AWT News Update: February 17, 2016

Apple Watch being used with Transport for London.  Photo via Pocket-Lint

Apple Watch being used with Transport for London. Photo via Pocket-Lint

A refreshing change from earlier this week, with a lot more interesting news items from the world of Apple:

  • The US Government files suit against counterfeiters who brought fake Apple and Samsung products into the country
  • Twitter adds just what you needed to its official app: a GIF button
  • Two organizations join up to move ahead with universal acceptance of NFC payments (including Apple Pay) to pay for fares on public transportation
  • Apple's doing a great job of recycling old iPhones

The text 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 February 17, 2016.

Although Apple and the US government are bickering about many things on a wide range of topics, Uncle Sam today filed suit against three companies that were marketing counterfeit Apple and Samsung registered trademarks. The law provides for the forfeiture of counterfeit trademark goods imported into the United States, and the items in question were seized in Memphis, Tennessee by US Customs and Border Protection in Memphis. It’s likely that the goods were being shipped to distributors in the US via FedEx, which has its primary shipping hub in Memphis. The goods included 1,000 counterfeit Apple Cell Phone Headsets, 2,000 counterfeit Samsung Cell Phone Batteries, and 4,000 Counterfeit Samsung Cell Phone Chargers.

Here’s yet another thing you can do with Twitter’s official iPhone app these days: the company has added a GIF button so you can drop a GIF into a tweet with the tap of a button. What’s available? Just about anything you can imagine. There’s a keyword search and categories including Happy Dance, Mic Drop, and YOLO. This seems like just another reason to quit Twitter, and could explain why author and alleged comedian Stephen Fry quit the social network this week.

For the millions of Americans who use mass transit to get to and from work, this will be welcome news — the American Public Transportation Association and the NFC Forum today announced that the two groups have created an initiative to train the public transportation industry on mobile near field communication (NFC) technologies to foster their use in speeding fare collection. Apple Pay uses NFC, and several large transit carriers — including Transport for London — allow payment for trips already using iPhone and Apple Watch. The idea is to expand the use of NFC-based payment systems on mass transit to make them available everywhere.

Bloomberg Business is reporting that Apple is doing a great job of recycling iPhones. Apple has contracts with a handful of plants around the world that grind up and recycle the phones, meeting strict standards to ensure that nothing is lost in the process. Apple is doing better than the electronics industry as a whole in terms of recycling its products. The standard for the industry is to collect and recycle 70 percent - by weight - of all devices produced seven years earlier. Apple exceeds that, with the company regularly reaching the 85 percent level. At this point, the company will need to recover and destroy the equivalent of more than 9 million of the iPhone 3GS models sold in 2009. By comparison, Apple sold 155 million units in 2015, so the company will need to recycle 131,750,000 iPhones in 2022. In 2014, Apple collected more than 40,000 tons of electronic waste, including enough steel to build 100 miles of railway track. What else are your old iPhones being used for? The aluminum finds its way to window frames and furniture, while screens are used to make glass tiles.