Costume Institute Previews Apple-Sponsored ‘Manus x Machina’ Met Gala Exhibition

Following the launch of its first wearable device, the Apple Watch, Apple has been making a name for itself in the fashion world. As part of its efforts, Apple is sponsoring the 2016 Metropolitan Museum of Art Gala and Costume Institute Exhibition, where Jony Ive will be serving as a co-chair alongside pop star Taylor Swift and actor Idris Elba.

The Met Gala, held each year, is a fund raising event that benefits the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute. The theme chosen for the gala each year reflects the theme of the Costume Institute exhibition and dictates what Met Gala attendees should wear. Last year’s theme was „China: Through the Looking Glass.“

The theme for the 2016 event, which will take place on May 2, is „Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.“ The show will focus on the dichotomy between handmade haute couture and machine-made fashion, featuring pieces that juxtapose traditional hand techniques like embroidery, pleating, and lacework with technologies like laser cutting and thermo shaping.

This 1994 „Flying Saucer“ dress by Issey Miyake will be featured in the 2016 Met Gala. Image via The Verge.

The Costume Institute hosted a preview of the exhibition this morning, with details shared by The Verge. According to Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton, the theme of the gala was inspired by the 1927 sci-fi drama Metropolis by Fritz Lang, a movie that focuses on the struggle between man and machine. Apple design chief Jony Ive gave a statement on the event, saying Apple believes technology and craft „go hand in hand.“

„More than ever, we believe that it is fundamentally important to personally work with materials as a means to truly understand their physical nature and to design authentic objects. Far from being mutually exclusive notions, we believe that technology and craft go hand in hand – much like beauty and utility – and become all the more powerful in combination.“

Designers like Iris van Herpen, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, and Chanel will have pieces on display at the event that show off the melding of technology and fashion. One dress by Iris van Herpen, for example, will include laser-cut silicon feathers and silicone coated gull skulls, while a second van Herpen display piece features a white polyamide 3D printed dress with acrylic fringe and white goat leather.

The 2016 Met Gala is set to take place on May 2, 2016. In addition to being sponsored by Apple and co-chaired by Jony Ive, it will feature honorary chairs Anna Wintour, Nicolas Ghesquiére, Karl Lagerfeld, and Miuccia Prada.
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Apple Launches USB-C Charge Cable Replacement Program for Retina MacBook

Apple today launched a worldwide replacement program for the USB-C charge cables that were shipped with the 12-inch Retina MacBook through June of 2015, as these cables can fail „due to a design issue.“

According to Apple, affected cables may cause the MacBook to not charge or to charge intermittently when it is connected to a power adapter. Cables with the issue can be identified by their labeling, which reads „Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.“ Redesigned cables have the same text, but also include a serial number.

Apple is providing new, redesigned USB-C charge cables to MacBook owners with faulty cables at no cost. In addition to cables that shipped with the MacBook, the replacement program also includes faulty cables that were sold as standalone accessories.

Customers who supplied a valid mailing address when registering their product or purchasing it through the Apple Online Store will receive their new cables automatically, while other eligible MacBook owners can contact Apple Support, find an Apple Authorized Service Provider, or visit an Apple retail store to get their cables replaced. Affected USB-C charge cables can be replaced under this program until June 8, 2018.

The Retina MacBook first went on sale in April of 2015, so the problematic cables were sold for approximately two months before a redesigned version was released.

Related Roundup: Retina MacBook
Buyer’s Guide: MacBook (Don’t Buy)
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Tim Cook Talks iPhone Sales, Apple TV, Campus 2, and More at Employee Town Hall Meeting

Following Apple’s first quarter earnings report, Apple executives hosted a Town Hall meeting with Apple employees to answer questions and to divulge a few details about the company’s future plans. 9to5Mac has shared highlights of what was covered at the event. While much of what was said was reiterating information that was shared during the earnings call, there are a few tidbits worth noting.

