President elect Donald Trump was serious when he discussed manufacturing goods in the US, pushing Apple to make the new iPhone into the US - this stirred Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn to think about the prospects of moving its manufacturing to the United States.
Apple suppliers could be in for a big shift, with the Chairman of Softbank group, Masayoshi Son, recently meeting with Trump in New York. Masayoshi Son, whose group has an alliance with Foxconn, promised Trump that they would consider investing in manufacturing goods in the US, to create jobs. There's even been a Sharp executive who spoke with Nikkei Asian review who said that the idea is Mr Son's idea.
Foxconn is thinking of building a manufacturing plant in the US, as the country has a large market for TVs and other consumer electronics - with Foxconn rumored to be considering a huge $8.6 billion investment in US manufacturing.
It looks like there is going to be a massive injection of wafer plants in China's near future, with Tsinghua Unigroup to reportedly build IC manufacturing sites in three locations in China: Wuhan, Chengdu and Nanjing.
Tsinghua Unigroup's total investment will hit $70 billion, according to Zhao Weiguo, chairman for the state-backed technology conglomerate, reports DigiTimes. The site continues: "Tsinghua Unigroup is assisting subsidiary Yangtze River Storage Technology to establish a new memory plant in Wuhan (Hebei province). Construction of the plant, which will cover an area of about 13 hectares, kicked off recently".
Yangtze River Storage Tech's new plant has an investment of $24 billion or so, and will be dedicated to making 3D NAND flash products, where it is hoped to hit volume production in 2018. Tsinghua Unigroup is currently breaking ground on two new plants, "one located in Chengu (Sichuan province) and the other in Nanjing (Jiangsu province) - in 2017, Zhao disclosed. Total investment in the two sites is estimated at US$46 billion", said Zhao.
Industry experts add that Tsinghua Unigroup will soon enter logic IC manufacturing, which will only expand their grip on the market.
CES 2017 - Samsung has a full frontal assault for your kitchen at CES this year, and while it has dabbled in Wi-Fi-connected smart fridges before, it is launching 6 new ones in 2017 - bringing Samsung up to a total of 10 smart fridges.
This includes a new three-door, four-door, and a four-door "flex" model that has dual freezers. Samsung has updated the fridge's OS to Family Hub 2.0, which provides your family with a new UI, allowing everyone to have a profile - and even lets you set individual avatars, just cause.
There's a massive 21.5-inch LED touchscreen built into the front of it, where you can play around with photos, calendars, and even leave handwritten memos. Tizen is the OS powering the fridge, which takes pictures of the contents of your fridge every time you open the door - letting you know when you need to buy more "Groceries by MasterCard".
I like my fridge, I really do... but when I get to the point of having a fridge with a camera, and a microphone - I feel like we've stepped over a line. What next... our toilet roll holders will have built-in microphones? Our showers will have 360-degree cameras for the next level of Big Brother voyeurism?
According to Mark Stokes, the head of the digital, cyber and communications forensics unit at the Metropolitan Police: "Wireless cameras within a device, such as fridge, may record the movement of owners and suspects. Doorbells that connect directly to apps on a user's phone can show who has rung the door and the owner or others may then remotely,m if they choose, to give controlled access to the premises while away from the property".
Stokes added: "All these leave a log and a trace of activity. The crime scene of tomorrow is going to be the internet of things".
Amazon is already incredibly good at advancing the way it gets products to its consumers, and now its next step in delivery systems looks to be a floating warehouse that sends drones out to deliver packages.
The company filed a patent in 2014 that was awarded to Amazon earlier this year, that teases gigantic floating warehouses that the company calls "airborne fulfillment centers". Amazon would man the floating warehouse, something that could be considered a mothership, with staff that would fulfill the orders it receives online, and sends out autonomous drones to deliver them.
