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Apple's bittersweet week

week in review Apple reports record earnings but grapples with worker condition criticism. Also, the Supreme Court strikes down warrantless GPS tracking and RIM gets a new CEO.

Workers at an Apple supplier facility in Shanghai. Apple

Apple's celebration of record earnings was tempered this week by a grim report about working conditions at one of its component suppliers.

Obliterating its own earnings estimates, Apple reported quarterly revenue of $46.33 billion and profits of $13.06 billion.

"We're thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads, and Macs," Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, said in a statement. "Apple's momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline."
•  Apple shares soar following historic earnings announcement
•  Apple's biggest quarter by the numbers

Cook then had to address an in-depth New York Times report that profiled hazardous factory conditions linked to scores of injuries and a handful of deaths. The report recounted an explosion at a plant in Chengdu that killed four, focusing on the final months for Lai Xiaodong, a 22-year-old who had worked a few months at the Foxconn Technologies plant where the iPad is produced.

One former Foxconn executive told the Times that "Apple never cared about anything other than increasing product quality and decreasing production cost."

Apple did not respond to a request for comment from CNET last night, but Cook addressed the issues highlighted in the report in an e-mail sent to employees.

"We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain," Cook said. "Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don't care is patently false and offensive to us."
•  A kinder, gentler Apple? Don't bet on it
•  Roundup: Apple supply-chain saga

More headlines

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Police need warrant for GPS tracking, high court rules

The Supreme Court unanimously rules that warrantless GPS tracking of people in automobiles violates the U.S. constitution.
•  Why Supreme Court's GPS ruling will improve your privacy rights

Google wants ability to 'combine' your user data

A forthcoming change to Google's privacy policy gives it the right to use information across multiple services to provide enhanced services and ads. Previously, that was only implicit.
•  Politicians aim some pointed privacy questions at Google
•  EU overhauling data-privacy policies to protect consumers

RIM's co-CEOs step down; insider Heins takes helm

Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis resign their positions in the beleaguered company as profits decline and investor disappointment grows.
•  Who is RIM CEO Thorsten Heins, anyway?
•  RIM's leadership shakeup too little, too late?
•  Ten things RIM's new CEO must do right away

Former Palm CEO Rubinstein out at HP

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FileSonic disables file sharing in wake of MegaUpload arrests

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Anonymous: Facebook is next, on January 28

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Netflix CEO: DVD subscribers to decline now and forever

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AT&T loses whopping $6.7B on pensions, T-Mobile breakup

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•  AT&T CEO blasts FCC bureaucrats for tanking its T-Mobile deal
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Obama touts alternative energy despite Solyndra's demise

President avoids mentioning solar panel maker Solyndra's embarrassing collapse during his State of the Union address but nevertheless says it's time to "double down" on the idea.
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Also of note
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•  iPad dominates tablet market, but Android is closing fast