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Briefly: DOJ probe on AT&T, T-Mobile acquisition; Foxconn in Brazil; Maps job

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
The U.S. Department of Justice will launch an in-depth investigation into AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA, a new report claims. Meanwhile, more evidence has surfaced that Foxconn will soon begin producing Apple's iPhones and iPads in Brazil. Also, a new job posting from Apple indicates the company is explicitly looking for someone to revamp the Maps app for iOS.

DOJ investigation

Reuters reports that the Justice Department has deepened its probe of an AT&T and T-Mobile acquisition, according to a source familiar with the $39 billion deal.

A spokeswoman for the DOJ declined to comment, though she did note that the agency's investigation is "ongoing."

Though the DOJ has been known to approve mergers within 30 days in a process called "early termination," the size of the AT&T/T-Mobile acquisition makes a lengthier so-called "second request" more likely. The investigation is expected to last for months, and approval could be up to a year in coming.

AT&T and Deutsche Telekom announced in March that they had reached an agreement for AT&T to purchase T-Mobile USA. Within days, government officials had called for DOJ and FCC investigations to review the deal.

One FCC official told The Wall Street Journal that AT&T faced a "steep climb to say the least" on the way to receiving the FCC chairman's approval to proceed with the acquisition. Rival wireless carrier Sprint has spoken out in formal opposition of the deal and is actively contesting the merger with state regulators.

If the acquisition is approved, it would give Apple access to nearly 80 percent of the U.S. wireless contract customer market. Apple partnered with AT&T to launch the iPhone and the two companies maintained an exclusive partnership in the U.S. until Verizon began selling the iPhone in February.

Foxconn in Brazil

Luciano Almeida, the president of the Invest São Paulo state agency promoting investment and competitiveness in the region, confirmed Tuesday that Apple representatives had visited Brazil in February in preparation for the first stage of iPad, iPhone and eventually notebook production in partnership with manufacturer Foxconn, Brazil's Teletime reports (via Google Translate).

According to Almeida, the Foxconn unit in Brazil plans to produce as many as six million iPads by the time it reaches full capacity in three to four years. A new plant built by Foxconn could generate four to five thousand new jobs in the next few years. The government has already begun preparing training courses for the factory jobs.

Five or six cities are reportedly competing for the privilege of hosting Foxconn's new facilities, and Almeida dismissed Rio de Janeiro as a candidate. According to the report, Foxconn has also looked into investing in liquid crystal display factories and "the unification of Brazilian plants in a single installation" but has yet to receive approval for those projects from the company's international board.

In April, another Brazilian government official suggested that Foxconn would begin producing iPads by the end of November. Foxconn has reportedly sent a list of demands to the Brazilian government, including a request for financial support from the Brazilian National Development Bank, government help in finding minority investors and export priority shipping at São Paulo (and other unnamed) airports.

iOS Maps Application Developer

A new Apple job listing suggests that the company is looking to eliminate its reliance on Google for map images and technology, as reported by MacNN.

"Come work for the team that revolutionized the mobile technology industry as it continues to define what computing looks like in a post-PC era," the listing reads. The candidate is expected to have "real-world experience developing sophisticated user interfaces" and excellent communication skills in order to collaborate closely with" Apple's peerless human interface team to add new and innovative features."

Though Apple, for several years now, has had openings for developers interested in working on its Maps application, the most recent job listing demonstrates a more explicit effort on Apple's part to enhance the Maps app. As such, major changes could be in store for the iOS 5 version of the application, the report noted.

Apple began using its own location databases last year in iOS 3.2, while continuing to rely on Google's maps and Street View feature.

In recent years, Apple has acquired several key mapping companies, namely Placebase and Poly9, prompting further speculation that the iPhone maker will launch a more advanced Maps app.

Last week, Apple said that it is collecting anonymous traffic data to create an "improved traffic service" for iPhone users. The revelation came as a result of confusion as to whether Apple's iPhones track users' locations. Apple has stated that it does not, though it does store a "crowd-sourced database" of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers.
post #2 of 18
I hope Apple tries to do something more interesting with Maps than just replacing Google Maps. They've got it in them!

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I hope Apple tries to do something more interesting with Maps than just replacing Google Maps. They've got it in them!

