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.
Earlier this year, Apple’s Foxconn plant in China had an explosion that killed several workers. This week, the New York Times published an investigation into the explosions, and the conditions at Chinese Apple factories, that made it possible. Yet Apple CEO Tim Cook dismissed the allegations in an email to employees, stating that the company “cares about every worker in its supply chain.”
Samsung lost its second patent suit in two weeks against Apple in Germany. A court ruled that the iPhone and iPad had not infringed on a second Samsung patent. As with its first loss, the Korean company says it will review the verdict to decide if they wish to appeal.
Apple has a second Siri in the works, and this time she will be taking commands on your computer. This week, the US Patent and Trademark Office published Apple’s “Siri, the Killer Patent,” which reveals plans for a virtual assistant that would enable computer users to go hands-free if they desire. The robot will receive spoken input as an alternative to basic functions like reading, clicking, and typing.
Business Deals and Developments
Thanks to skyrocketing iPhone 4S sales, Apple beat its rival Samsung in fourth-quarter smartphone sales. But the race is still close: Apple seized 23.9 percent of the market, while Samsung narrowly trailed behind with 23.5 percent.
In addition to rising to the top spot among cell phone manufacturers, Apple now claims 8.3 percent of the total worldwide phone market. Handset shipments over the quarter totaled 445 million, up 11.2 percent from last year.
Apple is staking its claims on another tech hub: Haifa, Israel. At the end of February, it may be opening a research and development center—the first outside of Cupertino—in the coastal town. Now, it’s recruiting engineers who will develop new chips for the company’s devices.