign companies must be manufactured or produced within India, paving the way for Apple’s retail expansion in the 1.25 billion people market. Acording to The Times of India on Monday, Apple should benefit from a new three-year relaxation on local sourcing norms. Read More

 

Indian government formally rejects Apple’s plan to sell used iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on May 30, 2016

The government of India has said ‘no’ to Apple’s request to import used iPhones into the country, LiveMint reported today. The move comes hot on the heels of the finance ministry’s decision to rejecte a recommendation from the commerce ministry to waive the 30 percent local sourcing norm for Apple to sell refurbished iPhones in its own branded stores in India.

“We are not in favour of any company selling used phones in the company, however certified they may be,” said commerce and industry minister, Nirmala Sitharaman. Read More

 

Apple barred from selling used iPhones in India

By Christian Zibreg on May 3, 2016

The Indian government has turned down Apple’s request to sell refurbished iPhones in the country after Samsung and local phone vendors voiced their opposition to the move on environmental grounds, Bloomberg reported today.

This is a setback for the Cupertino firm: its iPhone has a minuscule two percent markets share in India, where half of the population is about 25 years old. Read More

 

Apple says it refused Chinese demand for iOS source code

By Cody Lee on Apr 19, 2016

Apple declined to provide Chinese officials with access to iOS source code, General counsel Bruce Sewell said on Tuesday at a subcommittee hearing on encryption. “We have been asked by the Chinese government. We refused.”

Sewell said the request had come in the last two years, and noted several times that Apple has not cooperated with China on that level. Some lawmakers have questioned whether or not Apple has given the country special treatment. Read More

 

Canadian police have had BlackBerry’s global decryption key since 2010

By Cody Lee on Apr 14, 2016

Canadian police have been in possession of a BlackBerry’s global decryption key since 2010, reports Vice. The site says recently released court documents reveal that the key was used in a criminal investigation to intercept over 1 million BBM messages.

The documents were made public after members of a Montreal crime syndicate pleaded guilty to their role in a 2011 murder, and they shine some light on the extent that BlackBerry, as well as telco giant Rogers, is willing to cooperate with investigators. Read More

 

FBI confirms a tool it bought to unlock terrorist’s iPhone 5c does not work on iPhone 5s and newer

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 7, 2016

James Comey, Director of the Federal Bureau of iPhones—that is, Investigation—confirmed in an interview with CNN yesterday that a tool that the agency had purchased from a third-party to unlock San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone 5c cannot be used to bypass security protections on newer models, from the iPhone 5s onward.

This implies the tool relies on the fact that the iPhone 5c and earlier models lack hardware features like the Secure Enclave embedded in Apple’s mobile processors (from the iPhone 5s’s A7 chip and onward) which keeps encrypted sensitive information and stuff like the number of passcode attempts isolated from the rest of the system. Read More

 

DOJ threatened to seize iOS source code unless Apple complies with court order in FBI case

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 14, 2016

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has slid a disturbing footnote in its court filing against Apple that could be interpreted as a threat to seize the iOS source code unless Apple complies with a court order in the FBI case.

The DoJ is demanding that Apple create a special version of iOS with removed security features that would permit the FBI to run brute-force passcode attempts on the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5c.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has made public where he stands on the Apple vs. FBI case, which has quickly become a heated national debate. Read More

 

Apple-FBI fight over iPhone backdoor, security and encryption gets a comedic treatment

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 14, 2016

Apple’s fight against the United States government and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over circumventing encryption and creating a backdoor into the iPhone has received a comedic treatment in a segment on the Last Week Tonight show by comedian Jon Oliver.

In a mock Apple ad, Oliver rehashes controversial quotes from government officials, as well as Donald Trump’s iPhone boycott idea and District Attorney Daniel Conley’s Kennedy quote of sending a man to the moon. Read More

 

Eddy Cue: what if FBI forces Apple to spy on users via iPhone’s camera or microphone?

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 10, 2016

Not a day goes by without one of Apple’s executives reaffirming the company’s position on encryption. In a new Spanish-language interview with Univision, Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, made the case against the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) gaining additional surveillance powers.

Were the government to force Apple to create a version of iOS with decreased security, nothing would prevent it from seeking other concessions, Cue said.

“For example, one day the FBI may want us to open your phone’s camera, microphone,” he cautioned. “Those are things we can’t do now. But if they can force us to do that, I think that’s very bad.” Read More

 

Video: Steve Wozniak sides with Apple in FBI fight

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 8, 2016

As a strong proponent of privacy and human rights, it is now wonder that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak would stand firmly with Apple in its fight against the FBI and the United States government regarding creating a backdoor into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.

Appearing on the Conan show last night, the Woz said the FBI “picked the lamest case you ever could”. It’s “worthless” to expect something’s on the shooter’s iPhone 5c that the FBI wants to break into because Verizon had already turned over all the phone records and SMS messages and law enforcement got iCloud backups form Apple. Read More

 

Apple will pay $450 million fine in e-book case as Supreme Court declines to hear appeal

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 7, 2016

Apple’s legal battle with the United States government over alleged price fixing in an e-book antitrust case has now come to an end after nearly three years.

As the United States Supreme Court has declined to hear Apple’s appeal, the iPhone maker will have to pay a $450 million fine to settle its long-standing federal court case with class action lawyers and state district attorneys.

Bloomberg reported Monday that the justices turned away Apple’s appeal without comment. Apple has been found to have conspired with major book publishers and orchestrated a scheme to raise prices of electronic books on the iBooks Store. Read More

 
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