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Apple Inc. (AAPL) News: New Patent and New iPad, £400K Vintage Computer, Foxconn Technology Group & More

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Apple under European investigation over iPhone, iPad sales tactics and 4G restrictions (ZDNet)
The European Commission is pressing ahead with an investigation into whether Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s sales contracts with carriers are unfairly keeping rivals out of the European market. “The Commission has received information from industry players concerning Apple’s distribution practices for iPhones. We are currently examining the situation. This does not prejudge the Commission’s position on the issues raised,” the EC said in a statement today. The EC sent out a nine-page questionnaire to several operators last week, asking whether Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had locked in arrangements with the carriers that prevent smartphone rivals from securing better sales deals, according to documents seen by the Financial Times.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)Functioning Apple I computer fetches over £400K in Germany (ITProPortal)
If you thought a coffee date with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook was expensive, vintage Apple hardware will set you back even more – though only just. An original version of the Apple I computer – signed by co-founder Steve Wozniak – fetched a staggeringly high price at a recent auction in Germany. The final price of $671,000 (£444,000) was more than £130,000 higher than auctioneer Uwe Breker estimated as the highest possible price that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s first-ever computer might generate. The system, originally owned by electrical engineer Fred Hatfield, is one of 46 known units still in existence out of an original lot of 200 systems crafted by Wozniak and late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Apple iPad 5 release date, specs and price: weekly roundup of most powerful iPad (News Tribe)
According to rumors, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) plans to launch more than one device this year like iPhone 5S, iPad mini 2 and iPad 5 with some reports indicating Apple is preparing to lunch iPhone 5S next month. According to rumors, Apple’s new iPad 5 will be lighter and faster than iPad 4, so playing heavy games and watching videos will be a pleasing experience. As far as release date of iPad 5 is concerned, it is expected to come in third quarter of 2013, with likely month is September. The price of the new iPad, we’re looking at US$499 (£399, AU$539) for the Wi-Fi-only 16GB iPad 5, US$599 (£479, AU$649) for the 32GB model, US$699 (£559, AU$759) for the 64GB and US$799 (£639, AU$869) for the 128GB iPad.

Apple patent automatically adjusts iPhone speaker volume based on proximity (Apple Insider)
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday issued Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) a patent for a system that leverages the iPhone’s various sensors to seamlessly increase and decrease volume, as well as switch between the device’s multiple speakers, depending on how far away the handset is from a user. Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,452,020 for “Adjustment of acoustic properties based on proximity detection” describes a method in which data from the iPhone’s proximity sensor is employed to calculate distance from a user, which is then applied to dynamically adjust volume.

Huawei Says Apple’s China Experience Teaches Supply Chain (Bloomberg)
Huawei Technologies Co., China’s largest maker of telecommunications equipment, said Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s experience in the world’s most populous nation shows the importance of supply chain management. “We can learn from the issues that Apple has faced in China,” Zhang Hao, director of corporate sustainability for Huawei, said at a press conference in Beijing. “Supplier management is a very key part of our brand management. We will never let supplier issues tarnish our brand.” Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook joined the Washington-based Fair Labor Association last year following the suicides of at least 10 workers at Foxconn Technology Group, the assembler of iPhones and iPads.

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