When it comes to the iPhone and the rumor that Apple has perhaps reached „peak iPhone,“ Cook said the device is the „greatest business of the future“ with growth potential in key emerging markets like India and China. He said Apple does not need to launch a less expensive device with pared-down features to entice buyers in these markets, as research suggests people will spend more for a better experience. These comments relate directly to the upcoming „iPhone 5se,“ which some rumors have suggested will be positioned as a less powerful, lower-end device, though not a cheap one by general smartphone standards.

On the Apple TV and tvOS, Cook said the two products point towards a „bright“ future for Apple, but he didn’t mention how Apple might expand its presence in the living room going forward. tvOS is Apple’s way of giving content providers the tools to offer streaming television solutions to customers after having failed to launch its own streaming service due to difficulties with negotiations. The most recent TV-related rumors suggest Apple is exploring the possibility of original content, following in the footsteps of Netflix and Amazon.

Cook also reportedly expressed excitement over future products coming from the company’s software, services, and hardware divisions. In the next few months, Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 5se, the iPad Air 3, new bands for the Apple Watch, and perhaps new Retina MacBooks and Retina MacBook Pros. Later in the year, Apple is also expected to introduce the highly-anticipated iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

He also teased „far off“ hardware products coming beyond 2016, perhaps hinting at the company’s work on the Apple Car or its exploration of virtual and augmented reality. Recent rumors suggest Apple is prototyping virtual reality headsets similar to the Oculus Rift.

The last bit of interesting information was on Apple Campus 2, the company’s second „spaceship“ campus that’s under development in Cupertino. Construction appears to be on track to be finished at the end of 2016, as Cook says the first employees will move into the campus by the end of January 2017. He also said the new underground auditorium will allow Apple to hold events on its grounds instead of at venues in San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area.

The meeting also included more mundane information on upcoming time-off benefits for Apple employees, flagging iPad sales, new solutions for retaining employee talent, and Apple’s supply chain, which can be read at 9to5Mac.

Tag: Tim Cook
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Apple to Open Yet Another Two Chinese Stores in Guangzhou and Nanjing

Apple has announced that its 31st and 32nd retail stores in China will open in Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu, and Guangzhou on Saturday, January 16 and Thursday, January 28 respectively. Both stores will open at 10:00 a.m. local time.

The first store will be located in the IST shopping mall at 100 Zhongshan Road in Nanjing’s Xuanwu District, while the Guangzhou store will open at the Parc Central retail development at 218 Tianhe Road in the city’s Tianhe District.

Parc Central retail development render in Guangzhou, China (Image: Benoy)

The new stores will be open Monday to Sunday between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. local time, and each will offer a Genius Bar and other traditional Apple Store services. Apple is quickly approaching its goal of opening 40 new retail stores in China. The locations will mark Apple’s 27th and 28th retail stores in mainland China, while the company also operates four retail stores in Hong Kong.

Apple has aggressively expanded its footprint in China under the leadership of retail chief Angela Ahrendts, with new stores in Xiamen on January 14, Shenyang on January 9, Nanning on December 12, Beijing on November 28 and Chengdu on November 21. Apple opened its first retail store in Nanjing, alongside new stores in Chongqing, Hangzhou, Hong Kong and Tianjin, throughout 2015.

Tags: China, Nanjing, Apple retail, Guangzhou
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Apple Refreshes ‘Start Something New’ Campaign Worldwide

Apple has reintroduced its „Start Something New“ campaign ahead of New Year’s Day in the U.S., Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K., Vietnam and several other countries worldwide.

„Start Something New“ features a gallery of nearly a dozen paintings, photos, drawings, short films and other pieces of creative work made by artists using Apple products and apps, ranging from the Apple Pencil, iMac and iPad Air 2 to Adobe After Effects, Darkroom and Procreate.

