AWT News Update: October 12, 2016

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Our thanks again to our sponsor for the past week, Pagico 8. Check out this powerful cross-platform data and task management app for Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android by clicking here. In today's news:

  • Rumors of a future Magic Keyboard with e-ink displays in each key begin to float around...
  • The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 debacle will have a long-lasting effect on Samsung's mobile bottom line
  • Employees at an Apple Store in Brisbane, Australia are fired after taking explicit photos and stealing others from customers' iPhones, then "rating" females in the photos

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below.

Text Version

Hi, this is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for October 12, 2016. For this past week our sponsor has been Pagico 8, a powerful, cross-platform data and task management application that will keep you or your business running smoothly. Find out more about Pagico 8 for Mac, Windows and Ubuntu Linux, as well as Pagico Plus for iOS and Android by visiting our website at the link found in the show notes.

An anonymous user on Reddit with the unlikely name of “Foxconninsider” posted today that Apple is working with a startup firm named Sonder on a next-generation Magic Keyboard that has an e-ink display in every key. What’s cool about this is that the graphics on each key could change depending on the app being used. A similar OLED strip is supposed to be installed above the keyboard on the next MacBook Pro, so it’s not entirely out of the question that a full keyboard could be made with the technology. The Reddit poster noted that Apple is in the process of acquiring Sonder, and the new keyboard could arrive sometime in 2018.

As you might expect, the end of production of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 due to the problem with exploding batteries is going to have one heck of an effect on Samsung’s third-quarter operating profit estimates. In a regulatory filing, Samsung cut its estimates by $2.3 billion, with profits now coming in at around $4.63 billion. That pretty much means that all profits from the company’s mobile division are washed out for the quarter, with Samsung chalking up lost sales and the costs of handling returns. Samsung’s profits could continue to take a hit for the foreseeable future, since the Note 7 was expected to be the biggest competition to Apple’s iPhone 7 and other high-end smartphones. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge released in early 2016 have been popular, but Samsung won’t have any new flagship smartphones until next year. CNN also ran a video headline today asking the question “Will Samsung’s Phones ever be Trusted Again?” That’s a very good question.

Our final story for today proves that not all Apple Store employees are nice all the time. Employees at the Apple Carindale store in Brisbane, Australia were implicated in a scandal involving photos of female customers and staff, including some that were stolen from customers’ iPhones. Workers allegedly took over 100 “close up and explicit” photos and shared the images with other shops in the state of Queensland, along with a ranking of 1 to 10. One worker noticed a technician going through a customer’s phone contents in the repair room, and reported the incident. Four people were fired at the store, and an “overseas HR executive” flew in to monitor the situation. According to an Apple staff member who talked with the Courier-Mail newspaper, "One person would take a photo and add it to the chat and others would give the person or their butt or their boobs a rating out of 10 and they would add their own side commentary. Everyone feels uncomfortable and the female staff don't know how to feel because the leadership won't tell staff who is involved."

That’s all for today; We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.