AWT News Update: December 7, 2015

Today's Apple news...and a little bit from yesterday, too:

  • Facebook is shutting down three apps
  • Apple employees will be getting the gift of sound this Christmas
  • TSMC plans to build a $3 billion chip factory in Nanjing, China to expand its production
  • A bomb threat closes down an event at the Ginza Apple Store (seen above) in Tokyo, Japan

Text is below and video of today's podcast recording is right here

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for December 7, 2015.

Earlier today Apple World Today reported on how Dropbox is dropping support for two apps — Carousel and Mailbox — in order to focus on its core business and work on moving functionality to the main Dropbox app. Well, Dropbox isn’t the only company closing down projects today; Facebook shut down its two year old Creative Labs division, and as a result it has killed three apps that never did all that well anyway. Slingshot was designed to compete with Snapchat, Riff was going to let people create “viral videos” in which users kept adding on to each others work, and Rooms provided themed anonymous chatrooms. While Slingshot and Riff will continue to work for those people who already use the apps, Rooms will get the axe for good on December 23.

If you’re an Apple employee, you’ll be getting a Christmas gift from the company soon if you haven’t seen it already. The gift is a set of black and red urBeats earphones from the Beats product line, with the words “Thank You 2015” on the packaging. The headphones retail for $99.95, and every single Apple employee of record will get a set. Last year, the gift was an Apple-branded Incase backpack.

One of Apple’s suppliers today announced plans to build a $3 billion chip production factory in Nanjing, China. That supplier, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company or TSMC, will be moving equipment from its Taiwan facilities to the new factory in order to keep costs down and is planning on taking advantage of subsidies from the mainland Chinese government as well. The company is rightfully paranoid about its technology being hijacked by potential competitors and the Chinese government, so they will be producing newer, faster and more powerful chips in Taiwan while the mainland plant produces items a generation behind. TSMC produced most Apple A8 processors, and currently shares production responsibilities for the A9 and A9X processors with Samsung. Rumors are suggesting that TSMC will become the sole source of the next generation of A-series processors for Apple.

The Apple Retail Store in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan had to cancel an event yesterday when a letter was received threatening an attack if the event was not cancelled. The Japan Times said that the letter was delivered to the store at around 11 AM Sunday, and the event was scheduled to start three hours later. The event was going to feature film director Isao Yukisada and others, and was called off. The police investigated the threat and shut down the store completely during a search, but found no suspicious objects.

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