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Apple admits that student interns in China worked illegal overtime on iPhone X assembly line

Six high school students said they “routinely work 11-hour days assembling the iPhone X at a factory in Zhengzhou” despite that type of workday being illegal for student interns under Chinese law, The Financial Times reports. The six claim they’re only a few of the 3,000 students sent from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School to work at the local Foxconn factory in September. They were all told the three-month stint on the assembly line was “work experience” necessary for graduation, depite one student saying, “The work has nothing to do with our studies.” Apple admitted that an audit “confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits, but they should not have been allowed to work overtime.” The students told a different tale, with one saying, “We are being forced by our school to work here.” [via 9to5Mac]

FBI served search warrant to unlock Texas shooter’s iPhone

After trying and failing to compel Apple to unlock San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone, the FBI has issued a new search warrant to the company asking for help unlocking Texas church gunman Devin Kelley’s iPhone, mySA reports. The warrant requests “files stored on Kelley’s iPhone, a second mobile phone found near his body and for files stored in Kelley’s iCloud account.” Court records show Kelley had an iPhone SE and a lower tech LG 328BG in his possession. Apple’s iCloud policy states that information stored on the service can be provided to law enforcement in answer to a search warrant, but Apple refused to comment on the story.

International Trade Commission investigating patent infringement claims against Apple

The U.S. International Trade Commission is investigating patent infringement claims against Apple, Reuters reports. This particular inquiry stems from complaints made by Aqua Connect Inc and Strategic Technology Partners over technology used in iPhones, iPads, iPods, Apple TVs and Macs. The USITC is also currently conducting a separate investigation into Qualcomm’s claims that Apple devices violate its patents, on of many fronts in Apple’s ongoing legal war with the chipmaker.

Apple assembly partner hints at AR headset coming in 2019

Apple assembly partner Quanta Computer’s Vice Chairman C.C. Leung said he sees a “significant” augmented reality device “available in the market no later than the year 2019,” Nikkei Asian Review reports. He said the AR product is a “headset-like gadget with a fully transparent lens that allows users to see through and interact with the environment,” leading analysts to speculate he’s referring to the rumored AR headset being developed by Apple. A previous report claimed Apple is working to have an augmented reality headset developed by 2019 and shipped out to consumers as early as 2020, trying to get away from the traditional model of using a smartphone as the screen and engine. Leung said the device would need to cost less than $1,000 to be a hit in the market, solidly undercutting devices like Microsoft’s Hololens headset, which has a $3,000 price tag.

Apple releases third betas for iOS 11.2, watchOS 4.2, tvOS 11.2

Apple has released the third developer betas for iOS 11.2, watchOS 4.2, and tvOS 11.2. The iOS 11.2 beta is reportedly allowing users to wirelessly charge their iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X devices at 7.5-watt speeds instead of the previous 5-watt limit. The latest iOS 11.2 beta also provides a new explainer for how the Control Center’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggles work. Tapping these no longer turns off the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth radios, but instead merely disconnects or re-establishes your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections, and Apple has clarified that for users. The latest beta for tvOS 11.2 provides more control over when videos are played in HDR and at different frame rates.

Report: iPhone 8 production may decrease as a result of iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus popularity

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested that Apple’s production of the iPhone 8 may decrease by over 50 percent this quarter due to strong consumer preference for the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X models. According to a research note obtained by MacRumors, demand for the iPhone 8 has been lower than expected and could result in fewer orders for Apple’s supplier Pegatron. While Apple doesn’t disclose iPhone sales on a per-model basis, CEO Tim Cook noted recently that the company was surprised by how fast iPhone 8 Plus sales took off after the new model was released, citing it as “the fastest start of any Plus model.” Research firm Canalys also noted that the iPhone 8 Plus outpaced the iPhone 8 last quarter, making it the first 5.5-inch iPhone to beat out it’s smaller sibling in shipments.

Apple updates Clips app with iPhone X exclusive ‘Scenes’ feature

Apple has released a major update to its Clips app for the iPhone X, adding a new Scenes feature that takes advantage of the TrueDepth camera to place you in animated, 360-degree scenes with matching selfie filters to transform your appearance. Some of the scenes include the Millennium Falcon with a Star Wars style holo effect filter, a sketchbook scene with a filter that provides a charcoal drawing effect, and a scene that puts you into an 8-bit video game setting. Since Scenes require the TrueDepth camera, they’re only available to iPhone X users, however Clips 2.0 adds plenty of additional enhancements for users of other iPhone models as well, including a completely redesigned user interface, a collection of new stickers, posters, and titles, featuring Star Wars characters and Mickey and Friends along with retro Apple-designed stickers, four new artistic effects, a selection of new filters from the Camera app, and 21 new royalty-free soundtracks. Clips also now sync via iCloud so you can view and edit your work from any of your iOS devices.

