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tech in the spotlight

Days Before Big Event, Apple Dispels Doubts Cast by iCloud Hack Allegation

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 2, 2014 02:24 PM

Ahead of what will be a crucial week for the brand, Apple is under scrutiny after its iCloud reportedly played a big part in the massive leak of scandalous celebrity photos by hackers who gained access to personal iCloud accounts.

Originally suspected to have enabled the hack via a bug in its “Find My iPhone” app, Apple has denied it's at fault following an internal investigation. Earlier, a company spokesperson responded to the allegation by stating, “We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,” while the FBI has also launched its own probe into the leak. 

The #iCloudHack doubts cast on its ability to protect user data and privacy are poor timing, as Apple is preparing for its Sept. 9 iPhone event, where the brand is also expected to reveal its much anticipated "iWatch" (or iTime?) wearable.

But the iCloud leak also spells trouble for the brand's just-announced partnership with Visa, MasterCard and American Express on a mobile wallet, reportedly a cornerstone of its upcoming iPhone 6. If photos can be hacked from iCloud, what does that say for personal information and banking data?Continue reading...

branding together

Apple, IBM Give Each Other a Hand in Meeting of the Enterprise Minds

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 16, 2014 02:07 PM

Apple and IBM's landmark partnership that's set to "redefine the way work will get done" is sending ripples through the industry, as the product/services duo are bound to disrupt the business plans of competitors like Microsoft and BlackBerry. 

Combining IBM’s big data and analytics expertise with Apple's user experience “could transform Apple, which ordinarily focuses squarely on consumers, into a true business powerhouse," The Verge notes. “It could also touch off a new battle with Microsoft, which now more than ever is focused on the enterprise and cloud services.”

Burying the hatchet of a longtime rivalry, the new partnership will “create simple-to-use business apps and sell iPhones and iPads to Big Blue’s corporate customers.” 

Aside from the projected product output, which includes 100 iPhone and iPad apps and on-site support to IBM’s business customers using Apple products, the deal signals “that under Tim Cook, Apple is trying to squeeze as much profit as it can out of the products that Apple created under Steve Jobs.," Forbes notes. "The question for investors is whether the deal with IBM is a signal that Tim Cook has no Jobs-like product innovation up Apple’s sleeve.”Continue reading...

diversity watch

Brand Pride: Apple's Tim Cook Stands Side by Side With LGBT Employees

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 8, 2014 04:43 PM

As noted here, TD Bank was a proud sponsor of the first WorldPride event held in North America. Also showing its colors in Toronto late last month: the smart auto brand, which sponsored the event's opening ceremonies in Toronto. And south of the border, on June 29, thousands of Apple employees and their families marched in the San Francisco Pride Parade, where employees were welcome by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was lauded in today's Wall Street Journal as a "more collaborative" and compassionate leader than Steve Jobs. Check out both brands' 2014 Pride videos below.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: LEGO, Tesla, Walmart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 8, 2014 09:09 AM

TOP STORIES

Crumbs Bake Shop closes its doors.

Greenpeace criticizes LEGO tie-in with Shell with LEGO-animated short film.

Samsung warns of slumping profits on weaker demand as it looks beyond hardware.

Tesla sued in China for trademark infringement.

Walmart embraces smaller store formats. 

IN OTHER NEWS:

ADM buys Wild Flavors.

Abuelo’s refreshes menu and look for 25th anniversary.

Air New Zealand pulls in-flight safety video featuring scantily clad models.

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley media mogul conference kicks off.

Alibaba sees red flags raised by deals by founder Jack Ma.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Facebook, KLM, P&G and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 30, 2014 09:08 AM

TOP STORIES

Apple pitches parenting apps in latest iPhone campaign as Tim Cook supports brand's Pride march.

Facebook faces pushback over users' newsfeed experiments.

KLM gets red card for offensive World Cup tweet.

P&G's former CEO tapped by Obama to lead VA.

Philip Morris challenges new EU rules on tobacco. 

MORE BRAND NEWS

American Apparel creditor demands loan repayment.

Ask.fm addresses bullying charges.

ANA tries to make money by not flying.

Benjamin Moore sued for racial discrimination in paint-naming

Just Cavalli campaign featuring Georgia May Jagger offends Sufi Muslims.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

With No Hardware, Apple's WWDC Announcements Still Feel Like Pipe Dreams

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on June 2, 2014 07:02 PM

It's been an exciting few weeks for Apple, as the Cupertino, Calif.-based company recently confirmed its $3 billion acquisition of music and hardware brand Beats, and today hosted its highly-anticipated annual Worldwide Developer Conference

And while there was no new hardware or devices revealed—they'll be revealed later this year—Apple's WWDC announcements, including a new desktop operating system, OS X Yosemite, a new programming language, Swift, and a new mobile iOS, could provide clues to what the company has up its sleeve in the coming months. And with 9 million developers registered with Apple—double the amount of last year—Apple has more partners than ever in creating compatible apps and hardware to make its users' lives easier.Continue reading...

branding together

Apple and Beats: A Match Made in Product Placement Heaven

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 28, 2014 06:03 PM

After a few weeks worth of speculation and one very viral video, Apple officially announced today that it is acquiring Beats Electronics and its streaming music service, Beats Music, for $3 billion—its largest acquisition to date—and is bringing co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine on board at Apple.

“Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, in a press release. “That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.”

Indeed, Apple altered the world of music with its iPod MP3 players and iTunes service—one of the only online music marketplaces widely supported by the music industry. But what many may not know is that Beats co-founder and record label executive Iovine has long played a significant role in the adoption and growth of Apple's music products, including securing product placement deals for Steve Jobs and using his leverage in the entertainment industry to help promote the iPod, as Apple Insider notes.Continue reading...

branding together

Apple Enters Uncharted Waters with Reported Beats Brand Acquisition

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 9, 2014 01:07 PM

Apple may soon be marching to a new beat as it closes in on its largest acquisition ever: the $3.2 billion purchase of Beats Electronics LLC.

Founded by music producer Jimmy Iovine and hip-hop celeb Dr. Dre, Beats is known for its premium Beats by Dre headphones and streaming music service, Beats Music, which launched in January. The headphones alone, which can cost consumers upwards of $300, have become a status (and fashion) symbol in the hip-hop community and beyond, and have posed a great challenge to headphone-makers like Skullcandy.

Apple, of course, produces its own earbuds for use with its iPhones and iPods, but recently partnered with Beats for the iPhone 5S release in November. The company has been under pressure from investors and consumers to bring innovative new products to market.

As the Wall Street Journal observes, Apple shook up the music business in 2003 with the launch of the iTunes music store, but now it's the disrupter that's being disrupted.Continue reading...

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