Apple has also shared individual profiles for each new work and artist on its website:

Painting fluid landscapes by Lu Jun, China

Painting with dots by Lieu Nguyen, Vietnam

Chasing wild vistas by Emma Phillips, Australia

Illustrating nature through its details by Tiffany Bozic, USA

Drawing with light by Darren Pearson, USA

Shooting from a new perspective by Bernhard Lang, Germany

Visualizing the power of gravity by Greg Barth, UK

Cultivating a different kind of rose by Kahori Maki, Japan

Composing a sense of wonder by Jake Sargeant, USA

Seeking color in the streets by Brian Lotti, USA

Capturing the texture of movement by William Hundley, USA

Apple ran a nearly identical campaign in December 2014, starting in Japan and later expanding to the U.S. and other countries.
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China Mobile Roadmap Claims New 4-Inch iPhone Coming in April 2016

Chinese cellular carrier China Mobile recently held an event discussing its upcoming plans for 2016, in which it hinted at an April 2016 release date for Apple’s rumored 4-inch iPhone, reports MyDrivers [Google Translate] (via Gadgetz Arena).

An April 2016 release date for the device is in line with previous rumors that have suggested it will launch during the first months of 2016. Apple is rumored to be holding a March event where it will introduce a second-generation Apple Watch, and it’s possible the 4-inch iPhone will also be unveiled at that time.

Today’s report from MyDrivers refers to the 4-inch iPhone as the „iPhone 7c,“ but Apple is unlikely to use that nomenclature for a device that launches ahead of the „iPhone 7,“ the name most probable for the 2016 flagship iPhone coming in September. All previous rumors have instead referred to the 4-inch iPhone as the „iPhone 6c.“

The iPhone 6c is rumored to feature an aluminum casing like the iPhone 5s, with at least two to three color options available and a 2.5D curved edge cover glass like the glass used on the iPhone 6 and later. It may also include the same A9 processor used in the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, along with an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.1.

Related Roundup: iPhone 6c (2016)
Tag: China Mobile
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Tim Cook Calls Apple’s Tax Avoidance Accusations ‘Total Political Crap’

60 Minutes has shared a preview of Tim Cook’s latest interview with journalist Charlie Rose, in which the Apple CEO emphatically counters the idea that Apple has created elaborate schemes to pay little or no U.S. corporate taxes on its overseas revenue.

Cook described the tax avoidance accusations as „total political crap,“ and deflected blame on the U.S. tax code for being far outdated. He added that repatriating the money in the U.S. is not „a reasonable thing to do“ due to high corporate tax rates.

Rose: You also have more money overseas probably than any other American company. […] Why don’t you bring that home?

Cook: “It would cost me 40% to bring it home, and I don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to do. This is a tax code that was made for the industrial age, not the digital age. It’s backwards. It’s awful for America. It should have been fixed many years ago. It’s past time to get it done.”

Rose: Here’s what they concluded: “Apple is engaged in a sophisticated scheme to pay little or no corporate taxes on $74 billion in revenue held overseas.”

Cook: “That is total political crap. There is no truth behind it. Apple pays every tax dollar we owe.“

Apple’s tax policies have been closely investigated over the past few years in Europe. Earlier this year, for example, Italian regulators accused Apple of booking profits generated in the country through an Irish subsidiary in an effort to lower its taxable income base and save nearly 900 million euros from 2008 through 2013. The investigation was completed in March 2015.

The European Commission began an investigation of Apple’s tax policies in June 2014, and the Brussels-based executive body formally accused the company of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland in September 2014. The commission has since requested more information from Apple, likely delaying a decision in the tax probe until at least after the Irish elections in early 2016.

Apple is said to utilize multiple foreign subsidiaries in Ireland to move around overseas money, which Cook says accounts for two-thirds of Apple’s revenue, without being subject to high corporate tax rates in the U.S. and elsewhere. Apple has consistently denied any wrongdoing, and Ireland vows to take the European Commission to court over any negative ruling.

Cook’s wide-ranging interview will also touch upon encryption technology and manufacturing products in China. In the same episode, Rose will also offer a rare inside look at Jony Ive’s „secret design studio“ at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. 60 Minutes airs on CBS this Sunday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time and 7 p.m. Pacific Time.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: Tim Cook, CBS, corporate tax, Charlie Rose, 60 Minutes
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