Corephotonics sues Apple over dual camera technology patents

Israeli startup Corephotonics has filed lawsuit claiming Apple infringed on its patents to create the dual cameras in the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus, Reuters reports. Corephotonics alleges that its CEO David Mendlovic approached Apple about a partnership and that “Apple’s lead negotiator expressed contempt for Corephotonics’ patents, telling Dr. Mendlovic and others that even if Apple infringed, it would take years and millions of dollars in litigation before Apple might have to pay something.” Apple has its own patents on dual camera technology, so it’s unclear which parts of the technology are at issue in the case. Apple refused to comment on the story.

EU wants more information on Apple’s tax moves in Jersey after leaked documents surface

After leaked documents detailing the process Apple undertook to relocate its Irish holdings to the island of Jersey were printed in The New York Times and other news outlets, the European Union’s competition chief is asking for more details from the company, The Washington Post reports. In its response to the initial reports, Apple claimed to have notified the US, Ireland and the EU about the reorganization of its Irish subsidiaries, claiming, “The changes we made did not reduce our tax payments in any country.” But Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s commissioner for competition, said, “I have been asking for an update on the arrangement made by Apple, the recent way they have been organized, in order to get the feeling whether or not this is in accordance with our European rules but that remains to be seen.” Vestager said the information request came before the leaked documents came to light and is still unsure whether Apple’s moves will prompt more investigations.

Apple working on AR headset that could launch as early as 2020, run its own ‘rOS’ operating system

Apple is working to have an augmented reality headset developed by 2019 and shipped out to consumers as early as 2020, Bloomberg reports. Previous rumors have revealed that Apple has hundreds of engineers working on AR applications and has developed multiple prototypes for AR glasses, and some bolder bloggers have even speculated that a partnership with Zeiss would lead to a viable product coming out this year. But Tim Cook has thrown cold water on the idea that the technology is anywhere near ready for Apple to ship a product to consumers, saying, “Today I can tell you the technology itself doesn’t exist to do that in a quality way. The display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face – there’s huge challenges with that. The field of view, the quality of the display itself, it’s not there yet.”

US Supreme Court refuses to hear Samsung’s appeal on Apple patent case

The US Supreme Court has refused to hear Samsung’s appeal of a patent case the company lost to Apple, Reuters reports. The refusal leaves Samsung on the hook for just under $120 million in payments to Apple after an appeals court upheld a verdict finding Samsung infringed on several Apple patents, including slide-to-unlock, autocorrect and the ability to turn things like phone numbers and addresses into quick links. The Supreme Court recently threw out a $399 million ruling against Samsung, but that trial has been sent to another court to be retried.

Apple responds after leaked records show overseas profits being moved to avoid taxes

Leaked documents show Apple began to move its offshore profits to the English Channel island of Jersey after heat from the European Union threatened to compromise its low-tax arrangement in Ireland, The New York Times reports. The records show Apple solicited the help of law firms that specialize in creating offshore tax shelters to research multiple tax jurisdictions before settling on Jersey, an independent island outside of EU jurisdiction that usually doesn’t tax corporate income. By the end of 2014, Apple had relocated Apple Sales International and Apple Operations International from Ireland to Jersey and moved Apple Operations Europe to Ireland, shuffling around its tax homes just ahead of Ireland’s new policy of allowing existing companies or those created before December 2014 to claim $1 billion in tax credits every year for up to 15 years if they transfer the rights to intellectual property to an Irish company — even if it’s a transfer from one company’s subsidiary to another.

Introductory pricing for app subscriptions in iOS 11.2 beta; watchOS 4.2, tvOS 11.2 betas released

In the release notes for its latest developer beta for iOS 11.2, Apple has revealed that it will allow developers to offer “a discounted introductory price for your auto-renewable subscriptions.” Auto-renewing subscriptions became available with the release of iOS 10, and the public release of iOS 11.2 will include new subscription classes for developers looking to entice users to try their product with a lower introductory rate. Apple said developers will be able to set up introductory pricing options in iTunes Connect soon. The company also released a second developer beta for watchOS 4.2 and tvOS 11.2 alongside the iOS 11.2 release.

