Apple Fined Another $260,000 By Italian Regulators Over AppleCare Practices
Italy fined Apple $1.2 million in late 2011, after its Competition and Market Authority found that Apple was not providing customers with sufficient information about the two years of free product warranty that is required under Italian law.
Instead, Apple was pushing the sale of AppleCare, which overlaps with the inherent Italian product warranty. After being fined and losing an appeal, Apple added disclosures to its Italian online store, but authorities were not satisfied and considered additional fines and even a potential ban on Apple products in the country.
Apple today was fined another $264,000 by Italian regulators (via setteB.IT) after not fully complying with the Consumer Code set place in 2012, from March 28 to November 10.
Authorities have released a statement detailing Apple’s exact violations.
From March 2012 onward, the above measures continued to trigger additional requests for intervention that reported the repetition of the unfair commercial practices. In specific, consumers complained that they were meeting with difficulties when seeking to apply the legal guarantee and were encountering incorrect procedures in the promotion of the App.
Though Italy levied another fine against Apple, regulators have since determined that after sufficient modification, Apple’s website is no longer confusing for Italian customers. The changes went into full effect on November 10, and Apple also ceased selling its AppleCare products in Italian stores.
Apple may have settled its differences with Italian regulators, but it is still facing potential fines from other European countries, which also have a two-year warranty rule. In October, European Union officials called on member states to scrutinize Apple’s warranty advertising practices, stating that the Cupertino-based company may not be adequately informing EU customers of the extra warranty.
AT&T gets the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini for 99 cents starting Sept. 27
If you’re looking for a little(ish) phone with a diminutive price, AT&T’s about to have it. The U.S. carrier will, erm, carry the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini starting Sept. 27 for just 99 cents on contract. It’ll go up for preorder on Sept. 19.
We last took a look at this guy way back in December 2012. It’s a 4-inch device running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, powered by a ?dual-core 1.2 GHz processor with 1GB of RAM. It’s also got a 5-megapixel camera.
The usual suite of Samsung apps is on board as well?— including the TouchWiz user interface, S Beam for sharing files, and S Voice for voice control.?
Apple Donates $2.5 Million to American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy Relief
9to5Mac shares an email sent to Apple employees by CEO Tim Cook announcing that the company has donated $2.5 million to the American Red Cross in support of Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
For the past week, our thoughts have been with those affected by Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. And Apple employees and customers the world over have raised millions of dollars toward the relief effort so far. But we can always do more.
That’s why, on behalf of all our employees, Apple is making a donation of $2.5 million to the American Red Cross to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief. We hope this contribution will help families, businesses, and communities recover and rebuild.
November 8, 2012
Apple’s own donation comes in addition to its program facilitating donations from iTunes Store users. Under that program, users can donate by simply clicking a button in the iTunes Store, with the amount of the donation being charged to the credit card on file for their account. Apple is not taking a cut of those donations, passing 100% of the amount along to the American Red Cross.
Apple outs unlocked iPhone 5s in the US, starting at $649
After seeing international availability in select markets over the past several weeks, an unlocked variant of the iPhone 5s has made its way to the US Apple online store.
You can now get the iPhone 5s in either gray, gold, or silver in either 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB variants. The new unlocked pricing will run you $649, $749, or $849, respectively.
The unlocked model will let you insert a nano-SIM of your choosing. You still have the option of shipping your unlocked model with a T-Mobile nano-SIM preinstalled which you can then activate for use on T-Mobile’s network.
Shipment times vary between 3 days and 2 weeks depending on which option you choose, so no matter which one you choose, you’ve got plenty of time to get one in time for the holidays.
Unveiled back in October, the Mac Pro is starting its retail journey from tomorrow, December 19. Apple redesigned the Mac Pro entirely and has packed it with some of the best hardware you can find around.
Packing a 3.7 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 CPU with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9 GHz, the new Mac Pro also has dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs with 2GB of VRAM each. RAM is 12GB, while storage is 256GB of PCIe-based flash memory. This configuration is the cheapest of them all and comes for $2,999.
You can order the Mac Pro with a 3.5 GHz 6-core Intel Xeon E5 CPU, 16GB of RAM and the same 256GB storage for $1000 more at $3,999. Apple also offers a more powerful 8-core or 12-core Intel Xeon E5 processors with 6GB AMD FirePro D700 GPUs and up to 64GB of RAM and 1TB of flash storage.
Apple boasts that all units are assembled in the US. The futuristic casing of the new Mac Pro offers great connectivity with dual Ethernet ports, HDMI, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11ac and four USB 3.0 ports.
Apple has huge Saphire crystal factory, possibly for making iPhone displays
There were some reports last year about Apple opening a Sapphire Crystal furnace factory in Arizona.
It turns out that the Cupertino-based tech giant is pushing hard to get the factory up and running as soon as possible. So why the rush from Apple?