There is no doubt they will. Why would Apple even bother replacing Google Maps unless the new maps was a radical improvement. It would just stick with Google. But, obviously Apple envisions taking mobile mapping to a whole new level which Google is unable to provide.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Very disappointed to see Apple going along with Foxconn's expansion into Brazil.

Granted the issues surrounding hardware manufactures like Foxconn are not so easily solved as the software issues that were involved with Apple's recent iPhone tracking. But they're extremely important issues none the less.

At some point, Foxconn's inhumane treatment of its workers needs to be addressed, as does the issue of Apple making billions in profits off this treatment. Expansion of Foxconn's relationship with Apple is a big step in the wrong direction.

Edit:
According to Apple's own report (http://images.apple.com/supplierresp...s_Report.pdf):

● 80 facilities were not storing or handling hazardous chemicals properly.
● 41 facilities were not recycling or disposing of hazardous wastes properly and as required by law.
● 37 facilities failed to monitor and control air emissions.
● 76 facilities had records that indicated workers had exceeded weekly working-hour limits more than 50 percent of the time.

It is not enough for Apple to send of letters to these companies saying they disapprove of their actions and then turn around and reward one of the most notorious companies on the planet with expanded work. Real progress in solving these abuses needs to be made.

That Apple is actually rewarding a company that must put up safety nets to prevent workers from committing suicide simply boggles the mind.

I'm just speculating here but maybe Apple supporting Foxxcom's move to Brazil is a remedy to those problems. The Spaniards are not the Chinese. Spaniards and the Brazilian government will not stand for slave labor. Apple, in the future, just might demand Foxxcom makes all Apple product in Brazil to solve the problem. I don't know but Apple does monitor working conditions. They have less oversight with the Chinese. Spaniards aren't as easy to please. Apple must know that.
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turley Muller View Post

There is no doubt they will. Why would Apple even bother replacing Google Maps unless the new maps was a radical improvement. It would just stick with Google. But, obviously Apple envisions taking mobile mapping to a whole new level which Google is unable to provide.

Nothing in the quoted job specs made me think backend change. I think this could still end up being a front end UI redesign, updating the look and feel while keeping google's back end. It would be very hard to match google's extensive street view images though a partnership with bing could help out with that.

Also the press release said something about "traffic" which in the context of location services on a phone using cell towers could mean both physical (maps) traffic or network (cell data) traffic. It was not specific as far as I can understand.

So we will have to wait till septemberish when iOS 5 is released to figure out what will become of the maps app.
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post

I'm just speculating here but maybe Apple supporting Foxxcom's move to Brazil is a remedy to those problems. The Spaniards are not the Chinese. Spaniards and the Brazilian government will not stand for slave labor. Apple, in the future, just might demand Foxxcom makes all Apple product in Brazil to solve the problem. I don't know but Apple does monitor working conditions. They have less oversight with the Chinese. Spaniards aren't as easy to please. Apple must know that.

Brazil was colonized by the Portuguese, not spaniards, and you bet they had slave labor. Obviously now the conditions are much better, but rio de janairo is still no safe working conditions paradise. Plus I feel like china has a better quality nowadays then brazil, so we will have to see how long Brazilian iPads last.
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post #7 of 18
Can we expect Apple’s Maps to arrive for iOS 5.0?
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Very disappointed to see Apple going along with Foxconn's expansion into Brazil.

Granted the issues surrounding hardware manufactures like Foxconn are not so easily solved as the software issues that were involved with Apple's recent iPhone tracking. But they're extremely important issues none the less.

At some point, Foxconn's inhumane treatment of its workers needs to be addressed, as does the issue of Apple making billions in profits off this treatment. Expansion of Foxconn's relationship with Apple is a big step in the wrong direction.

Edit:
According to Apple's own report (http://images.apple.com/supplierresp...ess_Report.pdf):

● 80 facilities were not storing or handling hazardous chemicals properly.
● 41 facilities were not recycling or disposing of hazardous wastes properly and as required by law.
● 37 facilities failed to monitor and control air emissions.
● 76 facilities had records that indicated workers had exceeded weekly working-hour limits more than 50 percent of the time.

It is not enough for Apple to send of letters to these companies saying they disapprove of their actions and then turn around and reward one of the most notorious companies on the planet with expanded work. Real progress in solving these abuses needs to be made.

