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.
A worker at Apple’s Foxconn Factory in China committed suicide Thursday, raising another round of questions about working conditions there. While the factory gained international notoriety in the past for a string of worker suicides, this was the first one since Apple and Foxconn agreed a few months ago to strengthen safety conditions, improve factory health and reduce overtime.
Is Siri safe for corporate use? Not so much, reportedly said F-Secure veep Maria Brodgren, pointing out that the iPhone 4S personal assistant is “cute” but un-secure as the data goes to a datacenter in Oregon, rather than being stored in the phone. Still, data security experts remained skeptical, pointing out that other services like Gmail and Facebook store much more information in the cloud than Apple does.
Apple products are becoming popular for photography, with iOS devices accounting for 47 percent of images shared via Twitter. So it’s no surprise that this week Apple patented a removable smartphone lens that allows users to insert different lenses for different shots: long range, macro, etc.
Cute emojis, or emoticons, have become popular on iPhones. Now, for the first time, Apple is rolling out gay and lesbian icons on its new iPhones, providing more variety to its previous images of a hetrosexual couple holding hands, and a hetrosexual couple with a son.
Business Deals and Developments
Internationally, tablet sales are soaring, and Apple is widening the lead as the top consumer choice. The International Data Corp. (IDC) predicts iPad sales will comprise 62.5 percent of global sales this year, up from 58.2 percent last year. Overall, worldwide shipments of tablets will reach 142.8 million next year, and 222.1 by 2016, according to the IDC.
Take note, MacBook fans: Apple is expected to launch its 13-inch Retina Macbook Pro, replete with a high-resolution display, by October. The screen is expected to have a resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels. It should be slightly smaller than the 18-inch model, with a size of 18 milimeters.