27,000 people have filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple in South Korea over concerns Apple collected private location data, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. The group is seeking 1 million won per person in damages, or about $930 each and just over $25 million total. In early August, the Korean Communications Commission fined Apple 3 million won ($2,829) following the “Locationgate” scandal that occurred earlier this year. Apple has stood by its claims that the location-tracking was the result of a bug that was fixed in a software update. The iPhone maker was also sued in the United States by two consumers in Florida and by one man in Puerto Rico. Apple paid South Korean lawyer Kim Hyung-suk $945 this past May after he filed a lawsuit against the company, and that is the only other recorded pay-out at this point regarding the iOS location tracking bug. More →
Included in Apple’s “Q&A on Location Data” press release this morning was a rare and concrete statement that pointed to a future project the company is working on. “Apple is now collecting anonymous traffic data to build a crowd-sourced traffic database with the goal of providing iPhone users an improved traffic service in the next couple of years,” reads the release. Currently, iOS offers its users traffic-data through the bundled Google Maps application. It is unclear whether Apple is collecting this information to supplement the aforementioned offering, or — as rumors suggest — to build a new application that is less reliant on Google. Either way, it is an unusual statement from the Cupertino-based company about a future service. More →
On Wednesday, researchers from O’Reilly claimed to discover a tracking feature in iPhones and 3G iPads that reportedly sent location data back to Apple. Another researcher, this time from Katana Forensics, says otherwise. “Apple is not harvesting this data from your device,” said Kata Forensics lead engineer Alex Levinson. “This is data on the device that you as the customer purchased and unless [O’Reilly] can show concrete evidence supporting this claim – network traffic analysis of connections to Apple servers – I rebut this claim in full. Through my research in this field and all traffic analysis I have performed, not once have I seen this data traverse a network.” Levinson argues that the “hidden tracking file” is neither new nor a secret. He wrote about it in a book by Sean Morrissey titled iOS Forensic Analysis, which was published on December 5th, 2010, and says that the collected data is simply used by native iOS apps like Maps and Camera. If you’re still worried Apple is collecting the info – that you likely agreed to provide anyway — Levinson even cites a California state law that says: “No person or entity in this state shall use an electronic tracking device to determine the location or movement of a person.” Hit the jump for more from Alex Levinson.
Chip manufacturer NVIDIA today announced the release of the Tegra Zone application for Android smartphones and tablets. Available in the Android Market, Tegra Zone “delivers a curated selection of Tegra processor-optimized games, as well as professional game reviews, high-res screenshots, HD video trailers, gameplay videos and behind-the-scenes featurettes.” Launch titles currently available in TZ include Samurai II: Vengeance, Dungeon Defenders: First Wave Deluxe HD, Galaxy on Fire 2 THD, Backbreaker THD, Fruit Ninja THD, Vendetta Online, and Monster Madness. If you’re rocking a Tegra device and you’re interested in checking out the new app, hit up the Market and have yourself a download. More →
Remember that four to seven thousand dollar Vertu Constellation Quest handset
BG was drooling over we told you about over the weekend? Well, it looks like the company’s PR firm has posted a short YouTube video detailing just what makes the luxurious handset worth a king’s ransom. Aside from the trimmings we told you about last time — sapphire keys, gold accents, etc. — each device is hand-made and hand-polished to provide the level of luxury Vertu customers have come to expect. The device runs the Symbian operating system, and, as the company’s president explains, is for people who want to express their lifestyle and success with the mobile device. Hit the jump to see just what a multi-thousand dollar Symbian handset looks like. More →
We’ve seen the new Constellation Quest handset in full form, and to be honest, it looks gorgeous. Think of it as the highest form E73 you could imagine — sapphire crystal keys, gold accents — but very angular, almost futuristic looking. Beveled keys, a distinctive ear speaker, and a small size are other things that Vertu’s smartphone features. Unlike other Vertu’s, we’ve heard there will be a decently-sized marketing campaign, possibly even with a celebrity endorsement. As for price? Well, that hasn’t been communicated to us yet, but we’d imagine the $4,000-$7,000 range for the basic model line. Let’s be honest, in these times of economic prosperity… who doesn’t need a multi-thousand dollar phone. Honestly. More →