That Apple is actually rewarding a company that must put up safety nets to prevent workers from committing suicide simply boggles the mind.


I am glad that there are concerned readers like you on AI. However, developing countries like Brazil and China. They have huge growing population. And they make only $1 dollar a day. They need all the jobs they can get. A big company like FoxConn is enough to raise the daily wages of Brazilians and provide hundreds of thousands of jobs.
And if Apple is not to rely on FoxConn, who are they going to rely on. FoxConn is the biggest contract manufacturer in the world. Almost all IT companies including Sony, Dell, HP etc rely on FoxConn. FoxConn's CEO Terry Gou is the richest man in Taiwan.
Steve Jobs is not a fool. Besides having great taste, he's a calculative money maker, if you know how he thinks. . That's why he killed Xserve. Anything that doesn't make money must go. Apple needs FoxConn more than FoxConn needs Apple. If you want 40% margin on the consumer hardware you sell, you can count on me. If you keep complaining about the labor standards, you can hit the highway, and don't let the door hit you on your way out. That's the price for being a developing country. And we used to call them worse: Third World Countries.

So the way I see it, Apple has no choice. And it's so funny that some Americans would like these low-end manufacturing jobs that pay pennies. Apple can stop being a consumer hardware company if it does not rely on FoxConn.
post #9 of 18
LOL. Right. Foxxcom has went on the record claiming workers rights laws have to be laxed in Brazil. Like in the US with Free trade (which is anti-worker rights legislation), Foxxcom will pay off the right people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post

I'm just speculating here but maybe Apple supporting Foxxcom's move to Brazil is a remedy to those problems. The Spaniards are not the Chinese. Spaniards and the Brazilian government will not stand for slave labor. Apple, in the future, just might demand Foxxcom makes all Apple product in Brazil to solve the problem. I don't know but Apple does monitor working conditions. They have less oversight with the Chinese. Spaniards aren't as easy to please. Apple must know that.
post #10 of 18
We have a choice. All these products in the not too distant past were made in the US, Canada, Mexico, and the Western Europe. Guess what Apple made the same margins, and the prices were about the same. What happened? Your government sold you out. It passed free trade legislation, which allowed companies to import freely into the US from slave labor Countries.

Companies left because the US gives tax breaks to companies manufacturing overseas. Further, companies do not have to deal with various laws over here designed to treat workers fairly and keep them safe.

Prior to these Free Trade laws, Foxxcom was nobody. If the US passed the proper laws, Apple could easily contract out the work in the US. Well maybe not easily because Americans don't know how to set up factories anymore.

In Germany, which has opposed most free trade legislation, the economy is doing much better then the rest of us. Why? Because they actually build things in their Country.

As far as telling the previous poster to leave and don't let the door hit him, that kind of is the approach they take in China (where free speech isn't allowed). In other words, suck it up slave. Poor people are dirt. Apparently, you'd fit in real well there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by IronTed View Post

I am glad that there are concerned readers like you on AI. However, developing countries like Brazil and China. They have huge growing population. And they make only $1 dollar a day. They need all the jobs they can get. A big company like FoxConn is enough to raise the daily wages of Brazilians and provide hundreds of thousands of jobs.
And if Apple is not to rely on FoxConn, who are they going to rely on. FoxConn is the biggest contract manufacturer in the world. Almost all IT companies including Sony, Dell, HP etc rely on FoxConn. FoxConn's CEO Terry Gou is the richest man in Taiwan.
Steve Jobs is not a fool. Besides having great taste, he's a calculative money maker, if you know how he thinks. . That's why he killed Xserve. Anything that doesn't make money must go. Apple needs FoxConn more than FoxConn needs Apple. If you want 40% margin on the consumer hardware you sell, you can count on me. If you keep complaining about the labor standards, you can hit the highway, and don't let the door hit you on your way out. That's the price for being a developing country. And we used to call them worse: Third World Countries.

So the way I see it, Apple has no choice. And it's so funny that some Americans would like these low-end manufacturing jobs that pay pennies. Apple can stop being a consumer hardware company if it does not rely on FoxConn.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Very disappointed to see Apple going along with Foxconn's expansion into Brazil.

