Apple TV set said to be coming in 2013

The newest in the long line of Apple TV set rumors is that indeed the device is on the way but most likely not until 2013.

"We continue to view Apple TV hardware as a 2013 event," an Asian research group CLSA said in a note today, according to the news site Business Insider.

The note goes on to note that Foxconn, which manufactures Apple products, has decided to invest in Sharp electronics, giving more credibility to the notion that an Apple TV set is in the works. According to Business Insider, Sharp will provide the panels for … Read more

Apple supplier Hon Hai buying stake in Sharp

Stung by huge losses and dwindling sales, Sharp Electronics is selling a chunk of itself to Hon Hai in a bid to raise cash and expand its LCD TV production.

Hon Hai will purchase about 11 percent of Sharp and 46.5 percent of the company's LCD TV factory in Sakai, Japan. Once the deal is done, the factory will be 46.5 percent owned by Sharp, the same amount by Hon Hai, and 7 percent owned by Sony. In return, Sharp will issue about $800 million in stock to Hon Hai, according to a New York Times report.… Read more

Group seeks recall of Daisey-inspired petition on iPad labor

A petition circulated on in January that targeted Apple -- demanding that it do more to protect workers in China who help build iPads -- was based on discredited claims and should be recalled, says a new petition.

More than 255,000 people signed the original petition posted to in early January by Mark Shields following a report about the human cost of Apple's labor practices on the radio show This American Life. The report has since been retracted by the show's producers.

Shields' petition, which called for Apple to create "a worker … Read more

Mike Daisey's latest excuse: I was quoted out of context

Mike Daisey, the actor and Apple critic, claims that some of the material used during his interview with radio show "This American Life" was taken out of context.

On his blog, Daisey today wrote: "Four hours of grilling edited down to fifteen minutes. I thought the dead air was a nice touch, and finishing the episode with audio pulled out of context from my performance was masterful."

A spokeswoman for This American Life declined to comment.

On Friday, the Chicago-based show said it could no longer vouch for a January episode in which it used excerpts … Read more

Retraction and all, Foxconn still in crosshairs

Despite the undercutting of Mike Daisey's claims against working conditions at Foxconn, the company hasn't been fully exonerated.

Speaking to Reuters in an interview published today, a fund manager at Polaris Financial Group with investments in Foxconn parent company Hon Hai Precision said that he and other investors will be keeping a close eye on what's discovered about working conditions at Foxconn's factories.

"The retraction has somewhat cleared Foxconn's name, but not all the way," Simon Liu told Reuters. "The press and stock investors will continue to watch how Foxconn treats its … Read more

Mike Daisey gets standing ovation at last N.Y. performance

NEW YORK--Even with his credibility in tatters, actor and Apple critic Mike Daisey received a standing ovation today following the final New York appearance of his one-man show, "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs."

"He was really, really good," said Jane Glucksman, 50, at the conclusion of today's matinee at The Public Theater. "I came here sort of skeptical after reading about what was going on, but his show made me want to re-examine everything I've heard about Apple."

Many of the people interviewed by CNET as they left the … Read more

This American Life retracts episode on Apple and Foxconn

The makers of the popular public radio program "This American Life" are now retracting a January episode that contained a damning monologue on Apple and its manufacturing practices in China.

That monologue came from actor Mike Daisey, who penned his one-man play, "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs," after traveling to Shenzhen, China, to visit a handful of factories. That trip included Foxconn, where most of Apple's hardware is manufactured.

"Daisey lied to me and to This American Life producer Brian Reed during the fact checking we did on the story, before … Read more

Injured Shanghai workers say Apple visited factory hours before explosion

Workers injured in a December blast at a Chinese factory say that Apple inspectors toured the facility hours before the accident.

NPR spoke with 25 injured workers who criticized safety conditions at the plant and said they were instructed not to speak with the Apple contingent.

One of the injured employees, Zhang Qing, told NPR that workers were not informed about a similar blast seven months earlier at a factory in Chengdu, China, which was tied to a buildup of aluminum dust.

Another worker hurt in the explosion, Liu Hengchao, said he watched as inspectors wearing white gloves checked for … Read more

Are any smartphones not made in China?

In recent months, a lot of gadget makers (but mostly Apple, if we're honest) have faced a lot of public pressure about the working conditions in Chinese factories (mainly those run by Foxconn, if we're honest) where their devices are manufactured. This led me to ask the question last month: could Foxconn workers ever afford one of the iPhones they make? The answer: not without saving up the entirety of their earnings for several months.

All the fuss over the state of manufacturing in China led to another question I've heard from more than one reader in the past week: so, are there any decent smartphones not made in China?

This led to much head-scratching, followed by much more research. The short answer is: yes, but not many and probably not for much longer.

Here's the quick rundown of smartphone makers I found that source their devices, at least in part, from places other than China, with labor standards that are closer to what we might expect in America. But before you read any further, there are some huge caveats to keep in mind. … Read more

iPad maker Foxconn turns to X-ray inspections to cut defects

As Apple prepares for the Wednesday debut of what's widely expected to be the iPad 3, the company's main contract supplier is tweaking its manufacturing process with an eye toward reducing product defects -- and possibly head count as well.

Foxconn Technology, which has about 1.2 million employees working at its myriad factories in China, has begun adding automated inline X-ray inspection systems to its plants, according to a source with first-hand knowledge of the change. With inline X-ray machines using software algorithms to inspect solder joints or printed circuit boards at production line speeds, a company … Read more