Amazon also says that the crew on the ship will arrive on smaller aircraft that will dock, drop off and pick passengers up, and then undock to fly back to the ground - so that the mothership can stay in the air as long as it can. This would give Amazon an exclusive edge against every single other company in the world, in that it could offer items delivered from the sky with the most convenience ever - anywhere in the world it would have one of their "airborne fulfillment centers" are operating.
The potential of this is world-changing, as it could see a future where small drones take multiple items from the distribution craft, fly down to deliver one - and then another to a separate customer, and again until it has delivered all packages, and then flies up to collect more. These crafts could work 24/7 without stopping, ever. Sign me up.
Apple will be opening up its new spaceship campus is nearing completion, with a beautiful 4K video shot with his drone, providing a Christmas/New Year update for us all. Check it out.
The footage looks great, showing that Apple is using 100% renewable energy for the campus, with the entire ring around Apple's new HQ plastered with solar panels. Matthew Roberts, the person behind the 4K drone footage said that there's around 65% of the total solar panels installed so far.
Apple has designed the campus where it will feature 3000 specially designed, and engineered curved glass panels that will measure in at around one mile in circumference. Steve Jobs said during a Cupertino City Council meeting a few years ago: "There's not a single straight piece of glass in this building. We've used our experience in building retail buildings all over the world. We know how to make the biggest pieces of glass for architectural use. And, we want to make the glass specifically for this building here. We can make it curve all the way around the building... It's pretty cool".
Oculus is in the headlines for all the wrong reasons today, with Oculus' Head of Computer Vision Dov Katz being arrested in a sting involving a police officer who was posting as a 15-year-old girl.
TechCrunch reports that Katz meeting with what he thought was a 15-year-old girl at Embassy Suites in Tukwila, Washington - aftrer he had text messaged the 15-year-old girl agreeing to pay $300 with her for sex without a condom. The police officer pretended to be a 19-year-old who, closer to the time of meeting Katz, said she was being honest and act ually a 15-year-old. The Oculus engineer responded saying "sure", adding: "do you have another pic?".
Some sickening stuff right there, with Katz ending being arrested without incident, with $600 found in the room along with his smartphone. The police officer in question said he arrested Katz for 'Commercial sexual abuse of a minor', but Katz said he was a hero, and instead was "there to rescue her and call the police".
Katz is being arraigned until January 5, with bail set at $125,000.
Apple is making strategic movies to get into the TV and movie industries, with Mega founder Kim Dotcom - yeah, Kim Dotcom, predicting that Apple will purchase a massive Hollywood studio in 2017.
Dotcom tweeted: "Watch Apple buy a Hollywood Studio in 2017. #InsiderIntel". It would make sense, considering how massive some of these TV shows are getting these days on Netflix, HBO, etc. Apple has had interest in the film industry for a while, with the company having a "strong but secretive" presence at the Sundance Film Festival.
Apple reportedly met with "triple A-list" talent to talk about making a lineup of original TV shows, and even more of a tease - Apple is working with Hollywood studios to bring movies to iTunes, "even while they're still in theaters" reports 9to5Mac.
Nokia has announced that it filed complaints against Apple in Germany and the US, alleging that Apple products infringe a number of Nokia patents.
Ilkka Rahnasto, head of Patent Business at Nokia, said:
Through our sustained investment in research and development, Nokia has created or contributed to many of the fundamental technologies used in today's mobile devices, including Apple products. After several years of negotiations trying to reach agreement to cover Apple's use of these patents, we are now taking action to defend our rights.
Nokia is suing Apple for 32 of its patents covering technologies such as display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets and video encoding.
Apple's enormous campus in Cupertino is scheduled to open in 2017, and the latest drone footage from YouTube user Matthew Roberts shows how much the spaceship-like structure changed in the last six months.
The building is the brainchild of the late CEO, Steve Jobs, and designed by acclaimed architect, Lord Norman Foster. Steve Jobs spent a large part of two years on the project before his death in 2011.
The construction started in 2013, and you can see in the newest footage that it's almost ready for its grand opening.