iPad assembler Foxconn has closed all of its workshops that handle polishing for electronic parts in the wake of an explosion at an iPad 2 production facility that killed three employees. The Wall Street Journal reports that the explosion is being linked to combustible aluminum dust, created during a polishing process for the iPad’s case. “The workshops could be back online as soon as they pass the test,” said a Foxconn spokesman, who added that the tests would take at least two days. It is unclear when the damaged facility might be able to reopen.

In an interview with AllThingsD, France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard made several comments related to Apple and the iPhone, which the company sells under its Orange brand in 15 countries. “They just created smartphones with the iPhone,” Richard said. “Everybody should be grateful to them to have put such a product in our market.” Richard described his company’s cooperation with Apple on a new smaller SIM standard as compromise meant to appease Apple’s request for smaller components without going to a software SIM solution, which Richard said would make it “very difficult for a telco or carrier to manage the customer relationship.” He also described the next iPhone as “smaller and thinner,” and said he thinks the iPad is “very well ahead of the competition in terms of tablets.”

Apple has acquired 200 patents from Freescale Semiconductor. Patently-O reports that while the reciept of the patents was not recorded until May 18, 2011, the assignment date is listed as April 11, 2011; neither it is clear whether Apple obtained full title to the patents and whether it purchased the rights or obtained them through some other type of transaction. Freescale began as a division of Motorola in 1949, but was spun-off by the company in 2003; the patents in question are said to relate to hardware for computers and wireless devices.

Samsung has been ordered to hand over five newly- or un-released products in its ongoing legal battle with Apple. Courthouse News Service reports that Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Samsung has 30 days to hand over product samples, packaging, and package inserts to the Galaxy S2, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G, and Droid Charge. “Apple has demonstrated good cause for some, limited expedited discovery,” said Koh. “While Apple has not yet filed a motion for preliminary injunction, courts have found that expedited discovery may be justified to allow a plaintiff to determine whether to seek an early injunction.” Apple sued Samsung in April claiming intellectual property infringement; the company countersued Apple later that month. [via Crave]

Charles Starrett

Charles Starrett was a senior editor at iLounge. He's been covering the iPod, iPhone, and iPad since their inception. He has written numerous articles and reviews, and his work has been featured in multiple publications.