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Foxconn Wages Fail to Cover Basic Needs; Lawsuit Filed Against Siri

A look at how our favorite backyard tech giant has made the news this week.

Every week,  makes news with technology developments, business deals and, more often than not, controversies.

That’s where our weekly "Core Bytes" column on Apple comes in. We’ll relay the past week’s news highlights from our favorite backyard tech giant.

Controversies
Current wages at Apple’s Foxconn are not enough to cover the “basic needs” of 64 percent of 35,000 employees surveyed by the Fair Labor Association. The average worker is 23 years old, and paid $403 a month. Yet most employees did not feel they worked too many hours, and revealed a desire for more overtime. Still, Foxconn will be bringing down hours into the legal limits (49 per week) by July 2013, and compensate its more than 1.2 million employees for the overtime they will lose because of the shorter work week.

Siri is the target of a lawsuit filed by one user Tuesday in Los Angeles. California resident David Jones claimed that the advertising for Siri is misleading, demonstrating the voice activated personal assistant doing tasks it is not actually capable of. Jones’ is seeking “relief and damages” not only for himself, but also for other iPhone 4S users.

New Products
Apple is entering another dimension. It plans to release cameras that can capture 3D images, as revealed in two patents that the U.S. Patent and Trademark published this week. Two other patents describe a system that would scan a user’s face and recreate their image with a 3D avatar. Their virtual recreation could then be used in the Game Center for iOS.

Business Deals and Developments
Half of all American households own an Apple product. That’s at least according to CNBC’s recently released All-America Economic Survey, which reveals that there is an Apple product in over 55 million U.S. homes. Furthermore, one in 10 households that don’t fall into that category plan to make a purchase in the next year.

Japan is a tech-savvy society. But for the first time, Apple was named as its top consumer brand. It moved up 10 spots from its 11th place finish in 2011, and scored 90.5 points for “total brand power,” according to a Brand Japan 2012 survey conducted by Nikkei BP Consulting Inc.

Tim Cook scored a whopping 97 percent approval rating from Apple’s workforce, according to a survey that was conducted by the job search site Glassdoor.com. Steve Jobs’ rating was the same when he stepped down as CEO of Apple in August 2011.

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