Granted the issues surrounding hardware manufactures like Foxconn are not so easily solved as the software issues that were involved with Apple's recent iPhone tracking. But they're extremely important issues none the less.

At some point, Foxconn's inhumane treatment of its workers needs to be addressed, as does the issue of Apple making billions in profits off this treatment. Expansion of Foxconn's relationship with Apple is a big step in the wrong direction.

Edit:
According to Apple's own report (http://images.apple.com/supplierresp...ess_Report.pdf):

● 80 facilities were not storing or handling hazardous chemicals properly.
● 41 facilities were not recycling or disposing of hazardous wastes properly and as required by law.
● 37 facilities failed to monitor and control air emissions.
● 76 facilities had records that indicated workers had exceeded weekly working-hour limits more than 50 percent of the time.

It is not enough for Apple to send of letters to these companies saying they disapprove of their actions and then turn around and reward one of the most notorious companies on the planet with expanded work. Real progress in solving these abuses needs to be made.

That Apple is actually rewarding a company that must put up safety nets to prevent workers from committing suicide simply boggles the mind.

Yes, it is better to behave like other IT companies and do not send 'open' letters to these companies. If you highlight what is wrong with your suppliers, people will criticise you for their faults. If you do not highlight these things, then people will not bother you.

The real measure would be for Apple to show that things are improving year over year (in relative terms).
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Very disappointed to see Apple going along with Foxconn's expansion into Brazil...That Apple is actually rewarding a company that must put up safety nets to prevent workers from committing suicide simply boggles the mind.

Get in touch with the real world and stop accepting PR releases from NGO's who justify their existence [and budget] by mailing out reports from Hong Kong.

By your logic, San Francisco must be indicted for considering safety nets for the Golden Gate bridge. Or we're considering here in New Mexico for the Taos Bridge. Absurd as the proposals may be.

How people choose to commit suicide is irrelevant to the % who choose to end their lives. And those numbers for FoxConn employees are lower than the average town in China [or Japan, for example] the same size as FoxConn.

Most contemptible is the focus on the FoxConn customer leading the pack in activism in pushing for better income and working conditions. Where's the whine about Dell and HP? It wouldn't be any more legit - but it would be more appropriate.

Sorry, but after a lifetime of activism and support for trade unions, I don't think the workers of China are aided a jot by "support" from people who distort reality by using the very processes put in place by Apple to say they aren't doing anything.

Oh - and btw - the "demands" by FoxConn in Brazil are accepted as normal points of negotiation between any foreign company and the government as part of the process of establishing a manufacturing operation. Little or no difference with what proceeded with firms from any other country.

Please don't base too much of your politics on ignorance. Save that for professional Know-Nothings like Congress.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

We have a choice. All these products in the not too distant past were made in the US, Canada, Mexico, and the Western Europe. Guess what Apple made the same margins, and the prices were about the same. What happened? Your government sold you out. It passed free trade legislation, which allowed companies to import freely into the US from slave labor Countries.

Oh yeah, let us manufacture every single product in each of the 180+ countries of the world. Let us not import any raw materials from any other countries. That must really be an efficient economy. And tough luck if your country has no iron ore, nothing made out of steel for you.
And let every country write its own desktop OS. Europe once had their own mobile devices OS (Symbian) but then somebody from the US wrote a better product (iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, all are better then Symbian). Europe should close its doors to these foreign OSes.
But hey, why not go further and stop trading between the states inside the US. All those car assembly plants in Alabama really steal the jobs of those in Detroit.

Quote:
In Germany, which has opposed most free trade legislation, the economy is doing much better then the rest of us. Why? Because they actually build things in their Country.

Really? So, Germany is exporting more cars and machinery to China because they block imports from China? I have to admit, I have trouble following that logic.

I find your way of determining 'facts' very interesting. You believe less free trade is good for manufacturing thus any country that does good in manufacturing must have less free trading rules. So, instead of first checking whether there is a correlation between less free trading rules and success in manufacturing and then basing your postulation of a causation on this correlation, you postulate a causation, and 'find' the facts by a simple thought exercise.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

Oh yeah, let us manufacture every single product in each of the 180+ countries of the world. Let us not import any raw materials from any other countries. That must really be an efficient economy. And tough luck if your country has no iron ore, nothing made out of steel for you.
And let every country write its own desktop OS. Europe once had their own mobile devices OS (Symbian) but then somebody from the US wrote a better product (iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, all are better then Symbian). Europe should close its doors to these foreign OSes.
But hey, why not go further and stop trading between the states inside the US. All those car assembly plants in Alabama really steal the jobs of those in Detroit.


