Reuters

Reuters: Apple to start building iPhone SE in India in coming months

Apple is set to start assembling its lower-priced iPhone SE in India in the coming months, an industry source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday.

All iPhone SE units will be made in a facility that Apple’s contract manufacturer will set up at Peenya on the outskirts of Bengaluru. All devices will be targeted at the domestic market.

Sharp’s $7 billion US display plant may break ground before summer

Japanese giant Sharp is “taking the lead” on a rumored $7 billion display manufacturing plant in the United States which its parent company Foxconn recently highlighted in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Make in America” call. Citing a person with knowledge of the plan, Reuters is reporting that the forthcoming facility may break ground sometime in the first half of 2017.

Apple’s Vice President of corporate and government sales has stepped down

John Solomon, Apple’s Vice President for Enterprise and Government, has stepped down. He led sales teams charged with pushing Apple hardware and software to big companies and government agencies with large technology budgets.

Apple confirmed his departure to Reuters, but refused to comment further. Solomon wouldn’t reveal why he left Apple either. It’s unclear if losing a key executive for business sales might slow Apple’s efforts to push its solutions to large businesses in recent years.

HomeKit has about 100 certified devices more than two years since inception

HomeKit, Apple’s software framework for communicating with and controlling connected accessories in a user’s home, currently works with about a hundred certified devices, Reuters said Friday.

By contrast, there are currently about 250 devices that are certified to work with Alexa, thanks to Amazon’s open-systems approach and even financial incentives for some partners.

But HomeKit, which debuted alongside iOS 8 in September 2014, now has an agile competitor in Amazon’s Alexa voice-controlled digital assistant which can also control smart accessories in the home with a few spoken words. The Reuters report outlines some of the requirements Apple imposes on device makers who wish to become HomeKit-certified.

Samsung delays Galaxy S8 following Note 7 fires

During its press conference Monday morning, Samsung shared the findings of Note 7 investigations conducted by itself and three independent industry firms. In the aftermath of Note 7 fires, Samsung’s won’t be unveiling its next-generation iPhone rival at the Mobile World Congress in February as previously thought, Samsung told Reuters.

Apple poached race car engineer from Porsche

Earlier this year, Apple poached Alexander Hitzinger, the former technical director of Porsche’s race car program who helped the car maker return to the Le Mans endurance race, a company source told Reuters last Friday. The move was first reported by Germany’s Manager Magazin.

Volkswagen-owned Porsche officially confirmed Hitzinger had left the luxury carmaker in the spring, but didn’t share any further information.

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn rumored to spend $7 billion on U.S. expansion

Taiwan-based iPhone manufacturer Foxconn is said to be considering pouring as much as $7 billion into a massive expansion of its operations in the United States, looking to create 50,000 jobs within the country in the next four years, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Foxconn is reportedly looking to build a collection of U.S.-based assembly plants.

The company has confirmed being in preliminary discussions regarding expansion of its U.S. operations. CNBC earlier posted a slide which pegs the investment at $7 billion.

McLaren confirms it was in talks with Apple that never “matured to a definitive proposition”

Back in September, The Financial Times, The New York Times and Bloomberg ran reports that Apple was considering either a full takeover bid or at least a large investment in the British supercar maker McLaren Automotive. A potential acquisition was valued at between $1.3 billion and $1.9 billion though McLaren later said it was “not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment.”

Saturday, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt confirmed in an interview with Reuters that his company did hold talks with Apple after all, but said the discussions never progressed towards a definitive proposition.

The government of Ireland will back Apple in its fight against EU’s tax bill from hell

Following news earlier this week that the European Commission had ruled that Apple must pay €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in back taxes to the government of Ireland because its sweetheart deal with Dublin that lets it be subjected to a lower tax rate constitutes “illegal state aid,” the Irish government said today it would join Apple in its fight against the ruling.

“Paradoxically, Ireland is determined not to accept the tax windfall, which would be equivalent to what it spent last year on funding its struggling health service,” says the report.

Tim Cook resumes charm offensive in China, confirms Asia-Pacific R&D center

Tim Cook is on the road again, visiting China, where he’s promised to increase investment by opening up a research and development center in the increasingly tough 1.33 billion people market by the end of 2016. Cook has confirmed the move to Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, one of China’s most senior officials, Reuters reports this morning.

Apple finds it tough to recruit top minds in artificial intelligence and machine learning

Apple’s massive hiring effort in artificial intelligence and machine learning has hit roadblocks as the company is increasingly finding it tough to recruit top data scientists and AI experts due to its own strict privacy policies that prevent those engineers from retrieving valuable user data.

In other words, according to a Reuters report Monday, some of the brightest minds in artificial intelligence are increasingly not interested in working for a company that values and respects privacy of its users.

Reuters: Apple, BMW could resume talks over electric car partnership

The rumors that Apple visited a BMW plant last year to learn about auto manufacturing is true, reports Reuters. Citing sources familiar with the talks, the outlet says that Tim Cook and his senior executive team traveled to BMW’s Leipzig factory last fall, showing interest in its i3 electric car.

“Apple executives were impressed with the fact that we abandoned traditional approaches to car making and started afresh. It chimed with the way they do things too,” a senior BMW source said. The executives asked BMW board members detailed questions about both tooling and production.