How Facebook data scandal could boost Apple

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Facebook dev
Facebook is one of many tech giants that builds is business on user data.
Photo: Facebook

Thanks to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a backlash is brewing against the way tech giants like Facebook monetize data. This could result in government regulation, which has the potential to upend the business models of some of the world’s biggest companies.

Luckily, Apple is practically immune. Here’s why 2018’s biggest tech scandal could actually help the world’s biggest tech company.

Cult of Mac Magazine: What to expect from Apple’s big ‘field trip’ event, and more!

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In this week's Cult of Mac Magazine: Apple will take a field trip out of Silicon Valley to host its first major event of 2018 next week, and much more.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

In this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine: Apple will take a field trip out of Silicon Valley to host its first major event of 2018 next week. Instead of focusing on iPhones and Apple Watches, this keynote will be all about education and creativity.

Rumors have been swirling for months that new MacBook Airs and an updated, inexpensive iPad could arrive this spring. We might see those, but Apple probably has a couple other surprises in store that you haven’t heard of. Here’s what to expect from Apple’s education event next Tuesday.

You’ll find that story and more in this issue. Get your free subscription to Cult of Mac Magazine from iTunes. Or read on for this week’s top stories.

Spotify skips Siri with new voice command feature

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Spotify
Spotify may soon feature voice command .
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Music service Spotify has added a voice search feature to its iOS app that allows users to find song tracks, albums, and playlists.

The new test feature takes Siri out of the equation. With Apple trying to grow its music streaming service, it never allowed Spotify to integrate with Siri, including with Apple’s first smart speaker, HomePod.

Apple’s acquisition of Shazam now in the hands of antitrust regulators

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Shazam iPhone
Apple must wait for EU approval.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple has formerly requested approval for its Shazam acquisition from the European Commission.

EU antitrust regulators confirmed last month that they had launched an investigation into the deal following concerns from seven European countries. Apple will get a decision next month, but it may not be final.

Rare Mac laptop rakes in more than $16,000 at auction

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Hap Plain
This early backlit Mac laptop sold on eBay for more than $16,000.
Photo: Hap Plain

An Apple prototype of an early laptop, one of only four known to exist, sold on eBay Tuesday evening for more than $16,000.

It was the second time the owner of the Apple Macintosh Portable M5126 – fully functional and with a rare-for-its-time backlit screen – tried selling the test device on the auction site. Last month, bidding closed at just over $10,000 but the buyer backed out.

Apple scores with millennials as ‘most intimate brand’

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brand intimacy
Apple takes that bond you have formed with your iPhone very seriously.
Photo: Apple

In just 24 hours, Apple went from being ho-hum in charisma to number one in brand intimacy.

What sounds like fickle middle school popularity are actual rankings based on research, data and scientific surveys of, well, fickle people.

Apple ended its workweek ranked first for brand intimacy among millennials, according to a report MBLM, a marketing firm that specializes in helping brands form said connection. Apple as a brand must have worked hard on itself over the last year because it beat out Netflix, which was tops among millennials last year.

Apple trumpets its plans for fixing factories

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supplier factories
Apple says it continues to improve labor and environmental conditions with its suppliers.
Photo: Foxconn

Apple this week acknowledged it is still battling poor working conditions and environmental violations with some of its overseas supplier factories, but highlighted programs to solve ongoing issues, according to a company audit.

Apple’s annual Supplier Responsibility Report addressed conditions at 756 sites in 30 countries last year and scored facilities based on its Code of Conduct.

Bidding for rare Mac prototype starts at 99 cents

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Hap Plain
This early backlit Mac laptop sold on eBay for more than $16,000.
Photo: Hap Plain

A rare Macintosh prototype that was once rescued from the trash recently sold for more than $10,000 on eBay.

But the winning bidder backed out and now, the clear-plastic Macintosh Portable M5126 laptop is back on the auction site. Bidding started at 99 cents with no reserve.

Why iPhone X fails to win some Apple loyalists

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iphone x
The iPhone X is the new Apple flagship. But some like their old iPhones just fine.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A Piper Jaffray survey of iPhone users who did not upgrade to the iPhone X came to a predictable conclusion: Most were satisfied with the performance of their current model and many find the X too expensive.

However, the financial services firm predicts Apple will coax some upgrades out of these users with a line of new iPhone models this fall, one of which is expected to be more affordable.