Apple Suspends iCloud Push Email in Germany Due to Lawsuit

While Apple has been suing other companies for IP and patent infringement, the company is also being sued by its competitors. Today, Apple has announced that it has to shut down iCloud push services in Germany. The reason for this is the successful Motorola bid for an injunction against the cloud syncing service over data pushing technology.

Apple published the news in the support section of its German website, and gave a brief summary of the injunction. Also, the company has listed out temporary solutions that iCloud users can follow while it tries to get the issue resolved by appealing against the decision, reports

In addition, the suspension of Apple’s push services will stop the syncing of calendars and contacts for MobileMe until users change certain device settings. iCloud users will not be affected. The document also notes that iCloud and existing MobileMe users within the borders of Germany will not be able to receive push email at this time. All received messages will be still accesible via iCloud’s website or by changing an iOS’s device’s settings. However, all non-mobile products, such as Macs, are not affected.

Apple also states in the support that in the support document that they believe Motorola’s patent is invalid and is appealing the decision.

Apple Acquires Chomp


Today, TechCrunch reports that Apple is acquiring three-year old startup Chomp. Chomp is a search engine that helps people discover apps for their devices. Apple plans to use the company’s technology and expertise to improve the App Store’s search and app discover technology.

We first covered Chomp in November 2009 to announce their seed funding. Since then, they’ve grown their scope to include not only iPhone apps, but Android apps as well. In fact, Chomp currently has a deal with Verizon to power all of their Android-based app searches. That relationship, obviously, is going to get a bit awkward with this acquisition.

My understanding is that such deals will remain intact for now but are likely to end once the Chomp team and product transitions over to Apple. The same is likely true for Chomp’s stand-alone products.

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but according to the report, Apple’s acquisition isn’t specifically related to talent — Apple also wants Chomp’s technology as well. Chomp has raised more than $2.5 million in funding and all investors are pleased with the outcome. Since Apple has over a $100 billion in cash, you can expect that the company paid quite a bit for Chomp. Chomp’s 20-something employees will reportedly will start working for Apple.

Apple usually prefers to make small to medium size acquisitions of talent and technology, instead of spending a lot of its $100 billion cash pile. Earlier this year, Apple acquired an Israeli flash memory company, Anobit. It should also be noted that with every acquisition the company makes, they make full use of it (ex: Siri).

Update: Apple has confirmed the purchase to AllThingsD.

Update 2: Apple “paid about $50 million” for Chomp, according to Bloomberg.

T-Mobile USA Blames Lack of iPhone for Customer Loss

You know what’s funny? A carrier blaming customer loss due to the lack of iPhone. I thought the iPhone was harmful for carriers? Last year, T-Mobile revealed that  it had over a million iPhones running on its network. Then earlier this year, T-Mobile started to offer official support for unlocked iPhones. Today, T-Mobile USA announced its earnings results for the fourth quarter of 2011, which revealed a net loss of over 800,000 contract subscribers during the quarter (4Q 2011).

T-Mobile is the only one of the four major U.S. carriers that doesn’t carry the iPhone, which blamed the launch of the iPhone 4S for loss of subscribers. In fact, the carrier mentioned the iPhone by name seven times in its release. Do I sense desperation?

This follows the T-Mobile/AT&T deal not going through. The carrier is now seeking to reposition itself with a “challenger strategy” and start rolling out 4G LTE services more aggressively beginning next year. Apple’s iPhone is not offered on T-Mobile USA because its network’s frequency band is incompatible with current versions of the iPhone. Even though the iPhone can connect to the carrier’s network, it cannot connect to the carrier’s high-speed 3G frequency.

Apple Considered Switching to AMD in 2011 MacBook Air

A new report regarding the 2011 MacBook Air reveals an interesting tidbit. An upcoming article regarding AMD by Forbes reveals that the company’s Llano family of Fusion combination CPU-GPU systems was under consideration by Apple to be used in the MacBook Air for its 2011 refresh. However, AMD lost the company’s business to Intel, since the necessary parts were late in being delivered to Apple and had high failure rates.

It is also reported that AMD also offered Apple on using its Brazos family of Fusion systems in the Apple TV, but Apple was uninterested in the offer. Ouch! Must have been a significant loss to the company business wise. Forbes’ Brian Caulfield revealed more regarding AMD’s efforts to gain Apple as a customer  in a separate article. In that article, he also went into more detail regarding the issues on Fusion chips planned for the MacBook Air.

MacRumors points out that this reflects back to a report from November from SemiAccurate, which suggested that AMD’s Fusion platform was Apple’s “Plan A” for the 2011 MacBook Air and that such machines were “on the verge of production” before Apple decided to stick with Intel.

Apple Agrees to New Privacy Policy Notification Standards

Today, the California Attorney General’s office has announced an agreement with Apple and five other tech companies including Google, Amazon, HP, RIM, and Microsoft which will ensure that these companies implement new standards for notifying users of privacy policies associated with apps offered in their stores. The new requirements will require developers of apps, that collect personal information to include privacy policies with their app that can be viewed directly from the store before downloading the apps themselves.

In addition, links to privacy policies will be in consistent places within the App Store and other marketplaces. This will offer the users the ability to view the privacy polices briefly. Developers who do not agree with the new requirements can be charged under California law. Apple and other companies signed the agreement and have pledged to inform developers about the privacy policy requirements and help them to meet the standards.

Also, the agreement requires that the companies provide simple methods for users to report apps that do not comply with privacy requirements, as well as systems for dealing with those reports. Thanks to these new rules, it sounds like these companies have a lot of work on their hands!