All we know is that the building will be making “new” and “critical” components for future Apple devices. But we do have some information that can give us a pretty detailed guess as to what these components will be: iPhone displays.
It’s been rumored that Apple plans to make sapphire-crystal displays for future iPhone models. According to leaked documents from analyst Matt Margolis, it’s evident that Apple has purchased Sapphire display inspection tools in a partnership with GT Advanced technologies. This new information, coupled with previous rumors, means that it is safe to say Apple is planning on using the facility for the production of new iPhone displays.
Also, a recent SEC filing indicates that nearly all of GT Advanced’s recent work is exclusively done with Apple. This rules out the possibility for GT Advanced providing Sapphire-Crystal technology displays to any other tech company.
GT Advanced also purchased multiple Sapphire-Crystal furnaces and chambers, 518 of them to be exact, and an expected 420 additional units have already been ordered. With the initial 518 in the factory now, Apple can produce anywhere from 103-116 million displays a year. With the extra 420 machines, they could be producing well over 200 million.
The benefits of Sapphire-crystal displays are improved strength and scratch-resistance. Something that would be a significant selling point for Apple’s next iPhone, seeing as their screens are ranked as some of the most fragile in the business.
The latest Android Jelly Bean build has surfaced for the former Sony flagship, Xperia Z, and its softshell variant, the Xperia ZL.
The 4.3 build has recently leaked through xda-developers as a version which was destined for commercial outlets and members of the press.
The Android 4.3 firmware versioned 10.4.B.0.569 brings many features introduced by Sony in their Xperia Z1 flagship. Highlights include:
Performance enhancements and bug fixes
Themes and wallpapers from Xperia Z1
Xperia Z1-style white UI
Updated Camera app from Xperia Z1
Xperia home 6.1.2.A.0.1
Album app 5.2.A.1.26
Movies app 5.3.A.0.18
Updated keyboard interface
Screen calibrated for brighter displays
The best part is, you don’t have to have your Z or ZL rooted to sideload the update. Keep in mind, though, that although this is a near final release, it’s not official, so there are the usual risks associated with flashing ROMs through unofficial means.
You can find a link to the .FTF file in our source link, while instructions on how to install it can be found here.
Apple Boosts Over-the-Air App Store Download Limits to 50 MB
With the launch of the 3rd Generation iPad, Apple has increased the over-the-air download limit for the App Store to 50MB, up from 20MB.
As noted by AppAdvice, the change is presumably to accommodate larger app sizes due to the new iPad’s Retina display and faster cellular data available with 4G LTE. The download limit is now 50MB across all devices, as shown in the above screenshot. This limit affects the maximum size of an App that can be downloaded over 3G or 4G networks.
Developers frequently work hard to keep their apps under the over-the-air download limit, as they believe going over that limit reduces the likelihood of spontaneous purchases.
Apple iPhone 4 proximity sensor acts weird, we’ve got the video to prove it
The Apple iPhone 4 went off to a flying start in terms of numbers alone, but its stellar performer reputation certainly took quite a lot of hits. First it was the yellow spot issues (which luckily disappeared all by themselves), then it was the new antenna design that backfired spectacularly and now it’s the proximity sensor that’s causing troubles for early adopters.
As you will see in the video below the new proximity sensor fails to do its job very well, allowing the screen to turn on when there IS an object nearby. In practical terms this means that it doesn’t lock the screen every time you are in a call and you might press some of the on-screen buttons with your cheeks.
There are several topics on the Apple’s website forum with users complaining how they kept hanging up by accident. Having experienced similar issues ourselves we decided to check out if there was something wrong with the iPhone 4 proximity sensor. We placed it next to an iPhone 3G on a table (the iPhone 4 is raised by a few millimeters to compensate for its slimmer profile), made them call each other and took a simple mouse pad to cover their proximity sensors and see how they react.
The result is there for everyone to see, the iPhone 4 kept switching on its screen on many occasions when its 3G predecessor remained locked. Check out the video and see for yourselves.
We are hoping it’s just a software imperfection on the Apple side that they will fix soon and not a faulty sensor to blame for this. Those issues may not be a deal breaker but are certainly annoying for anyone using the iPhone 4 for making calls (and we though this was one of its key features, you know). After all when you pay this much for a phone, we do believe that such annoyances should be avoided.
Update: We just did the same test with a couple of iPhone 3G units – one was running on the iOS4, while the other was on iPhone OS 3.1.2. They both performed identically so we can confirm that the problem isn’t in the Apple latest smartphone platform. Obviously the iPhone 4 uses a different proximity sensor, which causes the issues. This is not to say that Apple won’t be able to fix it in software – it’s still possible that a future update will find a workaround to the hardware deficiency. The thing is this is much harder to do than just fix a few variable values in the source code (which would be the case if it was a software issue) so it will probably take more time to figure out.