Really? So, Germany is exporting more cars and machinery to China because they block imports from China? I have to admit, I have trouble following that logic.

I find your way of determining 'facts' very interesting. You believe less free trade is good for manufacturing thus any country that does good in manufacturing must have less free trading rules. So, instead of first checking whether there is a correlation between less free trading rules and success in manufacturing and then basing your postulation of a causation on this correlation, you postulate a causation, and 'find' the facts by a simple thought exercise.

You criticize his post like a petulant child, yet you utterly ignore the reality that while the concept of free trade was great, it created corporate loopholes that destroyed jobs, competition, and economics in general. Everything the US comes up with is not perfect, and everything that sounds good doesn't always pan out that way. It's not patriotic to stand up in the face of failure and pretend it didn't happen, thats "idiotic".
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

You criticize his post like a petulant child, yet you utterly ignore the reality that while the concept of free trade was great, it created corporate loopholes that destroyed jobs, competition, and economics in general. Everything the US comes up with is not perfect, and everything that sounds good doesn't always pan out that way. It's not patriotic to stand up in the face of failure and pretend it didn't happen, thats "idiotic".

So, why do people criticise free trade in general terms when they actually just mean the loopholes and think free trade is basically good but the rules governing it should just be little bit improved? Could it be because actually creating rules that have no loopholes is not that simple? And that instead of doing the actual work and studying things in detail and coming up with sound counterproposals (that do not have other large unintended negative consequences), just blaming one big scapegoat is so much easier intellectually?

Why does the US have a huge trade deficit and Germany a huge trade surplus if their free trade rules are roughly similar? There are lots of reasons for that, some of which are beyond the control of the US (eg, the dollar being a reserve currency) but the free trade rule differences only explain a small part of that. Yet, if the Chinese buy more German goods (in relative terms to exports to Germany) than American goods, this has very little to do with free trade differences. Yet blaming the free trade is so much easier.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

You criticize his post like a petulant child, yet you utterly ignore the reality that while the concept of free trade was great, it created corporate loopholes that destroyed jobs, competition, and economics in general. Everything the US comes up with is not perfect, and everything that sounds good doesn't always pan out that way. It's not patriotic to stand up in the face of failure and pretend it didn't happen, thats "idiotic".

Agree totally. Jobs have moved overseas. I would rather have a job with more expensive consumer goods than no job and inexpensive consumer goods.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorotea9999 View Post

Agree totally. Jobs have moved overseas. I would rather have a job with more expensive consumer goods than no job and inexpensive consumer goods.

The problem I have with comments like these is that you would never complain when free trade leads to jobs moving into the US (as it is happening at the moment with the rise of iOS, Android and maybe Windows Phone 7 vs. Symbian). You are like the child that wants a price when it wins the game but if somebody else wins the game they should not get a price.

Image you live in a mountainous region and make a living transporting goods with donkeys and then somebody builds a road completely destroying your business. That is what free trade does, it lowers the transactional costs (transport cost being an element of transactional costs) by lowering tariffs and removing non-tariff restrictions.

Of course, almost all communist countries converting to capitalism over the last twenty years has caused a supply-side shock of cheap labour but that is just what happens, you cannot turn the clock back. If you are exporter of some kind of raw material and then the same stuff is found in abundance in other countries, the price for your exports will fall, this is also a supply-side shock. But to keep griping about that is just crying over split milk.

Unless you believe that global capitalism will inevitably lead to a race to the bottom but national capitalism will not, I don't see how you can support the latter but not the former.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

There are always choices. In this case, Apple could have given the manufacturing job to a different company. That, in turn could be used as leverage against Foxconn to improve their working conditions.

It's time for Apple to "Think Different" on this and stop hiding behind the excuse that other companies do it too.

Well, at least Apple is publishing a report, do other companies do that?
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  • Briefly: DOJ probe on AT&T, T-Mobile acquisition; Foxconn in Brazil; Maps job
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