Apple’s First Amsterdam Retail Store Set to Open March 3

Last year, Apple rapidly expanded its stores. Last August, it was reported that the company is working on a store that will consist of a gorgeous glass roof in Santa Monica, CA. Just a month or two after, rumors of a store in Manhattan’s Grand Central started to appear, which finally became a reality earlier this month. It is gorgeous! Apple also redesigned its iconic Fifth Avenue store’s glass cube last year. In December, it was reported that Apple is working on a “prototype” store in Palo Alto, CA. Then in January, it was reported that Apple had started to work on new retail stores in France and Switzerland.

Apple Amsterdam Store

Today, reports that the grand opening of the new Apple Store in the Netherlands will occur next Saturday, March 3 at 10 a.m., which will make it the thirteenth country where Apple has retail presence. The new location in Amsterdam will be on the ground floor and lower floor of the city’s historic Hirsch Building in Leidseplein Square. Also, both the levels will be connected by a glass spiral staircase, which can be found at many of Apple’s retail locations. In addition, the second floor will be covered by a glass pyramid. Apple’s new store looks stunning!

Earlier this month, the company began hyping that the store was opening “soon”, but did not give a specific date.

Watch Apple’s Foxconn Factory ABC Nightline Show

ABC Nightline recently got the privilege to visit the Foxconn factory in China where Apple products are manufacture to create a report on the working conditions there. In the recent few weeks, Foxconn has been receiving  a lot of bad publicity about poor working conditions for factory workers there.

ABC News Foxconn Investigation

The Apple product manufacturer company was recently audited by the Fair Labor Association which gave it a good rating. Recently, Foxconn also raised wages for their Chinese Workers. In the past, Foxconn has been notorious for worker suicides and bad working conditions for their employees.

Apple recently gave permissions to ABC Nightline show to investigate the working conditions at Foxconn. In this exclusive investigation ABC Nightline takes users around the factory and gives them an inside view.

Users can view the entire episode of ABC Nightline’s investigation; Nightline 2/21: Apple’s Chinese Factories: Exclusive. An exclusive look inside Apple’s factory in China by visiting this link. The video is almost 18 minutes in length.

There is also a link for the above video which you can check out in the video embedded below.

Safari User Sues Google over Claimed Privacy Violation

Last week, it was reported by The Wall Street Journal  that Google had used code that allowed them to bypass the standard Safari privacy settings, which then allowed them to insert advertising cookies on an affected device. Did somebody say evil? Now, Bloomberg reports that a user of Apple’s Safari, the default web browser of every Mac and iOS device, is suing Google Inc. after their sneaky tactics were revealed.

Attorneys for Matthew Soble filed the complaint on Tuesday in Delaware’s federal court and are seeking class-action status for the suit which suggests that Google bypassed certain Safari privacy settings in order to track users’ web habits. Apple’s Safari browser is set by default to blocks cookies or small bits of code to identify users when they return to a previously visited site. In the past, Apple has been criticized for not caring about their customers’ privacy, but this is just further evidence that they do. While on the other hand, Google tracks Android users without them knowing.

Google, the hypocrites, have denied this by stating that: “The Journal mischaracterizes what happened and why. We used known Safari functionality to provide features that signed-in Google users had enabled. It’s important to stress that these advertising cookies do not collect personal information.” Give me a break! If this were true, that would justify the number of times Google has been caught doing something wrong in the past year, right? In fact, just after being contacted by WSJ, Google disabled the code and later removed information from a company site. Yup, doesn’t sound fishy to me at all. “Don’t be evil” indeed.


Apple Confirms Plans for a New Data Center in Oregon

Last year, Steve Jobs talked about what powers iCloud during his WWDC keynote. It is a huge data center in Maiden, North Carolina that is 500,000 square feet and is about five times the size of the company’s existing Silicon Valley data center. Also, it costed $1 billion to build, which is twice of what Google and Microsoft generally invest in their cloud data centers. Recently, the company touted its solar farm across that gigantic data center.

Then in December, it was reported that Apple was “nearing a decision” on whether or not to build a brand new data center in Oregon. Today, has received confirmation from the company that the company plans to build a new data center on a 160-acre lot in Prineville, Oregon. The land was reportedly purchased for $5.6 million from Crook County. This new data center will be located a quarter mile south of a Facebook server farm that opened earlier this year. Now, this is pretty ironic. Why? Because rumor has is it that Apple and Facebook have a love/hate relationship (ex: Ping lacking Facebook Connect integration).

The company also maintains a smaller data center in Newark, California and has been building out additional capacity in Santa Clara, California near its corporate headquarters in Cupertino.

Apple Touts Plans for Massive Solar Farm and Fuel Cell Facilities

Guess what iCloud is powered by? It is a huge data center in Maiden, North Carolina that is 500,000 square feet and is about five times the size of the company’s existing Silicon Valley data center. Also, it costed $1 billion to build, which is  twice what Google and Microsoft generally invest in their cloud data centers.

Apple NC Data Center

A few months after, it was reported that Apple had begun work on a solar farm adjacent to its massive new data center in Maiden, North Carolina. Now, as noted by CNET, Apple has updated its environmental site with updated data for 2011, revealing a few pieces of new information about the company’s work on energy usage and other topics. In addition to revealing a few details about Apple’s new data center in Maiden, North Carolina, the company also notes that the solar farm being built across the data center will be the largest user-owned solar array in the United States, registering at 20 megawatts. Wait a second, I thought Apple didn’t care about the environment and yet they chose to use solar power.

Finally, the company will also be powering the facility with a 5-megawatt fuel cell installation, the largest in the country not owned by a utility company. Additional details are available in the company’s facilities report (PDF).