AWT News Update: May 19, 2017

Rovio - Sony Pictures

Rovio - Sony Pictures

In today's Apple World Today News Update:

  • The new San Francisco flagship Apple Store opened to the press today, and it's quite impressive (thumbnail image via Twitter @panzer)
  • Guess what presidential candidate who called for a boycott of Apple in February owns stock in the company?
  • Apple may be able to successfully appeal a Chinese company's appropriation of the iPhone trademark in the country
  • Here's a switch - the makers of the new Angry Birds movie are asking you to turn your phone on during the end credits

The text version of the podcast can be found below.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for May 19, 2016. Our sponsor for this past week has been Elgato Eve Energy, providing Apple HomeKit-compatible control of your home through Siri. If you’d like to sponsor Apple World Today for a week, just send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll let you know how to do so

Apple’s newest flagship store at Union Square opens on Saturday in San Francisco, and the press was invited in today to check it out. Like many of the new and refurbished stores, the former wood floors have been replaced with a neutral terrazzo floor that will be more durable and easy to clean. For seating for special events and training, there are cube-like wooden seats that stack inside one another as well as balls for kids to sit on. And of course, there’s a clear glass staircase in the new facility leading up to a cantilevered second floor as well as what is probably the world’s largest set of sliding glass doors. Would you believe that one wall is dominated by a huge 6K display? Oh, and the Genius Bar? It’s surrounded by trees and is called the “Genius Grove”. Sounds like a nice place to work. While I have no reason to travel to San Francisco soon to see the new store, the next time I’m there I’ll be swinging by to look at it. If you’re in the Bay Area, you might want to check out the Union Square store soon.

We try to keep politics out of Apple World Today, but this was just too much to pass by. Presidential candidate and billionaire Donald Trump had called for a boycott of Apple earlier this year because of the company’s refusal to work with the FBI on unlocking encryption on iPhones used in commission of crimes. That message was sent out in February, amusingly from Trump’s Twitter account on his iPhone. Well, today the Associated Press is noting that Trump owns a number of investments in Apple, with estimates of the value ranging from $1.1 million to $2.5 million. Several other companies that have received the public ire of Trump, including Ford Motor Company and Disney, are also included in his financial holdings.

You may remember a recent story in which a Chinese maker of leather products, Xintong Tiandi Technology, won a trademark lawsuit in the country for the use of the iPhone brand name. Well, it turns out that the company actually purchased the trademark from a Russian company in 2011 rather than registering the trademark itself. That means that Apple may be able to re-secure the exclusive use of the trademark in China. Apple has said that it will appeal the case to the Supreme People’s Court, and it has fought similar cases against Xintong Tiandi before. Now that it’s known that Xintong did not own the trademark until 2011 — the year the Chinese company was founded — may help Apple win the appeal this time.

Finally, remember Angry Birds? Well, the game franchise moves to the big screen tomorrow, May 20th, and unlike what you’re asked to do with your phone in most movie theaters, the movie’s makers — Rovio and Sony Pictures — are asking moviegoers to turn on their phones during the end credits of the film. If you happen to have the new Angry Birds Action mobile game on your iPhone and turn it on during the credits, you’ll be able to unlock a special game level called Piggy Island as well as an exclusive movie clip. The moviemakers have also printed almost a billion of what they call BirdCodes that can be scanned in the real world to unlock power-ups and digital content.

We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.