Future of Apple’s planned Irish data center uncertain after years of legal wrangling

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Apple CEO Tim Cook is no longer committing to build a $1 billion data center in the country after multiple objections have slowed the process, Reuters reports. Apple committed to build the data center back in Febuary 2015 and last month Business Insider reported that an Irish court had cleared the way for its construction. But in a meeting last Thursday Cook refused to commit to moving forward with the project, Varadkar said. While the PM said the government would do “anything within our power” to move the project along — including amending its planning laws to make data centers easier to approve by listing them as “strategic infrastructure” — he said, “We didn’t get a start date, or a definite commitment or anything like that,” at the meeting. Meanwhile a second European data center is already in the works in Denmark after another announced around the same time as the project in Ireland is preparing to go online later this year.

Third-party apps will be able to collect facial data on iPhone X

Third party developers will be able to fully utilize the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X to collect advanced facial data, according to a new report by Reuters. Although Apple has promised that the facial profiles used for Face ID will be securely stored in the iPhone X Secure Enclave — in the same way that fingerprints are stored for Touch ID authentication on other iPhone models — third-party app developers will be permitted to access the advanced features of the TrueDepth camera to access facial recognition features that would allow them to build entertainment apps for the iPhone X, such as pinning three-dimensional masks for selfies or mirroring real-world facial expressions on an in-game character.

Report: Apple to unlock all Canadian iPhones over-the-air on Dec. 1

Apple is planning to remotely unlock all Canadian iPhones over-the-air on Dec. 1 to comply with new government regulations banning locked iPhones as of that date, according to a leaked document obtained by MobileSyrup. A document obtained from smartphone retailer WOW! Mobile notes that locked iPhones will be “automatically be unlocked over-the-air effective December 1st.”

Apple designing iPhones, iPads that ditch Qualcomm modem chips

Amid its bitter legal fight with Qualcomm over patent royalties, Apple is moving to eliminate Qualcomm’s components from the iPhone and iPad as early as next year, The Wall Street Journal reports. Sources familiar with the matter said Apple is considering using modem chips from Intel and possibly MediaTek exclusively since Qualcomm has been withholding key software used to test its chips in prototype iPads and iPhones. Qualcomm disputes that claim, saying its “modem that could be used in the next generation iPhone has already been fully tested and released to Apple.”

Apple asks SEC to exclude shareholder diversity proposal from next meeting

Apple has asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to allow the company to exclude a shareholder proposal demanding more diversity in the company’s senior leadership from its upcoming shareholder meeting, SiliconBeat reports. The small group of shareholders has issued repeated demands for moves to mandate diversity requirements for Apple’s top positions and now wants to tie mandatory diversity numbers to CEO Tim Cook’s compensation. In a letter to the SEC, the company asked the SEC for permission to exclude the proposal, arguing that since it has been proposed twice in the past five years and received less than 6 percent of the shareholder vote, under SEC rules the motion can be left off the proxy materials for the next meeting.

Apple describes iPhone X demand as ‘off the charts’

In a statement to TechCrunch, an Apple representative has described customer demand for the iPhone X as being “off the charts” and emphasized Apple’s commitment to increasing the supply of the new iPhone as quickly as possible, noting that the company will still be accepting online orders and still plans to have stock available in its retail stores next Friday.

We are thrilled to be taking orders for iPhone X, the future of the smartphone. We can see from the initial response, customer demand is off the charts. We’re working hard to get this revolutionary new product into the hands of every customer who wants one, as quickly as possible. We will keep accepting orders online, and iPhone X will be available at Apple retail stores on Friday, November 3 starting at 8 a.m., as well as from our carrier and retailer partners around the world.

Pre-orders for Apple’s new flagship iPhone opened this morning at 3:01 a.m. ET with initial stock not surprisingly selling out within minutes and many users being greeted with shipping dates of 2 – 3 weeks or more by 3:05 a.m. While Apple claims that stock will be available in its retail stores on Friday, it’s unclear how many units are being held for walk-in customers as opposed to pre-ordered or reserved pickups.

Apple reveals Service Pricing for iPhone X

Apple has added details on the iPhone X to its iPhone Service Pricing page, revealing that out-of-warranty screen repairs for the iPhone X will cost $279 — over $100 more than repairs for the iPhone 8 Plus. Repairs for other damage will carry a similar premium for the new model, costing $549 vs $399 for the iPhone 8 Plus and $349 for the iPhone 8. These service prices are for users without AppleCare+ for the iPhone X, however, which costs $199 up front but provides up to two repairs at $29 for screen replacement or $99 for other damage.

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